Viggo Mortensen's tattoos in Eastern Promises were so realistic

Viggo Mortensen’s tattoos in Eastern Promises were so realistic

Viggo Mortensen’s tattoos in Eastern Promises were so realistic that diners in a Russian restaurant in London fell silent out of fear during production

“Viggo Mortensen studied Russian gangsters and their tattoos. Mortensen spent a lot of time with a Russian Mafia specialist, Dr. Gilly McKenzie (organised crime specialist for the UN) and also consulted a documentary on the subject called The Mark of Cain (2000). The tattoos that he wore, according to the New York Daily News, were so realistic that diners in a Russian restaurant in London fell silent out of fear, until Mortensen revealed his identity and admitted the tattoos were for a film.[9] From that day on he washed off his tattoos whenever he went off the set. Mortensen said of the significance of the tattoos:””I talked to…(authentic gangsters & Gilly McKenzie)…about what they meant and where they were on the body, what that said about where they’d been, what their specialties were, what their ethnic and geographical affiliations were,”” Mortensen says. “”Basically their history, their calling card, is their body.””[10]With one exception, the tattoos Mortensen wore were accurate for the character he played. The crucifix on his chest is inappropriate for a mob chauffeur, since it incorrectly indicates that he is the “”Godfather”” of the Russian Mafia

Consistent with the trademark violence in much of Cronenberg’s work, Eastern Promises features a graphically violent fight scene in a steam bath where the combatants wield linoleum knives. When asked in an interview about the difference between “”gun violence”” and “”knife violence,”” Cronenberg replied, “”We have no guns in this movie. There were no guns in the script. The choice of those curved knives we use in the steam bath was mine. They’re not some kind of exotic Turkish knives, they’re linoleum knives. I felt that these guys could walk around in the streets with these knives, and if they were ever caught, they could say ‘we’re linoleum cutters”

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