Cassel is irrepressible as Otto Gross, a Freud-Jung fellow traveler whose motto was: “never repress any thing.”
Last year, in the ramp up for Oscar season, Black Swan star Cassel joined me at NYC’s Mercer Hotel. While discussing his then-current movie, he gave me a preview of coming attractions — and whet my appetite for David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, which I finally saw — and loved — at this week at TIFF11. Here’s an excerpt of that interview:
TA Tell me about the David Cronenberg movie. It’s about the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, right?
VC Freud, Jung and I’m Otto
TA Who was Otto?
VC He was actually…he would have been the spiritual son of Freud and Jung. He was really really bright except that the guy was insane, more than they were.
TA They were obsessive. Otto Gross was insane?
VC No, he was really like pushing the boundaries in terms of psychotherapy at the time, but the thing was that he was a cocaine addict, a really strong one. He was having sex with, literally every body. He was having kids every where. His motto was to never repress any thing. He was really living it. so at some point freud sent him to Jung, saying to Jung I would like to cure this guy. He knew that Otto would push Jung further
TA Did he, according to the movie, or in actuality?
VC Yes. In the film, Viggo Mortensen is Freud and Michael Fassbender is Jung.
TA That’s an intense group.
VC You know what It’s funny because it was a lot of fun
TA Does Cronenberg take himself pretty seriously, or no?
VC No, no. He’s experienced. He’s very subtle. He’s a lot of fun — a lot of people don’t know that watching the movies. I think he’s very elegant. I don’t think he takes himself seriously. He’s one of the directors who still reinvents himself and he’s sixty.
TA Did you have scenes with Keira Knightley, who plays Sabina Spielrein, who plays Jung’s Russian Jewish patient and lover?
VC I didn’t have any thing to do with her unfortunately. They were really happy with what she was doing. Insane!
Tomorrow I’ll continue my festival coverage with my chat with Keira Knightley at the Sony Pictures Classic dinner in Toronto…