Keira Knightley Interview For David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’
Drawn from true-life events, David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’ chronicles the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Into the mix comes Otto Gross (Vincent Cassell), a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries. In this exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit set the scene for the pivotal moment when Jung, Freud and Sabina come together and split apart, forever changing the face of modern thought. ‘A Dangerous Method’ is set for release November 23rd in the US, and Febuary 10th in the UK. Check out what Keira Knightley had to say about the film in a quick interview below.
What was the research process for you like on ‘A Dangerous Method,’ to help you understand Sabina more?
Keira Knightley: As soon as I knew I was going to play the part I phoned Christopher Hampton (screenwriter), and said, ‘help!’ He said, ‘alright, come around.’ I thought that he was going to give me a talk for a couple of hours and I’d take notes, which he did, but he also handed me a massive pile of books and said, ‘Read all of those, it’s somewhere in there.’ So I did that, I also found a translation of the diaries and Jung’s notes, Jung biographies, including ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections.’ Sabina’s diary entries, a lot of that, they were very helpful. Then I spoke to couple of analyses as well, just to get an idea of what exactly hysteria was and what it would come from.
It’s such a frantic and frenetic role, was that a challenge in crafting?
Keira Knightley: It was a very challenging role, I think that was one of the reasons I wanted to play her, because I didn’t know who she was. I think very often when you play characters, there are certain threads that link you, emotionally you can understand exactly what the person went through, with this one I had no frame of reference. But that was what was fascinating and exciting about it. So it really was a question of trying to find logic with what was perceived from the outside to be madness. Because I think as much as she knew that she was ill, there were logical reasons within her for the way she behaved, so it was really about trying to understand what that logic was, and then find out from the inside and build her up. With the help of David Cronenberg, we managed to craft something. It was a very exciting process.
Is it cathartic, in a strange way, playing a role like Sabina?
Keira Knightley Oh yeah, it can be incredibly cathartic, particularly with a role like this. It’s almost strange what a wonderful time we had making this film (laughs). It’s….particularly my character is very dark, so it seems almost perverse that we had such a wonderful and fun time outside that. I think part of that was because you’re going to these incredibly dark places, you’re trying to think of that and it all comes out in that direction, then afterwards you leave it and you go and watch football, have a beer and have a really nice time.
You seem to love acting in historical based films.
Keira Knightley: I do a lot of costume dramas (laughs), I don’t know why, I really just enjoy them. I think it’s a taste thing, I just really enjoy them. I love reading about them, I love history books so it’s a privilege that that’s part of my job.
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