Actor Viggo Mortensen, who is making his feature directorial debut with the drama Falling, said he was as nervous on the first day of shoot on the film as he would be before starting a new acting gig.
The Oscar-nominated actor, who also wrote and stars in the film, said he didn’t sleep the night before the cameras started rolling.
“I wasn’t any more nervous on my first day directing, just like acting I didn’t sleep the night before. But because I had been sort of a nosy actor, I’ve always asked questions of directors when they would allow it.
“I’ve always been interested in the collective effort that goes into getting a story effectively told on screen. The big difference was now I was being asked the questions and I had to have the answers right then, even if it was, ‘I’m not sure but let’s try this.’ It didn’t bother me. I liked it,” Mortensen told UK’s Esquire magazine.
Falling stars Mortensen as John Peterson, a middle-aged gay man whose conservative and homophobic father Willis (Lance Henriksen) starts to exhibit symptoms of dementia, forcing him to sell the family farm and move to Los Angeles to live with John and his husband Eric, played by Terry Chen.
The film also stars Mortensen’s frequent collaborator David Cronenberg and the actor said he learnt a lot from his History of Violence director David Cronenberg about preparing for the shoot.
“(He taught me) there’s no such thing as preparing too much or too early for a shoot,” The Green Book star said.
Mortensen said he offered Cronenberg a small part in Falling because he believed he would fit the bill.
“I didn’t ask as a favour. I said, ‘Look, I’m going to shoot this movie in Toronto where you live, and there’s a scene I think you’d be great for.’ Fortunately, he read it and he liked it,” he added.
Also starring Sverrir Gudnason, Laura Linney, and Hannah Gross, Falling is slated for a December 4 release.