Jason Isaacs and Jodie Whittaker chat to Film Network about working with Viggo Mortensen on the British film about a good doctor in Nazi Germany.
Good, the story of a German academic who gradually falls in with the Nazi party, began life as a play by British writer CP Taylor. It premiered at London's Donmar Warehouse in 1981 where it made a big impression on Miriam Segal. She was then a student, but went on to become a script editor and producer working mainly for the BBC. The film version of Good, which she has championed for almost three decades, marks her big screen debut.
Viggo Mortensen takes centre stage as Professor John Halder, recruited by the Nazis to write a paper on the benefits of euthanasia whilst Harry Potter alumnus Jason Isaacs co-stars as his closest friend; a Jew who begs him for exit papers at the height of the pogroms. Jodie Whittaker (recently seen in St. Trinians) has perhaps the toughest role as the professor's impressionable young wife - initially his mistress - who is seduced by the culture of Nazism.
Brazilian director Vicente Amorim instructs Viggo Mortensen.
Although the film boasts plenty of home-grown talent, Segal made the decision to hire little-know Brazilian filmmaker Vicente Amorim who shot the film in Budapest, Hungary (to double for 1930s Berlin). That was on the strength of his 2003 drama O Caminho das Nuvens, which also sees family bonds tested by a country's changing political landscape.
Talking to BBC Film Network, Isaacs and Whittaker reveal what else Amorim brought to the table, why it took so long to get the film green-lit and why they felt impassioned enough to see it through.
Good is released in UK cinemas on Friday 17th April 2009.
Interview and text: Stella Papamichael; Video: Stephen Bailey Published 17th April 09