‘The Dead Don’t Hurt’ Interviews With Viggo Mortensen, Vicky Krieps, Danny Huston, & Solly McLeod

The Western is largely considered the most American of movie genre, popularized by its depiction of the lawless frontier and the Old West lifestyle. But over the decades, and especially recently, there have been attempts to present the Western from different perspectives, to tell different kinds of stories within the traditional format. Viggo Mortensen, who has starred in more than his share of Westerns, does just that with his new film, The Dead Don’t Hurt.

Mortensen directed, wrote, composed the score, and starred in The Dead Don’t Hurt, playing Danish immigrant Holger Olsen, a frontiersman and ex-soldier, who falls in love with a French-Canadian woman, the fearless Vivienne, played by Vicky Krieps. As they begin to build their life together, they are separated by the American Civil War, leaving Vivienne to face the men of a brutal frontier town alone.

So what you have is an American Western presented visually in the classic style, but seen from the perspective of those who immigrated to this country. It’s a fascinating, sprawling tale that features a sensitive portrayal by Mortensen, while it’s Krieps who delivers a fearless centerpiece performance.

I had the chance to speak with Mortensen, Krieps, plus co-stars Danny Huston and Solly McLeod about The Dead Don’t Hurt. We talked with Mortensen about wanting to do something different with his take on the Western, while Krieps spoke about what it meant to have a female lead at the film’s center. Huston and McLeod spoke about their characters who are less virtuous than most, and how they see them in a place where being dangerous and ruthless is a necessity.

The Dead Don’t Hurt is in theaters now. Check out my interviews below.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.