TORONTO Last year's notorious smoking scandal, in which Sean Penn lit up at the Sutton Place Hotel at the Toronto International Film Festival in spite of local bylaws, is still having repercussions apparently. At Saturday's Eastern Promises press conference, Naomi Watts, who stars in David Cronenberg's new film, Eastern Promises, as a London midwife in the film, was asked if being a new mother will change the sorts of roles she plays.
“I don't think I'll start doing children's films,” said Watts, who said that, apart from the pertinent questions — how long, when and where — she didn't think being a mom who change her as an actress. But co-star Viggo Mortensen, who plays a Russian gangster, said that Watts was already making concessions to motherhood.
“Because some day the baby might see a tape of this press conference, Naomi decided not to smoke at this press conference,” said Mortensen. “Not to mention that the hotel might have to pay a fine.”
Last year, the Sutton Place Hotel was fined more than $600 by Toronto Public Health Department after Penn lit up at a press conference. An Ontario minister of health criticized the actor, who was sent a letter informing him of his transgression.
Perhaps Eastern Promises may have put that scandal to rest with a new even more bizarre one.
The most talked-about scene in Eastern Promises is a battle in a bath-house where Mortensen's character, stark naked, fights for his life against two knife-wielding assassins.
Asked about his preparation for the scene, Mortensen said, “I was paid a great deal of money.”
Added Cronenberg: “When we started to shoot the scene we were surprised to discover that Viggo has no genitals so we had to CG [computer-generate] them in.”
“I had to give some of the money back,” said Mortensen.
“It was very expensive CG,” Cronenberg explained.