Viggo Mortensen in Melbourne, Australia, 25 Mar 2009. Photograph: Manuela Cifra/Rex FeaturesChrissy Iley writes: He turned a brutal Russian gangster into a near hero in Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, but can he do the same for a seductive Nazi in his latest movie, Good? Viggo Mortensen talks to Chrissy Iley about passion, poetry and his performance in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. One of the things that has always fascinated me about Viggo Mortensen is the way he does ambiguity. The way he can look cruel and gentle at the same time. The way he can embrace extremes of danger and empathy.

In Good his ambiguity excels itself. He’s a Nazi you can’t hate because you understand him. You warm to him, even. He’s vulnerable, he’s vain. He has been gradually seduced into the Nazi movement. He couldn’t help himself. Sympathy for the devil