Ulrich Thomsen starts Opium shoot
by Annika Pham
12/05/2006 - Danish star Ulrich Thomsen has been hired by Hungarian director János Szász (Woyzeck) to play Psychiatrist Brenner in the Hungarian/German/UK co-production Opium, based on the infamous diaries of Freud contemporary Geza Csath, now shooting in the northern Hungarian town of Komarom. The film is being produced by Andras Hamori ( Fateless [trailer]) and Pal Sandor for H20 Motion Pictures/Hunnia Filmstúdió with Germany’s Euro Arts and Forward Films in the UK, with support from Eurimages.
Opium is Szász’s third feature film, following Woyzeck and The Whitman Boys, Hungary’s nominees for Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1995 and 1998, respectively. In this new film, Thomsen – seen recently in Anders Thomas Jensen’s Adam’s Apples [trailer, film focus], Susanne Bier’s Brothers [trailer] and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven – plays Doctor Josef Brenner, whose breakthrough approach to working with the mentally ill is overtaken by his morphine addiction and ostracism from mainstream medicine. His captivation with asylum patient Gizella leads to a destructive meeting of mind and body, leaving him contemplating her sacrifice to fuel his appetite for knowledge and renown.