Quotable Viggo 2011

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Quotable Viggo: 23 October 2011

This week was going to be a random collection of interesting quotes, but as I've gone along, pulling out ones that catch my eye, I realised that they are, perhaps, not so random after all...



Sådanset Art Exhibition - Roskilde, Denmark 10.18.08.
© Indian Moon


".....you know, no one looks at the world like it really is. Everyone looks at the world like they want it to be. When it comes down to it, everyone is in their own 'dream world', we could become crazy if we thought of the world like it really is."

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008
Source: Morgunblaðið




"I didn't have friends when I was little that I know now - there wasn't any sense of continuity like that," Mortensen says. "But I got to see a lot of things and learn a lot of things. And I learned to rely on my imagination, and on myself."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




"If Mortensen were locked in a box in a prison in total darkness, with no pens, no tools, no books," Hopper says, "he would make something amazing out of it."

Dennis Hopper
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




..constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine
1998




"I have a tendency to always leave things for another day. Before I make the first mark on a canvas, it always ends up seeming much more urgent for me to have another cup of tea [laughter]. And then I only have 45 minutes left before some other appointment, so I've already made myself late to begin with..."

Viggo Mortensen on painting
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011




How much of your life is in your stories and poems?

Like all writers, I write many different things, but you always create using your own life, even if everything is imaginary on the page. As much as you invent a totally distinct world, there's always something of yourself, even if you don't realize it. I contribute my experiences as a person who's travelled all over and has had a somewhat unusual bond with language. Canciones de invierno [Winter Songs], for example, has things that seem to be very true and very much mine, and they aren't. Maybe the writings where I hide or invent myself are more my own than those that are directly autobiographical.

Viggo Mortensen - All of Us are Mestizos
by Carlos Shilling - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Zoe
LaVoz
November 2010




All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph




"He's circumspect around people," says director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon). "He has high standards, so he's not Mr. Friendly to everybody. But I think he just tries to be careful, because once he opens up, there's none of the artifice or barriers you find with most people."

Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




'....in a certain sense, I'm fairly solitary. I'm a very sociable person, but I love to be alone, to listen to the silence, to not speak to anyone for a while. What would drive some people crazy gives me energy.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
By Amelia Enríquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006




Mortensen has a disposition towards an archaeology of emotions, of things that are buried, weathered but surviving along with the rest of us

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 200
2



"In my life, I never did anything while weighing the effects of my actions. If you ask me what I'm planning for the next two years, I really don't know. Acting, writing, taking pictures or painting are all things which answer the necessity to express what I have inside me. And there is no preferential order among them, only chances that I try to take day by day."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy)
May 200
7



A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008

Quotable Viggo: 16 October 2011

We've got three new Viggo films to look forward to in the future, but there is one film I can't wait to see which, alas, he isn't in - The Hobbit - where we see the finding of Sauron's Ring, believed lost and hidden in the mists of time. At a crucial point in the story Bilbo, a humble Hobbit, finds what Gollum has lost and wins the right to keep it in a riddle contest. When Tolkien first wrote about Gollum's 'precious', it was a simple magic ring, The Lord of the Rings was many years away and even he didn't know what extraordinary power that small band of gold would exert. While we look forward to another Peter Jackson journey into Middle-earth, I've decided to take a look backwards and see Tolkien and the Ring through Viggo's intersting perspective.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Unlike some classmates at Watertown High School in the mid-1970s, Viggo Mortensen wasn't convinced that the meaning of life might be found somewhere in the pages of J R R Tolkien's fantasy The Lord of the Rings. "I didn't read it until I got the job," said the star who plays the nobleman Aragorn in New Line Cinema's nine-hour trilogy of films based on the tales. "And, in fact, what I'd heard about it and The Hobbit and all that sounded sort of interesting. But I figured it was just a bunch of gnomes and fairies and that kind of story."

On top of all that, "It looked like a pretty thick book."

Ready for Round 2
By David P DeMar, Jr
Watertown Daily Times
15 December 2002




'When I got the job, I started reading the book immediately so I knew what we were dealing with on film. ... I recognized themes from lots of other cultures, Samurai, Native American myths, not just European fairy tale -- the idea of a heroic journey, characters being tested.'

Viggo on locusts, life and kissing Liv Tyler
By Molly Woulfe
Northwest Indiana Times
3 August 2004




'Since I hadn't read the book, I didn't realize what Tolkien's source material had been. [When I found out], it was almost like a reward for having said yes. It was a sign I had made the right choice. Just knowing that I was dealing with something that had its roots in nearly forgotten material - things that are just sort of part of us as humans, whether we realize it or not - I thought was a unique opportunity.'

The Players - Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)
Entertainment Weekly
May 2004




'I think Tolkien wrote the book because he loved language and mediaeval and Nordic history. It was almost like an excuse to do it. He breathed new air into those old stories. I just happened to like those kinds of stories. Not every kid's gonna want to read Icelandic sagas but some kids would. And as you get into them, they're very exciting, as they obviously were for Tolkien. he wrote them in a language that readers in the 20th century could grab hold of.'

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001




'The long road to Mordor really begins when Bilbo finds the ring in The Hobbit. [The Lord of the Rings] is a continuation of that story. The Hobbit has more of a fairy tale kind of quality. And even though I believe Tolkien thought of Lord of the Rings as being a fairy tale, it's much darker and more complex. Also, he had improved as a writer and was challenging himself, using everything he'd been as a linguist and lover of history.'

Veni, Vidi, Viggo
By Bilge Ebiri
Yahoo Internet Life magazine
23 November 2001




'What I like about Tolkien is that it's not black and white. Evil does not have one place. Evil doesn't, as an idea, have a geographical location - it is wherever its victims are. And its victims are, at any given time, all of us, all the people in the story.'

Aragorn Explains the Whole Good-Evil Thing
By A. J.
E! Features
15 December 2002




The Two Towers, the second part of Peter Jackson's filmed trilogy from J.R.R. Tolkien's heroic romance, The Lord of the Rings, comes to theatres in a world that is no more secure than the one in which The Fellowship of the Ring was released last year. Tolkien composed his original masterpiece in equally troubled times of terror, war and uncertainty. The great Nordic poets and saga-writers of medieval Iceland, who provided great inspiration to Tolkien, themselves lived under dictatorship and in times of extreme hardship. It would seem from even a cursory reading of world history that there is no new horror under the sun, that we will perhaps always have contend with destructive impulses in ourselves and others. That does not prevent us from making an effort to change, from working to find a better way.

Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion
By Viggo Mortensen
The Two Towers Visual Companion by Jude Fisher
2002




Mortensen's final phone call dealt with why he first went public with his politics. He had grown weary, he said, of media commentators who made forced comparisons between U.S. policy in the Middle East and the "free peoples" of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Mortensen has read collections of Tolkien's letters. He knows the author was uneasy about the tactics that led to Allied victory in World War II, especially the use of atomic weapons. To emphasize that point, Mortensen underlined this passage from a letter Tolkien sent during World War II to his son Christopher, one of the rare times that Tolkien equated the real world to the heroes and villains of Middle Earth:

"For we are attempting to conquer Sauron with the Ring. And we shall (it seems) succeed. But the penalty is, as you will know, to breed new Saurons, and to slowly turn Men and Elves into Orcs."

Actor details his opposition to Iraq war, Bush administration
By Sean Kirst
The Post-Standard
17 September 2006




"It's a very complex story. The Ring is not evil in itself, any more than Mordor or Sauron themselves are. On the surface, the plan is to drop the Ring into Mount Doom, if possible. I believe the Ring is not one thing. The Ring comes from each of us. It resides in each of us as the potential for making selfish choices, as the potential for attempting to control the worlds of others. Aragorn and Gandalf are trying to find a way to get this job done, they have to find a way to unite people, to reject the impulse that is the Ring."

Viggo Mortensen on The Two Towers
By Ian Nathan
Empire
January 2003




'What's interesting about whether you are a human, like Aragorn is, or whether you're an elf or a dwarf, is that everybody has flaws in the story. Even Galadriel and Gandalf have their doubts and their moments. They have to examine themselves before they can go out and tell people what to do. And in fact, what's notable in Tolkien's writing is that Galadriel, Gandalf, Aragron and I suppose Elrond are very hesitant to tell anybody what to do. There is advice and there is watching people meandering as they come into their own and make their own decisions.'

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001




'In the end, I think that the most important theme in the story for Tolkien was the exercise of free will, choice. And even though Tolkien was a devout Christian, the cosmology of this story is like Nordic mythology, in that there isn't a promise of a heavenly reward for doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is its own reward, even if others are not aware of it.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50, 2001




'You go into a bookstore and there are 50,000 books that wouldn't have been written - including Harry Potter, as good as that is - without Tolkien having done what he did.'

Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer
January 2002




'Speaking Elvish was a pure connection I felt to Tolkien himself. It was like he had his hand on your shoulder or was holding your hand.'

The Players - Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)
Entertainment Weekly
May 2004



Quotable Viggo: 9 October 2011

This week's Quotable is a round-up of recent quotes from the last couple of years about acting, taking a look at what 'seduces' Viggo into accepting a film and how he approaches it. There are also comments and opinions on why Viggo's choice of film and approach has led to him being recognised as an actor who 'goes beyond the screen'. It's also refreshing to know that despite all his success in a huge variety of roles he can still feel the fear that brings the required edge to every performance.



Image John Harris.
© Haddock Films.


"Every film capable of "seducing" me, as it had already happened with On the Road, represents a stage in my development as an actor", says the actor. "But also as writer, painter, editor, poet and photographer. Although I can no longer separate my interests one from the other. Nowadays I need to have strong motivations to accept a new film project. I look for fascinating stories to tell."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




"To find a good story, you're generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies... I wouldn't mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story."

Viggo Mortensen
Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




Philip Seymour Hoffman, certainly one of the great actors of our time, told us in a Venetian hallway of the Hotel Excelsior how he regarded Viggo Mortensen as one of the masters of the profession. A point of view that is totally shared.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir - translated by Dom
4 September 2011




"...my approach to a role, even if it's an action one, it's never only physical but "from the mind". It´s been like this even with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is my method: first of all I begin with an extensive research."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




"In the past I've worked in scenes with physical violence, intense but like a metaphor of what was happening in the mind of the characters I was playing.
Instead, in this case, everything was happening in the mind of the protagonists. To work in order to bring into focus the world of Sigmund Freud has been like working through a filter through which I could explore"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




I was so taken with Mortensen's constantly alert and cunning eyes. He was always thinking, sometimes on a current that flows in opposite direction of his dialogue. It is a very effective performance, and Mortensen, one of the best actors working today, has shown us something new in his repertoire. It bodes well for his life as a middle-aged actor.

By Sheila OMalley
Capital new York
6 October 2011




'....in recent roles, a little bit more each time I think I've tended to trust my instincts and trust whatever preparation I've done. I mean, I've always felt dependent on others, which I think is a good thing; I don't think it's a weakness, I think, really, my performance depends on other people all of the time. Not just the actors, well, mainly the actors but the crew [as well]'

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
Cinematical
26 November 2009




Q: What's it like working with Viggo Mortensen? Is there any competition about how far you can push each other?

Let me tell you something: it's impossible to have a competition with Viggo Mortensen because he's not on that vibe, you know? And neither am I. No, no, when you work with Viggo it's very warm. You get presents all the time and there is no competition on the set.

Vincent Cassel on BLACK SWAN, Darren Aronofsky, EASTERN PROMISES 2!
By Robert Beames
Obsessed with Film
19 January 2011




"At work he is one of the crew, a great workmate, deeply involved in the film in every aspect and not only with his character. He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty. We rehearsed, we read the script, we got to know each other a bit and build up a relationship as people...I like him as an actor, he goes beyond the screen. He has an impressive level of communication. I was interested to know how he faces work, someone who comes from filming with Cronenberg. And the truth is he is very professional, very serious on the set, and he knows very well how to control his energy."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
Clarín
8 July 2011




"He's very deep in his way of preparing the character. He's living in Tigre, he dresses like somebody from there and I admire this. He's an actor that connects with the character and he's a little crazy, crazy enough to play these characters that he plays."

Javier Godino
Viggo Mortensen at home in first Argentine film
By Luis Andres Henao
Reuters Canada
22 July 2011




"I´m getting to know myself bit by bit (laughs) and one thing that always happens is that when I´m on the right path I get a little scared. Rather quickly. Always, after saying "yes", hanging up the phone or coming out of the office... they´ve said to you "OK! We choose you." or "Your test was the best." Or they call you sometimes, and if you are lucky, they say "We thought you´d do this role very well." You read it, you think about the script and make the leap. And everything is fine but at the moment you do it, myself at least, then I get scared and think "Well, they think I can do it, but I don´t know." The truth is that I say it half jokingly, but a lot of times I say "I don´t know how to act. Don´t know how to act!" Because you look at each character..."How do you do this?""

Viggo Mortensen
Lleida Festival Press Conference
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
April 2011




"...when I read the book [On The Road], the last person I'd have seen myself playing was Bull Lee, the William Burroughs character. But I kind of said to myself, 'Don't forget you were surprised by David's idea you could play Freud.

Viggo talking about On The Road
Mortensen up for Burroughs role
By Jim Slotek, Kevin Williamson, QMI Agency
Toronto Sun/Tiff
18 September 2011




"Some actors say that the best way to reach intensity is to stay fresh by not rehearsing, but I don't agree with that. I think being in control is much better: you understand the story, the surroundings, the scene, what went on before and so, if the dialogue suddenly changes because the script is rewritten or the other actor has made a mistake, you keep on acting in character. And, although sometimes you can be out of control, I don´t think that´s the way it has always to be. If anything unexpected happens you need to be ready to do something."

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Gloria Scola - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Sage
Pantalla Semanal
5 February 2010




Film is a visual medium; I have been fortunate to begin my career with small roles: often they give you few words and you get used to finding a way to express yourself. Anyway, in my opinion a good performance is a matter of reacting to what happens, or what they say to you, not necessarily with words.

Viggo Mortensen: "I put the alfajores aside"
By Pablo O Scholz - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
Clarín
21 May 2010


Quotable Viggo: 2 October 2011

Yes, I know, yet another A Dangerous Method Quotable! But as the film makes its way from Festival to Festival as the film everybody wants to have in their lists, I think now is an excellent time to present a full roundup of all the reviews Viggo has garnered for his performance as Freud. Critics have come to only expect the very best from his film work, even in such an unexpected role as Sigmund Freud. And, as always, he delivers.



© Hanway/Lago


...Mortensen is instantly Sigmund Freud without a shadow of a doubt. With a calm, cool and elegant demeanor he walks with confidence, cane at his side and cigar always hanging from his mouth. He seduces the audience and he seduces Jung...

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
10 September 2011




Mortensen is terrific as Freud and he lends the film its dry humor along with its few shades of sadness as the Austrian doctor goes from hoping his work will be carried on by his protégé to fearing how it will be perverted by Jung's emotions and willingness to consider fringe-science like telepathy and mysticism.

Matt Goldberg
Collider.com
10 September 2011




And then there's Mortensen, certainly the most physically imposing Sigmund Freud to ever insinuate itself on the public imagination.

Jim Slotek
Toronto Sun
11 September 2011




... as the cigar-smoking Freud, Mortensen -- sporting a nose prosthesis -- all but steals the picture with his knowing gaze and wry insights

Erica Abeel
Huffington Post
11 September 2011




It was a stroke of inspiration to cast the virile, hyper-secure Mortensen as the godfather of neurosis. Puffing on a cigar, he makes Freud a charismatic control freak, a man all too eager to engage in dream analysis yet too much of a self-designed authority figure to put his own dreams up for dissection.

Enertainment Weekly
Owen Gleiberman
10 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen (a phallic cigar never leaving his mouth) makes for an almost fatherly Freud, in a surprisingly controlled and dignified turn.

Michał Oleszczyk
Fandor
10 September 2011




...Mortensen is so silkily persuasive an argumentative foil for Fassbender in the scenes they share that the narrative seems more a head-to-head than it structurally is.

Guy Lodge
In Contention
2 September 2011




He is utterly extraordinary, wryly assaying the world with an ever-present cigar and a gift for keeping a distance between everything and his own ego, whose needs he is virtuosically gifted at concealing.

Jeff Simon
Buffalo News
13 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen, effortlessly devouring scenery...

Simon Howell
Sound on Sight
8 September 2011




Films featuring well-known historical figures can often seem arch and self-conscious in the extreme. Here, Mortensen has such immediate authority and swagger as Freud that we don't question his portrayal.

He is a sardonic and witty cigar-chewing patriarch, encouraging but also gently mocking Jung, whom he sees initially as a protégé.

Geoffrey Macnab
The Independent
3 September 2011




Mortensen - who has become Cronenberg's muse, of sorts, having also starred in his last two pictures - is one of the most understated and magnetic actors working today.

Scott Feinberg
Hollywood Reporter
5 September 2010




Mortensen has never seemed so relaxed in a difficult role; he is the charming papa one hates to overthrow but knows one must.

Richard Corliss
Time
2 September 2011




... Mr. Mortensen again reveals his amazing skills of self-transformation...

Roderick Conway Morris
New York Times
6 September 2011




Mortensen's Freud is an engagingly calm character, with cigar constantly in his mouth and at ease with a confident composure and genial humour. As always Mortensen - in his third film with Cronenberg after A History of Violence and Eastern Promises - dominates the film and brings a much needed sly humour to the proceedings.

Mark Adams
Screen Daily
3 September 2011




... its three main actors should receive nominations for their work: Fassbender and Keira Knightley in the lead categories and Viggo Mortensen in the supporting one.

Emanuel Levy
Emanuellevy.com
3 September 20011




Mortensen gives Doctor Freud a patriarchal presence that justifies the title of "fatherly figure" given to him by Jung...

Domenico La Porta
Cineuropa
2 September 2011




A drier, more contained figure, Freud is brought wonderfully to life by Mortensen in a bit of unexpected casting that proves entirely successful.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
2 September 2011




Fortunately, things improve a great deal once Freud arrrives. Mortensen (aided by probably the most significant nose prosthesis since Nicole Kidman's in "The Hours") is, as he so often is these days, tremendous, bringing a patrician wit and real pathos to the part.....Mortensen caps off a trilogy of perfect performances for Cronenberg (and is the film's best bet for award nods, we imagine).

Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
2 September 2011




Even in a period film like this one -- a picture that runs the heavy risk of being ponderous and stiff -- he can slip himself into the scenery with a "Don't mind me, here in my Sigmund Freud getup" naturalness....And his exchanges with Mortensen's Freud are among the movie's greatest pleasures.

Stephanie Zacharek
Movieline
2 September 2011




..Mortensen's Freud, a sardonic, ineffably sinister presence who rarely raises his voice above a silky-smooth purr, calmly steals the picture...

Justin Chang
Variety
2 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Freud is endearingly complex.

Richard Porton
Cinemascope
2 September 2011




...if there's one thing that the critics can agree on, it's that Viggo Mortensen, in his third film on the trot with the Canadian maverick, gives another brilliant turn. Buried beneath a prosthetic nose, and playing older than he's usually allowed to, he's easily the highlight of the film, giving a beguiling turn worlds away from the professional killers he played for Cronenberg in "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises."

Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




Potential Oscar nods are in order for a jaw-dropping Keira Knightley and the ever-flawless Viggo Mortensen.

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks
San Francisco Bay Guardian
26 September 2011


Quotable Viggo: 18 September 2011

Viggo has been doing a lot of talking lately, appropriate for a film based on the Play The Talking Cure and a role where he's confessed that "Doctor Freud is a man who doesn't stop talking". As we know, Viggo is also not short of the ability to do some serious talking, and some of my favourite quotes arise from his taking interviewers around every subject under the sun except the one most are trying to pin him down on, himself...



© Hanway/Lago.


The surprising thing about Viggo Mortensen is how talkative the guy is. Seriously: The smolderingly still presence of "Eastern Promises," "A History of Violence," and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy turns out to be a regular Chatty Cathy in person.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008




...the actor tends toward abstractions and diversions in conversation. Entire paragraphs can pass by without a concrete noun, but you don't mind because he's friendly and easygoing - a man with the attitude of a surfer, the eyes of a killer, and the brain of a slacker bookworm.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008




Mortensen speaks slowly and in each one of his answers it seems there are endless concepts that could need an extra explanation. This man, who in addition to being a famous actor is a well known lover of poetry, music and photography, has the humility of the great. Doesn't stop complimenting his colleagues, analyses words and does his utmost to give each thing a place...

Viggo Mortensen tiene un plan
By Justina Berard
Vos/La Voz
25 May 2011




...he's a soft spoken guy who can fill a digital recorder with wall-to-wall perspective.

Kris Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009




Mortensen is nothing if not precise. A conversation with him tends to lead wherever he wants it to go. Try to ask a follow-up question or change the subject, and he'll gently, politely raise his voice and continue talking over you.

Rocky Road
By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
13 November 2009




Viggo Mortensen is, besides a great actor, an inexhaustible conversationalist, so full of curiosity that he doesn't hesitate to occasionally take the role of the interviewer.

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009




He... speaks quietly and thoughtfully, and often at length, on every question, hammering his subject from all sides until it submits to the truth.

Viggo Mortensen v the apocalypse
By Kevin Maher
The Times
3 October 2009




He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortensen is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 200
7



Ostensibly, Mortensen is in town to promote his role as a conflicted, compromised German professor in Good, a small-scale drama that - in his words - "needs all the support it can get". He could have got away with delivering the sales spiel. Instead, he's content to go lolloping off after his own train of thought and in the end, the best option is to give up and drift along for the ride. In Mortensen's view, the journey is always more entertaining than the destination anyway.

The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009




VM is not one of that kind of actors where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine
2004




The first thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he doesn't like talking about himself. The second thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he hasn't stopped talking about himself for the past six months.

On promoting 'Hidalgo' and 'ROTK'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register
7 March 2004



Quotable Viggo: 11 September 2011

Well - what a week it's been! My Quotable cup has been running over. There has been so much to read and listen to that I thought a round up from interviews and reviews would be in order. It is, of course, a personal choice of favourite quotes from a week that has informed me, amused me, given new insights into how Viggo works and much to think about from his (as always) deeply considered thoughts on A Dangerous Method and the birth of Psychoanalysis.



© Hanway/Lago.


The man has never disappointed us.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir - translated by Dom
4 September 2011




It was a stroke of inspiration to cast the virile, hyper-secure Mortensen as the godfather of neurosis.

Enertainment Weekly
Owen Gleiberman
10 September 2011




Mortensen is instantly Sigmund Freud without a shadow of a doubt.

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
10 September 2011




"Who would have imagined that Freud was so charismatic? But the film makes you realize that he had to have been."

Michael Barker's comment to Scott Feinberg after seeing the film
Hollywood Reporter
5 September 2010




Mortensen has never seemed so relaxed in a difficult role; he is the charming papa one hates to overthrow but knows one must.

Richard Corliss
Time
2 September 2011




- he can slip himself into the scenery with a "Don't mind me, here in my Sigmund Freud getup" naturalness.

Stephanie Zacharek
Movieline
2 September 2011




"I was completely trapped by the emotional and complicated human relationships in the film. Bodies and thoughts, words and life choices are interwoven, although the latter are "contaminated" by the social conventions."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




One of the other attractions of the project was collaborating with David Cronenberg again, but in a movie that's very different from what's usual in his films.

VM: That's what everyone in the world tells me, that this time there's no blood or exploding heads. What they haven't understood is that they are exploding, but in a more symbolic way.

"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011




"A bond that has pushed me to give my utmost."

Viggo talking about Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




"Apparently, this film is more traditional, more formal. This is only an appearance, if you watch it closely. He's an author. He invites you each time to think further. In my previous film with David, it was more the gesture that mattered for my character (Eastern Promises). Here it's the words. The word "is" the body language."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir - translated by Dom
4 September 2011




"The Freud in the story is not the Freud most people are accustomed to, the very thin, disease-ridden old man," he explains. "He was 50 and quite robust."

Mortensen believed he could pull him off, and so did the director. "That's the magic of casting," Cronenberg quips. "It's a black art."

'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




"...if you get too weighed down with the idea that you are doing something important, that you are playing someone of significance, your probably not gonna do a good job of it - you're certainly not going to have much fun."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
4 September 2011




"In the past I've worked in scenes with physical violence, intense but like a metaphor of what was happening in the mind of the characters I was playing", says Mortensen. "Instead, in this case, everything was happening in the mind of the protagonists. To work in order to bring into focus the world of Sigmund Freud has been like working through a filter through which I could explore"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




As controversial and revolutionary as [Freud's] thought was, he nevertheless had the ability to deeply engage others, to make them feel like an integral part of his vision. He was very seductive and charming, the kind of man who knew how to draw people in and persuade them to share his viewpoint."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011




What aspects of Sigmund Freud related to you as a person and as an actor?


In principle, at least the way I read it, the most positive aspect of what Freud had a large hand in pioneering was the idea of listening to people, in a particular way. Why I say positive is because I think it's one of the most loving things you can do, just to listen to somebody.

TIFF ADM Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
10 September 2011




"No, I didn't feel the need to undergo analysis to prepare for this film. For me, Freud was as much an artist as a scientist - he thought so himself - so I tried to capture the complexity of the artist."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011




"I think one thing you see in the movie is that their intellectual positions weren't so vastly different. It was really a question of pride. They behaved as childishly as the patients they were trying to help."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
Rssbroadcast.com
2 September 2011




"It's essentially about people who are very intelligent, ambitious to be remembered and make their mark and also may be vulnerable to the point of being paranoid. David doesn't shy away from the academic."

Viggo Mortensen
'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




"We are in tune in considering cinema as the meeting point between painting, philosophy, literature and social analysis; a careful exploration of the outer and inner aspects."

Viggo talking about Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 201
1



"I think my cast has great need of psychoanalysis, which is why I cast them actually, to introduce them gently to the idea that they needed help, a lot of help...."

Mortensen played along. "Now we dress ourselves," he retorted.

Cronenberg at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
Rssbroadcast.com
2 September 2011



"We can do some doll therapy if anyone's interested..."

Viggo talking about 'Sigi' the Freud doll in San Lorenzo colours
at the Venice Film Festival ADM Press Conference
2 September 2011




"I have no idea what this jersey is. Viggo just told me it would wind David up."

Keira Knightly on wearing a Montreal Canadians sweater at the Press Conference
TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It's game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method
Ben Kaplan
National Post
10 September 2011




"It's over," he said of his relationship with Cronenberg. "This film was the last straw."

Viggo Mortensen joking at TIFF
TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It's game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method
Ben Kaplan
National Post
10 September 2011

Quotable Viggo: 3 September 2011

This week's L'Uomo Vogue interview has lots of fascinating insights into how Viggo has tackled playing Freud, and the most fascinating of all is the comparison he makes between filmmaker and subject, seeing parallels between Freud and Cronenberg. Jake Coyle of MSNBC observed that 'Mortensen hardly speaks about anything but his admiration for Cronenberg. If he was a politician, his only talking point would be: David Cronenberg is a master of cinema'. I thought that with A Dangerous Method premiering in Venice this week, now would be a good time to look again at what Viggo has to say about the man he has described as a 'genius' and a 'kindred-spirit'.



© Focus Features.


"In studying Freud I found many parallels with Cronenberg. I don't know how David sees it, but I found myself using him as a model to create my Freud. Freud was constantly reinventing himself, his theories were scandalous, revolutionary and dangerous. But in everyday life he was an irreprehensible family man, a typical member of the middle class. The same applies to Cronenberg, who makes a lot of disturbing films, constantly studies impulses, desires, repressed aggression and sexuality, always obsessed with physicality. Yet if you talk to him he's calm as can be, innocent, with a great sense of humour."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011




'He continues what he's always done, which is taking people apart, almost like they were a machine or an engine, but now more taking their brains apart than their bodies, I suppose. It's more a psychological autopsy and the results are always a little disturbing. Not because he's disturbing, but because we are. As an audience and as a subject.'

Viggo talking about Cronenberg and A History of Violence
Viggo Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006




"People think that with A History of Violence, he's signed off on a more mainstream film. I don't agree with that. What I see here is like a doctor who wants to see what there is beneath the surface of things. Who lifts the veil on civilisation, on politeness, on society. When you look at what's beneath, we're animals (laughs)."

Viggo Mortensen: Everything Is Power
By Nicholas Crousse - translated by Shu
Le Guide
18 October 2005




"Human beings are very strange, very intelligent, and sometimes, extremely terrible. I think those are the things that interest Cronenberg, he's an expert at observing it and showing it."

One Year Between English And Spanish
By Gabriel De Lerma - translated by Paddy
Diarios Rumbo
5 October 2005




"...people who say: 'Ah, Cronenberg, he's nuts, he always shows these horrible killings', the fact is that there are very few minutes of violence in the movie, but it looks real. It does not give you the possibility, like other directors do...very good directors as well...to work with the camera, to put like a curtain so that it doesn't bother you too much...it doesn't affect you too much. But in the case of Cronenberg, it's like: 'Here it is, it's ugly...and you're going to see it."

Viggo talking about Eastern Promises
The Univision Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Univision
23 September 2007




"They're uncomfortable to watch because people in reality are not neat and tidy and orderly and always predictable and always the same."

Viggo Mortensen on Cronenberg
Rebecca Murray
About.com
26 September 2005




"I never perceived him as someone who could be threatening, so much as an artist with the ideas of others. He could certainly reject your ideas, but equally he could take hold of them. This way made you feel at ease and made you want to give it your all."

Interview with Mortensen - Cronenberg's half-killer, half-lamb
By Julien Dokhan - translated by Kaijamin
Source: AlloCiné
20 October 2005




"...Cronenberg helped me do things, sometimes very subtle things, in a way that I hadn't been helped to do by other directors."

Viggo The Sponge: Actor Soaks Up Everything
By Jake Coyle
MSNBC
20 September 2007




"....what I love about him as a storyteller is that he doesn't tell you everything. What's going to happen to them now? I really think about that. I gotta see that again. That's a good story. And you don't really feel that way - I don't anyway - with most movies, even by good directors. I just don't get that feeling afterwards."

Viggo Mortensen
A History of Their Collaboration
By Pam Grady, Filmstew.com
11 Sept 2007




"....he asks many, many questions, and with each subsequent viewing you find that there are more and more questions, but he doesn't give you any answers."

Viggo Mortensen
Crimes and Misdemeanours
By Phillip Berk, Filmink
October 2007




"I think it's like instead of opening a door and pushing you inside a room, he opens the door and then he walks in and you have a look and say 'what's he DOING in there?' He encourages the audience to think for itself, which is great. And I think that these days, whether it's movie-makers or writers or certainly politicians, there is not much encouragement for people to think for themselves. In fact they would prefer that you didn't, because then they can sell you whatever they want. He doesn't do that."

Viggo Mortensen
The Viggo Effect
By Stephanie Bunbury
The Age
24 February 2006




"He doesn't impose, you know; he doesn't insist you see things any particular way at all. In fact most of his movies start like this one [HOV], with you going 'what's happening? Nothing's happening. Is this a BAD movie? Well, it's David Cronenberg, it must be OK.' And after a few minutes you forget these questions, because you're in it. You're there. And, suddenly, you're uncomfortable."

Viggo Mortensen
The Viggo Effect
By Stephanie Bunbury
The Age
24 February 2006




"...you want to do good work, not just for yourself or for the film, you want to give David what he wants from you because his vision of the film is very clear. And what's great is that you feel like his ally, that you are going into battle together."

Interview with Mortensen - Cronenberg's half-killer, half-lamb
By Julien Dokhan - translated by Kaijamin
AlloCiné
20 October 2005




"... David is just starting to hit his stride. Usually someone who's been making movies for 30 years starts to tire, but his curve keeps going up and up. It's almost like he's getting younger and more adventurous with every movie."

Viggo Mortensen
By Robert W. Butler, The Kansas City Star
16 Sept 2007




"I have higher expectations of other directors having worked with him," says Mortensen. "I can't really expect that I'm going to run into another person as gifted as him, but that doesn't mean I can't find other stories."

Viggo The Sponge: Actor Soaks Up Everything
By Jake Coyle
MSNBC
20 September 2007


Quotable Viggo: 21 August 2011

The Todos tenemos un plan filming has once again shown Viggo in his true colours - blue and red. Javier Godino commented that Viggo took care to transform the filming crew "into a family" through his love for the San Lorenzo de Almagro's soccer team and his wall of Argentinian team colours. I think Godino has hit the nail on the head with his family comment. Globe trotting as he does all around the world, perhaps carrying his team shirts with him and rallying other sports fans to him means that no matter where he is, he really is at home.



Tigre make-up department.
Image John Harris.
© Haddock Films.


"The first day, Viggo arrived and hung up a San Lorenzo pennant. That's the way it started, little by little, and then he brought a pennant from Tigre and later the one from Boca. In the end, he filled the entire wall with jerseys from all the teams from Argentina, but also from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Uruguay. And this has been the only thing that succeeded in uniting everybody."

Javier Godino
Mortensen faces the "mental challenge" of playing both twin brothers in 'Todos tenemos un plan'
By - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Terra.es
9 August 2011




Yesterday I had to work in the Delta from five in the afternoon on, and, unfortunately I couldn´t go to the rally for the return to Boedo. Wanting to be with the supporters at the Obelisco and the rally, I put on, under the character´s clothes, the San Lorenzo jersey that our great centre forward Jonathan Botinelli had given me, and hung all the banners, flags and scarves I´ve got in the woods by the stream where we shot all night long. That way I wasn´t so cold!

Viggo the San Lorenzo Columnist
Translated by Ollie,Rio, with assistance from Zoe, Silver and Dom
10 July 2011




Do you feel nostalgic about that kid you were, who lived here?

"Ah...What one remembers from childhood is often mixed with things we are told. Memory is like poetry, just one version of reality, not accurate at all. I left when I was eleven years old, at the beginning of the '70s, and only returned in '95. More than twenty years in which I was cut off from Argentina. There was no internet; it was very difficult. Do you know what I had left of those years? All I had were these soccer picture cards of the Carasucias of San Lorenzo (the team from which came his idolized Bambino Veira), a Martin Fierro, a Don Segundo Sombra, a little San Lorenzo jersey...and nothing more. When I returned, at age 37, I got off the plane and I went downtown to look for my places. The little park where I played soccer with my friends, for example. I found different things: there was a McDonald's, new immigrants. But the sounds, the smells were the same. I rented a car and took off for everywhere. I went as far as La Pampa, I don't know...It was a lot of fun to stop in any location, take photos, talk to people. I came back because I had unfinished business."

Viggo Mortensen: "Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Zooey
Gente
25 August 2009




'I grew up in Argentina, and I loved soccer. My favorite team was San Lorenzo, and when the cast of Lord of the Rings went to Argentina to promote the movie, they heard about it and invited me to a game. I met the players and they gave me an autographed team jersey.

'It was a real thrill for me, and for once, I understood the benefits of being famous.'

Viggo Mortensen on meeting the San Lorenzo football team
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004




Viggo Mortensen arrives late. He is wearing blue pants and a San Lorenzo de Almagro t-shirt, the team he loves the most, whose flag he opens as a protective cloak and, from a corner, it will dominate our entire meeting.

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
Vanity Fair (Spain)
November 2008




So who would Viggo side with if, for example, Denmark and Argentina met in the next World Championship final?


"Oh, that's a very difficult question that I have often asked myself. It's not unthinkable at all, because both Denmark and Argentina play good football," Mortensen says, and adds: "But if they really met each other in the World Championship final, I'd buy both countries national team jumpers and cut them through the middle. And then I'd sew them together again to make one jumper. In that way I could cheer both Denmark and Argentina. But I think it would be very difficult as far as I can see if the two teams play against each other."

I Love Danish Football
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Chrissie
Ekstra Bladet
24 July 2007




"These characters, the father and his son, in spite of seeming to be very cold, in fact, beneath the rags they wear, happen to have San Lorenzo t-shirts," says the actor, and laughs.

Viggo talking about The Road
In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010




"When we were shooting Good in Budapest, the team had the chance to become national champions of Argentina ... It came down to the last match, and we were shooting a scene that day."

Mortensen had his San Lorenzo flag with him, and he would wear his team shirt to work every day, so producer Segal knew of his passion. At the end of the shoot, a group of them went to the bar, and watched the match "and we won. It was emotional and crazy and fun."

The Final Seduction
By Philippa Hawker
The Age
3 April 2009




[He]....wears a San Lorenzo shirt like it's tattooed on his skin.

"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
By - translated by Zooey and Sage
Pagina 12
14 August 2009




'I have enough shirts to field a whole San Lorenzo team...'

Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine
5 August 2004
Sports Illustrated magazine




Wearing all manner of Buenos Aires and soccer trappings (socks, bracelet, and a San Lorenzo pin, plus a complete mate set and the sports section of The Nation on hand), Viggo Mortensen greeted the Argentinean press on his recent visit to Buenos Aires..... He takes off his black boots and allows us to see the wide stripes on his socks in the colours of the team he loves.

Viggo Mortensen: The Biggest Soccer Fan In Hollywood
By Lorena García - translated by Margarita
La Nacion
16 November 2005




If you had become a soccer player...?

"I really wasn't good at it. I can play, but only for fun. I'm a good fan, though, I wear the 'azulgrana' shirt, the one with the San Lorenzo colours, even at the movie premieres."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy)
May 2007




When asked why he always sports [San Lorenzo] gear during interviews (today it's a pullover with their logos) he jokes, "mind control."

Viggo does 'Good'
Mortensen shows us his softer side
by Tina Chadha
Metro New York
9 January 2009




....if he were called to face the end of the world as we know it, he would do it with a t-shirt from his team pressed to his heart.

In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010

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Last edited: 10 December 2011 14:27:54