Quotable Viggo 2016


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Quotable Viggo: 29 October 2016

Well... this will come as a shock and I will say this very quietly... I have almost finished my Christmas gift shopping. Which brings me in a round-about-way to gift giving and Viggo, for whom gift giving seems to be almost part of his daily routine. No matter what it is – a few special chocolates, an ice-cream, a CD – it's a gesture of thanks, an ice-breaker, a way of introducing others to the things he loves. And it's kinda beautiful.

© New Line Productions Inc

Viggo Mortensen has come bearing pancake mix. We are curbside at the tiny airport in Syracuse, New York, on a truly dreary day (even by Syracuse standards), and within seconds of hopping into his rented Ford Fusion, I learn two things about him: He's the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport, and he's the kind of guy who brings presents. Pancake mix is a delicacy in upstate New York. "Do you like maple syrup?" Because he brought me some of that, too. He's prepared a gift bag.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
25 May 2016

Throughout the shoot, each time Mortensen went to visit his mother, he'd purchase T shirts sporting various types of fish logos, swimming in turbulent streams. On each visit, he purchased more until soon, nearly the entire crew was garbed in fish T shirts...

A History of Violence
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit

"There's rarely a day he doesn't show up bearing gifts of some sort from his different weekend jaunts," says his Appaloosa costar Renée Zellweger, "where he'll go find some really obscure village behind Taos somewhere and visit an artists' colony and bring back some wares to share."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

He… presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

"Viggo is such an amazing guy. He's the gentlest, kindest person you'll ever meet. All the 'family' members got along but I think the strongest bonds that were made were between the kids and Viggo. He would come on set every day with different books for all the kids to read. I ended up having about 10 books that I've never gotten around to reading. He really is a generous, amazingly kind man."

Nicholas Hamilton
Captain Fantastic and the Sundance Kid
By Matthew Lowe
20 January 2015

"He's an unbelievable man. He brings chocolates to the set, expensive haute cuisine chocolates, and he hands it out in plastic bags."

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs Loved Working With Chocolate Man Mortensen
1 March 2012

"He's definitely a caretaker, which is a really beautiful quality, and a man of many passions – poetry, photography, books.... I arrived on set and there was a library in my trailer."

Charlize Theron – The Road
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009

A really nice box-office clerk (I'm not naming names) at a downtown Madrid theater discovers that Viggo Mortensen, whose girlfriend, a famous Spanish film star, was acting in a version (very poor, to be sure) of a famous play which was playing right there, has come to buy a ticket.

Quite possibly, Mortensen could have asked his partner for an invitation and that would have been that. Instead, he insisted on paying like any regular guy. The box-office clerk recognised him, and smiling, gave him a guest ticket. "How much do I owe you?" said Mortensen in his cheerful Argentinian accent. "No, no, nothing, you are invited," answered the box-office clerk. The Hollywood star thanks her cordially, goes, and ten minutes later returns with an ice cream for the box-office clerk! He insisted that she should take it, although she said she was on a diet, so he sweetened her afternoon. Anyway, when I grow up, I want to be Viggo Mortensen.

Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
25 November 2011

"When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

Unax Ugalde
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

'I met Maradona once on Susana Giménez' program.... The idea was that his arrival would be a surprise at the end of the broadcast, but someone got excited and told me a few hours before going to the station. I took with me in my pocket a CASLA t-shirt with "10" and gave it to him during the program. I told him that there was a gap in our lineup because of injuries (maybe it was Walter Montillo that was hurt, I don't remember now) and that the following day, since we were playing against River, maybe he would like to join us. The idol took it very well and Susana, who's a Cuervo, laughed too.

In the last minutes of the program, I took off my boots to give him the San Lorenzo socks I was wearing and I think I told him that he'd have to look for the shorts himself. He also accepted that gift with a lot of dignity and in an extremely generous spirit. If he thought that I was an idiotic Cuervo, he didn't say so.'

Viggo Mortensen
In This Heat
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
18 December 2013

A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

Quotable Viggo: 23 October 2016

Talking about the wonders of suits last week let me to watching Two Faces of January again and to this week's Quotable. As in many of his projects, Viggo's interest in the movie and the quality of the script helped kick-start the film for Director Hossein Amini. Along the way Viggo peeled back the layers of conman, Chester McFarland, rocked his white suit and nearly set fire to Kirsten Dunst.

© StudioCanal.

"He was incredibly gracious and generous — I hadn't directed anything," Amini says. "He said as long as it's done properly, as long as we shot in Greece, as long as there was a sufficient budget. He became almost like a partner, sort of a patron saint to the whole movie. That allowed me to go and get the financing."

New director turns to an old favorite, '2 Faces of January'
By Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
1 October 2014

'I just tried for so long and just couldn't get anyone to finance the movie or be interested in kind of, you know, exploring it, and the moment Viggo read the script and was interested in doing it; it's amazing how suddenly people start kind of saying, "Oh, well we're interested in doing it," because if it's a business decision then they can. Suddenly, there's foreign sales and they can sell the idea. It suddenly [went] from "this is too dark," "the characters are [too] unlikable and complicated,"- it was suddenly, "Well it's Viggo."'

Hossein Amini
Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
By Robyn Candyce
24 September 2014

"For me it was the story first," she said. "I loved the script and Viggo [Mortensen, her co-star] was attached already, and I've always wanted to work with him, so that's what drew me to be part of the film. Sometimes it's about the role for me, but most often it's about the actors I want to work with, the director and the story."

Kirsten Dunst
Dunst's Guide To Dressing
By Lauren Milligan
15 May 2014

Who's been your favourite actor to work with?

Viggo Mortensen was a delight to work with on The Two Faces Of January. There was one occasion where I had a fitting with him in Barcelona but Viggo had just come down with a fever and was completely delirious. He was sweating buckets and he confessed to his girlfriend afterwards that he hadn't a clue what he was trying on, but he remained professional to the core. I wasn't aware how bad he was until he confessed to me later that he could have been trying on bin bags for all he'd known.

Steven Noble
ESQ&A: The Hollywood Costume Designer
By Tom Ward
Esquire Magazine
6 December 2014

"Chester is kind of a slob, all sweaty and paranoid; he's crazy from the start, really."

Viggo Mortensen
Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
By Robyn Candyce
24 September 2014

'...it's part of his con, the look, he wants to look like he came from money and all that. I don't think his origins are those clothes that you see.'

Viggo Mortensen on "Lord of the Rings" — and playing an American at last
By Andrew O'Hehir
24 September 2014

Soaking up the highlights of Ancient Greece, Chester MacFarland resembles a spick-and-span palace. In fact, as becomes apparent, he's a ruin. Every time he gets drunk another partition collapses; when he sobers up, the grand edifice dazzles again.

It's the best thing Mortensen has done in years.

Charlotte O'Sullivan
London Evening Standard
16 May 2014

"He's got a lot of hidden fears. It's a real banquet for an actor."

Viggo Mortensen explains rooting for the bad guy in 'The Two Faces of January'
By Chris Lee
Entertainment Weekly
26 September 2014

"[As an actor], you lie as well as you can, that's what you're paid to do. And in this case I'm lying about a guy who's lying about being this person who's lying about being another person. It's kind of like a hall of mirrors. Instead of looking in one mirror and trying to be that person as an actor, it's a whole series of mirrors. It's fun."

Viggo Mortensen
The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 1014

"One of the first things we did, where it still had to be kind of neat and tidy, we were filming in a bus that travels around Crete," he said. "It was a vintage bus, a 1959 Mercedes bus, and the seats were red leather, beautiful seats. But it was so hot, and we were sweating so much that when I stood up, all the dye from the seats got on it, so I had this big red ass."

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst Experienced the Downside of Wearing Vintage Costumes in The Two Faces of January
By Bennett Marcus
Vanity Fair
17 September 2014

...they start out as this glamorous couple that you could almost be envious of. This golden couple, and life is good, life is beautiful, "if only we could be them" is how you feel. And then you start to find out who they really are, and they disappoint you, they shock you, they embarrass you.

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Two Faces Of January
Adam Miller
15 September 2014

But as an audience member you find yourself cheering them on. You want them to get away with everything. You want them to get away from the cops, you want them to get away with the girl, with the money. It's a contradictory thing, it's a strange thing, but it's a dynamic that happens a lot, at least to me as an audience member. When a movie, a film noir thriller, works I want the bad guy to get away with it.

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Two Faces Of January
Adam Miller
15 September 2014

If it's almost impossible to feel sympathy or compassion for Chester, who does unforgivable things, Mortensen accomplishes the difficult task of compelling you to respect him, even in failure and defeat.

Viggo Mortensen on "Lord of the Rings" — and playing an American at last
By Andrew O'Hehir
24 September 2014

Can you talk about that very fateful moment in the cave, or would you prefer not to spoil it.

KD: Well, Viggo had to illuminate that scene with a lighter, and he was holding it and he burnt me and he was wailing and being emotional, and I couldn't say anything. The light was out was out but it was still so hot. I think I still have a scar. I didn't want to mess with Viggo.

Scarred her for life.

Kirsten Dunst & Viggo Mortensen Talk Bonding On Set, Paparazzi, & 'The Two Faces of January'
by Hillary Weston
Black Book
1 October 2014

"Everybody's got their secrets; even the nicest, calmest nun has got the possibility to think strange things or have resentments. All these characters have their secret desires and resentments, and their own sense of morality. Chester's just an opportunist. No one's purely good or purely bad in this story."

Viggo Mortensen
"The Two Faces of January" - Production Notes
February 2014

Quotable Viggo: 15 October 2016

We love him in his worn Aragorn leathers, or scruffed up in a well-loved shirt and jeans. But Viggo really does scrub up rather well, and, with his latest blue suit, found himself unexpectedly at the forefront of a new fashion trend. Over the years we've seen white suits, red suits, blue suits and green suits and even a splendid Spanish inspired suit. And they all suit him.

© Getty. Images: Aurelien Meunier

As Viggo Mortensen approaches from the wings of a London cinema lobby, we're agog to see he's wearing a suit. Onscreen, Mortensen often sports long mud-matted hair, casual duds (at best) and can often be found atop a horse. When we meet him, his haircut is tight, he's in a handsome grey check suit, and there's nary a nag to be seen.

Viggo Mortensen Talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnell
10 March 2015

'I'm not usually a suit person… You're lucky I'm wearing shoes!'

Viggo Q&A after accepting the Coolidge Award in Boston
Greendragon posting on TORn
6 March 2012

In the flesh, his inscrutability gives off an electric hum. He is soberly dressed - grey suit, sensible shirt - and speaks in hushed, gravelly tones. If you didn't know, and of course you do, you might mistake Mortensen for a visiting academic or a writer.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016

'I particularly liked the white linen suit that you see in the poster that Chester wears, and in a way that's another character in the movie because the journey of that beautiful cream-coloured linen suit, on the Acropolis in the sunshine in the beginning, this immaculate, perfect, fits perfectly, looks great. You see that suit at the very end of the story, and that suit's been through it, it's a bit torn, it's frayed, it's not as clean as it was, it's suffered almost as much as the man wearing the suit, and it's an interesting journey for that suit. It's interesting to see that sometimes there's an object or set of clothes that has a life of its own, and that's the case with that suit.'

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Two Faces Of January
Adam Miller
15 September 2014

Viggo Mortensen surely wasn't just cast because he's a great actor; it's because no one can rock a 1960s cream linen suit quite like him.

Leigh Singer
19 May 2014

"It comes from a very good tailor in Boedo, in Buenos Aires. San Lorenzo de Almagro".

Viggo on being asked who tailored his Golden Globes suit
Mortensen highlights his Argentinian team at the Golden Globes
By E J Tamara - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
16 January 2012

...his sharp, shiny suit and coiffed hairdo should win an award all of their own.

Eastern Promises
From Russia With Loot
By Helen Barlow
Sydney Morning Herald
26 October 2007

...Mortensen's performance here is a restrained, shadowed work of art. Perfecting a Russian accent and shaping himself into an impeccably suited vision of doom...

Eastern Promises review
Brian Orndorf
14 Sept 2007

"In the movie," said Cronenberg, "Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007

Viggo Mortensen asked to have 6 extra copies of the Monday issue of Ekstra Bladet so that he could send them to his relatives in Denmark and they would be able to see him in his nice red suit at the Gala Premiere for Eastern Promises at the Imperial Cinema

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007

Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Armani Red Suit worn at the Copenhagen
Eastern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007

Viggo Mortensen stacks his case and suit protector neatly in the corner of the room. The precision of the movement is entirely in keeping with an angular formation of razor cheekbones and sharp suit. We probably shouldn't be surprised the Danish-American-Argentine has this travelling thing down.

The Mad Men
Tara Brady
The Irish Times
10 February 2012

You looked sexy in The Lord Of The Rings...what's your favourite costume?

My birthday suit.

Now that is sexy, no wonder women love you...

If you say so.

60 Seconds With...Viggo Mortensen
December 2005

Quotable Viggo: 1 October 2016

The last review round-up I did for Captain Fantastic was the beginning of July. A lot has happened since then! Time for another look at more recent reviews of Viggo's performance in a film which is still taking theatres by storm. Given the quality of all Viggo's previous characterisations, the repeated comments that this is a career best shows how deeply Viggo embodies Ben Cash, possible the best and worst father in the world.

© Bleecker Street.

This is the only film this year that I have willingly watched twice.

Captain Fantastic is a tale of parenthood, childhood, loss, morals, right and wrong, good and bad. This mix of road trip, dark comedy and uplifting drama sees Viggo Mortensen in his best role for years.

Janie East
The Sun
9 September 2016

In what must rank as one his best-ever performances, Viggo Mortensen is superhero, Ben Cross, a former academic raising six kids in the woods of north-western America

John McDonald
Australian Financial Review
9 September 2016

The writing is wonderful, with a family you grow extremely close to in a matter of minutes. At the heart of it all is the ever-brilliant Viggo Mortensen. Ben is a complex character that has every fragment of thought etched into Mortensen's expression. He's taken a hold of this character unlike any since Aragon. He embodies Ben perfectly, and the film can't be imagined without him.

By Amie Cranswick
9 September 2016

Ruggedly handsome, flamboyant and self-assured, Mortensen is like a poster boy for 'off-grid' living, bringing humour and charm to a role that could easily have come across as gratingly sanctimonious.

Henry Williams
Culture Whisper
18 September 2016

Mortensen gives a hugely charismatic performance, making it hard not to get drawn into the tractor beam of his free-spirited father character and wish he could raise you in the woods as well.... Viggo Mortensen gives one of the best turns of his career here, and the young actors on show alongside him are strong too.

Rob Leane
Den Of Geek
6 September 2016

Ben isn't the quixotic nutjob Harrison Ford played in The Mosquito Coast – this film's hidden soulmate, in a way – because Ross believes in him too much. And Mortensen sets about captaining this ship so well, with such fine shadings of distant grief, self-reproach, humility when it's necessary, defiance when it's not, that you can't imagine anyone else in the role, and wouldn't want anyone else near it.

Tim Robey
The Telegraph
8 September 2016

...a magnificent, nuanced performance from Viggo Mortensen.

Leigh Paatsch
Herald Sun
7 September 2016

As for the man wanting a life apart for his family, who comes to realise his idealism may actually be harming them, Mortensen is, yes, fantastic in what is a career-best performance.

Ben Cash might be a deeply flawed character. But he remains fascinating throughout and Mortensen's portrayal of him is perfect.

Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
22 September 2016

Oregon, says that his film asks whether Ben is "the best father in the world or the worst" and Mortensen does a terrific job of keeping both possibilities alive. A pointed discussion of Nabokov with Ben's super-smart kids flags up the question of how loving or abusive his parenting may be, leaving our own sympathies divided.

Mark Kermode
The Observer
11 September 2016

...this is a thoughtful examination of the fragility of any idyll under pressure from the imperfect world outside. But all of it is anchored and, like the family itself, dominated by Mortensen's Ben, who's both the hero and the villain. Caring but dictatorial, idealistic but often blind, he's a fascinating figure and, in bringing him to life, Mortensen gives his best performance yet.

Helen O'Hara
Empire Magazine
18 August 2016

Every now and then, a movie comes along that plays out almost entirely on a gifted actor's face; you feel as if you could watch the whole thing in quiet close-up, and catch every nuance of the story. I think of Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine," Brie Larson in "Room," Denzel Washington in "Flight," to name just a few — and now, Viggo Mortensen in "Captain Fantastic.".... Early on, watch that handsomely etched face; on it, flickering, is Ben's fierce love for his children, his stubbornness, his patience, his self-righteousness that's tempered — just a bit — by affection. And, later, see how it falls, like a seemingly immovable rock suddenly tumbling down a mountainside, when he realizes something rare for him: He has, perhaps, been wrong.

Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
14 July 2016

Captain Fantastic hangs on its central character – tough, wise, charismatic, arrogant, possibly deluded – and Viggo Mortensen, usually a very contained performer, is magically effervescent in his chieftain-patriarch role....I will watch absolutely anything Ross chooses to make next: a fine director is born.

John Patterson
The Guardian
5 September 2016

Rather like The Royal Tenenbaums and Little Miss Sunshine, it's a vibrantly mordant yarn that involves endlessly changing vistas and precocious kids. All that, and Viggo Mortensen's penis. What's not to love?...

...The beauty of the film lies in its refusal to paint Ben as a deluded tyrant or principled pioneer. He doesn't have two faces — thanks to the script, as well as Mortensen's squirrely brilliance, he has hundreds.

Charlotte O'Sullivan
Evening Standard
9 September 2016

Quotable Viggo: 24 September 2016

After last week I thought 'Let's have another Aragorn Quotable'. Why not? Of course, we really liked Viggo as Aragorn because he threw himself into Tolkien's world wholeheartedly, carried The Lord of the Rings with him everywhere, uncovered undiscovered depths to Aragorn's character and lived and breathed Ranger even when fishing. Of course we did. No other possible reason.

© New Line Productions Inc

This is Return of the King though, and Viggo is that king. Throughout all three films, this has been a journey of responsibility for Aragorn as he grows to accept the destiny for which he was born. Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

Film Hobbit
16 December 3003

You can have your wee hobbits and wizened wizards. Give me the man who would be king. Rough-hewn Aragorn is as manly as they come as he slays loathsome orcs and woos elf princess Arwen, whispering sweet nothings into her pointy ears.

It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

"From the moment that I saw him onscreen," says Otto, "I thought, 'Shit, he looks incredible. Here's a character I don't have to pretend to be in love with.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Viggo Mortensen stuns as the tormented, destiny-shucking warrior Aragorn, exuding a bravery that will make men admire him and an intensity that will make women want to hop into his leather jerkin.

Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001

In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn. The only thing keeping him from becoming the next HUGE leading man is if he decides he doesn't want to be. Women will love him and men will too. To top it off, he has a terrific (but brief) scene of incredible romance.

Nick Nunziata
December 2001

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

The Two Towers
Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren. Fortunately Mr. Mortensen also has a touch of modesty as an actor, which allows him to take up space as if he belongs in the center of the frame rather than battling the other performers for it.

The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003

I am being seduced by royalty. And not your garden variety Windsor, either. Admittedly, he looks more like a gypsy in his earthy tunic repaired to within an inch of its life, his hands and nails bearing the ingrained grit of a farmer. But he's a king all right: the King, the Lord of Men. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and any minute now he's going to reach out one of those taut brown arms, lift me up on his trusty steed and whisk me away from all this...

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph
23 November 2003

The fiery passion that blazes in his eyes can do what no extra-large popcorn can: sustain a grown woman through six-plus hours of viewing pleasure for the past two years. It has been a torrid, if one-sided, affair, though I suspect many others have fallen for his unwashed charms.

On Viggo as Aragorn
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

....even sitting in a plastic chair under the unflattering glare of fluorescent, in a drab office at Miramar Productions' headquarters in New Zealand, Viggo Mortensen is by far the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown.

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003

Casually dropping his name into conversations with the girls over the past 48 hours has produced more gasps, heaving bosoms and sighs of jealousy than a Lotto win.

"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
By Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003

Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty.

Ian McKellen
"The White book", Mckellen.com
July 15, 2003

It's crucial that the film, like the journeys it narrates, is straggly. I spent the duller sections thinking about how flaxen-haired Legolas looks like a Milky Bar hippy as he pings his egg-slicer-strong arrows at the barbarous monsters. I also drifted off looking at Viggo Mortensen: has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002

Q: What do you think makes you sexy?

VM: I don't really know how to deal with that question. I'm sure that there's just as many people who think I'm a grizzled hack.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Quotable Viggo: 18 September 2016

I was having an Arwen moment last night, togged up in elven garb and singing in a magical open-air fairy themed concert next to someone dressed vaguely like Elrond. And I thought – if only Aragorn were here! The closest I can get is an Aragorn quotable. Of course, Viggo had his own unique take on Tolkien's Elessar, bringing a deep inner questioning and psychological depth that had us hooked from the moment he lowered his hood in the Prancing Pony.

© New Line Productions Inc

We knew we were blessed in having Viggo - who is part-Danish descent - step into the role of Aragorn when he arrived carrying a copy of the Volsunga Saga that he had taken from his bookshelf! Viggo not only has an actor's sense of bringing his character to life, but also an innate understanding of 'the warrior code' and Tolkien's philosophy of heroism.

Philippa Boyens
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

The filming was going on at the far end of the [Prancing Pony] set when I noticed this figure in a dark hood, smoking a pipe, sitting in another corner of the set altogether. Then I realized: it was Viggo. He wasn't required in the scene, he was just sitting there, observing the vibe, he was actually being Strider, being the outsider, the lonely man in the corner that no one spoke to.

Costa Botes, Video Documentarian
Official Movie Guide

"I hope you feel to some degree Aragorn's sense of hesitation. On a practical level as an actor, that was already with me when I arrived in New Zealand... it's one thing for someone to tell you that you're capable but it's quite another for you to know it yourself. I felt that in Aragorn, and I felt it too as an actor: 'You've hired me 'cos you think I can do it but privately I'm not sure'."

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
The Independent
14 December 2001

The first thing I had to do was a swordfight [the confrontation with the Ringwraiths on Weathertop]. Even before I spoke a single word of dialogue, I was forced to confront the physicality of my character. It was probably helpful to do something physical before speaking. More than for any other character, Aragorn's actions speak for him. His choices, the decisions he makes, his physicality, his body, tell you a lot about him. He's a man who throws himself into situations.

Viggo Mortensen
Official Movie Guide

'An orphan raised by elves. A little like Moses. He knows the best and bravest of his forefathers screwed up. They were not immune to the corrupting temptations of the ring. So why should he, a distant and diluted descendant of a noble line, fare any better? He becomes a master of disguise and assumes different names, living a nomadic, hit-and-run existence.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Washington Times
15 December 2001

"Except as a child, he's never really ever been truly able to be himself publicly, or even privately - how would he even get used to that? When you get into that or any other habit, there's a resistance to or fear of changing; it's not a comfortable notion. To suddenly come out of the closet and say, "This is who I am" - to no longer operate in hiding and keep leaving the scene like the Lone Ranger, to stand in one place undisguised and let others have access to you - is in some ways more frightening than fighting any army. That inner conflict is an interesting thing to portray. It's not always something that's written, or can be fully written."

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill

He's under pressure to be a public leader and not the lone ranger type. You see when he makes strategy decisions, and asks others to follow him, it is on his head. It's not just him and his horse going to the Black Gates, basically to commit suicide in order to buy Frodo more time. He's convinced armies and friends to fight together. He doesn't order anyone to do anything.

Viggo Mortensen
The One King
By Bryan Cairns
Film Review Yearbook

"He was the greatest traveller and huntsman of his age," Mortensen says about his quiet, stoic role. "There is no character in this story, in these books, that has travelled more extensively and had more contact with other cultures, races, languages, and an appreciation and understanding of the differences of all the free peoples of Middle-earth. . . . He has an understanding that the most precious thing that any intelligent being possesses is free choice."

Viggo Mortensen
Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer

'He's always looking for what he has in common with other people. He is inclined to be compassionate, show mercy; that's the way he was raised, what he's been taught. And he's conscious of these having been the most positive qualities of the greatest of his ancestors.'

Viggo Mortensen The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill

"Despite his vast knowledge of the world, Aragorn always considers himself fallible. It is his internal conflicts that make him evolve."

Viggo Mortensen
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
December 2003

On one level, Aragorn is the heroic, archetype that you find in the [Nordic] sagas, but with the striking difference that he is a man who seems almost to have lost his tongue! In the sagas, the hero will brag about what he's going to do, do it and then brag about what he's done. Aragorn, in contrast, is a modern character with qualities more like those of the Samurai hero who must often learn difficult lessons and endure much hardship on his journey, and whose eventual triumph is usually as much in the service of society as it is for himself.

Viggo Mortensen
"Aspects of Aragorn"
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

"I don't think Aragorn is naturally prone to fighting in the same sense that maybe Boromir was in the first story or Eomer is in this. He isn't, by nature, warlike.

The Elvish name his mother gives him at birth is Estel, which means hope. I think he basically has a sunny disposition, but it has been dampened over the years by what he has seen in the world. He is a skilled fighter who has taken on the fighting styles of the different places he has lived and fought in, but it's by virtue of necessity that he does it."

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

You sense that what Mortensen prizes in Aragorn, he prizes in himself. When he tells me that Aragorn understands the value of "stretching yourself, being passionate about other cultures and languages", I discern only the thinnest of veils separating observation from autobiography.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk

'Ultimately, you create your own luck. Fate does step in. When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand. Viggo, in hindsight, was the one person who was perfect for this film. He came out of nowhere, and suddenly there was Aragorn.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
December 2004

Quotable Viggo: 9 September 2016

The last couple of months have brought us a barrel load of new interviews as Viggo has promoted Captain Fantastic here, there and everywhere. As always, some of the reporter's comments on meeting him and their take on his career have been priceless: insightful, funny, pithy and – often - rather awed. In cast you missed them in the melee, here are some of the best.

© Mark Klein.

In the flesh, his inscrutability gives off an electric hum. He is soberly dressed - grey suit, sensible shirt - and speaks in hushed, gravelly tones. If you didn't know, and of course you do, you might mistake Mortensen for a visiting academic or a writer.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016

"I've always been comfortable in the wilderness," coos Viggo Mortensen. We are, as it were, quite far from the bucolic, huddled together in a booth at a chic restaurant in downtown Manhattan, a maddening mélange of unimpeded socialites, regrettable facial hair, and Viggo who, at 57, does not look as though he's aged a single day since carving up Orcs in Middle Earth. Spending most of the year in Madrid, Spain, sipping on Argentinean malbecs will do that to you.

Viggo Mortensen Goes Green: 'I Trust Hillary About as Much as I Trust Donald Trump'
By Marlo Stern
Daily Beast
16 July 2016

Brainy and brawny—a rare combination of qualities among leading men in Hollywood that hasn't strongly applied since Roberts Ryan and Mitchum—personifies Viggo Mortensen and sets him apart from just about everybody else on the contemporary screen.

Super-Dad: 'Captain Fantastic' Enthralls the Senses and Engages the Mind
By Rex Reed
The Observer
5 July 2016

He writes poetry—good poetry, not just a few free-associated thoughts slapped together. He is a photographer—not just a shutterbug whose work hangs in galleries because he's famous, but a photographer you can actually see thinking through the aperture of his instrument. He publishes books—not just one or two every now and again, but consistently, through an actual publishing house he founded 15 years ago and continues to run. He's a musician, but not in the way many actors dabble in music—he's released 17 albums, including some collaborations with some outstanding musicians.

And, of course, that same deliberateness and commitment has led to a truly extraordinary film career.

Viggo Mortensen and the Art of Deliberate Living
By Michael Dunaway
Paste Magazine
3 August 2016

Meeting the Madrid-based poet, actor, photographer, editor and publisher in this place and under these circumstances feels something akin to encountering an albino bison in a veal pen. He seems to be a soul meant to wander the earth in search of universal truth, not discuss Hobbit movies over canapés with journalists.

On interviewing Viggo in a posh hotel
Dr. No: Viggo Mortensen Has Made Turning Down Roles Into an Art Form
By Oliver Jones
The Observer
6 July 2016

Viggo Mortensen is pressing me to eat a croissant from a large basket sitting on a table in front of him. It is certainly the right hour for them – most actors would draw the line at 8.30am interviews – but whoever imagined that arthouse cinema's most visibly rugged outdoors man would start his day with effete French pastries? This is the man whose chosen set souvenir from Lord of the Rings was his horse! He looks relieved when I take one; nobody need now be embarrassed.

Viggo Mortensen gets dirty to play a 'wolf dad' in Captain Fantastic
By Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
2 September 2016

Mortensen doesn't go in much for trappings. He has a flip phone!

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
25 May 2016

The one and only Strider, also known as Aragorn, later called by the name King Elessar Telcontar of Gondor is coming to Dublin. He's also called Viggo Mortensen sometimes.

Viggo Mortensen is coming to Dublin!
Breaking News.ie
9 August 2016

...while he's clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self. It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor.

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 2016

When he appears, caked in mud, looking like a kind of eco-Rambo, splashing barefoot through a river and cutting the heart out of a deer, you'll be thinking: Well, that's just Viggo Mortensen's life, isn't it?

Wild man Viggo Mortensen lets it all hang out in Captain Fantastic
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 September 2016

In "Captain Fantastic," he truly does seem like a hunter, in the Hemingway/James Fenimore Cooper sense. He looks like the kind of guy who, yes, would worship Noam Chomsky, but he also looks like the kind of guy who would eat him for breakfast.

The Secret Appeal of 'Captain Fantastic': It's Left-Wing… and Right-Wing
By Owen Gleiberman
14 July 201

Is Viggo Mortensen the most interesting man in the world?

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 201

Viggo Mortensen is one of the greatest actors working today. Of that, I have no doubt.

Talking with Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross of CAPTAIN FANTASTIC
Silver Screen Riot
22 June 2016

With all this prep, it's clear why Mortensen doesn't make more than one movie a year. He has other interests to pursue – painting, poetry and running his boutique publishing firm Perceval Press. But it's more than that. "When you first start out as an actor, you just want to do any kind of work – to try and make a living," he says, recalling those early days when he pitched up in Peter Weir's 1985 Amish thriller Witness. "But for many years now, I've been able to wait to find the right thing. I'm not looking for what could pay me the most or what could win me an award." If only all actors had this much integrity.

Viggo Mortensen's woodland nights set him up for parenting-in-the-wild role
by James Mottram
The Herald
1 September 2016

Quotable Viggo: 27 August 2016

Viggo wasn't too keen on the rock climbing in Captain Fantastic because of occasional vertigo. Good to know there is something risky which gives him pause for thought because he has a long history of breaking and bashing bits of himself in films. Just as well they had him hooked up to ropes really...

© New Line Productions Inc.

The Indian Runner

Facially, Mortensen looks like a cross between Sam Shepard and echt movie villain Lance Henriksen, a suggestion enhanced by his character's myriad jailhouse tattoos (applied in hours-long makeup sessions) and the unperiodlike leather brace on his right hand and wrist, which he wears constantly and removes only immediately before shooting. Word on the set is that Mortensen busted a knuckle and sprained his wrist during rehearsals for a fight scene, but when asked about the injury, his eyes take on a demonic glint.

'Sean Penn,' he says, 'bit me.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
October 1991

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3: Leatherface

...the production [TCM 3: Leatherface] of itself had a few hiccups; the originally cast actor for the role of Tex didn't work out, and had to be replaced (however he was replaced with Viggo Mortensen, so it's not exactly the worst thing that could happen)...

The screening [at the New Beverly Cinema, LA] was boosted by a fun Q&A with Foree, who revealed that he accidentally broke Viggo's ribs during their fight scene - the shot is seemingly in the movie (watch Viggo suddenly clutch his side after being thrown to the ground)...

Collins' Crypt: The Sad Saga Of LEATHERFACE
by Brian Collins
8 April 2014

The Lord of the Rings

In one take, Mortensen was battling an Uruk-Hai, a powerful and ferocious strain of orc, when a blade that was jutting from an extra's armour slashed into his face. "I thought, Oh my God, he's lost his face," recalls Perez, who then saw that the blade had somehow missed Mortensen's flesh but split his tooth - literally in half. "I said, 'You lost half a tooth.' And he looked at me and said, 'Look for it. You can stick it on with superglue.' And I said, 'No, come on, don't be silly, you can't.'" Mortensen finally relented and went to a dentist's office, still in full battle armour.

Filming the Battle of Helms Deep
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
January 2003

"He had no knuckles," laughs make-up man Perez. "He'd been virtually slaughtered by everyone because he would not let anyone do his rehearsals. All his knuckles were completely bruised and cut and God knows what else. Every time that he had a scene, I said, 'Okay, now where did they hit you?'"

Jose Perez
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

"On the fifth take, Viggo kicked the helmet, screamed, clenched his fists and dropped to his knees. I thought he was just doing some powerful acting. But then I noticed after I said 'cut' that he wasn't saying anything. Finally, he did the next scene limping."

Once they had finished filming, Jackson made the actor take off his boot.

"His toes were broken. Normally, an actor would yell 'ow!' if they hurt themselves, and stop the scene. Viggo turned a broken toe into a performance that's a great moment in the film."

Two Towers 'bloodier, more compelling'
New Zealand Herald
7 December 2002

"Most people that were in fights at all for an extended period, including all the stunt people, got hurt one way or another, some certainly worse than I did. The fact that a stuntman broke his leg really badly or cut his head open is not mentioned, but if I break my toe or I cut my hand open or break a tooth off, then there's where you hear something."

Viggo Mortensen
King Of The Ring
By Melissa J Perenson
Sci Fi magazine
February 2004

"We were on the Greenstone, the river that flows into Lake Wakatipu, and I was being filmed floating down the river. I went off course. I got caught in a current, and I got stuck at the bottom. I had the sword and the cloak and all the wool and the boots. That was one time I was really scared. I was just about on the verge of passing out. I guess I must've kicked against a rock because I kicked out of the current and popped up."

Viggo Mortensen Interview
Tim Wilson
December 2003

Did you get the shot?

I wasn't sure. I asked and said, "Be honest." I said I would be willing to do it again. But they didn't want to.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Tim Wilson
December 2003

"The shoot took several months and the more tired we got, the more risks we took. You slip, you fall, you get cuts and bruises. That's the price you pay when you want it to look real."

Don't Look For Analogies In 'Rings', Says Mortensen
By Chris Betros
Japan Today
10 February 2003

A History of Violence and Eastern Promises

Noah Cowan:
Did you get hit, Viggo?

Viggo Mortensen:

David Cronenberg:
I would do that even when we weren't shooting.

Viggo Mortensen: It happens in all the movies we do, he hits me with the camera. Even when I'm having a cup of coffee…

Viggo and Cronenberg talking about the dangers of filming the fight scenes
Listening in: David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortenson introduce AHOV at Tiff
Next Projection.com
14 January 2014

Viggo Mortensen: We went through a lot of actors.

David Cronenberg:
This is not the original Viggo.

Listening in: David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortenson introduce AHOV at Tiff
Next Projection.com
14 January 2014

"I knew it would be relatively painful, and it was.

There's no pads. But the two guys playing my attackers were good - one guy was a Georgian who had been in the Russian military, and the other guy was a Turkish professional boxer. They were perfect, and perfectly painful."

Viggo Mortensen on the Eastern Promises Bathhouse scene
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

"Viggo is so dedicated ... he would never admit it to me then, but the makeup guy later told me he was spending more time covering up Viggo's bruises than putting on his tattoos."

David Cronenberg
A Violent Tour De Force
By Robert W Butler
Kansas City Star
15 September 2007

Two Faces of January

You chipped your tooth filming Lord Of The Rings and superglued it back on. What's the most serious injury you've ever sustained on a film set?

I broke my foot on that movie too. I broke a finger on this one though. You know the free-for-all in the square in the little town? It happened then. That was annoying for the rest of the shoot because it happened to be my ring finger and as my character happens to be married they had to cut the ring and just hold it in place. I broke the knuckle and they couldn't get the ring past it otherwise, unfortunately.

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
by Tom Ward
16 May 2014

And finally

....he has broken both legs twice; playing soccer, skiing and in an accident at a Danish smelting plant where he once worked.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004

…I would say probably 95% of the work that you see as Viggo onscreen is completely computer generated, because he has a wooden leg and he can't run.

IGN Interviews Dominic Monaghan
December 2003

Quotable Viggo: 20 August 2016

So, is Viggo 'only loosely tied to modern life at the best of times...' as suggested by Empire Magazine? He started shooting photographs digitally about 8 years ago, but has also been mending his old film cameras and falling in love with them again. He edits publications on his laptop but still sends postcards and letters. He reads books by the dozen but sees the value of the internet and uses it to keep up-to-date with international current affairs. It enables him to watch his beloved San Lorenzo on his laptop while globetrotting (much to the consternation of airport staff) but he likes the silence of being away from it all, beyond the reach of the internet and mobile signals. Maybe he has found the perfect balance of engaging deeply with real life while keeping technology in its place as a useful servant?

Skype interview with Viggo at the Stockholm International Festival in 2011
© Carla Orrego Veliz.

Viggo Mortensen, who seems only loosely tied to modern life at the best of times...

Helen O'Hara
Empire Magazine

The film's director, Matt Ross, dissuaded everyone from using their mobiles. Did you appreciate that?

Very much. It's such a given in society now. It used to be that [on set] people would read a book or talk to each other. There's less talking now. People are in their own bubble. I was joking the other day, but I said they should have a lane for people [texting] on the sidewalk. Let them bump into each other!

The Interview: Viggo Mortensen plays Ben in Captain Fantastic
James Mottram
Herald Sun
13 August 2017

I doubt that I will ever watch a movie on a mobile phone.

A Minute with Viggo
7 October 2015

In our relentlessly tech-driven age, the actor, now 57, feels strongly about the importance of the written word.

"Oh yeah,'' he says. "The written word and even the handwritten word. I still send postcards. I hope that it never becomes entirely impossible to put a letter in a mailbox and have it arrive magically on the other side of the world.'' And for all its benefits, he says technology — the harmful effects of which are alluded to in the film — may be shrinking our attention spans: "Sometimes, yeah. I think people are less patient and their attention span [is shorter]. It also goes with movie going culture. It's less frequent that people will sit for two hours or three hours and watch a movie that unfolds slowly and in a complex way. Same with novels and poems. People are maybe less patient.''

Viggo Mortensen goes off the grid for film Captain Fantastic
Rosemary Neill
The Austrailian
19 August 2016

Viggo Mortensen, Oscar-nominated star of the new film "Captain Fantastic," said he hasn't played [Pokemon Go] but his son has explained it to him and he doesn't judge it.

"When I do have a little bit of free time, there are other things that I personally would like to do (rather) than that. But I can understand it's a fad," he said. "It probably won't last forever but people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, chasing these illusions.

"But they're also having fun. There's no point in being judgmental about it. I don't have a criticism, I just think it's amusing."

25 July 2016

He collects cameras, and still uses his two 1903 Kodaks, but says he has gradually started shooting most of his photography digitally. He has been a late convert to the wired world, only relatively recently starting to carry a mobile phone. 'It's antiquated, just a flip phone. I don't have a BlackBerry or whatever you call it. And there is something to be said for being isolated and out of phone range, because you can fall into a habit to such a degree that you don't even realise that you've lost something: silence.'

Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men's Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013

"I've repaired a couple of my analog cameras, my film cameras . . . I have been shooting digital, which is great, this past decade. But there's something about loading film, and shooting it, your exposure and your framing and then that surprise when you go to develop it. Oh, I didn't expect that!"

Viggo Mortensen, 'Captain Fantastic's' radical dad
Steven Rea
27 July 2016

"It was a crew of about ten people walking over the rocks. We were all tired but we had a lot of fun. By nightfall, since we were 150 km from the internet and telephones, we made a little fire, an asado [grilled meat], we talked... It was a family experience."

Viggo Mortensen talking about filming Jauja
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
August 2014

How are you at finding your way around the internet?

I do understand why there are people who sit in front of a computer and stay there eight hours non-stop (chuckles). It´s dangerous. I think you also have to do some physical exercise. I get into what interests me culturally: history, politics, things. To compare, to have a better idea of what has happened in some country or in some artistic area. You can spend hours. It´s wonderful the things you can find.

1 Minuto.com with Viggo Mortensen
By - transcribed/translated by Ollie
24 September 2012

Because of all his travels, a laptop has become essential for Mortensen, who says he didn't know how to use one until he founded Perceval. Now he has one to edit books and work with images and text. "It's an incredible tool, because of what I can do. But like all of these things — like social media — if you don't control it, it will control you."

Viggo Mortensen shows off his wild side as an off-the-grid family man
By Rob Lowman
Los Angeles Daily News
7 July 2016

"These days with the technology we've got, you know, on the laptop. I don't miss a single game and I try to follow everything that's happening closely."

Viggo Mortensen
'Return to Boedo' Chat on Radio Splendid
transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Radio Splendid
8 March 2012

I´m neither in Buenos Aires nor in a place where I could see the match well. I put up with seeing blurred and constantly interrupted images on my laptop, with an infernal audio of generally dull comments, in the middle of a forest where it never stopped raining. The goal by Boca filled me with anguish. But, little by little, I calmed down. I believe in our team. We are doing fine. Hold on Ciclón!

The Cuervo Personality of Horacio Quiroga
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
29 August 2011

'A warm hello to everybody who is reading and writing. This is a different world from ten years ago because of technology, but it's necessary to be careful because any communication can be used in a negative form. There are people who use the technological advances in communication to promote negative ideas, harmful efforts towards people, to sow doubt, separation among nations, racism, intolerance. So just because of the new technology and this communication we have to be careful, work honestly. Even if someone is in a good relationship with some people, family, society, we shouldn't lose our guard too much. You have to be honest with yourself, and communicate honestly. I don't want to be a drag. Thank you very much for the conversations tonight and have a good day.'

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Margarita
18 November 2005

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