This week's Quotable is about all creatures great and small, from bees to horses, from locusts to crows and even the odd giant rat. At least Viggo restricted himself to only keeping the horses...
© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.
'Everything is connected. We are related to the animals and we are also in a way animals ourselves.'
Viggo on the sadanset exhibition
16 October 2008
Mortensen's passion for horses is simple. "I just feel calm when I'm around them, just interacting with them. I think people have that relationship with dogs and cats and whatever. People can be afraid of horses and rightly so. They're big and can be dangerous. You have to be careful."
That serenity was a source of relief for Mortensen during the trilogy's epic 16 month shoot. Visiting the horses at the stable during his off days kept him invigorated. "When I would go out there, I'd be really tired. I'd be driving, it'd be an hour or something to the stables, and I would think 'I'd really like to stay in bed.' But by the time I got together with the horses and got the horse ready, got on the horse and went out riding, all the stress and the tiredness would just go away. By the time I was done riding and washing the horse and on my way back to town, it was almost like I'd taken some very pleasant drug. [I felt] just very calm and glad to be alive and noticing the trees and what not. And ready for the week."
Horses Bring Serenity To Viggo Mortensen
By Fred Topel
9 December 2003
'One bee buzzing close to your head is quite loud, but imagine thousands. Your world closes off and you become very focused on what you're doing, because you can't really hear what other people are saying.'
Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men's Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013
Viggo Mortensen didn't want to miss out on Election Day while filming his latest flick, "The History of Violence,'' in Canada so he staged a polling station on the set. People Maggie reports that the "Lord of the Rings" hottie rigged up a mock voting booth and producer Chris Burns used his dog, Rosie, to monitor the voters. Not surprisingly, cast and crew voted for John Kerry though the write-in candidate, Rosie the canine, made a strong showing in second place. Have these people never heard of absentee ballots?
Own Private Idaho
5 November 2004
"I'm hoping to shoot a movie with an elephant soon, and I've no idea where I'm going to put him."
Viggo asked about buying horses from his films
Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
'Did you see the crow I had tattooed?'" Viggo shows the little smile of someone who has an ace up his sleeve. "There is a Russian myth about the crow and it was good for the film if I had it tattooed. There is an old Russian poem, which is like a song, that says: 'I'm not ready, let the raven wait.' Or, 'I am not ready to die,'" clarified the actor, renamed "Guido Mortensen" by Bambino Veira.
Viggo talking about Eastern Promises
"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
By - translated by Zooey and Sage
14 August 2009
Mortensen arrives at the Stephen Cohen Gallery caked in mud, having just been riding T.J., who plays the title role in Hidalgo ….and then washing him and giving him a conditioning treatment. "We don't do that all the time," Mortensen says. "He's not a pretty-boy horse."
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
"He wanted to eat a real locust," Johnston says. "The locust he eats is made out of sugar. He said, 'You know, I can eat a live one.' I said, 'Let's eat all the fake ones first. If we run out, you can eat a live one.' "
Joe Johnston on filming Hidalgo
A Man of Many Parts
Sitting casually, hanging out on the bench, seems ideal. But there is a problem. There are rats. Many of them. They are running back and forth between the bushes, over the footpath, and it is impossible to ignore them.
"Wow. They're bold," he says, incredulously. A couple of Brazilians pass by. "Hey - I could ask them who they played in the World Cup final."...
...Minutes later, he returns. "Yeah, in the final it was Brazil against Holland. I didn't really give a sh** but I was rooting against Brazil - I grew up in Argentina." But Brazil has never met Holland in a World Cup final: it was the semifinal in 1994. No matter, he's still impressed by the rats.
"Whoa! Did you see that one? That was a rat-a-roo. Is it a herd of rats, a flock of rats? Maybe it's a swarm."
Another one tumbles past. "That one has a bad back. He's old - that's sad." Having a conversation about anything else proves impossible. "I don't remember seeing that many rats here," he says. "They're twice as big as the rats in Los Angeles. That one was like a possum'.
The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times
30 November 2003
"In the 60's, when I was between 7 and 9 years old, my father brought my brothers and I and our mother to that part of the country several times. Camping trips. At that time the roads were not as good as they are now... Our car had a serious breakdown and we waited several days in Puerto Madryn until our car could be fixed. The peninsula and its animal life were not yet protected. We swam very near seals, elephant seals. At that time, there were people who killed many of those magnificent creatures with rifles and shotguns. My father loved those animals and that place - so much that I remember he wrote several times, as others did, to people in the federal government to ask that the peninsula be designated a National Park. I don´t know whether his letters helped, but finally it was decided to suitably protect that special place.
Viggo Mortensen: "It's a shame that the government has cleared the way for open-pit mining."
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Noticias Net-Rio Negro
21 April 2013
Rabbits sometimes run out in front of your car, right? Well, I hit this rabbit on this lonely road in the South Island and I wanted to make sure it was dead. If it wasn't, I'd put it out of its misery. And it was quite dead, so I thought, 'Well, why waste it?' And so I made a little fire and ate it.
Is this something that you thought Aragorn would have done?
As he was driving down the road and if he hit a rabbit? Yeah, he might. If he was hungry, I guess.
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
"Last week we were filming Hidalgo in High Plains, Montana, where there was no fence for miles; you could just imagine that it was 1890 or 1790," he says. "I was in the middle of a herd of six or seven hundred horses. I was really aware of the fact that very few people would ever get to be in such a place. Nobody in the world gets to be in the middle of that many horses, running as fast as you can." And where does that thought lead you to, I ask. He pauses. "Just, 'Don't forget this'."
The New Hollywood Male
by Charles Gant
Arena Hommes Plus #18
"It's like working with any creature – horse, dog or bee. If you're calm you won't get kicked, bitten, or stung." Did he get stung? "No," he says with a small smile. "I was lucky. And I made my own honey. I've still got a couple of jars."
Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
24 May 2013