Quotable Viggo 2017

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Quotable Viggo: 12 November 2017

So The Lord of the Rings might be getting a TV adaption? If it happens, heaven help whoever plays Aragorn as there are mighty boots to fill. In the minds of – well – pretty much everybody, Viggo IS Aragorn, even while presenting a reluctant side of Aragorn which didn't appear in the books and which Tolkien never imagined. He made Aragorn into the Hero we all wanted to walk Middle-earth with. Whether Tolkien's Aragorn or not Tolkien's Aragorn, Viggo brought Middle-earth's King in Waiting to life in a way that can hardly be matched. Who will ever again find that intensity, grace, swordsmanship and – on set and off – inspiring leadership?



© New Line Productions Inc.


Mortensen is Aragorn!

'The Lord of the Rings' is Getting a TV Adaptation
By Sheryl Oh
Film School Rejects
6 November 2017




Why is Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy so good? It could be his immersion in J. R. R. Tolkien's original novels: He can speak knowledgeably on why Aragorn carries a bow, although it's not directly mentioned in the original text. Or it could be his complete dedication to the role: During filming, Mortensen went everywhere with his sword, even to restaurants. Or it could be his overall intelligence: When he first read The Lord of the Rings (on the plane down to New Zealand, after he was brought in as a last-minute replacement), he was struck by the echoes of Beowulf and ancient Icelandic sagas. Once he had landed, he bought a pile of the books Tolkien himself had used as sources. 'I made it a classroom in mythology and literature,' he says - and he turned Aragorn into an uncommon film hero, one with genuine mythic resonances across the centuries.

Hot Actor - Viggo Mortensen
By G. E.
Rolling Stone (U.S.)
September 2003




'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
Empire
December 2004




There is something other-worldly about Mortensen that makes him so suited to playing the dashing Aragorn who, along with Russell Crowe's toga-hero Maximus in Gladiator, has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002




"I read an article that said, 'Finally, someone's found the niche for Viggo Mortensen: the rugged hero who has a deep intellect and a great humanity. That's what Aragorn is, because Viggo has brought that to it. He's very like that as a human being."

Bernard Hill
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003




Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn.

FOTR
Nick Nunziata
CHUD
December 2001




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn carries himself with the perfect air of strength, compassion, and quiet nobility that you expect from someone who you would be willing to follow into battle.

The Two Towers review
efilmcritic.com
Brian McKay
22 December 2002




As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did; his threadbare regality is more eloquent than any exposition.

The Two Towers review
Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
20 December 2002




Towers belongs to Mortensen, an actor of considerable range who makes Aragorn's moral and romantic dilemmas seems amazingly plausible and immediate.

The Two Towers review
Louise B. Hobson
Calgary Sun
18 December 2002




Mortensen as much mobilizes this cast of thousands externally as he does within the narrative, and plays the true-hearted hero with enough gravity to make Aragon believable without slipping into parody Prince Valiant clichés.

The Two Towers review
Todd Gilchrist
FilmStew.com
18 December 2002




A few of the characters seem even richer, more profound than Tolkien's own conception. Viggo Mortensen finds an astonishing stillness and poise at the heart of Aragorn (he's a bit of a stiff in the novel). This deep love of peace is what drives him to fight, a paradox which makes him more kinglike than any other character.

The Two Towers review
Suzi Feay
The Independent on Sunday
15 December 2002




The dashing Mortensen never lets his audience down in his representation of this rugged warrior, a leader of men who endure one battle after another, testing not only their valor but also their very existence.

Return of the King review
Diana Saenger
Reeltalkreviews.com
December 2003




As the capstone to one of the single greatest achievements of modern motion-picture history, The Return of the King is generally peerless - Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, the King of the title, is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...

Return of the King review
Marc Savlov
The Austin Chronicle
19 December 2003




I really don't know what happened myself, but I lost myself completely in the role. I am a man who likes to withdraw into solitude and take long hikes in the woods and mountains. So was Aragorn. We fitted perfectly together.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
Empire
December 2004




'Viggo just became so synonymous with Aragorn that it was hard to see him as Viggo again and not Aragorn. I have never witnessed an actor enter the spirit of a role as he did.'

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


Quotable Viggo: 4 November 2017

I confess I'm more than a tad over-excited by the news of a new Viggo photography book, Ramas Para un Nido. One thing is for sure, it won't be predictable. With Viggo all photography rules get broken (don't shoot into the sun, don't over expose, hold it steady…). Even the camera itself is often broken – when most of us would be packing it away for a journey to the camera repair shop, Viggo keeps shooting just to see if something interesting will happen. It always does.



© Viggo Mortensen


The pictures in this book have been made with different cameras, techniques, and, unavoidably, with all the longing, love, laughter, doubts, and mistakes that have shaped my life so far.

Viggo Mortensen
Perceval Press
October, 2017



'In a way, I am a photographer even when I don't take pictures. I think it's an instinctive thing by now, a part of myself'.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008




He likes to sit in bars to listen, and he would love to go unnoticed as the least known of the regulars. But he almost never does. He seeks images, constantly, or images find him. And then, Viggo Mortensen takes out his professional camera and photographs at ease. He always has it ready, just in case. It could be a landscape, like when he went about the north of Argentina; it could be someone who catches his attention...

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
Gente
April 2010




Several of Viggo Mortensen's different faces can be seen in his photos, some more recognisable than others. In front of the large photograph Topanga 7 where golden green light moves across a profile like it was a reflecting water surface, he says in perfect Danish:

'This self-portrait I shot with a slow shutter speed. That way I became part of nature. You can see the blue sky through the brim of the hat and there are plants in my face. With that technique you can become one with the surroundings - the house, the wall, or nature.'

Caught In His Own Picture
By Trine Ross - translated by Rebekka
Politiken
28 June 2003




Recently, I'm doing digital photography almost exclusively. I have old cameras, two from 1903 which I sometimes also continue using.

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
20 Minutos
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
6 September 2012




'Two years ago, I spent a few days in Montana with Viggo while he was shooting Hidalgo, and I swear he was never without a camera. One moment he was slamming on the brakes to photograph a horse on a hill, and the next, he was slowing down to take a picture of a cloud.'

Tom Roston
Editorial
Premiere
November 2004




'I have a camera with a broken lens -- I was actually doing it two days ago in Montana. There were all these horses running and I was taking pictures and then the lens was just all screwed up. So I took it off. I don't know what it's going to look like. It's hopefully just going to be a good flow of shapes and color.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002




Did you and Viggo Mortensen use homemade cameras?

We're not that renaissance. Viggo's got an old hasselblad that he takes forever to focus & shoot. But I must admit he's got some real talent behind the lens. . . not too bad in front either.

John Doe
John Doe finds Emily at a Crossroads
By Emily Strange
Emilystrange.com
June 2012




I've photographed a lot with Leica and Hasselblad cameras but last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen. Then you check out the films and choose the best ones. I have an opinion of how I want them to be."

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




The artist uses multiple exposures, camera shake and long open shutter exposures coupled with extensive camera movement, to paint images onto the film emulsion.

Viggo Mortensen - Painting with Light
By Christopher Harrod
New Zealand Art Monthly
April 2004




He plays the camera like a musical instrument. It's a conversational kind of photography: it's Viggo telling you who he is with images. He looks at everything, believes everything has a meaning, and he shows you his pictures in the belief that seeing might reveals the hidden mysteries of everyday life.

Mark Power
The Salt Mine
3 September 2008




Mortensen's stills are often as much a question as they are an answer.

Things Are Weird Enough
by Shana Nys Dambrot,
Juxtapoz Magazine #19
1999




Viggo Mortensen's photographs can be explained as poetic; sometimes the focus is shallow, a lot of movement, light sometimes leaks into the pictures and makes weird influences.

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




ST: I was trying to figure out the process for those flares. I thought that burn came from the development process.

VM: No, it was in the camera. The wiring that advanced the film and activated the flash got messed up. I was fishing and dropped the camera and it got wet. When it dried out, it started doing that. I shot a roll, saw it and thought, "Oh, shit." But when I looked at them, I thought that some of them looked kind of interesting. So on the next roll, I tried moving the wire all the way to one side and the flares would go to that side. Then I moved it to the middle, the right, and on the bottom and shot maybe eight rolls of film before it stopped working altogether.

A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
20 September 2002
Source: Morphizm




When I see my own pictures, it's like seeing a movie. It is, for example a single moment in a film scene, that you remember. So is also the case with my pictures. I remember the places I've been to and can go there again through the pictures, Viggo says.'

Viggo on the sadanset exhibition
Kim Kastrup
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008




Not everything's a masterpiece, of course, not by a long shot. But when Mortensen's good, when he's firing on all cylinders, he has the ability to produce some truly breathtaking images. According to Dennis Hopper, it's because Mortensen's instincts "come from the right place, from the subconscious."

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
2003

Quotable Viggo: 28 October 2017

Finally the Blu-ray Special Edition of Sean Penn's The Indian Runner has been released and I hope it will give a new lease of life to an outstanding film that barely raised a ripple on its release. Multi-layered, frightening, thought provoking and at times deeply moving, it's full of outstanding performances from Viggo, David Morse, Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette, Charles Bronson and Sandy Dennis. It's time it was appreciated by a wider audience.



© Westmount.


As moody and volatile as the problematic Frankie, "The Indian Runner" starts off with a killing and sustains a threat of possible violence throughout even its gentlest episodes. That threat is especially evident in the presence of Mr. Mortensen, a magnetic actor capable of both scary outbursts and eerie, reptilian calm. (Mr. Penn's own acting style is strongly echoed in this performance.) It is some measure of Mr. Mortensen's savage, mocking ferocity that in a final confrontation with Dennis Hopper, who plays a bartender given to in-your-face philosophizing, Mr. Hopper seems easily the tamer of the two.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
20 September 1991




Over at his place Sean had a really interesting book of photographs from the sixties by Dennis Hopper-just plain ordinary folks across the country. There was a picture of a guy at a diner, with his hair up in the air, wearing a white shirt with the cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve and a tattoo on his arm. And Sean said, 'That's Frank!' Then Sean calls me and says, 'I got the television on here, it's HBO, and there's a movie on called Fresh Horses, and there's this actor in it . . . '

Don Phillips
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly (UK: Faber and Faber, US: Canongate US, 2004)




'Seeing his face and his expression, I knew it was him. I was praying for such a wonderful actor. I wasn't disappointed.'

Sean Penn
Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
8 January 2004




'I had always thought of Frank as a barking dog that bites,' Penn says, 'so I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




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
Premiere
October 1991




"Charles Bronson I didn't get to know extremely well but I liked him; in fact, there's a version of the scene where I go to my parents' house at the beginning of the story. It was a really interesing scene with Charles and Sandy Dennis playing really well. In fact Charles delivered some of the best acting I've ever seen. Shame it didn't make the movie, but I could understand Sean's reasons. He thought my character should be more messed up. But it was a scene that was very awkward; I was high, and was really insulting. It was horrible, but also fascinating."

Viggo Mortensen
Uncut
November 2007




… it's the brothers who hold the screen. Mortensen, working in hot colors, and Morse, working in gray, deliver sensational performances.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone




Sean had decided that Viggo and I were going to rehearse for two weeks, but we were only going to rehearse our big scene in the bar. So he had a bar set up in a gymnasium where we could shoot baskets but also really do our work. And during those two weeks, I have a feeling it was harder for Viggo, because Sean identified more with the role of Frank, and he would really try to push him to do certain things. But Viggo just kept holding back. He never really did the scene in those two weeks.... I think Sean was still a little nervous going into the bar scene. Then I remember a real struggle for what was going to happen, what the moments were going to be between the two of them. And something happened, it crystallized, and suddenly Viggo was on fire.

David Morse
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly (UK: Faber and Faber, US: Canongate US, 2004)




Deploying that unsettling stare and those bacon-slicer cheekbones for the first time, he creates a memorably feral, seductive and unpredictable lost soul with a capacity to switch from charm to menace in an instant that brings to mind a young Kirk Douglas.

The Indian Runner Film Review
By Jeff Robson
Eye for Film
14 September 2011




'When you feel his anger brewing - and it comes out of nowhere, like a freak storm-you want to duck for cover. Sometimes the alarm dissipates; in my favorite scene from the film, he startles a neighbor who has called at his door, yanking her Elvis t-shirt over her face while an inquisitive old coot looks on. Mortensen oscillates between drowsy menace and raucous mania, making you unsure of the scene's intended tone, and of him; it recalls Jack Nicholson's infamous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces, only without the comforting hint of showmanship...'

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




This is room 202, practically at the top of the stairs, which has been dressed as Frank's crash pad. Mortensen walks in and surveys its detritus. He takes a washcloth from the room's sink, folds it, and drapes it over the railing at the foot of the bed...no, not just yet. First, he goes to the bottle of Southern Comfort that sits on the dresser, lies on the bed, and puts the bottle between his legs to open it. Then he splashes some sour mash on the washcloth and re-drapes it. With his thumb over the top, he sprinkles more over the sheets and replaces the bottle. Finally, he ponders the room's Bible: Should it go over the bed? No. Under the pillow? No.

Then he seems to get an idea: he grabs his switchblade, inserts it as a bookmark, and places the Bible on the bed. There.

Viggo's attention to detail on set
Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier,
October 1991




'Hopefully what will come across is that he does things he does because he's pure, pure good and pure bad,' explains Mortensen. 'I mean, compared to me and most people I know - we kind of have little controls and little ways of limiting our behaviour and our reactions to people. Frank doesn't really do that.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




The fact that Frank is more than a bit of a bastard and yet the audience still feels for him? That's testament to the quality of Mortenen's work here.

The Indian Runner Blu-ray Review
DVD Talk
25 October 2017




"I remember Sean saying to me on about the sixth week of shooting," Indian producer Phillips recalls, "'Don, Viggo's going to be a humongous star.'"

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"He's not a good actor, he's a great ****ing actor," Hopper says. "I'm not a fan of Sean's other two movies, but this is a hell of a movie. Don't live another day without seeing it. Mortensen is it. He's the real deal."

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


Quotable Viggo: 22 October 2017

So Viggo has had another birthday and is a year older and wiser. Time to share some pearls of wisdom from the last 6 years, although, to be honest, I think he's always been something of a wise old soul!



© Europa Press. Images © Marc Arias.


"I don't know if where you are born is where you belong. I was born in New York City but I belong in Argentina and Denmark and New Zealand and Russia and South Dakota (where he filmed Hidalgo). Home is not where you are, it's how you are."

When war forges an unlikely bond
by Helen Barlow
The West Australian
23 July 2015




'When I'm awake, I dream of perfection. It's not about reaching it, I'm aware that it is not possible. My concern is to seek it, to try very hard to shoot the perfect movie, to have the perfect marriage, to paint the perfect painting – above all to know that it will never work out. What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.'

Viggo Mortensen
I Have A Dream
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by CoCo and Techadmin
Zeit magazine
23 July 2015




'It's the endlessly entertaining, often ridiculous, sometimes admirable, sometimes embarrassing attempts that some people make to find some meaning in their lives that make life worth living.'

What I've learned – Viggo Mortensen
By Kal Fussman
Esquire
22 April 2015




'People today are much less present in spite of being hyper-connected. You see people in the street absorbed in their cell-phone; there's plenty of time for that message. What's more important than now?'

Viggo Mortensen: "The feeling of the absurd is something that's constant with me"
By Ima Sanchis - translated by Ollie and Zoe
La Vanguardia
8 October 2015




'I love to connect with people, I prefer it rather than being in conflict with them. For that, you have to try to understand others, you have to take time to listen to each other, to live together, to travel and see other cultures.'

Viggo Mortensen: "I know that I will be able to watch Far From Men again in 20 years and still be proud of it."
By Daniel Leblanc - translated by Donna Marie
Premiere (France
13 January 2015




'I think that you have to be able to speak without fear, that one can, and at times must, name things, facts, freely speak your mind. Free discussion without fear of anyone or anything. We can disagree, but we need to try to learn what's going on, what others think - everyone - in order to maintain a more or less sensible conversation, a healthy dialogue.'

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
9 October 2014




'In a social sense, the idea of encouraging open dialogue for child to think for themselves is not unfamiliar. It's something I believe in, it's something I've done with my own son. There's going to be surprising results, because once they think for themselves, they can turn around and say, well, you're full of shit!'

Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross Interview
Jason Gorber
Dorkshelf.com
14 July 2016




'I kind of — politely, of course — reject the notion that some people are artists and some people are not. I know that children up until a certain age, they don't make the distinction between artist and non-artist. All kids do theater — they don't need a director, they don't need take two, they just do it. They believe it completely.'

10 Lessons on Filmmaking from Viggo Mortensen
Filmmaker Magazine
3 November 2016




'Creative expression is social change. Wear your feelings on everything you do. It will help people open up their minds and see themselves and their communities in new ways.'

Actor Viggo Mortensen urges expression
by Kaci Yoder
Desert Sun
7 July 2013




'One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master," he tells me. "He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.'

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013




'In October, I got caught in a snowstorm in Lapland. I lost the trail and had to find some place to hide. I was out there on my own for a couple of days. I was worried but managed to find shelter and make a fire. It's really not about where you are, but how you are. I can get annoyed or say, "OK, this is where I am. I don't have any choice at the moment. Let's make the most of it."'

Viggo Mortensen's Travelling Life
By Nick McGrath
The Telegraph
10 April 2015




"There's a saying in Spanish: Without risk there's no glory," Mortensen explained. "You can live a safe little life, but if you don't take a chance once in a while you'll imprison yourself."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen's New Plan
By Constance Droganes
WWD.com
26 March 2013




"In the past, I might have believed that my actions and feelings were inherited from the impulses of my ancestors - warriors, pirates, peasants, adventurers, painters, survivors in terrible circumstances - anything that would have seemed interesting to emulate in the accounts that have tried to make up an exclusive fabric of biological links I'd have with the Mortensens, Rasmussens, Gambles, Atkinsons, Chapmans, Codys or any other angel or devil of our family that has left a mark on his time. But now I believe that all of us are unprecedented individuals, potentially dangerous animals, creatures of brain and bone who can tame themselves or be tamed, who can learn to get along with others - or not."

Viggo Mortensen
Against Hopelessness
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Perceval Press
10 February 2013




'We are the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories we tell about others, the stories we read about everyone and every thing.'

Viggo Mortensen's heroes
Ethan Gilsdorf,
Boston Globe
3 March 2012

Quotable Viggo: 8 October 2017

I thought I'd stick with A History of Violence this week and move away from the reviews to quotes related to the casting and filming. HOV was the start of Viggo's collaboration with Cronenberg and a film which finally opened critics eyes to Viggo's range as an actor. The film is, indeed, a 'complex piece of music' which rewards you with new insights every time it's watched.



© New Line Productions Inc.


'It's like a great thoroughly satisfying and complex piece of music to me, this movie.'

Viggo Mortensen
Teen Hollywood
2005




Olson said he pictured Mortensen in the role of Stall, something the actor found "flattering and disturbing at the same time." Just to keep the star in line, Cronenberg told him Olson hadn't really written the role for him. "You were second to Brad Pitt."

Cannes Press Conference
National Post Cannes Review, by Chris Knight
17 May 2005




He's got the sort of quintessential type of American look to him. He reminds me of Kirk Douglas sometimes in darker films that he did.

Josh Olson on Viggo Mortensen
Interview with Jock Olson
by Rebecca Murray
About.com.
August 2005




"Viggo's my kind of actor," smiles Cronenberg… "He is a maniac for detail, which I love. He is very focused and obsessed with details of how his character would move, speak and dress. It's really quite spectacular to watch him work and to interact with him," says the director, who admits, that after two weeks of working closely with Mortensen, they felt like brothers.

David Cronenberg, Director
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




'It felt good to shed my hero's costume'

Viggo Mortensen
The Anti-Hero
by Renaud Baronian
Metro 18 May 2005




"The challenge in preparing and playing Tom Stall was to be thoroughly honest and specific with behaviour, to lie as truthfully as possible. But that's what actors are always ideally trying to do anyway."

Viggo Mortensen
V-Life magazine
Jan 2006




"Viggo is not pompous or pretentious. He doesn't arrive with an entourage. He's grounded, quirky, and observant. He is artistic. I deeply appreciate that since I basically arrive on the set with my shovel in hand and go to work as well. And I love it when someone else does that."

William Hurt
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




William Hurt killed me. He's so into what he is doing that it's extreme. He'd say, "Viggo! You're laughing again!"

I was trying so hard to be in the shadows. I wasn't laughing, but he could see that there were tears in my eyes.

Viggo Mortensen
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




'......even though emotionally there was a lot of difficult days on the set, you know, uncomfortable. There was always a lot of joking going on. It was a lot of fun making this movie. He has a very good sense of humour, maybe a very dark sense of humour, [laughs] but a good one.'

Viggo Mortensen - Cannes Interview
ARTE TV
By Lionel Julien, transcription by Chrissie
16 May 2005




"I'd wanted to work with him Indian Runner. He's holy and ridiculous. I've never worked with anyone so determined to create an interesting character. He's a good human being, and he's very, very hot."

Maria Bello
ThebookLA.com
January 2005




'[Cronenberg] 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 Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006




'The Stall family is monstrous because it's too normal. That effort to make everything work well, of being extra careful...there's always a little power game. There's a great deal beneath what one appears to be as a parent, a couple, a son. The effort to conceal that is disturbing.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Other Mortensen
By Mariana Enriquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Página 12,
20 November 2005




In the end, do you think that this is ultimately a hopeful movie ?


Maria Bello: I think it's whatever anyone thinks it is. But for me, that day...we'd spent three months together and it did feel like a family. David said, 'I don't know what this scene is going to be. You guys have been in these characters for three months; you figure it out. When he walks in the door you'll know.' And it's true. As soon as we heard the door slam, Ashton (Holmes), Heidi (Hayes) and I kind of jumped and just immediately like welled up, all of us. And to look up and see his sweet face, this man who we've loved for three months, as Viggo and as this character, to be so unsure and to still love this person, yes I think there is a hopefulness in that.

Maria Bello on working with Viggo
JoBlo.com, by Thomas Luepp
27 September 2005




'Viggo Mortensen probably gave the best performance I have seen in a motion picture in as long as I can remember in A History of Violence .... Bill Hurt got a nomination for a rather bizarre, overly done performance in that film, but Viggo Mortensen is probably the premier actor in the business.'

Dale Olson, publicist
Oscar, You Insensitive Lout
by Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer,
February 2006




"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance
E online
22 Sept 2005


Quotable Viggo: 23 September 2017

I caught A History of Violence on TV a few of nights ago and even though it was already halfway through I just couldn't turn over. Viggo is mesmerizing as Tom/Joey and both Viggo and the film garnered such high praise from critics that I couldn't resist a HOV review quotable. It finishes with my favourite review quote of all time from Mark Kermode. And so say all of us.



© New Line Productions Inc.


...Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...

A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
11Sept 2005




... Mortensen's collaboration with Cronenberg is a wonder - it's difficult for me to imagine many actors who would be receptive to such a singular idea, let alone be able to put it into such vivid relief.

Kent Jones
Cinema Scope Magazine
Summer 2005




A History of Violence is right up there with The Shawshank Redemption for me; I've watched parts or all of it close to a dozen times on cable, never failing to marvel at the eight-minute showdown between Mortensen's character of Tom Stall and his loopy bro' Richie (William Hurt).

Validation for Viggo
Filmstew
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008




If you see this film twice, you'll see two different performances from Viggo, and that's the real genius of the movie. The first time through, you're watching him the same way his family is, accepting him as Tom Stall, loving family man, quiet and kind and nearly invisible. But when you see it a second time, you'll see Joey Cusack lurking behind those eyes, pushing through even in the moments before the thugs bring violence back into his life.

Moriarty
Ain't it Cool News
29 September 2005




Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

Christopher Childs
Twitchfilm.net
31 May 2005




If anyone has ever been more perfectly cast than he is here as Tom Stall, I haven't seen the film. His performance is the tricky switch on which the entire History flips. His star turn is a master class in minimalism and exactly what the movie needs at every juncture.

Nathaniel Rogers
Film Experience
September 2005




Viggo Mortensen is transfixing as a heroic diner owner who may not be all that he seems........ in splendid brooding, bomb-ticking form.

Tom Long
Detroit News
23 September 2005




Even before Tom proves himself a capable man when danger lurks, there's something about Mortensen -- or is it something he does as an actor? -- that makes the audience think, "No. There has to be more to this guy."

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005




His features themselves seem to evolve, soft at first and then growing hard, progressing (regressing) from cherubic choirboy to flinty-eyed thug and back again.

Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail
23 September 2005




He is an ordinary man, and vengeful gangsters have turned up in his home town, claiming to recognize him from the bad old days. He claims they are mistaken. And it is to Mortensen's credit that, despite the movie's giveaway title, we still can't be certain until he reaches breaking point. The scene which confirms the truth is a masterclass in understatement - it's a shot rather than a scene, the merest flicker on Mortensen's face, but you couldn't say it wasn't dynamite. The actor nailed it on his first stab; Cronenberg knew instantly that there was no need for take two.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




Viggo Mortensen succeeds in presenting this human schizophrenic with those innocent blue eyes that can equally hide infinite cruelty.

Cronenberg's Violence
GLZonline Cannes Review, by Gidi Orsher, translated by Natica
May 2005




Sex and violence, allure and repulsion, the rifle-toting homesteader and the killer - they all nestle somewhere to varying degrees in human nature, just as they do in Mortensen's haunting performance.

Jim Ridley
Nashville Scene
29 September 2005




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film…

Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




One of the great strengths of this movie is the performances. Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it. There's no stupid tricks, where he changes his hairstyle or something when he goes back to being Joey. It's all done with the set of his shoulders, and his walk, and the look in his eyes, and it's chilling.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005




There's something he's doing with his voice in this movie that gets to the character in such a subtle yet important way, little mannerisms that reveal secrets - or hide them. For all of Cronenberg's precise direction, for all the right notes hit by Harris, Holmes, and William Hurt in a brilliant late-arrival role, for the bravery of Olsen's screenplay not to work itself out in such expectedly simple ways, it's Mortensen's performance that slaps us the hardest in this movie. With the smallest of moves, the most understated of plays, he connects us to Tom in ways few actors could. And it's this connection that allows 'Violence' to run so very deep, to shake us to the bone, to wake us up and get us asking questions.

David Cornelius
EFilmcritic.com
1 October 2005




Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005

Quotable Viggo: 17 September 2017

This week I thought I'd take a look back at Loin des Hommes, a film I've frustratingly still not seen as a Region 2 DVD with English subtitles has never been released. A hauntingly beautiful and thoughtful film in which Viggo plays to all his strengths and which showcases his amazing facility with languages.



© One World Films.


Looking for a non-french actor I thought of Viggo Mortensen, I was connected with him through the Spanish role, I've seen him in a Spanish film called Captain Alatriste and I knew he could speak perfect Spanish. I didn't know he could speak any language on earth, but I always had his face in my mind for this character, it actually helped me to write the script.'

2015 Tribeca Film Festival Interview: David Oelhoffen
By Lia Fietza
Indiwood
25 April 2015




'...it's difficult for things to go wrong when you work with Viggo Mortensen.'

David Oelhoffen
Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Sulcas
New York Times
26 August 2014




Mortensen acts in French, Arabic and a bit of Spanish as well. Is there nothing he cannot do?

Paul Byrnes
Sydney Morning Herald
31 July 2015




'It was one of the easiest decisions I ever had as far as accepting a part. I felt fortunate that it had been offered to me.'

Viggo Mortensen
More Than a Movie: 'Far from Men' Tells Important Human Story
By David Onda
Xfinity
24 April 2015




'Sometimes I asked people I met on the street or in the cafes about things that could help me to finish building the character in the film we are soon going to shoot in the Atlas mountains. Specific things about phrases or historical references in our script - trying out my very limited Arabic vocabulary, mixed with the French that I'm refining for the shoot - but in general just seeking out human contact, to go along touching, even if it was only ephemeral brushing against, the history of the many cultures that have passed through this city. The character that I'm going to play grew up here and I want to imagine his childhood and adolescence as best I can. I've always liked research like this, letting places, the weather, people and my own physical condition inform the adventure.'

Viggo on preparing to film while in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 October 2013




Whereas some actors have yet to master their native tongue, in this touchingly humane performance, Mortensen convincingly adds French to the already impressive list of languages he can speak onscreen

Peter Debruge
Variety
30 August 2014




'He's lived with the ugly side of people and has decided to distance himself from everything - violence, corruption, conflict, the evil side of things. He wants to do good, teaching Arab children to read. I understand that impulse, but no one can flee forever because life is finally going to seek us out.'

Viggo Mortensen: "Camus has the ability to plunge into the grey areas"
By José Manuel Cuéllar - translated by Ollie and Zoe
ABC.es - Hoy Cinema
2 October 2015




'We always thought with Viggo Mortensen that Daru's character was very close to Camus himself, a Camus who would have stayed in Algeria, with no Nobel prize and literary success, a Camus who would have become a teacher.'

Interview: 'Far From Men' Director David Oelhoffen
Fliks
by Steve Newall
13 October 2015




Mortensen has a heroic presence but he is also unafraid of conveying an almost feline grace. There are moments in this film when he reminded me of the young Gary Cooper, and of Steve McQueen, two other actors who convincingly integrated sensuality and masculinity. These are qualities he shares with Kateb, and when they are together on screen their interaction is absolutely riveting.

Christos Tsiolkas
The Saturday Paper
31 July 2015




"It's a story that shows that people can overcome prejudices they didn't even know they had. Both men have to make an effort to understand something that they thought they knew and in the end they are more alike than different."

Viggo Mortensen
Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Sulcas
New York Times
26 August 2014




"The title applies to Daru at the beginning, to the way he lives, keeping away from people as a way to protect himself... but the story catches up with all of us,
At the end of the film the title no longer applies to Daru, because he comes back to where people are, but rather to Mohammed, who goes into the unknown into the wilderness."

Viggo Mortensen
TIFF Q&A – transcribed by Topaz
14 September 2014




In "Far From Men," Viggo Mortensen, his sharply planed face weathered and solemn, plays a man who looks as if he were quarried right out of the hard red-rock earth.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
30 April 2015




Far from Men often suggests a less defiant cover of The Defiant Ones, yet it's a must-see for Mortensen's characteristically wonderful performance. One of the most subtly physically tactile of great actors, he masterfully dramatizes the war between the said and the unsaid.

Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine
22 April 2015




Nobody moseys like Viggo Mortensen. In The Road, Appaloosa, Jauja, and the new French Western Far From Men, the erstwhile Aragorn masters the tricky art of being a figure in the landscape. When it comes to traipsing either purposefully or desperately across the widescreen frame, he's several lengths ahead of the competition...

Adam Nayman
AV Club
30 April 2015

Quotable Viggo: 9 September 2017

This week we've been enjoying a daily treat showcasing all the different kinds of men Viggo has played in various films. He's been a 'good' man, a 'mercenary' man, a 'two-faced' man and a 'mystery man'. So what kind of man is Viggo when he's not being somebody else?



© ACN.


"…a man of mystery, for sure - that's rule No. 1."

Diane Lane
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




"…a man of many passions."

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




"…a man of his word."

Ed Harris
Appaloosa
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys and Indians magazine
October 2008




"…a man who's at once utterly carefree and mercurial yet also deeply resolute."

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003




"…a man possessed of both great creative integrity and strong, lucid political conviction."

David Newsom, Author of "Skip'
ReadySteadyBook.com
Mark Thwaite, March 10 2006




"…a man of depth, charm and, above all, generous."

Top Men - Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Graciela
Glamour
September 2006




"…a man's man [who] believes intellectually the words coming out of his mouth."

Matt Ross
Why Viggo Mortensen Deserves to Win the Oscar for Best Actor
Indiewire.
16 February 2017




"…a man who quotes British philosophers and Adam Sandler in the same breath".

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005




"…a man who walks round the forbidden forests of the human nature with impunity, stirring up the bowels of everyday life with his curious eyes and his restless hands."

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"…a man from another time…"

Chris Bumbray
Jo Blo
26 January 2016




"…a man who would not be king."

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




"..a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea."

Viggo Mortnensen
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 October 2013

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