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Viggo Mortensen and his shotgun in 'Appaloosa'


Source: CNN.
Found By: KDVegas
Our thanks to KDVegas and Vaquero for the heads up.
Quote:
Viggo Mortensen poses during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Viggo Mortensen poses during the Toronto Internati....
© AP Images.
TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Viggo Mortensen follows a classic cowboy code in the Western "Appaloosa": Speak softly and carry a big honkin' gun.

As an Old West lawman, Mortensen packs a booming eight-gauge shotgun in "Appaloosa," which reteams him with "A History of Violence" co-star Ed Harris, who also directed and co-wrote the Western.

Fifty inches long and weighing 11 pounds, the eight-gauge initially was a turnoff for Mortensen when shooting began on "Appaloosa."

"When I first had it, I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed?"' Mortensen, 49, said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Appaloosa" premiered in advance of its theatrical release Friday.

"It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance. I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically."'

After a day or two, Mortensen started looking at the eight-gauge as an ally, a handy reminder to bad guys that the law can always outgun them.

At that point, Mortensen started lobbying for a bigger role for the gun, which sent dogs and horses running the first time he shot it outdoors and which rattled the windows and floorboards when he test-fired inside a saloon.

"I said, `Ed, you know, I think I should even have it indoors. Even if I'm being friendly or if I were buying some fruit or getting a haircut, I always have it with me,"' Mortensen said. "It's just an intimidation thing, just like our larger-than-the-other-horses horses are. So once you've seen it fired, you don't need to see it being shot again."

"Viggo handles props great, and he loves detail, so that thing was his baby," said Harris, who compared the eight-gauge to an elephant gun.

Co-star Renee Zellweger said Mortensen and his eight-gauge became inseparable.

"He had it everywhere, all day, every day," Zellweger said. "There's a scene that's not in the film where he carries my luggage out of the diner, the cafe, and he had to figure out a way to open the door, grab the suitcases, close the door, and all the while hold that gun."

Adapted from Robert B. Parker's novel, the film is the story of two old trail buddies, Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen), itinerant lawmen who sign on to clean up the town of Appaloosa, where a murderous rancher (Jeremy Irons) runs the show.

Cole and Hitch's efforts are complicated by the arrival of widow Allie French (Zellweger), who begins a capricious romance with Cole.

Harris pitched the story to Mortensen while they were at the Toronto festival in 2005 to promote "A History of Violence," the first of a number of smaller projects Mortensen took on after completing "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the epic "Hidalgo."

They had been on opposite sides of the law in "A History of Violence," Mortensen a diner owner trying to protect his family and Harris a savage gangster trying to suck Mortensen back into his violent old ways.

"I just really enjoyed working with him," Harris said. "He's a really decent guy, a wonderful actor, a great-looking actor. I thought the two of us could capture this kind of unspoken love, appreciation that these guys have for each other. And his sense of humor. He's got kind of a weird sense of humor I like."

A best-actor Academy Award nominee for 2007's "Eastern Promises," Mortensen follows "Appaloosa" with two more films this fall. In "The Road," adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel, Mortensen plays a man struggling to survive with his young son in a bleak post-apocalyptic landscape.

In "Good," which also played the Toronto festival, Mortensen stars as a novelist, professor and all-around decent man who is gradually lured into Nazi complicity in 1930s and '40s Germany.

"It's about trying to make the right choices, but then you go along a little, then a little more, and then you try to justify what you've gone along with," Mortensen said. "Just like what happens in any country. Even now, I'm sure over the past eight years there are people that kind of go, `I voted for that guy twice,' or as a legislator, `I can't believe I allowed that law to compromise on another piece of legislation.' It all adds up to changes where you say, `If I had known eight years ago what all these little choices would have added up to, then I wouldn't have made so many of them."'

© 2008 Cable News Network. Images © AP Images.

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A Good Time in Pittsburgh


Source: The Leaf and Bean.
Found By: Carolina200
Viggo, Kodi and friends at The Leaf and Bean in Pittsburgh
Viggo, Kodi and friends at The Leaf and Bean in Pi....
© Lars Teten/Jim/The Leaf and Bean. Used by permission.
Viggo, Kodi and friends at The Leaf and Bean in Pittsburgh. Check out the Leaf and Bean website by following the link above.

© Lars Teten/Jim/The Leaf and Bean. Used by permission.

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Viggo Mortensen looks beyond Hollywood


Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Quote:

Artist, poet, musician - Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, tells John Hiscock why he'd be happy to abandon his film career

Viggo Mortensen, a Renaissance man if ever there was one
Viggo Mortensen, a Renaissance man if ever there w....
© Getty.
Viggo Mortensen is beginning to feel his age. The quietly eccentric actor who won a worldwide fan following as the heroic warrior Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is turning 50, and admits ruefully: "I'm starting to notice I'm slowing down a bit.

"There were a lot of times when I would say, 'I'm only going to get three hours' sleep, so I might as well stay up the rest of the night.' Now I tend to sleep those three hours."

The multi-talented Mortensen, a Renaissance man if ever there was one, needs as many waking hours as he can get to accommodate his cultural activities in the fields of art, poetry and music, not to mention his acting work - he stars in three vastly different films due for release in the next few months.

His paintings and photographs have been exhibited in galleries in New York and Los Angeles, and he has published 10 books of poetry, photography and painting. A talented pianist and composer, he has collaborated with the guitarist Buckhead on seven albums and his singing is featured on The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King soundtrack and on the DVD edition of The Fellowship of the Ring.

The famously self-effacing Mortensen - his Lord of the Rings co-stars nicknamed him No-Ego Viggo - is the star of Appaloosa, a western in which he stars with Ed Harris and Renée Zellweger.

When I meet him he speaks so quietly it is difficult to hear him, and he is a master at guiding the conversation away from himself, although he is unfailingly courteous.

A keen horseman and outdoorsman, he took the role in Appaloosa, a classic western with bad guys, Indians and laconic lawmen, because the subject matter appealed to him.

"I like being outdoors, I like landscapes, and I like riding horses," he says. "I get along with them and like them as creatures.

"I also like the classic western movies, but I would never do a western just to be in one, because thousands that have been made since the beginning of the movies are terrible - really badly acted and badly designed.

"Appaloosa respects the genre and is well written and well acted and that's why it works."

He and Harris, who also directed, and with whom he worked in A History of Violence, play lawmen hired to rid a town of the tyranny imposed by a bad-guy rancher (Jeremy Irons) and his men.

"Ed and I would joke about it sometimes when we'd be on our horses out in these beautiful landscapes, saying, 'Boy, this is amazing. We're getting paid to do this thing we used to play at when we were little.'?"

Mortensen, who received a best-actor Oscar nomination for his role in Eastern Promises, will also soon be seen in The Road, a film based on Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel that was initially rejected by Hollywood as being too bleak and grim for the screen.

In it he stars as an exhausted but loving father guiding his son across a desolate America following an unspecified cataclysm.

"I've done a lot of movies where there's a certain amount of physical effort and commitment involved, but I've never worked on a movie that was as much of a marathon emotionally," he says.

"But, if it wasn't hard to shoot and kind of painful a lot of times on some level, then we would probably have been doing it wrong, so my hope is that the end result will be in the spirit of the book. In other words, it will probably be upsetting to watch, but it will also in a brutal way be beautiful. That's my hope for it."

He has a particular fondness for the third movie he has awaiting release, Good, based on the play by C P Taylor, even though the starring role of bookish intellectual John Halder could not be further from the men-of-action he usually plays.

He first saw the play, about a German literature professor who gets seduced into the Third Reich after writing an essay on the benefits of euthanasia, when he was in London 25 years ago to audition for a role in a movie he did not get.

"I liked it very much, and it made a strong impression. But then I more or less forgot about it until I read the script a quarter of a century later and it seemed familiar. I thought it was a good way to make a circle out of the experience so many years later."

An ardent football fan, Mortensen is wearing a red shirt bearing the logo of his favourite team, San Lorenzo in Argentina, where he spent 10 years of his childhood before moving to Copenhagen with his Danish father after his parents divorced.

His itinerant childhood gave him the gift of multi-lingualism (he speaks fluent Spanish, Danish and French, as well as a smattering of Swedish and Norwegian) and ignited in him an intellectual curiosity about the world, which he believes has informed his work both as an actor and artist.

In the early Eighties, he took drama classes in New York and his first film roles, in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo and Jonathan Demme's Swing Shift, ended up on the cutting room floor.

But he persisted and landed a small part as an Amish farmer in the 1985 drama Witness, followed by a series of roles in bad films such as American Yakuza and Young Guns II until 1991 when Sean Penn cast him as a volatile Vietnam veteran in The Indian Runner.

His career took off then, with roles in Brian de Palma's Carlito's Way, as the artist-lover opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in A Perfect Murder, which featured his own paintings, and A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane, who said of her co-star: "He's a man of mystery, for sure."

Then came the Lord of the Rings trilogy, followed by Hidalgo, the true story of a horse race across the Arabian desert, and A History of Violence, for which many critics thought he was unlucky not to be nominated for an Oscar.

David Cronenberg, who directed him in A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, says of him: "Viggo has the charisma of a leading man and the eccentricity and naturalistic presence of a character actor."

Mortensen, who likes to go barefoot, lives in the wooded Topanga Canyon area of Los Angeles and has a 20-year-old son, Henry, from his 10-year marriage to Exene Cervenka, the singer with the punk band X, which ended in 1997.

With part of his earnings from The Lord of the Rings, he founded a publishing house, Perceval Press, to help other artists by publishing works that might not find a home in more traditional publishing venues.

Ironically, as he devotes more of his time to his personal pursuits and interests, he is increasingly in demand for movie work, although he would not mind if he never went in front of a camera again.

"I've had a really good run lately, not just with these three movies coming out but the last two before that and three before that," he says.

"I've made a lot of interesting ones and I've worked with some really good people. Not in a disrespectful way, but now I could kind of take it or leave it to be honest with you. I've felt that way for quite a while."

Viggo Mortensen, who is happier riding his horse than walking a red carpet, has poetry to write, art and music to create, books to publish and soccer to watch.

But Hollywood is hoping he will still find time to fit in the occasional movie role.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2008. Images © Getty.

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The Sneak: Appaloosa


Source: The Sun Online
Categories: Reviews
hitchandcole3.jpg
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
Quote:
115mins

VIGGO MORTENSEN is an actor that The Sneak would always be willing to pay to watch.

The Lord Of The Rings star turned Eastern Promises and A History Of Violence into must-see movies.

And here he does the same thing for this old-fashioned Western, particularly as he has teamed up once again with AHOV's Ed Harris.

They play lawmen Everett Hitch (Mortensen) and Virgil Cole (Harris), who are employed to save the town of Appaloosa from ruthless rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons in fine form).

Their natural banter tickled your critic's ribs, with the chuckle count rising as the rough-edged pair struggle to comprehend refined floozie Allison French (Renee Zellweger).

Cole says he likes her because "she chews her food nice". Personally, this critic always thought Renee looked like she was chewing a wasp.

Too much romance makes the movie sag near the end and the plot could have gone in a more interesting direction. But if you are wild about Westerns, saddle up for Appaloosa.

RATING OUT OF FIVE: 4

UK RELEASE DATE: October 3 2008

© 2006 News Group Newspapers Ltd. Images © Warner Bros.

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Last edited: 24 July 2014 07:36:04