Viggo News

Viggo News

Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Print View Link to this newsitem

Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzaa from all of us at Viggo-Works!

Print View Link to this newsitem

Merry Christmas!

From All of Us at Viggo-Works
May You Experience the Peace of the Season!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Print View Link to this newsitem

"Good" Exclusive Interview @ MovieWeb

Source: Movie Web.
Found By: Eriko
The Movie Web interview is available here. Many thanks to Eriko for bringing it to us!

© 1995-2008 MovieWeb™, Inc. Images © MovieWeb.

Print View Link to this newsitem

ELLE Article Translated

Source: Elle Quebec.
Found By: Dom, translated by Chrissiejane
Many thanks to Chrissiejane for her translation of the Elle Quebec article posted the other day.

Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit

Appaloosa Premiere, Madrid - 11.20.08
Appaloosa Premiere, Madrid - 11.20.08
Image Carlos Alvarez.
© Getty Images.
He's the star of one of the most anticipated movies of the year: The Road, adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel, in cinemas soon. An ideal opportunity to meet with Viggo Mortensen

An ELLE Quebec exclusive by Manon Chevalier.

A Short Biography
Whilst many other Hollywood actors attempt to comply with the stereotypes imposed by their industry, Viggo Mortensen lives his own life. Not for him the false show, made-up emotions, or pre-planned route. This magnificent 50 year-old actor, born in New York to a Danish father and an American mother, was born to follow the least well-trodden road, like all free spirits. His career? Not typical, marked as much by movies outside of the norm, (Portrait of a Lady by Jane Campion, Gus van Sant's Psycho) and by obscure works (Albino Alligator by Kevin Spacey, Augustin Diaz Yanes' Alatriste) as by prestige pieces (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, by David Cronenberg).

Preferring to adopt the long view over quick returns, Viggo Mortensen was already 43 before he took on the celebrated rôle of Aragorn in the first episode of Lord of the Rings in 2001. A rôle which allowed him to explore the full scope and range of his talent, and which added him to the ranks of the most fascinating actors in the world. And, let's admit it, the sexiest too. Alongside his work as an actor he continues to pursue the life of an underground artist, far from the movie-camera. True renaissance man, Viggo Mortensen is simultaneously an actor, poet, painter, editor, photographer and musician. A great traveller, he is fluent in several languages including Spanish, Danish, Norwegian and French, which he speaks with a delightful accent. I encountered the star in New York the day after his arrival from TIFF, where he had presented Appaloosa, a Western in which he shared the screen with Ed Harris and Renée Zellweger.

Above all reserved and cautious over his privacy, Viggo Mortensen was nevertheless open and straightforward about his life as a man, an artist and a father. But not one single word about his love-life. Nothing. "I always end up regretting it when I talk about my most personal issues" he has previously admitted in an interview. All that's known about him is that he was married for 9 years to Exene Cervenka, singer from the punk rock band X, with whom he has a son, Henry, now 20 years old. Add to that a brief relationship with Lola Schnabel, daughter of painter and cinematographer Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), apart from which, total mystery. Useless to enquire further.

In respect of everything else, he was surprisingly natural at the other end of the telephone line, switching with ease between French and English in order to express his thoughts more quickly. Obsessed, by his own admission, with the need to pay attention to everything that life offers, he engaged with me for two long hours, as though he had all the time in the world and when addressing me quickly dropped the formal "vous" in favour of the more intimate "tu". His voice? Hushed, silky, requiring sustained attention, pierced here and there by a resounding laugh. I have to admit, I dissolved. My only regret? That I did not do this interview in person (although maybe that saved me from swooning).

By way of consolation, Viggo Mortensen kindly permitted me a picture of himself, on the telephone: " I'm stretched out on the sofa in my hotel room, which is in a total mess ever since I got in. I'm in the habit of opening my case and scattering the contents on the floor. So there are books, papers and clothes everywhere."

And what are you wearing?
"The temperature is very cold so I'm in jogging pants and a long-sleeved Kovalev hockey shirt" - he confesses that he's a big Canadiens fan - "and I am barefoot". This is the relaxed way our conversation started.

The barefoot perfectionist
I have seen pictures of you barefoot, even at big Hollywood events. Where do you get this habit of kicking off your shoes?
"Simple - if I wear footwear for too long I get backache. I need to be barefoot, otherwise it's agony."

So - even heroes suffer back pain?
"Oh yes! That's exactly what happened to me the morning that we were going to film the bath-house scene in Eastern Promises" (note: Viggo, totally naked, confronted two gangsters armed with knives)." I woke up with a really bad backache, so bad that I couldn't get out of bed. I had to dose myself up with painkillers to be able to do the scene. It's lucky that I could act it barefoot!"

Besides this habit, do you have other on-set rituals? You are called a perfectionist, not to say obsessive, in your preparation for your rôles.
"Sorry - I just can't be any other way." (laughs) "But in any case it's a part of my work that I love. It's my instinct, to need to know and to master every facet of my characters. In Good (out December 31 2008) for example, I play a professor of German literature, seduced by Nazi philosophy. For that I needed to confront certain truths so as not to stray into caricature. So I visited all the Polish concentration camps that I could find - they're well hidden - but it wasn't enough. So I pushed on in my search, right to Germany, listening to Mahler in my car."

On a lighter note - what do you find irresistible?

"Chocolate...preferably dark."

Is it true that you are always giving chocolate on your movie sets? In particular, I read that you gave bacon-flavoured truffles to Renée Zellwegger, your co-star in Appaloosa?"I like to give small gifts to my colleagues on the set: photos, poems that I've written, books, that kind of thing, for no reason. It helps to develop an atmosphere of comradeship and collaboration."

And do you also receive presents often?

"Err..not that often, to tell the truth....but on one of the days that I was signing autographs on the red carpet at TIFF, a fan offered me a hockey puck signed in 1974 by Jean Beliveau. It was too good, it made me feel uncomfortable. But when the guy told me he wasn't a great Canadiens fan, I changed my mind and took it. And I don't regret that!" (Crazy laugh)

Appaloosa could very well be a classic western with its duels and chases on horseback, but it's also a film about male friendship, isn't it?

"Absolutely, and that's really its strength. The idea of demonstrating friendship and loyalty between men, without artifice, is moving. Between the two lawmen, Cole and Hitch, there's a kind of propriety, which I think is peculiar to men, and absolute trust. It's something Ed Harris, who directed the movie as well as playing the rôle of the marshall, knew exactly how to show. These two men have adventured together for twelve years. They each maintain their own distinct identity whilst being totally open with each other. For me, this is what a friend is: someone with sufficient courage to tell us the truth even if it's not what we want to hear."

The type of woman that attracts him...
How is this friendship disrupted by the insertion of a woman of intrigue, played by Renée Zellwegger?
"I can't exactly tell you how! But let's say I really like Renée's rôle. She's depicting a complex woman, perhaps manipulative, but very touching in the way she admits her fear of being alone. In that way she shows herself to be both vulnerable and honest."

Is this the kind of woman that attracts you?

"I like women who are honest, with others and with themselves. And if I'm lucky, with me too! "(laughs)

You've met such women?

(long silence) "Honest women are rare, you know..."

Why do you say that?
(He evades the question and turns it back to me: ) "Why do you think?" opinion? Let's say that it happens that some women are more attached to their image than to their true nature.
"Indeed, but it's not just women wo get trapped by their image and who dare not express who they really are. The same goes for men. Such men are sometimes caught up in their idea of masculinity and the rôles they believe they have to play, in society or in their private life. And of course, one has to be ready to take risks to be in a relationship. In fact I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent."

His relationship with his son:
Is this one of the values you try to pass on to your son Henry?
"Yes, I try. I hope I've also passed to him the courage to ask questions and to not accept empty or shallow responses. I have a very beautiful relationship with my son. We are very close. We travel together, go to the cinema, play music whenever we can. He's enlightened, he teaches me so many things about life. (Henry, a great Tolkien fan, convinced him to accept the rôle of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings even though this adventure would separate them for many months.)"This evening, for example, we are going out to eat, like buddies, at a small NY restaurant. I'm very proud of him."

To what do you attribute this strong bond between the two of you?
"I listen to him and I don't judge him. And he knows he can say anything to me and that I won't ever betray his confidence. Between us two it's just as well because he's very strong: he's three inches taller than me!" (Viggo is 6' tall)

What would you say about your love of horses? ( The actor is a spokesman for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign..........)What do they bring to you that you can't get elsewhere?
"Hmm...good question.....You know, horses sense everything: our affection for them, our discomfort, our fear. You need to take your time to get to know them, to forge a link with them, otherwise you're done for. Do you know that you must never look a horse right in the eyes? It terrifies him! He takes you to be his predator, he'll dig his heels in, and become impossible to mount. It's much better to go to him very calmly. While we were filming Appaloosa I had trouble with a particularly rebellious creature. As the scene was ready to roll, I asked the wrangler to leave me alone with her, to establish a bond of trust. It wasn't easy to achieve, but my patience paid off. The horse became more docile."

Do you whisper in your horses' ears?

"No, I just pay them attention. It's the same in my life. When I paint a picture, when I take a photograph, I aim to be present in everything. Life is so short! I tell myself frequently to "Go slow to go fast", to remind me to take my time in order to sample as many things as possible."

You're just through with filming The Road, a post-apocalyptic story wherein a father and son attempt to survive in a world reduced to barbarism. Did the fact that you have a son of your own influence you in the way in which you approached this rôle?
"Of course! it helped me to play it with an intimate understanding of the characters. I also had the opportunity to talk on the phone for a long time with the author of the novel, Cormac McCarthy. We talked about our sons. About our rôles as fathers too. And the more we talked the more we understood that the boy featured in the work is a universal son, who relates to every father."

What moved you the most about the novel?
It was the fact that the son teaches important things to his father: tolerance, compassion. You can always learn from your children as long as you remain open to what they say to you...."

What do you believe in above all else?

"In everything. I believe in everything! However, it makes my life so complicated" (laughs)

The end of the McCarthy novel is open, it calls us back to our own world vision. As for yours, is it optimistic or pessimistic?
"Optimistic, for sure. I always hope that things will work out, that humanity will win through, Conflicts, wars, the hypocrisy of those who rule us, we can't stick with all that. There will be, without doubt, an upset, a metamorphosis. As one thing ends, another begins, doesn't it?"

See Viggo in....

The Road A father (Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee, young Australian prodigy) attempt to survive in a world annihilated by a catastrophe. John Hillcoat's film is taken from the novel The Road, world best-seller and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. Author of No Country for Old Men this time Cormac McCarthy has written a reflection on the future of the human race (out January 2009).

Good The 1930s, Frankfurt (sic) during the rise of Nazism. A German professor (Mortensen) allows himself to be persuaded by the ideas of the 3rd Reich and struggles with family and loved ones as well as with the morality gleaned from his education. A film by Brazilian director Vicente Amorim, on the deepest meaning of our choices and their consequences.

© 2008 Elle Magazine. Images © Getty Images.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Viggo Article in 'Alt for Damerne'

Source: Alt for Damerne.
Found By: Mio
Categories: Scans
Alt for Damerne: Issue 12-28-08 Alt for Damerne: Issue 12-28-08 Alt for Damerne: Issue 12-28-08
Our thanks to Mio for sending along the scans from next week's issue of Alt for Damerne featuring Viggo.

Click on scan to enlarge.

© Alt for Damerne.

Display options:
Order by:        
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 29 January 2015 19:46:04