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This Week In The V-W Marketplace News

Categories: Marketplace News
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We have had another great week with our features in the Viggo-Works Marketplace News. Check out all the delightful artistic offerings.

© J.L.Hill, milanovsky, Ju Ju Garden, theartoflove.




FEATURED ARTIST: theartoflove

Once again, check out all of our features in the Viggo-Works Marketplace News.

© Images © J.L. Hill, milanovsky, Ju Ju Garden, theartoflove, Zazzle.

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Viggo Mortensen, King of The Road

Source: Mother Jones.
Found By: Chrissie
Our thanks to Chrissie for the heads up on this great article on Viggo at Mother Jones.
Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.
- by Michael Mechanic

Anyone not living under a rock has probably seen previews for the big-screen version of Cormac McCarthy's postapocalyptic novel The Road, which hits theaters November 25. The film stars Viggo Mortensen as a nameless father struggling for survival alongside his boy, played by 13-year-old Australian TV actor Kodi Smit-McPhee. (Mortensen's real-life son--Henry, 21--is the product of his now-defunct marriage to Exene Cervenka, front woman of seminal LA punk band X.)

The word "actor" only begins to describe the many talents of 51-year-old Mortensen, who made his Hollywood debut as an Amish farmer in the 1985 Harrison Ford flick Witness. It would be another 16 years before his portrayal of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy catapulted him to international stardom (and job security), but Mortensen has never had trouble keeping busy. Born to a Danish father and raised in South America, he's fluent in four languages (not counting the Elvish tongues) and conversational in others. He's a published poet, painter, fine arts photographer, and dabbler in musical projects--including Intelligence Failure, a collaboration with weirdo-guitarist Buckethead. He's also founder and editor of Perceval Press, a boutique publishing house that puts out mostly high-end art books.

To that résumé, you can add another title: political activist. An outspoken foe of the Iraq War, Mortensen actively campaigned for Dennis Kucinich during the 2008 primaries. He's also featured alongside Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, and others in The People Speak, a new documentary based on Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, which debuts December 13 on the History Channel. As chance would have it, I caught up with Mortensen the morning that President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize.

Mother Jones: What do you make of this morning's news about Obama?

Viggo Mortensen: There's a certain irony. He says he's committed to keeping his campaign promise of getting us out of Iraq as soon as it's possible--I don't know exactly what that means anymore. He's gone back on what he said about Guantánamo. He's gone back on what he said about the torture photographs. And he's quite hawkish on Afghanistan. I agree with Obama when he said this morning that he didn't deserve it. But I do like the fact that it seems to be, which he acknowledged, an award that carries with it a certain degree of expectation.

MJ: In the 2008 movie Good, you played a German professor who gets co-opted by the Nazis. Has it been alarming for you, seeing people comparing Obama to Hitler?

VM: Well, that's just a cover for out-and-out racism, basically. It is alarming, the amount of vitriol that's being piled on him.

MJ: It's not all that unexpected.

VM: No. But it's pretty amazing. It's amazing to me that Glenn Beck can be on the cover of Time, and there can be a whole article about him basically saying, "Well, you know, he's controversial." It's like, No, he's a dangerous idiot who needs the help of a good psychiatrist! But these are also guys who make money and they like the attention. Rush Limbaugh, for example, knows he's lying his ass off, but he doesn't mind making $50 million a year.

MJ: We had an in-house debate about how to cover these guys: The upshot was that you don't follow their antics, but you've still got to cover them.

VM: You gotta do it honestly. It doesn't mean you have to start swearing and using their tactics, but I think you have to call them on it. If you let them go with it they'll go and go and go. They are bullies. But like all bullies, if you stand up to them they're not so strong.

MJ: Men's Journal called you "man of no compromise." And that's silly. But campaigning for Kucinich was pretty uncompromising. Some might say futile.

VM: What am I going to do? Look back when I'm 80 [with regret]? Obama's best material during the campaign was cherry-picked from the things Kucinich had been talking about for a long time. And Kucinich continues to be really the people's congressman. He is the one with the most conscience regarding health care, the banking issue, the bailout. He's the guy who said we should not go into Iraq, and was called a traitor for it. He was a guy who said, "This Patriot Act is not a good thing, we should not vote for it." Even people in his own party were saying, "Why do you say that?" And he says, "Because I read it," and there was silence. 'Cause none of them had read it. They just voted yes because they were told to. Same with health care stuff.

MJ: I don't have much hope for Congress.

VM: I know, but what do you do? You either quit or you keep trying. I'm optimistic. Same with The Road. You know, it's uplifting to me. I am hopeful about the world. I am hopeful about people in general. It's not over till its over, that's my feeling.

MJ: I just saw The Road. It was kind of a shock to step out onto a crowded street afterward. It really succeeds in delivering you into this postapocalyptic mindset.

VM: Did you read the book?

MJ: I did. Are you happy with the way the movie turned out?

VM: It's a different medium, so you can't avail yourself of all that beautiful McCarthy prose, but I think that in what you feel from it, the emotional weight of the story, it's a really good adaptation.

MJ: I thought so, too.

(Spoiler Alert! Skip to the next question if you haven't read the book or seen the film.)

VM: I felt similar in the end, where you feel a deep, deep sadness, but there's also a strange uplifting quality. Yeah, we got to the coast, and yeah, it's not any better here--it's not any warmer, there's not any food, there's not any sun, the water's not blue, there's no sustenance. But we realize we had what we were looking for: It was us.

MJ: A decade ago, when your son Henry was about 11, you took an epic road trip with him. Did that come up in your preparation for this role?

VM: Reading the book and the script and working with Kodi, I was reminded many times of my son at that age. You can give all the advice you want to your kid. You can put them on the right path, but the final forming of their character is in their hands. That's true in The Road and it's been true with my own son. In fact, before we started shooting, I spoke to Cormac McCarthy on the phone and that was all we talked about: his kid, my kid, being dads. We didn't really talk about the book at all. The preparation for this role was mostly internal: I had to go all the way emotionally and be very exposed, so I was concerned that we find a really great actor for that boy--a unique person who could handle this.

MJ: I thought Kodi was quite good.

VM: He was amazing. There was something about him: He was relaxed, he was in the moment, he had a certain gravity, and his emotional range was amazing--and he could repeat it. There wasn't much time to mess around because of the limited budget and time to shoot, and winter and short days. There was a lot of pressure there, and he was more than up to the task. Without what he did, there's no way I could have gotten to some of the places I did.

MJ: How did you guys bond on set?

VM: Once his dad realized that I was okay, he allowed us to hang out and do things together: walk around Pittsburgh and go to museums and talk about stuff and find stores that sold bugs that you could eat--which ended up in the movie. We went into this Mexican grocery store and bought every insect they had. There's boxes of them, all different colors and flavors. Maggots, worms, crickets, some kind of cockroach. And then we had a little picnic--we spread them all out on the floor.

MJ: Did you snack off-camera?

VM: We had to save them. We got a certain amount of boxes and gave them to the prop department, and they didn't really want us to take any more, because you never know when you're going to need them. But I would tease Kodi. I would try to get him to eat ones that were crawling around, and he didn't want any of that.

MJ: How do you prepare to play somebody who's starving at the end of civilization?

VM: Camera work and the choice of locations and the clothing and makeup: Everything was right. We really had to work. We were tired and worn out and we really were freezing. I couldn't very well show up looking extremely well fed. Kodi was lucky because he's just naturally a scrawny kid. But that was the least of it, really. It was much harder to go on this emotional challenge together.

MJ: Did you have to bring more chocolate than usual to the set?

VM: I did eat a lot. That was my sustenance--I had bags of chocolate. But no, I didn't have to bring more than usual because Kodi doesn't like it that much, which was very weird. I had tons.

MJ: What's up with you and chocolate?

VM: I love it!

MJ: You also tend to come bearing gifts. Is that a product of the cultures you were raised in?

VM: Maybe. Maybe it's just a product of the way my family is.

MJ: You grew up on ranches in South America?

VM: Only partly. I was in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, but I would spend a lot of time in the country. That's where I learned to ride.

MJ: Is it true you wanted to be a cowboy?

VM: Like a lot of kids I dreamed about being a cowboy or a gaucho or some great adventurer.

MJ: And then you got your chance.

VM: Yeah. Kids have this kind of fantasy life which is mostly unfettered, and as actors you have license to keep being a kid in that sense. I like to look at the world from other points of view, and that's one of the best ways to do it.

MJ: Would you prefer to have lived at another time?

VM: No. I mean, it would be interesting to check it out. As a kid I used to wake up and think about the fact that I was going to die. Almost every day, it would be the first thing that ran through my mind and I'd be annoyed. It didn't seem fair. Whose idea was it? I'm going to be an adventurer and I'm going to do all these things but it's finite? It used to really piss me off. But I stopped doing that maybe in my 20s. If you're spending any time thinking about, Well, it's too bad this is going to be over with, you're not really there.

MJ: You're known for very intense preparation. In Eastern Promises you play this ambivalent Russian mobster, and you speak Russian in a lot of it. Did you learn it just for the role?

VM: Enough to do the film, and I went to Russia and listened to it. I ended up speaking a little more than we were going to have in the movie just because it seemed to add something. Luckily there were two Russian satellite TV channels in the apartment that I had while we were shooting in England, so I had that on all the time: soap operas, variety shows, old movies, you know. I watched Putin give lots of speeches. Just his mannerisms, his way of speaking, his body language, and the fact that he had a similar background to the character I was playing--that helped me a lot. Those things change your physiognomy; they change your body language. It's a part of that technical preparation that allows you to make a leap of faith as a performer.

MJ: You're good with languages. In 2006, you were nominated for Spain's version of an Oscar for Alatriste, which was entirely in Spanish. Was that basically your first language?

VM: Well, my mom's American, so I learned both at the same time--English and Spanish.

MJ: Was it exciting for you, playing a role just in Spanish?

VM: Yeah, I liked it a lot. In fact, the next thing I'm going to do is a play in Spanish. And that's gonna be kind of terrifying, 'cause I haven't done a play for a couple of decades.

MJ: Is it true that you're not taking any new movie roles for a while?

VM: I don't have any plans. But I've said that before and people say, "Well, he's done, he's quit!" I don't know if it's that people are trying to push me to retire, but... [Laughs.]

MJ: You have all these creative pursuits. How do you prioritize?

VM: As far as creative stuff, I never have, really. Other than to be open to good stories coming my way as an actor.

MJ: Do you think of yourself as an actor first?

VM: When I land in a country and they ask for "occupation," I always just put "artist." I think that covers all of it.

MJ: You're known as a guy who kind of rejects the superficial trappings of Hollywood. What's the price of fame for you? Can you still go places and be anonymous?

VM: Mostly. I didn't really have to deal with any of that stuff until after Lord of the Rings. And now just once in a while. The other day, after a Q&A we did here in LA, I went to have a drink and a bite to eat with friends, and suddenly I was trapped, because there was some event next door and people wanted to get pictures of me. I thought they'd go away eventually and they didn't. Finally I thought, What the hell, I'll just walk out. And they followed me for like 10 blocks! They must have taken 1,500 pictures. And they kept asking questions and I didn't answer. That stuff's weird, you know? But I don't usually go to places where that's gonna happen, so I don't worry about it. And I like the fact that when I do a play somewhere, or a poetry reading, or if I show photos in Iceland or Denmark or even Cuba, a lot more people come than would have come 10 years ago. That doesn't mean that they don't care about my [nonfilm] work. Once they get there, they're going to look at the paintings or the pictures, they're going to listen to the poems, and they're either going to like them or not regardless of whether they came there as movie fans.

MJ: Is that why you started Perceval Press?

VM: It was something I'd thought about before. And with the attention from Lord of the Rings I thought, Well, I can do that. I can publish some nice books the way I think they should be done, and more importantly, publish other people's books and present their work the way they would like it presented without having to make the compromises they would have had to make with other publishing houses.

MJ: So you cede a lot of the creative control to your writers and artists. Is that a reflection of your own frustrations with being edited and not having control of the product?

VM: I used to be a lot more troubled with it. There was a poem I wrote back in '91 or '92. Something about, Your work has been pruned and removed to a well-groomed graveyard that smells like popcorn. But I also wrote a poem called "Matinee" around the same time, maybe even earlier, which is a reminder about why I do like to work in the movies and feel fortunate just as a fan of movies: After years of merging and allowing yourself to be assimilated / Your hair and clothes have turned gray / Then one afternoon you exit the theater / After taking in the restored version of The Hero Returns / And find yourself wanting to be treated special. You know, it's like when something really touches you. It's not wanting to be there or be them: You are them and you are there. I felt that from Q&A audiences on The Road, where people had this reaction and their faces--they looked really like they'd gone through something.

MJ: Are there parts you've turned down and regretted it later?

VM: I don't think so. In my first couple of years, I probably did 24 or 25 screen tests and it always got down to the final two and I never got them--and each one was a tragedy. I would say there's two roles that I would have liked to play and that I came within a hair's breadth of playing. One was right in the beginning, Greystoke--to play Tarzan. The other was the Willem Dafoe part in Platoon. The thing is, I didn't have the experience to deal with the consequences of being in a big studio movie playing a lead. I wouldn't have kept learning. I've been lucky to learn by playing all kinds of roles and watching all kinds of really good cinematographers, actors, and directors for many years before people were even aware of me in terms of audience.

MJ: It was kind of a fluke that you were cast as Aragorn, wasn't it?

VM: Yeah, it was very last minute.

MJ: And it's still by far your best-known role. Does that bug you?

VM: No. And it just depends. In Spain, it's definitely Alatriste as much as Lord of the Rings. In some places it's more Alatriste. In certain parts of New York City people will yell "Lalin!" for one scene I did in Carlito's Way. Puerto Rican guys will always know that. But I never did feel confined by [playing Aragorn], because it allowed me to do these other things.

MJ: John Hillcoat, who directed The Road, came to it with a limited track record--mostly music videos and so forth, and really just one feature film, The Proposition...

VM: It's a good movie. It's really a cult favorite, and certainly the producers or the people who had the rights to McCarthy's book liked what he'd done. I think Cormac McCarthy liked The Proposition a lot. So they felt he was the right choice. The places he put us in, the situations, the whole design of the movie--it was very easy to feel like we were living this story. A lot of our work was done for us by his meticulous preparation.

MJ: This is a tangent, but is it true you tried to destroy your first cell phone?

VM: Yeah, I threw it out the window, actually. It was brought back to me. And then I threw it in the back alley. I didn't like it. I was convinced to have one. What happened was I had gotten a job on a TV show and they kept calling the agent and I went down to call him from the pay phone. He said, "I've been trying to call you for a day and a half. You've got this job. You've got a plane leaving in two hours from Newark." And I did make the plane, but then he said, "You're nuts and you've gotta get a phone." Then it rang a couple times and I said, "Fuck that." So I threw it out the window. I have a phone now, obviously.

MJ: Was it more about guarding your personal space or do you have some sort of antipathy toward technology?

VM: Well, ignorance breeds antipathy. Until I got to know how computers worked, I didn't want anything to do with them. I said, "Well, why do I need them? I write letters." Which I still do. With phones, I liked my privacy. I didn't like the sound of phones ringing in my house. I was afraid that I'd opened up a big can of worms, and really I wasn't. It's not like there were that many people that were going to be calling me. [Laughs.] Certainly not back then.

© 2009 Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress. Images © Macall Polay/Dimension Films.

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Viggo Mortensen Interview THE ROAD

Found By: Eriko

Many thanks again to Eriko for the find!


Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.
Viggo Mortensen has consistently earned acclaim for his work in a wide range of films, including
most recently Eastern Promises, A History of Violence and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2008,
he starred again with and was directed by Ed Harris in Appaloosa.

We sat down with him this past weekend to talk about his new movie, The Road, the highly
anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by
Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote No Country for Old Men. Mortensen leads an all-star cast
featuring Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and young newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee in
this epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival of a father (Mortensen) and his young son (Smit-
McPhee) as they journey across a barren America that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm.

Directed by John Hillcoat, The Road is an adventure story, a horror story, a road movie and
ultimately a love story between a father and his son and a man and his wife. It's also a celebration
of the inextinguishable will to live, a thrilling evocation of human endurance and an unflinching
examination of people at their worst - and at their best.

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and son in the film version of
Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and...
Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.
Q: Can you talk about how physically demanding this film was?

VM: Well, you know, it was and it needed to be. If it hadn't been and if we hadn't shot outside
in the winter, I don't think it would be as good a movie because no matter how well you fake
it visually, the actors aren't going to feel the same. It's not the same. Cody said it one day. He
said, "It's a lot easier to be cold than to pretend to be cold. We have enough things to worry
about." And I said, "Yeah, you're right." And it also affected our relationship because I felt
naturally extra protective of him, not just character to character, but just the boy himself. He's
a skinny little kid from southern Australia. He'd never even seen snow. I would tease him. He
was saying to somebody, "That's really cool. The snow is falling from the sky." I go "What do
you think? You think it grows out of the ground?" (Laughs) He got really offended when I
said that. He was very cold and it would wear him out, quickly sometimes. I knew that he was
making that much more of an effort and accomplishing that much more by dealing with it, but
it helped us as miserable as it was sometimes.

Q: Can you talk about what it was about this role and the themes in this film that really
resonated with you as an actor?

VM: Well I liked the idea of getting to a point where you stop making excuses for your
behavior, justifying not doing the right thing. I liked that lesson that in a way is what the
movie is about -- that man learns from what happens to them but mainly from the boy in the
end about forgiving oneself and forgiving others and realizing that it doesn't matter how bad
things are, something good could happen always and that it doesn't matter how many excuses
you have for behaving in an unkind manner towards others that there's never any excuse for
not being kind and that it's always better to be kind even if it seems pointless and that that in
fact is the highest wisdom - being kind. It sounds like a very noble, ethereal, simplistic idea
but it's true and when you go through the movie - you know, it's hard to explain it - but since
you've seen it, you know that when you go through this journey, you do earn that conclusion.
You do earn that strangely uplifting feeling that you get at the end, I think.

Q: How did you physically prepare for the movie? Did you go on a crash diet?

VM: No, I just ate a lot less and that took me a while. I think the older you get the harder it is
to [lose] probably. Your metabolism slows down, whatever, but I'm a pretty active person so I
just became a little more active physically.
Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films.
Q: How much did you end up losing?

VM: I'm not sure exactly but from the clothes that didn't fit, I think it was around maybe 30
pounds. I'm not sure about that. It could be more, it could be less.

Q: Did having a son of your own influence your performance?

VM: It helped, certainly in the beginning. Throughout the movie I did think many times, "Oh my
son did something like that once." Something that Cody did or it reminded me of myself or my
dad. But generally, it didn't matter after a while. It was my way in. When I was first preparing,
I thought a lot about it and then I kind of put it away because I think just like someone who
reads this book and is touched by it, they don't have to be a dad or a mom to relate to the
predicament these people are in - this adult and this child.

Q: Your character is trying to teach his son what a human should be. What have you tried
to teach your own son about that?

VM: Just simple little things. Someone does something for you. Kids are shy and they often
don't want to make eye contact or say "thank you." Let's say if you're out in a restaurant
having a pizza and someone comes and they put it down and then you just sit there and you
just can't wait to eat the pizza and then they walk away, I might say "Well you should look at
them and say 'thank you' because they're working" and whatever. It's just a simple thing,
things like that, and then you might forget to do it sometime and then they might say "You
didn't say thanks, dad." I'd say "Oh yeah, you're right." It's that thing that happens and this
story is in a very profound way about that - that keeping an eye on each other out of affection,
wanting your dad to be a good guy. Once you learn the idea of what a good guy is, you want
your dad to be a good guy, and when your dad lets you down and doesn't act like a good guy,
it's disappointing and can make you angry as you see it happen, which is beautiful and very
believable. I thought that evolution, that transition was handled really well in the movie.

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Q: Is this a director who gave the actors a lot of direction or was there room to play and
improvise and stay in the environment for a while before doing a scene?

VM: The best thing he did was, in the weeks before, especially because Cody and I were basically
the ones who were working every day and sometimes these wonderful actors would show
up and do a day's work or two. As we sat down for a week or more, maybe a couple weeks
n Pittsburgh, and every day we just went through the script little by little with Cody, with
Cody's dad who's also an actor so he'd be there, and his dad wanted to get a feel for how the
dynamic was going to be, I'm sure, between me and him, and wanted to make sure his
kid was safe and in good hands and that his kid was working properly and that was fine. With
another kind of parent that was very meddling, it wouldn't have worked but he was really great
with Cody and knew how to just let the director do his thing and the director and the writer.
We all sat around and we went through the script and that was really smart because first
of all, we're shooting in winter and there's limited hours.

It had to look gray so that cuts it down even more. And we wouldn't have time to mess around
and try to break down and talk about it and discuss on the set so you had to be on the same
page. All directors should do it. It's rare unfortunately. But we did go through it and everybody
knew and I could understand in that process. I got to know Cody because we'd been talking
and joking. It was a big sort of room, office area, and I remember there was wall-to-wall
carpeting and we had a ball, a soccer ball for football. When we would get bored, and then the
grown-ups - because it was almost like I wasn't a grown-up - Cody and I, we got to know
each other. We would even read scenes sometimes kicking the ball back and forth. We got to
know each other and I got to see something that was really interesting to me [which] was that
he really understood the book. It wasn't just a kid that was going to be sheltered and just be
shown this and "we're just going to do this and you just need to do that and just mimic this."
He actually knew what it was about. So he invested his own feelings in it and you can see that
nd that helped me a lot. Because if it was up to me to do it on my own and they had to do
tricks with the camera to cheat around the boy and manipulate him into giving what looked
like an intelligent performance but wasn't, it would have been a lot harder and I don't think I
could've been as open and found as many things as I did in that. The movie wouldn't have
worked because the movie is only as good as that relationship is, as believable as that
relationship is. That's the fate of the movie right there.

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Q: Was it an emotionally taxing role for you?

VM: Yeah. To be honest, that was the hardest part. It was harder than the physical part, for
me. I mean, I've been in movies where I've had to do physical - you know, whether I
was in extreme heat or cold, mountains, horse work, fights, all that - I may have done things
that I knew "Oh God, we've got weeks or months of this" - and you just get through it.
But it's a whole other thing to have to - and I've been naked physically in movies - but it's a
whole other thing to be naked emotionally in a way that's not just a distraction or a character.
It had to be very sincere or it wouldn't work because just the landscape we're in is so real.
It's so raw and in a way it's such an open wound that our feelings had to be on that level,
which was kind of a measuring stick, I felt. And then, I've never been in a movie where the
environment was so consistently a character. Even though it was dead or dying, it was very
alive in its dying, in its death throes. It was so helpful.

Q: Those trees!

VM: Yeah. It was intense - the trees, the waterfall, just the weird cityscapes. I mean, it was
very helpful. It was like another character and I think not only the weather helped us acting-
wise, but being in these real places, we didn't have to. It wasn't like a sci-fi thing and a green
screen and we had to just imagine where the director said, "Yes, you'll be talking to this
tennis ball but really it's a cannibal." No. Everything that you saw, we saw, which was very
helpful - and a necessity. It's not a big budget movie so it's a movie that needs... We had to
shoot it that way. We had to shoot in those places. But I think the director, even if he'd had
twice the budget, would have probably done the same. His approach was good, I think. He
wanted to be faithful to the book and that was the way to do it.

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Q: Were you shocked by the realness of the locations that you were seeing and were they
enhanced by the production team

VM: Sometimes they weren't. Some of that mining, the slag piles and things, that's just what's
there. That strip mall where we were wandering around and he sees that deer head, that
was pretty much... We didn't touch it. It was a part of New Orleans that just hasn't been
cleaned up. If you look at it closer - I don't know if you can see it or not - but what I was
amazed at was that at about this height (demonstrates) in all these shops and on all the
walls, the exterior walls, there was this slimy green line. That was where the water had been
for a long time. And everything - like that thing where he looks at the deer head was a
recruiting office and there was still hanging slightly sidewise a picture of George Bush
looking very young from his first presidential portrait - you know, not so much gray and
having that crazed smile - but then there was the guy's briefcase that was slightly open on
the desk of the recruiting officer and his passport. It was bizarre. It was like it hasn't
been touched and people could've stolen that but they don't care.

I mean, they've got other problems. And so, that was unusual. The movie theater where he
kicks the can? That's a movie theater and there's a concession stand and the marquee has all
the titles of the movies that were playing that day and there's a clock that stopped at that
time. You know, all that sort of ... That was unusual. I mean, at first I thought why would we
be doing that? It seems we have a limited budget to go and take the crew and go down there
for a few days. We could've shot this in Pittsburgh and you could. You could've shot in the
industrial areas where we were shooting, but there was something intangible about those
ghosts that probably had something for sure. I mean, it felt unusual. Where I'm walking in the
neighborhood where it's in my old house, they added some gray and some dirt and dust and
stuff but basically that's the way those houses look.
Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Q: Did they say what the catastrophe may have been? I would probably think that's why
the director wanted New Orleans because this was a legitimate catastrophe.

VM: Yeah. Well Mount St. Helens was a natural catastrophe and other places - well Katrina was
also a natural catastrophe. But other places, as far as the mining and other things, were
manmade catastrophes and other polluted areas that we were in and industrial affected,
places affected by heavy industry. No, they didn't and the book doesn't either and I think it's
appropriate not to go into it. If you want to see that and get all those answers about that
which is an external thing, you see another kind of movie. I haven't seen it, but I imagine
"2012″ probably deals with that kind of stuff, the spectacle of things coming undone.
There's a beautiful line in the book. I wish I had it with me. "The counter spectacle of things
ceasing to be. There's something beautiful in that." But anyway, if you want to see that and
explain, it's beside the point. Yes, it's interesting but if you tell the story emotionally in a
truthful way, then you start naturally looking at the landscape and thinking "Wow, we
have to watch out." It's fine to think that but really it's a device. Stripping everything
away just leaves us with nothing but each other and to learn how to appreciate that. That's
what it's about. It makes extreme what any parent who is halfway responsible worries about.
"Well how's my kid going to be if I'm not around for a few hours or forever." Mostly it's
"Well, is he going to have friends or food?" or "Will he have enough money to go to college?"
or something. "Will he get a job or a girlfriend or a boyfriend or whatever?" In this case, it's
not about any of that. It's just "What the hell is he going to do?" He's got no roof, he's got no
food, he's got people who want to kill him and eat him. It's a parent's worst nightmare in
a way, but it's just a way of getting to that. It's also a way of exaggerating a thing that's
natural with adults and kids anyway, that adults, we accumulate memories, life experiences,
and therefore regrets. We often live in the past a lot more than we probably realize and
it's only, many times, when somebody hits you in traffic or something or getting bad news
about somebody in your family, you're immediately there. Everything falls away. Or you
get really sick and you're supposed to go to work today and do all these things and go
shopping and do this and that or pick someone up at school and suddenly you can't. You're
just in bed so everything disappears except your body and what's happening. And, in this
situation, you're there all the time and the father remembers the world the way it used to be
and he has these flashes of the horrors, the flowers or his wife being pregnant and beautiful,
the sound of cicadas or bees. That's all over. The kid never knew that. So it even exaggerates
that difference. The kid is much more in the moment, like kids are because they don't have
that accumulated memory, but it's even more extreme because the father remembers
the whole world that the kid will never know about except for the father telling him about it.

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.

Q: What about "The Hobbit"? Are you going to be involved with that at all? I know your
Ring character is not in it, is he?

VM: No, no, he's not. But if they ever make another...I'm sure that if they think they can
make something interesting and make some money...

Q: Would you do something in "The Hobbit" if they asked you and if it was interesting
to you?

VM: Well, I mean, I would rather finish playing the part if he's going to be in it than have
someone else do it. The only way it would work is if they made a connective story between
"The Hobbit." There's about 60 years that go by between "The Hobbit" and the start of "The
Lord of the Rings," I think. Something like that if I remember correctly. I mean, my character is
not in that book but he was alive. He was young. But because he ages so slowly, in a bridge
story I could certainly do it, but I don't know if they intend to do it. I'm sure that fans would
like to do it and that those guys would be sure of making money if they knew that they could
put some of the characters that people got to know, some of the actors that people got to
know, in the trilogy. So I'd like to but I haven't been contacted. I think they're having enough
trouble just getting the first one made.

Q: What is next for you?

VM: I'm doing a play next.

Q: In New York?

VM: In Madrid actually. In Spanish.

Q: What about the U.S. release of Alatriste?

VM: I don't know. That was a shame because it's a beautiful movie. It's a beautiful, beautiful
movie. It hasn't even come out on DVD which is crazy. I don't know why. It's a beautiful movie
and really good actors in it. I mean, the best actors in Spain. And visually, if you haven't seen
it, I recommend it. If you like Velasquez paintings from the 17th century, it looks exactly like
them. It feels like that, really.

"The Road" opens in theaters on November 25th. also interviews Director John Hillcoat here.

© 2005 - 2009 Images © 2929/Dimension Films/MGM. Images MaCall Polay.

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Excellent Video on Movie Web

Source: Movie Web.
Found By: Dom
Our thanks to Dom for the find. This is another good one.

Click on video arrow to start. Short commercial precedes the video.

© 1995-2009 MovieWeb™.

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'The Road' Endorsed by Rolling Stone

Source: IMDB and
Found By: Eriko

Many thanks once more to Eriko for the find:

A new poster for 'The Road' with a glowing endorsement from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine!

Images © Dimension Films/2929 Productions.

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Last edited: 29 June 2016 08:20:27