Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo Christmas Quiz

As there will be no Quotable next week (it being Christmas and all) I thought I'd put together a Christmas Quiz for you this week to keep those brain cells ticking over through the Holiday Season. There are no prizes - it's just a bit of fun. Note down your answers yourselves rather than posting them, and I'll post the solutions in the New Year. Then you can all tell us if you got any of them right! So.... rack your brains and see if you can remember or work out who said:

"'s become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up." The guy is a mule -- he seems tireless. But he's kind and focused too."

'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

"Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty."

"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient, and he's got a great chin."

"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."

"...there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

"...So we were barefoot, waist-high in water, walking on these little rocks to get to the other side and I'm doing it because I'm an idiot and I'm following his lead. Because he's an idiot. And because he's amazing. I can't believe how much this is going to make it sound like I'm in love with the guy."

"I went to an art show in L.A. and saw these incredible paintings and photographs and said "Who is this man?" and found out he was an actor. So I've always had an artistic, intellectual crush on him, and people told us throughout the years, we'd be friends, and when we met, it was certainly like that."

"Rainer Maria Rilke said something like, 'If you ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night, if it were denied you to create, would you truly die? I know that Viggo has asked himself that question and his answer was 'Yes.'"

"He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator, which endeared him to me forever."

"Some of the photos are bit blurry though, Viggo, so perhaps you should buy yourself a tripod..."

"We function very differently, especially in the way we channel our energy. He is always calm, and speaks softly. I have a more brutal side. I learned a lot from knowing him."

"It's like a marriage. You might see two people together and not understand why they are, but they know. We know. We feel we can get the best out of each other."

"He could really earn his keep as a painter, certainly as a photographer. He is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

"Viggo is terrifying. He sends you a handwritten letter, all decorated and painted, and when he arrives at your house for dinner he's an intolerable guy: he cleans the fish and picks up the dishes. My wife is fascinated, and she compares the two of us. Damn, what's a guy supposed to do? The bar is set very high."

"From the moment that I saw him onscreen, I thought, 'Shit, he looks incredible. Here's a character I don't have to pretend to be in love with.'"

"If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie"

"When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Images © New Line Cinema.

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REMINDER!! Deadline is Midnight This Saturday (12-18-10)

Categories: Books & CD's
Canciones for Christmas/What and When Contest

Check it out in the Canciones for Christmas/What and When Contest thread! Your chance to WIN a copy of CANCIONES DE INVIERNO/WINTER SONGS signed by Viggo.


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Another Award for Viggo!

Found By: Mary
Our thanks to Mary in Idaho for sending us news that Viggo has been awarded a rather different sort of honor by the Clark Fork Coalition.

Bravo Viggo!!

A Different Kind of Award for Viggo!!

© Clark Fork Coalition.

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Final Installment: Fan Report from Buenos Aires

Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Source: Viggo Mortensen y Alrededores .
Found By: Santa
With thanks yet again to Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe we can now bring you the final installment of Santa's report from Buenos Aires.

We also want to thank Santa for her wonderful report and for sharing in her enthusiasm.


Santa's Report - The Final Part

Córdoba - December 2, 2010
Córdoba - December 2, 2010
Image Eliana Gorelick Czenik.
© 2010 Negro&White.
Part 7
After the readings, they let people ask questions. That was when they asked how he had come to know Talo's poetry, which I've already told you about, and the whys of his strong connection with Argentina. That's where he told more or less what appeared in the articles and what he always says, that he went to live in the USA and missed the language, that he looked for El Lagarto Juancho and Patoruzito [comic book characters], the same as I did (we're the same age), also the trading cards for soccer players. An exiled Chilean asked Talo about exile and suffering and at the end, a young guy thanked Viggo for being the way he is and well, he doesn't like compliments much, so he said he was going to sign the books first, that if people had other things [to sign], that could wait until the end, that he'd sign them just the same but afterward. He asked us to form a line and in spite of Argentinians being so disorganized, soon afterward, after he signed for the most eager people, we were lined up in a dignified line, fortunately. I took just a few photos of Viggo; there are only 5, but with the first shots that Carolina already posted, more aren't needed. Farol will finish off the night, the things I've forgotten about. [....]

Part 8
Yesterday morning, I was queuing up in the Court House where El secreto de sus ojos, that won the Oscar, was filmed, and then I thought I had never given Viggo anything. When in 2008, a few days short of his 50th birthday, I saw him looking so sad in SL, I felt bad about not having given him anything. So, I said to myself that the best present for him was a book. I went to Avenida Corrientes and bought a compilation of love poems by Mario Benedetti. I thought he would like that.

I got in line with the CD and little book of Canciones de Invierno and the beautiful book by Talo Kejner. One of the two girls from SL explained to me how her camera worked and asked me to take a picture. I did and I hope it has come out right. There, a rather rude girl who hadn't bought anything, overwhelmed him to have her picture taken with him, to which he agreed, but was slightly annoyed. The girl kept bothering everybody about the picture, and then he asked her, "It hasn´t come out right?" while she was looking at the camera and talking loud. Viggo, annoyed, gave her a scalding look . It was my turn then, and I thought what a pity that he got upset (and he had right at this moment). I chose to approach him from the side, loaded with bag, umbrella and the present for Viggo. Then, although he was looking serious, I gave him Canciones de Invierno to sign. He asked me my name and I asked him softly whether Talo, the poet, could sign his book Las pequeñas grandes cosas for me. He liked that. He looked into my eyes and, very politely, said, "Certainly, of course. That's why he is here." I then told him that I was asking because I didn't know if he wanted to sign. (Nobody was asking the poor man, who was sitting there looking, for his autograph. It was not fair.) Then he asked Talo to sign and gave him my name. He loved me asking for Kejner's signature, which was a great pleasure for me. Then, before going to Talo, I took out the little bag and said to him, "Now, Viggo, I want to leave you a present from a cuerva to a cuervo." He started laughing, saying, "You too? Look, look!" while showing me the pins he had on his shirt pocket. Then I told him, "But this is not from SL. It´s a book of poems by Mario Benedetti; do you like him? I saw you posted some of his poems in Perceval." "I love him!" he said to me. "What's the title of the book?" And then I drew a blank and said to Viggo, "I don´t remember. I think it's Love, Women and Life. It's a compilation of his best love poems." He then said to me, "Come and give me a kiss." And I said, "Of course, Viggo. How would I not give you a kiss!!!" And, well, he gave me a kiss. A great guy. What can I say. Then he posed for the picture with me (I hope that the girl who took it sends it to me) and he gave me another kiss!!!! Girls, this time I really got lucky!!!!!!!

When I went to Talo, Viggo was telling him he had to put my name and I said to this excellent poet that he wrote wonderfully . He's got an incredible gaze. He must have been a very handsome man when young. His gaze is crystal-clear and his eyes are very beautiful, but they also transmit pain. He wrote my name in the book and "A pleasure" and his signature. And he said it to me several times, a pleasure, and I said to him, "A pleasure for me, and thank you very much." Viggo, who while signing was looking at everything, when I left said "Take care." "Thank you, Viggo, you take good care, too." By far my best experience with Viggo. There I realised that what matters most in this world to Viggo is giving to another and I understood the act of love he had made for that elderly man who is getting to the end of a very painful life and who never was acknowledged as a poet.

This man had been writing during all of his life and his work had never been read by anyone. In Talo's voice, when he thanked me for asking for his signature, I felt the excitement that it caused him. That is, that someone AT LAST recognises his value as a poet generated a tremendous emotion in me that left me hanging around while Farol was taking pictures. I must say that they have generated a current of affection that cannot be described with words - that's the true meaning of "being humane". Well, I don't want to bore you with my story, but I still don't understand why so few people asked Talo to sign his book. Everybody wanted Viggo's only. A pity, because this man is a great poet and now I keep his book and signature like a treasure. What else is there to say but to thank Viggo for giving us the opportunity to come to an event so warm, and cosy. That is the synthesis of the true man, in the flesh. The characters, the cinema, etc. are all worthy, but this is the best in him. And it goes beyond the subject of SL, which although it's a passion, is something else. Here he shows the truth in himself and in his soul. That is what I felt, only my perception, subjective, mine. Others will see other things. [...]

© Santa - Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe. Images © Eliana Gorelick Czenik.

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Second Installment: Fan Report from Buenos Aires

Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Source: Viggo Mortensen y Alrededores .
Found By: Santa
With thanks once again to Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe we can now bring you the second installment of Santa's report from Buenos Aires.

Santa's Report continued...

Córdoba - December 2, 2010
Córdoba - December 2, 2010
Image Eliana Gorelick Czenik.
© 2010 Negro&White.
Part 4
I continue with another little bit, girls. I tell you, Viggo is such a great guy that he said in public that he hadn't brought the big books of Canciones de Invierno because they had some mistakes. The girls from SL who always attend talked to me about the price of the books, given that they asked the people from the organization and they said he would have had to set a very high price, and that didn't sit well with him; that's the truth. People in general were calm. The girls from SL were few and calm; I met one and she introduced me to her friend. There was also one of those women who are always praying in the SL chapel. At the end, she invited him to a celebration there that they're going to have on December 8, but Viggo told her he wouldn't still be here then. I think he said he was going to Spain.

The rest of the people were varied. There were the unbearable rabid fans, but only a few; older people, but I also saw this old bohemian who, it was obvious, didn't go to see Viggo but rather to listen to poetry - how fantastic that seemed to me! There were young people, but very few out of their element. Farol will help me with this; she'll tell you her impressions of the people. There weren't only women; there were a lot of men, even middle-aged ones. It's clear that of course people want to meet him in person, but after Farol took a taxi and I bought a soda because I was dying of thirst because of the heat, I went back to the cultural center and there were still people in the line to have books autographed and from what they told me almost everything was sold, including Kejner's, which will have pleased him very much. Later I'll continue with the event itself.

Part 5
[...] The event started 45 minutes later than intended. When they entered, Viggo, Kejner and Gustavo López, well, the photographers setting off loads of flashes and also people with their cameras. He allowed them to take some pictures and then he told the photographers, cameramen and journalists to move, please, that they were to read poetry. They kept setting off their flashes when they started the reading and, well, Viggo got fed up and said enough, that it was very annoying to read with the flashes. Then the decibels turned down a lot. There were some babies crying behind us, but, oh, well! Those women wanted their babies to have their picture with Viggo for posterity, and it's understandable, so they held till the end and the poor things cried a lot because of the heat and probably they were hungry - I saw when they had their picture taken with Viggo; he is very tender with babies which is logical.

First, Gustavo López spoke briefly. I will tell you he is a man "muy guapo" [very handsome], as you Spaniards say, although he is a bit short for my taste. Viggo had to start and, well, you could feel he was nervous. I think he read, I'm not too sure of the order, La Cuesta [Hillside]. Short things, nervous, he was drinking lots of water; it seems he was feeling the heat. He was wearing a long- sleeved shirt (obviously - he was coming from the cold and he had not been aware of how hot it was in there), and it's evident that, because of his modesty he felt uncomfortable reading his own things. Talo is an elderly man and it shows on his face; he has the marks of deep suffering. (When I was close to him, I could see it in his eyes). He had to exile himself during the dictatorship and that struck deeply into him and into his poetry. Talo didn't want to read; it seems he is a very shy man and says he reads badly. So he brought a writer, I think Farol remembers her name, to read instead of him. That woman read several poems by Talo, very tough, even bitter. She is an excellent poetry reader. Viggo was already more easy and relaxed. He said it was the first time he was reading in Spanish and that's why he was so nervous. He's always read in English before. He read something from Talo, all short things. He asked Talo to read something of his and finally the man agreed and read Viggo's Te Veo, which is beautiful. At some point, Viggo read Te Doy; he read it fantastically.Then he was completely comfortable and at ease. Later on, so great, Viggo also read Sonata en fa menor de Scriabin, para Sabina Spielrein. Almost towards the end he read, with great feeling, Pastoral. He would read a little and then the writer from Córdoba would read a little more of Talo's poetry. Everything beautiful.

I was left with the idea that in these readings he puts himself in order in the chaos. And why do I say that? Because he searched and searched in the books to see what he would read and what this would generate in people. He was looking for improvisation, the unexpected, something characteristic of the true artist. Nothing pre-established, what happens in the moment and the emotions generated between the audience listening and the poet reading, a true emotional interchange. And there I understood a bit why he is such a great actor.

At one point, I turned around and I said to Farol (she was sitting in the row behind me),"This man is unpredictable, even chaotic, but... he comes out whole through all this chaos he himself causes." I think it's the spark that lights the artistic creation. A man with an utterly open mind and soul, trying to make all this reach the other. For me, a fantastic experience!!!!. Everything I'm saying is subjective, but wanting to or not, at least for me, he opened a world I don't enter, which is the emotional interchange through the reading of poetry. I'm a very organized woman because of my education and my job and this is truly something new to me and that's why I said that now I understand him a little more.

And it´s true that when we allow emotions to flow life is much better!!! That's why I told Farol he is unpredictable and chaotic, because I like that kind of person.

But, honestly, it was therapeutic for me to be there last night and share with all of them and with the people. Well, today I don't have a crick in my neck, so I´ll have to be attended to more often by Dr. Viggo.

Part 6
[....] I'll tell you very quickly that he explained that Talo is really a civil engineer and he wrote all the time, from a very young age. Nobody ever published a single poem. He owned an important construction company in Cordoba. He was accused of financing a revolutionary group (ERP) and had to go into exile, and there his suffering began. Talo's son worked in marketing on The Lord of the Rings, and being Argentinian, began to connect with Viggo. They did the promotion of the movie in Latin America. Then Talo's son told him about his father's poems and so they kept in touch. Viggo said that from the start, the rawness, the truthfulness of this man's poetry had a profound impact on him. Some poems talk about old age with all its miseries and illnesses, without half measures. Viggo told us that we should read the book carefully because it talks about love in different stages of life, when you're young, "how love is at 50", which interests him very much, how it continues in your 60s and 70s, and his poetry seemed very truthful, stark. He couldn't find the right words and then he looked for a poem and read it... This book is truly marvelous!!! He said that poetry is for reading, not explaining!!! THOSE WHO LIKE PLASTIC SURGERY SHOULD ABSTAIN FROM VIGGO. At one point talking about Talo's poetry, he said that it doesn't have anything to do with current culture, where you have to be eternally young, where old age is not accepted. People have plastic surgery, they put plastic in themselves and he sketched a woman's breasts with his hands. "To me, they're sick!!!!" said Viggo!!!! And I agree!!!!! You can see why I adore Viggo!!!! It's unprecedented that an actor would say something like this!!!!

That's why he fell in love with Talo's poetry, for its rawness, because it talks about life, about death, about love but for real and about the decline of the body just the way it happens, because you have to accept that as well, Viggo said!!!! A luxury that this man actually speaks our language. Now I remember that at one point talking about language and his way of speaking Spanish, remembering his childhood again, he said that in Spain, they'd "**** up his language." Then he was sorry and asked the Spaniard from the cultural center who was sitting next to him to forgive him and the man laughed and let him know he didn't have any problem with what he had said. He says that in Spain they tell him,"You don't have to say this or that thing; you have to say..." and then pitching his voice like a woman said, "good-looking, beautiful, beautiful". Who will be the lucky woman to whom he says, when he looks at her, "beautiful"?

Back later.

© Santa - Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe. Images © Eliana Gorelick Czenik.

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Last edited: 19 February 2017 12:10:39