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'Captain Fantastic's' examination of parenting and integrity appeals to star Viggo Mortensen


Source: Los Angeles Times.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for bringing us this latest piece from today's Los Angeles Times.
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© Bleecker Street.
by Michael Ordona

"Captain Fantastic" protagonist Ben Cash lives off the grid, raising his six children in the woods at the highest standards of intellectual and physical training. Some might question his methods, or at least consider them extreme. But at the heart of Ben's tutelage is critical thinking, and star Viggo Mortensen is down with that.

"The kids are reading all kinds of books, comparing different interpretations of the same material," says the actor, whose accolades for the role include both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. "For example, the father talks to them about every single religion he can think of, and atheism, agnosticism, every 'ism.' He's fine with each of his kids deciding to be whatever they want. But they need to be able to explain why."

And that is consistent with Mortensen, with whom just about any conversation becomes a deep dive. He's well-informed and engaged. He has a track record of making artistic choices with integrity, whether in acting, music, photography, poetry or in founding the Perceval Press to bring forward artists he admires. He relates Ben's iconoclastic lifestyle and eventual realization of his own need to change to basic questions of parenting and even civic participation.

"I think it's a matter of degree and being flexible," he says, urging people to "turn the dial" figuratively and literally, to force themselves to take in other views. "Democracy, parenting, they're not fixed things. Relationships. They're not fixed; it's a process. We say, 'This is a democratic country.' It is, as long as we work to keep it so, and progress and evolve."

Whoever played Ben Cash would have to pull off the daunting intellectual side of the part, as well as the demanding physical one, and convey a loving father figure. Check, check and check. Perhaps the role's essence, though, and how it might frame the great challenge of parenting, is the great challenge at the heart of acting: Active listening.

"It's a lot harder to do what Ben does: Not to say, 'No, because I said so,' but simply to say, 'No, I don't think so, and here's why. If you have a strong disagreement, I'd like to hear why. In the end, I'm your dad, but let's talk about it.' That takes a lot of energy," says Mortensen, who has one adult son.

While Ben is engaging his children in a sincere, direct and open way, Mortensen is so engaging his young acting partners that the "acting" effectively disappears. Beneath the veneer of highfalutin intellectualism and the comedy of blunt honesty, the viewer responds to the truth of those connections. And when some of Ben's choices lead to disastrous consequences, the nakedness of his devastation is painful to watch.

Mortensen says it's entirely legitimate to "wonder if the father is too honest sometimes, or too strict, too intense. But basically, I agree with him. A 7-year-old asks you about sex or death, give 'em an honest answer. Maybe you can modify a little, use different words, and still be honest with a 7-year-old. That doesn't mean it's all wrong. The basic idea is good."

Mortensen is struck by audiences' responses to the film, no matter where it's shown.

"What people are saying to us after screenings, whether it's Ireland or Denmark or Spain or France, is 'My family …' or 'The country …' or 'I had an experience …!' Sometimes they'll say with absolute certainty, 'It's obviously about this,' and I'll be surprised. 'Matt [Ross, the film's auteur], is it about that, do you think?' 'It could be.' But there has been uniformly passionate engagement with the movie. That doesn't happen all the time."

This is the man who was the foretold king in the "Lord of the Rings" films — which had their share of dedicated fans. With "Captain Fantastic," he's talking about a level of engagement that feels deeply personal.

"Several times, it's won audience awards. The Seattle Film Festival goes on for a month and usually you get to show your movie several times. We got to show it once in the final days and we won the audience award. That's happened in Europe at several places, the Rome Film Festival. There's something to that."
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© Los Angeles Times. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Viggo to receive Variety Creative Impact Award


Source: Variety.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for this news from Variety:
Quote:
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Image Dan Doperalski.
© Variety.
Viggo Mortensen, Jeff Nichols, and Pharrell Williams will receive Variety's Creative Impact Awards during the Palm Springs Film Festival in January. Variety's 10 Directors to Watch will also be honored at the festival.

The event is presented by Mercedes Benz and located at the Parker Palm Springs.

Mortensen will receive the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award for his leading role in "Captain Fantastic."

"Viggo Mortensen's tremendous work in Bleecker Street's 'Captain Fantastic' has garnered him both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination and we are happy to be honoring him at our brunch for his performance in the film as well as his 30 year career as one of the most daring actors working in cinema today," said Steven Gaydos, Vice President and Executive Editor of Variety.

© Variety. Images © Variety.

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Merry Christmas from Viggo-Works!


Categories: Viggo-Works






© viggo-works.com. Images © uniFrance.

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Viggo Mortensen Talks (and Talks) About ‘Captain Fantastic’


Source: NY Times
Quote:

This actor, who says he doesn't tire of discussing the film, was stoked by his Gloden Globe and SAG nominations.

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© Bleecker Street.
The Bagger was pretty amped to chat with Viggo Mortensen — even if it was by phone from Madrid, where he lives — because he's just that cool.

Mr. Mortensen, a.k.a. Aragorn (in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy), the dishiest king Middle-earth has known, was still flying high off the news that his movie "Captain Fantastic" won a surprise SAG Award nomination for best ensemble picture. Mr. Mortensen also landed a best actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild (full alphabet soup name: SAG-Aftra), along with a Golden Globe nomination. All for the indie tale of a whip-smart bohemian family engaging with society after living off the grid.

First shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the film was released in the summer, and Mr. Mortensen told the Bagger he's been doing Q and A's for it all year. That soon became evident as the chat morphed into all A's with the Bagger struggling to get in any Q's. Verily, Mr. Mortensen is a talker. Here are some pared down excerpts:

Congratulations. Do you feel you've talked yourself out about this film?

We've been talking about this movie since January. It's a lot more pleasant when there's a passionate reaction, which there has been everywhere we've gone in the world. I've never done so many Q and A's for a movie ever, but it was also necessary. It's not like we have, I'm told, millions of dollars of ads out there. It's been real person-to-person outreach. It doesn't often happen when a movie like that becomes part of the conversation. I've been around long enough to know.

What do you think accounts for the reaction?

After Q and A's and screenings, people hang around and they immediately start blurting out stuff about their own family and own society. Something in the movie struck a chord. It's a family story very much for our time. In part because societies everywhere are so polarized, more so than they have been in years. There's fear and mistrust. Socioeconomic clashes. And politicians have exploited it everywhere. The movie does speak to the problems of communication …

(Bagger attempts to get in a question, fails)

… communicating and listening to people that have different opinions. It's just a really good movie. I'm not that objective, I suppose. But I really have felt that and been told by a lot of people. But it's also a movie that encourages an audience member to examine their life and their ideas

I've heard you say that the movie should make you feel that everything you're doing is wrong, at least for a moment.

I think any art that does that, that annoys you in a sense, and leaves you with lots of unanswered questions, encourages you to ask questions. It doesn't tell you what to think. It's full of surprises. Everything you think you know is politically slanted. Nobody is right all the time. If you're talking about my character, he's a man trying to find his balance, and he struggles with that. The journey is extremely well written and that's what attracted me in terms of the character

Did you get to keep the red velvet suit?

I didn't keep it. I actually showed up with a red suit. It was glaringly red. It felt too shiny. They found a better one.What's this about a hobbit reunion?


What's this about a hobbit reunion?

I've been corresponding nonstop with my fellow "Captain Fantastic" cast members since we made the movie. And since we were nominated for best ensemble, we're going to have a big party and potluck dinner, and we're going to make the most of the occasion at the SAGs and we're going to have a high time. In addition, I asked a bunch of actors who played hobbits to get together before the Golden Globes. So it's going to be a summit of crazy forest dwellers from different genres.

© 2016 The New York Times Company. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Viggo in GIOIA! Magazine


Source: GIOIA!.
Found By: Aralis

Many thanks to Aralis for supplying scans of the article that appeared in the 26 November edition of the Italian magazine GIOIA!





Click to enlarge

© Hearst Magazines Italia.


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Last edited: 19 January 2017 07:51:03