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Viggo Mortensen on 'the little movie that could' and 'irritating' Trump

Source: LA Times

From the Los Angeles Times this morning.


"The movie, it really makes you think, laugh and cry, it’s a great story."

Image Allen J. Schaben .
© LA Times.
by Deborah Vankin

Viggo Mortensen was in Spain, one of the places he keeps a home, when word came Monday that he'd been nominated for a Golden Globe in the actor in a drama category. His portrayal as an unconventional dad raising six children off the grid in "Captain Fantastic" helped the film — directed and written by Matt Ross ("Silicon Valley's" Gavin Belson) — earn scores of positive reviews and the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes.

Here's what he told us over the phone about his reaction to the nomination news:

On where he was this morning, and was he surprised?

"I was having lunch and that's when I found out about it. I got an email. I was surprised, yeah. But pleasantly surprised. I think people are aware [of the film] — though maybe less so in the U.S. — because not only did the movie come out in July, [it came out] first at Sundance. Since then, we've won a whole bunch of awards. It was one of the most well-received movies at Sundance. And around the world, it's been very passionately received. So it wasn't a total surprise.… It's not a singular acknowledgement, but one of and for the movie. It keeps the movie alive in people's minds, and I hope more people will take a look or a second look at it now. There's a lot in it."

On why people are connecting with the film:

"You know, we've had communication problems as a society. Especially since the recent election, people are polarized, they're divided -- based on race, religion, sexuality, politics. People are not speaking to each other and not listening to each other. And because this movie does address that issue – the issue of listening to people who are different from you — people may have responded to that. It speaks to that concern. The movie, it really makes you think, laugh and cry, it's a great story. But it does deal with that issue of communication problems."

On the "little movie that could":

"['Captain Fantastic' is] not the kind of movie that has unlimited amounts of money to be in the news as far as promotion. It's really been bolstered by word of mouth and good audience reaction. At a stage when all the big companies are putting all their money into promoting their big movies, it's harder for a smaller movie like us to get noticed. So all the audience word of mouth has been great. People are connecting with it. It's the little movie that could."

On whether "Captain Fantastic" is a comedy or drama:

"It has both. Sometimes it is very funny, but it's a true situational comedy. It's the cultural shock and the contrast between different family models and different ways of looking at life that are accentuated when the family I'm the father of leaves the forest and goes out into the world."

On Donald Trump:

"What can I say? It's not surprising. Nothing he's done has been really surprising. [His Cabinet so far] is controversial, and it's not gonna please everybody. No politician is gonna please everyone, but especially him. In his brief history as a politician, he has been about dividing people, pitting people against each other, irritating people, and that's not gonna stop with the presidency."

© LA Times. Images © Allen J. Schaben/LA Times.

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Golden Globe nominee Viggo Mortensen on why Captain Fantastic is a ‘post-election antidote’

Source: EW
What the doctor ordered from Entertainment Weekly.


Captain Fantastic

© Bleecker Street.
by Regan MacStravic

In the eccentric family drama Captain Fantastic, Viggo Mortensen may star as an off-the-grid, anti-capitalist, Noam Chomsky-quoting patriarch, but the actor — who just scored a Golden Globe nomination for his role — says that in the wake of this year's U.S. election, the family adventure story feels more poignant than ever, no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on.

"It's a movie that continues to prove that it's relevant and it's timely," Mortensen says. "Since I read the script, I've thought it talked in many ways about the problems that come when you don't communicate with others who are different. In a way, I guess it serves as a post-election antidote, regardless of what your politics are or who you voted for or whether you voted or not. It speaks to the problem we have talking to each other and listening to each other."

On Monday, Mortensen landed his third Golden Globe nomination (after Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method) for his role as Ben Cash, a father raising his six children in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. There, he and his brood — named Bodevan, Kielyr, Vespyr, Rellian, Zaja, and Nai — spend their days hunting and foraging for their own food, scaling cliff faces, and hosting lively debates over ancient political theory. To prepare for their survivalist roles, the seven actors teamed up for a pre-filming boot camp, where they learned how to rock climb, skin animals, and even play the bagpipes.

The result is a frequently touching, occasionally harsh story of a man who loves his kids and wants what's best for them, even if that doesn't always align with his own anarchist tendencies. Matt Ross (who Silicon Valley fans know as Hooli's narcissistic CEO Gavin Belson) wrote and directed Captain Fantastic, and Mortensen says it was Ross' impeccable script and the story's themes that made him fall in love with the project.

"I think being honest is never something that should be overrated," Mortensen says. "Our family model is extreme, but it's just common sense. Encourage curiosity. Encourage open dialogue. And encourage people to think for themselves and not only form their own ideas but be able to defend those ideas. And be open to changing those ideas if someone comes along with a better one."

Mortensen added that the actors who play his children were some of the first people to reach out about his Globe nomination and that he's looking forward to reuniting with all six to celebrate. And although Mortensen's nomination may have been a bit of a surprise for most awards prognosticators, it was just business as usual for his young costars, who've watched the film debut to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance.

"I remember walking up the red carpet in Cannes back in May, where we got this incredible reception from the audience, and the youngest kids were saying, 'This is great! I like this red carpet stuff. We get all these standing ovations, and this is so cool. I'm coming back next year!'" Mortensen recalls, laughing. "And I said, well, you may not get invited next year. You have to get a movie that gets invited to Cannes, and even if you do, it's very rarely you get people standing for 10 minutes after your movie, clapping and clapping. So just be really happy. It may never happen again."

"And the youngest ones were like, 'Oh, it will,'" Mortensen continues. "And I'm like, 'Well, positive thinking is great.'"

© 2016 Entertainment Weekly Inc. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Viggo Mortensen Will Celebrate His Golden Globes Nomination with a “Hobbit Reunion” in L.A.

Source: Vanity Fair.
Found By: Chrissie

From Vanity Fair via Chrissie.


The surprise nominee for Captain Fantastic has big plans.

Image Michael Buckner.
© Variety/Rex.
by Mike Hogan

"I've already heard from all the kids," three-time Golden Globes nominee Viggo Mortensen says of the young co-stars who played his children in Captain Fantastic. "There were a few expletives."

Mortensen was eating lunch in Spain when he learned that he'd been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. "This was dessert," he says.

The project was a labor of love for the Lord of the Rings star, who's spent months traveling the country doing Q&A's and promoting the picture's hopeful message, which he finds both timely and timeless.

"Years down the line, I think this movie will still hold up. In fact, I think it could be a cultural marker for this year in a way," he says. "It's not a message movie, but it does speak to the value of communication, especially of listening to people and engaging with people you normally wouldn't want to engage with."

Mortensen plans to ask his 28-year-old son, Henry, to accompany him to the ceremony. He also plans to re-unite that weekend with all six of the young actors who play his kids in the film. The only complication is that he's also planning "a Hobbit reunion," bringing together Elijah Wood, Sean Astin__, and other Middle Earth dwellers.

"Maybe we can make them a combined event, I'm hoping," he says.

Despite its underdog status, Captain Fantastic has won a steady trickle of awards this season, including the prestigious Un Certain Regard award at Cannes. In the movie, written and directed by Matt Ross (known to fans of HBO's Silicon Valley as Hooli boss Gavin Belson), Mortensen plays a hippie-anarchist dad who raises his kids in the woods, home-schooling them in everything from phys ed to anarcho-syndicalism. After the death of his like-minded wife, he is forced to re-enter society and square off with his disapproving father-in-law (Frank Langella).

Asked if he has advice for liberals tempted to go off the grid in the era of Trump, Mortensen suggests starting with small steps: "Just turning off the phone, even if it's only for half a day, is gonna do you a world of good. You'll suddenly start noticing what the color of the sky is and what people's faces look like as you walk down the street. It'll come to you."

© Conde Nast. Images © Variety/Rex.

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Viggo Gets Golden Globe Nomination!

Found By: CoCo

Thanks to CoCo for the find. This is terrific news!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Casey Affleck
Joel Edgerton
Andrew Garfield
Viggo Mortensen
Denzel Washington

© Golden Globes. Images © Golden Globes.

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Viggo Mortensen: Making peace with the camera

Source: CBS

Viggo was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Some great stuff here!


“The Lord of the Rings” movie saga made Viggo Mortensen a very big star -- proof for anyone who needs it that he can command just about any kind of role. Tracy Smith has our Sunday Profile:

Viggo Mortensen with Tracy Smith at Perceval Press.
Viggo Mortensen with Tracy Smith at Perceval Press....
© CBS.
"The Lord of the Rings" movie saga made Viggo Mortensen a very big star -- proof for anyone who needs it that he can command just about any kind of role. Tracy Smith has our Sunday Profile:

Strider: "I can avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely, that is a rare gift."
Frodo: "Who are you?"
Strider: "Are you frightened?"
Frodo: "Yes."
Strider: "Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you."

Watching his bold heroics in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, it's clear the camera loves Viggo Mortensen. But the soft-spoken actor isn't so sure whether the feeling is mutual.

"The camera's your friend," he said. "But it's like this person that's there that doesn't talk. But they have really good eyesight! So you should be on your toes. It's this mute, hawkeyed friend that doesn't know how to keep a secret," he laughed.


Viggo Mortensen as a Russian gangster in David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises."
Focus Features

"I'm not afraid of it," he added.

Making friends with the camera has turned Mortensen into a respected movie star, with roles ranging from blockbuster king to art house villain, with some sparks along the way.

But his most recent movie, "Captain Fantastic," finds Mortensen -- who has a 28-year-old son -- playing a part he says he's more comfortable with these days: a dad.

"I play a father of six children, and we live off the grid; we live in the middle of the forest in the northwest of the United States," he said. "Something tragic happens which makes them have to leave the forest. When they leave the forest and meet other kids, other families, see towns, see cities, they're socially inept, which is understandable."

Zaja (Shree Crooks): "What's wrong with everyone?"
Vespyr (Annalise Basso): "Are they sick?"
Ben (Mortensen): "What do you mean?"
Nai (Charlie Shotwell): "Everyone's so fat."
Ben: "Yeah."
Nai: "Fat like hippos."
Zaja: "That's not nice to say."
Nai: "But look!"

The movie's getting good reviews and lots of awards buzz for Mortensen, but in typical dad fashion, he wants to share all the credit with his young cast mates.

"You'll fall in love with these six kids," he said. "I mean, they're beautiful."

Mortensen's own childhood was an international one. Born in Manhattan (his mother was American, his father Danish), he spent his first decade of life in South America (Argentina mostly). When his parents divorced, he moved with his mom to upstate New York.

Smith asked, "When you were a kid, what'd you want to be when you grew up?"

"A crow was probably what I wanted to be most of all."

"Really? Why is that? What is it about crows?

"They're survivors. They can live anywhere. They're very self-sufficient. They're very resourceful. They're adaptable."

"That sounds like you."

"Yeah!" he laughed.

And could he live off the grid? "Yeah," he said.

Today, the divorced actor splits his time between Spain (where his girlfriend lives) and wherever work is -- always making sure he can get outdoors, often alone.

"Some people, if they're not on the phone or hearing the radio or interacting with somebody every half-hour or so, then they start to get nervous," Mortensen said. "It's like, 'Where is everybody?' I'm glad nobody's here, personally! Except you and me."

"Thanks for adding that, Viggo!"

He took an acting class on a whim in his early 20s, never expecting it'd become a career.

But a small part in "Witness," the Oscar-winning 1985 film starring Harrison Ford, got him noticed. And from there, the jobs just kept coming, including a drug informant in "Carlito's Way" with Al Pacino ("They made me do it. Or they send me back. I'm no good in the joint. I'm in a f***ing wheelchair, Carlito!"); and as a drill instructor in "G.I. Jane" with Demi Moore ("I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself").

But the role of Strider, a.k.a. Aragorn, he nearly turned down. Cast at the last minute, Mortensen was unsure he could do the part. But his son, Henry, who was 11 at the time, told him to grasp the "Ring."

"He said, 'Dad, you should do that.' And I was explaining, 'Well, it'll take a long time. I'm not really ready.' He says, 'You'll figure it out. You should do it. It could be good.'"

"And your son convinced you?"

"He was right, yeah."

"And what was his review?"

"Fortunately it was good. He liked it."

And so did just about everyone else. The film trilogy is one of the most successful franchises of all time, and turned Mortensen into an international movie star.

"I mostly look at it as a positive thing, this attention that we all got from the extraordinary success of 'Lord of the Rings,'" he said. "Because it gave me opportunities, it gave me more options, more stories to pick from."

And a chance to tell a few stories of his own.

With money he made from "Lord of the Rings," Mortensen was able to start his own publishing company, Perceval Press, where he can help out lesser-known stars in other fields.

He showed Smith a copy of a book by California poet Scott Wannberg. "This is a typical book of ours. Something that might not have been published otherwise, and certainly not in this way."

It's also an outlet for Mortensen's other talents: poetry and painting, photography and music.

And he's found poetic moments in his acting career, too. When his role in 2007's "Eastern Promises" got him a slew of Best Actor nominations, he brought his movie-loving mom as his date.

"The best experience that season, where I was nominated for that movie, was the SAG Awards, because I took my mom," he said. "Anybody I knew would come over: 'Is this your mom?' 'Yup!'

"She would say, 'That's so-and-so. He directed this and that and that. And that's John Travolta! Hang on a second,' and she got up and walked over, and she goes, 'Hello.' And then she's pointing over to me and said, 'That's my son.' And I was like, 'Wow...' That was great.

"She's gone now. But we did do that. Really, that was a special, very memorable experience."

Now with "Captain Fantastic," there's talk he'll be nominated for some big awards once again. But whatever happens next, Viggo Mortensen says he's already won.

"As far as acting, I mean, if 'Captain Fantastic' was my last role, I've had a good run. That wouldn't be too bad a way to go out, you know? But you never know."

© CBS. Images © CBS.

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Last edited: 19 January 2017 07:51:03