Viggo News

Viggo News

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

“This film has nothing to do with the Cannes circus”

Source: La Razon
Many thanks to Ollie for translating the interview from La Razon:

Among his colleagues, Viggo Mortensen breaks the mould with his personality. He came to the festival to support Jauja of the Argentine Lisandro Alonso, and said: "Films like this one reconcile me with my profession."

© 4L Productions.
by Javier Firpo

There's a temperature of 10 degrees, lightning in the sky and a hurricane-like wind that depopulated the beaches in Cannes. In the harbour area, where yachts, boats and other nautical luxuries tie up, there´s a stand erected for the press which is reached by a kind of pier. In jeans and a t-shirt, Viggo Mortensen stands the cold. The Dane (although also North American and Argentine) knows about cold and says that "this is the Caribbean." He´s arrived for only 48 hours at the Festival and "to give Lisandro some support." Translation: Viggo rushed from Madrid to Cannes to back up Jauja, the film of the Argentine Lisandro Alonso that is competing in the auteurs section of "Un Certain Regard"

Not many of your colleagues do what you do...

What do you mean?

I mean this question of saying "here!," "you can count on me." There are a lot of egos...

But how am I not going to be here when it´s a film that gave me so much pleasure to do. I almost asked Lisandro to keep me in mind for it. Look, I´m 55 years old, I like doing the films I want to see.

What is that about you asking him to keep you in mind?

I´m a close friend of Fabián Casas, a poet and writer with whom, in addition, we share - almost in a sick way - the San Lorenzo colours. He told me that his friend Lisandro, whom I had met, was preparing a film with his script and they asked me to participate. We met, they told me the idea for the film, rather experimental, about a mythological legend called Xauxa. They said that my role would be that of a Danish soldier and we began a very interesting team work. I got very carried away. I even collaborated with some music that I play in it.

In his soft porteño, Viggo speaks with a lack of haste and in Cannes that´s a bad word, since here everything is a whirlwind, a frenzy, and just a few minutes. "I´m a little tired of the time in festivals. I like to enjoy myself more, and if I´m talking with you I don´t want to look at the watch nor at the person who´s making signals behind," he says firmly and without tape recorder.

You had already suggested it in Everybody Has a Plan, the film that brought you back to Argentina. Do you enjoy these simple productions more, ones that are not as impressive as for instance The Lord of the Rings or The Road?

Could be. I´m at a stage in life where I prioritize the traditional craft above the industrial. The detail of a gesture, or the natural sound of a windmill more than the special effects of a monster. I´m grateful to Hollywood, but I also escape from it; it´s damaging to only consume those kind of movies.

What else do you need?

To be treated with respect, with affection, like a person. And where they also allow me to participate with ideas, decisions...Lisandro, whom I admire and see things of (David) Cronenberg in him, gave me a lot of space in the conception of the film.

Lisandro Alonso won´t be able to believe it. All your praise and you starring in his first film with professional actors.

It´s not a favour that I´m doing to Lisandro, he has an immense talent. Jauja is a film to make you think, to savour. It has nothing to do with all the circus you can see in Cannes. I came here because I´m proud to have been part of this work.

What did making a more experimental film like Jauja bring to you?

Forgiving myself as an actor, because I´ve made mistakes several times, made some wrong decisions. And Jauja reconciled me with the craft.

That´s what the actor of Lord of the Rings, Eastern Promises, and who portrayed Freud has to say...? It sounds like a joke.

Despite sounding like a cliché, I´m a rather normal guy. There are moments for every film: for tanks, for auteur films, for more experimental ones. But I choose stories that solve questions like "what do I want from myself in the performance?" or "Is it the professional life that I want?."

I imagine you don´t have a good relationship with fame...

I´ve learned to live with it. I have no other option. To be or having been a part of Hollywood has its pros and cons. The advantage is to understand you are inside a bubble and to know how to run from it. The cons is that sometimes you are not aware and stay permanently in a lie. Hollywood is there, we have heard about it, but it doesn´t exist, it´s a fiction, like Jauja.

© La Razon. Images © 4L Productions.

Print View Link to this newsitem

First glimpse of U.S. The Two Faces of January poster

Source: Indewire.
Found By: Chrissie
Many thanks to Chrissie for bringing us this first look.

Images © StudioCanal/Magnolia Pictures.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Viggo-Works Exclusive Interview with Viggo: April 12, 2014

Good Food, Good Friends, and Good Conversation
Viggo-Works Talks to Viggo Mortensen

As the crowning point of our Viggo-Works 10th Anniversary celebration, we are so very pleased to share with everyone, an exclusive interview with Viggo, done about a month ago. This is something that we thought would be impossible to pull off, but through Viggo's graciousness we, once again, have been able to ask him a few questions and get some quite remarkable answers. Some of these questions are ones that only a fan site would think to ask, which makes Viggo's replies all the more extraordinary. Our thanks to Viggo for making this possible and taking the time out of his (always) busy schedule to respond to us and help us celebrate our Viggo-Works 10th Anniversary.

What an anniversary present this is!!

Read on ...


• David Oelhoffen had obviously been working on the "Loin des hommes" project for quite a while before finances were secured for the filming. At what point did you become involved with the project? What were the challenges in portraying Daru? And was filming in Morocco more difficult for this film than they were for "Hidalgo

-A couple of years ago David Oelhoffen, through his producer Matthew Gledhill, approached me to see if I would be interested in portraying the Algerian school teacher 'Daru' in David's adaptation of Albert Camus' short story from 1957, "l'Hôte" ("The Guest"), titled "Loin des hommes" ("Far From Men"). They had seen me speaking Quebec-accented French in an interview, and wondered if I thought I'd be up to playing a character in that language. I have long been an admirer of Camus the writer and Camus the man, but I was not familiar with that particular short story from the collection titled "L'exil et le royaume" ("Exile and the Kingdom"). When I had read both the story and the screenplay, I realised that David'd expansion of the story was a very good one, and I said that I would be honoured to try my hand at playing the character. As with most worth-while movie projects, it took a while to get the financing together, but we ended up making a very good movie, very true to the spirit of Camus, in my opinion. Shooting in the Atlas Mountains was not any harder than it needed to be. It was as cold and beautiful as we needed it to be most of the time, except at the start of shooting when it was a bit too warm. The look and feel of the movie is always wintry, though. Reda Kateb, a very fine French actor of Algerian descent, was my partner, playing the role of the prisoner 'Mohammed'. For my role I had to speak Arabic as well as French. It turned out to be a bit more of a challenge to get rid of the more nasal sound of my normal French than it was to learn to speak my Arabic lines. In the end, I believe both languages worked out well.

• You've said that you create a back story for your characters from the time they were born. In "Everybody Has A Plan" you play twins - which one did you consider to be the firstborn? And why?

-The character of 'Agustín', the Buenos Aires middle-class doctor, seemed the older one always, perhaps because he seemed more socially responsible. In the end, if you have seen Ana Piterbarg's movie, however, you will have seen that 'Agustín' has just as many social problems as his brother 'Pedro'.

• When it comes to creating a character's appearance is there anything you particularly dislike having to wear (e.g. wig, contact lenses, prosthetics etc)?

-No. I'll do just about anything to get the particulars of any character "right", and usually end up enjoying all aspects of that exploration.

• Why did you decide to set up Perceval Pictures and where do you see it going in the future?

-To help produce "Loin des hommes", "Todos tenemos un plan", and Lisandro Alonso's new movie, which we shot in Argentina last year. In future, I may try to produce other projects, perhaps an adaptation of Mari Sandoz' "The Horsecatcher" from scratch. We'll see.

© Pure Agency - Images: Adam Whitehead

Is ACÁ the soundtrack for Jauja?

-No, it is not. One song on it is partly inspired by our collaboration, but the CD is basically a story about travelling up a mountain stream through a period of late winter into early spring. There will be two tracks in Lisandro's movie that I did produce, however, in which Buckethead plays some beautiful guitar tracks.

• You were a producer for Everybody Has A Plan and, more recently, Jauja - how much does being a producer add to your workload? Does it allow you to have more input as to how the finished work turns out?

-It depends on how competent and organised the other people involved in the project are. It does involve some added responsibilities to my acting work, but I am happy, in my capacity as a fellow producer, to help the director get his vision onto the screen and to do what I can to see that the movie is properly presented to the public.

• In an interview you said that "The Horsecatcher" is a universal story and that you "could transpose it to an inner city and have instead the pressure to take drugs." Does the script you have been working on place it in a modern setting or are you staying faithful to the book?

-I am staying faithful to the book. It takes place in the 19th century and there are no Europeans or people of European descent in the story.

© G7 magazine

• Are there any other books (if you could obtain the necessary rights) that you would like to film in the role of director?

-Not yet, although there are many gems out there that have not been made into movies.

• You narrated The Path Of The Condor and, more recently, you have narrated The Little Prince. You also contributed to The Wasteland app. How did you get involved in these projects and would you like to do more narration work in the future?

-I was invited. I wouldn't mind doing more narration. It is an enjoyable way to participate in story-telling.

• Do you have any plans to return to the stage? And which country (or countries) would you like to perform in?

-I'd like to play a role from Shakespeare in England. But could be a newer play as well.

• Is there any Shakespeare character you would like to play (that you haven't already)?

-Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Macbeth, to name a few, but there are many interesting roles that I would imagine I could play. Even Hamlet, in spite of my age, if I could.


• Are you working on any new literary pieces of your own … poetry, prose, photography … that we can anticipate coming from Perceval Press in the next year?

-Photos, poems, drawings. Not sure when I will have something ready. Perhaps a book of photos with some new poems scattered throughout, like I have done in the past, could be ready this year.

• Do you still create any visual arts like paintings or drawings?

-Drawings, and hope to get back to painting when I move to a bit larger home later in the year.

• For a couple of years you've mentioned the possibility of a photographic exhibition – is that still on your agenda and, if so, in which city is it likely to be held?

-No idea at this point, but hope to do one tied to a new book, when that is ready.

• Your blog at Perceval Press always contains so many interesting political and social viewpoints. What do you see as the top three or four worldwide issues before us at this time?

-Climate change, hunger, greed, and, above all, war, an issue that is connected to and feeds the other three.


• You've filmed in England several times but we've never seen any evidence that you have adopted an English soccer team, unlike when you've been filming in other countries and have usually found a team to support. Do you have a preference for a particular English team or are you simply overwhelmed by the choice provided by the various English leagues? And have you had the opportunity to go to any matches when you've been filming in England?

-I've been to see Fulham, Tottenham, and Arsenal in their stadiums over the years. I like Fulham, the oldest Premier League team, I believe, and one of the world's oldest football clubs. They have colours similar to Istanbul's Beşiktaş, a club I am also fond of.

• What are your views on the introduction of goal-line technology?

-Long overdue. Obviously this was not feasible back in 1966, when Germany was beaten by England in the final thanks to a goal that should never have been allowed, but many injustices could have been avoided in recent World Cups as well as Champions League matches -not to mention every league of any size or age-group for men, women, girls or boys anywhere in the world- if FIFA had incorporated the technology in a timely fashion.

• If you could go back in time, where would you go and why?

-It is difficult to choose any one place or time. The more one learns about history, archaeology, biology, and other disciplines, the more one becomes fascinated with all sorts of eras and locations. If I only had one choice, however, and had to choose between a made-made environment, no how dazzling a place it might be, and wild nature, I would always choose a place untouched by humans.

© Getty Images - Images: Andreas Rentz

• We've read about how much you love gardening. What do you grow?

-Depends on the climate and the amount of sun the place gets. Lately lots of flowers, from spring perennials to roses. I try to always have mint, basil, rosemary and other herbs and aromatic plants going. In the past I have also had big vegetable gardens, and have planted hundreds of trees over the years, hardwoods, citrus, cherries, apples, plums, pears, apples, pines. Also have had grape vines. I like a good vegetable garden, encircled by wildflowers. It is very satisfying work. Maybe when I one day get back to living in the country again I will be able to start another big garden like the ones I've had in the past.

• We know that you have seen the two instalments of "The Hobbit" that have been released so far – what are your views on the films and how the story and characters have been treated.

-I've enjoyed seeing the first two installments of Peter Jackson's adaptations inspired by The Hobbit, even though I was sometimes distracted by the liberties taken with Tolkien's story. I suppose it was necessary to come up with a lot of new entertaining material in order to expand into three long movies what is a much shorter book than The Lord of the Rings is.

• Just for fun … what is your favorite comfort food?

-Hard to choose one, but I can give you four off the top of my head: pickled herring, strong cheddar cheese, dark chocolate, and salted almonds.

© Getty/Jag Gundu

• Name six historical figures you would like to invite to a dinner party.

-Again, far too many to chose from, but I can give you the first ones that come to mind at this moment: Albert Camus, Minerva Chapman, Buffalo Bill Cody, Karen Blixen, Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman, Clara Barton, Bertrand Russell, Alfredo Alcón, Padre Lorenzo Massa, Rosa Luxemburg, Noam Chomsky, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Alfonsina Storni, Rolf Krake, Ada Falcón, William Shakespeare, Wangari Maathai, Crazy Horse, Hannah Arendt, Gautama Buddah, Hypatia, Heidegger, Schopenhauer, Santa Teresa de Avila, Oscar Wilde, the Prophet Muhammad, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Jorge Luis Borges, R. M. Rilke, Marguerite Duras, Leonardo da Vinci, Jesus Christ, Carl T. Dreyer, Maria Falconetti, Stefan Schweig, Sigmund Freud, Ludvig Holberg, Mohandas Gandhi, Howard Zinn, Saxo Grammaticus, Artemisia Genitleschi, Leo Messi and Allan Simonsen seated together... that's probably enough for a long table.

• And what would you cook for them?

-I would make a giant salad from my own garden, provide good home-baked bread, and, too be safe and not offend anyone, a big rice dish with options of meat and vegetarian, with lots of hand-picked forest mushrooms in both. Also oven-baked potatoes, carrots, garlic, turnips, onions. For those interested, I'd provide fresh-caught wild rainbow trout and salmon, grilled with a bit of lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, blueberries, huckleberries, apples, plums, wild grapes, and whatever else I could find in my ideal orchards and surrounding forest. Lots of good water from a spring, and plenty of red and white wine from Spain, Argentina, Italy, France, and New Zealand.


Our thanks, once again, to Viggo. Here's to another 10 years!


Print View Link to this newsitem

Viggo in Studio Ciné Live magazine

Source: Studio Ciné Live.
Found By: Dom
Many thanks to Dom for providing scans of the Viggo interview in the June edition of Studio Ciné Live magazine in France:

Click to enlarge

Images © Studio Ciné Live.

Print View Link to this newsitem

The Two Faces of January screening at the Provincetown International Film Festival on Saturday, June 21

Source: Provincetown International Film Festival.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for bringing us this info for the screening in Provincetown, MA.
Image Jack English.
© StudioCanal.
What begins as a seemingly opportune meeting between Chester and Colette MacFarland, a wealthy American couple touring Athens, and Rydal, an American expat/tour guide (and small-time con man), quickly devolves into a precarious love triangle in this twisty adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel. The film, which makes gorgeous use of its exotic locales, marks the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, who earned an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of Henry James' The Wings of the Dove. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac.

DATE: Sat Jun 21 10:00PM
VENUE: Town Hall

Click HERE for more details.

© Provincetown International Film Festival. Images © StudioCanal.

Display options:
Order by:        
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 31 August 2014 16:29:53