Quotable Viggo

Viggo News

Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page

Search Result

Show all news items in: Viggo News

Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

So The Lord of the Rings might be getting a TV adaption? If it happens, heaven help whoever plays Aragorn as there are mighty boots to fill. In the minds of – well – pretty much everybody, Viggo IS Aragorn, even while presenting a reluctant side of Aragorn which didn't appear in the books and which Tolkien never imagined. He made Aragorn into the Hero we all wanted to walk Middle-earth with. Whether Tolkien's Aragorn or not Tolkien's Aragorn, Viggo brought Middle-earth's King in Waiting to life in a way that can hardly be matched. Who will ever again find that intensity, grace, swordsmanship and – on set and off – inspiring leadership?

Mortensen is Aragorn!

'The Lord of the Rings' is Getting a TV Adaptation
By Sheryl Oh
Film School Rejects
6 November 2017

Why is Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy so good? It could be his immersion in J. R. R. Tolkien's original novels: He can speak knowledgeably on why Aragorn carries a bow, although it's not directly mentioned in the original text. Or it could be his complete dedication to the role: During filming, Mortensen went everywhere with his sword, even to restaurants. Or it could be his overall intelligence: When he first read The Lord of the Rings (on the plane down to New Zealand, after he was brought in as a last-minute replacement), he was struck by the echoes of Beowulf and ancient Icelandic sagas. Once he had landed, he bought a pile of the books Tolkien himself had used as sources. 'I made it a classroom in mythology and literature,' he says - and he turned Aragorn into an uncommon film hero, one with genuine mythic resonances across the centuries.

Hot Actor - Viggo Mortensen
By G. E.
Rolling Stone (U.S.)
September 2003

'Ultimately, you create your own luck. Fate does step in. When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand. Viggo, in hindsight, was the one person who was perfect for this film. He came out of nowhere, and suddenly there was Aragorn.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
December 2004

There is something other-worldly about Mortensen that makes him so suited to playing the dashing Aragorn who, along with Russell Crowe's toga-hero Maximus in Gladiator, has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002

"I read an article that said, 'Finally, someone's found the niche for Viggo Mortensen: the rugged hero who has a deep intellect and a great humanity. That's what Aragorn is, because Viggo has brought that to it. He's very like that as a human being."

Bernard Hill
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn.

Nick Nunziata
December 2001

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn carries himself with the perfect air of strength, compassion, and quiet nobility that you expect from someone who you would be willing to follow into battle.

The Two Towers review
Brian McKay
22 December 2002

As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did; his threadbare regality is more eloquent than any exposition.

The Two Towers review
Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
20 December 2002

Towers belongs to Mortensen, an actor of considerable range who makes Aragorn's moral and romantic dilemmas seems amazingly plausible and immediate.

The Two Towers review
Louise B. Hobson
Calgary Sun
18 December 2002

Mortensen as much mobilizes this cast of thousands externally as he does within the narrative, and plays the true-hearted hero with enough gravity to make Aragon believable without slipping into parody Prince Valiant clichés.

The Two Towers review
Todd Gilchrist
18 December 2002

A few of the characters seem even richer, more profound than Tolkien's own conception. Viggo Mortensen finds an astonishing stillness and poise at the heart of Aragorn (he's a bit of a stiff in the novel). This deep love of peace is what drives him to fight, a paradox which makes him more kinglike than any other character.

The Two Towers review
Suzi Feay
The Independent on Sunday
15 December 2002

The dashing Mortensen never lets his audience down in his representation of this rugged warrior, a leader of men who endure one battle after another, testing not only their valor but also their very existence.

Return of the King review
Diana Saenger
December 2003

As the capstone to one of the single greatest achievements of modern motion-picture history, The Return of the King is generally peerless - Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, the King of the title, is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...

Return of the King review
Marc Savlov
The Austin Chronicle
19 December 2003

I really don't know what happened myself, but I lost myself completely in the role. I am a man who likes to withdraw into solitude and take long hikes in the woods and mountains. So was Aragorn. We fitted perfectly together.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
December 2004

'Viggo just became so synonymous with Aragorn that it was hard to see him as Viggo again and not Aragorn. I have never witnessed an actor enter the spirit of a role as he did.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
December 2004

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

In something to cheer our day, yesterday, we had '16 Times Aragorn Was Hotter Than the Fires of Mount Doom'. Only 16 :lol:? Time for another Aragorn Quotable. I figure that we can never have too many! So enjoy, once again, some old favourites about 'the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown'.

Eyes ablaze and sword aglint, Mortensen proved a captivating warrior who stirred the hearts, souls and in many cases the loins of the first blockbuster film's audiences. The very first moment he is glimpsed-silently sitting in the shadows inside the Prancing Pony inn, his eyes shielded by the hood of his cloak-signalled the arrival of a New Hollywood Hero, a dynamic man of mystery, action and romance. Tall, graceful, handsome, athletic, charismatic-these are qualities that Mortensen has always possessed, but before this had never projected them with such vigour.

The New Hollywood Male
By Charles Gant
Arena Homme Plus #18
December 2002

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

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn. The only thing keeping him from becoming the next HUGE leading man is if he decides he doesn't want to be. Women will love him and men will too. To top it off, he has a terrific (but brief) scene of incredible romance.

Nick Nunziata
December 2001

I spent the duller sections thinking about how flaxen-haired Legolas looks like a Milky Bar hippy as he pings his egg-slicer-strong arrows at the barbarous monsters. I also drifted off looking at Viggo Mortensen: has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren.

The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003

This is Return of the King though, and Viggo is that king. Throughout all three films, this has been a journey of responsibility for Aragorn as he grows to accept the destiny for which he was born. Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

Film Hobbit
16 December 3003

I am being seduced by royalty. And not your garden variety Windsor, either. Admittedly, he looks more like a gypsy in his earthy tunic repaired to within an inch of its life, his hands and nails bearing the ingrained grit of a farmer. But he's a king all right: the King, the Lord of Men. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and any minute now he's going to reach out one of those taut brown arms, lift me up on his trusty steed and whisk me away from all this...

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph
23 November 2003

The fiery passion that blazes in his eyes can do what no extra-large popcorn can: sustain a grown woman through six-plus hours of viewing pleasure for the past two years. It has been a torrid, if one-sided, affair, though I suspect many others have fallen for his unwashed charms.

On Viggo as Aragorn
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

You can have your wee hobbits and wizened wizards. Give me the man who would be king. Rough-hewn Aragorn is as manly as they come as he slays loathsome orcs and woos elf princess Arwen, whispering sweet nothings into her pointy ears.

It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

Casually dropping his name into conversations with the girls over the past 48 hours has produced more gasps, heaving bosoms and sighs of jealousy than a Lotto win.

"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
By Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times

....even sitting in a plastic chair under the unflattering glare of fluorescent, in a drab office at Miramar Productions' headquarters in New Zealand, Viggo Mortensen is by far the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown.

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph

The biggest impression, though, comes from one of the lesser-known players: Viggo Mortensen stuns as the tormented, destiny-shucking warrior Aragorn, exuding a bravery that will make men admire him and an intensity that will make women want to hop into his leather jerkin. (Let's just hope he doesn't inspire a resurgence in Renaissance Faire fashion.)

Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001

Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty. These two acting kings are both terrific once more in The Return of the King.

Ian McKellen
"The White book", Mckellen.com
July 15, 2003

When Star asked the actor what he makes of being called a sex symbol, he joked, "I think you should ask Orlando Bloom that question!" Mortensen, it seems, considers himself more geeky than sexy: "They call me the 'Dork of New York'," he says.

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star, 2003

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Happy Tolkien Reading Day!

Source: The Tolkien Society
© New Line Productions Inc.
Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year. It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events.

Why 25 March?

The 25th of March is the date of the downfall of the Lord of the Rings (Sauron) and the fall of Barad-dûr. It's as simple as that!

As the 25th is obviously a fixed date, we suggest that local events could be held on the weekend prior to then if that's more convenient.


Tolkien Reading Day began following an enquiry from Sean Kirst, a columnist of the The Post-Standard (a paper local to Syracuse, New York), in January 2002:

My grandparents were fishing folk from Buckie in the north of Scotland, carriers of the old stories and legends, and the trilogy has filled a certain hole in my life. I have many friends here in New York who were equally moved by the book, reignited by the film, and we all wondered: is there any day devoted informally to readings from the trilogy, in the way that "Bloomsday" is devoted to Joyce?

The committee liked the idea so much that they choose 25 March 2003 to be the first "Tolkien Reading Day", and the rest, as they say, is history!

© The Tolkien Society. Images © New Line Productions, Inc..

Print View Link to this newsitem

Good Morning Viggodom!

Source: Dominic Monaghan.
Found By: MysticLady

Thanks to MysticLady for the find from Dominic Monaghan's Twitter page.

We Have a Cave Troll!

© Dominic Monaghan.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Viggo Mortensen on Captain Fantastic, Being Typecast, and the Long-term Benefit of Being in Lord of the Rings

Source: Vulture
© Vulture.
By Stacey Wilson Hunt

Though it's been almost a year since Captain Fantastic premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Matt Ross's film — about an anti-establishment father raising his six kids off the grid in the woods of the Pacific Northwest — has seen an impressive uptick in awards buzz for its star Viggo Mortensen, who recently earned both Critics Choice and Indie Spirit nominations for his portrayal of a man torn between his kids' needs and his own rejection of mainstream culture. In November, Mortensen met with Vulture in front of a live audience at SAG-AFTRA in Los Angeles as part of its Foundation's "Conversations" series, to discuss the film, his breakout role in Peter Weir's Witness, and how the "long-lasting" fame afforded by the Lord of the Rings trilogy has allowed him the freedom to pursue smaller passion projects.

How, if at all, is Captain Fantastic emblematic of the type of film you're most interested in making at this stage in your career?

I've been around long enough to know to know that this was one of the best things I'd read in a long time. But I have to say, when I met Matt Ross, I said, "This is a great script, a near perfect blueprint for a story, but I don't know how you can make a movie as good as the script unless you find six genius kids." He said, "Well, we will try!" I was nervous. Fortunately, he included me in the process of the final auditions for each of the kids' roles and they were all so talented. Then I got a little more nervous. Now I'm going to have to be up to their level. But it's good to have that fear. It's also rare that a movie turns out as well as the script. But, to answer the question, this role combined many things I look for: There's an emotional journey and transitions, some of them subtle, some of them less so. In this case, the character has to change or he is not going to be the father or person he wants to be.

What are the distinct differences you see in being directed by someone who is also an actor? Are there things Matt did as a director that made your job easier?

You don't have to be a great actor to be a good director of actors. But I haven't seen anybody do a better job of than Matt did of going the extra mile every day to make sure everybody was comfortable, and not just the kids. This was only his second full-length film. It was very ambitious. We're talking about an indie movie where we are changing locations almost every day, you have a lot of child actors who have limited working hours legally, and you are shooting outdoors a lot of the time. That would be challenging for any director, even a seasoned one. But he was great at creating the illusion. That's how good an actor he is: Inside, he was probably ready to curl up and die. [Laughs.]

Much of the film takes place in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, which I'm sure posed many challenges. Was there a scene or sequence that was particularly difficult to shoot logistically?

On a superficial level, the rock-climbing sequence was not something I was looking forward to.

Were all of you, including the kids, actually up there on those rocks?

Yeah, they were there swinging around like monkeys, totally fearless. I look at rock climbing as something I admire. It's aesthetically beautiful, but I was not looking forward to it. I stayed up there basically. They all climbed down to have lunch, and I said, "I'm good!" [Laughs.] They said, "We can send you a sandwich up on a rope!" I'm just really glad the weather held and there wasn't anything we had to reshoot.

You're now three decades into your acting career. What or who first inspired you to pursue the craft ?

It was probably subconsciously my mother, from a very early age. She used to take me to the movies, grown-up movies like when I was very little— 3, 4, and 5 years old — like Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago. She was so into it and then in the intermission we would talk — this was back when those long movies had intermissions. Now that I look back at it, she was always talking about the people and the relationships of the characters.

But it didn't occur to me to try acting it until I was, for an actor, relatively pretty old — 22 or 23. I was working selling tickets and popcorn in a revival movie theater and I was seeing movies from the '30s to the '80s and studying seeing certain performances. I always wondered, What was their trick? I wanted to try it.

The first teacher I had was a man named Warren Robertson in New York City. He had sort of a scene study and exercise class and so forth. I didn't really know anything; I hadn't had any kind of acting training so I didn't even know what I was doing. I actually looked in the yellow pages and thought I would try out for a play. I found this thing that said Actors Repertory Theater — yeah, they must do lots of plays with actors! So I called them and I said "I want to try out. What's the story, should I prepare?" They said, "Just come in Monday at 8 o'clock and bring two pieces." I go, "Two pieces of what?" It's a miracle they even let me come in. I cobbled together dialogue of a character from a Karen Blixen story by Isak Dinesen, the Danish writer Meryl Streep played in Out of Africa. And also, for some reason I prepared the lyrics to an Irish song. They said, "We will get back to you." Then, a couple of days later they called and said, "Okay, you are accepted." So that's how that started.

Witness was the first film I saw you in. How did you get that role? Did you audition directly for Peter Weir?

I didn't meet with him at first. I think I'd previously met the casting director for something else. The part as actually written to be just a day's work: It was the funeral scene at the beginning of the movie where there are some Amish men and boys walking through a cornfield, down from where Kelly McGillis's character' family lives. It was a funeral for her husband. I think I had one word in German and that was it. It's funny, the same day I was offered the Witness job in Pennsylvania — I was living in New York at the time — I was also offered a part in a production of Shakespeare in the Park for that summer. That was the thing to do obviously, but my rep said, "Not so fast. It's not often that you have someone like Peter Weir coming through and casting and you can do a play anytime. Trust me, just go down and do this thing."

So I took the train down to Lancaster, did the day's work and at lunch Peter Weir came over to the table where I was sitting with some of the other actors and asked, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" I felt like maybe I said the thing in German wrong! He looked very serious. He says, "What are you doing the next six weeks?" I said, "I don't know, nothing?" He said, "I was looking at [co-star] Alexander Godunov and I think I will make you be his brother if you are willing to hang around. Wherever he is, especially when he's interacting with Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford, you are sort of the audience's eyes watching and seeing. I can't tell you what you will be doing, but we will figure it out as we go along." I worked once or twice a week at most, mostly just background. That movie gave me the absolute wrong idea of what filmmaking is like because the director was polite and there was no yelling. [Laughs.] Work always finished on time or a little before. It was like, "Wow, what a great business!" Then it took me another 20 years to have another experience like that.

Did that movie help get you noticed in Hollywood?

The movie came out in 1985, but it took me a long time to get going after that. I eventually moved out to California and in 1989 or so, and I got a role in Young Guns II. I was getting jobs here and there. I worked a little in TV, small parts in movies. I did a lead in a horror movie set in a prison in Wyoming. Somebody had seen me in a play here in Los Angeles in 1987, then Sean Penn cast me in his 1991 film The Indian Runner and that helped to some degree, but not immediately. Then [Captain Fantastic casting director] Jeannie McCarthy was involved in Crimson Tide, the Tony Scott movie with Denzel Washington and cast me in that. It was all bit by bit.

Was there a trend in the types roles you were being offered? Romantic roles? Bad-guy parts?

I actually couldn't get auditions for those. Bad guys were the ones I wanted; they seem more fun and more of a challenge. But because of the way I looked, and what they had seen me do in Witness, it wasn't going to happen. Every part I was offered was sort of "a nice young man." But you still learn a lot. Making Crimson Tide, for example, watching Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman spar was great, seeing how Tony Scott worked with the actors too. All those experiences added up and helped give me a shorthand about how to be useful to a story and a director. I've always stuck to a similar approach with each job.

Did you have any sense of how giant The Lord of the Rings would be when you were filming the trilogy?

It was kind of a messy process to some degree. It was very ambitious — never been done quite like anything like that before. It was over a year straight shooting the bones of all three stories, and then we kept going back. In the six months before each movie came out, we would go to New Zealand to reshoot new stuff. In terms of the ratio of footage shot to footage onscreen, we probably broke a record. [Laughs.] But it was a great experience. It felt like the spirit of Tolkien was really captured. I remember they showed 20 minutes of footage at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival showing various fighting scenes, Rivendell and the caves of Moria and dwarves and elves running around and all of us in the mountains. I remember some of the producers were nervous about how the movie would play in Asia. They said, "They don't have a history of reading Tolkien there, it's not in their bookstores." I said, "I wouldn't worry about it. The value of this story is that it's universal. Just take the elves for example — they're a very Samarian culture." But I think anyone who'd tell you they knew it was going to be a cultural milestone and box-office success is doing some rewriting of history. I don't think anybody knew.

Did you find those films dramatically shifted fame and notoriety for you?

Certainly like everybody else, all of the sudden I got a huge amount of attention.

Attention from nerds too, which is the strongest kind of attention.

Yeah, and the longest lasting. [Laughs.] It does take some getting used to. But it was wonderful experience working for Peter Jackson and with all those people, that huge family, which is what we became. And it did give me more options. Without The Lord of the Rings, I wouldn't have been able to do the first movie with David Cronenberg [A History of Violence]. You have to do something with your good luck, make good choices and continue to be ready if something happens. With Captain Fantastic, they said, "If Viggo plays the father, yeah, we will finance that." And that's probably a residual effect from LOTR and that's great. I can only be grateful. Acting is the most fulfilling, greatest, inspiring job there is. When it doesn't work, it's the worst, most embarrassing, humiliating, it's just terrible and you just want to die. [Laughs.] But when everything is clicking and you're connecting with everyone, it's wonderful.

© Vulture. Images © Vulture.

Display options:
Order by:        
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 17 November 2018 21:25:44