Quotable Viggo 2014

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Quotable Viggo: 15 March 2014

A few weeks ago I was trying to explain to a friend why a rather dark, rather blurry black and white photo of a tree which I have hanging on my wall was, in fact, an atmospheric work of art. That there is more below the surface than initially meets the eye. That the profile of the tree looks, to me, just like a face. That it appears to be shouting at a distant factory like an enraged Ent. I don't think I convinced her, but that doesn't matter. It convinces me. The photograph, of course, was taken by Viggo Mortensen and he chose it as one of his many tree pictures for his Skovbo Exhibition in Iceland in 2008. I like to think it's because of Viggo's ability to find 'find small wonders and flashes of surprise'. And because it's an Ent...

Skovbo Exhibit in Reykjavik, Iceland
© Abaca.

In high school, the shy kid began carrying a camera everywhere he went. Structuring his vistas within a viewfinder was a natural impulse. Already he had hopscotched through many disparate worlds, never lingering long enough on any to burn a permanent image.

Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39
November 2002

…as an adolescent, he felt comfortable behind the lens of a camera. Mortensen says he started taking pictures as a teenager, although he wasn't "really serious about it." For him, the camera not only offered a sense of control over his surroundings but a kind of veil to help him feel invisible from a world he found both intimidating and inspiring.

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003

What was it that inspired you to start making photos?

Nothing in particular. Perhaps it has something to do with a sort of incurable, persistent nosiness.

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Natalie Dodecker
American Photo magazine

Mortensen's photography is decidedly low-tech, utterly spontaneous, and free of preconception, employing no staged lighting or posing. He literally takes pictures of what is right in front of him. But there is certainly saturation to his colors and a mystique to the content which captures the sometimes obscure significance in the ordinary moments pictured. Mortensen's stills are often as much a question as they are an answer.

Things Are Weird Enough
by Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19

'There are a lot of photographs of people that I've seen where it's obviously a very staged scene - something really choreographed, designed, lit a certain way. I don't know if it's just laziness or preference but I like to shoot just with what's there, whether it's night or day. Just what's happening - what I see, without interfering. I mean, things are weird enough, and people do strange enough things, that I don't think you have to try.'

Viggo Mortensen
Things Are Weird Enough
by Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19, 1999

Mortensen's best photographs capture the partial, the fleeting and the unnoticed with surprising ease. One critic described them as "perfectly colloquial." In other words, he makes great snapshots.

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life, 2003

"Great artists tell us the task is to train and polish the attention within the brilliance of our small shipwrecks. Viggo does that both insistently and obsessively; he trains his eye to find small wonders and flashes of surprise, and these things are polished by the way he frames them. It is this framing that clearly - both formally and unconsciously - corresponds to his sense of how things are."

Kevin Powers
The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life, 2003

'In a way, I am a photographer even when I don't take pictures. I think it's an instinctive thing by now, a part of myself.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

Did you and Viggo Mortensen use homemade cameras?

We're not that renaissance. Viggo's got an old hasselblad that he takes forever to focus & shoot. But I must admit he's got some real talent behind the lens. . . not too bad in front either.

John Doe
John Doe finds Emily at a Crossroads
By Emily Strange
June 2012

"I've photographed a lot with Leica and Hasselblad cameras but last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen. Then you check out the films and choose the best ones. I have an opinion of how I want them to be."

Viggo Mortensen
Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

He got the idea for the exhibition [sadanset] while he was looking at pictures and discovered that two of them sort of continued in each other. He got interested and the next 14 days he worked his way through a pile of pictures to find photos that could continue the horizon-line and make the puzzle more complete.

Also five pictures from one of Mortensen's earlier books raised his interest. The five photos are very similar, but originate from different continents. The pictures show, according to the artist, that people and landscapes are connected.

From movies to photos
Jette Hansen
19 October 2008

I decided to take photos of trees for this show because there are no trees in Iceland. I decided to bring trees to Iceland.

Viggo Mortensen on the Skovbo Exhibition
Capable Of Many Things
By Hanna Björk Valsdóttir - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008

Viggo Mortensen's photographs can be explained as poetic; sometimes the focus is shallow, a lot of movement, light sometimes leaks into the pictures and makes weird influences.

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

'Two years ago, I spent a few days in Montana with Viggo while he was shooting Hidalgo, and I swear he was never without a camera. One moment he was slamming on the brakes to photograph a horse on a hill, and the next, he was slowing down to take a picture of a cloud.'

Tom Roston
Premiere, November 2004

So how good a photographer is he? I've looked at two of Mortensen's books and from that evidence I would hazard the opinion that he is very good indeed.

Mark Power
The Salt Mine
3 September 2008

Quotable Viggo: 8 March 2014

Virginia Madsen's revelation yesterday that Viggo wrote at least the first of his Lucifer scenes in 'The Prophecy' deserves a bigger outing than our 'other movies' thread. In fact, perhaps Viggo's whole performance 'perched on a post like a big, black-plumaged bird of prey' deserves a bigger outing. He is, after all, the favourite Lucifer of most connoisseurs of all Devilish on screen. Even Pacino and De Niro didn't eat a rose or howl while nibbling a freshly plucked heart, and no one else has made 'I love you' sound like the very last thing you would ever want to hear.

© Neo Motion Pictures/Overseas Film Group.

So when you did The Prophecy, did it strike you as interesting or potentially controversial that religion was the basis for this horror?

No, that was kind of a ridiculous situation actually because the script was not complete. The director was the writer of Backdraft [Gregory Widen] so we thought he was going to write this extraordinary script. We all knew each other and once Walken signed up, who's going to say no? We all sort of arrived and kept expecting new and exciting pages, and he was not forthcoming with these new and exciting pages. We were in fact writing the script as we went....

...Viggo Mortensen came, he wrote that scene where he came in to play the Devil. That was just beautiful, and I didn't know Viggo until he got there. I just sat there watching him tell me this beautiful story. It was incredible what he came up with. That was an amazing performance. I was like, "Who is this guy?" Of course, then I had a big old crush on him but never saw him after the movie. Isn't that weird? Don't you think Viggo and I should work together?

Virginia Madsen
SXSW 2014 Interview: Virginia Madsen on The Wilderness of James
By Fred Topel
7 March 2014

Every journalist's dream is to get an interview with the Devil. Yesterday I had the chance to meet Lucifer, even if he was a fictional version. There were no black suits, evil horns, spiky tail or charred smells. Modernly dressed in an olive suit, lost in the sofa's depths, there he was. He stood up slowly when he saw me. "Mortensen, Viggo Mortensen," he said...

Viggo Mortensen: A Very Devilish Devil In The Prophecy
By Ferran Viladevall
La Opinión
8 September 1995

His participation in this movie was agreed at a moment's notice. It went all so quickly that he read the script while flying out to Arizona, where the scenes in which Mortensen appears were shot. "I accepted, in part because I had always wanted to work with Christopher Walken," the actor says while sitting on the sofa's edge. His face lights up when saying Walken's name. It's evident that Christopher Walken is a cult actor for many young actors nowadays. "I would do any movie with him, no matter what [it was]."

On "The Prophecy'
Viggo Mortensen: A Very Devilish Devil In The Prophecy
by Ferran Viladevall
La Opinión 1995

"Even though I didn't have much time to prepare for the role, the character interested me and I explored his story. I see him as the prodigal son, very gifted but such a rebel that his father throws him out of paradise. I asked myself how he would have reacted. He certainly would have felt misunderstood, because he was the most intelligent and brightest of all the angels. Inevitably he would ask himself, 'Why has he rejected me?' So he would have had ego problems. Ultimately he's very human…"

Viggo Mortensen
The King Is Mortensen, Long Live The King!
By Marc Toullec
Cine Live #71
September 2003

You've played a variety of roles, including Lucifer (The Prophecy, 1995).

Lucifer? Ah...that was fun, but difficult, because the truth is that I couldn't prepare the role the way that I usually do...going to Lucifer's house or meeting him or meeting his family. But I think that we all have a dark side and so I had to think a little bit about that.

"If they give me a Salvadorian script, I'm game."
By Isabela Vides - translated by Margarita
La Prensa Grafica
7 March 2007

Hailed as 'mordantly witty', a young vaguely edgy actor named Viggo Mortensen wound up stealing the remainder of the film from Walken, creating one of the most memorable embodiments of evil ever put to screen. 'The devil doesn't really need to yell at people and slap 'em around,' says Mortensen now, six years later, 'because he knows he's powerful. That was one superficial guiding principle I tried to keep in mind. You are it. You are the Dark One and you don't have to prove it.'

On "The Prophecy'
His Occult Fellowship,
by Lisa Maccarillo
Fangoria magazine #208, 2001

'There were some silly things which I felt were interesting that were cut out of that movie for reasons of whatever, shots didn't look right, or they wanted to speed the movie up. I think [the studio people] were afraid we were too kinda wacky. "It's the devil, man. You can't do stuff like that. I go, "What are you talking about? I can do anything I f***** want. '

Viggo Mortensen on The Prophecy
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

It's evident that Lucifer is a bad guy, but he's not the only one. "We are all a little bit evil," says Viggo, "but at the same time, everybody is convinced that they are good and aren't aware of the small residue of evil that they hide." Not bad, coming from Lucifer himself. "I won't defend him," the actor says, referring to the Devil. "I believe in good as well as in evil."

Viggo Mortensen: A Very Devilish Devil In The Prophecy
by Ferran Viladevall
La Opinión 1995

Very few actors can convincingly play the Prince of Darkness. Jack Nicholson is one, and Viggo is the other. Mortensen plays the devil with a malicious glee that can only be seen in psych wards.

Colin Briggs
Gotcha Movies
4 July 2013

But for what may have been the only time in his career, Walken has a movie plucked out from underneath him. Viggo Mortensen shows up in the third act as Satan and steals the show. Widen writes Satan as being put in the awkward position of helping humanity to make sure that Gabriel doesn't tear down Heaven – for a horror-filled Heaven is just another Hell – and Viggo eats it all up. Widen chooses to emphasize the fact that Satan used to be an angel and Viggo plays his role with the same charisma and gentleness that Eric Stoltz used, just turned in on itself. When he begs the humans to join him in Hell – hissing, "I love you, I love you, I love you, more than Jesus!" – you get a glimpse at the bright future the actor had in store.

11 march 2011

Cast as Satan, he's really the only one in the whole movie who actually holds his own with Walken on screen, and while you feel like Walken did this for kicks, you really do feel like Mortensen was doing his level best to channel evil in a way we haven't seen for quite some time.

Box Office Prophets
Scott Lumley
23 October 2008

Not surprisingly, he manages to turn in a good performance and makes a very frightening Lucifer (I would bravely argue that makes a scarier Satan than Al Pacino or Robert De Niro, but I'm not sure the fingernails and rose eating will help my case). He even manages the tricky balance of being horrible and seductive enough to slip you out of your soul, a balance few Lord of Darknesses achieve. Plus, he manages it in a mullet. Come on, you always knew that Satan not only invented that hairstyle, but rocks the business in the front and party in the back.

Stars in Rewind: Viggo Mortensen in 'The Prophecy'
by Elisabeth Rappe
12 October 2009

Gabe's hubris gets so out of hand, he raises Hell -- that is, Lucifer. Perched on a post like a big, black-plumaged bird of prey, beautiful Viggo Mortensen is a long-haired, soft-voiced, doe-eyed seducer. But this devil's something else again when he reaches into Gabriel's chest, tears out the angel's heart and devours it -- uttering a chilling little burp of satisfaction as he swallows. Sauron would be proud.

Sympathy for the Devil
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
MSN.com 18 April 2005

Mortensen…chose a performance that is far from the usual portrayal of how one imagines the Prince of Lies should be. Mortensen, with long hair and full beard - his outward appearance reminding one more of Jesus Christ - played Lucifer with an impressiveness that was burnt into the audience's mind forever. He didn't yell, he didn't lash about, but he still seemed to be menacing. The devil knows his power. It is not necessary for him to demonstrate his power and to seek self-affirmation - all his terrible strength lies in his calmness.

With that, Mortensen provided a portrait of the devil, as it had not been seen to date.

Portrait: Viggo Mortensen - The Actor As Artist
Translated by Sally
DVD Special (Germany)
June 2008

Quotable Viggo: 1 February 2014

My frustration knew no bounds this week when A History of Violence appeared a yet another list of 'underrated films'. Underrated, that is, in terms of audience figures, not critical acclaim. When it's not A History of Violence it's The Road. Or that hugely underrated Western, Appaloosa. And my frustration is mainly because one thing that is NEVER underrated is Viggo's ability as an Actor. Directors, Critics and (even more importantly) fellow Actors think he is one of the premier actors in the business. They would probably turn up to watch him read a telephone directory because they know he would make it extraordinary. Yup. I'm suffering from a bad case of Box Office.

© New Line Productions Inc.

As for Mr. Mortensen, his whole career seems to have been a set-up for this moment where he finally comes into his own and claims his own place among the best actors of his generation.

Sasha Stone reviewing 'A History of Violence'
Santa Monica Mirror
28 September 2005

'Any film he's in is a film I want to see. He's one of the greats.'

Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen To Star In Electric City's 'Captain Fantastic'
By Mike Fleming Jnr
20 February 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, certainly one of the great actors of our time, told us in a Venetian hallway of the Hotel Excelsior how he regarded Viggo Mortensen as one of the masters of the profession. A point of view that is totally shared.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir – translated by Dom
4 September 2011

'Viggo Mortensen probably gave the best performance I have seen in a motion picture in as long as I can remember in A History of Violence .... Bill Hurt got a nomination for a rather bizarre, overly done performance in that film, but Viggo Mortensen is probably the premier actor in the business.'

Dale Olson, publicist
Oscar, You Insensitive Lout
by Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer,
February 2006

'I would want to watch Viggo Mortensen in any language.

Sanford Panitch, President of Fox International
Fox International Acquires Worldwide Rights To Viggo Mortensen-Starrer 'Everybody Has A Plan'
By Mike Fleming
5 May 2011

'To me, there's a lack of self-consciousness to the great actors. I think the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises is brilliant: he's living the guy's life on screen and you can't take your eyes off him. It's the same with Marlon Brando. You might not know why you're drawn to him, but you are.'

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008

I saw "Eastern Promises," in which Viggo Mortensen is giving one of the great, great powerful screen performances. It's absolutely amazing.

Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush Revisits The Golden Age
By Edward Douglas, Coming soon.net
5 Oct 2007

...when an actor like Viggo Mortensen is in front of the camera, it's best to just let the camera run and let him be. Mortensen gives a brilliant, genius performance. His character's every breath is not just his own, but a breath for his son, a breath for hope, and Mortensen conveys that with harrowing accuracy.

Brandon Lee Tenney reviewing 'The Road'
25 November 2009

What was it that drew you to Viggo. Why was he right for the role?

I think he one of the best actors in the world. In his body of work he plays such a range of different characters that I knew that he could play the two diverse roles in this movie. He is a well travelled and cultured person as well as being sensitive he can be brutal at the same time.

Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet's Holly Patrick for Everybody Has a Plan at the 56th LFF
By Holly Patrick
20 October 2012

"Mortensen is wonderful. He's one of the best actors at not doing anything and making you watch him all the more."

Ty Burr
Boston Globe: Take 2
October 2008

The best actor nomination for its star Viggo Mortensen made me happier than any other on Tuesday's ballots.

Jack Matthews
New York Daily News
23 January 2003

Viggo has been a fantastic performer for years, he's very subtle, he's never showboating, it's always about the character, and I think that's why it's taken people so long to realise he's not just a good actor he's a great actor."

David Cronenberg
14 January 2008

There seems to be no end to Viggo Mortensen's talents

Rex Reed
New York Observer
24 November 2009

There's a new Viggo Mortensen movie out and all is right with the world.

Jeffrey Lyons talking about 'Good'
Reel Talk
December 2008

Viggo Mortensen's versatility never ceases to amaze me.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 2008

Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005

In Viggo Mortensen, Hillcoat is working with one of the current cinema's great quiet everymen, and if anyone can make the novel's stolid, unnamed hero empathic and emotionally alive on screen whilst remaining loyal to the novel's aesthetic minimalism, it's this immensely physical, restrained performer. It's a masterstroke of casting that I hope connects with its on-paper potential: if it does, I can see Mortensen leading the film's awards trail.

Kris Tapley talking about 'The Road'
August 2009

... one of the most adventurous, talented actors working in film today (his contemporaries being, in my mind Edward Norton, Mathieu Amalric and Daniel Day Lewis). ...Not unlike the greatest leading men in classic Hollywood westerns, Mortensen is stoic, brimming with quiet fury.

Hitting 'The Road' with Director John Hillcoat
Matt Mazur
22 November 2009

Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Sebastian Cordoba
7 April 2009

Quotable Viggo 23 February 2014

This week saw a paean of praise for Viggo's beard (or ex-beard, to be more exact) from Sarah Dawley on Fora MTV. One thing you can say about him is that he does grow a darned fine beard, but then... you can't see that magnificently dimpled chin. So, stubble or clean shaven? hair 'to build a hut in' or chiselled jaw? Moustache 'that would make a circus ringmaster proud' or lightning strike scar? Todos Tenemos Un Plan very generously gave us the chance to admire both the full beard and the baby-smooth jaw all in one film. Me? I'm going to jump in between and vote for the 'dreamy stubble'.

© New Line/Focus Features/20th Century Fox/Haddock Films.

At first glance, Viggo Mortensen is a symphony of rugged good looks, with a deliciously dimpled chin and captivating eyes...

King Of The Ring
By Melissa J Perenson
Sci Fi magazine
February 2004

Viggo, I heard you're fluent in English, Danish and Spanish, conversational in French and Italian AND you can also understand some Norwegian and Swedish. That's seven languages with which I can woo your beard, and I like those odds because your beard makes me want to write sonnets.

Be Mine Beard: Viggo Mortensen Edition
Sarah Dawley
19 February 2014

His hair is neat and mid-length, his angular face cleanly shaven. The cleft in his chin is on proud show, as deep and true as if a child had just pressed their pinkie into his flesh.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

Mortensen, bearded, smudged, greasy-haired, has a primal, haggard beauty.

The Road
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
15 November 2009

"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient!" laughs Cronenberg. "And he's got a great chin."

David Cronenberg
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

I know this might be a little "cliche" to say on this site, but honestly folks, how can anyone look at Viggo Mortensen's awesome beard and NOT want to build a hut in it?? I mean, even just for the summertimes, you know? Great man...even greater beard!!

Reaction to Viggo's 'Road' look at the Oscars
25 February 2008

He is barefoot on the asphalt, in jeans. His hair is sandy-red, floppy-perfect, the provocatively dimpled chin brushed with stubble. He kisses me hello on the cheek. My vision goes blurry for a second, then--steady, steady--rights itself.

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Two old friends hired to bring law to the lawless, one of whom has ridiculously awesome facial hair? Sign me the hell up. What about you?'

Can the 'Appaloosa' trailer rope you in to see another Western?
by Marc Bernardin
Popwatch Blog, Entertainment Weekly.com
August 7, 2008

...the actor with the super heroic chin...

"They brand me as a traitor, a communist"
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
26 August 2012

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

With his aqua blue eyes and chiselled jaw, he is every bit the American film hero - a Harrison Ford or a John Wayne, but with a darkness lurking beneath.....

Sasha Stone
Santa Monica Mirror
28 September 2005

Supping a herbal remedy from a mysterious brass pot that looks like it was stolen from Middle-earth, while sporting a bushy mustache liable to make Bill the Butcher green with envy (for his next role as a Spanish soldier in Alatriste), Mortensen exudes a Zen-like calm.

"We're Animals Too, Y'Know?"
By James Mottram
Hotdog #67
September 2005

He is not a man who can walk into a room unnoticed. His father, also called Viggo, is Danish, and Mortensen has inherited his northern European features - the bowed brow and arrowhead cheekbones. His blond hair is neatly parted and he is clean-shaven; there is a jagged scar on his upper lip, a streak of lightning against his tan...

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald
11 April 2004

Wearing a black shirt and brown slacks, the 50-year-old Mortensen is sporting a moustache that would make a circus ringmaster proud.

The Invisible Man
By James Mottram
The Independent
23 October 2007

Viggo Mortensen actually looks like a real Viking when he is proudly walking around in the garden of the castle in bare feet. The long dark-brown hair fluttering in the wind and a marked scar coming from his upper-lip to his nose are, together with the fixed calm look, showing that this is a man who knows what he wants.

"I found the Viking inside me"
By - translated by Majken
Ekstra Bladet
8 December 2001

Resembling Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, Alatriste boasts a moustache that serves as a lonely guy's double-edged sword: capable of seducing and persuading.

Alatriste: The Great Spanish Hero
By Carlos Maranon - translated by Margarita
September 2006

Quotable Viggo: 8 February 2014

I see from Eriko that the German edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine is inviting readers to send in questions for them to ask Viggo. Wondering what you'd ask if you had the chance? Well here is a taster of just some the hundreds of questions Viggo has been asked over the years and the sometimes pithy, sometimes surprising answers he gives.

© Space.ca

Where are you from?

At the moment I'm from here.

Viggo Mortensen - Man of the Week
By Einar Falur - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008
Source: Morgunblaðið

What was it that inspired you to start making photos?

Nothing in particular. Perhaps it has something to do with a sort of incurable, persistent nosiness.

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Natalie Dodecker
American Photo magazine 2000

Why are you an actor?

To fight against forgetting.

I wouldn't look the Alatristes of today in the eye
By Oskar L. Belategui, translated for V-W bu Margarita
Hoy Sociedad
3 September 2006

We hear that you're a good friend who is honest and loyal. Do you have any flaws?

Those descriptions of me were given by my friends, right? Well, don't trust them; you know that friends always believe the best things about us. You're asking me for a flaw? I think that my impatience is one. I want everything 'yesterday' and it takes time for me to adjust to others rhythms.

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
By Amelia Enríquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006

What keeps you awake at night?

Yesterday and tomorrow, but I eventually fall asleep because neither exists.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010

Are you a politically-motivated person?

I don't know that I'm more politically motivated than anyone else. I'm curious about the world and I have a resistance to just assuming that what I see on TV is the gospel truth.

The Horse Whisperer
Daily Mirror, by Honie Stevens
16 April 2004

If you were a member of a tribe, what would be your special role in it, and why?

I am a member of a tribe, and am happy with my role, which is to mind the fire.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007

This myth of the poor lonesome cowboy, the guy who has no need of others to be happy, is it really a trick to attract women?

On the contrary! Each time I have tried to charm them with my poetic cowboy side, it's ended in total failure. To seduce a woman, food is more effective than poetry. I love to make complex dishes. That always works!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009

What do you believe in above all else?

"In everything. I believe in everything! However, it makes my life so complicated" (laughs)

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008

Are you always so positive?

Almost always, but at times, I'm not. Often I wake up thinking of all the bad things that could happen. It's my way of facing the day; I'm cautious. You could always fall down the stairs…

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009

What do you think makes you sexy?

I don't really know how to deal with that question. I'm sure that there's just as many people who think I'm a grizzled hack.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Do you have to have the last word in an argument?

Only if I get really incensed. It usually has to do with fairness, or if I feel I've been cornered or misrepresented, then I will lash out. It's good to have the presence of mind to say: 'Can I call you back? Let me take a break and go for a walk.' Always better.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

What is your biggest fear?

Not being honest with myself and not getting the most out of life. This is one of the reasons I stay very active, always doing things that interest me in the field of art, by editing books, writing, drawing, painting, photography…

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Interview: "This film has made me feel closer to my father"
By Laura Sacksville - translated by Ollie, Rio and Sage
13 February 2010

On a lighter note, what makes you laugh either on the screen or elsewhere these days?

Total unguarded honesty. It makes me cry, too.

Viggo Mortensen - For The Good Of The People
By Elliot V Kotek
Moving Pictures
Winter 2008-2009

Hi Viggo, aside from knowing your lines, what's the most important thing you do to prepare yourself before you go in front of camera?


Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012

Have you ever thought what you would say if you won an Oscar?

Thank you.

El Mundo Webchat With Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 November 2011

How are you doing with sins?

Lately, quite well. You do what you can where you can. Without hurting anyone.

Do you think you'll go to hell?

Well, I like to travel.

"When I wake up I think of death"
By Karmentxu Marín - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Pais
9 September 2012

Quotable Viggo: 2 February 2014

This week I have a fairly random bunch of quotes with thoughts on cities and wild open spaces, being alone and being with others, and, most of all, finding times to stop and spaces to think. What's clear is that being alone, being quiet and being in nature is Viggo's battery recharger and also a much needed source of inspiration and creativity.

© New Line Productions Inc.

"As a child he was a loner, which is unsurprising considering his peripatetic lifestyle. "I wrote stories and did a lot of drawing," he says. "It's why I'm comfortable being by myself and why I yearn for it at times. When you're on a movie set you're with people constantly. So when it gets to lunchtime I just go off by myself. I've always been like that. I'm self-sufficient and I like being with my own thoughts. It prepares me for being around people. But I know others have to constantly check their email or phone messages and if an hour of silence goes by, they panic. I'm just not like that."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

"I can be at home walking around London as much as I am in the woods of South Island, New Zealand. But if I had to pick I would choose to be in nature, whether in the mountains, desert, or by the sea. I like places where there are very few human traces, places where I never feel time is wasted. If I'm stuck in a traffic jam in Los Angeles or waiting in a queue for the bank it's hard not to feel I'm wasting my life in that moment."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

'I believe that I'm a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea, a somewhat solitary guy but sometimes I miss what it's like to soak up metropolitan poisons. I love and am terrified by the great cities of the world, sometimes simultaneously.'

Viggo Mortensen in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 2013

'Since I grew up travelling a lot, flying is almost like being at home for me, and a plane is like my second mother.... being in the sky during those hours when you feel as though you've escaped from linear time always seemed like an opportunity for reflection to me.'

Viggo Mortensen
Knowing How To Travel
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
30 March 2013

'Time passes, the world changes, people evolve and it's nice to stop every now and then and not do anything. I want to imagine things that interest me, to give myself time to get excited about something.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum, Gala Magazine
30 August 2006

What's your daily life like? How do you find the time to pursue your other interests?

These days, I'm a little busy. But I steal moments here and there. You don't have to take a picture of something. You don't have to write about it. Or even talk about it. You can just appreciate that it's there. If I don't have moments once in a while where I try to do nothing and think about nothing, so that things can come in, then I'm not very effective in that way.

That's why I like to spend time by myself sometimes, even just to go and see a movie. Or go on a camping trip. It's nice to share it with people. But if you go with someone, let's say you're going for a walk in the woods, you are seeing their point of view. Which can be interesting. And you're discussing it. So you're putting things out.

But if you were by yourself walking through the woods or seeing a movie or whatever it is, it's all coming in. That's why I like to spend time by myself and recharge.

Viggo-rously Reluctant Sex Symbol
By Ruben V Nepales
Phillipine Daily Enquirer
2 October 2005

'This is only me and my camera. I sit down and watch the sky, stop, and maybe sing a little or write something down. When I have time to do that, I am as happy as I can be.'

Viggo Mortensen
Capable Of Many Things
By Hanna Björk Valsdóttir - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008
Source: Fréttablaðið

"I am a loner who flees from stress, I feel good living close to nature, living with the same rhythm as animals and weather, no pressure, no constraints, no deadlines. I write poems, I paint, I read, I phone my friends, I plunge into thought and all of a sudden without my having seen the hours go by, night falls…"

Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage
Richard Gianorio
Le Figaro
26 September 2008

'Every day was a new deal depending on which of the three movies we were working on and what group of people I was with. I used my precious time off to hang out by myself and recharge. Month after month of being around tons of people all the time, no matter how much you might like them, that's just not something I'm used to doing. It was like a family, but sometimes you just needed quiet.'

Viggo Mortensen on filming LOTR
Starburst #281

'I'm a very sociable person, but I love to be alone, to listen to the silence, to not speak to anyone for a while. What would drive some people crazy gives me energy.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm permanently dissatisfied", by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

"I like to take care of my own problems, shoulder my responsibilities. I don't have a bevy of people assisting me and filtering what I hear or what I say. I'd rather be overworked and underslept and have a good idea of what's going on."

Viggo Mortensen
Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Neala Johnson
Herald Sun (Australia), March 8 2007

'I suppose I'm a private person; have been pretty much that way all along. I'm certainly not someone who can't sit for five minutes without calling someone or turning on the television set. I can entertain myself.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Visit With Viggo
by Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004

"If I have a day off, I'm not at a Hollywood party. I'm not the type of actor who lives in the press. I'd rather be home in shorts and a T-shirt surrounded by paint brushes, a blank canvas and have a few candles burning as the day fades into the night."

Superstar Viggo's a serious soul at heart
by Cindy Pearlman,
Chicago Sun Times
9 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 25 January 2014

It just has to be an Alatriste Quotable, doesn't it? A reminder of why, for us, Viggo will always be the one and only. A reminder that however the film is judged (more harshly now, I think, than when it was released), Viggo's performance got to the core of the character in the most extraordinary way, so much so that the bar has been set very high for any actor stepping into Alatriste's scuffed and worn boots.

You might like to listen to Rogue Baños's truly awesome music while you read this.

© 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Produccions

The entire tone of "Alatriste" is set to match Mortensen's harsh, brittle handsomeness.

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times Review
11 December 2008

The film sheds the romanticism of costume dramas. Battle scenes are brutal and bloody. Regular life is dirty and desperate. Heroism is found in intimate human gestures — and in Mortensen's soulful eyes.

Bruce Kirkland DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010

Viggo, speaking vintage Castillian Spanish with his own voice, dominates the film as a kind of Medieval Clint Eastwood, short on words, long on deadly action when required…

Viggo Mortensen - Heroic On And Off Screen
By Alex Deleon
16 October 2006

His clear gaze, firm and serene, his calm, fluid gestures and that loyal spirit he has toward his comrades in arms, serve better than any narrative to tell the story of a man who knows irrevocably what his destiny will be, but still keeps hope alive for a future day when Spain will see better times and break free of the agonized struggles it is presently enmeshed in.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
29 Aug 2006

Mortensen is astonishing, channelling the very essence of Alatriste's fiery integrity.

Diana Sanchez
Toronto Film Festival Promo
Aug 2006

One of the biggest surprises in the film is the competence and perfection with which Viggo Mortensen incarnates the main character.

Alatriste - A Review
by Uno translated for V-W by Paddy
1 September 2006

Mortensen, whose odd accent is initially disconcerting and ends up being a perfect fit for his character's taciturn personality, has brought grit and mystery to the screen. Díaz Yanes has given him depth.

The Story of an Empire's Decline is told with panache and grit
By Carlos Marañón - translated for V-W by Margarita
September 2006

"He is Alatriste, the one I thought, the one I wrote! He's almost the one from the drawings!"

A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz
El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

Just seeing him stand there, his face half-obscured by a tattered black hat, his sculpted frame offset by a long cloak worn over the shoulders — it's no wonder Maria looks as though she's ready for cardiac arrest every time he appears.

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
11 December 2008

"Viggo was so extraordinary that he surpassed everything that Arturo, and obviously I, could have thought. His physical presence on screen is tremendous," he says emphatically.

Diaz Yanes
The Biography of Captain Alatriste
By Jose Edurado Arenas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
6 June 2010

"Viggo filled himself with Spain; with our history, with the light and the shadow that made us who we are. And, in that way, in an astonishing process of assimilation, he finished transforming himself into a Spaniard, down to the bone."

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El Semanal, July 2005-08-04
Translated by Elessars Queen

"There's nothing more respectful with the original texts. Nothing more straightforward, fascinating and terrible than the mirror that, through Viggo Mortensen's masterly performance - he looks impressive on the screen, that son of a bitch - is put before our eyes during the two hours and a quarter that the film lasts."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte after seeing the film
That Captain Alatriste
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy

'Perhaps that's why, after the private screening was finished the lights came on, and with a lump in my throat I looked around, I saw that some of the actors of the film who were on the contiguous seats - I'm not telling any names, let every one of them confess if they want to - remained still on their seats, crying their eyes out. Crying like babies because of their characters, because of the story. Because of the beautiful, dramatic ending. And also because no one had ever done, so far, a film like that of this wretched and damned Spain. As Captain Alatriste himself would say, in spite of God, and in spite of anyone.'

Arturo Pérez-Reverte after seeing the film
That Captain Alatriste
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy

"No longer can we imagine another Alatriste that is not Viggo".

Unax Ugalde
20 Minutos
Frank Marta
26 the April 2005

That hero will have Viggo Mortensen's face forever. Challenging and tender. Big blue eyes and proud look.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García
El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

Quotable Viggo: 19 January 2014

Another long Quotable! We've been hearing all week about Viggo's partnership with Cronenberg, a partnership that has brought us three extraordinary films and which we and, I'm betting, every serious film goer and critic out there, hopes will long continue. So how about all those other directors? Taking a look back over Viggo's non-Cronenberg career it's clear that they have all, to a man and woman, appreciated exactly the same things about Viggo that Cronenberg does. The commitment, the risk taking, the dedication and research, his ability to almost read their minds, the complexity he brings to characters and the fact that he becomes a true collaborator.

© Good Films.

Lisandro Alonso: awaiting title

"I liked him very much; right then I realized that we could treat one another as equals. He's an actor I love, among other things for the way in which he transmits emotions physically, gesturally. He's not an actor who's usually given great lines of dialogue, but you see him, for example, in the final scene of History of Violence, David Cronenberg's film, and you realize how incredible his work is, the things you can read in his face."

Lisandro Alonso
"It´s a mixture of spaces, times and languages."
By Diego Brodersen - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Pagina 12
27 October 2013

"Viggo is directed by himself, doesn´t need my help; he is an amazing actor, a unique person, a dream producer."

Lisandro Alonso
Nueva voz: Lisandro Alonso y el cine de los hombres solos
El Deber
28 December 2013

Ana Piterbarg: Todos Tenemos Un Plan

What was it that drew you to Viggo. Why was he right for the role?

I think he one of the best actors in the world. In his body of work he plays such a range of different characters that I knew that he could play the two diverse roles in this movie. He is a well travelled and cultured person as well as being sensitive he can be brutal at the same time.

Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet's Holly Patrick for Everybody Has a Plan at the 56th LFF
By Holly Patrick
20 October 2012

John Hillcoat: The Road

"Actors come with baggage, as well. Sometimes that baggage can help, like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. His baggage was part of the performance. With Viggo, there's something slightly elusive about him, and he has quite a wide range, and yet, also, there's this real physicality about him. And there's this tenderness.

"And his face also reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, the Dorothea Lange photos of the Great Depression, Midwest people struggling with the collapse of the environment and the economy."

John Hillcoat
On The Road with Viggo and Kodi:
By Jay Stone
18 November 2009

Ed Harris: Appaloosa

"Not only do I have a great respect for him as an actor but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These were two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it ... If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie"

Ed Harris
Viggo is one straight shooter
By Kevin Williamson
Toronto Sun
6th September 2008

"I figured if he wanted to do it - if he responded to the material - then he would immediately understand what this was between these guys without us having to talk about for hours on end..."

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008

Vicente Amorim: Good

"I loved having chosen him, because I liked his performance in "A History of Violence" very much. He has a sweet masculinity and an unusual political consciousness, especially among Americans. Viggo didn't need any explanation, for example, about the contemporary political relevance of "Good" and he was very interested in the dramatic potential of the character."

Vicente Amorim Starts His International Career (and talks about Good)
By Catalina Arica - translated for V-W by Paddy
29 May 2006

Q: Aren't you scared to work with an actor like Viggo?

A: Of course, I'm scared. I'm anxious. I'm looking forward to it. I'd love to start it right now.

Vicente Amorim (Director)
Rede CBN radio interview
3 June 2006
Translated by Claudia

Agustín Díaz Yanes: Alatriste

CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything. In Spain, because of the tradition of our cinema, we don't have action heroes, and Viggo combines an impressive physique (that "exact image of the weary hero" that Arturo wanted) with the fact of being a spectacular actor of action (films). He's an extraordinary actor in dialogues, in everything...he has that combination that it's so difficult to find here. Viggo has been the vital centre of the film. The title of the movie is "Alatriste"!!. His experience, his help and his advice have also been very important.

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Action, history...and skilled swordsmen
By Andrés Rubin de Celis - translated by Paddy for V-W
Citizen K Espana
July 2006

"He is the ultimate. He is a confident actor, he expresses everything with his eyes, he is an internal actor of action, who is present in all scenes in the film, some 90, with the exception of 6. It has been like filming with a Spanish actor, you can ask any cinematic favors you wish. He is also very exacting with himself from both an artistic and moral point of view. If I ever had the chance to work with him again, I would be delighted..."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Alatriste Fights in the Streets
By Rocío García
EL PAÍS 1st Aug 2005
Translated by Elessars Queen

Joe Johnston: Hidalgo

"I hadn't seen the first Lord of the Rings before we cast him, but I figured anybody that could sell blouses to Diane Lane out of a truck could do anything."

Joe Johnston
Staci Layne Wilson
American Western Magazine
March 2004

"He's also completely devoted to the project. He was always there. We worked him a lot more than we should have. He never complained, and he was there dawn to dusk and beyond. He's largely responsible for making that whole aspect of this really work. He's really amazing."

Joe Johnston
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004

Peter Jackson: The Lord of the Rings

"Viggo has that dark, mysterious, quiet-man quality. He's also very intelligent and private. A lot of people have said these movies are going to make Viggo a big star. I nod and smile, knowing that being a big star is the last thing in the world that Viggo wants. He's completely unimpressed and disinterested in that world. I think he'd prefer to stay home and paint, write his poetry, and enjoy himself rather than play the Hollywood game. That's an aspect of him that I respect a lot."

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine

"After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh] and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Tony Goldwyn: A Walk on the Moon

"When I saw some of Viggo's work, I thought, that's always who I've had in my head. I realized there is not one other actor anywhere who could play Viggo's part other than Viggo. He has this kind of complexity and mysteriousness to him. He doesn't have to say much and you get a lot."

Tony Goldwyn, Director of A Walk on the Moon
Actor Goldwyn side-stepped cliches for summer of '69 directorial debut
By Robin Blackwelder
SPLICEDwire, splicedonline.com

Ridley Scott: G I Jane

'He is absolutely dedicated to the process,' says Ridley Scott. 'He was constantly revisiting me with questions and notes and suggestions, none of which I ever got tired of.'

Ridley Scott Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond,
US Magazine #236, 1997

Phillip Ridley: The Reflecting Skin and Passion of Darkly Noon

'Viggo is one of the few people I've worked with who, I feel, is a true kindred spirit. From the moment we first met - when I was casting The Reflecting Skin in Los Angeles - it was as if we'd known each other all our lives. He understands my work totally. By the time we were doing Darkly Noon I hardly had to give him a word of direction. He knew instinctively what I wanted. '

Philip Ridley at the Tokyo International Film Festival
From "The American Dreams: Two Screenplays by Philip Ridley'
Methuen 1997

José Luis Acosta: Gimlet

"He explores to the infinite, not only the character's emotions but also the wardrobe, all the things. He's so honest and generous,"

José Luis Acosta
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia
El Pais, Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
17 May 2009

Sean Penn: The Indian Runner

"He was dazzlingly committed all the time. He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character. He's an often solitary, very poetic creature, Viggo, and all of that worked [for the movie]."

History Teacher by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005

Jeff Burr: Leatherface: Texas Chain Saw Massacre 111

"Viggo, just like everyone else in the cast was always there, ready to go and had great ideas. Just a joy to work with, and I'm not just saying that. I can guarantee his approach to stuff now is exactly the same as it was then. He's just so committed and he's such a really good guy. All the family members were great."

Interview with Director Jeff Burr
Icons of Fright
by Robg. & Mike C

Renny Harlin: Prison

"I was looking for a young James Dean. Then, Viggo Mortensen walked into the room. I knew almost instantly that he was the one. There was such a charisma about him. I really thought that this film would make him a household name. Unfortunately, since the film wasn't really released theatrically, it took Viggo a little longer to get there, but he still got there eventually."

Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A With "Prison" Director Renny Harlin
Patrick Hickey Jr.
Review Fix
14 February 2013

Quotable Viggo: 11 January 2014

With Viggo about to be interviewed alongside David Cronenberg at Tiff's Canada's Top Ten Film Festival, what better than a Bumper Quotable celebrating their highly acclaimed (and often hilarious) cinematic double-act?

© Hanway/Lago/Sony.

A Dangerous Method

"If I hadn't known that David was kind of crazy already I would have felt he was definitely insane…"

Viggo on being asked to play Freud
TIFF video interview
11 September 2011

"I think my cast has great need of psychoanalysis, which is why I cast them actually, to introduce them gently to the idea that they needed help, a lot of help….And you can see they are much better people. Before they were messes. When I found them, they were neurotics, hopeless," Cronenberg said to great laughter.

Mortensen played along. "Now we dress ourselves," he retorted.

Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
2 September 2011

"David and I wrote 20-30 emails just about cigars..."

Viggo Mortensen
How Viggo Mortensen Got Inside Sigmund Freud's Head
By Rachel Dodes
The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy
18 November 2011

"In studying Freud I found many parallels with Cronenberg. I don't know how David sees it, but I found myself using him as a model to create my Freud. Freud was constantly reinventing himself, his theories were scandalous, revolutionary and dangerous. But in everyday life he was an irreprehensible family man, a typical member of the middle class. The same applies to Cronenberg, who makes a lot of disturbing films, constantly studies impulses, desires, repressed aggression and sexuality, always obsessed with physicality. Yet if you talk to him he's calm as can be, innocent, with a great sense of humour."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011

"When people say it´s not a Cronenberg film, I say, whose is it then? I was there; he shot it."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

DC: As I look at his nose, it appears much more Freudian than it used to.

VM: It's getting bigger, isn't it?

DC: Yeah, it is.

Cronenberg and Mortensen - Dangerous Minds
10 February 2012

Would you say you enjoy a similar intellectual relationship as Freud and Jung have on that epic first 13-hour date-slash-conversation?

Mortensen: We can have a conversation about baseball statistics as readily as we could have about psychoanalysis.

We are readers, and we do get excited when we say, "Oh, I read that same book!" and things like that, so there is that intellectual connection.

Mortensen: I think one of the things about you that I most like, other than just the exchanges we have intellectually and just the silly jokes we sometimes enjoy, is the fact that, each time you're making a movie, you get as excited as I do or more so about the subject. . . . You have the eternal beginner attitude. Which I think is a great thing to have for an actor, for a director, anybody.
If you enjoy what you're doing, no matter how serious the subject matter, I think you feel that when you watch the movie. I think you watch this movie — and I'm subjective because I'm in it — but I think you can see we had a good time making it.

David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen talk about 'A Dangerous Method'
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
12 December 2011

"I never got to talk to Freud but I got to talk to Viggo playing Freud."

David Cronenberg on Freud, Keira and pressing the flesh
Brian D. Johnson
25 August 2010

Eastern Promises

Scorsese and De Niro.
Fellini and Mastroianni.
John Ford and the Duke.
And now … David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen?

By Robert W. Butler
The Kansas City Star
16 Sept 2007

….exuding from their two films together is a sense of ideal alchemy, as if the sculptured physique and the Sphinx like face of the actor were made for the dry and morally complex thrillers of the Canadian film maker.

Sans Viggo, je n'aurai pas fait ce film
Les Inrockuptibles
Serge Kanaski and Julien Gester
12 November 2007

After two collaborations, they're as comfortable together as a pair of old shoes.

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

"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."

Viggo's 'Promises'
By Sara Stewart
New York Post
26 Aug 2007

"….. weirdly enough, Viggo and I have come from some other planet together. I do feel we're brothers under the skin."

David Cronenberg
Blood Brothers
By Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
9 Sept 2007

"…with Viggo you don't just get a violin, you get a whole symphony orchestra."

David Cronenberg
RT talks Eastern Promises
By Sara Schieron, Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

How did they work to create Mr. Mortensen's Nikolai, covered in tattoos and minimalist of motion?

"I just followed orders," deadpans Mr. Mortensen, 48. "And I just told him to do whatever he wanted," says Mr. Cronenberg, 64.

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

VM: Well, is there anything else? It's onerous to talk to me, I know.

DC: It's torment. I actually had to take some codeine pills before we

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 200

"We both have such bad memories that neither of us could remember we had worked together," says Mr. Cronenberg. "It was only when I saw photographs that I realized."

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

A History of Violence

How did you get Viggo onboard?

In my seduction of Viggo, who's very picky about his films, I flew to LA and one of the elements of the seduction was to discuss the political undertones of the movie. If you work with an actor like Viggo, the discussions go very deep and the anticipations of people's reactions to what you're doing is very deep. But there's a part that is mysterious and not controllable, because movies, if they are alive, surprise you. They sometimes take on a life of their own and if they do that, they end up meaning things that you sometimes aren't aware of.

David Cronenberg
Chris in Cannes
Cannes Film Festival Report
15 may 2005

"When I heard [Cronenberg] was doing it and wanted to meet me, I thought that would be interesting to see what he thinks. The way the script was then and it became leaner and leaner as we approached shooting, there were things in the back of my mind, questions about it. But anything I asked him, any doubt or reservation I had, he also had the same ones. That's what I mean by being in step with him. We right away were in agreement and we were like real partners."

Viggo Mortensen on Cronenberg
Rebecca Murray
26 September 2005

Olson said he pictured Mortensen in the role of Stall, something the actor found "flattering and disturbing at the same time." Just to keep the star in line, Cronenberg told him Olson hadn't really written the role for him. "You were second to Brad Pitt."

Cannes Press Conference
National Post Cannes Review, by Chris Knight
17 May 2005

"Viggo has the charisma of a leading man, and the eccentricity and naturalistic presence of a character actor," Cronenberg says. "He's the kind of actor I love."

History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005

Viggo is just... a great actor."

David Cronenberg interview, by Moriarty
Ain't it Cool News
November 6th, 2005

"David doesn't tell you what to think,'' muses Viggo Mortensen. "He opens a door, you walk into a room, but he doesn't answer questions. It's easier when a filmmaker tells [an audience] what to think, but it's more rewarding when you think for yourself.''

David Gritten
TheDaily Telegraph
September 24, 2005

'He continues what he's always done, which is taking people apart, almost like they were a machine or an engine, but now more taking their brains apart than their bodies, I suppose. It's more a psychological autopsy and the results are always a little disturbing. Not because he's disturbing, but because we are. As an audience and as a subject.'

Viggo on Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006

After the shoot, he gave Cronenberg an autographed 3-D LOTR character card. It read "Thank you for the best moviemaking experience of my life." Peter Jackson, eat your heart out - but not literally.

Premier Magazine
by Denis Seguin
July/August 2005.

And finally...

When I read interviews about History of Violence, the interviews really emphasized the degree to which you two collaborate. Tell me, how do you two work together?

It's a total lie. I do everything, Viggo does nothing. I do all the work. But he pays me to say that he does a lot of stuff.

VM: Also to say that I'm thoughtful and considerate.

Talking Eastern Promises with David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen
By Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

"I think he's probably by far the most talented invisible man in directing history."

Viggo on Cronenberg's lack of awards
Viggo Mortensen and 'Dangerous Method's' Fate
by Melena Ryzik
The Carpetbagger / New York Times
15 December 2011

"In the three movies I've filmed with David (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method), something pretty strange happens to me. There are movies I like from the first scene, but with Cronenberg's, that never happens to me. During the first ten minutes, his movies always make me feel profoundly uncomfortable. It takes me a while to decide if I'm believing what he tells me, if I'm liking it or not. Until, suddenly, I'm caught up and I can't escape."

Viggo Mortensen
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es – translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011

"When you work with him the excitement is contagious. You feel like you're with a recently graduated film student who is absolutely brilliant. He acts like a kid about shooting every day. It helps you feel excited about it too."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Reveals How He Became Freud in 'A Dangerous Method'
by Thelma Adams
Yahoo Movies
16 December 2011

"I know that the three movies I've done with him are probably my best work or close to it, and I think there's a reason for that. He understands and likes actors."

On the couch with the former King Of Gondor
By Matt Maytum
Total Film
9 February 2012

'I would've nominated him for all three movies I've done with him. No question.'

Viggo Mortensen on Cronenberg and the Oscars
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Dangerous Method' Taught Me How to Talk in a Movie
By Michael Hogan
23 November 2011

"A bond that has pushed me to give my utmost."

Viggo talking about Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine – translated by Ollie
September 2011

"Well, I'd like Viggo to be in any and every movie that I do, frankly," he offers with a laugh. "And if I can possibly find a role for him in anything I do, I will. That's my promise. That's my Eastern promise."

David Cronenberg
Star's Eastern immersion impresses his director
by Steven Rea, Philadelphia Enquirer
16 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 4 January 2014

It may be a week late, but here is the promised 2014 New Year Quiz to get your teeth into. I expect it to be taken very seriously and to rigorously separate the Viggo sheep from the Viggo goats. Start sharpening your brains and see how much you know about the Star of Screen, Stage and Airport Lounges, Viggo Mortensen. When you're finished, highlight the answers at the bottom so that you can see if you are a sheep or heading off to Viggo's Goat Farm.

© Hanway/Lago, Perceval Press, Guadalupe Gaona/4L Productions,
New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers, NBC, John Harris/Haddock Films

1. Viggo has trained with which of the following animals:

a) horses
b) monkeys
c) marsupials
d) bees
e) goats

2. Viggo said in an interview with Patricia Arquette that today he was a:

a) daffodil
b) petunia
c) spiky bottle-brush plant
d) ranunculus ficaria
e) parsley

3. Viggo speaks eleventy billion languages*, True or false?

* The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars, Empire Magazine, 2013

4. Viggo Mortensen has written which of the following books:

a) Linger
b) Recent Forgeries
c) Canciones de Invierno
d) Harry Potter and the Wizard Who's Rather Like Gandalf
e) Hvad hjertet er fuldt af : En Håndbog om Mission

5. Viggo's has just finished filming:

a) Loin of Lamb
b) Lovely Men's Loins
c) Loin des Hommes
d) Lions at Home

6. Which of the following describes Viggo Mortensen?

a) actor
b) painter
c) photographer
d) fisherman
e) Professor of Religious Studies at Aarhus
f) polyglot
g) poet
h) chocolate crack merchant
i) gardener

7. Are there Plumbers in Manchester lovelier than Viggo?

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

8. His cheeks have been described as:

a) book shelves
b) blades
c) razors
d) bacon slicers
e) aircraft carriers
f) sun loungers
g) platforms 8 and 9 at Waterloo Station

9. How many peculiar things would one need to add to Viggo Mortensen's face before he ceases to be hot?*

a) moustache
b) beard
c) moustache and beard
d) sideburns
e) fur cheekbone warmers
f) weird furry caterpillar eyebrows
g) mohair eyelash extensions

*Awards Daily, Ryan Adams, 8 August 2008

10. If Aragorn fought Smaug, who would win?

11. Viggo has so much on-screen magnetism he can:

a) pull the fillings out of your teeth
b) bend all your house keys into pretzels
c) wipe the memory of your million-gig smart camera/phone/TV/mobile-microwave/mini-dishwasher
d) destroy the credit cards of anyone sitting in the first 10 rows.

*Wallace Bain, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 25 January 2012

12. Which soccer team does Viggo support?

a) San Diego
b) San Francisco
c) San Jose
d) San Marcos
e) San Lorenzo

13. Viggo has adopted which of the following after filming has finished:

a) a plastic trout
b) a cigar
c) a supermarket trolley
d) an Apis mellifera Linnaeus
e) a horse
f) another horse
g) a goat

14. The title of the film that Viggo has made with Lisandro Alonso is called:

a) Sin City
b) Sinbad the Sailor
c) Singing in the Rain
d) Sin Titulo
e) No One Has Any Idea

15. Viggo has a:

a) Goat Farm in Segovia
b) Stubble Farm north of Sante Fe
c) Fish Factory in Novosibirsk
d) A Hair Gel Factory in San Marcos
e) Ranch in Idaho

Answers (please highlight the text to view).

1 a, b, d, and possibly the marsupials.
2 c: spiky bottle-brush plant
3 FALSE, he only speaks 10 billion
4 a, b, c, and e (under his Danish pen name 'Professor Viggo Mortensen')
5 c: Loin des Hommes
6 all of them
7 no
8 a,b,c,d
9 none. It's impossible for him not to be hot.
10 Aragorn. Aragorn is clearly much hotter than Smaug.
11 d
12 e: San Lorenzo. 'You play in San Marcos you play to lose'.
13 e, f
14 e: No One Has Any Idea (not even Viggo and Lisandro)
15 e: Ranch in Idaho

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Last edited: 3 January 2015 13:11:06