Quotable Viggo

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Quotable Viggo 2007-2009

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Quotable Viggo: 27th December 2009

Here is the last part of my three part (and rather indulgent) Favourite Quotes collection. This time I've picked ones by friends and colleagues. There are several, of course, from David Cronenberg - a Director/Actor match made in heaven - and a couple of familiar classics from Elijah Wood along the way. I'm starting off with one from our dear friend Miguel and finishing with my number 1 most favourite quote of all, from Dennis Hopper. I think he nails it!



© New Line/2006 Yahoo! Iberia SL/Circle Films/Focus Features/Miramax Films/Westmount

Quotes from friends and colleagues


He doesn't need to wield a sword to be recognized. For those who can see beyond that, his personality stands out from the rest with no need of spotlights. He has his own light.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005


'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006


"Viggo's our king. He's one of my favourite people in life.

Elijah Wood
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003


"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that. And I love the fact that, as far as I have been able to see, he has not given away any of his mystery. People want to figure you out so they can move on. But he's the one who moves on." His muse, Lane says, is the tramp. "He can be as debonair as he wants. For that afternoon. But then the tramp will call him again."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004


"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008


Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty.

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


"Viggo is terrifying. He sends you a handwritten letter, all decorated and painted, and when he arrives at your house for dinner he's an intolerable guy: he cleans the fish and picks up the dishes. My wife is fascinated, and she compares the two of us. Damn, what's a guy supposed to do? The bar is set very high."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007


I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince.

Richard Clabaugh, Cinematographer for American Yakuza
www.rclabaugh.com


Humour

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

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


"In the movie, Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

David Cronenberg
Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007


"The insurance company told him not to do it, but he's mad as a snake."

Joe Penhall, novel adaptor, talking about the running into the sea scene
The Ultimate Road Movie
By Nick Roggick
London Evening Standard
4 September 2009


'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

Liev Schreiber talking about A Walk on the Moon
Calgary Sun, April 1999


"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004


Acting

"I wondered what would happen to him..."

Peter Weir
Witness Special Collector's Edition Review
By Toni Ruberto
The Buffalo News, 9 Sept 2005


"he... takes the best out of Method and leaves the bullshit behind."

David Cronenberg
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008


"...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


"He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character."

Sean Penn
History Teacher by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly, August 19, 2005


Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002


"From the first moment you start to see the film, you realize that Viggo is not playing a Spaniard, the thing is that he is a Spaniard."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Mano a Mano
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy


There are actors whose performances come as light emanating from the screen. Then there's Mortensen. His effect is gravitational. It draws you closer, inward.

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing the film at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic


'If Viggo and I convince people we're enjoying every second of that encounter we've really done our job as actors. It was freezing in that river. The water was filled with debris and cigarette butts and the rocks were covered in little worms.'

Diane Lane on the Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun, 10 April 1999


"Nicole and I had to beat him up. We called him Kiddie just to try and get him to treat us like pals. Of course, eventually we warmed him up so much we couldn't control him."

Jane Campion talking about The Portrait of a Lady
The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
by Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine 1997


Art

All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph


'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997


"The connotation of celebrity art isn't very good," Mann says. "It implies dilettante. I wouldn't put Viggo in that context. He doesn't have to paint, that's not the point. I think he really needs to make art, really needs to."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001



"If Mortensen were locked in a box in a prison in total darkness, with no pens, no tools, no books, he would make something amazing out of it."

Dennis Hopper
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 19 December 2009

Yes, I'm still celebrating 100 Quotables (though this is the 101st)! Here is part two of my all-time favourite quotes and this week I'm concentrating on quotes from critics, interviewers and the media. Some of these are full of astute insights, others still have me laughing even though I must have read them 100 times. Next week I'll be giving you my favourite quotes from friends and colleagues - an extra Christmas treat - but until then...



©New Line/Odd Lot Entertainment/Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures/Focus Films/20th Century Fox

Part 2 Quotes from critics and the media


Film reviews

...as weathered and craggily handsome as any butte in Monument Valley.

Richard Corliss talking about Appaloosa
Time
19 September 2008



...as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting.

Dana Stevens talking about Eastern Promises
Slate.com
13 Sept 2007



He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses. But a long, naked fight sequence? You've got to admire his balls. And now you can.

Ryan Gilbey talking about Eastern Promises
New Statesman
18 October 2007



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 talking about A History of Violence
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005



Mortensen puts the 'must' into Mustang - untamed compulsions drive him.

Hidalgo
Lone Star
by Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004



Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent.

ROTK review
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003



Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Carlito's Way Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005



We love you Viggo

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

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008



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
JoBlo.com
25 February 2008



....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, 2003



He has that incurable, unbearable, enigmatic eroticism of a three in the morning dream you've just awakened from.

Talking With Viggo,
George magazine 1999




Short and sweet

...constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine
1998



Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004



Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Red Suit worn at the Copenhagen Eastern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007



...an enigma wrapped in a Mets T-shirt.

Viggo the Sponge
By Jake Coyle, MSNBC
21 Sept 2007



Most actors will agree on the value of appearing enigmatic. But there is enigmatic and then there is Viggo Mortensen...

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007



...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009



...there is reason to suspect Viggo Mortensen was born on a dying planet light years away.

Philip Martin at TIFF
Arkansas Democratic Gazette
September 16, 2008



Mortensen is not what Tolkien's Treebeard would call "hasty."

After Aragorn
by Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004



He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007



Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




All things arty

Mortensen has a disposition towards an archaeology of emotions, of things that are buried, weathered but surviving along with the rest of us.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002



His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002



He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path. Then, he gives it back transformed into a sort of abstract personal experience that he quietly shares with those who want to get closer.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León, by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005



And finally...

The Empire Icon award this year went to the disgustingly multitalented Viggo Mortensen, who speaks more languages than God, paints, writes poetry and still finds time to do a bit of acting.

Jameson Empire Award Winners Announced!
Helen O'Hara
Empire Online
30 March 2009



If fame came with a report card, Viggo's would say can do better.

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
December 2001
Black & White magazine, #58

Quotable Viggo: 12 December 2009

It's hard to believe, but I have posted 100 Quotables here at Viggo-Works. I've tried, every week, to present a new theme or to reflect what's currently happening in Viggodom. The fact that I've been able to has been entirely down to Viggo - few people lead such a multi-faceted public life, speak so eloquently on such a wide range of subjects or attract so much admiration and (quite often) astonishment. His self-depreciating wit attracts equal wit from interviewers, friends and commentators. Hardly a week goes by when I don't find something fascinating out there to add to the collection.

Now that I'm 100 Quotables old I'm going to indulge myself over the next three weeks and celebrate with my all-time absolute favourites. Although the choice is very personal to me - they have either inspired me or made me laugh - most will (hopefully) be favourites of yours too. You have no idea how hard it's been to reduce them down to a manageable size! This week I'm concentrating on things Viggo himself has said, then I'll follow it up with comments about him from interviewers and reviewers, and finally from friends and colleagues. I'm posting them with thanks to Viggo, a man it's impossible to be bored with.



©Dimension Films/Good Films/New Line/20th Century Fox Espana/Focus Features/Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures/Miramax Films/Zenith/Village Roadshow/Warner Brothers/Westmount

Part 1: Quotes by Viggo


Thoughts on Life, the Universe and everything

"...I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent."

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


"We may not know why we're here, or where we're going after we die, but if you're here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think."

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008


"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know. There are periods of time that are gems, but you don't have to go into a blizzard in South Dakota or into the rain forests of New Zealand or the middle of the Sahara. You can find that just walking down the street."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
by Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004


"Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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


"I feel at home in many places, and with time, I learned that in life it is more important who you are, what you do and how you feel than where you are."

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela



Art, photography and writing

'Words were everywhere I looked, filling dreams, giving me names for everything. It was all I could do to keep up with them, catch a few as they drifted through me, fell now and then from clouds, from my eyes to the table, onto my lap or became tangled in horses' manes. Most of the words got away, as they usually will, but at night I regularly managed to gather them in bunches.'

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004


'Make [art] purely to please yourself and then there's a chance to please someone else - that's what it means to me. Everyone has a few friends that they can listen to. You don't have to agree with them, but their opinion is worthwhile. If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen, by Scott Thill, Morphizm 2002


A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008


"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


"This world is a dream we all contribute to, in one way or another. We are part of the dream, if we are aware or not, if we like it or not. These pictures are a part of my dream, of the way I exist and act in the world."

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


"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


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


"I think I'm essentially hopeful and the reason that I paint or photograph or listen to someone who is speaking to me is that I hope something might happen."

The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001



Humour

"I'm hoping to shoot a movie with an elephant soon, and I've no idea where I'm going to put him."

Viggo asked about buying horses from his films
Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
Wow.ie
April 2004


"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988


'...they're terrible at writing, but I look forward to seeing them soon.'

Viggo on his horses in New Zealand
'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
By Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
March 18 2006


"There's a beard stubble farm, as it happens, just north of Sante Fe where they grow the best beard stubble in the world.... They use a rare ... kind of mountain goat turd they put on it and when it was ready, they knocked me out with some kind of weird peyote stuff and sewed it on."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008


The eldest of three brothers, Viggo was born in New York in 1958 and given his father's name. Viggo is, he says, considered in contemporary Denmark to be a slightly archaic, eccentric name for a young man. "It would be like being called Herbert..."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004



On being thought a sex-symbol

'The one who is really happy about it is my mother.'

Viggo Mortensen on being told he is a sex-symol
"I'm permanently dissatisfied", by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita


Me: We have to talk about women, because you are the sexiest man alive.

Him: So there are a lot of dead men who are sexier?

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006


SC: I read somewhere that you had the best walk. What's that about?

VM: Really? (Laughs) I don't know. How do you they know? I guess people are standing behind you. Yeah ... watching me walk. What's a good walk? I stay in a straight line, I think. That's a good thing to aim for.

Leggo My Viggo,
by Suzan Colon,
Jane magazine 1999



Acting

"A movie set is like a ritual, with all the trappings and preparation. I feel like when we go to a set and we rehearse - or not - and we're wearing these costumes and saying these words, it's like an invocation, an invitation to magic, to the unexplained, to let the unexpected to enter into our lives."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon,
Entertainment Today, 2001


"Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories."

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


"I like the big stories, the big landscapes, the big sweep. But I also find that in little stories. I'm interested in tests and ordeals. That can happen in the Sahara Desert... but it can also happen in a room, in a kitchen sink drama. It happens in people's lives."

Viggo Mortensen
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstrete
ChristianityToday, 2004


"You supply the blue and they supply the other colours and mix them with your blue. And maybe there's some blue left in the painting and maybe there isn't. Maybe there wasn't supposed to be any there in the first place. So have some fun and make a good blue, and walk away. I try to do that. Sometimes I succeed."

Viggo Mortensen on acting
Premiere
St. Lawrence University: March 1, 2003


"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance in A History of Violence
E online
22 Sept 2005


"I heard Lord of the Rings win their first one and I thought, 'Well, I can lie here in the dark like an idiot, or I can go out and be a man and sit in the kitchen and watch it with everybody else."

Viggo Mortensen on trying to avoid the Oscars at a friends house
David Letterman Show, 2004



Nature

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."

Viggo Mortensen
The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003


'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her. '

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006


Politics

'...activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006


'A couple of days ago, a man wrote a letter to the Watertown Daily Times saying, in effect, that he would not vote for Bob Johnson just because Viggo Mortensen thought he ought to. He was absolutely right.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006


Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004


And some thoughts to finish with...


When I ask him for his favourite joke he responds with a rare one-word answer: "Me".

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009


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


How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004


'Now I see things in hindsight and what I learned in those years is what has made me who I am today. And, even though I recognize that I'm a rather strange guy, I don't think the end result has been so bad.'

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

Quotable Viggo: 5 December 2009

Having had the enormous privilege of seeing The Road at the London Film Festival, I really believe that 'The Man' is the greatest performance that Viggo has given to date. I also think it's one of the best performances that anyone has given to date. I've rounded up the best of the latest reviews and I'm sure that they fill every one here at Viggo-Works with pride. Give this man an Oscar already. And come on, Weinsteins, get this film out there to those who are still waiting patiently to see it, not just us here at V-W but frustrated posters from many, many blogs and internet sites. It's been a very long time getting The Road on the road, don't disappoint us now!



Image Javier Aquirresarobe. © 2929/Dimension Films.


Mr. Mortensen gives him a gaunt grandeur--it doesn't hurt that the actor's face can evoke paintings of Christ without a muscle being moved--and an emotional spectrum that is muted but remarkably wide, considering the character's plight and the author's spare style. The man's young son, terrified by a cataclysm he can't comprehend but still capable of sweet optimism and kindness, is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Between the two performances there's not a false note.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
26 November 2009



The movie resides not in descriptive language but in the eyes of his protagonists. And there the film finds its unique identity. If Hillcoat had erred in the casting, if Mortensen and Smit-McPhee had let an ounce of Hollywood slip into their performances, the movie would have been unendurable. But the two actors triumph, drawing us into their characters' bruised hearts and minds.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
25 November 2009



An old hand at heroes ("The Lord of the Rings") and enigmas ("Eastern Promises"), Mortensen delivers a performance of pure, agonized transparency.

Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
25 November 2009



...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
FirstShowing.net
25 November 2009



Mr. Mortensen, looking haggard and haunted, pushes it toward realism. A surpassingly quiet and thoughtful actor, he specializes in making improbable characters -- a warrior in "Lord of the Rings," a Russian mobster in "Eastern Promises," a small-town dad with a secret in "A History of Violence" -- seem like natural extensions of his own personality. In Mr. McCarthy's skeletal, purple-tinted prose, the father is less a cipher than an axiom, an embodiment of flinty paternal steadfastness partly humanized by doubts and flaws. Mr. Mortensen puts flesh on the bones and a soul behind the exhausted, terrified eyes.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
25 November 2009




When the world goes boom, I want Viggo Mortensen to be my dad. Who's better to keep your spirits up in the hideous post-apocalyptic afterlife, as pictured in John Hillcoat's The Road, the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy epic-length tome? Mortensen, as always, brings grave dimension and inner grace to an Everyman part he's mastered. This is perhaps the greatest of those roles.

Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
24 November 2009



The best thing about the film is Viggo Mortensen's performance. A stealth talent of many shadings, Mortensen has a way of fitting easily into nearly any period, any milieu.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
24 November 2009



The dramatic tension and narrative suspense come from silences that speak louder than words and explosions, and from the raw and powerful performances. There seems to be no end to Viggo Mortensen's talents. His portrait of a man driven by spirited parental love, whose last act on earth is to prepare his son for the courage to live without his protection, is so touching that ... well, all I can say is, prepare to be emotionally hammered.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
24 November 2009



Starring Viggo Mortensen in an alternately feral and saintly performance of shattering emotional depth - his are the most haunted eyes I've ever seen sustained in a film performance

Carl Kozlowski
Big Hollywood
24 November



Mortensen will never be the kind of actor who can disappear into a role, not with his haunted, piercing eyes. But he can commit as fiercely as the young DeNiro. Midway into "The Road" Mortensen strips for a bath, revealing a frightfully emaciated frame. Mortensen can get into his characters' skins, but also their souls, and he knows how to project a characters inner life onto the screen.

Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald
24 November 2009



Mortensen's compelling performance is a sure bet come nominations. Though I doubt it will win. But it equally deserves as the other nominees. His sad and terrified expressions are enough to make the film utterly believable. I personally have not seen a performance this good that has made me draw a couple of tears since Will Smith's A Pursuit of Happiness.

Paolo Sardinas
Movieweb.com
24 November 2009



Mortensen's performance is a thing of wonder; he is an actor whose instrument is more finely tuned with each new venture. Using his entire body to signal pain, but particularly wielding his glassy eyes like sharp little weapons, the actor captures a cagey, yet hopeful spirit, a good man in a worst case scenario trying to do what he can to get by. 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
Popmatters
22 November 2009



On its own grueling terms, The Road works. It brings you down, down, down, and its characters' famishment is contagious: Your heart leaps at the sight of a can of peaches. Mortensen, bearded, smudged, greasy-haired, has a primal, haggard beauty.

David Edelstein
New York Magazine
15 November 2009



Viggo Mortensen gives an emotional tour de force as the embattled father; look for him on the red carpet come March.

Zach Copeland
The Film Crusade
13 November 2009



...failures of altruism disturb the boy, and he worries his father with the question, "Are we still the good guys?". Such is the power of the veteran Viggo Mortensen - increasingly a latter-day Gary Cooper - and epigone Kodi Smit-McPhee that we never doubt the answer for a moment.

Clive Sinclair
The Times Literary Supplement
2 November 2009



Quotable Viggo: 28 November 2009

Viggo's recent appearance on the Letterman Show treated us to a hilarious account of the day he cooked and ate his roadkill rather than waste it. Viggo has had various interesting encounters while following the call of the wild and one thing's for certain, if he ever gets lost in the woods again (and I'm pretty sure he will) we know that he knows how to look after himself. He can fish, subdue coral snakes, prepare a rabbit, .... I expect he even knows how to build a log cabin from twigs. He's a bit of a wild man of the woods at heart.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life....

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



VM: Rabbits sometimes run out in front of your car, right? Well, I hit this rabbit on this lonely road in the South Island and I wanted to make sure it was dead. If it wasn't, I'd put it out of its misery. And it was quite dead, so I thought, 'Well, why waste it?' And so I made a little fire and ate it.

Q: Is this something that you thought Aragorn would have done?

VM: As he was driving down the road and if he hit a rabbit? Yeah, he might. If he was hungry, I guess.

The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003



As a child, he loved comic books and was obsessed with adventure stories, tales of Vikings and explorers. If he was not going to be a soccer player, he wanted to be a gaucho. "I liked the whole cowboy thing, I suppose," he remembers. "Being self-sufficient, living off the land. You know, a knife in the back of your belt."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004




"Every once in a while you do something really dumb when you're a kid and you realize when you're an adult that that's dangerous, but.. you know.. There was one time when I was coming home at the end of the day, going through the paddocks, and you open the gates from horseback, and the last gate I was about to grab the latch and there was this beautiful, beautiful snake wrapped around it... it was orange and black and white stripes. And I thought 'I'm going to take this home and show it to my family'. And I tried to grab it and he tried to get me. And I like whacked it just to stun it and I grabbed it by the neck and opened the gate and got through, closed it and said "Dad, dad, look what I got." And he freaked out, 'cos it was a Coral snake, which if you get bit I think two minutes, three minutes, you're dead."

Viggo Mortensen
David Letterman Show, 2004




I've heard that you immersed yourself in your role to a great degree. You lived in the woods at times during production on LOTR. Is that true?

I think people exaggerate that. When I get the chance, I go fishing or wandering. I did a little backpacking and camping.

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001




"I've been lost in the woods before in the winter time and had to figure out how to get out. I've been lost in New Zealand and lost in northern Norway, where it got cold very suddenly and I was not prepared or dressed as warmly as I should have been. I probably shouldn't have been hiking in that area that late in the year.

"I thought, 'Oh, the weather is good right now,' which was dumb, because it got cold, so I really didn't deserve to get through it that easily."

Viggo Mortensen was the perfect choice to play McCarthy's Road survivor
Hollywood.com
14 September 2009




Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003




"At some point, I ended up in a marshy area and I kept falling down and getting cut by thorns. I just thought, 'This is stupid,' so I found a piece of relatively high ground and lay down for a while until the moon came up.

"Fortunately, when the moon did finally come up, I managed to get my bearings and figured how to get back to where I started from," he recalls. "When I showed up, I really alarmed the makeup people because it looked like I'd been through a grinder!"

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62,
Summer 2003-2004




'...when you are wandering in a hardwood or in the mountains or stand in a big, cold, mirroring lake, fishing. Then you are close to being happy - and what more can a man want.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001




Peter Jackson....recounted a tale about a gruelling day on the film set. He couldn't believe his eyes when, after they returned to base, he spotted Viggo heading off to go fishing. But he wasn't surprised later that evening to see him appear back at camp carrying a huge trout.

Lord of the Horse
By Anne and Lynne Huddleston
Manawatu Evening Standard
8 December 2003




Mortensen also fell head-over-reel in love with New Zealand because he's a keen angler. He particularly enjoyed wandering off into the wilds, looking for remote rivers to do a spot of fly-fishing. "There are some streams where the fishing's so good, I wouldn't tell you about them,"

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62,
Summer 2003-2004




"He could really earn his keep as a painter, certainly as a photographer," says his Rings co-star John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli, a dwarf. "He is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

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




He tells me about the time [as a baby] he crawled into the woods and fell asleep. "I was sleeping under a tree, and it was very peaceful," he says. "And then a dog started barking, and that's how my parents found me."

You are always escaping, I say.

Yeah, he says. He calls his mother - on my cell phone, because he doesn't have one - to double-check his recollection. "Hi, it's Viggo. Sorry to be calling so late," he says. "Oh shit. You're in the middle of it? That's funny. Is it the tape? [She was watching a tape of The Two Towers.] O.K., sorry, it's just a quick question and then I'll let you get back to what you're doing. Remember there were a couple of times I ran away? And the time the dog came and found me in the woods? How old was I then? About one and a half. O.K. But, anyway, the dog came and found me and I was sitting under a tree? Happy? Sleeping, right?"

Big look of consternation.

"I was sitting in the middle of the woods crying? I thought I was sleeping. Are you sure?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



Quotable Viggo: 21 November 2009

It's very apt that Viggo is starring in a film called The Road as Viggo is always a man on the move, not just globetrotting from country to country but always travelling onwards through his various creative endeavours and being propelled by his desire to learn about the world and pretty much everything in it. The Robert Louis Stevenson words given below clearly mean a lot to him as he's quoted them in many interviews: "To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.' If Viggo is anything, he is - like The Man - a hopeful traveller who believes the journey really is worthwhile.



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


"I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said this," Mortensen says, "it was about meandering through a career, or the arts in general, without seeming to have a deliberate plan. He said, 'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is in the labor.' That's a great line, 'To travel hopefully.' That's what I'd like to do."

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



Always at the peak of the events, do you have some inner, emotional stability?

"Yes, it exists in the equilibrium I successfully create inside me. On one side I do appreciate the moment I live in, on the other side I'm always ready to go somewhere else."

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009



"I knew that if we did it right, it would be a challenge emotionally. I would have to go on a journey."

Viggo talking about filming The Road
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009



Ostensibly, Mortensen is in town to promote his role as a conflicted, compromised German professor in Good, a small-scale drama that - in his words - "needs all the support it can get". He could have got away with delivering the sales spiel. Instead, he's content to go lolloping off after his own train of thought and in the end, the best option is to give up and drift along for the ride. In Mortensen's view, the journey is always more entertaining than the destination anyway.

The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009



'I'm a very curious guy and I stick my nose in everything. I travel a lot because I'm interested in knowing how the rest of the world lives. I love to learn about other cultures, to submerge myself in them, to learn of points of view that are different from mine.'

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



'Traveling is probably the number one most effective anti-war weapon there is.'

Viggo Mortensen on "Good"
By Aaron Hillis
IFC.com
31 December 2008



What appealed to the actor going in [to The Lord of the Rings], as with many of his roles, including Hidalgo, was the ordeal. "Ordeal has a negative connotation, I guess," he says, "but I think mostly it's a positive. I think of ordeal in terms of a test. The challenge of a long and difficult journey. I do think that when you go for a walk by yourself or travel, when you test yourself, all the distractions fall away. Everything gets focused. Whether ordeals are brief or long, they clarify; the purify your life."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
April 2004
Source: GQ magazine



"I think that's kind of healthy, for people to see an American heroic character in a big-budget studio movie who goes to the Middle East not to blow up a bunch of stuff or instruct people in the American way," he says. "He learns along the way, not only about himself and what he and his horse are capable of but also about those he's competing against. And then he goes home. It's another story, like 'Lord of the Rings,' where the lessons learned on the journey are more important than the destination."

Viggo talking about Hidalgo
V IS FOR VIGGO
by Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle, 2003



The story of Hidalgo, as told in John Fusco's script, mixes historical details with a heavy dose of myth and speculation. Mortensen spells out the familiar pattern: A hero's character is determined not by whether or not he is triumphant, but by the choices he makes during a dangerous journey or a strenuous race. "To complete the cycle in the classic hero journey, there is one more step: What does that person (or group of persons) do with what they've learned from the experience?"

After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
Seattle, WA 5 March 2004
Source: ChristianityToday.com



What do you enjoy more than acting?

The journey. The internal and external journey, but you have to make an effort, because there are actors who accept a role, they film a scene, and they shut themselves in the trailer and maybe they haven't learned so much. It's like everything in life: you have to give to receive something.

An Old-Fashioned Hero
By Daniel Ritz - translated by Margarita
April 2007
Source: Cinemania (Mexico)



The photographer Mortensen invites people to keep their eyes open to find out the details (and the poetry) of everyday life.

He quotes Proust ('The true journey is not to look for new landscapes, but to look at the world with new eyes') and Buddha ('Doubt everything, find your own light').

By means of the camera, Viggo has found his light on the path.

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



ST: Where did you come up with the name?

VM: Well, the legend of Perceval involves, in part - I'm sure you know about this - the notion of choosing and making your own way. A group of knights comes to the edge of a forest and each one makes his individual path. They consciously choose not to take a path that's already there, but instead create their own. Symbolically, that was the idea behind the press, and that is what we have tried to do with each book.

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003



Is there anything you regret not having even attempted?

Yes, many things. But it's never too late. I wish I had learned music at a younger age, but I did many things and I was very lucky about the people and places that
I got to know in my travels, the experiences I had, the people I loved and the ones that loved me. I cannot complain.

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela



'See you soon, traveller of the world, Leonese at heart!'

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
'I never imagined such an affectionate and multitudinous welcome'
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Translated for V-W by Paddy
Sept 2006


Quotable Viggo: 14 November 2009

Ananya has coined a new phrase for us this week: Sir Gorgeous of Gondor, which seems to suit Viggo very well as he has the true Knightly attributes of loyalty, courage, honour and courtesy along with being, well, GORGEOUS. This made me think that it's been a while since we had a fun Quotable about what an attractive man he is. To quote Rita Kempley, trying hard to maintain her dignity in the Washington Post in 2001: "Mortensen, as Strider, is a revelation, not to mention downright gorgeous'. So here are some gorgeous quotes from the incurably smitten about our knight in shining armour, some new and some not-to-be-forgotten old favourites.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Sure, he's cute. Well, not cute. Strikingly, jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005



....leading-man Mortensen is perfect. Not only does the actor possess the matinee-idol looks and dripping-testosterone sex appeal of an action-star god, but he carries all the hero baggage of his orc-slaying days in Middle Earth.

A History of Violence Review
Amanda Andrade
Michigan Daily
October 03, 2005



Admittedly Aragorn, son of Arathorn, was already pretty handsome when he was calling himself Strider and getting about Middle-earth on foot. On horseback though, he is irresistible with his flowing hair and rippling muscles echoing his horse's for an aesthetic double whammy. Who cares about the fate of hairy-footed Frodo when we can dream instead of being swept up into those brawny arms and galloped away with.

Once more into the breech
Sunday Times
11 October 2004



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



....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, 2003



He's holy and ridiculous. I've never worked with anyone so determined to create an interesting character. He's a good human being, and he's very, very hot.

Maria Bello
ThebookLA.com
January 2005



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

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008



'I have just left the Ryerson Theatre, where I fear I have contracted a serious case of Viggomania - a condition characterized by fever, light-headedness, and general idiocy when Ultimate Man Viggo Mortensen is in the vicinity.'

Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah
By Michelle Devereaux
Totonto International Film Festival
September 2006



Perched on a post like a big, black-plumaged bird of prey, beautiful Viggo Mortensen is a long-haired, soft-voiced, doe-eyed seducer.

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



Mortensen is steadfast like a throw back to the old school smoldering actors that paraded about the prairies, years ago; sexy and very iconic American cowboy.

Hidalgo review
Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review
2004



Mortensen isn't exactly pretty in the Beverly Hills 90210 sense. He's sexy and alluring in a dangerous way.

Behind The Screens - Tough Guy
By Eliza Krause
New York Magazine
23 September 1991



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 2003



I'm a middle-aged father of two and I'm sitting in Wellington's Duxton Hotel eyeing Viggo Mortensen's bum. If a man's wife tells him often enough what a privilege it is to meet Mortensen, what physical perfection he is, what a sex god, this is what happens.

To thine own self be true
By Guy Somerset
NZ Listener
6-12 June 2009



You're a very attractive man. Do you think of yourself that way?

If it was important to me, maybe I wouldn't feel comfortable. For people to be interested in me for whatever reason is okay with me, as long as I don't have to call the police.

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

Quotable Viggo: 8 November 2009

You were expecting a photo of Viggo, weren't you? Well, this is the next best thing - one of his chocolates. Since being given it at Esher it's remained unwrapped on my mantlepiece like a relic. Dusting it this morning I though "It's about time we got around to chocolate on Quotable Viggo'. And not namby-pamby milk but real 80% cocoa chocolate (like Viggo). Lots of things make Viggo one of the most attractive men on the planet but a diet of serious chocolate probably helps. Come on... he practically lives off it. Viggo and chocolate, that's got to be the ultimate combination. Maybe I'll put Appaloosa in the DVD tonight and unwrap that little bar of gold....



© Iolanthe


...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009




If only all interviewees were as pleasant as Viggo Mortensen. On entering the room at The Langham hotel in Melbourne, the Lord of the Rings star is quick to offer fruit, chocolate and drinks before the first question is even fired.

A Middle Earth Wartime Drama
By Adam Kamien
22 April 2009
Source: Australian Jewish News




He's smiling now and takes more tea. "It's very good for digestion. I also like chocolate. I eat a lot of chocolate. I like them really dark, really tasty."

He... presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

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




...there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008




'Viggo blew me away on a daily basis.....He spent time in Russia and every day he would come to the set with something interesting: a piece of writing or a Russian chocolate or a photo album.'

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller, Total Film
October 2007




Suddenly Viggo leaves the set and returns with a bag full of chocolate. The rest of the team look at him knowingly; an assistant explains to me that "it's a true addiction!" Gentleman that he is, the actor offers some to everyone. For my information he adds, speaking in French, "It's delicious! Made by a family firm. 80% cocoa! " He avails himself of about ten bars during the day.

The Road - End Of The World
By Mathieu Lecerf - translated by Chrissiejane
Studio
June 2008




To get ready for the role that made him a star, that of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he slept in his cloak, practiced sword fighting and probably would have studied Elvish and Orcish had grammars been available. For The Road he slept in his costume again -not much more than filthy rags- and lived on red meat and dark chocolate to lose weight.

Big Gun Takes On The Apocalypse
By Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009




Because his character has a child to protect, he is always on his guard, suspicious of all the people they meet. Yet when the camera stops rolling,Viggo is nothing like this borderline recluse. He gives, unsparingly, indiscriminately, ceaselessly. What's good for him is good for everyone. So the whole team benefits from his yen for chocolate, going through an entire bagful of chocolate bars every day, at his insistence. He has a weakness for a special variety, a mix of bacon and milk chocolate.

The Road Again
By Gerard Delorme - translated by Chrissiejane
Premiere (France)
June 2008




A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita




"In those notebooks could be found faces of teachers I've had, of policemen, children, and old people suffering, giggling, sleeping, or otherwise lingering in emergency rooms, bus stations, on street corners, walking or standing on traces of roads or tracks through harsh deserts, prairies, icescapes, or urban wastelands. Here were all the toy soldiers, ineffective windshield wipers, first tastes of chocolate, wine, asparagus, venison, trout, chalk, ants, a Big Mac, dirt, dandelion stem, unsweetened yerba maté, duck, beer, snow, blood...'

Introduction to Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004
By Viggo Mortensen
2004




He rents a car and loses himself, without any destination or navigator, alone, or sometimes with his son Henry (20 years old).

A chocolate supply (cocoa 80%), the 'mate', the camera and away he goes.

He stops, in silence, to catch a piece of sky, or an old man who feeds the pigeons on the shores of the Danube, or the sunlight which filters through the forest.

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


Quotable Viggo: 29 October 2009

Will The Road be Viggo's road to the Oscar? The film hasn't hit the multiplexes yet and many mainstream reviewers are holding out until release to give their opinion but as it goes around the festival circuit, his performance is garnering a whole bunch of praise on the internet, even from the minority of reviewers who are not so bowled over by the film. As the momentum builds to what Viggo described as a "road... more daunting than the road in the movie I'm making - and that one has cannibals." I think it's time to take look at the buzz developing around what Moviehole describes as possibly "his finest hour'.



Image Macall Polay. © 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.


Mortensen's performance as the lead is simply unforgettable and a sure lock for an Oscar nomination.

Filmblogger
TheFilmBlogger.com
19 October 2009



Mortensen is brilliant in what is essentially a two man show starring him, and McPhee.

Chris Bumbray
JoBlo.com
16 September 2009



There are essentially two actors in the film and both are sensational. Mortensen has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and this may be his finest hour. Subtle, nuanced and saying little with so much, Mortensen gives a beautiful and powerful performance.

Paul Fischer at Toronto
Moviehole
13 September 2009



The film is a powerful, deeply emotional work filled with despair and pain, and anchored every step of the way by Viggo Mortensen in a strong performance that is largely physical... Mortensen captures the wounded man's pain in his wonderfully expressive eyes, and despite being faced with death all around him, he is a life force for whom survival is paramount.

John Foote
Screenrant
14 September 2009



Viggo Mortensen is predictably unpredictable and brilliant as the father desperately trying to live just because it's all he knows to do.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
16 September 2009



Actors Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee have difficult, physically demanding tasks. Mortensen, with an unkempt beard that makes him look like a mountain man, embodies someone who has decided to live instead of give up, and whose every ounce of effort is devoted to protecting his son. Smit-McPhee shows maturity and impressive range for one so young.

James Berardinelli
Reel Reviews
15 September 2009



Viggo Mortensen delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as a man whose humanity and strength of will must outlast the end of civilization.

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
13 September 2009



Mortensen is perfectly cast in this memorable role, bringing an all-or-nothing determination that makes you believe he has survived the horrible odds. In addition to constant fear and despair, his eyes convey a sense of humanity and undying parental love.

Linda Marotta
Fangoria.com
16 September 2009



Viggo Mortensen renders an amazing performance in a tough and demanding picture, which he carries on his robust shoulders with impressive skills and emotions. Rising above the limitations of the text (which reads better as a novel than a movie) and the movie, which for long stretches of time is silent, plotless, and devoid of characters, Mortensen gives a towering performance that holds the entire picture together-literally and figuratively. Thus, I hope that critics and audiences will be able to separate Viggo's distinguished work from the less than distinguished movie in which it is contained.

Emmanuel Levy
emmanuellevy.com
4 September 2009



The Father, hollowed out in the personage of Viggo Mortensen, tells his son to keep the proverbial fire alive inside his chest, and this small gesture of something bigger than oneself exists as a flickering light in a world of unrelenting darkness....Viggo is in full-on Christian Bale mode here as a spindly phantom of himself, chewing on crickets and running buck-naked. Most satisfying of all is that the film never cheats its audience, never gives in to any kind of easy resolve to its situations, but continues McCarthy's sadistic trials and tribulations as they pan out throughout the movie.

Mike Rot
Row Three Tiff Reviews
14 September 2009



Young Australian actor, Smit-McPhee is refreshingly unpretentious as a kid who has to grow up fast and plays wonderfully off a magnificent Mortensen who is rugged and ultimately quite touching as a father unwilling to let go.

Pete Hammond
BoxOffice.com
3 September 2009



Mortensen's performance is superb, both emotional and physical. We feel his weakness, yet we also feel that near obsessive need to keep moving, and the exhaustion that comes with it. He is one of the few actors who can tell a story with his eyes, and these are eyes so full of pain. It is the best kind of acting, pure and honest.

John Foote
In Contention
15 September 2009



You feel every triumph and every scare. This wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the stellar performances from Mortensen and newcomer Smit-McPhee, who together make up a family that will be tugging at your heart throughout most of the film.

Alex Billington
Firstshowing.net
7 September 2009



Viggo Mortensen's performance is definitely Oscar-worthy and so is John Hillcoat's directing. Do yourself a favor, see this movie as soon as it becomes available. And be ready to cry, scream and enjoy yourself.

The Best Movies from Toronto Film Festival
Worstpreviews.com
13 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 24 October 2009

The BAFTA A Life In Pictures event last Saturday was a lot of fun, not least because it was great to hear Viggo relating anecdotes from some of his earlier films. Hopefully there will be a video soon and you can all enjoy him telling us how he managed to land a nappy on Al Pacino's nose. Sitting there taking it all in, I remembered that I have a bunch of quotes (both comments and reviews) that I haven't posted here before, all from his Pre-Aragorn acting days. Yup - even sitting in The Presence I'm thinking about Quotable Viggo...



Courtesy of Viggo's Celluloid Haven. © Miramax / Zenith.


Witness

'It was Peter Weir who, seeing me, said, "It will be interesting for (the character played by) Alexander Godunov to have this brother who follows him everywhere." And he asked me to stay six weeks instead of one! It was in June and July, it was very hot. As I had little to do, I passed the time in roaming around Pennsylvania on a bicycle I had found. I made friends. I was like Tom Sawyer, and they paid me, and I could watch the crew on set as much as I wanted.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine


Prison

It was a real low budget horror exploitation thing. The cast was a bunch of people [who were] New York stage actors. For that kind of movie, it was a pretty experienced group of actors; good actors got those parts. So, I was surrounded by people who really knew what they were doing, which was nice. It was fun to work with them. I mean, the story was what it was. It was a horror movie and it was on the cheap side and all that, but Renny Hahn had a certain amount of visual flair. Other that,I don't know if it stands out any more than the other movies at this time. I liked the location, I liked Wyoming.

Viggo talking about Prison
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
By Carnell
March 1999
Source: Carpe Noctem magazine #15


Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

'I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles and he had a part in the third. "We need a man. Wasn't that something for you?', he asked. Why not? I had seen the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', and I thought there was something about it - in spite of everything. I hoped the third would contain the same. But the movie company got cold feet and cut away the most terrifying and gruesome scenes, and it ended up being a rather incoherent movie.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001


The Reflecting Skin

Mortensen doesn't appear until an hour has passed - but when he does he immediately marks himself as one of those actors who doesn't need fancy lighting to be incandescent. Cast as a young man returning from the Pacific (where he dropped bombs on sleepy atolls), he displays surly, distant passion that's at odds, yet perfectly in step, with a small town that is seething beneath its bucolic veneer.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
by Martha Frankel
June 1991


The Indian Runner

SEAN PENN: I think I stimulated Viggo's temper. And, as I remember, I think I got a little bit personal. But I think he was professionally responsive, he knew where to go for what I was looking for. When you're abusive to an actor, it's one thing-when you're abusive to a character, it's another. And I think I found it was helpful to both of us to raise my own tempo a little bit, get in the same place as him, share the vibe . . .

When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times
by Richard T. Kelly (UK: Faber and Faber, US: Canongate US, 2004)


Carlito's Way

"I wasn't having an easy time finding work at this time in my career, but because of my background I had some understanding of what this character could be and what the background was like.... I loved working with Al Pacino. He was unusually generous for someone in his position. He has a very open mind, and a very open heart."

Viggo Mortensen
Uncut
November 2007


American Yakuza

...he most impressive element of the film is Viggo Mortensen, one of the most capable American character actors, here in a very unusual role of an action lead - tough, but sensitive man with a hidden agenda.

American Yakuza Video Review
By Dragan Antulov
All-Reviews
1999


Gimlet

'I sent him the script, he liked it and, only after adding a lot of riders and positive contributions and after hours talking about it, he accepted. 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


Crimson Tide

'Watching Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington was pretty interesting; to be at several scenes when they're arguing in speeches and stuff. I'd say that's fun to watch those actors go at it like a sporting event and I had a front row seat. '

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


The Prophecy

'I landed in The Prophecy the same way I did in The Lord Of The Rings, that is, at the last minute. I read the script on the plane taking me to the location. I accepted the part because I wanted to work with Christopher Walken, whom I knew personally. 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...'

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


Portrait of a Lady

What memories do you have of working with Jane Campion, on Portrait of a Lady? Was that special?

- Oh, yes! How I loved working with her! Her way of rehearsing, of discussing before shooting ... At the same time, she demands much more than you think you can give. I've rarely met anyone as demanding, but it's something an actor appreciates. I also think that Nicole Kidman did a remarkable job in that movie, and that she's not often as highly regarded as she should be. She is so intense ...

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002


GI Jane

His work in GI Jane was brave - he brought understatement to the kind of role that offers grandstanding opportunities on a silver platter.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001


A Perfect Murder

'...I'm surprised they let me do that, actually [the paintings]. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself? I showed them a couple of small samples and they said sure if I made this bigger and I said OK. So it was one of those things where you're at a job interview and they say can you speak Chinese? Because if you can speak Chinese you've got the job. And, of course, you go, "Yeah sure. You'll water ski or whatever. Then, you just figure you'll figure out how to speak Chinese between now and next Wednesday. Well maybe it's not that extreme... I like to draw and stuff but the reason they used photography in it was because that was something that I did know and I had a certain stock pile of images I could play with. That helped!'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999








Quotable Viggo: 11 October 2009

It seems that this is the year that everyone is taking a good look at Viggo's long career as an actor. On Saturday BAFTA will be presenting his "Life in Pictures' which is following on the heels of other tributes we've seen over the last few months. Perhaps - with all the buzz about The Road - the industry has suddenly woken up to something that we've known here from the start - that Viggo has always been a great actor without ever being a movie "star'. That is, an actor who (when he has been able) has made daring personal choices, and who has always carried out his performances with a dedication to the material that is truly exemplary. Time to take a look back at Viggo's own thoughts on acting and what it takes to be at the top of your craft.



©New Line Cinema / Focus Features / Good Films / Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones


"Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories"

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



"...the one thing I always do, and I've always done from the beginning instinctively - because it's interesting, and it's the fun part, regardless of how the shoot goes, or what the result is of the movie - I can always count on the benefits of asking the question: "What happened between the cradle and page one for this character?" And that answer is endless, you know? It's as big an answer and as complicated and layered an answer as you want it to be. And I never stop working at that."

Viggo Mortensen
VIGGOOOOOAL!
Scott Feinberg's awards season analysis
andthewinneris.blog.com
20 December 2007




Are you a disciplined actor, one of those that just obeys the director or are you one of those that asks many questions, constantly needing notes from the director?

Of the second kind... Any time of the day or night. I fry the director.

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




"I see a lot of people doing lots of work which could be good but isn't because they don't prepare enough. They don't give themselves enough time to digest the material and enough focus because they are thinking about the next job while you are doing another."

Viggo on why he has done so few films since LOTR
'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
By Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
March 18 2006




"Immersion is essential for me. I consider each film like a new school."

Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
By Sophie Benamon, Studio Magazine
November 2007




"A movie set is like a ritual, with all the trappings and preparation. I feel like when we go to a set and we rehearse - or not - and we're wearing these costumes and saying these words, it's like an invocation, an invitation to magic, to the unexplained, to let the unexpected to enter into our lives."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




"I know people who prepare their roles in such a way that they technically look ahead and memorize their gestures, and then they stick to it. Those that are technically proficient enough can make it seem natural, but they do that and don't really take in what other people are doing. They can do a fine job sometimes. But I personally feel more comfortable, and feel that I'm more in the moment in terms of building a character that helps the director tell a story, if I prepare in advance, but then go with the flow of the moment. I think it was Sidney Lumet who said something I really agree with. Roughly: "The work is largely about making the best possible preparations for accidents to happen.""

Viggo Mortensen
Tasha Robinson
The Onion, 2004




"People talk about Method actors, meaning someone that's prepared very, very well, or whatever they mean when they talk about it. But the right method is whatever works for you. And what works for me on any given day is going to be different.'

Viggo Mortensen
Tasha Robinson
The Onion, 2004




"I've seen advertised, teachers saying, 'I'll show you how to not only win in auditions, I'll show you how to win every scene.' You can't win every scene. That's not even a goal. The goal isn't to win anything. The goal is to be there. That's how you tell a story. And so when you're thinking in terms of results, then you're skipping the reaction part, the foundation of good acting."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West, 5 January 2004




"I'm not in a hurry to [leave characters behind]. I appreciate other actors that say "it was difficult to shed the skin of this character'. I don't know what the hurry is. As far as I'm concerned, I don't see that it ruins my life to have gotten involved with the character I'm playing. Our memories are finite and they decrease in their efficiency over time as we get older, so what's the hurry to forget something you learned something from and you explored in an interesting way? I'm never in a hurry to shed it. I don't see it as a problem."

Goin' Fishin' with Viggo Mortensen
By Lynn Barker
Teen Hollywood
28 September 2005




"I've never been offered comedy and don't know why. But sometimes I subtly slip ironic touches into my roles."

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




"You supply the blue and they supply the other colours and mix them with your blue. And maybe there's some blue left in the painting and maybe there isn't. Maybe there wasn't supposed to be any there in the first place. So have some fun and make a good blue, and walk away. I try to do that. Sometimes I succeed."

Viggo Mortensen on acting
Premiere
St. Lawrence University: March 1, 2003




It's customary to finish with an epilogue that recaps everything. Considering this, I have no choice but to ask Viggo to describe himself as an actor. Just one sentence, at the most, that encompasses his personality and his attitude. He reflects for a few minutes. "One sentence?" he says, scratching his chin. "I'm a guy who makes a fool of himself."

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

Quotable Viggo: 3 October 2009

There have been some fascinating discussions going on over on our Lord of the Rings thread about the differences between Book Aragorn and Movie Aragorn. Viggo lived Aragorn, on and off, for three years, and saw much in Tolkien's Ranger that he recognised in himself, until it became clear that Viggo and Aragorn had morphed into Viggorn - each bringing something valuable to the other. I thought it would be good to have another look at Viggo's take on "The greatest traveller and huntsman of his age of the world', Tolkien and all things kingly.



© New Line Productions Inc.


"I hope you feel to some degree Aragorn's sense of hesitation. On a practical level as an actor, that was already with me when I arrived in New Zealand. I had read enough on the plane to see that the character had misgivings about the burden of the undertaking. He feels the weight of other people's expectations; it's one thing for someone to tell you that you're capable but it's quite another for you to know it yourself. I felt that in Aragorn, and I felt it too as an actor: 'You've hired me 'cos you think I can do it but privately I'm not sure'."

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
The Independent
14 December 2001



"There is no character in this story, in these books, that has travelled more extensively and had more contact with other cultures, races, languages, and an appreciation and understanding of the differences of all the free peoples of Middle-earth. . . . He has an understanding that the most precious thing that any intelligent being possesses is free choice."

Viggo Mortensen
Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer, 2002



'Despite his vast knowledge of the world, Aragorn always considers himself fallible. It is his internal conflicts that make him evolve.'

A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
December 2003



"To suddenly come out of the closet and say, "This is who I am" - to no longer operate in hiding and keep leaving the scene like the Lone Ranger, to stand in one place undisguised and let others have access to you - is in some ways more frightening than fighting any army. That inner conflict is an interesting thing to portray. It's not always something that's written, or can be fully written."

Viggo Mortensen on Aragorn
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003



"What people like Boromir and others initially saw as defects and weakness in Aragorn," says Mortensen, "prove to be his greatest strength. In other words his hesitation, his self-doubt, those really are his strengths because they have to do with compassion, they have to do with him considering whether he has a right to act. '

A Man Apart
By Ingrid Randoja
Famous
December 2003



'All the heroic characters in this story have faults, or if not faults, moments of doubt.

I think it should almost be a requirement that leaders in our world have self-doubt, that they display a certain hesitation in certain situations.'

A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine
17 December 2003



'I don't think Aragorn is naturally prone to fighting in the same sense that maybe Boromir was in the first story or Eomer is in this. He isn't, by nature, warlike.

The Elvish name his mother gives him at birth is Estel, which means hope. I think he basically has a sunny disposition, but it has been dampened over the years by what he has seen in the world. He is a skilled fighter who has taken on the fighting styles of the different places he has lived and fought in, but it's by virtue of necessity that he does it.'

Aragorn Explains the Whole Good-Evil Thing
By A. J.
E! Features
15 December 2002



'...he has this burden because he understands what happened in the past, how his forefathers, even the nobles and the bravest of them, screwed up and succumbed to the temptation of the ring and you know, he feels, almost I think, why should he do any better than them.'

Viggo's Big Time: Viggo Mortensen on Home, Hollywood and Hobbits.
By Robin Lynch
Air New Zealand magazine
December 2002



'In many ways I realized no matter how much I researched and drew from that, in the end my best resource and closest thing to what we were going through as characters was what we were going through as people."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow, by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West, 5 January 2004



"While Peter obviously cares a great deal for Tolkien's writing - otherwise he wouldn't have given so much of his life to it - what seems to have drawn him most as a filmmaker was the pure adventure aspect of the tale. The heroic sacrifice of individuals for the common good. All the breathtaking sequences - he really poured himself into those. The more I explored Tolkien, the more I felt I had two bosses: Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I tried my best to be loyal to both of them."

Viggo Mortensen
We Were All On an Epic Journey
by Jeff Giles
Newsweek magazine, 2001



'...as always, with any job I do, the other director is my own conscience. I felt a connection, as well as a responsibility, toward a lot of Tolkien's source material, particularly Nordic sagas and Scandinavian literature. I also looked at Celtic material ... samurai movies, certain samurai ethics ... even Westerns, anime characters..."

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
By Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express
3 December 2003



'In the end, it really isn't about only Frodo, or only Gandalf, or only Aragorn, or what have you. You can be a fan of any one of the characters, but in the end I think you end up being a fan of all of them.'

Viggo Mortensen
Veni, Vidi, Viggo
by Bilge Ebiri
Yahoo Internet Life magazine, 2001



...there's a sense that pieces of Aragorn always will cling to the actor. As he says, "Aragorn is a work in progress, as we all are in an endless tale." The same could be said of Mortensen. And his story is destined to continue.

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


Quotable Viggo: 20 September 2009

I'm treating us again to the "mad as a snake' quote, which I posted last week, because it's set me thinking about all those occasions where our guy's combination of dedication beyond the call of duty, individuality and wacky sense of humour have proved that a little madness can be good for you. I thought this would make a fun quotable especially as Daniel Mirth's interview in this October's Men's Journal opens on much the same lines with the wonderful "losers dance'. It also gives me another chance to treat us to Aunt Tulles' wonderful comment. There's a knack to taking your work very seriously, without taking yourself seriously. I'm sure Viggo will never lose his capacity for spontaneous madness, whether at work or at play, while still remaining, as we all know, one of the sanest men on the planet.



© New Line Productions Inc


"There was little glamour about the shoot, least of all the scenes where Mortensen runs naked into the freezing sea. 'The insurance company told him not to do it,' smiles Penhall, 'but he's mad as a snake.'

Joe Penhall, novel adaptor
The Ultimate Road Movie
By Nick Roggick
London Evening Standard
4 September 2009



"Some supposedly great stars doubt you and call you and say. "Man, what are you doing?!' But Viggo went for the kill. He was the first one to throw himself into the cold water, into a filthy mud puddle, and the rest followed him.'

Agustín Díaz Yanes
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007



'...it was a show of its own to see Viggo Mortensen, because he is such a perfectionist in his acting'. Anyway, he said that the actor, 'like all the great ones, is a bit crazy, and during the shooting Viggo believed he was Alatriste, and when he wasn't shooting, he still kept his sword and hat. I think he still believes he is Alatriste.'

Pérez-Reverte
'En España no hay suficientes actores jóvenes buenos para rodar "Alatriste'
By L.M.-L. Alatriste conference in Murcia
El Faro de Murcia



"...a fantastic crazy guy".

Javier Cámara
César Urrutia takes pictures, in the style of Velázquez...
Europa Press
Translation by Paddy
24 August 2006



'He's a really - I don't want to say strange - let's say unique - guy,' says Hopper, no stranger to the label himself. He first became friends with Mortensen when they worked on The Indian Runner together in 1991. 'He'll show up at your door barefoot. It's real with him - it's not an affectation. He is very much of the earth. He's relaxed and in the moment and he brings real emotions to the table. He's very human with great artistic sensibilities.'

Dennis Hopper
Super Natural
By Anna David
Daily Telegraph
30 November 2002



'Most People don't win, you know? So on the way out of the big auditorium, the Kodak, I went over to these people and said, "Hey, let's do a loser's dance.' I started jumping, and they were just horrified at this loss they just suffered, you know? There were these filmmakers from Canada who lost and actually agreed. And I think Michael Moore did the losers dance. But I would say 99% of the losers didn't want to do the losers dance. They all just sort of ran from me like I was shitfaced drunk or something.'

Viggo celebrating losing his Oscar
A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009



'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



"He's just such a loyal, kind, sweet-hearted man who's hilarious to be around and inspiring in all the things he achieves and sets out to do. I've certainly learned a lot from him. His perspective on life is beautiful too. He's a real lover of nature and a very giving and accepting man. And there's something about Viggo that's absolutely, completely insane and I find that very endearing. He really is mad."

Elijah Wood talking about Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62, Summer 2003-2004



'Viggo was working on this battle sequence. He got hit in the mouth and broke his front tooth. It was literally gone, and he found it on the floor. He was like, 'Get me some superglue, we've got to keep going.' That clearly describes Viggo. Everyone was like, 'No, no, we have to get you to a dentist.' And he was actually angry that they stopped filming to take him to a dentist.'

Elijah Wood
Ringleader - Viggo Mortensen
By Ian Nathan
Empire
January 2002



"We ran back and said, 'Everyone's got to see this.'" Bloom recalls. "I was having a Viggo moment - running out, getting people to come and check out the moon." Some decided to wade into the river, but Mortensen suggested the more perilous task of crossing the river. "I'm like, '**** off,' and he says, 'Come on.' So were barefoot, waist-high in water, walking on these little rocks to get to the other side and I'm doing it because I'm an idiot and I'm following his lead. Because he's an idiot. And because he's amazing," Bloom laughs. "I can't believe how much this is going to make it sound like I'm in love with the guy."

Orlando Bloom has a moon gazing moment
The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003



"...there are some silly-genes in our family, that he benefits from.'

Aunt Tulle on Viggo
Avisen.dk interview
15 October 2008



'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 ***** want. '

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



Despite his quirkiness, or maybe because of it, Mortensen, a 50 year old who has stubbornly resisted the formula for modern movie stardom, finds himself on of the last great leading men standing.

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009



How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 13 September 2009

Well, things are really hotting up aren't they? After the dry season we now have a deluge of interviews, articles and photos to enjoy as The Road finally gets on the road. I've been pulling quotes that have really caught my eye. Not all of them are about The Road, but all have come from comments and observations made over the last couple of weeks. I think many of the ones below will become Quotable Classics. Enjoy!



© Dimension Films/2929
productions. Centre: Image Macall Polay


...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009




...he's a soft spoken guy who can fill a digital recorder with wall-to-wall perspective.

Kris Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009




That dude can say 5 different things with his face in one ten second take.

Quint
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008




When the elements, the weather and the terrain get tough, Viggo gets going.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




"He's very in the moment, definitely, right in the moment. When you see me running with him, and he's holding my hand and I trip over and all that, it's totally real. I was falling into thorns and stuff -- Aah! Aah! -- and he just drags me up and puts me on his shoulder. I'm like, Oh, my God."

Kodi Smit-McPhee
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Grown Man in an Era of Boys'
Jay A. Fernandez
Risky Biz
12 September 2009




"....for the first few days of the shoot, he slept in his clothes to stay in role. He paid attention to every detail. If his shoes weren't wet enough, he would spray himself. He was totally absorbed and obsessed with the part. He became The Man."

Steve Schwartz. (Producer)
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




'I was stripped down to the essentials," Mortensen said. "It's about character, about how you behave... when you have nothing left but your heartbeat and the heartbeat of your son."

Gina Doggett
AFP
3 September 2009



"Viggo has the perfect qualities as a man and as an actor to do this part. He's got incredible depth of soul.'

Nick Wechsler
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




If anyone could survive in a post-apocalyptic world, the director says, it would be Viggo.


The Road
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




"It is a Norwegian ghost story. It is called 'The Road to Resurrection.' I come back as a Viking ghost and he's in the Italian mob,"

Viggo plans a sequel to The Road with Kodi
'The Road' premieres at Venice
By Colleen Barry
Associated Press
3 September 2009




"There was little glamour about the shoot, least of all the scenes where Mortensen runs naked into the freezing sea. 'The insurance company told him not to do it,' smiles Penhall, 'but he's mad as a snake.'

Joe Penhall, novel adaptor
The Ultimate Road Movie
By Nick Roggick
London Evening Standard
4 September 2009




'...when I was watching the reel of clips, going back to the mid-eighties, I just went on a journey personally about where I was at the time. I'd look at Patricia Arquette [in 'The Indian Runner'] or Diane Lane [in 'A Walk on the Moon'] or how Al Pacino was in that moment [in 'Carlito's Way'], and just the things that happened that are beyond technical explanations, that magical thing that has to do with a leap of faith. And people go, 'How did you get to that place?'

And honestly, in some cases you don't know, we were lucky it happened. You just hope those things happen once in a while."

Viggo talking about the Telluride Film Festival Tribute
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Grown Man in an Era of Boys'
Jay A. Fernandez
Risky Biz
12 September 2009




When I ask him for his favourite joke he responds with a rare one-word answer: 'Me'.

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009



Quotable Viggo: 5 September 2009

It's Festival time again with Venice and Telluride filling our news pages and Toronto just around the corner. As always, the publicity, programme notes, interviews and comments result in an outpouring of accolades for our man. The relaxed Festival atmosphere also results in some rich humour and opportunities to meet colleagues and talk about new projects. Ed Harris gave Viggo Appaloosa to read while promoting A History of Violence at Toronto, and Viggo first met Cronenberg at Cannes while promoting The Lord of the Rings. Toronto, of course, dominates the quotes - after all, Viggo has now been there so many times he's practically Canadian. Festivals can also pull out some surprises - at Cannes and Rome Viggo had to call on his inner Aragorn and save people for real. One thing is for certain, Festivals are never boring!



A HoV: Cannes Film Festival Premiere - May 16, 2005.
© French Premiere Magazine.



The Road - Telluride 2009


With so many of Hollywood's movie stars seeming like overgrown kids, Viggo Mortensen is the rare American actor who is both muscular and humane, tough and sensitive, fighter and lover. He seduces us with a thread of danger, his chiselled Nordic physique and stunning blue eyes.

36th Telluride Film Festival Program Guide
September 2009




The Road - Venice 2009


A bleak Viggo Mortensen, his face etched like an El Greco painting, urgently and convincingly conveys his character's love and desperation...

By Fionnuala Halligan
Screen Daily
Venice Film Festival
3 September, 200
9



Good - Rome 2009

Mortensen has got himself onto the subject of politics and personal responsibility and he is quietly rapping away. It has rhythm, it has blues: you almost feel like tapping your feet. Not a grandiose oration, nor a preachy lecture (or one you can actually stop or interrupt) but his audience nevertheless starts to feel a creeping sense of guilty moral turpitude.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009




Good - Toronto 2008

In contrast to the prancing egos on display at the TIFF, the undisputed hero this year has been charismatic, versatile and totally charming Viggo Mortensen ...in the electrifying German-British co-production Good, my favorite film of the festival, even this mesmerizing chameleon, who has proved he can play anything, surprised the hell out of audiences, who emerged stunned.

What Has Happened to the Toronto Film Festival?
Rex Reed
The New York Observer
9 September 2008




Appaloosa - Deauville 2008

"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008




Appaloosa - Toronto 2008

They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008



'...I had someone grow it for me," he replied. "There's a beard stubble farm, as it happens, just north of Sante Fe where they grow the best beard stubble in the world.... They use a rare ... kind of mountain goat turd they put on it and when it was ready, they knocked me out with some kind of weird peyote stuff and sewed it on."

Viggo on his beard
Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008



At the Toronto International Film Festival, I passed a mysteriously perturbed Viggo Mortensen waiting for an elevator on my floor, and he looked like a man who'd never had a milkshake in his life...

Harris, Mortensen Get To Clean Things Up In This Western
By Jeff Simon
3 October 2008
Source: Buffalo News




Eastern Promises - Toronto 2007

Asked about his preparation for the [fight] scene, Mortensen said, 'I was paid a great deal of money.'

Added Cronenberg: 'When we started to shoot the scene we were surprised to discover that Viggo has no genitals so we had to CG them in.'

'I had to give some of the money back,' said Mortensen.

'It was very expensive CG,' Cronenberg explained.

Viggo and Cronenberg's double act
Tiff Press Conference
By Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
8 Sept 2007



In the throes of the Toronto International Film Festival (which ends today), Geoffrey Rush sat on the edge of a couch in a hotel room and began celebrating the fine work of his fellow performers....

"Viggo Mortensen gives a great screen performance," said Rush, using Mortensen's turn as a Russian mobster as an example of the endangered power of screen acting.

"He's completely inside his imaginative world, creating a character using invisible technique. There's a great kind of personal stamp that's idiosyncratic for the character. He explores extreme parameters within the character on his own terms and therefore creates something entertaining and thrilling for an audience to get involved with on their own imaginative level."

It was unsolicited praise from a gifted performer - and deserved.

Naked Viggo Mortensen: Artist At Work
By Lisa Kennedy
The Denver Post
16 September 2007




Alatriste - Toronto 2006

The riveting Viggo Mortensen is ideally cast as Alatriste, a noble soldier of very few words and very large actions....Mortensen is astonishing, channelling the very essence of Alatriste's fiery integrity.

Diana Sanchez
Toronto Film Festival Promo
Aug 2006



'I have just left the Ryerson Theatre, where I fear I have contracted a serious case of Viggomania - a condition characterized by fever, light-headedness, and general idiocy when Ultimate Man Viggo Mortensen is in the vicinity.'

Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah
By Michelle Devereaux
Totonto International Film Festival
September 2006




Alatriste - Rome 2006

Viggo who was in town to boost the film pulled a little off-duty heroism of his own on the street in Rome when, in plain clothes, he drove off a pack of hoodlums who were molesting a guy, gleefully and dutifully reported in all the the local papers.

Viggo Mortensen - Heroic On And Off Screen
By Alex Deleon
Fest21
16 October 2006




A History of Violence - Toronto 2005

First introduced was Ashton Holmes....."Next is fabulous, luscious......... William Hurt. Then the amazing, always surprising.......... Ed Harris... The startling and scintillating..... Maria Bello. And finally, the really not too bad..... Viggo Mortensen!"

David Cronenberg introducing his cast at TIFF
From Topaz's account
Toronto International Film Festival




A History of Violence - Cannes 2005

"Viggo's like an ambassador of the production. He is incredibly generous, and has a wonderful effect of involving everybody."

David Cronenberg, Director
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit


One last thing that I wish to report is a small anecdote concerning someone. One of my charming girlfriends, attached to the press core assisting all of the DVDrama personel, yesterday was herself helped by a hero and not the least of which since it was Mr. Viggo Mortensen, alias the sensual Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, about whom we are still having numerous fantasies since the first showing of Peter Jackson's trilogy. Present in Cannes to support David Cronenberg's film, A History of Violence, in which he proves once again his immensity talent, he went to the private evening gathering that followed the premiere screening, which was exactly where my girlfriend was, whose dress suddenly caught fire as she walked down the centre of an avenue edged with small candles. An accident which could have transformed itself very quickly into a catastrophe if the courageous Viggo hadn't intervened immediately, gently throwing himself on her to help extinguish the first flames that could have become a conflagration. Reassuring and concerned he next took lengthy care of her. After this summer the King of Tolkien, Viggo, is today the King of Cannes and I regret not being the one of whose dress caught fire!

Viggo the Hero
DVDrama, Cannes Film Festival Report
17 May 2005

Quotable Viggo: 29 August 2009

Seeing that GI Jane photo again this week - the one where the Master Chief is terrorising a recruit after treating him to DH Lawrence - reminded me that in all my ramblings around Viggo's artistic life there is one area that I haven't yet looked at in any depth - his poetry. Strange, because out of all of Viggo's multiplicity of works this is what I love most. Maybe, like treasure, I've been saving it up. But poetry is very much on the Viggo news radar at the moment, with Viggo busy promoting Perceval Press's Anthology of New Argentine Poetry and working on his next collection: Songs of Winter. He's also given us some new insights into how he writes in this month's Pagina 12 interview and recently talked about how he wrote his poem "Chaco'. And making this week Poetry Week means we can also revisit another of my favourite quotes, this time from Exene Cervenka...



Poetry Reading & Signing - St Lawrence University, Canton, NY 3.1.03.
© St Lawrence University.


'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond,
US Magazine #236, 1997




"I write faster in English; in Spanish I am slower because I left knowing the slang of the late 60's and when I returned in '95, I found other words in use. Speaking so much English or Danish, sometimes I write in a strange way; there are things that are very personal, very much mine, and others that seem to me unique until later I realize that here they are said every day. I like to whittle at the poems, work them until they are as short as possible, but at the same time have a lot in them.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
Translated for V-W by Zooey and Sage
Pagina 12
20 August 2009




'I wrote that one while thinking about my childhood, the mental and physical strength children have: the daring, the innocent courage, the absence of prejudice, the visceral connection with nature, with the environment that surrounded me, which seemed to threaten me and embrace me,'

Viggo talking about Chaco
The Hidden Side of Viggo Mortensen
Fernanda Nicolini
Diario Crítica de la Argentina.
Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
1 July 2009




These [Mortensen's] poems seem close to the way his mind works: things tend to be collaged in where they almost fit, or, more precisely, they fit in the only way they can: almost.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




The poetry works because Mortensen is Scandinavian (Danish father, American mother), says Manhire, "and there is this Scandinavian myth about how poetry is a mixture of blood and honey - his poetry has that mixture."

Bill Manhire, Victoria University, NZ
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003




Mortensen crafts spare, fine-tuned verses that end with the sharp report of a metaphor hitting its target.

The Man Who Would Be King,
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001



'I'm not always the best person at communicating really directly? You know, in words? Unless they're in poetry or through images.'

Signlanguage Exhibition Video Transcription
By Zooey (Transcription)
2 February 2002
Source: You Tube




Are your poems born from happiness or from pain?

I've probably written more poems about moments that have some kind of complication. But I think there are elements of both.

Viggo Mortensen
The Inner Viggo,
By Jenny Ewart
New Zealand's Woman's Weekly, 2003




What influences you in your choices of structure and presentation?

"not sure. trees, dreams, doubt, birds, books, rain. have felt comfortable writing in prose style lately. have not had as much time as i did a few years ago to organise and rework poems in anything but paragraphs. that does, however, feel right these days. clean, uncluttered. am just as nit-picky about word choices and structure, but more trusting of the in-built rhythm of word-pictures, prose fragments --not concerned with indicating any kind of preferred reading of a poem.

Viggo-Works Talks With Viggo
3 April 2007
Source: Viggo-Works




'I don't have to wait on other people as to whether I'm allowed to work, and it's up to me if I want to ruin it in the editing.'

Viggo Mortensen on writing poetry
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




'I'm always looking at things that I write and going 'what can I take out of that and [make] it still work'. And then, years later... I might look at that poem again and go, 'You know, I can still take out two words.'

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




'It is important to protect living poetry, which is also why I participate as often as I can in public readings."

Viggo Mortensen
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen, by Sophie Benamon, Studio Magazine, 2003



Mortensen began the evening by lighting a candle and quoting a phrase by poet S.A. Griffin. 'We are here for the sweet stigmata of the poem. And here's the news.' The breathless, packed room received the news, and it was clear from the moment Viggo spoke that this was poetry's night.

National Poetry Month Starts At Beyond Baroque With Three April Fools
By Philomene Long, Poet Laureate of Venice
Santa Monica Mirror
27 April 2006




'A lot of people that were here tonight said something about their writing, but were too embarrassed by it. And I'd ask them about what they write and encourage them to pursue it. People sometimes seem to feel that poetry is just this little thing you do privately, like your diary. But in reality it's something that you can work at in many ways, that you can share, that you can take as far as you like.'

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002




'...some people will come to hear the reading and some people will come because of The Lord of the Rings. I don't care. If they come and hear the poems and they have a reaction pro or con, and there's a connection made between me and them - then who cares?"

Viggo on Poetry Readings
The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003


Quotable Viggo: 22 August 2009

In her article "Sympathy for the Devil' (The Observer 2009) Chrissy Iley remarks that she's fascinated by the way Viggo "does ambiguity'. She is talking about his performance in Good but this holds true for almost all his roles because I think this is exactly why Viggo is such a mesmerising actor. Whatever appears to be on the surface we know there are other things going on underneath. With Cronenberg characters this comes very much to the fore with complex men who are not at all what they seem. In fact Viggo has a long list of such characters - Nick in American Yakuza, David Shore in A Perfect Murder, con man Johnny Faro and Frank Hopkins fooling himself into believing that he isn't really Blue Child. Even Aragorn isn't just a Ranger and has lived longer in disguise than Tom Stall. Then there is the way Viggo can balance the "cruel and the gentle' within the range of one character... he is indeed an actor who can "embrace extremes of danger and empathy' being "equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...'



Image Takashi Seida.
© New Line Productions Inc.


One of the things that has always fascinated me about Viggo Mortensen is the way he does ambiguity. The way he can look cruel and gentle at the same time. The way he can embrace extremes of danger and empathy. In Good his ambiguity excels itself. He's a Nazi you can't hate because you understand him. You warm to him, even. He's vulnerable, he's vain. He has been gradually seduced into the Nazi movement. He couldn't help himself.

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




You seem to enjoy ambiguous characters...

For me every character is ambiguous, I don't like flat characters or those that don't appeal to me. In fact, every time I'm given a character who is very good and very calm and very kind, I begin to think what could be wrong with that guy, what terrible things will he have done and what his negative side will be.

"Violence is not an American patrimony"
By Toni García - translated by Paddy
ABC.es
21 October 2005




The film [A History of Violence] is too good to reduce it into terms of mere violence. It speaks about the human condition and how ambiguous we are. I agree with David on this: human beings are complicated. A man can be the most violent person in the world and yet still on occasions act with compassion and in a caring manner.

The Terrible Lure of Violence
By Daniel Ferullo - translated by Margarita
El Siglo de Tucumán
8 January 2006




"Alatriste...is a politically incorrect hero, a murderer, a mercenary, and I was afraid that, in the film, he would lose his harshness and would be more tolerable, but fortunately both Agustín and Viggo crossed that boundary and kept a dark and ambiguous hero, giving him that dark and terribly tragic look. Viggo has made the character human, and even more Spanish".

Pérez-Reverte: "I have no doubt about Alatriste being from León"
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de Leon
30 August 2006




Viggo Mortensen's turn as a milquetoast professor made into an unlikely Nazi official is pretty striking....Mortensen, often cast as tough men of action and boundless rectitude, persuades us here that his John Halder has the skills to present to the world and himself a façade of decency over the spine of a jellyfish. It's a very skillful, commendably self-effacing performance.

"Good' review
Abbie Bernstein
If Magazine
31 December 2008




He's the ideal Cronenberg anti-hero: gentle and macho at the same time, as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting.

Dana Stevens
Slate.com
13 Sept 2007



In 'A History of Violence,' Mr. Mortensen seamlessly impersonated an ordinary, decent small-town guy who was also a cold, professional killer. Nikolai is a similarly ambiguous - or perhaps divided - character. He is all hard, tense muscle, and yet an almost subliminal hint of compassion occasionally shines through his icy, impassive face.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
14 Sept 2007




For Tom Stall, the loving and gentle father and family man in A History of Violence, who has renounced or repressed his past as a murderer, Cronenberg wanted an ambiguous actor with an edge.

'Viggo has charisma. Not only that - he knows how to be subtle, imperceptible. In a look, a gesture, he reveals a whole other personality of Tom's.'

Viggo Mortensen - The Lord Touches All
By François-Guillaume Lorrain - translated by Margarita
Le Point
27 October 2005




Viggo Mortensen succeeds in presenting this human schizophrenic with those innocent blue eyes that can equally hide infinite cruelty.

"A History of Violence' review
Cronenberg's Violence
GLZonline Cannes Review, by Gidi Orsher
translated by Natica
May 2005




Appearances are deceptive, indeed. What's more, Mortensen skillfully injects that deception into his chameleon performance. His features themselves seem to evolve, soft at first and then growing hard, progressing (regressing) from cherubic choirboy to flinty-eyed thug and back again.

"A History of Violence' review
Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail
23 September 2005




...Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...

"A History of Violence' review
A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live
Manohla Dargis
New York Times, 11Sept 2005




Even before Tom proves himself a capable man when danger lurks, there's something about Mortensen -- or is it something he does as an actor? -- that makes the audience think, "No. There has to be more to this guy."

"A History of Violence' review
Mick LaSalle,
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005




Mortensen is absolutely brilliant: stoic and sarcastic and threatening and, at moments, curiously soft.

"Eastern Promises' Review
Shawn Levy
The Oregonian
21 Sept 2007




Mortensen shows himself more comfortable with darkness and ambivalence than he ever was with the gaudy heroism required of a king in Middle Earth. His Nikolai is an enigma, an evidently decent man surrounded by, and comfortable amidst, heinous evil, one whose motives, at least initially, are unclear.

"Eastern Promises' review
Christopher Orr
TNR Online
15 Sept 2007



'I like to get to know the characters and I have never played a character, no matter how hideous his actions were, that I didn't really like the person I was playing somehow or feel a bond with this character in a sense.'

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


Quotable Viggo: 15 August 2009

Thanks to HermioneO's wonderful Film Reviews I learned for the first time (having never seen the film) that in Tripwire Viggo sports a "cute German accent': 'I vill snap your neck like a tvig!'. Sometimes I wonder if there is any accent Viggo hasn't done or any language he hasn't tried. As well as speaking fluent Spanish, Danish and French, and understanding a fair bit, it seems, of Italian, in LotR he mastered Elvish, in Hidalgo he treated us to Lakota and we've even heard the odd bit of Maori. More surprisingly he once ended up as translator for the Swedish Olympic team. As I can't even order a coffee in anything but English, I'm constantly in awe. Really, though, doing a Quotable on Languages is just a blatant excuse to use two of my favourite recent quotes again...



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


'Now, Viggo, you speak seven languages, you write poetry in three languages, Danish, Spanish and English, you ride horses superbly and you're a great swordsman and all our womenfolk are in love with you... do you understand how annoying you are?'

Radio interview with Richard Glover
ABC Sydney
24 March 2009




The Empire Icon award this year went to the disgustingly multitalented Viggo Mortensen, who speaks more languages than God, paints, writes poetry and still finds time to do a bit of acting.

Jameson Empire Award Winners Announced!
Helen O'Hara
Empire Online
30 March 2009




He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn speaks fluent English and Elvish. In Eastern Promises, Nikolai speaks English with a heavy Russian accent. And in Alatriste, which will open Saturday in Japan, Diego Alatriste speaks Spanish the entire time. What do these characters have in common? They are all played by Viggo Mortensen.

Viggo Mortensen: Speaking In Tongues
By Ikuko Kitagawa
Daily Yomiuri
12 December 2008




'We were shooting in London and my hotel room had a 24 hour Russian channel, so I just left it on all the time. I watched movies, variety shows, very strange soap operas....'

Viggo Mortensen on Eastern Promises
By Natasha Stoynoff, People Magazine
1 October 2007




French co-star Vincent Cassels says he and Mortensen "tried to use as much Russian as possible because, to be realistic, when two Russian characters are speaking together, they wouldn't be speaking English, so we kept trying to add more Russian phrases. David Cronenberg was going, 'What are you two saying to each other?' "

"It was like some creeping disease," Cronenberg says. "You wake up one morning and everyone is speaking Russian."

Festwatch
Globe and Mail
10 Sept 2007




"I had days where I was only speaking Russian, and David was like, 'Jesus I didn't realize I was making a foreign film!'

Viggo Mortensen
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




'...This year, we're proud to acknowledge Mr. Mortensen, whose star turn in Eastern Promises is amazingly sensitive, multifaceted, and above all authentic. His character even speaks a specific old-school thief slang, and switches to Ukrainian when comforting a Ukrainian woman."

Russia Magazine awards Viggo with "Rolling R' award
13 November 2007




...he has a good ear for language, which in reality is an ear for music since he is also composing music. To make a Russian accent in English is extremely difficult. Many actors have failed during the years. But Viggo does it convincingly.

Viggo Mortensen On The Top Of Hollywood
By Hans Jorgen Moller - translated by Rosen
iBYEN
27 September 2007




'Many people have said that I wasn't able to master the rhythm of Spanish speech but what I was looking for was a specific manner of speaking: the pace and the rhythm, as they would have been spoken by a terse Northern Spaniard. I found that way of speaking, a little slow, very cautious, without revealing too much, because that's how they speak in the mountains of Leon in the north of Spain, near Asturias.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Old-Fashioned Hero
Cinemania (Mexico)
By Daniel Ritz - translated by Margarita April 2007




'I was terrified that my accent would be a problem for Alatriste. I would have to live for the rest of my days hearing, 'The movie was good, but that accent of Mortensen's...''

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




'I sometimes gravitate toward one language or another or a certain structure for a poem or short story. In the past year or so, I've been writing mostly in Spanish for some reason. Whatever I was feeling, I felt like I've got to express it in Spanish. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's because I've been hanging around Spanish-speaking people or Spanish-speaking countries a lot recently.'

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




Rove: I know you used to be a translator with, I think, the Swedish Hockey Team in the Winter Olympics?

Viggo: Well, I was meant to be a translator for the Danish Olympic Team but nobody showed up. Literally. And they said "Well, can you understand the Swedes?' I said "I probably can. I'm not sure they can understand me.' But it became...what I really got to do was go to a lot of hockey games with drunken Finns and Swedes...'

Rove Live interview
Melbourne
February 28 2006




Mortensen proves once again that he's an able, even intuitive performer, more compelling speaking Lakota Sioux than many others in plain English.

Sara Brady
Premier.com,
3 March 2004




'One of the [Native Americans on the set] was telling me that I got the accent right,' Mortensen says. 'That meant more to me than a good review of the film. It was really important to me to not make a mockery of this culture, which has such history and depth.'

Viggo Mortensen Rides Back In 'Hidalgo'
By Jae-Ha Kim
29 February 2004
Chicago Sun-Times




'Speaking Elvish was a pure connection I felt to Tolkien himself. It was like he had his hand on your shoulder or was holding your hand.'

The Players - Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)
Entertainment Weekly
May 2004




RP: If you got the opportunity to meet Tolkien today, what would you say to him?

VM: I would want to hear him speak the elvish tongue, hear his accent and find out, how close our version is.

The Star Is Named Viggo
by Rolf Pedersen
M! magazine, 2001



Quotable Viggo: 31 July 2009

We're finally getting nearer the release of The Road and anticipating all those interviews where Viggo will give us his distilled thoughts on the film, what it means to him and what he hopes it will mean to the audiences that watch it. I'm guessing it will centre around the agony of parenthood in a dangerous and changing world, along with the message that we should take care of the world we have for our children's sake. Going back over past film interviews they always gravitate around a central point that sums up the film. For Good it was "pay attention', for Appaloosa it was "trust', for Hidalgo "common ground between cultures', for Alatriste the key word was "pride'. In A History of Violence it was the whole complexity of concealment. For me, the quotes that follow are those that really get to the heart of each film.



© Focus Features: Image Brigitte Lancombe / Interview Magazine / TFI / Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.


The Road

'It's an extreme version of what every half-way decent parent goes through, worrying about their children's well-being, that they will grow up to be adults and take care of themselves, so you can leave the world knowing your kids are going to be safe. It's more extreme here, but it's the same worry. If I go, this kid is completely alone. It's every parent's nightmare.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: A Man Apart
Dave Calhoun
AnOther Man
Issue 7 Autumn/Winter 2008


Good

"When we put the frog in hot water, it will jump out of it; but if we put it in cold water and heat it up slowly, the frog will be cooked before it notices. This is what happens to Halder; and it could happen to all of us if we don't pay attention,"

Viggo Mortensen
Kulturpart
17 December 2008



Appaloosa

"I think Cole trusts Hitch more than anyone else in the world, specifically because Hitch is very honest with him, even when it's difficult to bring certain things to Cole's attention," says the actor. "That is my definition of a good friend: somebody who is brave enough to tell you the truth even when it's not what you want to hear."

Viggo Mortensen
Emmanuel Levy
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008



Eastern Promises

'To me it's a movie about kindness and compassion and self-sacrifice,' he said. 'Nikolai is a man who holds hope and compassion next to his despair and fear. In this increasingly complicated and confusing world, there are people even in the darkest realms who will nonetheless do the right thing.

Just because it is the right thing.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Violent Tour De Force
By Robert W Butler
Kansas City Star
15 September 2007



Alatriste

"If I had to pick a word that sums up the movie and the characters and their trajectories and dilemmas," says Mortensen, "it's pride. It's true of the country, of the characters, of the complicated relationships. They are beautiful for their pride and they are tragic for their pride."

Viggo Mortensen
Mortensen immersed himself in 17th-century Spain
By Philippa Hawker
theage.com.au, March 2, 2007



A History of Violence

"The Stall family is monstrous because it's too normal. That effort to make everything work well, of being extra careful...there's always a little power game. There's a great deal beneath what one appears to be as a parent, a couple, a son. It's the effort to conceal that is disturbing."

Viggo Mortensen
The Other Mortensen
By Mariana Enriquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Página 12,
20 November 2005



Hidalgo

It is clear that for Viggo Mortensen, his experience in the Middle East while filming Hidalgo holds a special place in his heart. 'There's so much violence happening in the world right now, it's harder for people to reach out and understand...I personally think common ground exists between all of us all the time. It's there.' The actor pauses, 'You're not obligated to find out what you have in common with others, but it's worth it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Hidalgo: A Filmmaking Journey to the Middle East
By Zaki Hasan
Q-NEWS Magazine (www.q-news.com), April 2004



The Lord of the Rings

'In the end, I think that the most important theme in the story for Tolkien was the exercise of free will, choice. And even though Tolkien was a devout Christian, the cosmology of this story is like Nordic mythology, in that there isn't a promise of a heavenly reward for doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is its own reward, even if others are not aware of it.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50, 2001


Quotable Viggo: 25 July 2009

In previous Quotables I've quite often looked at Viggo's relationships with fellow actors and directors. But there are other people involved in film making - the stuntmen, bit players, extras, makeup-artists and those that just take on any job that needs doing. To his eternal credit Viggo never forgets how valuable their input is and he never overlooks them. They share the gifts, hospitality, attention and courtesy he gives to everyone on set and, quite often, find themselves on the receiving end of unexpected help. If ever an actor deserved at Haka at the end of a long shoot, it's Viggo. Remember that moment from the end of the RotK extras? Admit it. You cried.



From: My Fairy Tale.
© Fon Chansenthor.


Each time the tracks in the street were swept away rapidly by the crew including Dennis 'the horseman'. All of a sudden Viggo Mortensen apppeared, grabbed a big broom and started sweeping vigorously alongside the crew Now that was different. Viggo Mortensen is definitely not afraid of hard work and dirt.........

Blogengeezer daflikkers.blogspot.com
24 October 2007



'A lot of those jobs, particularly the factory work, were physically hard and mind numbing. But having that background of menial jobs and manual labour gave me an appreciation for the people who show up to a film set before I do, leave after I do and only get paid a fraction of what I do.'

Viggo Mortensen
By Angus Fontaine
Time Out, Sydney
9 April 2009



Men who, some of them being faithful to his call, follow him without batting an eyelid, from the plains of New Zealand or the American coasts up to the torrid plains of Cuenca, like the cordial José Luis Pérez, his make-up assistant, a man of elegant bearing and chivalrous manners, whose paternal roots are deep-seated in the Leonese village of Sahelices de Sabero, and whom he had met five years ago during the shooting of Lord of the Rings.

"Viggo is amazing. A real gentleman," he tells us. "I met him there and worked with him for three years. Then, one fine day he called me so that I could come to work on Alatriste and I had not the slightest hesitation."

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




In addition to his charm and normalcy, Mortensen had given t-shirts designed by himself, mate and trinkets - every day he would arrive on set with bags of caramels, gum and more - given to the members of technical and artistic crew.

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




"At the end of shooting one day, we went out and had a drink and Viggo was just so encouraging of everybody he'd worked with, including the extras. He always had a kind word to say to everyone. And I don't know anyone who has a bad word to say about him. He bought flowers for all the extras on one incredibly rainy day. He was just really generous with his time but he never talked himself up. He's quite shy about talking about his own achievements. They were really lucky they got him for this. He kind of makes the film for me."

Jed Brophy
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003



"There was virtually no distinction between stunt players and extras and principal actors. We were all in that same soup, and we were all exhausted and sick."

Viggo Mortensen on filming the Battle of Helm's Deep
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West, 5 January 2004




Mortensen's humble attitude and willingness to do his own stunts earned him the nickname "No-Ego Viggo" among the crew. "He was always taking out stuntmen and buying them beer because he hit them one too many times," says Orlando Bloom. "He just goes for it. Viggo's energy is endless. He knows no limit."

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




I'm surprised how he was continuously obliging and polite, following everyone's needs closely and sometimes getting ahead on what we needed at that specific moment. The extras and the rest of the crew were equally showered with identical attention, even though these were as simple as the one in which an extra who was still wearing his dusty battledress, shyly goes to him in order to ask him for an autograph for his wife and daughter, whom he had left in Chile. "But of course! Sit with us for a while and have something," was the Captain's warm response, once again he was taking care of his men.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




Once they had to shoot a scene in a wood -- she's the only woman among other casts, and there were other two 8-yr-old kids, and during shooting, they had to walk up and down the mountians and through the thick forest. She felt so exhuasted, but didnt complained. When they finished shooting, Viggo came to hug and carry her back to their tent, and she's surprised why he did that.

However, she said nothing until they reached their tent, but thought why he didnt carry the other kids instead of her. When they arrived, Viggo said to her, "I know you're tired, Fon." and she almost cried when she heard that.

He explained to her why he didnt carry the kids because they were New Zealand natives, so they got used to weather and surroundings, but she didnt. She didnt ask him that question, but he seemed to understand what in her mind. She nodded and felt overjoyed, and thanked him.....

Filming Lord of the Rings
Taken from: My Fairy Tale.
By Fon Chansenthor.
posted by vecrabanion on Live Journal




When we said goodbye to Viggo the other day inside the Golden Hall of Edoras, the stunt crew, veterans with him of every bloody battle, danced the haka, a welcoming, challenging, life-enhancing Maori tradition. And then hobbits singing, more haka, more praise for Viggo and his make-up colleague Jose and his son Henry Mortensen - and for Bernard Hill who having had his own farewell two days before, nipped back for a second helping of adulation!

The White Book
Ian McKellen
15 July 2003




Before Viggo Mortensen turned away in the brightly lit, night street of Appaloosa, he unexpectedly reached out, grabbed my hand, looked directly into my eyes and said, "Thank You Very Much for your help". 'The Carpenter' gratefully replied, "Thank you sir, it is an Honor having worked with you". Viggo Mortensen smiled, then slowly turned to walk to his 'ride'.....and it truly was an Honor, thats no lie.

Blogengeezer daflikkers.blogspot.com
22 November 2007



Quotable Viggo: 18 July 2009

Our next Movie Night will be David Cronenberg's masterpiece A History of Violence so this is a good time to remind ourselves what a superb and complex piece of cinema this is and how Viggo took the critics by storm in the role of Tom Stall. When the film came out everyone could see that Cronenberg and Viggo were a cinematic marriage made in heaven. Oscar "eat your heart out' this film will be up there among the very best as long as people love great films.



© New Line Cinema.


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.

Chris in Cannes
Cannes Film Festival Report
15 may 2005
empireonline.co.uk




"It's like a great thoroughly satisfying and complex piece of music to me, this movie."

Viggo Mortensen
Teen Hollywood
2005




"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




"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




"I think in the end the movie says, to me anyway, violence exists. It will always exist. But as a human being you have a choice to reject it, in the end you do have a choice, and that's what it's about."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen - Cannes Interview
ARTE TV, by Lionel Julien, transcription by Chrissie
16 May 2005




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




One of the great strengths of this movie is the performances. Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it. There's no stupid tricks, where he changes his hairstyle or something when he goes back to being Joey. It's all done with the set of his shoulders, and his walk, and the look in his eyes, and it's chilling.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005



And finally, there is Viggo Mortenson. If anyone has ever been more perfectly cast than he is here as Tom Stall, I haven't seen the film. His performance is the tricky switch on which the entire History flips. His star turn is a master class in minimalism and exactly what the movie needs at every juncture.

Nathaniel Rogers
Film Experience
September 2005




A History of Violence is right up there with The Shawshank Redemption for me; I've watched parts or all of it close to a dozen times on cable, never failing to marvel at the eight-minute showdown between Mortensen's character of Tom Stall and his loopy bro' Richie (William Hurt).

Validation for Viggo
Filmstew
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008




"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance
E online
22 Sept 2005




In the end, do you think that this is ultimately a hopeful movie ?

I think it's whatever anyone thinks it is. But for me, that day...we'd spent three months together and it did feel like a family. David said, 'I don't know what this scene is going to be. You guys have been in these characters for three months; you figure it out. When he walks in the door you'll know.' And it's true. As soon as we heard the door slam, Ashton (Holmes), Heidi (Hayes) and I kind of jumped and just immediately like welled up, all of us. And to look up and see his sweet face, this man who we've loved for three months, as Viggo and as this character, to be so unsure and to still love this person, yes I think there is a hopefulness in that.

Maria Bello on working with Viggo
JoBlo.com, by Thomas Luepp
27 September 2005




In the film, Viggo Mortensen stars as an owner of a small-town diner who attracts the attention of mobsters when he prevents a robbery. If the idea of Aragorn playing lord of the onion rings seems an outrage, Mortensen didn't think so. 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.

Quotable Viggo: 11 July 2009

In 2007 James Mottram of The Independent wrote a piece about Viggo called "The Invisible Man'. Re-reading it last week I must admit there was nothing in it about Viggo's incredible ability to vanish but the title did get me thinking about how one of the most striking actors in the business can just disappear. As a shy child he could disappear behind his camera. Starting out as an actor he vanished from various films after unkind edit. For a long time he gave outstanding character performances while still being "unknown'. Even after the spotlight of The Lord of the Rings hit him he still managed to do a disappearing act - being so completely absorbed in his roles that Joe Johnston not only saw him vanishing into his character but he "seemed like a different person playing the different characters.' Even when he's just being himself, his un-showy, quiet approach to people has meant some reporters have completely failed to recognise him. But is he so invisible that if he were to walk down the street without being famous 'I assure you that nobody would turn and look.' (Lecturas Magazine, August 2006). Nah...



© Focus Features.


"In my first three movies I got cut out, among others in Woody Allen's 'Purple Rose of Cairo' and Jonathan Demme's 'Swing Shift'. It's a little embarrassing when you drag your friends of family along to the cinema and tell them that 'just watch now' - and then you've landed on the editing floor. Therefore I've stopped telling them in advance to pay attention to this or that scene. Because you never know if it's in."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




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
October 2003
Variety Life




"For Viggo, I think it's the experience of doing the work and achieving his high standards that are his measure of success," Diane Lane says. "It's nice being able to morph and disappear and morph again and reappear. He's like Hollywood's secret weapon. The only problem for Viggo might be that it's not a secret any more."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




Viggo Mortensen is missing. Yes, that actor on the screen looks like him-and he certainly possesses the same quiet assurance when he speaks and physicality when he fights. But more like a magician than actor, he has disappeared into the world of Eastern Promises.

Finding Viggo Mortensen
By Susan Thea Posnock
Awards Daily: Oscar Watch
awardsdaily.com
12 December 2007




"... I saw Viggo yesterday for the first time since we finished the film and it was like a whole different person. I almost didn't recognise him.'

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller, Total Film
October 2007




When he appears, getting out of a black limo, in front of a Russian bath situated in a small London street, I can't recognise him. The actor is one those perfectionists who works on his roles to obsession. In order to immerse himself in his character, a fearsome mafioso, he spent his summer holiday in Russia. He came back slimmer and transformed. He is so scary that all the clients from a bar ran away in a panic the minute they noticed the tattoos on his hands.

Cronenberg and the Russian Godfather
By Serge Grunberg - translated by Celine
Studio, May 200
7



I must admit that I didn't recognise him. In the middle of a not yet finished exhibition a young blond man is standing who, after shaking my hand and mumbling something as a greeting, seems relieved to have a practical task: to get me a glass of water. He brings it to me with all the hidden greatness that makes him as perfect as he is in the role of Aragorn.

Caught In His Own Picture
By Trine Ross - translated by Rebekka
28 June 2003
Politiken




....if you have the opportunity to meet him in person and see how different he is from his role as Aragorn, you begin to appreciate that he is a true actor. He even morphs himself into his characters' physicality to the point where you might not recognize him when he is simply 'Viggo.'

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation
South Dakota, December 2003




'He has the charisma of a leading man but the temperament and talent of a character actor,' he enthuses. 'He's, therefore, capable of and not afraid to disappear into a role."

David Cronenberg
Cultivating a history of creativity
By Curtis Woloschuk, Westender.com
Sep 13 2007




To fail to recognise one of the biggest film stars of the millennium, in arguably the most momentous trio of movies yet made, is a staggering oversight. But Mortensen's physical transformation from Aragorn, his superhero alter-ego, to his own, humble self is extraordinary - as is his exceptionally un-star-like personality and poise.

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
New York City, NY
Pavement #62, Summer 2003-2004




"He went home in his wardrobe, you know, he camped in the desert with the horses and the wranglers, and I was amazed when I did see the Lord of the Rings films that not only did it seem like... I mean, it was obviously a different character, but it seemed like a different person playing the different characters. He made a complete transformation. Now I know I him as Viggo Mortensen playing Frank T. Hopkins. When he takes on his next role, whatever that is, he'll probably become unrecognizable to me. He'll make another transformation."

Joe Johnston
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods
Hidalgo
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004




"If I were walking down the street without being famous, I assure you that nobody would turn and look."

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




'If you go out with a big bunch of people, in a big fancy car, then you're essentially still the face on the side of the bus and you're inviting attention. But I try to stay low-profile and keep moving. You just have to be more nimble.'

Viggo on avoiding recognition
The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009



Quotable Viggo: 5 July 2009

I was fascinated by Viggo's comment in his interview with Diario Crítica de la Argentina that, when it comes to choosing what to read, he leaves it to "luck, to whatever crosses my path'. But I'm not surprised really as Viggo seems to me to be a master off the serendipitous - allowing space for the magic of the unexpected to enrich his life. I think this is Viggo in a nutshell, having "an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident' (def: serendipity) and having faith that just around the next corner (if you care to walk around it) there may be something astonishing.



Image courtesy of Cindalea.
© Estudios Picasso / Origen PC / NBC Universal Global Networks Espana 2006.


'I read everything I can; I leave it to luck, to whatever crosses my path.'

The Hidden Side of Viggo Mortensen
Fernanda Nicolini
Diario Crítica de la Argentina.
Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
1 July 2009




'I believe in luck and in the thousands of ways attracting it. I can go into a Mosque, or into the San Isidoro of León Collegiate Church, and sit there until things happen. I love visiting temples, churches, places that are supposed to be sacred, and that includes a cinema or a theatre. Where there's acting, there's communion."

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
Vanity Fair (Spain)
November 2008




'Inspiration is a notion, an impulse that has its own shape, before you stumble onto it. If you're in too much of a hurry, you try to tell it what it is, instead of having it tell you what it is. And I think if you do that, you're gonna miss out.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers
By Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University, 2003




"I think I'm essentially hopeful and the reason that I paint or photograph or listen to someone who is speaking to me is that I hope something might happen."

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001




He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
By María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




So does chance guide your life?

Like everybody's. What you hope for isn't worth anything. I complain and protest: my son has to go to school; I have to finish reading this book, go shopping, wash the dishes. Sometimes you have to skip those chores for a change. Not too long ago a friend visited me and asked if I was free to go to dinner. I had a lot of work: my publishing house takes a lot of my time. I was on the verge of saying no, but not sleeping enough one night isn't the end of the world. Sometimes, you have to say yes. To trust in chance and in destiny, because it's the unpredictable, strange events that shape our lives. It's better to travel with hope than with the intention of reaching a specific destination.

"I wouldn't look the Alatristes of today in the eye"
By Oskar L. Belategui - translated by Margarita
3 September 2006
Source: Hoy Sociedad




Mortensen believes there is order in the chaos. "You know, there are freakish and unexpected events that make up our lives. You have to be open to suffering a little," Mortensen says. "There's the philosopher, Schopenhauer, right? He talked about how out of the randomness, there is the apparent intention in the fate of an individual that can be glimpsed later on. When you're an old guy, you can look back, and maybe this rambling life has some through-line. Others can see it better sometimes. But when you glimpse it yourself, you see it more clearly than anyone."

The glimpse is essential. It is why he photographs, paints, runs himself ragged - and why he is an actor.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




'Each part asks different things of you and it's not always what you expect, and I think the things that end up being the most interesting and sometimes the most difficult are things that you can't foresee, you know, if you remain open to what might happen.'

Viggo Mortensen Talking To Janet Maslin at C.U.N.Y.
By - transcription by Chrissie and Tatiana
New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend
6 January 2006




"I listened to music, looked at paintings, trying to find my face in those pictures. Walking down streets that you wouldn't have walked down. And you never know where that's going to take you. You're lost. I didn't have people with me smoothing the way, because then I wouldn't have learned anything."

Viggo doing research for Good in Germany
The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009




"Everyone can get lucky, but it is what you do with that luck that matters.'

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




'I've been lucky, but I realise that luck is ephemeral, and there are different ways of making something out of luck. One, you can go and make lots of money. The other thing that you can do is try to be challenged and tell interesting stories and learn something along the way. That's what I try to do.'

Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

Quotable Viggo: 27 June 2009

You know the phrase "The eyes are the window of the soul'? Well, when it comes to eyes, Viggo's are the window to a whole galaxy of souls. He can convey the tiniest shift of emotion in the characters he plays and they are probably his greatest tool as an actor. A good director knows to keep them in his sights as he can mirror the inner thoughts of everyone from Nikolai to Aragorn without moving a muscle. This hasn't gone unnoticed by critics and interviewers who have called them, by turn, innocent, cruel, glowing, deep, warm, sly and piercing and several different shades from aqua to crystal-grey. Whether acting or being himself we know who has the world's most beautiful peepers, don't we?



© New Line Productions Inc./ Estudios Piccaso/Origen Producciones / Dimension Films / Touchstone/Buena Vista
Pictures.


Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

History of Violence Review
Christopher Childs
Twitchfilm.net
May 31, 2005



Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul.

Ty Burr
Boston Globe
14 Sept 2007




Everett says very little and spends a lot of time just watching the other characters, so Mortensen's performance resides almost entirely in his eyes, which register tiny, unmistakable nuances of surprise, suspicion and amusement.

These are what make the movie worth watching.

A O Scott
International Herald Tribune
18 September 2008




That look of Alatriste... the audience is going to forget anything else about Alatriste and remember the eyes of Viggo, that are the eyes of Alatriste"

Diario de Cadiz, October 2004
translated by Vicky




Viggo Mortensen succeeds in presenting this human schizophrenic with those innocent blue eyes that can equally hide infinite cruelty.

Cronenberg's Violence
GLZonline Cannes HoV Review
by Gidi Orsher, translated by Natica
May 2005




With his aqua blue eyes and chiseled 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




... the harsh trace of life, which clouds yesterday's glowing eyes, has given them in exchange a deep and warm expression where we find the courage to meet our own fears.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




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.

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




Jackson, revealing a sure instinct for delivering big emotional moments with simple economy, repeatedly allows his camera to be sucked in by Viggo's brightly intense blue-green eyes.

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




Two Styrofoam cups of hot coffee had been thoughtfully poured. He beckoned me to be seated, and his crystal-gray orbs gazed into my jetlag-red eyes. It was too good to be true.

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




...he's friendly and easygoing - a man with the attitude of a surfer, the eyes of a killer, and the brain of a slacker bookworm.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008




Though blond and chiselled, Mortensen isn't your typical Hollywood actor. His intense features and sly eyes convey an edge that eludes your Brads, Leonardos and Matts.

Sensitive Side of Psycho
by Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun Times, 1998




His eyes are piercing, kind. Full of fun, full of melancholy.

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




Look into his eyes, you'll see his soul.

Paul Greenwood
Future Movies
29 September 2005

Quotable Viggo: 20 June 2009

Exhibitions are very much on my mind at the moment as I have spent most of this week hanging and manning a small one. I now appreciate just how much work is involved - not just deciding what to take and what to leave, but which order to put them up in and... well... just getting them straight. Viggo is a seasoned exhibitor and makes it all look easy but I am now so in awe of all those lines in Sadanset, and the sheer number of pictures hung, that it seems only fair to pay tribute with an Exhibition Quotable. Nelson Ramirez de Arellano says, below, that 'The only chance we have of getting to know him is now, facing his work'. He does indeed hang his soul on the wall. Long may that unique privilege to know him continue.



Skovbo Exhibit in Reykjavik, Iceland - 5.31-8.31.08.
© mbl.is/Einar Falur.


'I have brought far too many pictures,' says Viggo Mortensen, with his hands placed on his hips and with a half-desperate look, glancing over the room in Ljósmyndasafni Reykjavik at Tryggvagötu. In the middle of the floor some big wooden boxes are standing and spread all over the room are photographs with 150 framed photographs; in colour and black/white. 'Well, I will have to consider taking some down,'

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



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
Source: Fréttablaðið



'Some of the pictures are good, even if they stand alone. Others are not that interesting' he judges. He continues 'But it is the Whole, that is important to me.'

Viggo talking about sadanset
From movies to photos
Jyllandsposten
Jette Hansen
19 October 2008



In a rather humble statement from someone of such artistic stature and talent, there were only a few of Mortensen's works on display. But, the small room dedicated to his work dictated only a few images could be mounted well. Mortensen's photographs are humbling and a bar artists should hope to achieve themselves after thirty plus-years of photographing.

Jaxon House Rocks With Perceval Press Artists: Newsom, Milstein, Bryce, Mortensen
by Kriss Perras
PCH Press, June 18, 2006



'...it doesn't matter that people don't know what it is, or what it is to me, as long as it feels like something is going on, you know? ...The results in here are mine. In the movies, they never are.'

Sign Language Exhibition Video Transcription
By Zooey (Transcription)
2 February 2002
Source: You Tube



Many, like me today, have written about him; about his poems, his paintings or his photographs, but nobody really knows him. The only chance we have of getting to know him is now, facing his work; one minute later, tomorrow, he will be a total stranger just like the rest of the world..

Un Hueco En El Sol Booklet
By Nelson Ramirez de Arellano
Principal Specialist, Cuban Photographic Library, Havana
translated by Graciela
May 2003, Perceval Press



These are some of the traces that could make up our image of Viggo; we can peek and venture a last look into his world, his photographs, and at least grasp what we manage to see against the light when we go through this 'hole in the sun'. When we return, we will think that we now know him, and we will talk about him, tell his stories (ours) just like we tell the story of a friend's life.

Un Hueco En El Sol Booklet
By Nelson Ramirez de Arellano
Principal Specialist, Cuban Photographic Library, Havana
translated by Graciela
May 2003, Perceval Press




People will almost commit murder to get a ticket. Just to be near the man.

'In the beginning people came to my exhibits because they knew me from the films I had done. But now I think they're beginning to come because they like what I exhibit,' said Viggo in his own very modest way.

A Barefoot Viggo in Odense
By Marianne Koch - translated by Rebekka
27 June 2003
Source: Fyens Stiftstidende



'I continue creating because I need to create, because not all of those that come to my exhibitions do so because of my films, and because life is short, and even if it is easy, it is necessary to hurry.'

Viggo, a photographer before an actor
Un Hueco En El Sol Exhibition
By Andrés D. Abreu
Havana 5 May 2003
Source: La Jiribilla



It is not a coincidence that he has called this exhibit Ephëmeris meaning 'short-term', 'passing', but you are not tempted to interpret it as a transitory sign, instead it is to be experienced as 'carpe diem', seize the day, do not let the moment slip from your grasp. He wants to capture it all and to a large extent he succeeds.

Seize The Moment
By Mogens Damgaard - translated by Rebekka
3 July 2003
Source: Fyens Stiftstidende



'...there is movement, there are layers, unexpected reflections, a liquid and often transparent quality to my images - things I don't see but have come to know exist, that will probably show up if I do things in a certain way.'

Viggo Mortensen
Mō Te Upoko-o-te-ika/For Wellington (press release)
By Rebecca Wilson, Exhibition Curator
November 2003
Source: City Gallery Wellington



Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
By Bess Mason
26 November 2003
Source: Dominion Post



'Are all these people here because of your name?' I asked. 'Here,' he said reaching for my pen and pad of paper, 'They're here to see this guy,' and he wrote down a name I had not heard of before, Stefan Kirkeby. 'You have to go and find his photographs.'

Viggo Mortensen Clicks with Photo L.A.
By Tod Mesirow
2004
Source: Coagula Art Journal #67



He leaves no room for ambivalence, he will force you to have an opinion of his work, whether positive or negative it doesn't matter. But there is not a chance of someone saying "Oh isn't that nice".

Viggo Mortensen: An Artist For All Seasons
by Richard Marcus
BNN Blogger News Network May 6th, 2005

Quotable Viggo: 13 June 2009

The more news that comes out about The Hobbit the less likely it seems that we'll be seeing that muddy, green-leathered dude with the sword running about Middle-earth again. Unless they decide to use some "flash forwards' the only Aragorn in The Hobbit will be a young boy living in Rivendell. Has the much talked about Bridging Film - between the events at the end of The Hobbit and Bilbo's Birthday Party - gone forever? We've been speculating on our Hobbit Speculation Thread about our perfect bridging film which will, of course, be Aragorn's story - one of the most romantic and adventurous stories in literature. Viggo, of course, will be in nearly every scene. Time to cheer ourselves up with a look back at what Viggo thought of "the greatest traveller and huntsman in this age of the world' (Gandalf). There is always HOPE.



© New Line Productions Inc.


'An orphan raised by elves. A little like Moses. He knows the best and bravest of his forefathers screwed up. They were not immune to the corrupting temptations of the ring. So why should he, a distant and diluted descendant of a noble line, fare any better? He becomes a master of disguise and assumes different names, living a nomadic, hit-and-run existence. Like the Lone Ranger, he helps people and disappears. The Shire is protected by people like him, who patrol the borders and keep the bad guys at bay.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Washington Times
Dec 15, 2001




'Except as a child, he's never really ever been truly able to be himself publicly, or even privately - how would he even get used to that?'

Viggo Mortensen on Aragorn
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003




On one level, Aragorn is the heroic, archetype that you find in the [Nordic] sagas, but with the striking difference that he is a man who seems almost to have lost his tongue! In the sagas, the hero will brag about what he's going to do, do it and then brag about what he's done. Aragorn, in contrast, is a modern character with qualities more like those of the Samurai hero who must often learn difficult lessons and endure much hardship on his journey, and whose eventual triumph is usually as much in the service of society as it is for himself.

Viggo Mortensen
"Aspects of Aragorn"
The Making of the Movie Trilogy




'Aragorn is deeply aware of the burden of his heritage, and he carries the knowledge that all too soon he will have to reveal his true self in order to play his part in the fight against Sauron. That burden, that knowledge, is what shapes and colors his perceptions.'

Viggo Mortensen
Official Movie Guide




'So much of what I did in all three movies was non-verbal. How you get to know Aragorn is really through his gestures and reactions...'

Viggo Mortensen
Hail To The King
by Lawrence French
Starburst #305, 2003




"He was the greatest traveller and huntsman of his age. There is no character in this story, in these books, that has travelled more extensively and had more contact with other cultures, races, languages, and an appreciation and understanding of the differences of all the free peoples of Middle-earth. . . . He has an understanding that the most precious thing that any intelligent being possesses is free choice."

Viggo Mortensen
Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer, 2002




'He is inclined to be compassionate, show mercy; that's the way he was raised, what he's been taught. And he's conscious of these having been the most positive qualities of the greatest of his ancestors. At the same time, he also knows that even they eventually showed weakness and were distracted by their own concerns or greed."

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003




...how are the stakes raised for Aragorn in The Return of the King?

It's a continuation of what has always been his greatest challenge: to be himself.

Viggo Mortensen
The One King
By Bryan Cairns
Film Review Yearbook, 2004




"I think that our experiences as actors reflected what the characters have gone through," he says. "And in many ways I realized no matter how much I researched and drew from that, in the end my best resource and closest thing to what we were going through as characters was what we were going through as people."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West, 5 January 2004




You sense that what Mortensen prizes in Aragorn, he prizes in himself. When he tells me that Aragorn understands the value of "stretching yourself, being passionate about other cultures and languages", I discern only the thinnest of veils separating observation from autobiography.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001


Quotable Viggo: 6 June 2009

Last week in my selection of Birthday Quotes I pulled out my all-time favourite piece of Viggo's writing from The Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading. Viggo says that words "became tangled in horses' manes'. It seems that over the last few years he's been nothing but tangled in horses manes. Who could ever forget him, single-handed, turning a rearing horse at the Black Gate while holding up a five foot sword? How many actors are you likely to see galloping bareback? Or producing a photography book where you can practically smell the horses? After calming Brego in the stables of Edoras, we find him doing the same things to a fidgety horse team on the set of Appaloosa. Let's face it, if he ever quit acting, writing, painting, photography and publishing he could make a pretty good career as The Horse Whisperer.



©New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers/Touchstone/Buena Vista Pictures


'I can't lie to you, I had a lot of fun riding around on horseback...'

Viggo Mortensen talking about Appaloosa
CBS News Interview
8 September 2008




"Wow, that was nice," said Renée Zellweger, who plays Cole's love interest, Allison French. "Look at that man ride!"

Watching Viggo ride off at the end of the film.
Ed Harris ramrods unconventional western 'Appaloosa'
By John Horn
Los Angeles Times
7 September 2008




"We did all the hardest stuff in the first week; climbing up steep hillsides with rocky terrain. Rex selected two very impressive steeds for Cole and Hitch to ride because when they first come into town, they want to make an impression. They come in on horses that are much bigger than the other ones in town."

Viggo Mortensen
Appaloosa: Shooting Ed Harris' Western
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008




The two horse team was getting a little fidgity. Viggo Mortensen walked over to the horse nearest him and started caressing its right flank slowly, and repeated it over and over, while talking to Renee, standing in the buckboard. The horse relaxed along with it's teammate. .........

Blogengeezer
daflikkers.blogspot.com
24 October 200
7



'....days after he was cast he called me and said, 'Who do you know on Pine Ridge reservation and can I go there?' Within a week he was out with these Lakota horsemen and riding with them, and on a long ride to Wounded Knee."

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




"He did things on the horse that the stunt man had difficulty doing. He fell off the horse, he rode bareback, he jumped on the horse at a gallop, which is difficult to do, and he you know, he fell off a few times and he got knocked down and he got kicked a few times, but you know, he also got right back up and wanted to do it again. I think he knew that if there was anything that was really life-threatening, he would come forward and say, 'I don't feel comfortable doing this.' But he never did."


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




How was your riding ability before versus after you made the film? Now you're pretty good. Actually, you are very good.

I think by the end of the movie I had gotten back to where I was almost as good as when I was a little boy. I'll never be that good because when you're a kid you're more flexible and more fearless. You don't care if you wipe out or fall off. As a kid you don't have the concept that you'll never break every bone in your body. Life is interesting and fun as a kid.

Viggo Mortensen
190 North Interview by Janet Davies, transcription by Mararan
Chigago, IL, 22 February 2004




"TJ had a strong personality. He was smaller than the other horses and like a dog he thought he was BIG ...I thought, "This is going to be a chore!" But we got to know each other and he's a smart animal. You're not going to be able to lie to that horse. You need to ask nicely."

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04




'He's fat and happy and lazy.'

Viggo talking about TJ
Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009




"...I realized that I was gonna be in the saddle most every day and some days all day long. And that point of view is different than sitting here or standing or walking down the street. You're up higher, you're moving a different way, the perspective of the rider through the camera or holding it down lower to get the horse's point of view, with the landscape, the people, and the animals and all that. I thought it would be interesting to do a collection of images, 'cause we'd be in different places - the Northern Plains, U.S., Sahara Desert, the Wild West Show, going down the street, who knows where, on horses."

Viggo on The Horse is Good
The Lord of the Rings & Hidalgo Star Discusses Horses
D Spence
FilmForceIGN, 2004




"Last week we were filming Hidalgo in High Plains, Montana, where there was no fence for miles; you could just imagine that it was 1890 or 1790," he says. "I was in the middle of a herd of six or seven hundred horses. I was really aware of the fact that very few people would ever get to be in such a place. Nobody in the world gets to be in the middle of that many horses, running as fast as you can." And where does that thought lead you to, I ask. He pauses. "Just, 'Don't forget this'."

Viggo Mortensen
The New Hollywood Male
by Charles Gant
Arena Hommes Plus #18, 2001




"...he became my friend, just like the other cast members"

Viggo talking about Brego
Hail To The King
by Lawrence French
Starburst #305, 2003




When Russell Crowe yaks about his herd of cattle, you accept it as part of his tough guy shtick; when Mortensen buys a horse, you just know it's because, somehow, the animal spoke to him, that he had to have it. Mortensen puts the 'must' into Mustang - untamed compulsions drive him.

Lone Star
by Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 30 May 2009

As part of out 5th Birthday Celebrations today I thought it would be fun to look back over some of the wonderful Viggo highlights we've shared over the last few years. This isn't a comprehensive collection, just the things that I personally remember most looking back over our 5 years. The Oscars are there, of course, Sadanset and Skovbo, tributes from Leon and the Golden Boot Awards, supporting Dennis Kucinich and Bob Johnson, the SLU address... alas there simply isn't room to put in everything that has thrilled, amazed and stopped our hearts since we started in May 2004. And this is because Viggo is one of the busiest and most diverse of men. Much loved, much honoured, interested in everything. Here's to another 5 years of trying to keep up with him.



©Getty/New Line Cinemo/J Casares: EFE/Saint Anselm College/Richard Harbaugh


2004 Introduction to Best American Nonrequired Reading

Words were everywhere I looked, filling dreams, giving me names for everything. It was all I could do to keep up with them, catch a few as they drifted through me, fell now and then from clouds, from my eyes to the table, onto my lap or became tangled in horses' manes. Most of the words got away, as they usually will, but at night I regularly managed to gather them in bunches.

Introduction to Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004
By Viggo Mortensen
Houghton Mifflin
2004



2005 Working with Cronenberg

"Viggo is just... a great actor."

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



2005 Filming Alatriste

'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



2006 Three Fools poetry reading

Mortensen began the evening by lighting a candle and quoting a phrase by poet S.A. Griffin. 'We are here for the sweet stigmata of the poem. And here's the news.' The breathless, packed room received the news, and it was clear from the moment Viggo spoke that this was poetry's night.

National Poetry Month Starts At Beyond Baroque With Three April Fools
By Philomene Long, Poet Laureate of Venice
27 April 2006
Source: Santa Monica Mirror



2006 SLU Commencement Address

'activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006



2006 Supporting Bob Johnson for Congress

'I vote, and I pay close attention to what politicians say and even closer attention to what they do. I try to keep in mind the admonition of the great teacher Plato: "One of the penalties of refusing to be involved in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." We have certainly seen the proof of that statement in this country over the last five years or so.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006



2006 Insignia of Gold of León and Province

Viggo Mortensen "has hoisted the flag of the Leonese province on several occasions and has carried the name of León around the world.'

Viggo Mortensen - "I have no words to thank the Leonese people for all the things they are doing for me"
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
13 October 2006
Source: Diario de León



2007 Viggo-Works Interview

"...trees, dreams, doubt, birds, books, rain.'

Viggo describing what influences his poetry
Viggo-Works Talks With Viggo
3 April 2007



2007 Viggo's Golden Boot Award Acceptance Speech

'Frank T. Hopkins was a half-Lakota Wyoming cowboy. He seems to have understood horses and he seems to have understood people, and did not appear to have had much use for disparaging any breed or race. Perhaps this was in part due to his own mixed ethnicity, which was and is far more common in the United States and in the world than many people seem to want to acknowledge. Hopkins was ahead of his time as a humane horse-trainer and endurance rider. He was also an example of what I have seen in cowboys (and cowgirls) I have met and admired among Argentines, Uruguyans, Moroccans, Algerians, Egyptians, the French, New Zealanders, Australians, Icelanders, Lakota, Blackfeet, Apache, Quebecois, and so on: a straightforward, open-minded, and ethical individual.'

Viggo's Golden Boot Award Acceptance Speech
By Viggo Mortensen,
11 August 2007



2008 Supporting Kucinich, New Hampshire Presidential Primaries

"One of the reasons why I support Dennis Kucinich is this...," said the actor.

Mortensen then pulled open his button-down shift to reveal a black t-shirt with the word "Impeach" emblazoned across the front.

New Hampshire Presidential Primaries
Jan 2008



2008 Best Actor Oscar Nomination

Fresh from the set of the post-apocalyptic film "The Road," Viggo Mortensen sized up the path to the Kodak Theatre entrance and smiled a grim smile. "This road is more daunting than the road in the movie I'm making -- and that one has cannibals."

Viggo at the Oscars
The Envelope
By Geoff Boucher and Chris Lee
February 24, 2008



2008 100th Year San Lorenzo celebration

'The highest honor in my life is to be a San Lorenzo fan; we have a noble spirit... we know how to win and how to lose with dignity; and the only time we have an ugly face in the stadium is when we play.'

Viggo's speech
100th year San Lorenzo celebration
Buenos Aires
Translated by Graciela
2 April 2008



2008 Skovbo Exhibition

'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
Source: Fréttablaðið



2008 Sadanset Exhibition

"There are images of forests, mountains and animals. Everything is connected. We are related to the animals and we are also in a way animals ourselves. When I see my own pictures, it's like seeing a movie. It is, for example a single moment in a film scene, that you remember. So is also the case with my pictures. I remember the places I've been to and can go there again through the pictures, Viggo says.'

Viggo on the sadanset exhibition
Kim Kastrup
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008



2009 Viggo-Works Interview

Viggo-Works: Finally...just for fun. Who would win the fight? Aragorn or Diego? Why?

Viggo: No idea. I suspect they would become friends in the end, and not fight. Then again, if Diego had been drinking...

Making An Effort To Be Present
6 February 2009
Viggo-Works


Quotable Viggo: 23 May 2009

Is Viggo the 'perfect man'? Well, obviously not - that would be impossible and we all know that despite all his gifts he is, thank goodness, as human as the rest of us. But the word "perfect' just keeps coming up, including in my search last week for quotes about The Road, so just for fun I searched for "perfect' in my rather large quotes collection and I found it came up an astonishing 57 times. Sometimes it's referring to a spot-on performance where he was the right man at the right time for a role, sometimes it's the admiring musings of a journalist or an astonished colleague like Omar Sharif. When Amelia Enríquez of Lecturas Magazine asked him in 2006 if he had any flaws he admitted to being impatient. He's also confessed he can't dance. Phew. Hold on to that while we gaze at a little bit of perfection...



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


"I can not believe that somebody can be so perfect. This man must carry a deep secret with him, or he has a skeleton in his cupboard, or something like that. Because Viggo Mortensen is the nicest, most artistic and most generous person I've ever met."

Omar Sharif
Source unknown




If you could design the perfect man, Mortensen might just be close to it.

Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009




....a perfect, dryly comic Viggo Mortensen.

Tom Hall
Appaloosa Review
The Back Row Manifesto
6 September 2008




Viggo Mortensen is perfectly cast. Was anyone even surprised when he was announced as The Man? It's a challenging role for any actor, but one can't help but see it as something as a culmination of the excellent work he's been doing since appearing in that little fantasy film a few years ago.

Brian Kinsley talking about The Road
Incontention.com
September 2nd, 2008




Mortensen's interpretation, in Penn's film "The Indian Runner', of Frank, a Vietnam veteran who cannot adapt to civilian life, an habitual rebel, mutinous, violent, alcoholic, but at the same time vulnerable and touching, is perfect. His presence is both incandescent and dignified, recalling that of Robert de Niro in Scorcese's "Mean Streets'.

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
Jan 8, 2004




Let's just say that Mortensen gives a performance that is not only absolutely perfect in a physical sense - the slicked-back hair, Russian accent (he also speaks much of his dialogue in that language), the crisp dark dress shirts and tailored black suits - but that has layers of depth rarely seen in today's movie characters. Mortensen's work is so good that you'll want to go back and see 'Eastern Promises' a second time just to appreciate the way he plays us.

Robert W Butler
Kansas City Star
20 Sept 2007



....a perfectly wicked blue eyed Alatriste

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




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
Yahoo.es
1 September 2006




"Viggo was perfect. He is not only a charismatic leading man, but the combination of other qualities made me feel he had the depth to play a very complex role. He is a maniac for detail, which I love. He is very focused and obsessed with details of how his character would move, speak and dress. It's really quite spectacular to watch him work and to interact with him," says the director, who admits, that after two weeks of working closely with Mortensen, they felt like brothers.

David Cronenberg talking about HoV
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film......Viggo's acting here reminds me of vintage Harrison Ford, before... whatever happened to him. Think WITNESS or maybe even THE FUGITIVE. He's just very very good. He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done. It's kinda perfect.

HoV review
Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




And finally, there is Viggo Mortensen. If anyone has ever been more perfectly cast than he is here as Tom Stall, I haven't seen the film. His performance is the tricky switch on which the entire History flips. His star turn is a master class in minimalism and exactly what the movie needs at every juncture.

Nathaniel Rogers
Film Experience
September 2005




'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, Empire, December 2004




Viggo is the perfect actor to play a man who is struggling to redeem himself from his ancestry and his heritage. He's incredibly dedicated. He's the kind of actor who one day had his tooth knocked out by a sword and actually asked if they could superglue it back on so he could finish the scene. He became Aragorn, and he brings a real power to the role.

Barrie Osborne
Cannes Booklet (Official Site)




In addition to Jackson's stellar direction, praise for each and every actor in this film is handsomely due. 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
efilmcritic.com
Brian McKay
22 December 2002




He is the lonely cavalier of the cinema. ...He survives everything serenely, whatever might happen in his career, he remains the same person - an idealist, but not a naive one - he has just perfected the art of doing his own thing.

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009


Quotable Viggo: 16 May 2009

"The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year' proclaims Esquire Magazine this week and I can hear a collective sigh throughout Viggo-Works that someone has finally said it. A film of a Pulitzer prize winning novel that was heralded by many as "The most important environmental book, ever.' It may be bleak and harrowing but surely this is a film that can't be ignored? Certainly we know Viggo has turned in a searing performance that no one will ignore. Just listen to how he says "we are going to survive this' at the end of the newly arrived trailer. Time to review some of the things (both serious and more lighthearted) that have been said in anticipation of this film. At last we are on the road to The Road.



Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.


The Road is no tease. It is a brilliantly directed adaptation of a beloved novel, a delicate and anachronistically loving look at the immodest and brutish end of us all. You want them to get there, you want them to get there, you want them to get there - and yet you do not want it, any of it, to end.

The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year
By Tom Chiarella
Esquire Magazine
12 May 2009




'I ...had the opportunity to talk on the phone for a long time with the author of the novel, Cormac McCarthy. We talked about our sons. About our róles as fathers too. And the more we talked the more we understood that the boy featured in the work is a universal son, who relates to every father.'

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




'At its core, it's a love story."

Viggo Mortensen
First look: 'The Road' is fiction, but the bleak scenery is real
USA Today
7 August 2008




'It's a complex role because [The Man] had no name, no known past, I had few elements from which to create him. So I concentrated on the bond he has with his son, which is the principal theme of the movie. "The Road" is a metaphor for the beginning of a journey along a philosophical pathway which clarifies the relationship between a father and son. I passed enormous amounts of time with my own son and discussed thousands of subjects with him before I could really absorb the full meaning of this unique rapport."

Viggo Mortensen
End of the World
The Studio
By Mathieu Lecerf
June 2008
Translated by Chrissiejane




Burnt and sinewy in each scene, he registers a liquid panic in every glance at the woods and a sort of angry regret in every peek at the boy. Mortensen is a different filthy man in each function of fatherhood. You recognize them all, without voice-over, without undue exposition. He still cares. And it hurts more than ever to care.

The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year
By Tom Chiarella
Esquire Magazine
12 May 2009




'If I go, this kid is completely alone. It's every parent's nightmare.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: A Man Apart
By Dave Calhoun, AnOther Man
Issue 7 Autumn/Winter 2008




"I'm not saying the film will be better than the book, but maybe nearer to the bone, more brutal. There will be nothing there but the revelation of the characters and their feelings. The photography is magnificent, but it's not pretty to look at"

Viggo Mortensen
By Gérard Delorme, Premier Magazine
June 2008
Translated by Chrissiejane



Richard Gere expressed interest in the lead role, but Hillcoat always had Mortensen in mind. The laconic actor seems a natural for the part; he's naturally thin (and even more gaunt in the film itself), and, as "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises" proved, carries the fearless determination necessary to escape most predicaments.

Director John Hillcoat and colleagues...
By John Horn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 17, 2008




'I was very tired, and I did not want to accept the role unless I felt I was capable of giving it my best. But then I changed my mind because the story was really good and the topic is one everybody can relate to. Besides, my being exhausted fit the role perfectly. It is about a man who, in some sense, is dying of exhaustion, so the result was very interesting.'

Viggo on deciding to accept the role of The Man
Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela




Thank you Viggo Mortensen for accepting the lead role. I have trust that you will dominate the atomic wasteland of your surroundings. And Charlize Theron, it's not so shabby seeing you participate either. Gotta see it! Gotta see it! Come on, The Road!

Movieweb.com
B Alan Orange
22 January 2008




Just look at how skinny and dirty Viggo is in the picture -- give that man an award, 30 seconds of acceptance speech time and a sandwich.

IFC.com comment about the publicity photos
19 August 2008




Watch the trailer to find out why you need to be excited about facing the end of the world with Viggo.

Cinemablend
14 May 2009



Quotable Viggo: 9 May 2009

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article by Mark Power who summed up Viggo's photography as the belief that "seeing might reveal the hidden mysteries of everyday life'. Paying attention... paying attention... how many times have we heard Viggo say that? It's more than just how he lives his life, it's the lynchpin of his artistic creativity. Grabbing those small moments that pass us by so easily, framing them, remembering them, trying to make sense of them, presenting them to others for them to make sense of. Reminders for us to stop and really look.



SÃ¥danset Art Exhibition - Roskilde, Denmark 10.18.08.
© Chrissie. Used by permission.


It's not pretty pictures he's after, it's the thread of his existence as Viggo Mortensen. But paradoxically his pictures can be pretty. They can also be sophisticated, crude, elegant, or mundane. He plays the camera like a musical instrument. It's a conversational kind of photography: it's Viggo telling you who he is with images. He looks at everything, believes everything has a meaning, and he shows you his pictures in the belief that seeing might reveals the hidden mysteries of everyday life.

Mark Power
The Salt Mine
3 September 2008



His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




'A change of light, a sunset, a sunrise. Things you may never see again. You grasp those moments. You don't see a bear in the wild and walk on, thinking: Oh, I'll see another bear. You just wait and watch."

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




'.... you can spend days travelling around, walking around, looking at a window, and just the possibility that it could be a picture, even if it doesn't become one, you're looking at something, you're actually paying more attention. '

Viggo Mortensen Interview
Sunday Arts: ABC Australia
By Virginia Trioli
26 April 2009




"A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens."

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008



"When I see my own pictures, it's like seeing a movie. It is, for example a single moment in a film scene, that you remember. So is also the case with my pictures. I remember the places I've been to and can go there again through the pictures."

Viggo on the sadanset exhibition
Kim Kastrup
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008



"In the canvases on which I have been working a while, there are phrases, maxims, extracts from personal diaries or newspapers ... I even use these as the material for my paintings, like the paint. These days I've stopped copying them, so as not to lose them, in notebooks or on the kitchen wall. However they are still there, in my paintings, like so many indications of my past points of view and my experiences ..."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine, December 2002




Whether he's shooting around the fringes of a set or among the people who populate his personal life, 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



"To be an artist is to remain conscious of your surroundings, and I believe that we all have that capacity. Children have it and, as they grow up, they lose it."

Viggo Mortensen
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




'Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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




'We may not know why we're here, or where we're going after we die, but if you're here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think.'

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008


Quotable Viggo: 26 April 2009

This week I'm looking at clothes. It's a frivolous subject, isn't it? Dressing down, dressing up, going shoeless, paint-flecked work clothes, impeccable dress suits, inhabiting the clothes of fictional characters...it's not what you wear but how you wear it. But apart from some sartorial fun, clothes can also be a billboard for your beliefs, a way of supporting your team and your friends, and a way of provoking comment.



© Carsten. Used by permission, Frazer Hamilton, Fame, GOFF INF.,


'I saw Viggo Mortensen on the "Charlie Rose Show" wearing a T-shirt - "Impeach, Remove, Jail" - that made me think, "Oh, Viggo Mortensen - he's a serious political thinker." (Laughs.) It just takes three words to make you a serious political thinker. ...'

Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn tells us about Obama, Viggo and his love of eggs
ByJoe Garofoli
San Francisco Chronicle
28 February 2009




"One of the reasons why I support Dennis Kucinich is this...," said the actor.

Mortensen then pulled open his button-down shift to reveal a black t-shirt with the word "Impeach" emblazoned across the front.

Viggo supporting Dennis Kucinich
New Hampshire Presidential Primaries




Not surprisingly, Mortensen has strong political beliefs. On The Charlie Rose Show, while promoting The Two Towers, he wore a T-shirt that read, NO MORE BLOOD FOR OIL...

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004





"Kodi told me," says Mortensen, "that I should support the Magpies" and he's doing so as publicly as he can. Right now, he's wearing a suit and polo shirt with the Magpies logo, and it looks as if he doesn't mind, in fact as if he positively enjoys, the strong reactions that Collingwood provokes. "I'm keeping my promise and honouring Kodi and having fun because I know some people will be annoyed by it."

The Final Seduction
By Philippa Hawker
The Age
4 April 2009




When asked why he always sports [San Lorenzo] gear during interviews (today it's a pullover with their logos) he jokes, 'mind control.'

Viggo does "Good'
Mortensen shows us his softer side
by Tina Chadha
Metro New York
9 January 2009



Viggo bursts through the swinging front door of L.A.'s oldest Irish pub around 11.30 in the morning, wearing a faded blue-and-white-striped button-down shirt and no-nonsense gray pants that a plumber might wear to unclog a drain.

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish
by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006




Barefoot and clad in a pair of sweats that have seen better days, Viggo Mortensen walks over to introduce himself. His hands and arms are covered with names and phone numbers he has scribbled on himself after checking his answering machine. And his hair is tousled and flecked with tiny bits of paint. None of this can hide Mortensen's deadly good looks.

Viggo Artist & Actor
By Jae-Ha Kim
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Los Angeles, CA 1 April 1999




Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Red Armani Suit worn at the Copenhagen
Eastern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007




"I can't wear suits with big shoulders. My new film, Good, is set in the Forties, when suits had big shoulders. But they look absurd on me. And I filmed a scene with Viggo Mortensen in which we wore swimming trunks and the fashion then was to wear them over your belly button. Neither of us pulled them up that high - we just couldn't bring ourselves to look that bad."

Jason Isaacs
Live Magazine
12 April 2009




"The clothes are bits and pieces of suits," he said. "It's sort of a mixture of what's left. He's clean and tidy, but he doesn't have much money. His way of riding and speaking are, in some way, remnants of being at West Point or being from that area."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Everett Hitch
Viggo season
Watertown Daily Times
21 September 2008




"Who knows, perhaps it was because [Viggo] washed and repaired Aragorn's clothes himself that he so perfectly came to inhabit them-to a point, indeed, where the costume seemed almost to blend with his body. [pause] You know, I really do think that particular costume is incredibly beautiful. It seems funny, perhaps, to talk about something that is so worn and broken down, so darned and patched, as being beautiful-but it is to me."

Ngila Dickson
The Making of the Movie Trilogy




"In the movie," said Cronenberg, "Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007

Quotable Viggo: 19 April 2009

This is the last part of my look at Viggo and journalists and this week I'm focussing on to the interview itself. Even if the journalist doesn't find themselves unexpectedly climbing out of a window with him or listening to his radio at traffic lights, they can still find themselves meandering along with Viggo in which ever directions his interests take them. At least two of them find his words spoken poetry and another hears rhythm and blues. Not so much an interview then as an unplanned journey carried along on a tide of words...



©cityladynyc. Used by permission.


Ostensibly, Mortensen is in town to promote his role as a conflicted, compromised German professor in Good, a small-scale drama that - in his words - "needs all the support it can get". He could have got away with delivering the sales spiel. Instead, he's content to go lolloping off after his own train of thought and in the end, the best option is to give up and drift along for the ride. In Mortensen's view, the journey is always more entertaining than the destination anyway.

The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009




The surprising thing about Viggo Mortensen is how talkative the guy is. Seriously: The smolderingly still presence of Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy turns out to be a regular Chatty Cathy in person.

An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
28 September 2008
Boston Globe




As our conversation, specifically his answers to my questions, meanders, Mortensen forces himself back to the topic at hand. As the evening progresses, though, I'm less interested in his answers to my specific questions, and more interested in his meandering. No matter what direction the conversation takes, he always returns to his ease with being a witness to it all.

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995




My first impressions of Viggo are a little hard to explain. He has an elusive reputation but I found him very down to earth. At the same time, however, he came off as quite mysterious. He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine 2004




Mortensen has got himself onto the subject of politics and personal responsibility and he is quietly rapping away. It has rhythm, it has blues: you almost feel like tapping your feet. Not a grandiose oration, nor a preachy lecture (or one you can actually stop or interrupt) but his audience nevertheless starts to feel a creeping sense of guilty moral turpitude.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009




Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson calls him 'no ego Viggo', and everyone who knows him says that a key part of his character is a complete absence of vanity. He certainly seems modest in person. Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star, By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




...the actor tends toward abstractions and diversions in conversation. Entire paragraphs can pass by without a concrete noun, but you don't mind because he's friendly and easygoing - a man with the attitude of a surfer, the eyes of a killer, and the brain of a slacker bookworm.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008




VM is not one of that kind of actors where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane, by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




He speaks with a softness and strength at the same time. The depth of his tenor and the thoughtful, unhurried way in which he expresses himself makes his words a visual, spoken poetry.

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation
South Dakota, December 2003

Quotable Viggo: 12 April 2009

Time for the second part of my look at Viggo's meetings with journalists. As well as finding an opportunity to insert my favourite luggage quote for you again (you never know, someone might have missed it) we have a picture of interviews taking place in greasy spoon cafés and coffee shops, spilling over into hotel lobbies, car parks... traffic light stops... phone calls... In fact journalists discover that an interview with Viggo is hardly ever over when they think it is. Along the way there are more gifts and a glimpse that the artist in him is clearly never switched off.



© MovieWeb


He might have trouble receiving praise, or dishing it out to himself. He's proud of having worked on Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake of Psycho, but when I tell him I adored the film, he seems unsure.

"You did?" he says suspiciously.

It becomes clear precisely how much Mortensen values his work when I leave - or rather, after I have left. I'm crossing the hotel lobby when he appears out of nowhere, still barefoot, still nursing his pot of maté on its tiny saucer.

"I was looking for you," he says intently, drawing me to one side. What has caused him to race down from his suite, probably giving several PR assistants heart attacks in the process, is the urge to impress upon me that one director has inspired him more than any other he has worked with - Philip Ridley, the British film-maker who cast Mortensen in his Lynchian adult fairy-tales, The Reflecting Skin (1990) and The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995).

"That man will never sell out," he enthuses, "because his vision is unique."

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
14 December 2001
The Independent




Out in the parking lot, he stops at his truck - a black pickup he's borrowed from one of his brothers - to retrieve a final present: a red rubber bracelet memorialising fallen firefighters. He hands it to me, then says goodbye.

I'm right behind him, waiting to pull into traffic, when he jumps out and motions for me to roll down my window. There's something interesting on the radio, he says, urging me to turn it on. I can hear it coming from his speakers. It's AM talk, and it's playing loud.

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006




It was a relaxed, almost flower-powered, Viggo Mortensen, complete with bare feet and decorated wrist bands, that strolled into his top-floor apartment at a high up Melbourne hotel.

Put it down to his personality - though softly-spoken, it's immediately obvious, since he makes a point to check your tape recorder is recording properly before speaking, that he's one heck of a nice guy...

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Clint Morris
Moviehole
8 March 2006




When I called him in July to interview him for The Progressive, he had returned from four months' shooting the forthcoming Spanish historical epic, Alatriste. He sounded exhausted, as though he could barely hold the phone, but when we started talking about the war in Iraq, the Bush Administration, and the role of actors and artists in mainstream political discourse, he didn't feel like sleeping. Eventually, I had to tell him I was tired.

Two days later, he called back. He wanted to clarify a few things he'd said and to answer more questions. And he tried me a few times after that. We spoke one final time in the wake of Katrina. I might have flattered myself to think one of the best-looking Hollywood leading men liked the sound of my voice. But that clearly wasn't the case, since he did most of the talking.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Nina Siegal
November 2005
The Progressive




...we met at Callahan's - a small greasy spoon perfectly suited to the artist's genuine unpretentiousness - on a sunny day in Santa Monica....During our conversation, oblivious to the flustered waitress tripping over herself, Mortensen makes obvious his obsession with the ordinary as he breaks to explain, for example, why the green countertop reflecting fluorescent light onto the cherry-red Coke machine in the background would make the perfect picture. "I'd take it right now if I had my camera," he lamented.

Things Are Weird Enough
By Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19
1999




It somehow seems ironic that Viggo Mortensen, virtuoso bad boy, wants to meet at the Snow White Coffee Shop, and now sits beneath a looming portrait of Prince Charming.

The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
By Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine
1997




We meet at a coffee house in Santa Monica, where he's already upstairs with a glass of iced coffee and a notebook. Beside him rests a box, overflowing with sheets of rumpled paper and picture frames, much like one would find in an attic, or on the neglected shelves of Christmas decorations (his manager had asked me if he could make a contribution to the magazine, to which I gave an unqualified 'yes').

'I don't know what you're looking for,' he says, 'but I brought a few things to show you.'

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995




Viggo Mortensen's temporary headquarters during the Toronto Film Festival were bare except for one corner, where there was a sculpture assembled from a plastic grocery-store bag draped over a tripod.....While Mortensen used the restroom, I tried to decide if the bag-on-tripod sculpture was a comment on our throwaway culture or a meditation on the relationship between art and reality. Turns out it was his luggage.

Renaissance man jousts with career-changing role
by Chris Hewitt,
Twin Cities
28 September 2005




The first thing Viggo Mortensen does after shaking my hand is to press a CD into it. Time Waits for Everyone, it's called; 18 tracks of Mortensen's moody compositions for solo piano.

In addition to acting in back-to-back films by David Cronenberg, Mortensen is a published poet, a painter and photographer with exhibitions next year in Iceland and Denmark, the founder of a small publishing house, Perceval Press, and (after listening to the disc, I find) a decent musician.

When I ask how he keeps all these interests going along with his acting career, he answers: "Sometimes it's tricky; I just barely meet deadlines."

No wonder the press loves this guy.

Multi-talented Mortensen Prepares For Worst, Hopes For Best
By Chris Knight
9 September 2007
CanWest News Service

Quotable Viggo: 5 April 2009

I thought it would be interesting this week and next week to look at Viggo and his relationship with journalists, especially as it means I can include one of my favourite anecdotes where an unsuspecting interviewer suddenly finds herself with athletic skills she never thought she had. Whatever journalists might think they are getting from an interview, they usually end up with someone who is not what they expect and more than they expect, at one and the same time. This comes along with gifts, climbing out of windows, road trips, the odd moment of complete surrealism, and for one poor journalist, a complete failure to recognise him...



© 20th Century Fox Es.


I order a margarita. He orders a whiskey and a beer. The waiter sees a notepad on the table and his celebrity antennae pop up like Ray Walston's extraterrestrial ones in My Favorite Martian.

"So just who is interviewing who?" the waiter asks us. This is a formality. He's pretty sure that this is the guy from The Lord of the Rings. I start to reply, but Mortensen holds up his hand. "She has just set the world record for the longest distance windsurfed by a human being," he says, tilting his head in my direction.

"No!" the waiter gasps.

"She windsurfed from Hawaii to the mainland," he continues. "Sure, there was a boat that followed her, and she slept at night, but still. That's what, how many miles?" He looks at me.

"Um, thirty-seven hundred?" I say. I have no idea.

"And not even a man has done that yet," Mortensen tells the waiter. "Isn't that cool?"

The waiter asks me to sign a menu.

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
January 2004
Vanity Fair magazine




We have an hour, the movie-industry standard for press interviews. They don't want journalists getting too close: that would give them too much time to get under the skin. But there's something about Mortensen. It becomes apparent he does want us to get to his core, to understand him, or at least the person he wants to be. Maybe that's why the one-hour interview turns into six hours. It meanders and elongates; a drink at a bar is bolted on, then a walk in Central Park, but it doesn't stop there. He wants to keep talking and it extends into the afternoon with a stroll through Manhattan. It continues into the early evening and to a tepid cup of coffee in a cafe. It's nearly eight o'clock before he remembers he has to be at a dinner party with his fellow Lord of the Rings actors.

The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
30 November 2003
The Sunday Times




Have one conversation with this wiry, soft-spoken James Dean-ish actor, and afterward he'll fax you some poems - good ones - from his book of verse, Ten Last Night. He'll sit with you on a curb and rub his face with his hands out of frustration over wanting to say more but thinking it's not pertinent. 'I like Robert De Niro,' Mortensen says. 'When he talks about something, it's pertinent. I respect that. I mean, I already feel like I said too much.'

Spotlight: Viggo Mortensen
By Trish Deitch Roher
US Magazine #209
June 1995




Before we part, Mortensen insists on buying me Blake's "The Complete Poems," marking the passage he read. A moment later, he's back with Pablo Neruda's "The Book of Questions" and Perceval Press' "Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation." I protest mildly, accepting his presents but telling him, "Please, no mink coat.''

King of the big screen a champion of poetry: Blake's poetry makes an impression on Mortensen
By Ruthe Stein
20 February 2004
San Francisco Chronicle




Viggo Mortensen is standing in an army surplus jacket, faded jeans and stocking feet, sipping his maté tea...from a small wooden cup and looking somewhat mischievously onto the rooftop outside his suite at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton through the narrow gap in a half-open window.

'You wanna go out there?' he says ten seconds after his publicist leaves the room, having seen him settled into a chair for this interview.

'Sure,' I shrug. 'Nice day for it.'

The actor smiles in a way that makes the vague hints of grey hair at his temples shift slightly upward and tries to crank the vertically swinging window open far enough to step through. It jams after making a space about 14 inches wide - probably by design to prevent people from climbing out on the roof. But we squeak through the opening afforded us, our backs against the frame and bellies pressed to the glass, then make our way around a corner to a nice spot in the sun overlooking the skyscrapers of the Financial District.

'She won't be able to find us when our time's up,' I say, feeling a little sorry for the publicist as we sit down against the hotel's exterior, several stories up. 'She'll find us. But she'll have to climb out,' Mortensen laughs.

Sittin' On The Ritz
By Rob Blackwelder
26 March 2004
SPLICEDwire




I must admit that I didn't recognise him. In the middle of a not yet finished exhibition a young blond man is standing who, after shaking my hand and mumbling something as a greeting, seems relieved to have a practical task: to get me a glass of water. He brings it to me with all the hidden greatness that makes him as perfect as he is in the role of Aragorn.

Like the trilogy lies through a see-through illustration on top of the images the books themselves created in my inner vision so Aragorn's face is latent behind Viggo's. Viggo Mortensen was bare-footed, with loose dark pants and a large shirt that makes him look both small and newly awakened. His left hand is decorated with stuff to remember and phone numbers all the way up his arm and a stubborn bit of tape has attached itself to his sleeve.

Caught In His Own Picture
By Trine Ross - translated by Rebekka
28 June 2003
Politiken




Barefoot, carrying a coffee plunger of water and sporting a United Nations badge on his jacket, Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen wandered into his own press conference as though he were planning to sit on the back lawn.

But that's what big stars do, right?

A Barefoot Viggo Lords It Over The Fans
By James Gardiner
New Zealand Herald
29 November 2003




The sparsely travelled road is lined with fir and spruce trees as it winds its way through Montana's Kootenai National Forest. Mortensen looks out for mule deer and occasionally makes sure that Henry is comfortable in the back. Sometimes Mortensen talks so softly he's almost inaudible. His frequent pauses aren't an opportunity for response, but a mental breather before he mumbles on. When he is done with a thought, he seems relieved that his turn to speak has passed. Despite being dead tired, when he sees a lake that is sprinkled with dozens of ripples from feeding fish, Mortensen is eager to stop and throw a line in, but it's getting dark. He glances down at the tape recorder between us and releases an exaggerated groan of self-pity.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson calls him 'no ego Viggo', and everyone who knows him says that a key part of his character is a complete absence of vanity. He certainly seems modest in person. Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star, By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




We got thrown out of a bar. I know that sentence implies all kind of juicy things: Maybe we drank too much, got a little belligerent, did something we shouldn't have. And when you figure that one of us is a movie star, or at least an actor who just might become a movie star one of these days, then the story sounds even more scandalous. So I say it one more time Viggo Mortensen and I got thrown out of a bar.

Viggo Mortensen
By Steve Pond
US Magazine #236
September 1997
Check out the full story here :wink:



'Viggo! Viggo! I chant in my head, my heart racing faster, fever burning, face flushed with anticipation. Then it dawns on me. I'm a freakin' journalist, for Chrissakes...

Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah
By Michelle Devereaux
Totonto International Film Festival
September 2006

Quotable Viggo: 29 March 2009

When Richard Glover interviewed Viggo in Sydney this week for ABC, he spoke for all men everywhere when he asked Viggo "do you understand how annoying you are?' He was joshing, of course. Men admire him as much as women but he sure gives them a lot to live up to. I thought it might be fun to have a look at some of those male reactions to the man who can ride, fight, write, act, fish and cook. We've had some of these quotes before but, what the heck, I love them!



©Unknown


'Now, Viggo, you speak seven languages, you write poetry in three languages, Danish, Spanish and English, you ride horses superbly and you're a great swordsman and all our womenfolk are in love with you... do you understand how annoying you are?'

Radio interview with Richard Glover
ABC Sydney
24 March 2009




Holding a glass of red wine and laughing, Agustín Díaz Yanes asserts, "Viggo is terrifying. He sends you a handwritten letter, all decorated and painted, and when he arrives at your house for dinner he's an intolerable guy: he cleans the fish and picks up the dishes. My wife is fascinated, and she compares the two of us. Damn, what's a guy supposed to do? The bar is set very high."

The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007




'Viggo's ... a real artist. He cares about what speaks to him. He doesn't care about how much he's paid, doesn't care where he lives, doesn't care how nice the hotel is. He's a horse. I feel like he could go all day, work all day and he's polite and creative and generous. That made it easy. Not only is he physically gifted, he's graceful and tough.'

Garret Dillahunt
Fred Topel
CraveOnline
20 March 2009




Liev Schreiber on heading straight for the gym the minute he knew Viggo had been cast as his wife's lover:

'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

Liev Schreiber talking about A Walk on the Moon
Calgary Sun, April 1999




"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all. He's a massive work-horse, like a massive multiplex. You can go through one door and he's a photographer, then you go through the next door and he's a singer. Then you go and look at his poetry and his art and there's his films! I'm not jealous at all [laughs]. And he's just a great guy and my friend."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"He could really earn his keep as a painter, certainly as a photographer. He is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"


John Rhys-Davies
Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
by Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn, Star, 2003




"Viggo is one of the most seriously committed actors I have ever met. He's got so much passion that it is almost extreme. It can be a little daunting at times."

Sean Astin
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004




'He writes poetry, he makes photos...it's extraordinary...he is handsome, he acts well...then we say ourselves it's not possible, people like this do not exist. I did not manage to find it out but there has to be a defect somewhere. One cannot be that perfect ! (laughs)"

Omar Sharif
"Hidalgo" : en tête à tête avec Omar Sharif...
by Peggy Zejgman
allocine.com, 24 March 2004
Trans. by Casablanca




"You know, every actor you work with, you ask them, 'So, how do you ride?' And they always say, 'I ride excellently.' Viggo says to me, 'I ride O.K.' He gets on the horse, and he rides better than me.'

Rex Peterson, chief wrangler on Hidalgo
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004




"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004



Quotable Viggo: 21 March 2009

We've been having some interesting discussions about Viggo's performance as Lucifer over on Viggo's Other Movies thread with week, so I thought that it would be fun to have look back at some of Viggo's early film roles and smaller character roles. Whereas some performances are in quality movies or art films with good directors, there's no getting away from the fact that others are "B' movie fodder. But, whatever the material, Viggo always manages to pull out an "A' movie performance, or come up with something interesting, and he always finds something pleasurable and valuable in the experience.



©Universal Pictures/Neo Motion Pictures/Overseas Film Group/Universal Pictures/Miramax/Zenith/New Line Cinema/Empire Pictures.


Witness

"[Harrison Ford] was most of all professional. Conscientious. Interesting to study. I had the greats before me: Peter Weir, above all, with his calmness and efficiency. In the evening, when I came back from my wandering, they let me watch the rushes. Witness was an idyllic experience."

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



Prison

"It was a real low budget horror exploitation thing. The cast was a bunch of people [who were] New York stage actors. For that kind of movie, it was a pretty experienced group of actors; good actors got those parts. So, I was surrounded by people who really knew what they were doing, which was nice. It was fun to work with them. I mean, the story was what it was. It was a horror movie and it was on the cheap side and all that, but Renny Hahn had a certain amount of visual flair. Other that,I don't know if it stands out any more than the other movies at this time. I liked the location, I liked Wyoming."

Viggo Mortensen
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
By Carnell
March 1999
Source: Carpe Noctem magazine #15



The Reflecting Skin

In his latest film, The Reflecting Skin, British writer-director Philip Ridley's disturbing tale of repression and decay in the American heartland, Mortensen doesn't appear until an hour has passed - but when he does he immediately marks himself as one of those actors who doesn't need fancy lighting to be incandescent. Cast as a young man returning from the Pacific (where he dropped bombs on sleepy atolls), he displays surly, distant passion that's at odds, yet perfectly in step, with a small town that is seething beneath its bucolic veneer. Word is that he fires up the screen in Sean Penn's directorial debut, The Indian Runner, a film about a good brother and a bad brother that is due for release in September. It's not hard to figure out which brother Mortensen plays.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
by Martha Frankel
June 1991



Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 111

"That was fun. I don't know how many times they sent that to the censors. People think that the ratings board is some kind of official [body which has an] answerable objective, answerable to the public or something. It's not. It's just a bunch of guys making decisions with certain codes to go by. I do think that if that movie had been put out by a big studio I think they would have gotten away with more ....Anyway, they kept getting X's and so they cut so much out that I think the movie is only like 70 minutes long. Unfortunately most of the really funny jokes were associated with gruesome bloodletting of some kind or another. There was a lot of funny shit that was going on.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
By Carnell
March 1999
Source: Carpe Noctem magazine #15



Carlito's Way

"I wasn't having an easy time finding work at this time in my career, but because of my background I had some understanding of what this character could be and what the background was like.... I loved working with Al Pacino. He was unusually generous for someone in his position. He has a very open mind, and a very open heart."

Viggo Mortensen
Uncut
November 2007



Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005



American Yakuza

"I especially enjoyed working with our cast, particularly Viggo and Ryo, both of whom I hope to someday get a chance to work with again if the Fates should allow it. I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince."

Richard Clabaugh, Cinematographer for American Yakuza
www.rclabaugh.com



Crimson Tide

"My character is an average person in an extraordinary situation who has to make difficult decisions. It was nice to play a guy with a job and a family, rather than a guy with a big axe to grind. And scary too, because in a role like that you have to fit in, whereas you don't if you play a sociopath. In this role, I couldn't hide behind violence or fake teeth."

Viggo Mortensen on Crimson Tide
Interview with Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine, 1995



In the movie, he is caught between a rock and hard place in the deadly confrontation between Hackman and Washington. Mortensen offers a restrained, dignified and incredible solid performance: the voice of reason in the power play of the two main characters.

The Guy Can't Help It
By Manuela Cerri Goren
L'Uomo Vogue #270
April 1996



The Passion of Darkly Noon

'We were on location in what used to be East Germany, on the Czech border. I was there on my own, I didn't have anybody that I needed to talk to on the phone, so I thought I'd try to warm up because I didn't have a rehearsal period. I literally worked the day after I got there. When I stepped off the plane I decided not to say anything. I thought 'I'll just do this today' and then I just kept doing it. I did it the whole month I was there, which was really interesting because I did hear more what was being said, and I did watch people's reactions more closely.'

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995



The Prophecy

'I landed in The Prophecy the same way I did in The Lord Of The Rings, that is, at the last minute. I read the script on the plane taking me to the location. I accepted the part because I wanted to work with Christopher Walken, whom I knew personally. 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...'

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



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



The Portrait of a Lady

What memories do you have of working with Jane Campion, on Portrait of a Lady? Was that special?

- Oh, yes! How I loved working with her! Her way of rehearsing, of discussing before shooting ... At the same time, she demands much more than you think you can give. I've rarely met anyone as demanding, but it's something an actor appreciates. I also think that Nicole Kidman did a remarkable job in that movie, and that she's not often as highly regarded as she should be. She is so intense ...

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



Psycho

'It was fun,' says Mortensen. 'Like doing a play from a certain period and trying to make the language relevant today.'

Leave It To Viggo
By Susan Perry
Black Book
1999



'I vindicate the Van Sant Psycho remake as exercise. It's an obsessive work. The search for the literal in this remake interests me. I had a small role, but I enjoyed working him. He's an intelligent man with a strange sense of humour.'

The Other Mortensen
By Mariana Enriquez - translated by Margarita
Página 12
20 November 2005

Quotable Viggo: 15 March 2009

Viggo is having a much earned quiet year - his play, Purgatorio, and The Road promotions are on the horizon but there is still time before then to recharge those artistic batteries. He's talked about finishing a bunch of paintings and we know he'll be taking photos because it's pretty much the same to him as breathing. I think this is a good time to take a look back at his visual creativity and why it's wonderful that he now has some space to enjoy it again. The Carpe Noctem quote from 1999 tells us a little of what fun it will be when he starts playing with his paints - a man who once (as we learn from the Recent Forgeries intro) resided "in a paintbox'. I, for one, can't wait to see what he comes up with next!



© Warner Brothers.


'I like to paint and I like glue. I like gel, you know? Acrylic gel. It's fun to play with that and see what that does. I mean, some of the things are things you're not supposed to mix; oil, acrylics, or water. I just like to get dirty and play with it and see what happens. It's just fun. Sometimes you get something interesting by accident by coating something with some thing you haven't tried coating with before. You just have a hunch that will do something to It will change the texture or alter it some how chemically in an interesting way and change the tone of it. I don't know. I don't have a reason really...'

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




The house is like a giant compost pile that provides an inexhaustible supply of mulch, and when you see how Mortensen lives, you begin to understand how he produces so much art; it's as if he resides in a paintbox.

Treasure Island: A visit with Viggo Mortensen
Recent Forgeries
Kristine McKenna 1998




Mortensen's paintings relate to his photography in the sense that they also teem with lived incidents. They are collages, brushings of materials, and words, all used, felt, and constantly touched. Redefined and restated, there is always something beneath, rubbed out, obliterated, nuanced; there is always more happening. Words from his poems, found phrases, or overheard whispers both succumb and survive as they enter the field of the work.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




Photography, acting, painting, poetry, music...what would you give up?

'Nothing! It's like if you asked me what arm I prefer.

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




"If Mortensen were locked in a box in a prison in total darkness, with no pens, no tools, no books," Hopper says, "he would make something amazing out of it."

Dennis Hopper
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004




"He doesn't need to paint for a living. But in order to live, he needs to paint."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
The American Daneby Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen, Berlingske Tidende, 2001




"Inspiration is a notion, an impulse that has its own shape, before you stumble onto it. If you're in too much of a hurry, you try to tell it what it is, instead of having it tell you what it is. And I think if you do that, you're gonna miss out."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers
By Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University, 2003




Mortensen hasn't had time to do much painting the past couple of years. "In a way, I'm painting with the camera now, using more movement, getting less tidy and more aggressive," he says, pointing to an image from the Perceval Press catalog. "I'm experimenting with more abstract images, longer exposures."

V IS FOR VIGGO
by Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle, 2003




His sensibility as a painter is a strong thread in his photography, where colour, light and movement express the artist's often intuitive response to his environment.

Rebecca Wilson on the Massey exhibition
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003




Mortensen likes sotto voce details; he gives his attention to instants that would otherwise have passed by unobserved, or more significantly, unregistered - things that in a literal sense were simply there for him because he was there for them - things that would have easily passed by as all else passes by, as we ourselves finally do.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




"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, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008

Quotable Viggo: 16 May 2009


Quotable Viggo: 8 March 2009

Viggo said in the September Le Figaro article that he is "an optimistic dreamer who has never been imprisoned by fear'. It's only on re-reading it this week that it's struck me what an incredible statement it is. What a wonderful way to live your life and how few of us can truly say the same. This isn't about not feeling fear, but about a way of dealing with it, and we're not talking recklessness here, but a willingness to take on adventures, try new or difficult things, and face challenges head on despite that knot in the gut. This applies as much to how he selects and tackles the demands of roles as it does to his artistic output, lone travels off the beaten track and outspoken political beliefs. The optimism he mentions goes hand-in-hand with this - it all comes down to a certain trust in yourself and the world. How amazing it that?



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


'I am a happy man when I am not tied down,' he says, taking a sip of maté. 'I don't have a hidden self, I am not prone to depression. If I feel unwell, it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better. I am an optimistic dreamer who has never been imprisoned by fear.'

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



'.... this tender and complex man is not afraid of anything.'

The Desired One
By Ester Aguado
Women Magazine, August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela



Viggo is afraid of nothing, not on the screen and not in life.

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
Jan 8, 2004



"As always, I try to find something that's a good piece of writing, an interesting character, [and see] if there's a good director attached. If the other elements are good that's always extra, but it starts with the story being interesting and the character. Sometimes it's interesting but I'm not sure about it, and then you ask yourself why am I not sure about this? Is it because I'm afraid, because it's different, it's unknown? And then in which case maybe you should do it just for that reason."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001



"It's the same sort of story that has been told as long as there have been people, and that will be told as long as there are people: a challenge is presented to an individual, big or small, who is obligated in most cases to accept it. You have to take that step to say 'Yes,' and once you do, you're in for a pretty hard time of it in a lot of ways ... in big and small ways. It can be a test of your honor or your ability to keep your composure in difficult situations."

Viggo talking about Hidalgo
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
Christianity Today
5 March 2004



'It's been 20 years since I last did stage work. There's no take 2, no escape. You either remember your lines or you don't. It'll be a good challenge."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier talking about taking the stage
Chris Betros
Japantoday.com
5 December 2008



'I know everyone was a little bit worried because I disappeared for two weeks. They said I should have someone go with me into the underworld, but the whole point of me of going was not to get a filtered version of what Russians do and what they're like. "I just wanted to draw my own conclusions.'

Viggo on his trip to Russia
Contactmusic.com
13 Sept 2007



"In my life, I never did anything while weighing the effects of my actions. If you ask me what I'm planning for the next two years, I really don't know. Acting, writing, taking pictures or painting are all things which answer the necessity to express what I have inside me. And there is no preferential order among them, only chances that I try to take day by day."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy),May 2007



"I guess in the end I did it because I would feel that I had been chicken shit really. I had to leave the next day, so I'm on the plane reading, looking at this gigantic book and thinking, 'What the hell have I done?"

Viggo Mortensen on taking on Aragorn at the last minute
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001



He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path. Then, he gives it back transformed into a sort of abstract personal experience that he quietly shares with those who want to get closer.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005



'Don't ever be afraid to ask the question, "why?," or as most small children do, to repeat that question as many times as you receive an unsatisfactory answer. Inquiring minds are essential to a healthy society, and to making an individual art out of living.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006



'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is in the labor.' That's a great line, 'To travel hopefully.' That's what I'd like to do."

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

Quotable Viggo: 1 March 2009

It's all been very quiet on the Viggo front over the last few of months, but quote-wise it's actually been a very rich one. Here's a little miscellaneous collection of the best of them, including one from our very own V-W interview. It's a mixed bag of sweeties but I thought these were all too delicious to miss!



New Line Cinema/Estudios Piccaso/Origen Producciones.


Viggo-Works: ...just for fun. Who would win the fight? Aragorn or Diego? Why?

Viggo: No idea. I suspect they would become friends in the end, and not fight. Then again, if Diego had been drinking...

Making an Effort to be Present
The Viggo-Works Interview
5 February 2009




... the artist who can tame a stallion and then adopt him, an outspoken political liberal who can cook from scratch and sword fight with a vengeance. A movie star who backpacks in remote, unlovely places. A beautiful man who will sleep in the dirt on a mountain in New Zealand. A rich guy who uses his money to publish books that will never sell because they are lovely.

If you could design the perfect man, Mortensen might just be close to it.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009




He is the lonely cavalier of the cinema. ...He survives everything serenely, whatever might happen in his career, he remains the same person - an idealist, but not a naive one - he has just perfected the art of doing his own thing.

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 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, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008




MP: ... what makes you laugh either on the screen or elsewhere these days?

MORTENSEN: 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




Celebrities generally come in two sizes: large and small. Either they suck up all the oxygen in the room or you can't imagine how they take up so much space on the screen.

Viggo Mortensen somehow occupies a middle ground.

Things are getting 'Good' for Mortensen
By John Clark
SF Gate-San Francisco Chronicle
23 January 2009




'...I would be playing the piano and thinking about tomorrow's work and I ended up playing musically what the scene was for me, which I had never done before. I liked it so much I just did it all time. When I watched the movie last night there was a certain rhythm in the body language and speech-wise that has to do with the piano."

Viggo talking about Good at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009




...when you say you want to take a break as an actor, people think he stops, goes off the set, and he's taking a break. No, it's, like, stopping a ship on the Great Lakes, one of those big freighters, and you say, 'I wanna stop the boat' or "I wanna turn the boat, one way or another'. You got to plan that miles ahead.

Viggo Mortensen
Capone has a GOOD chat with Viggo Mortensen about politics, THE ROAD, APPALOOSA, and THE HOBBIT!!!
Ain't it Cool News
3 December 2008




'I usually use the excuse that everything is abstract. That way, I can do whatever I want. And if you don't like it, it's because you don't get it,' he joked.

Viggo joking about his art
Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
20 November 2008
Source: La Butaca




Always at the peak of the events, do you have some inner, emotional stability?

"Yes, it exists in the equilibrium I successfully create inside me. On one side I do appreciate the moment I live in, on the other side I'm always ready to go somewhere else."

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009




'...I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent.'

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


Quotable Viggo: 21 February 2009

A mention this week of Viggo on the FIFA website tells me it's time we looked at Viggo the sports fan. It's reassuring for us fellow-fans to know that no matter how avidly we follow Viggo he is even worse when it comes to all the teams he supports and especially San Lorenzo. He is, as he has said, a 'cuervo till death!'



San Lorenzo 100th Anniversary Celebration, 4.1.08.
© Ole at Clarin.


A global star since his turn in Lord of the Rings, he could easily lay claim to the title Lord of the Nuevo Gasometro, the stadium home of Argentinian side San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Fans in high places
FIFA
20 February 2009



'I don't play soccer well... I sing just like I play soccer! But I like it, so I do it anyway, it's just a matter of starting, fear is useless...'

Viggo Mortensen
A Hollywood star in RSM
Argentinean TV interview with Mariana Fabbiani
11 October 2008



MP: Did you go to San Lorenzo matches when you lived in Argentina?

MORTENSEN: No. I would listen on the radio. I was pretty fanatical about it. At the time it was unusual, because we weren't a very good team. We were interesting, but most of the kids in school were Boca Juniors or River Plate or other teams, and then the year before I left, suddenly we won it all. It was the only time that it's ever happened that we had an undefeated season, so that was a big deal. All of a sudden, the day after [that], a kid at school said, "I like San Lorenzo, too," and I said, "Bullshit. You're Boca Junior. Whatever."

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



'The highest honor in my life is to be a San Lorenzo fan; we have a noble spirit... we know how to win and how to lose with dignity; and the only time we have an ugly face in the stadium is when we play. It will always be like this for me; and stealing some words from the great Homero Manzi (tango writer)... something like this: (singing) 'I love you today more than I did yesterday, but less than I will tomorrow; my passion is azulgrana (red and blue), and it demands your fervor'. Thank you San Lorenzo! Go Ciclón!'

Viggo's speech
100th year San Lorenzo celebration
Buenos Aires
Translated by Silver



I was about 11 when I came to the U.S. in '69. I got a crash course in baseball that October when the Mets won the World Series. Even though we moved to northern New York -- it was a Yankees town if anything -- the Mets were my team from then on. I've stuck with them through thick and thin. If I'm in town when they come to L.A., I'll see them play. It's not any easier being a Mets fan than it is being a fan of San Lorenzo. You have to have a lot of perseverance -- that's what being a fan is about. You can't be a bandwagon guy.

Viggo talking about the Mets
Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine
5 August 2004
Source: Sports Illustrated magazine



'It was unbelievable. You were kind of hoping they'd win, but you knew there was no way it would happen. And right before your eyes, a miracle. It was such an underdog story. That's what fascinated me. Maybe that's why I love the Mets.'

Viggo Mortensen on watching the 'Miracle on Ice' against the Soviets
Lake Placid Olympics in 1980
Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine, 2004



...an enigma wrapped in a Mets T-shirt.

Viggo the Sponge
By Jake Coyle, MSNBC
21 Sept 2007



Rove: I know you used to be a translator with, I think, the Swedish Hockey Team in the Winter Olympics?

Viggo: Well, I was meant to be a translator for the Danish Olympic Team but nobody showed up. Literally. And they said "Well, can you understand the Swedes?' I said "I probably can. I'm not sure they can understand me.' But it became...what I really got to do was go to a lot of hockey games with drunken Finns and Swedes...'

Rove Live interview
Melbourne
February 28 2006



Viggo Mortensen has a trick. He performs it to amuse himself during back-to-back interviews, when he needs something, other than cigarettes, to keep himself alert. The trick is this: He is wearing a Canadian Hockey League pendant - one of those pewter souvenirs you buy at any arena gift shop. He starts the interview with the pendant facing forward on his chest. Then, at some point, he flips the pendant over. On the other side is a Montreal Canadians sticker.

"First I try to guess if the interviewer is a hockey fan and secondly if they're a [Toronto Maple] Leafs fan. Then I wait to see how long it takes them to notice," he says. "This one guy stopped the interview and just starts going, 'No, no, no!' "

Viggo during HoV promotions
Profile: Viggo Mortensen
By Leah McLaren
Globe and Mail
23 September 2005



When asked why he always sports San Lorenzo gear during interviews (today it's a pullover with their logos) he jokes, 'mind control.'

Viggo does "Good'
Mortensen shows us his softer side
by Tina Chadha
Metro New York
9 January 2009

Quotable Viggo: 15 February 2009

Ah, Romance, it's never straightforward. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it's a quick fling, sometimes it's forever. To go with our Valentine's Day Poll I thought I'd take-a-tongue in cheek look at some of the onscreen relationships that Viggo's had in his long film career. It's not all moonlight and roses....there are also peas, worms and a jealous horse.



© Warner Brothers.


If you're a woman you will remember the way he slid his hands backward over her cheeks as they made love in his grimy loft.

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




...what Walker does to her under a waterfall should be bottled.

A Steamy 'Walk on The Moon'
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, April 2, 1999




'It was freezing in that river. The water was filled with debris and cigarette butts and the rocks were covered in little worms.'

Diane Lane on the Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun
10 April 1999




...if there is in recent cinema a more convincing scene of psychological torture than the moment when Mortensen rages against a teeny-weeny Patricia Arquette, spattering her with mouthfuls of food, I'd really rather not see it, thank you.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




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.....

..."We all like a bit of rough now and then," she says with a saucy smile.

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




In Portrait, while John Malkovich and other characters joust with words and shatter each other with glances, Mortensen gets to wield the ultimate weapon: the raw, raging physicality of a simple kiss.

Viggo talking about Caspar Goodwood in A Portrait of a Lady
The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
By Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine
1997




"Caspar is insistent. He basically says, 'I love you and I am willing to wait as long as it takes,' I admire that." But how would such zealously romantic notions play to a roomful of the tattoed tough guys Mortensen has played in the past ? Wouldn't they think a guy who follows a woman around Europe declaring his undying love somewhat pathetic?

"How can a man be pathetic who really loves someone?"

Viggo talking about Caspar Goodwood in A Portrait of a Lady
The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
By Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine
1997




'Vincent and Viggo are the hot couple in the movie.'

Naomi Watts on Eastern Promises
September 2007




He has portrayed everything from the Devil (in The Prophecy, in which he rips out Christopher Walken's heart and takes a nibble) to the other man (in A Perfect Murder and A Walk on the Moon, in which he rips out Gwyneth Paltrow's and Diane Lane's hearts, but not before they nibble on him).

Body of Work
By Alison Glock
Elle
December 2001




The central question the film poses is what do you do if the person you love turns out to have a dark secret? Does love conquer all? "Yes," said Bello. "I'm a hopeless romantic. If you can embrace your shadow self, with its anger, fear and pain, you are a better person as a whole." Mortensen, on the other hand, is a little more vague. "All relationships struggle, even the good ones. If you don't acknowledge that your partner is changing, you'll be disappointed. But I think there are different ways of keeping secrets," he said.

No More Mister Nice Guy
By Chris Betros
Japan Today
1 March 2006
Source: Japan Today




'In the scenes were there was more tension or I was being threatened, he would be really protective. When I would be talking to the women, he'd act jealous. And after a while, you realize it's not just a coincidence. That was him. He was into it.'

Viggo talking about TJ in Hidalgo
190 North Interview
By Janet Davies (interview), transcription by Mararan
190 North
Chigago, IL 22 February 2004




Mortensen arrives at the Stephen Cohen Gallery caked in mud, having just been riding T.J., who plays the title role in Hidalgo ....and then washing him and giving him a conditioning treatment. "We don't do that all the time," Mortensen says. "He's not a pretty-boy horse."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008





Quotable Viggo: 8 February 2009

The recent Moving Pictures interview comes in with the headline "Talented, Independent, Masculine', pinning down Viggo as we see him in three words. The last word equally describes his usual screen persona - which is why so many critics have been taken aback on seeing "Good'. Hey - we know there is much, MUCH more to Viggo than this and he is a sensitive and peace loving soul, but I still thought it might be fun to take a look at all that screen masculinity and why, when a tough guy is needed, everyone sees Viggo as the man who can.

Warning: This week's 'Quotable' comes with a High Testosterone Alert.



© 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.


Even when the love of his life practically begs him to talk and let her know his feelings, Alatriste maintains a dignified silence, laden with 17th century testosterone. What a guy. Or more to the point, right now Alatriste out-guys all other guys in Western cinema (in Asia, his rivals are the boys in John Woo's "Red Cliff" series). 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




.... it's easy to imagine him wielding a sword (the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy), a lethally hot pot of coffee ("A History of Violence") or a pair of sinister sunglasses ("Eastern Promises").

Things are getting 'Good' for Mortensen
By John Clark
SF Gate-San Francisco Chronicle
23 January 2009




If you saw A History of Violence, you know Mortensen can f*** up a guy something fierce, but till you've seen him do it buck naked and covered in mob tattoos, you haven't lived.

Dana Stevens
Slate.com
13 Sept 2007




Mr. Mortensen's physical presence dominates any frame in which he appears by virtue of his mesomorph solidity. His Nikolai represents the sort of idealized Russian alpha male who might have just stepped from the stone perch of a patriotic sculpture; indeed, by all appearances a punch to Nikolai's stony jaw would result in naught but broken knuckles. As icing on the beefcake, Viggo can act...

John P, Meyer
Pegasus News
15 Sept 2007




Anchoring this fine film is Mortensen's Tom Stall - as iconic a cinematic hero if ever there was one - the kind of man everyone wants to be - all of the good things on the outside but a masterful warrior on the inside. The kind of man everyone fears because he is skilled and ruthless when he needs to be.

Mortensen needed to be good enough to keep the audience wondering who he really was. With his aqua blue eyes and chiseled 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




...Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...

HoV review
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
11 Sept 2005




....leading-man Mortensen is perfect. Not only does the actor possess the matinee-idol looks and dripping-testosterone sex appeal of an action-star god, but he carries all the hero baggage of his orc-slaying days in Middle Earth

Amanda Andrade
Michigan Daily
October 03, 2005




The real champ of the film... is Viggo Mortensen....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....Women will love him and men will too.

Fellowship of the Ring
Nick Nunziata
CHUD
December 2001




...has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

The Two Towers
Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002




Liev Schreiber on heading straight for the gym the minute he knew Viggo had been cast as his wife's lover:

'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

Liev Schreiber talking about "A Walk on the Moon'
Calgary Sun
April 1999




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




In the business, he's that worldly poetic soul who can do credible justice to gangland Russian, Sioux, or Elvish dialects. That guy who looks great on a horse. That guy who never kills anyone who doesn't need killing.

The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008




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


Quotable Viggo: 1 February 2009

Only Viggo.....

This week I've collected a series of short quotes that could belong to only one man on earth, so for a bit of fun I've taken Viggo's name out. If we V-W'ers read any of these out of context with no name attached we'd know immediately who this was. To us, as Brendan Fraser says below "If you know Viggo, it makes perfect sense'. But most other people would really be left wondering what on earth this was all about...




© Fugitive Features/Hauskunst/Keytsman Productions.


...there's a good chance [he] has the smallest shoe collection in Hollywood.

Viggo Mortensen Rides Back In 'Hidalgo'
By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
29 February 2004




[He] rolls his own cigarettes, does his own driving,
totes his own teapot....

V IS FOR VIGGO
by Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle
2003




He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




'I'm hoping to shoot a movie with an elephant soon, and I've no idea where I'm going to put him."

Asked about buying horses from his films
Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
Wow.ie
April 2004




'Rabbits sometimes run out in front of your car, right? Well, I hit this rabbit on this lonely road in the South Island and I wanted to make sure it was dead. If it wasn't, I'd put it out of its misery. And it was quite dead, so I thought, 'Well, why waste it?' And so I made a little fire and ate it.'

The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




'He'd make clicking noises in the back of his throat to communicate. The concierge probably didn't speak English, and here [he is] gesturing with his hands and pointing, scribbling on a pad. And I think [he] eventually got 50% off the bill. If you know [him], it makes perfect sense. In a way, he transcends the acting."

Brendan Fraser of working with Viggo on
ThePassion of Darkly Noon
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"He wanted to eat a real locust. The locust he eats is made out of sugar. He said, 'You know, I can eat a live one.' I said, 'Let's eat all the fake ones first. If we run out, you can eat a live one.' "

Joe Johnston on filming Hidalgo
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004




"I felt like it was unlucky not to have the trout, so I would sneak it in. It became this game to see if I could keep getting away with it.'

History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005




...there is reason to suspect [he] was born on a dying planet light years away....

Philip Martin at TIFF
Arkansas Democratic Gazette
September 16, 2008




The typical Hollywood leading man travels with an entourage between his palatial homes, five-star hotel suites and luxury trailers. He does not disappear alone for two weeks to meet the Russian mafia in the name of research.

Actor joins the underworld's shadowy cast
Ben Hoyle
The Times
October 17, 2007




'...there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

Quotable Viggo: 25 January 2009

This is the final part of my "Early Days' quotes and last week we left Viggo "training with monkeys'. This week we have some surprising auditions, a dogged determination to carry even though your entire performance is on the cutting room floor and your family is in the cinema expecting to see you screen, and finally a point where a crucial decision between theatre and film led to his role in the Indian Runner. But not before he found himself building very large barn....



Courtesy of Viggo's Celluloid Haven.
© Paramount Pictures.


"I was sent plane tickets to London, I did a load of tests, and when I thought the part was mine [in Greystoke], they gave it to Christopher Lambert. What happened with The Purple Rose of Cairo, by Woody Allen, was worse as he cut all the scenes I was in. That was frustrating! I looked a real fool, ashamed, especially with my family and friends as I had announced my participation in the films to them. My parents thought I was lying and would say: 'Son, tell us the truth! What do you do in New York?' [Great laughter]"

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




"Before the audition [for To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar] I wanted to practice a little so I called up a friend of mine, [actress] Valeria Golino, and she helped me to get all dressed up. Then I walked on Broadway in New York in the middle of the day. Nobody even blinked an eye, and some guys whistled.'

Viggo Mortensen on The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998




'..... as an actor I had two very bad years with hardly any work, it was impossible to live. Then, gradually, things began to improve. I got work, although I still had to do other kinds of work to make ends meet at the end of the month. I endured.'

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




"In the beginning everyone was very obsessed with getting my name changed.'Viggo Mortensen - that's too long and too strange', they said. I suggested as a joke to change it to "Vic Morton'. That sounds like one of those movie private investigators in the 40's... "Vic Morton, private eye'. No, my name is Viggo Mortensen, I am Viggo Mortensen, and Hollywood will have to live with that'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




Mortensen calls the long wait [for stardom] "lucky." "I've screen-tested for lots of things I didn't get....I don't regret not getting 'Greystoke' or 'Dracula.' I had a chance to watch others in the spotlight and see how they dealt with it."

Back in the saddle 'Rings' hero Mortensen is riding high with 'Hidalgo'
By Nancy Mills
Daily News
25 February 2004




'The same day I was offered Witness, I was offered a Shakespeare in the Park production--I think it was Henry V," he recalls. "I made a choice to try something I didn't know much about, which ended up being the right thing, because it was a good story and I got to work with Peter Weir.'

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005




'It was Peter Weir who, seeing me, said, "It will be interesting for (the character played by) Alexander Godunov to have this brother who follows him everywhere." And he asked me to stay six weeks instead of one! It was in June and July, it was very hot. As I had little to do, I passed the time in roaming around Pennsylvania on a bicycle I had found. I made friends. I was like Tom Sawyer, and they paid me, and I could watch the crew on set as much as I wanted.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine




'He was really into the building-the-barn scene. I was supposed to be handing him tools and he'd say 'Hand me a whatever,' and I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He probably built most of that barn himself.'

Viggo Mortensen on working with Harrison Ford in Witness
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998




After finally making it to the screen in Witness he moved to LA. Bartending and truck driving jobs kept him flush in the late 80s, in between movies such as Fresh Horses, Young Guns II and the bizarre low-budget gem The Reflecting Skin. I

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
Black & White magazine, #58
December 2001




'Ironically, he had successfully auditioned for a Panida Theater stage role as Biff Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman before learning of his selection for Penn's movie [The Indian Runner]. Deborah McShane, a Panida board member, clearly remembers the unpretentious, calm and kind man whose audition 'created an energy shift in the theater.

'Karen Bowers (Panida's manager) heard the very quiet, knowing and sensitive voice,' McShane recalls. 'She stopped what she was doing and came down the aisle. We cast him in the role.'

A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004




I had four or five difficult years. I had lots of auditions, with no success. At that time, I left New York for Los Angeles. I did some theater there ... And then it came little by little, with really small films, with a part in the sequel to Young Guns. One day, during the filming of I can't remember which film, I went back to my hotel and found a message: "Sean Penn called you," with a telephone number. I asked myself which of my friends was playing a trick on me. And there was a spelling mistake in Sean. I call: "Sean Penn?" "Yeah," replies Sean Penn, grumpily. "It's Viggo Mortensen What do you want?"

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine




"I remember Sean saying to me on about the sixth week of shooting," Indian producer Phillips recalls, "'Don, Viggo's going to be a humongous star.'"

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003










Quotable Viggo: 18 January 2009

Trying to piece together the story of how Viggo became interested in acting and what his earliest acting days were like is like trying to complete the edge of a very large jigsaw. No one seems to have recorded it at length or in detail but tantalising mentions crop up in dozens of different interviews, all of which give us a little glimpses of the whole picture. I've been rifling through all those interviews looking for those edge pieces to try and fit them together, and what emerges above all is a huge passion and curiosity for how film is made, and some fascinating influences. This week takes him us from his growing interest in cinema, though his first acting classes and to one of his first cinema auditions. And I bet I'm not the only one who would like to have been a fly on the wall for the 'monologue inspired by Jack the Ripper'...



© MGM / CBS Television.


"....I went to see films with my mother when I was a child. Towards twenty, I lived for a year close to London, and I went to a cinema which only showed classics. I discovered Bergman, Ozu, Pasolini, Dreyer ... It was a revelation. It wasn't just that I liked going to the movies, it was that on leaving the theater I wanted to enter this world...... To discover Bergman, Pasolini, Ozu, Dreyer, at twenty, that was a revelation. Could that be it, the movies? My jaw dropped in admiration. These filmmakers really inspired me. I like the simplicity of Ozu, I like the films of Carl Dreyer, which capture so well the pain of the human condition. I like the purity of Bergman and Pasolini. It was after I discovered their films that I became very curious about film as a means of expression."

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine




"When I saw Death in Venice, by Visconti, I had a big shock. It is one of the movies that has really inspired me. I saw it again recently, it's a little dated, especially the flashbacks, but still ... That mixture of beauty and sadness ... And also the performance of Dirk Bogarde is so extraordinary! Its impact on me has been enormous."

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine




After graduation, he moved to Denmark - driven, he said, by the need for a defining purpose in life. He found it there, writing poetry and short stories while supporting himself as, among other things, a dock worker and a flower seller.

Back in the saddle 'Rings' hero Mortensen is riding high with 'Hidalgo'
By Nancy Mills
Daily News
25 February 2004




EMPIRE: You had a lot of different jobs before you started acting: waiter, dock worker, translator... Which did you enjoy most?

MORTENSEN: A little about each of them, and about the friends I made in them. I like being outdoors, so driving around the Danish countryside, delivering sacks of flour to remote village bakeries for a mill, and another job selling roses on the streets of Copenhagen, were particularly enjoyable.

In Conversation With Viggo Mortensen
By Dorian Lynskey
Empire
March 2008




He fell in love in 1982 and followed his girlfriend to New York City, hoping for a long romance and a writing career. He got neither.

In New York, Viggo found work waiting tables and bartending. He also became interested in acting.

Back in the saddle 'Rings' hero Mortensen is riding high with 'Hidalgo'
By Nancy Mills
Daily News
25 February 2004




"When I would see a really seamless, fully realized performance or an ensemble performance, I would wonder, How did they do that? How did they make it so effortless?'

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
By Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West
5 January 2004




'I was a bit older than most when I started acting. I was around 27, while many start as teenagers, even earlier. I came to acting because of simple curiosity: I wanted to know how movies were made.'

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




[In New York] he came across an ad for Warren Robertson's repertory company and after signing up and doing a monologue inspired by Jack the Ripper, he decided to continue acting. "I never thought it would last," he says. "I just tried it to see what it was like and it just clicked, I guess. Now here we are, 20 years later, and I'm still doing it."

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




[He] went in for what he thought was an audition for a play. Instead, he found himself signed up for an acting class. Robertson encouraged him, and so while working odd jobs such as waiting tables and bartending, Mortensen committed himself to the workshop.

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"Warren saw something in what was probably rough work and saw enough to encourage me to keep trying and to keep auditioning and so forth.'

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
By Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West
5 January 2004




"I didn't know anyone, so the anonymity of it made it a little safer." He approached acting with a photographer's perspective, examining the mechanics of the craft from every angle. "I started watching more movies and looking at things in that light as a potential performer. You get kind of hooked on it, the workings of it. You start thinking about how to make something interesting."

Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39
November 2002




"The performance which most astonishes me is certainly that of Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc. It is so vibrant. The first time I saw this film, I felt moved in every fiber of my body. When a performance leaves you so marked, so to speak, it's because you have watched great art. Or, quite simply, the form of art that comes closest to you. When I started to take acting lessons in New York, I used these performances as models. It's not surprising I still can't break through!"

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
December 2002
Source: Studio Magazine




"Right out of the gate, I was auditioning for leads in studio movies. It would get down to the last two people," says Mortensen, who recalls the whirlwind of being flown first class to England for the lead in 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. "The next thing I know, I'm training with monkeys."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Quotable Viggo: 11 January 2009

All the exciting talk about Viggo possibly appearing in a play took me back to Viggo's first review for a role in Bent in Los Angeles in 1987, for which he won the Drama-Logue Critics Award. What has this got to do with this week's quotes? Almost nothing, except it sent me thinking backwards to the very beginning of Viggo's career. One thing always leads to another and soon I was looking at the teenager and, before that, Viggo as a boy. So over the next couple of weeks Quotable Viggo will all be about early days, starting today with a childhood in which, it seems, he liked to live dangerously - playing with snakes, living as a Viking and ending up as the ass-end of a dragon. Every Oscar Nominated actor has to start somewhere...



© Unknown


The eldest of three brothers, Viggo was born in New York in 1958 and given his father's name. Viggo is, he says, considered in contemporary Denmark to be a slightly archaic, eccentric name for a young man. "It would be like being called Herbert..."

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004




"Every once in a while you do something really dumb when you're a kid and you realize when you're an adult that that's dangerous, but.. you know.. There was one time when I was coming home at the end of the day, going through the paddocks, and you open the gates from horseback, and the last gate I was about to grab the latch and there was this beautiful, beautiful snake wrapped around it.. it was orange and black and white stripes. And I thought 'I'm going to take this home and show it to my family'. And I tried to grab it and he tried to get me. And I like whacked it just to stun it and I grabbed it by the neck and opened the gate and got through, closed it and said "Dad, dad, look what I got." And he freaked out, cos it was a Coral snake, which if you get bit I think two minutes, three minutes, you're dead."

Viggo Mortensen
David Letterman Show, 2004




'According to my mother I never went anywhere as a child without a pencil, and I drew all the time. Recently she gave me a notebook with some of my old drawings. I especially noticed one I drew when I was 7 - it was rather wild. On the top it said: 'Little Red Riding Hood', and then there were a lot of oil colours mixed together, almost abstract. I really liked it. But across the drawing it said with a red pen - and underlined: VERY BAD! Some teachers still think that is motivating...'

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001




As an 8-year-old, Mortensen played "the ass end of a dragon" in a school play...

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




"I very strongly feel that I share a common past with my family in Denmark. And feel connected to the Scandinavian mythology, when I walk in the forest at Jystrup, where there are many tales told of what has happened. The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past. I felt that already as a child, back then when I played with swords there outside my uncle's farm, played and felt like a Viking.'

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
BT (Berlingske Tidende)
28 November 2001




"I didn't have friends when I was little that I know now - there wasn't any sense of continuity like that," Mortensen says. "But I got to see a lot of things and learn a lot of things. And I learned to rely on my imagination, and on myself."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




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




"I remember trying out for a play once in junior high school, and as soon as the audition started, they said 'Speak up! Speak up!' And I just stopped and took off. I wasn't really cut out for it."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"We arrived in Northern New York near the Canadian border, and there were no Spanish-speaking people at all, one black person in the whole county, some French-Canadians, and no tradition of football. It was just completely different. But when you're kids, you adapt very quickly. Within a month or two, I knew all the swear words."

Viggo Mortensen on leaving South America
I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007




'[It was] a combination of a fist and a barbed-wire fence. I was drunk on Halloween, and so were the other people I was with. It was mistakes of youth.

I was 17 and we went to a clinic and the doctor was 80 at least and it was 2 or 3 in the morning. He just started sewing because he realized I wouldn't feel a thing, which I didn't. My friends outside ordered pizza. I remember after, they were feeding me these pin-sized bites that night.'

Viggo Mortensen on gettting his scar
Mooning Over Viggo Mortensen
by Stephen Schaefer
USA Today 1999

Quotable Viggo: 4 January 2009

Well, it's been a very up and down week as the reviews have come out after Good's limited release. I don't mind telling you that I've gone from misery to elation and back again as this movie has polarised critics. To cheer myself (and all of us) up I've done a small round-up of comments from those critics this week who have admired the film and Viggo's performance or, at the very least, thought it had something very important to say.



Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.


Good...turns the Holocaust narrative around by telling the story of an ordinary German, his small negotiations for survival and success, and their sum. It unsettles the audience because it shows that the most horrific human sin may be the weakness to do the right thing, not desire to do the wrong.

Alisa Harris
World Magazine
27 December 2008




In telling the story of a man swept up by the tide of National Socialism despite never subscribing to its tenets, the movie maintains a particularly terrifying feel. By refusing to caricature John Halder (Viggo Mortensen) even as he joins the propaganda apparatus, dons a uniform and neglects his Jewish best friend (Jason Isaacs), the film drives home its unsettling message: That could be us.

Robert Levin
Critic's Notebook
2 January 2008




Mortensen continues to stretch as an actor. The coiled violence that radiated through every cell of his body as a Russian gangster in "Eastern Promises" is replaced by a skittish uncertainty in "Good" that is palpable as he reaches again and again to adjust his wire-rimmed glasses.

Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
31 December 2008




Mortensen, best known for playing forces of nature ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises"), is here all mild manners, spectacles and fawning body language. His Halder is a character who lacks character, and Mortensen subtly turns him into a pitiful, pitiable villain.

Rafer Guzman
Newsday
31 December 2008




....it demonstrates the surprising power of character flaws in drama. How else to explain that the portrayal of a good man who does nothing in Good should prove more dramatically compelling than the stories in Valkyrie and Defiance of good men who did good?

Bob Mondello
NPR.com
29 December 2008




Brazilian director Vicente Amorim understands, unlike so many other filmmakers who have tackled the subject, that the horrors of the Holocaust are enough to stir and disturb audiences; there's no reason for the movie to clobber you over the head with one of history's darkest chapters.

Alonso Duralde
msnbc.com
2 January 2009




If you can get past the strong feeling that you've seen all of GOOD's parts elsewhere at some time or another, it's actually a decent drama. The points made by John Wrathall's screen adaptation of C.P. Taylor's stage play are all valid and well-articulated, and Viggo Mortensen's turn as a milquetoast professor made into an unlikely Nazi official is pretty striking.

Abbie Bernstein
If Magazine
31 December 2008




Vincente Amorim's Good is a masterful achievement, both as a drama and as a symbolic cautionary tale. As a drama set in the early to middle Nazi era in Germany, and steeped in one man's self-destructive adaptation to the morally compromised atmosphere of that time, it's an intensely serious film, and also a very moving one, touching all of the right emotional buttons at just the right moments in its depiction of the destruction of a country, a people, and a character....

...Mortensen is never less than note-perfect as Halder, as he descends from harried, over-extended family man -- near his wit's end in terms of responsibilities to his wife, children, and mother, even as the Nazis take power and threaten his future as a teacher -- to academic philanderer, carrying on an affair with a student; to silent collaborator with the Hitler regime; and finally to uniformed representative of the SS.

Bruce Eder
TV Guide Online
31 December 2008




Fewer films have looked at the banality of evil that, person-by-person, constituted a state bureaucratic machine implementing the Final Solution, beyond the ruminations on corporate complicity in the recent Heartbeat Detector from France. Good is a worthy attempt to give that reality both an individualized credibility and a somber universal warning.

Nora Lee Mandel
FilmForward.com
31 December 2008




One of few admitting itself 'a story with a message,' Good exhibits the single-minded approach of most such works, an effect increased by the necessary concentration of stage origins. In memoriam to Scottish playwright Taylor, who dwelt on idealism in the face of corruption, and to producer Miriam Segal's 'devoted to the betterment of the world' father Ronald, the film bares its heart on its sleeve way prior to such closing dedications. Fable and allegory have often served to urge tolerance and mercy, so why not today, too, on the screen?

Donald Levit
ReelTalk.com
30 December 2008


Quotable Viggo: 28 December 2008

As the New Year is almost on us I thought I'd set myself the nearly impossible task of finding a quote for each month of 2008. There were a few "dry' months (March and August - thank goodness for interviews) and April almost qualified as impossible, but luckily there were big things going on at San Lorenzo. So this week we have a bit of a mixed bag - Viggo talking about a variety of subjects that have been occupying his mind over this last year. There are, of course, musings on art in a year that has seen him preparing two outstanding exhibitions (Skovbo and sådanset). In the last part of the year the focus shifted back to film. Appaloosa was released, and challenging thoughts about individual responsibility rose to the surface with the "Good' promotions coming alongside the US elections. But winding back to the beginning of 2008 we start off with the New Hampshire Primaries and the year's most fearsome challenge....the Oscar Red Carpet.


Viggo at the Skovbo signing
© CJ


January

Of course, conservative Sean Hannity took a few swings. But Mortensen struck back at the dark lord of talk television.

After complimenting Mortensen's film performances, Hannity said, "In spite of everything, I'm going to forgive your politics..."

"You don't have to," said Mortensen. "I'm not going to forgive yours."

That was typical of Mortensen's campaigning on behalf of Kucinich, which was a good deal sharper and more engaged than that of most of the absolutely exhausted contenders in New Hampshire.

Viggo supporting Dennis Kucinich
New Hampshire Presidential Primaries
Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" Show
January 2008



February

"This road is more daunting than the road in the movie I'm making -- and that one has cannibals."

Viggo arriving at the Oscars
The Envelope
By Geoff Boucher and Chris Lee
February 24, 2008



March

'I can understand why people get so hardened that they become almost callous. They get this Teflon coating to their personal presentation, and even, finally, their acting. Because it is, in some ways, psychologically injurious as an occupation. I understand that, but I don't think it's good for the work. You have to leave yourself open to be hurt, just as you do in life. You have to be willing in life to suffer, even if it's in subtle ways, if you want to grow as a person.'

In Conversation With Viggo Mortensen
By Dorian Lynskey
March 2008
Source: Empire



April

"I came because I feel passion for San Lorenzo, because it is something that I always understood and that I incorporated into my life from when I was child. I felt very happy among the people on Monday's night of great joy as we marched down to the place where our glorious Old Gasómetró once was, a ground that we remember with much nostalgia and without which we suffer. Many people say to me that I am supporting from the outside, but I feel like a supporter right at the heart of the club. The greatest honour of my life is to be part of El Ciclón,"

San Lorenzo Celebrate Centenary With Viggo Mortensen In Tow
By Nick Dorrington
Goal.com
3 April 2008



May

'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



June

"A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens."

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008



July

'This world is a dream we all contribute to, in one way or another. We are part of the dream, if we are aware or not, if we like it or not. These pictures are a part of my dream, of the way I exist and act in the world.'

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



August

"I think Cole trusts Hitch more than anyone else in the world, specifically because Hitch is very honest with him, even when it's difficult to bring certain things to Cole's attention," says the actor. "That is my definition of a good friend: somebody who is brave enough to tell you the truth even when it's not what you want to hear."

Viggo Mortensen
Emmanuel Levy
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008



September

'I can't lie to you, I had a lot of fun riding around on horseback...'

Viggo Mortensen talking about Appaloosa
CBS News Interview
8 September 2008



October

"Things that happened, let's say in the United States in the last eight years, maybe if they had to do it again, legislators and citizens, they may not have given up so many things," says the self-identified "proud American" with quiet insistence. "There have been incredible changes in a short period, just as there were then in Germany. If somebody said to you, 'Would you be willing to put up with all these changes to your rights and the legal system,' you'd say, 'Well, no.' But by having it happen little by little, it's like death by a thousand cuts. Pretty soon you're bleeding to death."

Viggo Mortensen's history lessons
By Michael Ordoña
LA Times
31 October 2008



November

'I believe in luck and in the thousands of ways attracting it. I can go into a Mosque, or into the San Isidoro of León Collegiate Church, and sit there until things happen. I love visiting temples, churches, places that are supposed to be sacred, and that includes a cinema or a theatre. Where there's acting, there's communion."

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
November 2008
Source: Vanity Fair (Spain)



December

"When we put the frog in hot water, it will jump out of it; but if we put it in cold water and heat it up slowly, the frog will be cooked before it notices. This is what happens to Halder; and it could happen to all of us if we don't pay attention,"

Viggo Mortensen
Kulturpart
17 December 2008

Quotable Viggo: 20 December 2008

""Tis the season to be jolly..." so for the last weekend before Christmas I've compiled some quotable quips - by and about Viggo - to put a smile on all our faces. They are all favourites of mine, many are new and some are old chestnuts that I've posted here before, but - hey - I like them so it's time to give them another festive outing.



© Focus Features


"...there are some silly-genes in our family, that he benefits from.'

Aunt Tulle on Viggo
Avisen.dk interview
15 October 2008




Viggo Mortensen scrubbed up for the big night. The best-actor nominee (Eastern Promises) prepped by taking "my annual bath. It was an arduous process of refilling the tub many times."

Viggo on Oscar night
Donna Freydkin and William Keck
USA Today
25 February 2008




'...they're terrible at writing, but I look forward to seeing them soon.'

Viggo on his horses in New Zealand
'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
By Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
March 18 2006




PA: If you were a flower, viggo, what kind would you be?

VM: Today, I'd be one of those spiky little red bottlebrush trees.

Interview with Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine, 1995




SC: I read somewhere that you had the best walk. What's that about?

VM: Really? (Laughs) I don't know. How do you they know? I guess people are standing behind you. Yeah ... watching me walk. What's a good walk? I stay in a straight line, I think. That's a good thing to aim for.

Leggo My Viggo
by Suzan Colon
Jane magazine 1999




'The one who is really happy about it is my mother.'

Viggo Mortensen on being told he is a sex-symol
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita




"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance in "A History of Violence'
E online
22 Sept 2005




As we talk about his feelings after completing the final Lord of the Rings movie, Mortensen says that it can't get any bigger than this. "It's been a long journey, and nobody could have imagined its magnitude. And it will continue to be the greatest ever. As for myself, I look forward to totally ruling the world."

Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004




.....actor Viggo Mortensen sits openly in the lobby of the Sutton Place, gently tickling the ivories of a baby grand piano....

His response to the question, "I didn't know you played:"

"I didn't either," followed by a loud, horsy laugh.

Viggo Mortensen plays piano at Sutton Place
Bruce Demara
TheStar.com
8 September 2008




....."the fabulous, luscious..... William Hurt. The amazing, always surprising...... Ed Harris... The startling and scintillating..... Maria Bello. And finally, the really not too bad..... Viggo Mortensen!"

David Cronenberg introducing his cast at TIFF
Toronto International Film Festival




"I heard Lord of the Rings win their first one and I thought, 'Well, I can lie here in the dark like an idiot, or I can go out and be a man and sit in the kitchen and watch it with everybody else."

Viggo Mortensen on trying to avoid the Oscars at a friends house
David Letterman Show, 2004




Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Armani (?) Red Suit worn at the Copenhagen
Easrern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 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
started.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007




"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




In a pivotal scene in The Indian Runner, Sean Penn's first film as a director, a character named Frank Roberts suddenly attacks a bartender played by Dennis Hopper, who is cleaning blood off the bar. Is the blood symbolic of something that triggers the attack? "No," says Viggo Mortensen, who plays the violent Frank. "It was Dennis's breath."

Tough Guy
Eliza Krause
23 September 1991




"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988

Quotable Viggo: 13 December 2008

I feel privileged to have had the chance to see 'Good' last Sunday and it's been in my thoughts all week. Good is good..... and we all share the same hopes that this film gets the distribution and attention it surely deserves. So I've prepared a little overview of "Good'. Although, so far, too few reviewers seem to have "got' the film or Viggo's subtle performance, I'll start with a few comments from reviewers who did. Then a look at why he chose to play Halder, some remarks from Jason Isaacs and Miriam Segal on working with him, and finally some of Viggo's thoughts on the film which explain why "Good' has important things to say to all of us about paying attention to what's going on in our societies and the everyday decisions we choose make.



Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.


In contrast to the prancing egos on display at the TIFF, the undisputed hero this year has been charismatic, versatile and totally charming Viggo Mortensen ...in the electrifying German-British co-production Good, my favorite film of the festival, even this mesmerizing chameleon, who has proved he can play anything, surprised the hell out of audiences, who emerged stunned.

What Has Happened to the Toronto Film Festival?
Rex Reed
The New York Observer
9 September 2008




Viggo Mortensen plays Halder in a masterly way, he wears without judging the clothes of a character who the audience venture until the end to identify with, because of his naïve goodness and the unaware inertia which marks him.

Anna Concetta Consarino
Nuova Agenzia Radicale
27 October 2008




This movie with almost imperceivable borders, hits you like a punch in the stomach, especially thanks to the exceptional and unrivalled performance of the great Viggo Mortensen, who brings to life a seemingly poor-calibre character, who is really complex instead, and carries a lot of troublesome questions.

Alessandra Cavisi
Livecity.it
19 November 2008




Q: Why Viggo Mortensen?

VA: Viggo Mortensen is an extraordinary actor. I had seen him in A History Of Violence, directed by David Cronenberg, in which he plays a man haunted by ghosts from his past. In Good he is a mirror image of it, his character is becoming the ghost he will be. He has the perfect biotype to play a German. He has a sweet kind of masculinity, almost fragile and these characteristics are very important to convince the audience about his choices, even though these choices will take him to an abyss.

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




"I was starting out in acting 25 years ago, and was in London on what was only my second audition," he recalls. "I didn't get the part, but while I was there I saw a play Good with Alan Howard, and it made a strong impression. When the opportunity to play the role on film came along, I thought it an interesting way to make a circle out of the experience some quarter century later."

Viggo Mortensen
Emmanuel Levy.com
24 November 2008




'Viggo is a wonderful team player and one of the sweetest persons I ever met."

Scriptwriter Miriam Segal
Good Premiere, Budapest
6 December 2008




"He's a really beautiful, delicate artist of a man. He's nothing like any other actor I've worked with.'

Jason Issacs
Good premier, Toronto
7 September 2008




'Good .... is the story of a man and his friend. It's not a movie about Hitler and Nazism; it's about the people living in Germany day by day.'

Viggo Mortensen
In The Clothes Of A Nazi
By Gabriele Niola
My Movies
29 October 2008




'... it's really, in some sense, you could say it's not really about Germans or Germany or even the '30s. It's about people making these decisions and these compromises...and ordinary people, and kind of ending up where they didn't expect to.'

Viggo Mortensen
Capone has a GOOD chat with Viggo Mortensen about politics, THE ROAD, APPALOOSA, and THE HOBBIT!!!
Ain't it Cool News
3 December 2008




"It's about trying to make the right choices, but then you go along a little, then a little more, and then you try to justify what you've gone along with," Mortensen said. "Just like what happens in any country. Even now, I'm sure over the past eight years there are people that kind of go, `I voted for that guy twice,' or as a legislator, `I can't believe I allowed that law to compromise on another piece of legislation.' It all adds up to changes where you say, `If I had known eight years ago what all these little choices would have added up to, then I wouldn't have made so many of them.'"

Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008




"I guess the main thing I felt, making the movie, just like I did in watching the play 25 years earlier, was that it's worthwhile paying attention. You don't need to be some kind of bookworm or political activist; little and big decisions that individuals make in society on a daily basis are what any country is."

Viggo Mortensen's history lessons
Michael Ordoña
LA Times
31 October 2008

Quotable Viggo: 6 December 2008

With our wonderful new Christmas Calendar (courtesy of Techadmin) we're having a veritable feast of Aragorn to lead us into Christmas. I commented a few days back that Viggo was "born to play Aragorn and already had him in his soul, even if he didn't know it'. Well.... we can NEVER have too much Aragorn, can we? So here are some musings on how a highly regarded character actor, who'd found acclaim but not fame, became KING.



© New Line Productions Inc.


When Mr. Jackson telephoned Mr. Mortensen, whose work he admired, the conversation did not seem to go well.

"Knowing Viggo now, his conversation was incredibly Viggo-like, but at the time it was incredibly off-putting," Mr. Jackson said. "He was asking about the character: how long has he lived with the elves? Where are his parents? If I didn't know the answer, I'd make it up. There would be this terrible long silence, and I didn't know if the phone had disconnected or not, and then he'd ask another question and there would be 30 more seconds of silence."

"At the very end of the call, I thought it had gone very badly, that he wasn't going to do the role," Mr. Jackson continued. "I was thinking, `What are we going to do now?' as I was waiting for the call to end, and then there was another long silence and Viggo said, `I guess I'll see you on Tuesday.' "

Peter Jackson on offering him the part of Aragorn
The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
By Sarah Lyall
New York Times, 2003




"I guess in the end I did it because I would feel that I had been chicken shit really. I had to leave the next day, so I'm on the plane reading, looking at this gigantic book and thinking, 'What the hell have I done?"

Viggo Mortensen on agreeing to play Aragorn
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001




"I started reading the Tolkien book on the plane the next day, and about an hour into it or so, I started to see the first signs of things that I recognized: archetypes and storylines, particularly from Nordic sagas. . . . That put me somewhat at ease, and realizing that I was going to get to be part of this saga and be some sort of Viking warrior - a heroic character with all the flaws and self-doubt that the best of those saga heroes had."

Viggo Mortensen
Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer, 2002




And Viggo came on quite late. I'm sure you were designing for Stuart Townsend then?

It was terrifying. I didn't know Viggo. It had been a pretty difficult time working with Stewart and the original design for the costume of Aragorn - the costume when working with Stewart went through a number of radical changes....

Viggo paced up and down and said, "Do you think we could just put a few more ties on these boots?" And in that moment - I had known the first time he put that costume on that it was ten times better on him and that was actually to do with the amount of - just Viggo's experience and age and life. He imbued that costume with its own life. The terrifying thing for me was that I might have an actor who simply wanted to get rid of it, but he did not do that.

He just wanted to add to it. I was in love with Viggo from the beginning. (laughs)

On Aragorn's costume
Ngila Dickson
DVDFILE.com Interview




How do you 'dive' into fight scenes?

Well the first day I met the fight choreographer, Bob Anderson, who's been around a long time - he taught Errol Flynn to fence and represented the UK at the Olympics. I went into this room and there were all these stunt people standing there and screaming and yelling. He had them all pumped-up and he stood me in front of them and said "Okay, go!" And they all started running at me, and I was like, "Holy shit!" He said "stop" and they all stopped. Then he told me: "This is what you're going to be dealing with so let's get to work..." He gave me a sword and it was just, like, crazy for two days. The first thing I did on camera was swordplay and I liked it. It was fun.

The Ranger - Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
by Martyn Palmer
Total Film magazine, 2002




"I'm still shocked that that was the first thing he did," says Wood, who had an early dinner with Mortensen during which he found him hard to talk with. "But when he started working, there was no question. This was Aragorn, this was the man who was meant to play this role. We had an immense amount of respect for him being able to jump in so quickly."

Elijah Wood on Viggo shooting the Weathertop battle as his first scene
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"Viggo came with a level of intensity and commitment," says Sean Astin, who portrays hobbit Samwise Gamgee. "He got this reputation as an eccentric because he would carry his sword around, but I found it quite inspiring. There was a glimmer in his eye - he was aware of how other people were perceiving him - but he really reawakened in me a sense of the possibilities of what it can be as an actor enjoying a role."

Sean Astin
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




"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




'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, Empire, December 2004




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, Empire, December 2004




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.

ROTK
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003

Quotable Viggo: 30 November 2008

This week I've put together a collection of my favourite insights into Viggo. They come from friends, colleagues and journalists, and all say something important about what kind of person he is, and - because with Viggo the two are inseparable - what kind of artist he is. You'll notice that the word "beauty' or "beautiful' comes up three times in these quotes, and it's not his looks they're talking about.



Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.


"He's a really beautiful, delicate artist of a man. He's nothing like any other actor I've worked with.'

Jason Issacs
Good premier,Toronto
7 September 2008




The years have written their history on him with traces of lines that turn beauty into wisdom, while the harsh trace of life, which clouds yesterday's glowing eyes, has given them in exchange a deep and warm expression where we find the courage to meet our own fears.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León, by María Dolores García
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"He's circumspect around people," says director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon). "He has high standards, so he's not Mr. Friendly to everybody. But I think he just tries to be careful, because once he opens up, there's none of the artifice or barriers you find with most people."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




'Viggo is just the coolest guy,' says Billy Boyd, the Scottish actor who played the hobbit Pippin in Lord Of The Rings. 'It's hard to say too much about how cool he is. If you spend enough time with people they will do something to piss you off, or that shows them to be just a normal human being, but I think Viggo does like to push himself to be just the best person he can, and that comes across. If you believe in reincarnation, he does seem to be quite far along his line. He does seem to have learned a lot of lessons, and seems quite old and wise. But he's not a serious fuddy-duddy. He'll go surfing with us, and he likes to go out at night and have some drinks.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006




He doesn't need to wield a sword to be recognized. For those who can see beyond that, his personality stands out from the rest with no need of spotlights. He has his own light.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"Rainer Maria Rilke said something like, 'If you ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night, if it were denied you to create, would you truly die?'" Hopper says. "I know that Viggo has asked himself that question and his answer was 'Yes.'"

Dennis Hopper
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph




'I thought that he was certainly going to be an intense guy, from everything that I've read about him. (laughs) And he's not. He's so lovely and light. He's a beautiful human being.'

Maria Bello on working with Viggo
JoBlo.com, by Thomas Luepp
27 September 2005

Quotable Viggo: 23 November 2008

Quote: 'The Award to the Actor with Unique Visual Sensitivity is a special award from cinematographers to an actor whose attitude and work greatly contributes to the visual side of a film. This year, the award will be granted to Viggo Mortensen who will collect it during the upcoming edition of the Festival.'

The Lodz Film Festival and cinematographers are really to be commended for recognising one of the things that make Viggo so special. This is as an unique an award as Viggo is a unique actor and ever since reading that he'd been chosen to receive it I've been mulling over what "attitude and work' greatly contributing to "the visual side of a film' really means. We know the camera loves him and picks up nuances of expression and body language that many other actors only dream about, we know he inhabits his characters so physically you can hardly recognise him, we know he fusses over details until everything looks authentic and "right', we know he looks mesmerising on screen. But isn't this also about the many other visual contributions he makes which sensitive directors treasure? Or is it, perhaps, a combination of all of these things? Here are a few results of my mulling on the many aspects of Viggo's visual contributions which show that "unique' isn't an overstatement....



© Touchstone/BuenaVista Pictures/Focus Features/New Line/Estudios Piccaso/Origen Producciones


...Mortensen says he tried 'to give a very detailed performance.' You see it most in his placid poise behind the diner's counter, during the still seconds before he lashes out. 'A lot of people don't trust those details to come through, but I've always believed that the camera and the audience can see a lot more than a lot of directors-and even actors-give them credit for.'

Talking about creating Tom Stall in A History of Violence
New Yorkers of the Year
New York Magazine
19 Dec 2005




In a world of paste reproductions Viggo Mortensen is a rare gem of creative energy. His work as an actor goes far beyond the normal level of effort exerted by a conventional leading man which results in his performances being elevated into works of art as unique as his poems and pictures.

Viggo Mortensen: An Artist For All Seasons
BNN Blogger News Network
May 6th, 2005




Viggo Mortensen has one of the most incredible faces in the world, striking and amazingly versatile. His rough-hewn, chiselled visage allows him to inhabit any character he wants to, regardless of background or ethnicity, and we buy into it unconditionally. Through physical appearance alone, Mortensen can be both 'Lord of the Rings'' rugged warrior and noble king and 'Hidalgo's' half-Lakota cowboy. He was even entirely convincing as an everyman with a shady past in 'A History of Violence.'.....what Mortensen accomplishes in the role of Nikolai Luzhin, the driver of a Russian mob family, goes beyond simply good acting - it's a complete transformation. With his flawless Russian accent, tattoo-covered body and a face so sharp it looks like it could cut diamonds, he becomes nearly unrecognizable, even without the use of prosthetics or heavy makeup.

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007




"It was very important to me to make everything as believable as possible. That's why, even when I was exhausted, I always fought with the [heavy] steel sword rather than the lighter one," he explains. "I wanted to make sure the fight scenes were realistic. I shouldn't be able to just throw my sword around like Errol Flynn did, especially when I'm really tired. It should be hard to fight with it! Even when I was just walking around, I'd still wear the steel sword because it was heavier and it affected the way I moved."

Viggo Mortensen on Lord of the Rings
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"I pretty much got to do [all the riding]," Mortensen says. "That's because I worked hard with the trainer, with Rex Peterson and with the stunt guy Mike Watson and with all the horses and because I rode as a kid, so I was comfortable, so they felt it was a worthwhile risk. I'm sure the producers sometimes were sweating it but sometimes you do take some chances in order to get something that you can't really buy otherwise, digitally or otherwise, especially with a movie like this which isn't a special-effects driven movie, you can follow me in one shot without cutting. You can be close on me and see what I'm doing. "

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




... while the story is compelling, and the scenes lush, none of that compares to the performance given by Mortensen. He is, simply, Hitch. There is not one moment that seems like acting, or where he seems like anything other than his character. Mortensen's performance is flawless - so real that the film seems more like a look into the past, rather than a fictional slice of entertainment. You can see his power, his strength, and his intelligence as easy as you can see the all-prevalent dusty wind.

Appaloosa Review
Monika Bartyzel
collider.com
8 September 2008
Early Films




"You would think, 'Of course Cronenberg was drawn in by the tattooing,' but it was almost not there," says the director. "In the original script, tattooing was just alluded to. Viggo discovered a set of books called Russian Criminal Tattoo and a doc called Mark of Cain, which was about the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons, and when I saw them my mind was blown completely."

Talking about Eastern Promises
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




'It would be silly if the whole movie seemed realistic and gritty and all of a sudden this scene is you're clearly trying to avoid seeing someone's body entirely or something like that. It would just be dumb. So there was never any doubt about it. It wasn't like we got there on the day and it was like, 'Let's do it this way.' No, I knew going in what I was getting into.'

Viggo Mortensen on the nude fight scene, Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Jordan Riefe, Underground Online
11 Sept 2007




I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, 'listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: "Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those painting.'

Viggo Mortensen talking about Alatriste
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio




Because of his role Mortensen had to face an interesting phenomenon: Would David Shaw's images reflect the artistic feelings of himself, Viggo Mortensen or do they belong to the character of David Shaw? "I think both are right", answered Mortensen, "I didn't have time to occupy myself too much with this duality. I think that the artwork represents on the one hand my own subconsiousness and on the other hand my ideas on who David is."

A Perfect Murder
Warner Brothers German Press Release
Translated

__________________

Quotable Viggo: 15 November 2008

Viggo's been making a lot of comments lately about taking a break from movies, doing some theatre, catching up with family, concentrating on his art... there is a constant tension between his love of film as a way to express himself and all those other interests and demands. So I thought that this week we'd take a look at why he loves acting and film, and also why it's frustrating - a shared work of art that passes out of your control and is finished by others, that eats up precious time long after the filming's finished, and with which he sometimes seems to have a love hate relationship because of all the baggage that goes with cinematic success.



© Focus Features.


'Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories.'

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




Have you ever asked yourself what you're doing in the world of movies?

Many times, but I always come to the conclusion that I'm in the right profession, one that permits me to share what I have inside and, by chance, allows me to explore other means of artistic expression.

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




"A movie set is like a ritual, with all the trappings and preparation. I feel like when we go to a set and we rehearse - or not - and we're wearing these costumes and saying these words, it's like an invocation, an invitation to magic, to the unexplained, to let the unexpected to enter into our lives."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




'The places you will or can go in your mind in this line of work is still why I am doing it."

Viggo Mortensen Talks 'Appaloosa'
Premier Magazine
By Karl Rozemeyer
19 September 2008




"As always, I try to find something that's a good piece of writing, an interesting character, [and see] if there's a good director attached. If the other elements are good that's always extra, but it starts with the story being interesting and the character. Sometimes it's interesting but I'm not sure about it, and then you ask yourself why am I not sure about this? Is it because I'm afraid, because it's different, it's unknown? And then in which case maybe you should do it just for that reason."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




Film reconciles the sprawl of his interests: philosophy, history, psychology, photography, music. Sure, it's an odd business, with plenty of pitfalls, but he thinks he has a pretty healthy take on it. "But then," he says, "if I had a really healthy attitude, I wouldn't be in the industry at all. So I must be somewhat contaminated."

'My mother is very happy about it'
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008




Photography, like his painting and writing, gives him a sense of completion acting doesn't. "I see them all as the same thing, the only difference being that in acting you have to give it away," he says. "Unfinished paintings, that's what I keep handing in as an actor."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




'You supply the blue and they supply the other colours and mix them with your blue. And maybe there's some blue left in the painting and maybe there isn't. Maybe there wasn't supposed to be any there in the first place. So have some fun and make a good blue, and walk away. I try to do that. Sometimes I succeed.'

Viggo Mortensen on acting
Premiere
St. Lawrence University: March 1, 2003




"I'm comfortable being by myself," he said. "If I could get out of going to my own premieres, I would."

Viggo Mortensen
I Still Ask Why
Dotson Rader
Parade magazine, 2004




"I don't think I'm quite cut out for the glamour side of this business," says the 45-year old, Manhattan-born actor. "I enjoy the working process more than the hoopla that comes once a film is released. For me, it's all about the making of the art itself - whether it's films, or music, or painting, or whatever. Once it's done, I'd just rather move on."

Viggo Mortensen
Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie 2004




Mortensen is running late again. He should be packing his bags [for Morocco], but he'd rather finish the stack of paintings sitting around his house (his work will be exhibited in Cuba and Italy next year) and then hang out with Henry. Just as his success is opening doors, it's pulling him away from he values. "I'm starting to feel like, Ahhhh, I'm planning my life away too much, and I'm wary of that." He once said that if his acting career ever became too life-altering, he would leave it behind. "I'm pretty close to that now," he says. He isn't joking. "If I never did another movie it wouldn't really matter to me."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"In my life, I never did anything while weighing the effects of my actions. If you ask me what I'm planning for the next two years, I really don't know. Acting, writing, taking pictures or painting are all things which answer the necessity to express what I have inside me. And there is no preferential order among them, only chances that I try to take day by day."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy),May 2007

Quotable Viggo: 8 November 2008

The recent historic US election is fresh in our minds and we'll be waving goodbye to President Bush very soon. Viggo has been expressing strong opinions on Perceval Press so I think it's time to take a look at some of Viggo's past thoughts on voting, politics, leadership and, above all, honesty.



© Focus Features.


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




'I think it should almost be a requirement that leaders in our world have self-doubt, that they display a certain hesitation in certain situations. I mean, the price of acting rashly in our times, because of the weaponry involved and because of the amount of people involved, is great. And if you don't hesitate or if you don't consider the effects of your thoughts and your actions and your words on others around you as an individual or as a leader of a nation, then it's a dangerous thing.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality
by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




'I vote, and I pay close attention to what politicians say and even closer attention to what they do. I try to keep in mind the admonition of the great teacher Plato: "One of the penalties of refusing to be involved in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." We have certainly seen the proof of that statement in this country over the last five years or so.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006




'A couple of days ago, a man wrote a letter to the Watertown Daily Times saying, in effect, that he would not vote for Bob Johnson just because Viggo Mortensen thought he ought to. He was absolutely right.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006




'Look at the country I'm in right now and the administration, and what's happened to the judicial system, the laws, the standing of this country in the world, education, healthcare, the economy...There have been incredible changes, and if somebody said to you would you be willing to put up with all these things and have all these laws changed, you'd say: well, no. But, by having it happen little by little, it's like a death by a thousand cuts. Before you know it, you're bleeding to death.'

Viggo Mortensen: A Man Apart
Dave Calhoun
AnOther Man
Issue 7 Autumn/Winter 2008




'...this doesn't have to do with left wing, right wing, it doesn't have to do with democrat, republican, it's about honesty.'

Viggo Mortensen on his call to impeach Bush
In Contention
Chris Tapley's In Contention blog
6 October 2005




'I'm not anti-Bush; I'm anti-Bush behaviour.'

Viggo Mortensen on his call to impeach Bush
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005




'With regard to history, Bush's record with regard to foreign relations, the environment, the economy, concern for the average citizen ... I can't think of any accomplishment that will put him anywhere else than in last place historically as a president. Of all the presidents in the history of the United States, it's hard to think that there's anything other than public relations - getting people to swallow huge lies so you can get your dirty work done - that this president will be considered remarkable for.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003




I consider myself very fortunate to have a platform. I don't take it lightly, and I don't abuse it. I don't speak up about something unless I feel strongly about it and until I've researched a subject extensively and have an informed decision about it. But I think if you don't say something it's lying by omission. I personally think it's immoral. Yeah, it might cost you a few fans, but you have to say something.

Viggo Mortensen on speaking up for his beliefs
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005

Quotable Viggo: 26 October 2008

You probably noticed that there was no "Quotable' last week because I was in Denmark and, for the first time, experiencing one of Viggo's exhibitions and marathon signings for myself. All through the day quotes kept popping into my head (I think I carry them all there!) - quotes about Viggo's photography, about his view of our world and constant reminders that we are all connected, about that old green fleece with it's badly sewn-on UN badge that has now become an old friend, and, finally, quotes about how Viggo approaches signings and his fans with grace and understanding. His signing table was covered in San Lorenzo stuff - the flag, the thermos, the badge on his fleece. He is such a fanboy himself that I've also included a quote that shows we're not the only ones thrilled by a moment with our hero and a signature! So this week's Quotable Viggo is a bit of a mish-mash inspired by my own personal sådanset experience.



©Chrissiejane



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




.....you know, no one looks at the world like it really is. Everyone looks at the world like they want it to be. When it comes down to it, everyone is in their own 'dream world', we could become crazy if we thought of the world like it really is.'

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




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, 1999




'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
Editorial
Premiere, November 2004




His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A life tracking itself
Introduction to Signlanguage




'I'm a very curious guy and I stick my nose in everything. I travel a lot because I'm interested in knowing how the rest of the world lives. I love to learn about other cultures, to submerge myself in them, to learn of points of view that are different from mine.'

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




"For a long time now, I've been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I've proved it."

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 actually have more in common with other people, other cultures and other races, than not," he suggests. "People need to make a conscious effort to try and find some common ground, rather than react to what they see as differences."

Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




'You know, for me to look each person in the eye and listen to their question and answer them, and get their name right and be respectful---that takes a certain amount of energy for complete concentration. Unless you're just someone who doesn't look at somebody, who doesn't deal with it. At the end of the day you don't have anything left, sometimes, for yourself. You have to find ways to hide out, that's all.'

Viggo Mortensen on meeting fans
Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation
South Dakota, December 2003




'I grew up in Argentina, and I loved soccer. My favorite team was San Lorenzo, and when the cast of Lord of the Rings went to Argentina to promote the movie, they heard about it and invited me to a game. I met the players and they gave me an autographed team jersey.

'It was a real thrill for me, and for once, I understood the benefits of being famous.'

Viggo Mortensen on meeting the San Lorenzo football team
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register
7 March 2004




'Actors sometimes forget we're rich and famous because of the fans. I never forget.'

Viggo at the Toronto Film Festival
Tiffinsider.ca
7 September 2008

Quotable Viggo: 12 October 2008

Everyone has a refuge where we refuel after long periods of activity and pressure, and Viggo is no different. There was a very beautiful and enlightening statement from Viggo in Le Figaro recently which shows how falling back into the rhythms of nature recharges those batteries of his. Sometimes it's good to be solitary but this isn't just a retreat into doing nothing, but a chance to think, to continue to be creative and engage with life in new and meaningful ways.



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.



'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




'Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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




'....in a certain sense, I'm fairly solitary. 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




Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life, as he explains with a deep, quiet voice, between long pauses and a cigarette rolled by himself.

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




"I have never been in a natural place and felt that that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."

Viggo Mortensen
The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003




'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




'All that time I was in Morocco [filming Hidalgo] it was neat. We'd be out there in the desert. Everyone else would drive the hour, hour and a half back to town where the hotel was, and I'd stay out in the trailer on the set, alone. The dust would settle and it was quiet. It would get dark and I would wash up, make myself some food or whatever and put on these tapes and a bunch CDs that I got from people and different places like Prairie Edge. I'd play these tapes and songs, ceremonial songs, and I'd have the door open in the trailer and I'd be out in the desert, in the middle of the Sahara. I'd be like singing Lakota songs out there - it was cool! I knew I had to come back here.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice, January 2004




'He'll show up at your door barefoot. It's real with him - it's not an affectation. He is very much of the earth. He's relaxed and in the moment and he brings real emotions to the table. He's very human with great artistic sensibilities.'

Dennis Hopper
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002




'I am a happy man when I am not tied down,' he says, taking a sip of maté. 'I don't have a hidden self, I am not prone to depression. If I feel unwell, it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better. I am an optimistic dreamer who has never been imprisoned by fear.'

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

Quotable Viggo: 4 October 2008

Now more of us are having a chance to see Appaloosa it's very apparent how similar Ed and Viggo are in one important respect - they can convey worlds of meaning without any dialogue, and watching them interact with each other is a masterclass in great acting. Or rather - not 'acting' - because they are so into their characters you can see Hitch and Cole behind their eyes and in the slightest movements. Minimalist acting has been Viggo's trademark for a long time and I think it's taken the cinema world a while to catch on to the subtleties of it. But now that they have, Viggo is working increasingly with directors that know exactly how to capture those flickers of meaning and slight shifts in his body that tell us everything we need to know about a character's inmost thoughts.



© New Line Productions Inc.


"A lot of the information you get about the way a character is thinking and feeling is very subtle," Mr. Mortensen says. "It's a look or a hesitation before saying something or a blink or not looking at someone. You need a director who loves those details and pays attention to them as he's shooting and during editing. Otherwise characters played that way seem very flat and one-dimensional. With David, you know you're in good hands so you feel safe to play big or small."

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




"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
Metro
14 January 2008
Metro.co.uk




Everett says very little and spends a lot of time just watching the other characters, so Mortensen's performance resides almost entirely in his eyes, which register tiny, unmistakable nuances of surprise, suspicion and amusement.

These are what make the movie worth watching

A O Scott
International Herald Tribune
18 September 2008




Tom begins as a deceptively simple character, open and warm, and gradually shifts to reveal a darker, more dubious personality. Mortensen delivers a tremendous performance, the shadings in the character coming out slowly, subtly, sometimes with just the shift of the eye.

Pam Grady, History of Violence Review
Film Stew
23 September 2005




During the early stages of A History of Violence, as Mortensen is evoking the happy nothingness of an uneventful life, you might wonder if the actor is doing anything at all. Actually, he's hanging back. He is an ordinary man, and vengeful gangsters have turned up in his home town, claiming to recognize him from the bad old days. He claims they are mistaken. And it is to Mortensen's credit that, despite the movie's giveaway title, we still can't be certain until he reaches breaking point. The scene which confirms the truth is a masterclass in understatement - it's a shot rather than a scene, the merest flicker on Mortensen's face, but you couldn't say it wasn't dynamite. The actor nailed it on his first stab; Cronenberg knew instantly that there was no need for take two.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

Christopher Childs, History of Violence Review
Twitchfilm.net
May 31, 2005




And finally, there is Viggo Mortensen. If anyone has ever been more perfectly cast than he is here as Tom Stall, I haven't seen the film. His performance is the tricky switch on which the entire History flips. His star turn is a master class in minimalism and exactly what the movie needs at every juncture.

Nathaniel Rogers, History of Violence review
Film Experience
September 2005




He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses.

Ryan Gilbey, Eastern Promises review
New Statesman
18 October 2007




In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Soren Anderson, Eastern Promises review
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007




"Viggo is so minimal and so stoic...... There's one scene where Naomi Watts gets on the motorcycle. Viggo is standing by a post and not moving: 'Where'd you get that bike?' I was impressed with how minimal he was; I just bought that he was a Russian hitman.

Dennis Hopper
Variety Awards News
29 November 2007




.....keep your eyes on Mortensen. You could make an entire movie about the way that guy just stands in a room and quietly scans the atmosphere for even the slightest molecular disturbance.

Come to think of it, Eastern Promises may be that movie.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007




On the stillness in Nikolai's character:

Mr. Mortensen: "They had to freeze-frame me." Mr. Cronenberg: "It was stop-motion. I worked him like a puppet."

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

Quotable Viggo: 20 September 2008

While not quite setting the cinema world on fire, Appaloosa has been well received as an enjoyable must-see Western with outstanding performances from Viggo and Ed Harris. In fact Viggo has quietly been gathering quite a lot of admiration for Everett Hitch. I've gathered together a little round-up of those reviews which confirm that Viggo is, as always, pitch perfect - even in a role where he had little time to prepare (and we know how he likes to prepare for a looooong time). Ed said he arrived on set "ready' and he was, becoming the perfect embodiment of an Old-West Lawman, acting the silences as much as the dialogue and sporting authentic facial hair that's garnering reviews all of its own. Congratulations, Viggo. You've done it again, as we always knew you would !



© New Line Cinema.


Viggo steals the picture. His always fresh and relaxed expressions, with dark subtexts dancing just below the surface, never cease to astound me. The bond that ties him to Mr. Harris is also what wrenches them apart; one tries to hide his lack of education, the other tries to conceal his I.Q, and both men act rugged in their denial of their covert affection.

Rex Reed
The New York Observer
17 September 2008




...a lean, squinty-eyed Mortensen in particular showing yet again what a magnetic, underrated star he is.

People Magazine
19 September 2008




...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008




But while the story is compelling, and the scenes lush, none of that compares to the performance given by Mortensen. He is, simply, Hitch. There is not one moment that seems like acting, or where he seems like anything other than his character. Mortensen's performance is flawless - so real that the film seems more like a look into the past, rather than a fictional slice of entertainment. You can see his power, his strength, and his intelligence as easy as you can see the all-prevalent dusty wind.

Monika Bartyzel
collider.com
8 September 2008
Early Films




Mortensen in particular looks right at home in the Wild West, handling his ever-present eight-gauge with the assurance of a pool shark aiming his cue.

Chris Knight
National Post
19 September 2008




Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, two of my favorite actors today, had the on-screen chemistry that every filmmaker dreams of. Rugged, badass and tough lawman who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film. Viggo played Everett Hitch, the faithful deputy/ sidekick and even the sometimes needed vocab checker to the infamous lawman Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris. They were brilliant. There just isn't much more I can say to communicate how well they were in Appaloosa.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008




...the film also features two stars so deep in their roles I found them almost unrecognizable: Viggo Mortensen as the sheriff's deputy and Jeremy Irons as the evil rancher. All of these actors reinvent the types they play.....Irons is most satisfactorily vile, and Mortensen is inspired as a sidekick, who, for a change, is smarter and more insightful than his boss.

Roger Ebert
September 4, 2008
rogerebert.com




Are there two more stronger, silenter types in modern movies than Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen? Each of these actors are a throw back to the days when cowboy stars were manly men who mean what they say and only say what they mean and nothing else.

Richard Crouse
CTV.ca
6 September 2008




Everett sees all (Harris's best filmmaking involves depicting Everett watching others, particularly Allison), but he ends up explaining things that are best left shown. The upside of this is that it's Mortensen doing the explaining, which is almost as fine as watching Mortensen carry himself like a elegant warrior in chaps across a dusty road.

Lorey Sebastian
Christian Science Monitor
19 September 2008




Theodore Roosevelt coined the phrase: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick.' While Appaloosa is your everyday western, Viggo Mortensen is no ordinary actor. Mortensen's Oscar-class performance as Everett Hitch was masterful as a poetic yet fierce officer of the law. He 'spoke softly,' but his big stick was an 8-gauge shotgun......Playing Hitch, Mortensen is horrifically convincing as a cool customer who is not only intelligent but quick on the gun and knows when to pick his battles.

Parimal M. Rohit
Buzzine.com
19 September 2008




It has the rangy Mortensen, who looks so right he seems to have stepped out of a Daguerreotype.

Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
18 September 2008




Everett says very little and spends a lot of time just watching the other, more voluble characters, so Mr. Mortensen's performance resides almost entirely in his eyes, which register tiny, unmistakable nuances of surprise, suspicion and amusement.

A O Scott
The New York Times
18 September 2008




While Harris is quite good as Cole - if you want the steely-eyed man of few words, he's your man - Mortensen is outstanding as Hitch. For one thing, with his thick goatee and sharp features, he looks fascinating. That's important because his use of expressions and reactions are essential to understanding him.

Bill Goodykoontz
Gannett News Service
September 18, 2008




As solid as Harris is, though, he chivalrously allows the movie to belong to Mortensen. Hitch is a laconic, loyal and literate man, whose skill as a gunman belies his educated ways. He is sort of the Doc Holliday (minus the TB and gambling) to Cole's Wyatt Earp. With his chiseled, windburned, mustachioed face, Mortensen is a dead ringer for men you'd see in an actual frontier photo. Because Hitch is the archetypal man of few words, Mortensen delivers a wonderfully nuanced, subtle performance; one sad glance speaks volumes more about Hitch's devotion to Cole than any soliloquy could.

Jim Vejvoda
IGN
18 September 2008




Mortensen is funnier than we tend to remember, and he successfully pulls of Everett's jealousy about Virgil and Allie's relationship without pushing it into homoeroticism or farce.

Katey Rich
Cinema Blend
18 September 2008




...Perhaps not surprisingly, that's also when Mr. Mortensen's character enters the spotlight more fully; he's the sort of actor who can make a scene more interesting with something as simple as a shift of his weight. And in a movie with a respectable level of production detail, one gets the feeling that he chose his own exquisite facial hair: His mustache and goatee give even Daniel Plainview of "There Will Be Blood" a run for his money.

Nicolas Rapold
New York Sun
19 September 2008




As played by Mortensen, who memorably co-starred with Harris in "A History of Violence," Hitch is just as weathered a character and has notably eccentric facial hair thrown into the bargain. The two men collaborate so well, in fact, that the real love match of "Appaloosa" is between the two of them and no one else.

Kenneth Turan,
LA Times
19 September 2008




Harris and Mortensen, who co-starred in 2005's A History of Violence, do some of the tangiest acting of their respective careers, and they make a knockout team. Everett, who carries an enormous double-barreled 8-gauge shotgun, shows a quiet erudition in his conversations with Virgil.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
18 September 2008




...as weathered and craggily handsome as any butte in Monument Valley.

Richard Corliss on Mortensen, Harris and
Time
19 September 2008



Quotable Viggo: 14 September 2008

The recent quote about Viggo carrying his eight-gauge shotgun everywhere in Appaloosa rings some bells, doesn't it? A bit like Aragorn never being parted from his sword (even when pretending to be Viggo and going to a restaurant). Looking back over his many roles I find that he had trouble being parted from his sword in Alatriste too. In fact there is such a special affinity between Viggo and props that if he's not given an "iconic' prop for his character he'll create his own. Added to the 'iconic prop', when he's not acting he has a second career as a set dresser, injecting plastic fish, melted cigarette lighters, books and carefully arranged washcloths into scenes. Heck, he even painted the entire artistic output of David Shaw. Set dressing doesn't come any cooler than that!



© Warner Brothers


"The first day, I said, 'I know it's in the book, I know it's an important part of the character. But it's a big gun.' And I thought, 'It's going to be a long couple of month if I have to do this every day.' But by the second day, I liked it. And I said, 'Actually, I want to have it everywhere, have it when I'm in bed, [laughs] when I'm having dinner, when I'm walking down the street.' And it is kind of intimidating. It was like my -- my scary friend, you know? But it had a psychological effect. It's like that thing you fight sometimes, the obstacle becomes your friend, you know? So, it was alright."

CBS Interview: Appaloosa
8 September 2008




"I remember one time a cop in New Zealand, where we were filming, stopped me because I was walking out of my apartment in the middle of the night carrying a huge sword. I guess it was an alarming sight, but I was just walking to work. "

Viggo Mortensen
Rings Actor Lives Warrior Role
Chicago Sun Times, 2001




He has has immersed himself so far inside the character that he seems more Spanish than anyone else. Just look at that desperation and that foul mood. Even on the days when he is not filming, he dresses [for the role] and stays away, with his sword in his hands, thinking. And that's how he is, the bastard. Immense.'

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




During the film shoot, Mortensen had with him artefacts that he had brought back from Russia - including worry beads made in prison from melted-down plastic cigarette lighters. He decorated his trailer with copies of Russian icons and created an atmosphere that was conducive to maintaining his character.

Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features




Mortensen's commitment translated to a collection of artefacts he purchased in the Midwest on his travels, which included ducks and a bank in the shape of a fish head that says 'fishin' money' on it and is set on the diner's cash register, posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle and other animal sculptures for his daughter's room which he thought Tom's character would have in his home."

"Viggo has been very active in helping to create the surroundings that his character will emerge from. That is unique," says Cronenberg.

Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit



During production on David Cronenberg's thriller A History of Violence last fall, Viggo Mortensen carried around a fish--a 12-inch, anatomically correct plastic trout. It was a peripheral prop, a toy brought in for his character's young daughter, but Mortensen decided to adopt it as a secret talisman of sorts. Every day, he tucked it into his back pocket, his cowboy boots, his bag, anywhere that was out of Cronenberg's sight. "It was like a compulsive thing after a while," the actor explains. "I felt like it was unlucky not to have the trout, so I would sneak it in. It became this game to see if I could keep getting away with it." He did--until the last day of shooting, when his finnish friend fell out...on camera. Says Mortensen, with just a touch of mischievous pride: "David saw it and was appalled."

History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005




'...the book which I give to Demi Moore, in which there is that poem, it was mine, all battered, really old ...'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002




This is room 202, practically at the top of the stairs, which has been dressed as Frank's crash pad. Mortensen walks in and surveys its detritus. He takes a washcloth from the room's sink, folds it, and drapes it over the railing at the foot of the bed...no, not just yet. First, he goes to the bottle of Southern Comfort that sits on the dresser, lies on the bed, and puts the bottle between his legs to open it. Then he splashes some sour mash on the washcloth and re-drapes it. With his thumb over the top, he sprinkles more over the sheets and replaces the bottle. Finally, he ponders the room's Bible: Should it go over the bed? No. Under the pillow? No.

Then he seems to get an idea: he grabs his switchblade, inserts it as a bookmark, and places the Bible on the bed. There.

Viggo's attention to detail on the Indian Runner set
Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998

Quotable Viggo: 7 September 2008

I've haven't had time to work on the usual themed "Quotables' this week but there have been some fantastic quotes coming out over the last few day so I thought you'd all enjoy a little round-up :




© New Line Cinema.



Just how fearless is Viggo Mortensen? Forget his naked fight scene in the movie Eastern Promises. The man is wearing a Habs T-shirt in the middle of Leaf Nation.

Mortensen delves into America's cowboy mentality
By Katherine Monk
Canwest News Service
7 September 2008




'... the love of my life in the film ... the beautiful Renée Zellweger.' and finally... 'The REAL love of my life in the film, Viggo Mortensen'.

Ed Harris's introductions
Appaloosa Premier at TIFF - reported by Topaz
5 September 2008




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008




'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




"It was so big, I didn't know at first if I could walk around with it in the movie because it was so huge. Then we made the decision that he should walk around with it everywhere. The gun would be his bad-ass friend and sidekick....The gun is used as a sort of nuclear deterrent."

Viggo Mortensen on the eight-gauge shotgun
Mortensen delves into America's cowboy mentality
By Katherine Monk
Canwest News Service
7 September 2008




"Wow, that was nice," said Renée Zellweger, who plays Cole's love interest, Allison French. "Look at that man ride!"

Renée watching Viggo ride off at the end of the film.
Ed Harris ramrods unconventional western 'Appaloosa'
By John Horn
Los Angeles Times
7 September 2008




Are there two more stronger, silenter types in modern movies than Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen? Each of these actors are a throw back to the days when cowboy stars were manly men who mean what they say and only say what they mean and nothing else.

Richard Crouse
CTV.ca
6 September 2008




Rugged, badass and tough lawmen who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008




Mortensen sports some cool-looking facial hair in Appaloosa. But Viggo got his sarcasm on when asked "did you grow it yourself or was it a piece?"

"No, I had someone grow it for me," he replied. "There's a stubble farm, as it happens, just north of Sante Fe. They grow the best beards in the word there....I got to watch them put the seeds in, and come see how they fertilize it."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008

Quotable Viggo: 31 August 2008

We all know how Viggo ended up as a last minute Aragorn when Fate played Peter Jackson (and us) a winning hand, but how did he get cast in all the other roles we've seen him in? Very often it's because directors have watched him in a previous film and have made inspired connections. Do you see the Blouse Man in David Shaw's petty criminal, gritty Frank Hopkins lurking behind the Blouse Man's sideburns, or Alatriste in the cool and immaculately turned out Master Chief? Tony Goldwyn, Joe Johnston and Arturo Perez-Reverte did. And now Viggo has reached the point in his career where his work is recognised enough to make him the only choice for his directors, though way back in 1991 Sean Penn already knew Frank when he saw him....




© Columbia Pictures/Weintraub, Westmount, Warner Brothers,
Miramax Films/Village Roadshow, Hollywood Pictures/Trap-Two-Zero



I was over at Robin [Wright]'s little house in Santa Monica Canyon, waiting for her to get dressed for a date. The television was on, sound off, and I saw a face: he was only a cameo in a movie, but I saw the face that I'd had in my head when I wrote Indian Runner. He had something, an angularity, a severity to his handsomeness that I perceived as being 'like Frank'. So I watched the movie through, and I called Don and said, 'Find out who he is.'

Sean Penn on watching Fresh Horses
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007




Getting Viggo Mortensen was Goldwyn's only "moment of panic," the director says, because he wanted a free spirit type, but definitely not a hippie, and he had his heart set on the actor from "A Perfect Murder'. 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
February 24, 1999




I saw this picture with Diane Lane called A Walk on the Moon. And there was something about his performance in that film that told me that this guy could be Frank Hopkins. 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




Arturo Perez-Reverte, 'father' of the printed word character, assures us that Viggo began to appear to him to be the appropriate person to interpret Alatriste from the moment he saw him torturing Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.

The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan, Accion magazine, April 2005
translated by Chrissie




Harris's first and only choice for the role of Everett Hitch was Viggo Mortensen, with whom he'd shared the screen in "A History of Violence."

"I had just finished reading Appaloosa when we shot 'A History of Violence,' and I gave it to Viggo and told him that I really wanted to make it into a film with him in it," recalls Harris. "One of the greatest things about Viggo is his sense of loyalty. He's a man of his word. Once he committed to the project, he was completely on board."

Appaloosa: New Western by Ed Harris
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008




"I admit I was looking for something I could do with Viggo. A director has a strange relationship with his actors, because after the actor has gone on to his next movie, you're in the editing room living with him every day, dreaming about him and hearing his voice. I had always thought he had a very Russian, Slavic look. And when I read the script I thought, "This is a role made in heaven for Viggo."'

David Cronenberg on Eastern Promises
Q+A : David Cronenberg, Film Festival Preview
nowtoronto.com
30 Aug 2007




Richard Gere expressed interest in the lead role [of The Man], but Hillcoat always had Mortensen in mind. The laconic actor seems a natural for the part; he's naturally thin (and even more gaunt in the film itself), and, as "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises" proved, carries the fearless determination necessary to escape most predicaments.

Director John Hillcoat
By John Horn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 17, 2008




In casting the lead, the director needed someone who could bring both a commanding force and familial gentleness to Tom Stall, and as far as he was concerned, Mortensen was it--period. "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




We decided to shoot at the beginning of the next year to wait for Viggo, who was already committed to other projects until the end of this year. 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
Source: EGO




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

Quotable Viggo: 24 August 2008

Viggo is, we all know, one of the most multi-talented men on the planet and I think everyone who has met him would have no trouble agreeing with that. If any star has the right to trumpet themselves from the roof-tops it's Viggo but, of course, he doesn't. He also happens to be one of the most modest men on the planet. He gets on with all his creativity without fuss, he's a team player, he sees the value in everyone and everything around him, he gives fellow artists space to breathe and give of their best and if he can help them to be even better, he will. He's a giver, not a taker and when it comes down to it, isn't that why we really love him?




Image captian-alatriste.com.
© Josemarya



What a rarity: an actor who finds other people more compelling than himself.

Body of Work
By Alison Glock
December 2001
Source: Elle




Viggo Mortensen rolls his own cigarettes, totes his own teapot, does his own driving, opts for his own bedroll over hotels when travelling in New Zealand, performs his own stunts and cultivates his own casual take on fashion that precludes the wearing of shoes and socks.

But one thing the soft-spoken "Lord of the Rings" star won't do is beat his own drum.

V is for Viggo
by Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle, 2003




Elijah Wood......describes how, in New Zealand, Viggo "became Aragorn before our eyes" and captivated them all with his approach and manner. "It's interesting, because Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




"...when you act with him in a scene, even when his part is done, he stays close to the camera in order to help you. We function very differently, especially in the way we channel our energy. He is always calm, and speaks softly. I have a more brutal side. I learned a lot from knowing him."

Vincent Cassel
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007




Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren. Fortunately Mr. Mortensen also has a touch of modesty as an actor, which allows him to take up space as if he belongs in the center of the frame rather than battling the other performers for it.

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




Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson calls him 'no ego Viggo', and everyone who knows him says that a key part of his character is a complete absence of vanity. He certainly seems modest in person.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




It's difficult to think that such a popular actor as Viggo Mortensen is, can combine humility, naturalness, sincerity, humanism so well, for these are qualities hardly found in one and the same person.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




'The quality that really stood out to me was his quietness,' says Ridley Scott, who cast Mortensen in GI Jane as the Navy instructor who makes life miserable for aspiring SEALs, including Moore. 'He has a still, modest quality to him that was perfect for these guys. I noticed that in some of the movies I'd seen him in, and he also had it in real life.'

Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




Having slain a succession of monsters in the "Lord of the Rings" sagas, Mortensen finds himself doing some of the same work as Tom, the mild-mannered owner of a diner in small-town Indiana. It's a role that soon reveals itself as playing to Mortensen's strengths -- his humility, his forcefulness and a certain odd unknowable quality.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005




'I don't care about being famous. I don't care about having my face on posters. It doesn't massage my ego. It's nice to have a poster, but in the end it's about the movie. Nobody walks around saying "The movie stunk, but the poster was awesome."'

Viggo Mortensen while promoting Hidalgo
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004




'For me, awards are a lottery; if it's your turn, it's your turn. I don't remember who told me, but it's like Churchill's medals: 'You shouldn't go in search of them, but must accept them and never wear them.''

Viggo Mortensen
Alatriste, The Modern Hero
By Robert Andres Gomez - translated by Margarita
El Universal
25 March 2007

Quotable Viggo: 17 August 2008

Now I know that really we are all in love with Viggo's brain (why else would these forums be endlessly buzzing with great conversations) but I guess it's time to celebrate that amazing body. His earlier films proved he has the honed body of a Greek god and it was evident in Lord of the Rings even if we never got much of a glimpse of it, but what really made the world sit up was, of course, Viggo's tour de force performance as Nikolai. In Eastern Promises his body itself became the canvas on which the history, loyalties and betrayals of the Vory were painted in blood and ink.




© Focus Features.


"Like the photograph of Hubert, this one of Viggo has never before been published. I was in New York, doing a book that was going to be called "The Beautiful Men." and somebody suggested him. He was totally unknown at the time, and I told him he'd never get anywhere with a name like Viggo Mortensen. But then he started taking off his shirt, and his name no longer mattered."

Ellen Graham, Photographer, on her book "The Bad and the Beautiful'
Town and Country magazine
November 2004




"I knew I was up against Viggo Mortensen. Come on, the guy is easy on the eyes, and he doesn't wear a lot of clothes in this movie. If anyone was to believe that I might get the girl, I was going to have to do some work. So I jumped rope, I ran, and I didn't eat."

Liev Schreiber
A Walk on the Moon
People magazine, 26 April 1999




It's crucial that the film, like the journeys it narrates, is straggly. 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?

The Two Towers review
Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002




Mortensen is a standout as Nikolai, doing a credible accent and stripping down to a body that looks like it was carved out of a Siberian glacier.

Stephen Whitty
The Birmingham News
21 Sept 2007




Nikolai is an unforgettable cinematic event: his body is a weapon covered in tattoos that tell his prison history. The stand-out scene is a fight to the death in a Finsbury steam bath, with Nikolai naked against two Chechen mobsters wielding curved blades. Like Guy Pearce in Memento, Christian Bale in The Machinist, Brad Pitt in Fight Club or even Jim Caviezel in The Passion Of The Christ, the role of the scarified male torso in contemporary cinema deserves an essay: Mortensen's none-more-naked performance in this scene lashes across the screen, a modern mortification of the flesh, as his surname suggests.

Matthew de Abaitua
Channel 4 News
18 October 2007




...this is Mortensen's film all the way and he carries it effortlessly on those muscular shoulders of his. Having apparently followed the Brad Pitt in Fight Club weight training program, Mortensen is jacked beyond belief, like a tattooed Leonidas.

MiraJeff
Aint it Cool News
13 Sept 2007




He's the ideal Cronenberg anti-hero: gentle and macho at the same time, as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting. When Nikolai gets his star tattoos-the Russian equivalent of being "made"-Mortensen sprawls nude on a red banquette, lit from above like a Caravaggio martyr.

Dana Stevens
Slate.com
13 Sept 2007




... leading-man Mortensen is perfect. Not only does the actor possess the matinee-idol looks and dripping-testosterone sex appeal of an action-star god, but he carries all the hero baggage of his orc-slaying days in Middle Earth.

Amanda Andrade
Michigan Daily
October 03, 2005

Quotable Viggo: 10 August 2008

One thing is certain, when it comes to Viggo you never know what he's going to look like next and the biggest part is played by his hair. When it comes to building up a character we've seen short hair, long hair, light hair, dark hair, wig hair, square hair, big hair (Portrait of a Lady, anyone?) straight hair, wavy hair, beards, large moustaches, goatees, stubble and just about anything else you can have in between. This causes huge consternation to journalists the world over who think they are meeting Tom Stall to talk Cronenberg and end up facing a moustache the size of Spain. This week one comment about his Appaloosa look was a corker and I'm using it to kick off a selection of hairy quotes...




© New Line.


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

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008




...the best hair, as usual, went to the great Viggo Mortensen.

28 Days review
JoBlo.com
April 2000




... buffed and sporting a mean pencil-thin moustache....

GI Jane
Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
September 1997
Source: W




...faded blue jeans, long-sleeved navy T-shirt and bare feet, his trademark sandy hair blonder than usual and sticking out in tufts...

Super Natural
By Anna David
30 November 2002
Source: Daily Telegraph




Nikolai's charming nickname is "The Undertaker." Around the set, his squared-off Dracula pompadour acquired a nickname, too: "The Soviet Bloc."

The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008



"And the hair, the squareness and the certain rigidity and streamline look to the hair, the clothes, sunglasses, the watch, the - you know, all went with the posture and the behavior. It was all of a piece, but it was done in complete collaboration which I really enjoy.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Talks Eastern Promises
By Andre Rivas
Ropeofsilicon.com
December 24, 2007




It is difficult to recognize the sexy star because of the mighty moustache that fills a lot of his face. But the ocean blue eyes shine through as usual. Viggo really lives in his roles, and he himself has chosen to grow the moustache for his role in Agustín Díaz Yanes' Spanish film, Alatriste, that he will be filming until the holiday.

"It took months to get it to the way it is now," he says laughing about his large moustache. "But as soon as I can, it will be removed!"

Viggo On His Way To Denmark
June 2005
Source: Billed-Bladet #24
translated by Westfold




"What Viggo has done when playing Alatriste is to adapt himself as far as possible; so at first they wanted him to have a beard, and I said, "no, Alatriste has a moustache; I couldn't care less, he's a Spanish soldier of the Tercios and he has a moustache".

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Talk About Alatriste
By Luthien 66 (transcription)
translation for V-W by Paddy
4 April 2006




...even his fatigue did not disguise his almost unfair handsomeness, which manifested itself in extremely chiseled cheekbones and jaw, in silky hair that fell over his forehead, and in eyes of ice-blue. Sadly, the fetching stubble and flowing hairstyle that he wears as Aragorn were absent, along with the swashbuckling cloak, but you can't have everything.

The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
By Sarah Lyall
7 September 2003
Source: New York Times




Now, however, it was the appointed hour for our second rendezvous, and Aragorn was sure to show. I opened the door to his trailer, and there he was, in his full unkempt glory. Stringy locks, dirty boots and all. A scented yellow candle flickered. Two Styrofoam cups of hot coffee had been thoughtfully poured. He beckoned me to be seated, and his crystal-gray orbs gazed into my jetlag-red eyes. It was too good to be true.

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




The frostbite-blue eyes snap onto mine for a split second. If the brow is a two-way mirror to the soul, his is cracked in several places by Despair and Inner Torment. Mortensen is justly celebrated in Hollywood for how he telegraphs both, which are reading in his face right now. A face rendered (almost) unrecognizable with that distracting droop of a Wild West moustache, the familiar starburst cleft in his chin forested over by a neat beard.

The Great Dane
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008
Source: Men's Vogue




.... the beard that was in the early stages on the Oscar red carpet is in full flower.

Filming Wraps Up On Post-Apocalyptic The Road
By Barbara Vancheri
24 April 2008
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette




A tramp comes down the street towards the team. Dressed in rags that look like they have been on his back for the last 6 months, he looks nothing like the remaining handful of occupants of the area. It's Viggo Mortensen, ready to start filming. His clothes are props, but the thick beard and hair are his own...

"I was in a state of physical and mental exhaustion which fitted very well with the role." The only other thing he needed to do was to let his beard grow.

The Road Again
By Gerard Delorme - translated by Chrissiejane
June 2008
Source: Premiere (France)




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
JoBlo.com
25 February 2008

Quotable Viggo: 3 August 2008

We all know Viggo is man of many talents. Rarely has the word "artist' been applied to someone with so many ways to successfully express his unique view of the world. Following Viggo's art and reading interviews I'm continually struck by how all his art interacts - he approaches acting with an artist's eye and his experiences as an actor feeds back into his paintings, poems and photos. They are, indeed all one. I think this first quote from our Quotes Pages gives a key insight into this. It's not the medium but the man, with his endless curiosity in everything around him.




© Warner Brothers.


"A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.'

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




Photography, like his painting and writing, gives him a sense of completion acting doesn't. "I see them all as the same thing, the only difference being that in acting you have to give it away," he says. "Unfinished paintings, that's what I keep handing in as an actor."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002



'You supply the blue and they supply the other colours and mix them with your blue. And maybe there's some blue left in the painting and maybe there isn't. Maybe there wasn't supposed to be any there in the first place. So have some fun and make a good blue, and walk away. I try to do that. Sometimes I succeed.'

Viggo Mortensen on acting
Premiere
St. Lawrence University: March 1, 2003




'Among actors, Viggo is completely unique in my experience because of his attention to detail; the research he did - months before we started to film - was incredible. He is an artist in his own right and brings an artist's sensibility to the process, as well as an actor's craft.'

Paul Webster
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features




Mortensen's body-and-soul of commitment to his roles makes him the closest thing American cinema has to a warrior poet. And you know what? He actually is a poet.

The Art House Powerhouse 100
Paste Magazine
10 January 2008




In a world of paste reproductions Viggo Mortensen is a rare gem of creative energy. His work as an actor goes far beyond the normal level of effort exerted by a conventional leading man which results in his performances being elevated into works of art as unique as his poems and pictures.

Viggo Mortensen: An Artist For All Seasons
by Richard Marcus
BNN Blogger News Network May 6th, 2005




Asked about his favourite medium - photography, painting or writing - Viggo Mortensen says it's all part of the same continuum. "You ask the question, you investigate, you make that extra effort to be aware and express your reaction to your surroundings," he says. "Whether you paint or act or write, you're giving importance to a given moment, a place, an emotion, and you're communicating the discoveries you've made as you engage in that process. So in that sense, everything is connected."

Viggo Mortensen, Photographer
Massey University, 2003




"I felt I had to do other things than just act,' he says. 'That's why The Lord of The Rings answered my desires. There was art, poetry and acting all in one role. Even if I live to be 100, I'll never forget the thrill and the memory."

Viggo Mortensen
I've Loved All My Leading Ladies

Quotable Viggo: 27 July 2008

Equally at home in the US, Denmark, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand, Iceland.... I could go on... Viggo is so hard to pin down on a map that he could just as easily be called "Viggo Mortensen, International Man of Mystery'. He seems to put down deep roots wherever he goes and to be incapable of just "passing through' a country without absorbing something of it and taking it with him. I think my first quote from our Quotes Pages sums up one of the most remarkable things about the man who has said that he likes to "travel hopefully'. The last one - which we've had before but I love it too much to leave it out - says everything about the affection he leaves behind.




Image courtesy of Cindalea.
© Estudios Picasso / Origen PC / NBC Universal Global Networks Espana 2006.



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




León is one of those places which he has identified with and where he has felt more comfortable: "It doesn't matter that your roots are in another place" he said, "the important thing is that when you arrive at some unknown place, that place captures you and you begin to be part of its idiosyncrasy".

One of León called Viggo
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León, April 29, 2005
translated by Paddy




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




'To live in Denmark and South America, and later return to the USA, made me learn there are many cultures, all very respectable, and many ways of seeing life. On the other hand, so much coming and going has left me without any roots (although I feel at home in many places) and has deprived me of good friends. Childhood friends. In truth, I miss that.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A.
translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




"By separating yourselves as Americans, as Frenchmen, as Iraqis, to separate yourselves from others and consider yourselves as special or different, that's to construct the walls of your own prison. That's a one-way road going the wrong way."

Viggo Mortensen,
by Jeffrey Overstreet, Steven D Greydanus, Bob Smithouser & Jeremy Landes,
Looking Closer, 2003




"We actually have more in common with other people, other cultures and other races, than not," he suggests. "People need to make a conscious effort to try and find some common ground, rather than react to what they see as differences."

Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




'I have travelled a lot my entire life. As a child I lived in five-six different countries - from Denmark to USA, from Argentine to Egypt - and as a grown up I have travelled half around the globe myself. The movie business is a very vagrant business. The last two years I've spent in NewZealand filming 'Lord of the Rings' and sometimes I'm in five cities in a week. Someplace, in the back of your mind, you need to have a fix point, a place you call home, and Denmark is that to me'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




There's a UN patch on his sweatshirt and if you ask him where he's based, he says, hippyishly, "Planet Earth, mostly."

'My mother is very happy about it'
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008




"Last month I bumped into Orlando Bloom in a Los Angeles club, 'Now where are you off to, Viggo?'. 'Mexico, Chile and Argentina.' 'Argentina?! It's so beautiful,' he cried, 'You were holding out on me! It has the most beautiful women on the planet. The city center is a jewel,' he exclaimed!

'You see that you should listen when I speak, elf?' I replied."

Viggo Mortensen
"Now Even My Son Wants To Get To Know Argentina"
Translated for V-W- by Margarita
Gente, 3 April 2007




'See you soon, traveller of the world, Leonese at heart!'

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
'I never imagined such an affectionate and multitudinous welcome'
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Translated for V-W by Paddy
Sept 2006

Quotable Viggo: 20 July 2008

We all suspected it really and going through the Quotes Pages I've found the evidence. Viggo is still at school. This explains, of course, why he is so much cleverer than anyone else - he still studies, does his homework, crams for exams and even writes essays. He's studying for a Ph.d in everything and already has a First in World History, Geography, Art, Literature, Politics and Baseball.




© OddLot.



"If there's something in a story that might be good for me to explore and learn about, that pricks my conscience or even scares me on some level, then that's where I try to go."

Viggo Mortensen
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right"
An Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Scott Thill
Morphizm.com,6 April 2004




"If I really think about it, there isn't any one movie I would wipe off my slate," Mortensen says. "Even during the worst experiences, there was somebody I got to know, or something about the place we were in, something memorable. A lesson."

Viggo Mortensen
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004




'I knew as much about professional baseball and the players as I did about the U.S. Navy when I did GI Jane, which is to say not much,' he says. 'That's one of the most interesting aspects of acting. You can learn things, even if it feels like cramming for exams.

Viggo Mortensen on preparing for 28 Days
Mooning Over Viggo Mortensen
by Stephen Schaefer
USA Today 1999




As Peter Jackson's record-breaking adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings began to take over the world two years ago, Mortensen retreated. Not for him the quick cash-in roles, the wham-bam-thank-you-mam blaze of multiplex fodder that would have no doubt made him a very wealthy man. Instead, he waited. And waited.

"I just couldn't bring myself to sign up to the kind of clichéd nonsense that I was being sent," he says. "Especially after an experience like The Lord Of The Rings. I'm not in this to be famous, or to make lots and lots of money; I want every film I make to be a learning experience, something that makes me wiser and mentally healthier afterwards. If I'd signed up for the scripts I was being sent, I'd merely be wealthier, but I certainly wouldn't be healthier."

Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie, 2004




'You have to take into account,' he says, 'that Viggo is a cultured man and he finds out about the places he is going to shoot. In the case of León I know he has read a large number of books about that ancient realm, he knows its poets, writers, painters, its history and geography, and anything that refers to that land is followed with attention and kept.'

José Luis Pérez on Viggo's interest in León
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"[Making Alatriste] is like going to a specialised university and getting paid for it. It was a great education for me."

Viggo Mortensen
Mortensen immersed himself in 17th-century Spain
By Philippa Hawker
theage.com.au, March 2, 2007




'He will study like he's getting a Ph.d in the character.'

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




"We found that we were very much in sync," says the director. "Viggo does his homework and thinks about things a lot. He helped to create his character."

David Cronenberg, Director
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




'I'm not in a hurry to [leave characters behind]. I appreciate other actors that say "it was difficult to shed the skin of this character'. I don't know what the hurry is. As far as I'm concerned, I don't see that it ruins my life to have gotten involved with the character I'm playing. Our memories are finite and they decrease in their efficiency over time as we get older, so what's the hurry to forget something you learned something from and you explored in an interesting way? I'm never in a hurry to shed it. I don't see it as a problem.'

Goin' Fishin' with Viggo Mortensen
By Lynn Barker
Teen Hollywood
28 September 2005




'I knew that of all the cast if you're going to have a written piece with some depth and profundity to it then that is the person to go to. And I also knew that he has some pretty serious things to say about the nature of War and mankind and evil and themes that run through 'Lord of the Rings' and bringing them into a modern-day situation that he feels very strongly about. What we got was even more wonderful than what I was expecting to get. He really spent an enormous amount of time writing and carving out that introduction. It just makes the rest of the book feel rather flimsy in my eyes. It's a very serious little essay that one and if you haven't read it I recommend it very heavily.'

Jude Fisher on Viggo's Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion
Q&A at Book Signing
The Science Museum, London
November 8, 2003
Published with permission from Ian Smith




'...Yes, I won't be dressing up as Aragorn and running into battle any more but, in my mind, I will keep going into battle about the things I've learned.'

Viggo Mortensen
Total Film magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 13 July 2008

Several times this week I've been reminded of Hidalgo and taking a look at all the Hidalgo quotes I've collected made me realize how many of my favorites come from promoting that film. There is one profoundly thoughtful one about the nature of filming but mainly they are snappy, funny and bring back memories of the days when Viggo was facing his first ever "big fat head' poster. It's also a pretty thin excuse for posting one of my favorite photos.



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.



There's a great deal to like about "Hidalgo," Disney's horse adventure film set in 1890. Besides an exciting story beautifully shot, there's the charming Viggo Mortensen, the inimitable Omar Sharif and Hidalgo himself, one of the most engaging animal characters outside a Disney cartoon.

And did I mention Viggo Mortensen?

Finding the History in "Hidalgo's" tall tale
by Cathy Schultz, Ph.D.




"TJ had a strong personality. He was smaller than the other horses and like a dog he thought he was BIG. Like the dachshunds that run around chasing big dogs. He's very smart. He's good at pretending he didn't hear you. He's very lazy. He definitely had a personality! I thought, "This is going to be a chore!" But we got to know each other and he's a smart animal. You're not going to be able to lie to that horse. You need to ask nicely.'

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04




Mortensen puts the 'must' into Mustang - untamed compulsions drive him.

On Viggo buying yet another horse.
Lone Star, by Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




'A couple days ago, there was this hail. And everybody's just sitting there, kind of setting up the scene with clothing from 1890 and a herd of close to a thousand horses. And the waiting is almost like a ritual, like preparation for a religious moment where something might happen. You have words for the ceremony, the vestments, and all the elements and you're hoping that something good happens. So it's still interesting, the group getting together and doing it.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002




'The crew was a little surpised by the climatic conditions. I remember one time when we were trying to shoot in the Sahara, where you get these atrocious winds; it was hot, there was sand in the cameras. I heard everywhere: 'this is hell!' and, deep down in my heart, I thought 'this is a giggle compared to Lord...'."

Viggo Mortensen
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine, 2003




Mortensen proves once again that he's an able, even intuitive performer, more compelling speaking Lakota Sioux than many others in plain English.

Sara Brady
Premier.com
3 March 2004




...he plays the part rather than showing off. Indy, watch your back.

'Hidalgo' gallops away with rollicking adventure
Tom Long
Detroit News, 5 March 2004




'Big fat-head poster notwithstanding, this is a pretty good movie,' he says with a sheepish grin of embarrassment, turning back around quickly so that he doesn't have to look at the poster for one more agonizing second.

Clearly, Mortensen is not your typical ego-driven Hollywood actor.

On promoting 'Hidalgo'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register
7 March 2004




'What's not to like about a forty-foot tall Viggo Mortensen?'

Woman at a preview screening
Cowboy and Mustang Meet Arabian Nights
John P. McCarthy
reeltalkreviews.com 2004



Quotable Viggo: 6 July 2008

Filming The Road is over and for the last month we've been treated to seeing Viggo's lovely face again in all it's chiseled glory. How we've missed it! Of course, there is more to Viggo than cheeks that apparently can double as several household accessories. But in celebration of our new V-W photo of our "new' Viggo, this week's quotes from our Quotes Pages are all about That Face, Those Eyes, the man behind them and most of all... Those Cheekbones!




© Focus Features.



Viggo Mortensen is a serious and impassioned actor whose apparent severity extends to his Nordic features: he has hard blue eyes, and a pair of cheekbones that could double as bookshelves.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001




......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004




I interviewed Mortensen once before, in a New York hotel suite. I was successful in not being reduced to jellied awe before his sculpted visage. Imagine if Norse gods (his father is Danish) had spawned a surfer dude.

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




...those cheekbones could have been cut by a jeweler...

Eastern Promises review
Christopher Orr
TNR Online
15 Sept 2007




Mortensen is a glowering marvel, locating a great range of expression in impassivity, his stone face prone to compelling split-second fissures.

Eastern Promises review
Indelible Ink
By Adam Nayman
Eye Weekly
30 Aug 2007




Alatriste is a fellow that looks in a way...his look is a look that frightens, is a look cold and hard, and the look of Viggo is impressive, he has a look that captives the camera. That look of Alatriste... the audience is going to forget anything else about Alatriste and remind the eyes of Viggo, that are the eyes of Alatriste"

Diario de Cadiz, October 2004
translated by Vicky




Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

HOV Review
Christopher Childs
Twitchfilm.net
May 31, 2005




Viggo might have had a haircut since his middle-earth days, but he's lost none of his power. Look into his eyes, you'll see his soul.

HOV Review
Paul Greenwood
Future Movies
29 September 2005




There are very few actors that you can truly call an artiste. Someone with a level of talent in other forms aside from putting their face up on the screen to look pretty or handsome. It takes a very special and unique individual to offer up more than just a nice face for the camera, and one of those people would be Viggo Mortensen.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen Dec. 14, 2007
by JimmyO
JoBlo.com
14 December 2007




DC: I don't think of you as an American. As I said when we did History Of Violence, I could tell that you were actually Russian-it's obvious from yourcheekbones. I doubt that you'll be able to play any other kind of role now. They'll say, "You can't cast Mortensen as an American - he's so foreign.....

......I thought it was incredibly bold of me to cast you as an American in History Of Violence.

VM: Well, yeah, but it was a twisted view of America.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 29 June 2008

We know in our hearts that there is only one Viggo - he really is unique....um....isn't he?

You'd be amazed how many actors he's been compared with, all great icons of the cinema. Sometimes he's compared with the same actor more than once. But in the end, or course, every actor is unique. Just keep repeating after me - like Film Hobbit below - "Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent.'





© Touchstone/Buena Vista Pictures.


Mortensen, who became a hunky heartthrob as the warrior Aragorn in the "Lord of the Rings" series, carries himself like Gary Cooper here, radiating earthy charm and easy humor, as well as a quiet determination.

Hidalgo review
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette 2004




Much of this fine balance depends on Mortensen's performance as the gentle, tough but taciturn family man, a part that builds quite overtly on the Gary Cooper template; and the role, as Tom's character further unfolds, sees Mortensen performing with remarkably well-judged understatement. In addition, he and Bello spark wonderfully in two complementary sex scenes that gauge the changes in Tom and Edie's relationship.

A History of Violence review
Jonathan Romney
Cannes Festival Review
ScreenDaily
16 May 2005




When there's action to be had, Mortensen looks like a real pro. He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood...

Hidalgo review
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com




Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren. Fortunately Mr. Mortensen also has a touch of modesty as an actor, which allows him to take up space as if he belongs in the center of the frame rather than battling the other performers for it.

Return of the King Review
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.

Return of the King Review
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003




....in my favorite scene from the film, he startles a neighbor who has called at his door, yanking her Elvis t-shirt over her face while an inquisitive old coot looks on. Mortensen oscillates between drowsy menace and raucous mania, making you unsure of the scene's intended tone, and of him; it recalls Jack Nicholson's infamous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces, only without the comforting hint of showmanship.

Indian Runner review
On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




If Mortensen never seemed like a larger-than-life character before he went to Middle-earth, he is by now the real thing: a great, fearless movie star who can hold down even such an uneasy and melodramatic scenario. Mortensen has Kirk Douglas' end of cinema all to himself today......As in the great film noirs, one doesn't come to Eastern Promises for the plot; one drops in for the atmosphere and the stunning brutality. Those are the only plausible parts of the film-and the sheer authenticity of Mortensen as a Siberian samurai.

Eastern Promises review
Richard von Busack
Metro Active
19 Sept 2007




'There were probably a couple of other actors who I thought of, but he was in the top one or two. ...He's got the sort of quintessential type of American look to him. He reminds me of Kirk Douglas sometimes in darker films that he did.

Josh Olson on Viggo Mortensen and A History of Violence
Interview with Jock Olson
by Rebecca Murray
About.com. August 2005




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film......Viggo's acting here reminds me of vintage Harrison Ford, before... whatever happened to him. Think WITNESS or maybe even THE FUGITIVE. He's just very very good. He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done. It's kinda perfect.

A History of Violence review
Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




Mortensen needed to be good enough to keep the audience wondering who he really was. With his aqua blue eyes and chiseled jaw, he is every bit the American film hero - a Harrison Ford or a John Wayne, but with a darkness lurking beneath.....

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




The performance that's a tour de force, however, is by Viggo Mortensen. His role as Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings has transformed a jobbing, C-list actor into a bona fide star. He was a revelation in A History of Violence, but is even more impressive here, underplaying with the intensity of Brando in his prime. This is brave acting, and Viggo's Russian accent is flawless. He clearly does his homework, and can use his physical authority to lead a very talented cast. This is one of the best performances of 2007.

Eastern Promises review
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail
26 October 2007




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.

A History of Violence review
Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




Even acting-wise, comparisons will be made between Viggo Mortensen's quietly menacing Mafioso to that of the young Robert De Niro in "The Godfather Part II," who morphs into Marlon Brando's Don Vitto Corleone in the first chapter of the epic saga, "The Godfather" (1972)

Eastern Promises review
Emanuel Levy
emanuellevy.com
1 Sept 2007




The quality of the acting is amazingly high, especially if you contrast it with the woodenness we have become resigned to in the Star Wars films. 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.

The Two Towers review
Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002



Yup! ;-)

Quotable Viggo: 22 June 2008

You know that Bonnie Tyler song? Holding out for a Hero? 'He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast and gotta be fresh from the fight'... well this week in my selection from our Quotes Pages I'm looking at Viggo the Hero. It's tough but someone's got to do it . So we have Viggo the cinema hero but also a little bit of the real hero in Viggo.

And as an extra treat - because we all know which hero we really want - click on:

Holding out for a Hero

and don't forget to breathe!





© New Line Productions Inc


"...he's got the age, professionalism, look, body and he's one of the few action heroes in modern cinema."

Agustín Diaz-Yanes
Viggo Mortensen Will Be A Splendid Captain
by Gontzal Díez
The Truth of Murcail, Feb 19 2004




We knew we were blessed in having Viggo - who is part-Danish descent - step into the role of Aragorn when he arrived carrying a copy of the Volsunga Saga that he had taken from his bookshelf! Viggo not only has an actor's sense of bringing his character to life, but also an innate understanding of 'the warrior code' and Tolkien's philosophy of heroism.

Philippa Boyens
The Making of the Movie Trilogy




"For me, Viggo is one of the heroes of the film and a personal hero, in that he's a great friend and someone I admire in his approach to making the film.'

Barrie Osborne (Producer, LotR)
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




Regardless of the odds, it is important to defend oneself and others against oppression. "It is becoming to be humble, yet at the same time you must make a bold showing if put to the test." as a father advises his departing son in one of the oldest and best-known sagas.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




Wherever there is a noble cause to defend, we see him, and that is not the product of my imagination but of such an obvious and truthful reality that it has a full name. And those who stand involved in these matters of conscience know it perfectly, because he is a hero of our time in the broadest sense of the word, as well as a humanist.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




One last thing that I wish to report is a small anecdote concerning someone. One of my charming girlfriends, attached to the press core assisting all of the DVDrama personel, yesterday was herself helped by a hero and not the least of which since it was Mr. Viggo Mortensen, alias the sensual Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, about whom we are still having numerous fantasies since the first showing of Peter Jackson's trilogy. Present in Cannes to support David Cronenberg's film, A History of Violence, in which he proves once again his immensity talent, he went to the private evening gathering that followed the premiere screening, which was exactly where my girlfriend was, whose dress suddenly caught fire as she walked down the centre of an avenue edged with small candles. An accident which could have transformed itself very quickly into a catastrophe if the courageous Viggo hadn't intervened immediately, gently throwing himself on her to help extinguish the first flames that could have become a conflagration. Reassuring and concerned he next took lengthy care of her. After this summer the King of Tolkien, Viggo, is today the King of Cannes and I regret not being the one of whose dress caught fire!

Viggo the Hero
DVDrama
Cannes Film Festival Report
17 May 2005




'It felt good to shed my hero's costume'

Viggp on playing Tom Stall
The Anti-Hero
by Renaud Baronian
Metro 18 May 2005

Quotable Viggo: 14 June 2008

This week's Quotes from our Quotes Pages are short on words but looooong on meaning. If you had to sum up your Viggo experience in a less than 15 word soundbite what would you say? Our quotes this week are small..... but perfectly formed.




© New Line Productions Inc.


"Viggo's our king.'

Elijah Wood
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




Viggo Mortensen doesn't have to say much and you get a lot.

Sittin' On The Ritz
SPLICEDwire
by Rob Blackwelder
26 March 2004




Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. ...

Hidalgo Review
Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004




He's the guy you can count on to steal a scene or invigorate it.

Talking With Viggo
George magazine 1999




"Viggo is just... a great actor."

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




The very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man.

Validation for Viggo
Filmstew
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008




Constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine
1998




"Viggo's an artist," said a movie exec and Mortensen fan during the Toronto fest. The way he said it underlined "artist."

Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic




An enigma wrapped in a Mets T-shirt.

Viggo the Sponge
By Jake Coyle, MSNBC
21 Sept 2007




'See you soon, traveller of the world, Leonese at heart!'

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
'I never imagined such an affectionate and multitudinous welcome'
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Translated for V-W by Paddy
Sept 2006




"I wondered what would happen to him,"

Weir muses about Mortensen
Witness Special Collector's Edition Review
By Toni Ruberto
The Buffalo News, 9 Sept 2005

Quotable Viggo: 8 June 2008

Viggo not only manages to charm his leading ladies. This week we're going to look at comments from some of the actors who have worked with Viggo over the years. They've found him intimidating, inspirational, generous, truthful, quirky, perfect and brilliant. But it's clear that one thing they all have in common is that they've all found working with him a tremendous experience.




© Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.


'I had to have some definition in my body if I was going to take my shirt off in the same movie that Viggo runs around naked in. Trust me, that's mighty intimidating.'

Liev Schreiber on heading straight to the gym
A Walk on the Moon
Calgary Sun, April 1999




'He'll show up at your door barefoot. It's real with him - it's not an affectation. He is very much of the earth. He's relaxed and in the moment and he brings real emotions to the table. He's very human with great artistic sensibilities.'

Dennis Hopper
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002




"I think there is some kinship in our approach to things. Maybe that is one of the reasons David brought us together because there was a similarity in how we approach things. Viggo is not pompous or pretentious. He doesn't arrive with an entourage. He's grounded, quirky, and observant. He is artistic. I deeply appreciate that since I basically arrive on the set with my shovel in hand and go to work as well. And I love it when someone else does that."

William Hurt
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




"Viggo is generous, he is constantly bringing small gifts. That must be a result of his education and the numerous trips he takes. And when you act with him in a scene, even when his part is done, he stays close to the camera in order to help you. We function very differently, especially in the way we channel our energy. He is always calm, and speaks softly. I have a more brutal side. I learned a lot from knowing him."

Vincent Cassel
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007




He gave presents every day.....An example of what Viggo Mortensen's participation in this Spanish project has been like is explained by Unax Ugalde: "When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

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




"We got on very well together, and spent a lot of time together as friends. But as an actor you can't wish to work with anyone more truthful and more honest than him. He brings an incredible pathos to the role, and I was so pleased to be doing scenes with him."

Sean Bean
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




The sequence where Pippin was talking about breakfast and it's snowing - that was real snow. And [after] about an hour of that snow coming down, we were in danger of being snowed in, so they canceled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo's room and drank a bottle of whiskey, and Viggo took some photos of us. And then we went out and had a huge snowball fight around town. We got thrown out of a couple of pubs "cause we were having snowball fights in the pubs.

Dominic Monaghan
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004




'I can not believe that somebody can be so perfect. This man must carry a deep secret with him, or he has a skeleton in his cupboard, or something like that. Because Viggo Mortensen is the nicest, most artistic and most generous person I've ever met. And not only towards me, but he also has eye for the 'little/small people'. He gives you things all the time: his poems, paintings, pictures. I have to take all these things home with me to Paris.'

Omar Sharif
Source unknown




"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 31 May 2008

This week, with so much excitement going on with the Skovbo Exhibition opening, there is only one thing we should be celebrating! No, not the goodbye to the beard , but Viggo the photographer. I've picked some older quotes out that illustrate why Viggo has become the kind of photographer he is: observer of the overlooked, the fleeting, the curious, the ugly and the momentarily transcendent.




The Nature of Landscape and Independent Perception Exhibit - Track 16, Santa Monica, CA 1.14.06.
© Deryck True. Used by permission.



He has mounted a half-dozen solo exhibitions in Cuba, Denmark, New York, and Los Angeles. His New York dealer, Robert Mann, says he had no idea who Mortensen was when he first met him four years ago.

"The Lord of the Rings wasn't out, and I was clueless about that part of his life' Mann says. "I saw the work and responded to it on its own merit. There's a lot of volatility to it, a lot of emotion, a lot of subtext and sensitivity." Mann says that, typically, celebrity art implies an underlying dilettantism. But Mortensen "is not a dabbler. I consider him a very lucky and talented person. Most artists are lucky to express themselves in one avenue."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
Finding Viggo By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



"I think I'm essentially hopeful and the reason that I paint or photograph or listen to someone who is speaking to me is that I hope something might happen."

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001




'So much has already been done and there's not much that's new,' he concludes. 'You can't let that stop you though, because the actual exercise of just poking around the debris is worthwhile. Even if you produce stuff that's interesting to nobody but yourself, the activity justifies itself. Making things is a way of finding out.'

Viggo Mortensen
Treasure Island: A visit with Viggo Mortensen
Recent Forgeries
Kristine McKenna 1998




Not everything's a masterpiece, of course, not by a long shot. But when Mortensen's good, when he's firing on all cylinders, he has the ability to produce some truly breathtaking images. According to Dennis Hopper, it's because Mortensen's instincts "come from the right place, from the subconscious."

Whether he's shooting around the fringes of a set or among the people who populate his personal life, 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




'I'm sure I could be a lot more efficient and productive than I am, but there's enough stuff just there. I don't like to arrange. 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 its just laziness or preference but I like to shoot just with what's there, whether its 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




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


Quotable Viggo: 25 May 2008

This week the selection of quotes from our Quotes Pages features comments from and about some of the actresses Viggo has been in films with over the years. Most have loved the chance to work with Viggo but filming can be a dangerous business and it isn't always a walk on the moon.....rock worms anyone?




© Miramax Films/Village Roadshow.


'If Viggo and I convince people we're enjoying every second of that encounter we've really done our job as actors. It was freezing in that river. The water was filled with debris and cigarette butts and the rocks were covered in little worms.'

Diane Lane on the Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun
10 April 1999




'I recorded some things earlier, and Viggo checked the tape recorder, rewound, and erased them. We've learned lesson number one. [VM laughs] He's a control freak in a bad, incredibly thick polyester shirt.'

Interview with Patricia Arquette
By Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine
June 1995




"She actually got me in the balls a couple of times," he recalls with a laugh, "but it was unintentional, I'm sure."

Viggo Mortensen on fighting with Demi Moore in GI Jane
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001




When asked about the remake of Psycho, directed by Gus Van Sant, he softens. "I laughed every day making that movie. There is that scene in a hardware store with Bill Macy - he's just hilarious. He seems like someone who always has an absurd take on what's going on. And Anne Heche - I could tell she just thought I was such a dummy!"

The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003




"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




'Viggo blew me away on a daily basis.....He spent time in Russia and every day he would come to the set with something interesting: a piece of writing or a Russian chocolate or a photo album. I think he stayed in character pretty much the whole time. And that's great. It really helped me... I saw Viggo yesterday for the first time since we finished the film and it was like a whole different person. I almost didn't recognise him.'

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller
Total Film
October 2007




"... we got very brutal. I had bruises all over my body and scabs on my back. Viggo had a bite on the inside of his mouth. At the same time, it also was extremely technical, so we'd stop to look at the monitor: You know, move-your-leg-here kind of thing." A woman reporter actually asked her what it was like kissing Mortensen, and Bello answered: "In my case, painful."

American Brutality
by Liam Lacey
The Globe and Mail Cannes Review
May 17, 2005




Interviewer: A lot of people lose their s**t completely over a couple of men you've worked with recently, so...Viggo Mortensen or Johnny Depp?

Maria Bello: Viggo, definitely Viggo. That's not to say that Johnny's not a wonderful actor and beautiful, but Viggo, I'd wanted to work with him since [Sean Penn's] Indian Runner. He's holy and ridiculous. I've never worked with anyone so determined to create an interesting character. He's a good human being, and he's very, very hot.

Maria Bello
ThebookLA.com
January 2005

Quotable Viggo: 18 May 2008

We've been discussing The Passion of Darkly Noon again over on the film threads and the strange floating shoe (what's that all about...?). Watching the film again last night I was thinking how a touch of the surreal is very Viggo, whether it's Fish Friday, plastic bag art, finding yourself in a Burger King takeaway bag, having an Arthur Miller moment or even finding yourself starring with a giant shoe. So here we have a touch of the surreal....




© New Line Productions Inc.


'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova



Viggo Mortensen's temporary headquarters during the Toronto Film Festival were bare except for one corner, where there was a sculpture assembled from a plastic grocery-store bag draped over a tripod.....While Mortensen used the restroom, I tried to decide if the bag-on-tripod sculpture was a comment on our throwaway culture or a meditation on the relationship between art and reality. Turns out it was his luggage.

Renaissance man jousts with career-changing role
by Chris Hewitt,
Twin Cities
28 September 2005




We wander our way to the Japanese garden, where the cherry blossoms bloom and sit on a steep grass bank. As is his wont wherever and whenever possible, Viggo wears no shoes. He spots an oval-headed balding man, with wisps of gray hair, walking with two younger women.

"Is that Arthur Miller?" he whispers. "Wait till we see his face."

We watch, and even before we see his face, we agree that there is something about the way this man walks that is not the way we somehow know Arthur Miller would walk. And the women are somehow not the women Arthur Miller would walk with in a Japanese garden.

"Let's just say it was," Viggo says, and by this I don't think for a moment he is suggesting that we should conspire to lie about it. Just that, with some willpower and a creative refusal to join the dots and draw a line we will no longer be able to cross, we can delay even this small disappointment and keep alive our moment in the park with Arthur Miller a little while longer.

The Rebel King
by Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




During production on David Cronenberg's thriller A History of Violence last fall, Viggo Mortensen carried around a fish--a 12-inch, anatomically correct plastic trout. It was a peripheral prop, a toy brought in for his character's young daughter, but Mortensen decided to adopt it as a secret talisman of sorts. Every day, he tucked it into his back pocket, his cowboy boots, his bag, anywhere that was out of Cronenberg's sight. "It was like a compulsive thing after a while," the actor explains. "I felt like it was unlucky not to have the trout, so I would sneak it in. It became this game to see if I could keep getting away with it." He did--until the last day of shooting, when his finnish friend fell out...on camera. Says Mortensen, with just a touch of mischievous pride: "David saw it and was appalled."

History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005




...the fishiest event took place for the crew group shot when Mortensen and Bello presented boxes of fresh fish so various crew members could hold the red snappers up for the camera, gingerly clutching them between thumb and forefinger. Mortensen, usually unassuming, flourished a flounder the "big fish." It was all a bit whiffy, but a wonderful indicator of the camaraderie which prevailed throughout the shoot.

Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit



He is [also] an accomplished artist, photographer and poet - in short, not at all the sort of person that you would expect to find represented as a 3-inch high action figure in a Burger King children's meal.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001

Quotable Viggo: 11 May 2008

Well, I'm back with another batch of quotes from our Quotes Pages and a new theme: "Talking.' I've been pondering a lot about the distinctive way our man talks after the recent quote I posted from Peter Ross of the Sunday Herald. He made a wonderful comment on Viggo's apparently unique ability to speak to interviewers in complete sentences. So I've looked for other people's impressions of what it's like to listen to Viggo, included a perceptive comment by him and found a neat quip from DC. Of course, we all know that if he couldn't speak he'd still be able to talk just as eloquently with his hands . Enjoy!




© Focus Features

The first thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he doesn't like talking about himself. The second thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he hasn't stopped talking about himself for the past six months.

On promoting 'Hidalgo'and 'ROTK'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004




My first impressions of Viggo are a little hard to explain. He has an elusive reputation but I found him very down to earth. At the same time, however, he came off as quite mysterious. He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine 2004




This is one helluva guy folks. Gentle - very soft spoken - and yet completely intense. He speaks with you, not at you. His obvious respect for life was refreshing. Viva le Viggo. Oops I guess that should be Danish...

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04




VM is not one of that kind of actors where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




"I learned Spanish and English at the same time as a child, growing up in Buenos Aires. My brothers have told me that when I speak Spanish I'm slightly more relaxed. When I speak English I'm a little more careful. It has to do with the sound, with the language...."

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio, 30 March 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
started.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen
The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 27 April 2008

I've got a mixed bag of quotes from our Quotes Pages this week. They are all things that have been said by Viggo and the only thing that connects them is that they happen to be personal favourites of mine. The first has always inspired me and is a great summation of what artistic freedom truly means. There is a quote about Nature that seems especially relevant for Earth Day (which was on the 22nd). And the last one now seems especially prophetic in the light of his role in The Road!




© New Line Productions Inc.


'Make it [art] purely to please yourself and then there's a chance to please someone else -- that's what it means to me..... If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002



"I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said this," Mortensen says, "it was about meandering through a career, or the arts in general, without seeming to have a deliberate plan. He said, 'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is in the labor.' That's a great line, 'To travel hopefully.' That's what I'd like to do."

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




'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her. '

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




'activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006



'I've been told I've "arrived' so many times I don't know where I ever went,'

Viggo Mortensen
Mooning Over Viggo Mortensen
by Stephen Schaefer
USA Today 1999




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

Quotable Viggo: 21 April 2008

We all know what a wonderful actor, poet, painter, photographer and singer Viggo is so in this week's quotes from our Quotes Pages I'm moving beyond that to look his other talents. So we have Viggo the expert horseman, swordsman, fisherman and wordsmith. He can even change nationalities and be the houseguest of your dreams. Men of the world should definitely tremble . Thank goodness we discovered last week that he isn't a great dancer or else he'd be just perfect, wouldn't he?




© Touchstone / BuenaVista Pictures.


"You know, every actor you work with, you ask them, 'So, how do you ride?' And they always say, 'I ride excellently.' Viggo says to me, 'I ride O.K.' He gets on the horse, and he rides better than me. That's what I mean when I say the guy has no ego problems. He does not exist on the Hollywood plane - do you know what I mean?"

Rex Peterson
Finding Viggo By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




"He could really earn his keep as a painter, certainly as a photographer," says his Rings co-star John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli, a dwarf. "He is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

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




"It was very important to me to make everything as believable as possible. That's why, even when I was exhausted, I always fought with the [heavy] steel sword rather than the lighter one," he explains. "I wanted to make sure the fight scenes were realistic. I shouldn't be able to just throw my sword around like Errol Flynn did, especially when I'm really tired. It should be hard to fight with it! Even when I was just walking around, I'd still wear the steel sword because it was heavier and it affected the way I moved."

Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"From the first moment you start to see the film, you realize that Viggo is not playing a Spaniard, the thing is that he is a Spaniard."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Mano a Mano
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy




Holding a glass of red wine and laughing, Agustín Díaz Yanes asserts, "Viggo is terrifying. He sends you a handwritten letter, all decorated and painted, and when he arrives at your house for dinner he's an intolerable guy: he cleans the fish and picks up the dishes. My wife is fascinated, and she compares the two of us. Damn, what's a guy supposed to do? The bar is set very high."

The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007




"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 13 April 2008

Although I suspect I peaked last week , this week's selection of Quotes from our Quotes Pages also has a theme. Energy. I've even found another Tree quote to tie into it . Does reading about everything Viggo manages to pack into his life make you tired just thinking about it? How does to manage to do it all? I wish I knew. If I could work out how to get half as much into my life as he gets into his, I'd think I'd done very well indeed. So here we have Viggo, the multifaceted, multi-talented, multi-lingual, 'multiplex' powerhouse.....



© Unknown

"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all. He's a massive work-horse, like a massive multiplex. You can go through one door and he's a photographer, then you go through the next door and he's a singer. Then you go and look at his poetry and his art and there's his films! I'm not jealous at all [laughs]. And he's just a great guy and my friend."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"Certain people don't have a lazy bone in their body," says his good friend, producer Don Phillips. "Viggo is that kind of person who has to be continually on the move. He may sometimes bitch and moan about it, but he loves being busy."

Don Phillips, Producer
The Hero Returns, By Tom Roston, Premiere 2003




'If you're going to prepare your role as an actor or as a director properly that takes quite a lot of time and focus and energy.....But you know, I manage to get off a few pictures, take a few pictures, write a few things down late at night in hotel rooms as I bounce around the world.'

Viggo Mortensen
Air America Radio Interview
Transcribed for V-W by Zooey
12 September 2007




"I didn't know about his acting," said Mann, "but I do know he's incredibly gifted as a visual artist. He is a very multifaceted and slightly compulsive individual, constantly creating in every medium. His creative energy is boundless; I assume acting is another extension of that."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001




"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know. There are periods of time that are gems, but you don't have to go into a blizzard in South Dakota or into the rain forests of New Zealand or the middle of the Sahara. You can find that just walking down the street."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
by Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




MT: Is there a common denominator to all your various artistic endeavors?

VM: Curiosity, I suppose. I've been aware for as long as I can remember of the fact that I was going to die. I don't remember not being aware of that. And that, therefore, life is limited. And no matter how many movies you see or how many conversations you have or how many people you listen to or how many books you read or how many travel experiences you have, how many times you return to the same street or the same tree, you can never do it enough. So why not make the effort? You can't put everything off until tomorrow.

A Sense of Finality
by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 6 April 2008

This week is a very special one in Viggodom - a new Viggo book called Skovbo.

While we all wait for it to arrive through our letterboxes I thought I'd take a look at Viggo and trees this week - 'memories of trees', being lost amongst trees, real trees and metaphorical trees, and even a comparison with a famous Tolkien Treeish character . Enjoy!




© New Line Productions inc.

In this new collection of images and poems are trees and the memory of trees, ghosts, words, nights, days, lives, deaths, and safe haven for them all in the place where "...the twigs become branches, / And the mist becomes make-believe..." (Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam). If you daren't enter the forest, or cannot find it, then perhaps you might find one tree, or a place where a tree could be, and just stop for a quiet moment to see what happens.

Viggo Mortensen
Skovbo, 2008




ST: Where did you come up with the name [of Perceval Press]?

VM: Well, the legend of Perceval involves, in part - I'm sure you know about this - the notion of choosing and making your own way. A group of knights comes to the edge of a forest and each one makes his individual path. They consciously choose not to take a path that's already there, but instead create their own. Symbolically, that was the idea behind the press, and that is what we have tried to do with each book.

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003




I didn't really have days off, so I was forced to immerse myself in it. So much of the movie is not special effects, but a real, natural environment, so I thrived on that. The character I was playing was someone who had not only an affinity for living in the wilderness, but by necessity had to be good at it. That was my way of getting comfortable, especially not having a lot of time to prepare. I enjoyed being in the woods.

Viggo Mortensen talking about LotR
Film Review #37



Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003




Even Mortensen's memories of early childhood are deeply spiritual. He tells me about the time he crawled into the woods and fell asleep. "I was sleeping under a tree, and it was very peaceful," he says. "And then a dog started barking, and that's how my parents found me."

You are always escaping, I say.

Yeah, he says. He calls his mother - on my cell phone, because he doesn't have one - to double-check his recollection. "Hi, it's Viggo. Sorry to be calling so late," he says. "Oh shit. You're in the middle of it? That's funny. Is it the tape? [She was watching a tape of The Two Towers.] O.K., sorry, it's just a quick question and then I'll let you get back to what you're doing. Remember there were a couple of times I ran away? And the time the dog came and found me in the woods? How old was I then? About one and a half. O.K. But, anyway, the dog came and found me and I was sitting under a tree? Happy? Sleeping, right?"

Big look of consternation.

"I was sitting in the middle of the woods crying? I thought I was sleeping. Are you sure?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004
Vanity Fair magazine




This man must know something, a man who walks round the forbidden forests of the human nature with impunity, stirring up the bowels of everyday life with his curious eyes and his restless hands; who transforms everything he experiences, everything he sees, into a complex art, neither bad nor good, just different and universal at the same time.

He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path. Then, he gives it back transformed into a sort of abstract personal experience that he quietly shares with those who want to get closer.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
by María Dolores García
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




Mortensen is not what Tolkien's Treebeard would call "hasty."

After Aragorn
by Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 1 April 2008

Here are my latest quotes from our Quotes Pages. This week I'm looking at Directors and some of their comments on why they chose to work with Viggo and what that experience was like. One thing is for certain - when they get Viggo they get more than they could have ever hoped for. The last word, of course, goes to Cronenberg...



With Joe Johnston
© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


Q: Why Viggo Mortensen?

VA: Viggo Mortensen is an extraordinary actor. I had seen him in A History Of Violence, directed by David Cronenberg, in which he plays a man haunted by ghosts from his past. In Good he is a mirror image of it, his character is becoming the ghost he will be. He has the perfect biotype to play a German. He has a sweet kind of masculinity, almost fragile and these characteristics are very important to convince the audience about his choices, even though these choices will take him to an abyss.

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




"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
February 24, 1999




'We have formed a profound friendship and that has been very good for the film and for life. 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




SEAN PENN: "Viggo's inherent kindness as a guy showed in a sort of languid movement. And that was a lesson for me about what parts of people express themselves without trying."

When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly




"He wanted to eat a real locust," Johnston says. "The locust he eats is made out of sugar. He said, 'You know, I can eat a live one.' I said, 'Let's eat all the fake ones first. If we run out, you can eat a live one.' "

Joe Johnston on filming Hidalgo
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004




'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 on GI Jane
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




"Viggo commits himself to a project with the same intensity as the filmmakers - which is rare for an actor," the director says. "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




Q: So what's going to be the next Cronenberg-Mortensen movie?

CRONENBERG: We really don't know. I mean, (Viggo) works a lot, and I get very jealous. He works with other directors, but I'll only work with him. So he's the sIut in the relationship.

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

Quotable Viggo: 23 March 2008

When it comes to attention to detail there is no one like Viggo - whether it's playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Nikolai in Eastern Promises or pursuing his art and taking photos. And in paying attention to detail Viggo also shows us that it's worth paying attention to everything in life, no matter how small.



© New Line Productions Inc.



'When Viggo came in, he fitted the bill perfectly as Aragorn, and he also had great ideas. When he picks up the Hobbits in the first film, he has this small hunting bow and arrows, like someone who lived in the wild would have. But that's not something we had ever thought about designing for Strider. That was Viggo's idea. He came in and started talking about the character, and said, 'If I live out in the wild, I'd have a small hunting bow for catching food. It would never be a big deal, maybe you'd just see it while I'm making a campfire.' We said, 'Yes that makes complete sense, we didn't think of that, so let's make you a bow'. It was always great to have those kinds of discussions with the actors.'

Christian Rivers
Hail To The King
by Lawrence French
Starburst #305, 2003




'...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




"We each have only a limited amount of time here. We have to do more with it - pay attention, explore, be open to all of life. Because we have only one chance, we have to make life seem longer than it really is."

Viggo Mortensen
I Still Ask Why
Dotson Rader
Parade magazine, 2004




"Great artists," writes critic Kevin Powers, "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




'You tend to be paying more attention when you have a camera. You look more attentively. You're much more aware of the landscape. Whether you use it or not, everything kind of changes when you've got the camera with you, the potential of using it.'

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




'Some of the photos are bit blurry though, Viggo, so perhaps you should buy yourself a tripod...'

Peter Jackson at the 'For Wellington' opening
Massey University
Stars Come Out For Exhibition Launch
Massey University
1st Dec 2003

Quotable Viggo: 15 March 2008

I've been having a little fun with some gems from our Quotes Pages this week, starting with a quote from 2005 that suggests that Viggo might be a prophet, but then he goes and spoils it all in March 2007 by failing utterly to predict his current success . Never mind - Omar Sharif and our good friend Miguel know someone who's near perfect when they see one and even if Viggo knows he has flaws he's not complaining....



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.



"When we needed more wind, and after a long dead calm, Viggo sniffed and said: "This afternoon it's going to rain.' And so it was.'

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




'I haven't done the biggest movies I could find one after another, which was an option after Lord of the Rings. But when you choose to go with your heart rather than career ambition, then your star tends to wane a little bit.'

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




"Viggo Mortensen is an extraordinary person...I suspect a defect somewhere. It's not possible, I have never met someone who has no defect. He has all : he is kind, he is generous, he is tender, he is a pacifist, he is tolerant -I'm also tolerant, I like that kind of people- and he helps everybody. He writes poetry, he makes photos...it's extraordinary...he is handsome, he acts well...then we say ourselves it's not possible, people like this do not exist. I did not manage to find it out but there has to be a defect somewhere. One cannot be that perfect ! (laughs)"

Omar Sharif
"Hidalgo" : en tête à tête avec Omar Sharif...
by Peggy Zejgman
allocine.com, 24 March 2004
Trans. by Casablanca




It's difficult to think that such a popular actor as Viggo Mortensen is, can combine humility, naturalness, sincerity, humanism so well, for these are qualities hardly found in one and the same person.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




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
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita




"I have nothing against being seen as the greatest invention since sliced bread..."

Viggo Mortensen
Fyens Stiftstidende
23 October 2005

Quotable Viggo: 8 March 2008

I have a bit of a mixed bag of quotes from our Quotes Pages this week. Firstly we discover that if it hadn't been for Witness Viggo might have been spear-carrying on the stages of the world with the Bard of Avon, then I have a reminder from the New Hampshire Primaries of just how provocative Viggo can be - which neatly follows a comment by Cronenberg, and finally the reason why every time we look at Viggo we just feel happy ! Enjoy....



© Paramount Pictures

'The offer of "Witness' came at the same time as an offer for a Shakespeare play in Central Park. I chose "Witness', although I was only supposed to be there for two days! I had the feeling this was finally my chance. It was Peter Weir who, seeing me, said, "It will be interesting for [the character played by] Alexander Godunov to have this brother who follows him everywhere." And he asked me to stay six weeks instead of one! It was in June and July, it was very hot. As I had little to do, I passed the time in lounging about Pennsylvania with a bicycle I had found. I made friends. I was like Tom Sawyer, and also, they paid me and I could watch the crew on set as I wanted.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002




"The first time I saw Viggo, of course, it was his physical body I noticed first. That was in Witness, by Peter Weir (1985). Since then that image of him has stayed with me whenever I saw him on the screen. I like his voice, erroneously soft, and finally quite provocative, his intelligence, his humour."

David Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007




Of course, conservative Sean Hannity took a few swings. But Mortensen struck back at the dark lord of talk television.

After complimenting Mortensen's film performances, Hannity said, "In spite of everything, I'm going to forgive your politics..."

"You don't have to," said Mortensen. "I'm not going to forgive yours."

Viggo supporting Dennis Kucinich
New Hampshire Presidential Primaries
Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" Show, 2008




Viggo is afraid of nothing, not on the screen and not in life.

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
Jan 8, 2004




There's a UN patch on his sweatshirt and if you ask him where he's based, he says, hippyishly, "Planet Earth, mostly."

'My mother is very happy about it'
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008



Could this guy be sweeter? Um, no. He's like a heaping serving of a triple blueberry hazelnut frangipane smørrebrød sweet!

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review
March 2004

Quotable Viggo: 1 March 2008

Today is Aragorn's birthday (happy birthday, Aragorn!) so this week I'm kicking off the quotes from our Quotes Pages with an Aragorn one. Then I have a very astute comment from Cronenberg on Viggo as an actor, an insight as to why he and Viggo make such a great team, a reminder that painting is fun and a few more bits and pieces thrown in for good measure.



© New Line Productions Inc.


"He's well suited to be a leader, in part because of his interest in different cultures, his extensive travels throughout Middle Earth. He's always looking for what he has in common with other people. He is inclined to be compassionate, show mercy; that's the way he was raised, what he's been taught. And he's conscious of these having been the most positive qualities of the greatest of his ancestors. At the same time, he also knows that even they eventually showed weakness and were distracted by their own concerns or greed."

Viggo Mortensen on Aragorn
The Man Who Would be King,
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 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
Metro
14 January 2008
Metro.co.uk




So, do when you work with Viggo, is it like being in his skin the whole time?

DC: Yes, that's true. I can tell you that one time the props guy came to me and said, 'I'm going to ask you about this because you are Viggo, and Viggo is you-so it doesn't matter which of you I ask.' He saw it.

David Cronenberg's existential promises
By Jennifer Merin
New York Press
14 Sept 2007




'I like to paint and I like glue. I like gel, you know? Acrylic gel. It's fun to play with that and see what that does. I mean, some of the things are things you're not supposed to mix; oil, acrylics, or water. I just like to get dirty and play with it and see what happens. It's just fun. Sometimes you get something interesting by accident by coating something with some thing you haven't tried coating with before. You just have a hunch that will do something to it. It will change the texture or alter it some how chemically in an interesting way and change the tone of it. I don't know. I don't have a reason really...'

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




Viggo Mortensen turns 50 next year, and he's one of those movie actors whom you want to see age.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007




Q: What do you think makes you sexy?

VM: 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

Quotable Viggo: 23 February 2008

Time to build up some Oscar karma over here too . I thought this would be a great time to take a look back at Viggo's film reviews over the years. We all know he's always been a fantastic actor and it's good to know there are critics out there who have always agreed with us.



© Focus Features.


Viggo Mortensen comes of age as an actor and a movie star. Mortensen has played a king of Middle-earth and, for Cronenberg, a man with two lives. This is the first time, though, his performance seemed so much bigger than the film surrounding it. That he managers the feat with so few wasted gestures puts him in line with the greats.....Mortensen plays this role as if he had different blood chemistry than the rest of us. Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul.

Ty Burr
Boston Globe
14 Sept 2007




© Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.


The riveting Viggo Mortensen is ideally cast as Alatriste, a noble soldier of very few words and very large actions....Mortensen is astonishing, channelling the very essence of Alatriste's fiery integrity.

Diana Sanchez
Toronto Film Festival Promo
Aug 2006




© New Line Productions Inc.


One of the great strengths of this movie is the performances. Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it. There's no stupid tricks, where he changes his hairstyle or something when he goes back to being Joey. It's all done with the set of his shoulders, and his walk, and the look in his eyes, and it's chilling.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005




© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......
......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004





© New Line Productions Inc.


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.

Fellowship of the Ring
Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001




© Miramax Films / Village Roadshow.


Mortensen ("A Perfect Murder," Gus Van Sant's "Psycho") is also perfectly cast, skillfully side-stepping all stereotypes even though he plays a sensitive, seductive beatnik.

Rob Blackwelder
SPLICEDwire
Splicedonline.com




© Warner Brothers.


But Viggo Mortensen, well heck, now there's an actor with some bite!! If you have yet to hear much about this man, open your ears, and listen wide. This guy can act...and act well goddammit!

Berge Garabedian
Joblo.com
November 2, 1998




© Hollywood Pictures / Trap-Two-Zero.


Urgayle is an intriguing character, played by Mortensen to suggest depths and complications. In an early scene he is discovered reading a novel by J.M. Coetzee, the dissident South African who is not on the Navy's recommended reading list, and in an early scene he quotes a famous poem by D.H. Lawrence, both for its imagery (of a bird's unattended death) and in order to freak out the trainees by suggesting a streak of subtle madness.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 22, 1997




Courtesy of Viggo's Celluloid Haven.
© Neo Motion Pictures / Overseas Film Group.


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




© Hollywood Pictures / Don Simpson & Jerry.


Despite an overload of technical terms, this film still managed to capture my attention and interest with a plausible situation, credible actors (Mortensen rocks!), an environment about which I knew very little and spitlets of comic relief.

Michael Schiffer
JoBlo.com Movie Reviews
October 12, 1999




Courtesy of sagralisse.
© Universal Pictures.


Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005




© Westmount.


Still, it's the brothers who hold the screen. Mortensen, working in hot colors, and Morse, working in gray, deliver sensational performances.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Quotable Viggo: 17 February 2008

After the distractions of the BAFTAS last week I'm back with some more Viggo related quotes, starting with a couple from Alatriste. The film may have been ignored outside of Spain, but Viggo's outstanding performance will always be very precious to us. Then there are a couple of very perceptive insights from Geoffrey Rush and Diane Lane.



© 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.



'It's like he had always been Alatriste! And the truth is that I think that Alatriste has made Viggo a Spaniard."

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




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
July 2006
Source: Citizen K Espana




"I wanted to be Alatriste at any cost."

Viggo Mortensen
A Latin Man Comes From The NorthBy Riccardo Romani
translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy), May 2007




There are actors whose performances come as light emanating from the screen. Then there's Mortensen. His effect is gravitational. It draws you closer, inward.

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing Eastern Promises at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




I saw this picture with Diane Lane called A Walk on the Moon. And there was something about his performance in that film that told me that this guy could be Frank Hopkins. 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




His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

Quotable Viggo: 3 February 2008

It's time for some more of our weekend quotes from our Quotes Pages and following Viggo's meeting up with Christopher Walken at the SAG Awards I thought I'd start with our favourite devil . Plus, a lovely comment from our good friend Miguel and one journalist's reaction to Viggo's casual dress style. Enjoy!




© Neo Motion Pictures/Overseas Film Group.



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




Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......

Ray Pride
Movie City News
March 4, 2004




'Many actors tend to think of their work in terms of career - this strange sort of concept that acting is like climbing up a mountain, that they get bigger with each job - and art doesn't move like that. Viggo knows that instinctively.'

Philip Ridley
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002




He doesn't need to wield a sword to be recognized. For those who can see beyond that, his personality stands out from the rest with no need of spotlights. He has his own light.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"People who are creators create," he says. "People say to me all the time, 'Why don't you just focus on one thing?' And I say, 'Why? Why just one thing? Why can't I do more? Who makes up these rules?"

Viggo Mortensen
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




Viggo bursts through the swinging front door of L.A.'s oldest Irish pub around 11.30 in the morning, wearing a faded blue-and-white-striped button-down shirt and no-nonsense gray pants that a plumber might wear to unclog a drain.

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish
by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

Quotable Viggo: 27 January 2008

With this week's Oscar Nomination it has to be Nikolai, Nikolai and more Nikolai . So here are just a few reminders why this year is Viggo's year:




© Focus Features.



"Viggo is a brilliant actor - beyond what people realize - and I believe that with Eastern Promises that is going to be more evident."

David Cronenberg
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features




.....keep your eyes on Mortensen. You could make an entire movie about the way that guy just stands in a room and quietly scans the atmosphere for even the slightest molecular disturbance.

Come to think of it, Eastern Promises may be that movie.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007




It's a watershed role for Mortensen and, such is the commitment he offers, it's not too rash to compare his performance to Robert De Niro's Oscar-winning turn as the young Don Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007




"I think people should see it just for his performance alone."

Naomi Watts on Viggo
Good Morning America
6 Sept 2007



Viggo Mortensen dares you to take your eyes off of him.

Jan Stuart
Newsday
14 Sept 2007




"Viggo Mortensen gives a great screen performance.........He's completely inside his imaginative world, creating a character using invisible technique. There's a great kind of personal stamp that's idiosyncratic for the character. He explores extreme parameters within the character on his own terms and therefore creates someting entertaining and thrilling for an audience to get involved with on their own imaginative level."

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing the film at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post Film Critic
14 Sept 2007




Viggo Mortensen has one of the most incredible faces in the world, striking and amazingly versatile. His rough-hewn, chiseled visage allows him to inhabit any character he wants to, regardless of background or ethnicity, and we buy into it unconditionally.

Through physical appearance alone, Mortensen can be both 'Lord of the Rings'' rugged warrior and noble king and 'Hidalgo's' half-Lakota cowboy. He was even entirely convincing as an everyman with a shady past in 'A History of Violence.'

It's no surprise then that his turn as a Russian gangster in 'Eastern Promises' is yet another triumph. What is surprising is just how fantastic he is in the role.

Although his acting chops have never been in doubt, what Mortensen accomplishes in the role of Nikolai Luzhin, the driver of a Russian mob family, goes beyond simply good acting - it's a complete transformation. With his flawless Russian accent, tattoo-covered body and a face so sharp it looks like it could cut diamonds, he becomes nearly unrecognizable, even without the use of prosthetics or heavy makeup.

Nikolai is arguably Mortensen's most deeply drawn and accomplished character to date. It's a performance worthy of the highest praise and one that will surely catapult him to the top ranks of in-demand actors...

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007




"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

Quotable Viggo: 20 January 2008

I'm back this week with my selection of quotes from our Quotes Pages after a week's break. I've found some topical ones to go with the recent appearance on Ebay of one of Viggo's old paintings, a 2005 comment on the call to impeachment which tells us all we need to know about why Viggo took the red eye to New Hampshire, an insight into our favourite Walker and my all time favourite reason why we're all hooked on Viggo . Enjoy!




© Miramax Films / Village Roadshow.


'I know that some people are describing Walker as a hippie, but he really wasn't. He was a little older than that generation and probably more influenced by jazz and the beat generation, so that made him maybe a little more open to things. It wasn't just about Woodstock for him.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Walk on the Moon
Viggo Artist & Actor
by Jae-Ha Kim
Cleveland Plain Dealer 1999




'...this doesn't have to do with left wing, right wing, it doesn't have to do with democrat, republican, it's about honesty.'

Viggo Mortensen on his call to impeach Bush
In Contention
Chris Tapley's In Contention blog
6 October 2005




'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



'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



Most actors will agree on the value of appearing enigmatic. But there is enigmatic and then there is Viggo Mortensen...

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




He has that incurable, unbearable, enigmatic eroticism of a three in the morning dream you've just awakened from.

Talking With Viggo
George magazine 1999

Quotable Viggo: 6 January 2008

More quotes this week from our Quotes Pages. We have a little snippet on the casting of Tom Stall, an insight into Viggo's flowery side and, on a much more serious note, a couple of quotes on compassion and responsibility that all world leaders would do well to take on board.




© New Line Productions Inc.



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




"One of the most valuable things I've been reminded of [working on LotR] is the value of compassion. The importance of mercy. Especially towards people that you don't understand or you have differences with. Understanding that even the smallest person matters. Let's say we're sitting in a restaurant and we're talking about compassion and humility and how bad prejudice is, and the waiter comes over, and you say, 'go away, we're busy talking, can't you see that?' you've blown everything you just said. So it does matter how Merry and Pippin talk to each other. It does matter how I treat my son. It does matter how I deal with a waiter or anybody. It's what each person does and how they react, that's what makes community, what makes a society. It's obvious, but what else is there? and that's what the story tells you."

Viggo Mortensen on LotR
by Emmanuel Itier
theBookLA.com
2004




"I think it should almost be a requirement that leaders in our world have self-doubt, that they display a certain hesitation in certain situations. I mean, the price of acting rashly in our times, because of the weaponry involved and because of the amount of people involved, is great. And if you don't hesitate or if you don't consider the effects of your thoughts and your actions and your words on others around you as an individual or as a leader of a nation, then it's a dangerous thing."

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality
by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




"Immersion is essential for me. I consider each film like a new school."

Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
November 2007




Mortensen has a disposition towards an archaeology of emotions, of things that are buried, weathered but surviving along with the rest of us

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002



PA: If you were a flower, viggo, what kind would you be?

VM: Today, I'd be one of those spiky little red bottlebrush trees.

Interview with Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine, 1995

Quotable Viggo: 30 December 2007

I'm rather behind with my selection of quotes from our Quotes Pages this weekend. My head really has been elsewhere! But I hope it's not to late for you to enjoy them.


I've started with an interesting insight into our favourite bad boy, Frankie, and ended with confirmation that Viggo looks good anywhere (well, we knew that of course ). In between you'll find my favourite piece of Viggo's writing, musings on inspiration and how to find it and an anecdote about the Finnish and Swedish Winter Olympic teams . Enjoy!





© Westmount.



'Hopefully what will come across is that he does things he does because he's pure, pure good and pure bad,' explains Mortensen. 'I mean, compared to me and most people I know - we kind of have little controls and little ways of limiting our behaviour and our reactions to people. Frank doesn't really do that.'

Sean Penn Bites Back,
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




The typical Hollywood leading man travels with an entourage between his palatial homes, five-star hotel suites and luxury trailers. He does not disappear alone for two weeks to meet the Russian mafia in the name of research.

Actor joins the underworld's shadowy cast
Ben Hoyle
The Times
October 17, 2007




'Inspiration is a notion, an impulse that has its own shape, before you stumble onto it. If you're in too much of a hurry, you try to tell it what it is, instead of having it tell you what it is. And I think if you do that, you're gonna miss out.'

Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers
By Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University, 2003




'Words were everywhere I looked, filling dreams, giving me names for everything. It was all I could do to keep up with them, catch a few as they drifted through me, fell now and then from clouds, from my eyes to the table, onto my lap or became tangled in horses' manes. Most of the words got away, as they usually will, but at night I regularly managed to gather them in bunches.'

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004




Rove: I know you used to be a translator with, I think, the Swedish Hockey Team in the Winter Olympics?

Viggo: Well, I was meant to be a translator for the Danish Olympic Team but nobody showed up. Literally. And they said "Well, can you understand the Swedes?' I said "I probably can. I'm not sure they can understand me.' But it became...what I really got to do was go to a lot of hockey games with drunken Finns and Swedes...'

Rove Live interview
Melbourne
February 28 2006




....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, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 16 December 2007

It's time for more quotes from our Quotes Pages . This week we've got thoughts on acting and the story of how poetry got into GI Jane. Plus my most favourite comment on that Red Suit. Finally - for another point of view on how to sum up Viggo's appeal - Viggo's own description of himself .



© Hollywood Pictures/Trap-Two-Zero.



"I've... seen advertised, teachers saying, 'I'll show you how to not only win in auditions, I'll show you how to win every scene.' You can't win every scene. That's not even a goal. The goal isn't to win anything. The goal is to be there. That's how you tell a story. And so when you're thinking in terms of results, then you're skipping the reaction part, the foundation of good acting."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West, 5 January 2004




For Mortensen's first scene, in which his character addresses some 40 prospective SEALs, Scott was looking for something more unusual than a normal drill instructor's spiel. Mortensen brought in a short D. H. Lawrence poem ('I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself...') that the director says showed richer and more intriguing sides of a character whose ensuing act of violence are so horrific that many viewers may not get past them. The poem, in fact becomes a crucial part of the film. For a key scene in which Mortensen's character gives a copy of the book to Demi Moore's character, the actor used his own dog-eared copy.

Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




"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




He speaks with a softness and strength at the same time. The depth of his tenor and the thoughtful, unhurried way in which he expresses himself makes his words a visual, spoken poetry.

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
December 2003




"To be an artist is to remain conscious of your surroundings, and I believe that we all have that capacity. Children have it and, as they grow up, they lose it."

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




'Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!'

Comment on the Red Suit
Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007




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'".

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

Quotable Viggo: 9 December 2007

Time for some more quotes from our Quotes Pages . I'm starting with a old review from Robert Ebert which nails one of Viggo's acting talents and gives us a taste of Cronenbergian things to come, plus a great Viggo quip and a thought provoking statement which should challenge all of us.




© Warner Brothers.


Viggo Mortensen undergoes an interesting transformation in his key scene with Douglas; we believe him when he's a nice guy, and we believe him even more when he's not; he doesn't do a big style shift, he simply turns off his people-pleasing face.

Roger Ebert reviewing 'A Perfect Murder'
Chicago Sun-times
June 5, 1998




The first thing I had to do was a swordfight [the confrontation with the Ringwraiths on Weathertop]. Even before I spoke a single word of dialogue, I was forced to confront the physicality of my character. It was probably helpful to do something physical before speaking. More than for any other character, Aragorn's actions speak for him. His choices, the decisions he makes, his physicality, his body, tell you a lot about him. He's a man who throws himself into situations. Which is why it was good to begin my work with a swordfight.

Viggo Mortensen on playing Aragorn
Official Movie Guide



"In the beginning everyone was very obsessed with getting my name changed. 'Viggo Mortensen - that's too long and too strange', they said. I suggested as a joke to change it to "Vic Morton'. That sounds like one of those movie private investigators in the 40's... "Vic Morton, private eye'. No, my name is Viggo Mortensen, I am Viggo Mortensen, and Hollywood will have to live with that'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi, M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




Me: We have to talk about women, because you are the sexiest man alive.

Him: So there are a lot of dead men who are sexier?

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish
by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006



'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006




'Not speaking something that you know or think is the truth is complicity.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Other Mortensen, by Mariana Enriquez
translated for V-W by Margarita
Página 12,
20 November 2005

Quotable Viggo: 2 December 2007

After our first peek at Hitch and Cole I've got cowboys and horses on my mind so I've come up with a cracking horsey one-liner from Viggo and a reminder that when Hidalgo came out he was seen by some as the successor to the great Western actors of old. That and a treat for closet Carpenters fans.



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.



When there's action to be had, Mortensen looks like a real pro. He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood; and has a great seat on a horse. Even when the movie gets a little slow--and it does, a 3000-mile desert race will do that to a movie--Mortensen's onscreen appeal saves the day.

Hidalgo
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com




It's not as if we haven't seen movies like "Hidalgo" before -- the cowboy, the horse, the hat -- and yet there's something fresh about it all the same. Part of it comes from Viggo Mortensen, an actor who has the measured pace and steady gaze of a Cooper or a Stewart.

Wild West to wild Mideast
Mortensen saddles up as former cowboy racing across desert
Mick LaSalle
Chronicle, 5 March 2004




'...they're terrible at writing, but I look forward to seeing them soon.'

Viggo on his horses in New Zealand
'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
By Russell Baillie
New Zealand Herald
March 18 2006




Q: Didn't you live in South America for about nine years as a kid?


A: Yeah, I was 11 when we moved back to the States. I couldn't believe the swear words, the slang, the music - all the kids were into Blue Oyster Cult and Grand Funk Railroad. I was a closet Carpenters fan. I'd sing 'Top of the World' to myself on the way to school, but when I got close to campus I'd shut up.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998




'According to my mother I never went anywhere as a child without a pencil, and I drew all the time. Recently she gave me a notebook with some of my old drawings. I especially noticed one I drew when I was 7 - it was rather wild. On the top it said: 'Little Red Riding Hood', and then there were a lot of oil colours mixed together, almost abstract. I really liked it. But across the drawing it said with a red pen - and underlined: VERY BAD! Some teachers still think that is motivating...'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood,
by Poul Hoi, M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




....despite his serene composure, you sense an invisible thread of unrest hanging off him, just waiting to be pulled. That unrest may be why he paints, writes and takes pictures, and a similar unrest drives his movie counterpart, Aragorn.

A Man Apart
by Ingrid Randoja,
Famous, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 25 November 2007

Here's our regular weekend dollop of tasty quotes from our Quotes Pages. You can tell I've just been cooking, can't you ?


We start off with a glimpse from The Portrait of a Lady and a well-known comment from Sean Penn that has turned out to be true, but which has probably taken a lot longer to come about than he could ever have imagained!



Courtesy of Viggo's Celluloid Haven.
© Polygram Filmed Entertainment.



Jane Campion, who directed The Portrait of a Lady, says Mortensen was shy at first. "Nicole [Kidman] and I had to beat him up. We called him Kiddie just to try and get him to treat us like pals. Of course, eventually we warmed him up so much we couldn't control him."

The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
by Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine 1997




"I remember Sean saying to me on about the sixth week of shooting," Indian producer Phillips recalls, "'Don, Viggo's going to be a humongous star.'"

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston, Premiere 2003




'I don't have to wait on other people as to whether I'm allowed to work, and it's up to me if I want to ruin it in the editing.'

Viggo Mortensen on writing poetry
by Steve Pond, US Magazine #236, 1997




Right now there is a resurgence of the hero but invested with those qualities we are most devoid of. Quite often, most of the time, they are fictional characters that have been wrongly embellished with those things we wanted to see. But at other times, occasionally, the flesh-and-blood hero emerges, stationed on a corner, wandering the streets or simply sharing fragments of his existence. Viggo Mortensen occupies that place of the ultimate present hero.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




"I am what I am and there is nothing I can do. But I have never changed a bit of myself because of my work or, worse, because of the success I have reached."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy), May 2007

Quotable Viggo: 18 November 2007

Time for our weekly quotes and I'm kicking off this selection from our Quotes Pages with a reminder that Cronenberg's relationship with Viggo isn't the first time a director has found him an understanding collaborator who's really prepared to go that extra mile:




© Fugitive Features/Hauskunst/Keytsman Productions.



'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. Just as well really. Because Viggo - being Viggo - decided that, as he was playing a mute, he wouldn't speak at all for the duration of making the film.'

Philip Ridley talking about The Passion of Darkly Noon
Tokyo International Film Festival
From "The American Dreams: Two Screenplays by Philip Ridley'
Methuen 1997




'Viggo himself is a man possessed of both great creative integrity and strong, lucid political conviction. That he has used the fruits of his success as an actor to found Perceval is an extremely rare sort of endeavor but absolutely true to the man himself. There's a paradoxical quality to Viggo - he's a fiercely individual entity with an enviable creative output, but he simultaneously possesses a strong sense of community responsibility. I think Perceval is just one manifestation of that drive to illuminate work by others that might go unnoticed. It's a very, very positive quality, in my opinion.'

David Newsom, Author of "Skip'
ReadySteadyBook.com
Mark Thwaite, March 10 2006




SC: I read somewhere that you had the best walk. What's that about?

VM: Really? (Laughs) I don't know. How do they know? I guess people are standing behind you. Yeah ... watching me walk. What's a good walk? I stay in a straight line, I think. That's a good thing to aim for.

Leggo My Viggo
By Suzan Colon,
Jane magazine 1999




"A movie set is like a ritual, with all the trappings and preparation. I feel like when we go to a set and we rehearse - or not - and we're wearing these costumes and saying these words, it's like an invocation, an invitation to magic, to the unexplained, to let the unexpected to enter into our lives."

Viggo Mortensen
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
By Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




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

Quotable Viggo: 11 November 2007

It's time for our weekend quotes again, lifted from our Quotes Pages. We start with a reminder of a couple of early roles, including his stage role in Bent which won him the Dramalogue Critics award in '87:



© Overseas Film Group



The play's climax depends heavily on the steely autoeroticism Viggo Mortensen injects as a blank-eyed, quietly sadistic Nazi captain (it's a terrifically forceful performance).

On Viggo's performance in Bent
Hard-edged Drama Gets a Little Mushy in Bent
The Orange County Register, 1987




I especially enjoyed working with our cast, particularly Viggo and Ryo, both of whom I hope to someday get a chance to work with again if the Fates should allow it. I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince.

Richard Clabaugh
Cinematographer for American Yakuza
www.rclabaugh.com




Trying to describe his movie career is like finding your way in a Middle-eastern medina.

Soon you think you're on the right way - only to end up in a dead end of spices and camel-mongers. The Danish-American has had his breakthrough in a - for an actor - mature age. As Los Angeles Times found out with a shake on the head: 'He was not less than 40 years old, before he got his own website'.

Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




"If you are both really talented and, deep down, a very core artist like Viggo, in the end you cannot swallow the bile, the bad scripts, the rest of it," says Rhys-Davies. "Eventually you just have to say, I could make this dross work, but I don't have enough time left in my life to do it. And Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip, by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




'You know, they have nice beds in this hotel. It's a nice change once in a while. Just like TV. I don't watch TV at home, but when I come to the hotel, it's like, all these pillows and TV! And it's like, this is great! God, why didn't I do this before, but every time, it lasts about 15 minutes before I get bored and switch off the TV.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality, by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 4 November 2007

Time for a few more quotes by and about Viggo, starting with one that sums up why I (and many more of us here, I think ) started liking him in the first place and another by Sean Penn that confirms that when it comes to creating a character, nothing changes...



© New Line Cinema


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




"He was dazzlingly committed all the time. He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character," says Penn, who delighted in seeing Mortensen arrive on set each day with a "Santa Claus sack" full of various props he'd chosen. "He's an often solitary, very poetic creature, Viggo, and all of that worked [for the movie]."

Penn talking about the Indian Runner
History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly, August 19, 2005




"...if one can decide to become an actor, it's not the same for art - there is no starting point, it's there, in you, that's all."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine, December 2002




Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003




He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




"For a long time now, I've been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I've proved it."

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

Quotable Viggo: 20 October 2007

It's the weekend so it's time for a few more gems from our Quotes Pages. Starting with a review from Viggo's last collaboration with Cronenberg - a 'promise' of things to come - and a look at one of those might have beens.....Greystoke anyone?





© New Line Productions Inc.



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 on A Hiatory of Violence
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




"If there's something in a story that might be good for me to explore and learn about, that pricks my conscience or even scares me on some level, then that's where I try to go.

Viggo Mortensen
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right"
By Scott Thill, Morphizm.com
6 April 2004




"Right out of the gate, I was auditioning for leads in studio movies. It would get down to the last two people," says Mortensen, who recalls the whirlwind of being flown first class to England for the lead in 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. "The next thing I know, I'm training with monkeys."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns, by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




VM is not one of that kind of actor where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 13 October 2007

Here's this week's selection of Viggo quotes and quotes about Viggo from our Quotes Pages. Now Viggo's filming a Western there is a very appropriate one to start us off . Enjoy!



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures


Indeed Mortensen, one of the few Danes who can get away with a cowboy hat (in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Hidalgo), looks so much like a man from the Golden West, it's a wonder he isn't attached to remakes of everything from High Noon to Carry On Cowboy.

A History of Violence is David Cronenberg's Western
Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
March 2006




It would seem from even a cursory reading of world history that there is no new horror under the sun, that we will perhaps always have to contend with destructive impulses in ourselves and others. That does not prevent us from making an effort to change, from working to find a better way.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Carlito's Way
Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005




I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, 'listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: "Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those paintings.'

Viggo Mortensen on Alatriste
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007





Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo in the films, says that Mortensen is one of the strangest and most charismatic people he has ever encountered. "When I first met him, we sat down in this real crusty place, the Green Parrot, and I remember not being able to hold a conversation, because I was so intimidated," Wood says. "There is something beautiful and quiet about Viggo, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized how insanely brilliant and crazy he is - how he has this insane wild side." Like when Mortensen's tooth was knocked out during a scene and he asked to have it put back in with Super Glue. Or when his car hit a rabbit in the road and he decided to roast it and eat it. Or when he slept in his costume for weeks at a time?

"Yeah, he's mental," Wood says. "But in a good way."

Elijah Wood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 7 October 2007

While going about 'tarting up' our Quotes Pages I was astonished all over again by how truly amazing this man is - the remarkable, challenging and humorous things he says and the extraordinary compliments he gets from friends and colleagues, interviewers and reviewers.

This is the first of a weekly week-end post with a selection from the Quotes Pages. A sort of verbal reminder why we love Viggo (as if we needed one ). So....this week's selection from our Quotes Pages:




© Empire pictures.


"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988




"I had days where I was only speaking Russian, and David was like, 'Jesus I didn't realize I was making a foreign film!'

Viggo Mortensen
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that. And I love the fact that, as far as I have been able to see, he has not given away any of his mystery. People want to figure you out so they can move on. But he's the one who moves on." His muse, Lane says, is the tramp. "He can be as debonair as he wants. For that afternoon. But then the tramp will call him again."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004




All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph




Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul - Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007
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Last edited: 15 February 2010 09:13:03

Source: https://www.viggo-works.com/?page=1660