Quotable Viggo

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Quotable Viggo 2010

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Quotable Viggo: 19 December 2010

As there will be no Quotable next week (it being Christmas and all) I thought I'd put together a Christmas Quiz for you this week to keep those brain cells ticking over through the Holiday Season. There are no prizes - it's just a bit of fun. Note down your answers yourselves rather than posting them, and I'll post the solutions in the New Year. Then you can all tell us if you got any of them right! So.... rack your brains and see if you can remember or work out who said:



©New Line Cinema


"...it's become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up." The guy is a mule -- he seems tireless. But he's kind and focused too."


'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.'


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


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


"I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence."


"...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."


"...So we 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. I can't believe how much this is going to make it sound like I'm in love with the guy."


"I went to an art show in L.A. and saw these incredible paintings and photographs and said "Who is this man?" and found out he was an actor. So I've always had an artistic, intellectual crush on him, and people told us throughout the years, we'd be friends, and when we met, it was certainly like that."


"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? I know that Viggo has asked himself that question and his answer was 'Yes.'"


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


"Some of the photos are bit blurry though, Viggo, so perhaps you should buy yourself a tripod..."


"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."


"It's like a marriage. You might see two people together and not understand why they are, but they know. We know. We feel we can get the best out of each other."


"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!"


"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."


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


"If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie"


"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."


"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."


Quotable Viggo: 11 December 2010

Until we start to see the promotion of A Dangerous Method (can that come too soon?) I'm having to rummage more than ever through the depths of the Quotable Vault. I have some very recent shiny new quotes, and luckily there are always some 'new' old ones that I've kept squirreled away and which have never yet seen the light of day. Along with a few old nuggets that I've given a polish because they are always worth reading, I've made up a mixed bag covering everything from the dangers of childhood (no, not the snake!), the interesting fact that Viggo was messing with stage rifles long before Appaloosa and a clear indication that the writer of the 36th Telluride Film Festival Program Guide has a bit of a crush.



© Morgan Creek Productions.


"It's amazing what he brought to that role," Fusco says. "I remember I was in my hotel room in Santa Fe, and there's this knock on the door pretty late at night. I open it, and there was Viggo holding a rifle. He said, 'I got some ideas about the scope my character would have on his rifle. Do you have a minute?' He came in, and he sat down dead serious and showed me this conversion he'd done to an historically accurate scope. He said, 'With all the copper mining in these parts, I think it would be copper.' I remember thinking, 'Wow, this guy is serious. He's really got it.'"

John Fusco
Mandi Bierly
Entertainment Weekly
6 August 2010



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


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

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009




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




"Some actors say that the best way to reach intensity is to stay fresh by not rehearsing, but I don't agree with that. I think being in control is much better: you understand the story, the surroundings, the scene, what went on before and so, if the dialogue suddenly changes because the script is rewritten or the other actor has made a mistake, you keep on acting in character. And, although sometimes you can be out of control, I don´t think that´s the way it has always to be. If anything unexpected happens you need to be ready to do something."

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Gloria Scola - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Sage
Pantalla Semanal
5 February 2010




"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)




"....if you´ve written a poem and you read it, you don´t know what will happen. Something changes between my mouth and the eyes and ears of those who are there reading or listening to my words, my little story. Something changes between writing it and pronouncing the words. I don´t know what the reader receives. There´s no net. For that reason, I'm responsible for what I´ve written and for how I read it."

Viggo Mortensen - All of Us are Mestizos
by Carlos Shilling - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Zoe
LaVoz
November 2010




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




"...I was always running away. I did that a lot. [Another time] when I was a child, about two-and-a-half, I crawled out of bed and across the road and crawled into someone's house on a Sunday morning. I was in the kitchen playing with all the pots and pans, and they called my parents, who had been calling the police. I think they said: 'You are missing someone, and he is here playing with our kitchen knives.'"

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




With so many active interests, Mortensen admits he used to be impatient. "It felt unjust that we were given such a limited period on earth, but I don't feel that way any more. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I just figure, eh, what's your hurry?'"

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




Before, you were saying you are an optimist by nature. What are you doing to protect the environment and prevent the planet from becoming what it is in the movie?

Everything that's in my hands. I have a hybrid car, the first Prius that came out on the market; it still works great. My son shares it with me. I recycle everything I can. I try not to waste natural resources or to pollute. Small things that if done every day, serve to make a better world.

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




As he turns away I see that his football shirt has been signed by a player called The Frog, who wrote: "Thank you for being simple," which I ask him to explain. Is he thanking you for being a half-wit? He laughs. "I think he means thank you for being real. He was a childhood hero of mine. A great player. Kept it simple." Simple is the last thing you would ever think of Mortensen. He's very complicated, but also very real.

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




...there's a good chance Mortensen has the smallest shoe collection in Hollywood.

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




What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Occasionally being mistrustful of others.

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




MP: On a lighter note, 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

Quotable Viggo: 4 December 2010

If you ever follow all the google alerts (as I have been today), you will have realised by now the endless wishful thinking that casts Viggo in a part in practically every comic book film adaption, EVER. Sometimes as a Super Hero, sometimes - much more interesting - as a Super Villain. So I thought it would be super to have a dig around the Comic side of things - comic books, comic strips and superheroes. It leads us to the surprising discovery that Alatriste has a touch of the superhero, that Nikola (I kid you not) is found to have a bit of the comic strip about him, and that TJ reminds Viggo of that old comic strip character, Andy Capp. Of course, A History of Violence sprung from the comic book's darker offspring, the graphic novel, and although Aragorn isn't exactly a comic book character, it did lead to becoming a plastic poseable Ranger, played with by kids the world over. For extra fun, I offer two comic clips:

Viggo winds up Bernard Hill

Dominic Monaghan picks his perfect Batman



© Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.


....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



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



'When I was very young, we travelled very often, and we stayed there for a couple of weeks during the summer. Yet, I remember being shocked when I moved to the US and saw that all the TV shows that I used to watch in Argentina in Spanish were the same, but they were in English! I thought that Batman and all the cartoons were in Spanish...'

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
By Gabriel de Lerma - translated by Graciela
Selecciones
March 2009



Viggo Mortensen as Batman: As I said before, this really isn't the Batman that we know, love, and secretly wish we were. He is not the Bruce Wayne figure with flaunted wealth. He's a beleaguered soul ruined by the loss of his parents, a figure of revolution and destruction, a terrorist. I'd like to throw out the name Viggo Mortensen for no other reason than it's Viggo. I don't see a need to justify it beyond that. The guy is a genius.

By Cole Abaius
FilmSchoolRejects.com
6 February 2010



After reading the script [of HoV], which was inspired by a graphic novel, actor Mortensen wondered why Cronenberg took the project on. "I thought it was interesting, but most directors would make an exploitation movie out of it and it might have been interesting to look at, but not very thought-provoking. Obviously, he makes thought-provoking movies, so I wondered why he wanted to do this one. I asked him immediately. He gave -- and continues to give -- interesting answers."

American brutality
by Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail Cannes Review
May 17 2006



A touch of stylisation in the look of the characters - notably, Mortensen's somewhat comic-strip hood, with his shades and sculpted hair - emphasises the gulf between Anna's legit reality and the dark side inhabited by Nikolai.

Eastern Promises - Surprisingly Tender Thriller
By Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily
10 September 2007



Alatriste's powers: The cape - He doesn't fly, but at night on the streets of Hapsburg-ruled Madrid, he uses it to conceal himself. It's just like Batman and Superman's, even if it's a little more tattered.

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



"With T.J. anybody can go up and pet him or be around him and it's like, 'whatever.' I think of Andy Capp a lot when I look at him. You know that comic strip, the guy who's got the pint and the cap and the cigarette in his mouth? That's T.J."

Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Jeffrey M Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
11 February 2004



Two days later I'm in a toy shop looking at the small Aragorn figurine that my son has thrust into my hands bleating "I want, I want", and I'm wondering if this is as close as I'll get to Viggo.

Josie McNaught attempts to interview Viggo
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
By Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times
16 November 2003



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



"Is it horrible?" he winces. "Does it look like me? As long as it doesn't look like me, then there's no voodoo risk."

Viggo Mortensen on his LOTR action figure
Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001



Your son Henry convinced you to take the part of Aragorn. What was his impression of the final product?

Henry is typically understated, so if you know him, approval from him basically comes in an answer like "You guys did okay, you guys did all right." But I would have heard from him in detail if we had screwed up. I think he was pretty well pleased and as I found out later, very happy for me to play a character who, as he put it, "finally has an action figure."

The One King
By Bryan Cairns
Film Review Yearbook (Special #49)
2004


Quotable Viggo: 28 November 2010

Creating a role in a film is a two way thing - overseeing your work as an actor is a Director, and everything you do is in his or her hands. Will they let you be spontaneous and go off script? Will they see those small moments and - more importantly - make sure the camera catches them? Will they provide a safe and stimulating environment in which you can take risks? Will it be your character on screen at the end, or their take on it? While so much can go wrong, in some cases everything can be very right.



© 2006 Yahoo! Iberia SL


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



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
1 March 2003



Are you in the cutting room with your directors?

No. It interests me and I have learned a lot watching how what is done is portrayed on the screen; what remains of yourself, what doesn't. It's quite common that they spoil things, it's sad but true; there's a lack of talent, vision. But I don't get involved.

Viggo Mortensen: "I put the alfajores aside"
By Pablo O Scholz - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
Clarín
21 May 2010



Some directors will encourage actors to go wherever their whims take them; others, Hitchcock perhaps most famously, are more concerned with capturing a specific look than with "motivation" or "spontaneity."

"I've worked with those type of directors," Mortensen says, not naming names. "I try to be sympathetic toward them, but it's not a very effective way to do things. It shows a lack of courage and imagination, in my opinion. Even if Hitchcock is very smart, he would have made better movies if he would've allowed his actors a little more freedom. Who knows? They wouldn't be the movies that they are."

Viggo Mortensen
Rocky Road
By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
13 November 2009



"I am not a fan of directors who use scenes that depict violence to show off their camera moves and display their callous immaturity. I find their work unrealistic and generally a waste of time and talent."

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



"That man will never sell out," he enthuses, "because his vision is unique."

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



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.

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



"I enjoy working with iconoclasts, like Gus van Sant. He is an iconoclast, as is David Cronenberg."

Viggo Mortensen
My painful decision to fight in the nude
By Will Lawrence, Daily Telegraph
19 October 2007



"...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..."

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



"The kind of directors I like to work with most are people like David Cronenberg who are always meticulously prepared, but he also sees what happens. If something odd happens [in a scene] another director would say 'cut', but he lets it roll and lets it happen.

"There's a magic involved in making movies in a way. The lights are lit. The table is set. There's a ceremonial aspect to it."

Viggo: I Got Lucky
Metro (UK)
19 February 2008



"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



What similarities are there between the directing styles of David Cronenberg and Agustín Díaz Yanes?

It doesn't tend to normally happen, but both directors take advantage of what an actor can give. If those things are lost, they don't reach the audience. That's to say, the director is responsible for the final result of a movie. Many times actors are blamed for bad quality movies, but in a lot of cases it's because of the director who wasn't intelligent enough to value the subtleties of a character.

"I'm not going to do anything to distance myself from Aragorn"
By Gema Eizaguirre - translated by Margarita
20 Minutos
31 October 2005



Did you work close to the script or was there room for personal contribution?

VM: There was enough for everyone. I see that Tano (Díaz Yanes) has a way of directing similar to that of David Cronenberg, another director I like a lot. The truth is that they are both good for me and I think for the other actors too.

Alatriste Carries A Load: Three Million Readers
By Oscar Ranzani - translated by Remolina, Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
Pagina 12 (Argentina)
31 March 2007



'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it! In the long run, this style makes you feel more relaxed, and it creates a unique way of working together and of camaraderie. Tano (Díaz Yanes) encourages team work, makes you feel at peace, and he lets you make suggestions about your own view and approach to the character...'

Viggo Mortensen
Top Men - Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Graciela
Glamour
September 2006



"I feel safe bringing things to David that weren't on the page, because he knows it's good for the movie to make people feel safe and like they are truly collaborators."

Cronenberg chuckled. "Yes, essentially I am very lazy, and I only hire people who will do all the work for me."

"And then he can take credit for it," Mortensen said, deadpan.

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



Are there any directors you are dying to work with?

There's not very many. But if there was someone who has passed away, I would say Carl Dreyer: a great Danish director, directed movies like The Passion of Joan of Arc, Gertrud and Day of Wrath.

Identity And Process: An Interview With Viggo Mortensen
By Greg Kaczynski
Socal
26 December 2007



"I'm a big fan of Dreyer's work. There are very few directors that I would say I like everything he's done - he's definitely at the top of the list. He was so ahead of his time in a way and he was so subtle in a lot of ways. He broke rules in obvious and not so obvious ways and he had such a searing realism to his work."

What's In Your DVD Player, Viggo Mortensen?
By Sean Axmaker
MSN Movies
26 September 2007

Quotable Viggo: 20 November 2010

While there has been nothing much this week to grab our attention on the Viggo film front, he was still around on Perceval Press to wake us up with a pop at George Bush's retirement plans. Viggo has never shied away from saying what he thinks politically. Nor has he been shy of saying exactly why he's entitled to say them. Thank goodness for plain speaking and the freedom to make use of it.



© Focus Features


Here's wishing you continued satisfaction with your unrepentant retirement, and increased success with the Republican Party's campaign to rehabilitate your public image in the eyes of the blind and the blinding. If Reagan's myth-makers managed a total public relations reinvention in twenty years, yours can surely do it in two.

Viggo Mortensen addressing George Bush
Perceval Press
16 November 2010



'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



`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



'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



'activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006



'...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



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



'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



'I am an actor, in case you did not know. I did not say: "I am just an actor". I said: "I am an actor." I do not need to apologise for my line of work, which in fact involves regular efforts to try and see the world we live in from points-of-view different than my own.'

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



'That's the mistake we sometimes make in this country and probably other countries, too, where every four years or every two years, whatever, there's an election. You do the "Whew, that's done. We got the right guy in there. Now, we can relax." And, that's kind of like saying, "Yeah, we'll let them take care of it." No, we never can let them take care of it. That's the point.'

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



`... any government, whether it's a democracy--in principle, a good government or a bad government, no matter where it is in the world--all governments, no matter how good they are at any point in time, have a single purpose, a goal, and that is to survive, to stay in power. And, you stay in power by making people feel powerless. That's one of the ways: you make individual citizens feel, like, 'Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. Don't sweat it. Truly, you are powerless, but it's okay. Just be powerless and vote for me. It's cool. Trust me.' You know what I mean?`

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 believe in this nation and I think that, you know, as Howard Zinn, paraphrasing him, being patriotic is not supporting your government, being patriotic is supporting your country, your nation.'

Charlie Rose Show Interview
transcription for V-W by Chrissie
22 September 2005

Quotable Viggo: 14 November 2010

This week we have a miscellaneous bunch of quotes, including Ryan Adams confident Oscar prediction (we were with you Ryan), plumbers and zoo keepers, a couple of thoughts on the media, and a glimpse of childhood and becoming an artist.



©Deryk True
Used by permission


Viggo Back "On The Road," But With an Upgrade on the Shopping Cart

Headline announcing Viggo's participation in 'On the Road'
Bryan Alexander
NBCWashington.com
5 August 2010



The look in Viggo's eyes secures his nomination, I feel confident. It's going to take a lot of wry grins, curmudgeonly scowls, and other baked ham recipes for any other actor to match the depths this role fathoms.

Ryan Adams on The Road
Awards Daily
October 2009



Viggo Mortensen is a character actor at heart, he's a method, no-restraint genius who looks like a mechanic, crossed with zoo keeper, crossed with a brooding former model turned emotionally-tortured bad boy

20 Actors Who Deserve Your Support
By Josh
Cinema Blend
22 August 2010



How does this work out, when you are praised as a sex symbol by the tabloids?

That is one of the strange aspects of my life. Well, my mother likes to read it. I, however, see only the mechanisms of the media that sell their products in a better way with lists of the 50 hottest bachelors rather than a story about the kindest plumbers in Manchester - that would be certainly more interesting.

The Outsider
By Roland Huschke - translated by Sally
Neon Magazine January 2008



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



'Nooooo! Arnold Schwarzenegger already did that.'

Viggo Mortensen on being asked if he thought of going into politics
"I'm permanently dissatisfied."
by Amelia Enríquez, Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita



'I don't think we're the best judges of our own character. If I have a job to do on a given day, I do my best and try to treat people with respect. I mind my own business. I suppose I'm a private person; have been pretty much that way all along. I'm certainly not someone who can't sit for five minutes without calling someone or turning on the television set. I can entertain myself.'

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



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

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



Before becoming an actor, he was a published poet, and he still carries a notebook wherever he goes 'just in case a moment presents itself to be stolen.'

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006



".....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



'...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



'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



"I have written since I was a child. At six or seven, I did my first little stories. I talked about animals, kid things. At about 15, I started with poetry. I always write. In airplanes, in bed, in the bathtub."

"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine - translated by Zooey
September 2009



MJ: Do you think of yourself as an actor first?

VM: When I land in a country and they ask for "occupation," I always just put "artist." I think that covers all of it.

Viggo Mortensen, King of The Road
By Michael Mechanic
MotherJones.com
23 November 2009


Quotable Viggo: 7 November 2010

Well, I tried to do the usual Quotable, but somehow I just couldn't put myself in the right place this week. This has been a difficult time, and sometimes we have to reach out for something more than the usual to help us along. These quotes are nothing to do with Viggo, except in the fact that they have everything to do with all of us. Perhaps they will make you smile, perhaps they will provide a little healing, perhaps they will be a gold nugget that you will carry away and keep. But they are from me to you.



©Iolanthe


Have hope. Though clouds environs now, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow - No night but hath its morn.

J. C. F. von Schiller


I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

Ashleigh Brilliant


Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life.

Sebastien Chamfort


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard


Out of difficulties grow miracles.

Jean de la Bruyere


There are days when it takes all you've got just to keep up with the losers.

Robert Orben


In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus


The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead.

Robert Brault


All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

Buddha


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.

Mahatma Gandhi


When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

Ethiopian proverb


People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.

George Eliot


Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared to believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.

Bruce Barton


The great difference between voyages rests not in ships but in the people you meet on them.

Amelia Barr


One for whom the pebble has value must be surrounded by treasures wherever he goes.

Par Lagerkvist


We're all only fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make.

Jerry Ellis


Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.

Saint Thomas Aquinas


My only sketch, profile, of heaven is a large blue sky, and larger than the biggest I have seen in June - and in it are my friends - every one of them.

Emily Dickinson

Quotable Viggo: 23 October 2010

Well! We finally have a drop of water in the drought, with a stunning photo of Viggo as Freud. And I think we all know that when we finally see this film on our screens he will be Freud, however unlikely it would have seemed when he was saving Middle-earth with his sword. There have been physical changes made with make-up and contact lenses, but we know his performance will be beyond all of that because when Viggo creates a character he vanishes completely, and somehow manages to dig out the soul of whoever he is portraying. Cronenberg hits the nail right on the head in the first quote. Personally, I can't wait for 'A Dangerous Method'.



[SIZE=1]©Universal Pictures International.[/SIZE]


I wanted to bring these people back to life. I never got to talk to Freud but I got to talk to Viggo playing Freud.

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



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.

The Road
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
24 November 2009


In his latest movie The Road, Viggo Mortensen looks a sorry and destitute sight as he shuffles along wearing sodden rags, more than two stone below his normal weight, his handsome face largely disguised by an unkempt beard, and dark, hollow rings around his penetrating blue eyes.

As screen images go, you couldn't find one more different from that of the powerful and imposing warrior Aragorn, the heroic Lord of the Rings role that shot him to international stardom in Peter Jackson's blockbusting trilogy.

Viggo Mortensen's Challenging Movie
By Rob Driscoll
Western Mail
1 January 2010



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



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



"It's a complete transformation from the inside out. He played two characters really in A History of Violence, and I saw traces of neither of them in his portrayal of Nikolai."

David Cronenberg
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features



"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....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 2007



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.

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007



...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 continues to display his brilliance in front of the camera with another chameleon turn in his representation of the shy and humble Hadler. The gradual moral corruption is wonderfully and convincingly portrayed and the entire film would fail in the hands of a less capable thespian. Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Sebastian Cordoba
TheVine
7 April 2009



"I also tried to discover theCaptain's soul; that's why I went to León..."

The Desired One
By Ester Aguado
Women Magazine
August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela



'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.

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



"He transforms his entire life into the character," says Sean Astin. "I've never seen an actor go there the way this guy does."

Sean Astin
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Quotable Viggo: 17 October 2010

While we wait to hear more about On the Road, I thought we would go back to the road we've already travelled along and take a look at what others working on The Road thought about Viggo. Javier Aguirresarobe saw him as 'Papa', Garett Dillahunt coins the wonderful phrase to 'Viggo-up', Michael K Williams reckons he was 'Viggo-tized' and Kodi Smit-McPhee joked that 'he sucks'. But I think everyone would agree with John Hillcoat that he's really Mr One Hundred and Ten Percent.



Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films.


"He throws himself one hundred and ten percent into a role, it's very intense," said Hillcoat. "And it's an intense role. But that's also what's great about him, that hundred and ten percent. There was only one thing that I was irritated with: he was on a diet of chocolate, really dark chocolate and red meat. That's it. He brought all of these great chocolates from everywhere in the world and shared them with the crew. I'm still addicted to dark chocolate. I can't get away from it."

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



If anyone could survive in a post-apocalyptic world, the director says, it would be Viggo. "It's such a challenging and extreme survival world that he has to do things that have to be credible," he says. And yet, the role requires not only physical verisimilitude, but the ability to show tenderness and inner strength. "For some actors it might be a stretch that they're so tender and sensitive to a child and yet be able to physically do what he has to do. Viggo's very intense and very wound up, and that is what the father is all about. He's so haunted by the suicide of his loved one-his wife and partner-and yet he has this incredible protective relationship with his son. It is a love story, and in such a challenging and extreme survival world, he has to do things that have to be credible."

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



Mortensen is The Man. That´s the way he is known in the film. Or Papa, as Kodi Smit-McPhee, his fictional son, calls him. Viggo is one of the pillars supporting The Road. I´d say he is everything. I have seldom seen an actor so dedicated, so ambitious and so ready for his work. Mortensen immersed himself in the project to the extent of giving all. He placed inconceivable demands on himself. After every take he would look me in the eyes and say: Have we got it? He's been a lesson in professionalism and comradeship. We shared wine and soccer talk. Furthermore, Viggo became Kodi´s father. They were more than co-workers in the shoot. Very few times I have felt such a perfect father and son chemistry in the cinema. Off the set they behaved the same way. In cinema, sometimes, you are witness to an unwritten love and tenderness. I owe a lot to Papa.

Javier Aguirresarobe (cinematographer)
On the Road with Javier Aguirresarobe
by Blanca J de la Hoz
Fotogramas
February 2010



Were you disappointed to be in a film with Viggo Mortensen yet not act in a scene with him?

Well funnily enough, I did in the scene that didn't end up in the film. I'm a huge fan of his, he's really extraordinary, so I would have loved to have worked with him.

Guy Pearce
Guy Pearce is a bona-fide Aussie star, in films The Road and The Hurt Locker
By Neala Johnson
Herald Sun (Australia)
28 January 2010



But as far as working with Viggo and Kodi, you know, I've had a few leads in indies since I worked on "The Road," and it's become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up." The guy is a mule -- he seems tireless. But he's kind and focused too.

Garett Dillahunt
By Paul Gaita
The Envelope
17 December 2009



"Come on, we've all been Viggo-tized before," Williams says of the 'Lord of the Rings' stud and 'Road' co-star. "He has that charisma, he has a swagger. He's a great dude."

It's not that Williams takes it as far as some of Viggo's female fans: "(But) I have my own kind of love affair with him," says Williams. "I know whenever I see him in God's green earth I am going to get a hug. And we're going to get a drink, time-permitting. And we'll kick it a little bit."

Michael K Williams
'Wire' Hero Michael K. Williams Loved Getting 'Viggo-tized' on 'The Road'
Popeater.com
Bryan Alexander
19 November 2009



"This guy here [he puts a hand on Mortensen's shoulder] is a good a guy as you'll ever work with, not just as a talent but as a human being. The first day, he brought goodies from Argentina and flags and everything. His favorite soccer team is not as good as La Boca, but it's a good team."

Robert Duvall
Viggo Mortensen and Robert Duvall go on 'The Road' to redemption
By Carla Hay
Examiner.com
25November 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



"I was overwhelmed by the actor's ability to stay focused and stay in role. And I hope I'm not saying something out of school here--and I don't know how Viggo will feel about this--but 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



"Different actors have different processes that they use. What I've seen with Viggo is that he is able to use the environment more so than any other actor I've worked with before to put him where he needs to be emotionally....And maybe it's pouring down rain, and he'll walk away from umbrellas, raincoats. He'll walk away from any tent that's being offered or any blanket to be intentionally cold and wet, and it seems to take him to a place that's quite remarkable. I've seen it happen over and over again in the snow, the rain, cold, the fog - anything that he is able to use that puts him in the world of the character. He's a very physical actor as well, and it's been a remarkable process to watch that. I would imagine it takes an enormous amount of concentration to be able to not let the cold ground or the rocks on the road or whatever it may be break your concentration, but it's taken him to a place that is pretty amazing over and over and over again."

Rudd Simmons (producer)
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009



"He's very intense. He's very Method. There's no stopping him. He was starving himself. He was going out, rolling in the snow and sleeping in his wardrobe and rubbing the dirt in his eyes and face, I mean, it's extraordinary. It makes the performance all that more incredible. But I think also he's got an incredible face, a very expressive face. To find an everyman that you could buy going through that, because he's a very physical actor as well. It was a hell of a thing for him to undertake, because there's nowhere to hide. He's in every single frame almost, throughout every scene, and every emotion he has to delve into, every emotion. The journey is very extreme, so it's a lot to ask of someone."

Hillcoat talking about Viggo
John Hillcoat Hits The Road
By Edward Douglas
Comingsoon.net
19 November 2009



"This morning, someone asked him, 'Kodi, what was it like to work with Viggo?'" Mortensen recalls, giving Smit-McPhee the stink eye. "And he says, 'The first thing you have to understand is: he sucks.'"

Smit-McPhee just grins back, making Mortensen laugh.

Viggo Mortensen Walks (and Talks) The Road
By Kat Angus
Dose.ca
15 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 10 October 2010

GI Jane... a film I hardly ever put in my DVD player in case the rampaging testosterone levels blow up my TV, and yet it contains one of Viggo's outstanding performances. Who could have come up with the complex, D.H. Lawrence reading Urgayle but Viggo? So I've taken another look at the film and it's interesting to see his usual immaculate preparation, his frustrations about how critics read the character, and the fact that this was yet another film that many thought would finally shoot him to stardom. Who would have thought that Tolkien would finally do what Ridley Scott couldn't?



© Hollywood Pictures / Trap-Two-Zero.


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



'The profile of the average survivor of the underwater demolition training is a guy like me. Not a big guy, they're not big monsters, you know, "cause it's really more about mental toughness. It's like, in spite of being exhausted, wet and cold and tired and injured and browbeaten and all that, you stay focused on your objective."

Do you think you'd pass this sort of test?

"I'd like to think so, but I don't know until I do it."

Viggo Mortensen
The Master Chief
by Michele Manelis
Marie Claire, November 1997



'While Demi and the entire cast endured a mini-boot camp in Florida preparing for the film, I worked with Navy SEAL guys, but on my own for several months. The other cast members, with the exception of Demi, were pissed I didn't go through what they had to go through. And that's what I wanted.'

Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
W
September 1997



'They were wary about some actor coming in, but these were normal guys. They sat across from me, unblinkingly discussing whatever while I knew they'd killed with their bare hands.'

Viggo talking about the Navy Seals
Jane Man: Viggo Mortensen
By Lesley O'Toole
Neon
November 1997



It would be all too easy to imagine a story of spiteful male Seals and slow-burning sexual tension, but ''G.I. Jane'' doesn't much bother with that. Moments like Jordan's first appearance in a tight T-shirt and her shower- room confrontation with a commanding officer are interestingly underplayed.

So is the pivotal role of her commander, known as Master Chief and played with cool, charismatic aplomb by Viggo Mortensen. The role, as underwritten, becomes fascinatingly ambiguous in its mixture of veiled sadism and unconcealed patriotic fervor.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
August 22, 1997



The actor expresses regret that GI Jane's sexual politics sailed over the heads of the cineplex crowd. "A lot of people thought my character was just a sadist..."

Viggo Mortensen on fighting with Demi Moore in GI Jane
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White magazine 2001



'He's not a sexist,' Mortensen says. 'He tortures everybody. He needs to know Demi's character can handle what she might run into in combat. And, yeah, we do come to blows in one scene, and, yeah, it's kind of shocking.'

Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
W
September 1997



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



'The easiest thing would have been to make him a woman-hater and a ball-busting head-stomper,' he affirms. Instead he suggested to Scott that 'poetry might be right for this guy.'

Jane Man: Viggo Mortensen
By Lesley O'Toole
Neon
November 1997



'...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



'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



'The other day I came across a Mad Magazine. For the first time I felt like I had arrived when I saw a GI Jane parody of me called GI Shame. [Laughs] My favorite part was the idea that the candidates were dropping out of the SEALs not from the physical abuse but from my awful poetry readings.'

Viggo Mortensen on GI Jane
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



You're on the verge of becoming a huge star. How do you feel about that?

Well I'm glad you sound very sure of that fact. [Laughs] I don't know if that's a given thing.

The Master Chief
By Michele Manelis
Marie Claire
November 1997



'I'm going to be remembered as the guy who got beat up by Demi Moore.'

Jane Man: Viggo Mortensen
By Lesley O'Toole
Neon
November 1997


Quotable Viggo: 2 October 2010

As compensation for going Quotableless last week I thought we would have a bit of fun with a quiz. I have a bunch of movie related quotes below but no references, so you can have a go at guessing which film they relate to. But be careful as some are quite tricksy and a few films appear more than once. And don't try to separate the three LotR films or you'll drive yourselves nuts!

Write down your answers and post them on Tuesday - not before - so latecomers have time to think. And on Wednesday I'll give you all the answers. This isn't a competition, I won't be marking them and there are no prizes (apart from the chance to go 'yeah, I knew that!'), it's just a little something to get those brain cells going as we slide towards winter hibernation.

Oh, and... the picture below is absolutely no help whatsoever. At least with the quiz!



©Westmount.


'The character is a quiet, introspective man who has spent his life suppressing his emotions. And they are painful emotions, indeed. Mortensen does an exquisite job of revealing just enough of the bottled-up angst to make us aware of the internal turmoil his character battles.'


'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.'


'Just like in the story itself, there were constant surprises to deal with and just when you think you've achieved some victory, some greater obstacle presents itself. It's like some ridiculous video game that gets worse with every level.'


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


'I was like Tom Sawyer, and they paid me, and I could watch the crew on set as much as I wanted.'


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


'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...'


'The executive producer insisted that the actor spent the entire day, "I think even the weekends, filthy and with his make up on, because he said that he had to feel as uncomfortable as the character in order to portray it correctly." The difference is that, when he wasn't shooting, due to doctor's advice, he would take off his boots and walk barefoot...'


'...I'm surprised they let me do that, actually. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself?'


"He is shocked when he looks into the mirror but he doesn't stop; he thinks he'll have time to think things through later,"


'Viggo Mortensen... is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...'


'Then I remember a real struggle for what was going to happen, what the moments were going to be between the two of them. And something happened, it crystallized, and suddenly Viggo was on fire.'


'Viggo Mortensen undergoes an interesting transformation in his key scene... 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.'


'I can only praise Mortensen for the consistency of his character's voice and for the actor's ability to draw textual nuance from lines outside of his native tongue.'


'When you look into Mortensen's eyes, you're convinced that he's come to terms with the fact that he's condemned to eternal damnation and is living his life accordingly. His performance is chilling and mesmerizing, perhaps the greatest of his career.'


"There is a strange wizened quality to my face in [.......] that is beyond any make-up, and beyond any explanation," he says. "It happens in movies, every once in a while. You go further than you intended. There are looks on my face in that film that have only come from a great leap of faith."


'The quality that really stood out to me was his quietness.... 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.'


'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.'


"Sort of like a lethal butler"


'He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style.'

Quotable Viggo: 19 September 2010

This has been one of those weeks - I know we all have them - so today's Quotable was always going to be a bit of a mishmash. But amazingly, without me even trying, it seems to have based itself very loosely around Bernd Volland's comment below: 'Viggo -- was it mentioned already? -- well, he's different.' Vive la différence!



© Focus Features.


Viggo Mortensen is a smolderer. He opens those intense, I-know-how-to-build-my-own-kitchen eyes, and he wins my girlfriend over every time. Obviously, I want to hate him because anyone that ruggedly handsome has to be despised on principal alone, but like Paul Newman and his absurdly delicious salad dressing, there comes a day when you just have to admit a dude's alright.

20 Actors Who Deserve Your Support
By Josh
Cinema Blend
22 August 2010



Viggo Mortensen isn't just a celebrity, as you're probably aware. He isn't even just a fine actor. He's also a painter, a poet and a photographer, and he makes records, too, often in collaboration with Buckethead, the masked wizard guitarist. In addition, he's also conversant in half a dozen languages -- yet another body blow to an interviewer's self-esteem. But I soldiered on.

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road,'
By Kurt Loder
MTV.com
25 November 2009



Viggo Mortensen is no flake. He's a pretty intense guy -- with a mellow sort of presence.

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 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



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.

A Barefoot Viggo Lords It Over The Fans
By James Gardiner
29 November 2003
Source: New Zealand Herald



Viggo Mortensen, the man who is Aragorn -- the most heroic warrior in the most heroic movie of all times, "The Lord of the Rings", glides onto his chair. Viggo is barefoot, he holds a wooden brass decorated cup with a silver straw and some greenish fluid inside. He slurps. It's Mate tea. Viggo -- was it mentioned already? -- well, he's different.

Viggo Mortensen
By Bernd Volland Translated by JoannaP
Stern Speziel Biografie
April 2003



Wearing all manner of Buenos Aires and soccer trappings (socks, bracelet, and a San Lorenzo pin, plus a complete mate set and the sports section of The Nation on hand), Viggo Mortensen greeted the Argentinean press on his recent visit to Buenos Aires..... He takes off his black boots and allows us to see the wide stripes on his socks in the colours of the team he loves.

Viggo Mortensen: The Biggest Soccer Fan In Hollywood
By Lorena García - translated by Margarita
La Nacion
16 November 2005



"Eastern Promises" finds Mortensen playing Nikolai Luzhin, a Russian ex-con tattooed from head to toe with elaborate designs detailing his every misdeed and prison stint. He puts out lit cigarettes on his tongue, can fight to the death while naked and has a knack for snipping the extremities off corpses to make them more portable.

So it's a little underwhelming when Mortensen walks in and starts bustling around, brewing up a pot of herbal tea and assembling a lovely plate of fresh berries.

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



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
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008



...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



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



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



"Oh wow. It's Viggo," says the "Dorian Gray" star. The observation was understated -- no hoots, hollers or autograph mania here. But the surprise was unmistakable as a publicist escorted the handsome British star down a corridor at Toronto's Intercontinental Hotel.

"You sound impressed," the woman comments, hurrying the 28-year-old actor off to another interview.

"Sure I'm impressed," Barnes smiles broadly. "That's Viggo Mortensen!"

Ben Barnes spots Viggo at Toronto
Constance Droganes
CTV.ca
12 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 12 September 2010

Sometimes filming can be very physically testing because of the locations and the weather. Freezing seas, blazing deserts, crushing heat and wormy ice-cold waterfalls. And on top of that add heavy costumes where most people would be in linen and flip-flops, or no costume at all where you or I would be wearing our thermals, not to mention everything else we could get our hands on. The most gruelling shoot has clearly been The Road where the conditions helped the actors focus and where Viggo refused anything remotely comfortable (like heat packs and dry clothes), but Hidalgo was no party either. Oh, the joys of being an actor!



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


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

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



How was it to jump in the ocean?

It was very cold. I asked for another take, but they were terrified. They didn't want me to. They had ambulances. The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, "Just tell me when you're rolling. I'm just going to run out and go."

Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
IESB.net
9 November 2009




"I want to say that I have participated in films that have been filmed in locations with extreme temperatures of cold and heat, but nothing like this film, where the environment is a consistent character. In some scenes, I felt like I could die, but that helped me create the character."

Viggo Mortensen: "In some scenes, I felt like I could die."
By - translated by Zooey and Ollie
Las Provincias
1 February 2010




"I felt naturally extra-protective of this skinny little kid from southern Australia who'd never even seen snow. He goes, "Snow is falling out of the sky?" I'd tease him and say, "What do you think? It grows out of the ground?" He was very cold and would wear out quickly sometimes. Frankly, it helped having it as miserable as it was."

Viggo Mortensen
Arduous Trip on 'The Road' is In-Viggo-rating
By John M Urbancich
Cleveland Sun
17 December 2009




"The waterfall was the coldest thing I've ever swam," said Smit-McPhee, who noted that, luckily, the production had brought in a "portable Jacuzzi" to warm the actors back up. After two takes, though, Smit-McPhee had had enough. "Seriously, that was it. And I said, 'I'm not doing it.' And then Viggo came. He just jumped in the water like it was nothing."

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




'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 A Walk on the Moon Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun
10 April 1999




Maria told us about a waterfall sex scene that was cut. Was that like A Walk on the Moon all over again?

No, it was a lot colder.

Viggo talking about A History of Violence
A History of Violence: Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Jenny Halper
Cinema Confidential
22 September 2005




Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

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




"In the battle of Rocroi, which was filmed in June at 104 degrees, the extras filmed in the sun for 12 hours while wearing tight costumes and heavy, authentic armour," says Rodríguez. "When a scene ended, the director's assistants would yell 'Water' and we'd descend en masse upon the set to distribute drinks. Many filmed with ice cubes down their costumes," he says.

Wanted: Spaniards from the 17th Century
By - translated by Margarita
Diario de Noticias Navarra
10 September 2006




Were the shooting conditions as horrible as they seemed to be from the film [Hidalgo]?

You mean out in the desert? Yeah. And the winter was pretty cold, too. It looked nice and sunny, but it was bitter. Sometimes the winds were so extreme, and there was so much dust, that we couldn't shoot. And the grit, and the dryness, and the dustiness and heat-it was difficult, technically. A lot of the sound equipment and camera equipment got messed up, and they were always fixing stuff. On a low level, it was just an irritant. It was always in your eyes and everywhere, the sand and dust.

Viggo Mortensen on shooting Hidalgo
By Tasha Robinson
The Onion
10 March 2004




'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




'We were dirty, freezing cold or dying of heat. We were really uncomfortable. That was the beauty of the project. I felt like it was true.'

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



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 cancelled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo [Mortensen'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




He seems to gravitate towards films that involve wet, cold and physical privation. ''I suppose I must thrive on it,'' he agrees, recalling shooting The Road under heavy cloud, sometimes in snow, always in the cold. ''Sometimes it's tiring or annoying but there is a certain satisfaction, especially when you're going through it with the crew and everyone is wet and cold with you, when you go and have a drink together at the end of the day and say: 'Well, we got that done.'''

Walking at world's end
By Stephanie Bunbury
TheAge.com
14 January 2010



Quotable Viggo: 4 September 2010

Thinking about last week's Argentinian Quotable, it occurred to me this week that we really ought to look at Denmark - another country just as close to Viggo's heart. The first quote below sums up Viggo's love of both the Scandinavian North and the fiery Latin South. As a young man Viggo lived and worked in Denmark holding down a variety of jobs from truck driver to flower seller. At one point he was even going to translate for the Danish Olympic Team. He has always felt at home in Denmark and has very close family ties there. In a 2001 interview with Poul Hoi, Viggo remarked that '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'. So here is a selection of all things Danish (except, alas, pastries.... but then we have Viggo!).



©Polfoto/unknown/unknown/Chrissie/Chrissie/B.T.Billedsieri


You were brought up overseas. Do you keep any memories?

I spent all my childhood in Argentina and I feel at home in the Hispanic countries and cultures. In Denmark, I discovered the sense of family and a certain work ethic. I am very close to my uncles, aunts, cousins and I am emotionally very open with them. I am a strange mixture of very methodical North and more chaotic South.

Viggo Mortensen - The Anti-star
translated by Kaijamin
Paris Match
2 October 2008



"There is no doubt that my heart beats heavily for Denmark..."

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007



What is it that fascinates you about Denmark?

"It is a country where I feel at home. I have lots of family here and I feel safe here in Mid-Zealand. But I have also visited Denmark without visiting my family, when I have enjoyed being in Copenhagen, Jutland or on Samsø," says Viggo Mortensen.

Viggo Wants To Live On Samsø
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Estel
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008



"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



"Along with the exhibition, his publishing company Perceval Press is publishing a book called Skovbo, the one that lives in the forest. "I feel good around trees. Where I lived in Denmark there was a forest and there is something in the forest that makes me feel good."

Margt til lista lagt
Translation by Ragga
Fréttablaðið
Visir.is
6 June 2008



[His] 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



What do you think of when you think of Denmark?

'I think about a beautiful landscape, I think of a country where I can be myself and meet my family, where my cousin's think of me as Viggo from Ringsted and tease me as they tease everybody else - and teasing is obviously a Danish way to express friendship. In that way Denmark means incredible much to me.'

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



"It is nicer to be here with Tulle than to be in Copenhagen with people I don't know. And I know Ringsted well and am always happy to be here - for the nature, the food and the people. It doesn't matter whether the sun is shining or not."

Viggo on why the Alatriste Danish premier was in Ringsted
Viggo Mortensen is always happy to be in Ringsted
translated by Åse
Dagbladet
14 July 2007



"I really would like to participate in a Danish movie. But to me it is essential that my first Danish movie is shot in Danish. To me it is a big challenge to shoot and talk Danish in an entire movie, so that it is believable."

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007



"...I met someone last night who showed me a picture of a baby, and they had named the kid Viggo. You know, Viggo is a pretty dorky name in Denmark. It's like Oswald or something. It's a very old Scandinavian name, at least 1,000 years old."

Q&A Viggo Mortensen
By Sora Song
People
10 October 2005



....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



What is the worst job you've done?

In a factory in Denmark when I was 20. All day long I had to punch a single hole in the centre of a square piece of metal.

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



... this afternoon he presented his photographs at an exhibition at Palæfløjen in Roskilde, dressed in an old, red soccer jersey that the Danish national soccer team used in 1960, when the team won a silver at the Olympic Games in Rome.

Viggo Wants To Live On Samsø
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Estel
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008



So who would Viggo side with if, for example, Denmark and Argentina met in the next World Championship final?

"Oh, that's a very difficult question that I have often asked myself. It's not unthinkable at all, because both Denmark and Argentina play good football," Mortensen says, and adds: "But if they really met each other in the World Championship final, I'd buy both countries national team jumpers and cut them through the middle. And then I'd sew them together again to make one jumper. In that way I could cheer both Denmark and Argentina. But I think it would be very difficult as far as I can see if the two teams play against each other."

I Love Danish Football
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Chrissie
Ekstra Bladet
24 July 2007



There's a long way from Ringsted to Hollywood. But the distance can obviously fit in one person.

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

Quotable Viggo: 29 August 2010

Ah, San Lorenzo. As we all know, this is just the tip of Viggo's Argentinian iceberg. His childhood spent on farms in Argentina, riding like a gaucho and collecting precious Soccer cards, shaped a life-long love of a country which constantly draws him back. He will be acting in an up-and-coming Argentinian film (Todos tenemos un plan), has published a book promoting Argentinian poetry (Nueva Poesin Argentina), and - while filming A Dangerous Method at Belvedere Castle - posed with the Argentinian Flag and completely threw non-cuervo educated reporters by holding a stuffed-toy that many thought was a penquin. And we haven't even started on the yerbe mate. His love for Argentina is infectious, so here is a little celebration of all things Viggotinian.



©Fichero./Viennareport /CCEBA/Splash News/Pronto/ Schöndorfer


The Argentinian. The cuervo. The Lord of the Rings. The one who teaches people to drink mate on million dollar sets.

The Habit Of Giving It All
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
Perfil
20 June 2010




"It's not lawn clippings, I promise."

Viggo offering a journalist mate
Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
Nazz
December 2003




Though he was born in New York City, the Argentine soccer-fan scarf looped around his neck immediately flags Mortensen's affinity for the great elsewhere...

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




After the 12-hour shoot Mortensen seemed a little tired, but nonetheless posed with extras and crew-members - the Argentinian flag in one hand, a bottle of beer in the other.

Freud Movie: Shooting in Vienna without Keira Knightley
By - translated by Athelin
TT.com
2 July 2010




It doesn´t matter how many times he changes his hairstyle, modifies his physical build or grows a beard. What surprises the Argentinian listener most about Viggo Mortensen is his way of speaking. What is amazing (no matter how many times you have heard him before) is that the man who portrayed Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Captain Alatriste in Alatriste or the Russian mobster in Eastern Promises speaks Castillian like any porteño native.

In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010




When you were a child and rode horses in the Argentinean pampas, did you dream of being a hero? Who were your heroes?

My hero was Martín Fierro, the mythical "gaucho" (cowboy) of Argentina, a mix of Spanish and native Indian who, by the way, also has a few points in common with Alatriste. He wasn't perfect either but he was brave, noble, avenging and defended his people.

A Multi-talented Hero
By J. A. - translated by NacidaLibre
Dominical
27 August 2006




'I've never really owned horses. We had horses in South America where I learned to ride. The classic Argentinian style is not too different from Western riding. You're using your legs and a loose rein. I learned on tough little horses like TJ. I hadn't ridden for a long time since I was a kid.'

A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine Winter Edition
2004




'I left Argentina when I was eleven, in '69, and there was no cable TV, no Internet, nothing. I was in the northern United States with my picture cards, my little t-shirt, my flag, and nothing else.'

Viggo Mortensen on Soccer withdrawal
"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
By - translated by Zooey and Sage
Pagina 12
14 August 2009




"I had the club's flag folded up and tucked inside my vest. If I'd won I was going to take it out during the speech."

Viggo on San Lorenzo
Viggo Mortensen Goes From Lord Of The Rings To King Of The Road
By Martyn Palmer
Daily Mail
6 December 2009




Apart from mate and soccer, in what other aspects did your childhood in Argentina leave an impression on you?

I learned horse riding, the language, the culture and history, food, tango... I like it a lot. I can't dance tango... I'd like to learn, but I like to sing tangos every now and then, in private... I don't want to bother other people; I bother them enough with my movies.

Viggo talking about his Argentinian Childhood on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Radio Cooperativa
27 March 2007




What epic character from Argentine history would you like to play? And looking at the world today, who would Alatriste be?

VM: I'll suggest two and you choose: San Filipo or El loco Dobal (soccer players) (laughs)

Alatriste Press Conference - Argentina
By - transcribed by Graciela
28 March 2007




Can this New Yorker lend importance to Argentine poetry? Casas has his point of view: "Argentine poetry does not exist; what exists is a mestiza poetry, a mixture of voices from all sides that intersect at times in this soil that some call their native land. Viggo is a mestizo like us and, because of that, we are proud that he is the publisher."

Casas presenting Perceval Press's Nueva Poesin Argentina
Viggo Mortensen Is Now A Champion Of Argentine Poetry
By Matías Repar - translated by Zooey
Clarin
12 August 2009




"When the same project did not work out with a Mexican publishing house, a British friend told me: 'I'm going to tell Viggo, he will be interested.' I had no idea who that gentleman was. One morning, I got a call in my house: 'I'm Viggo and I'm calling about the anthology,' he introduced himself. I told him I had to go to work and that we could talk at another time, and he accepted. 'What's your last name?' I asked. 'I'm Viggo Mortensen' he said. 'Oh, and what do you do for a living?' Fortunately he has zero diva attitude. So he explained who he was and we started working on the book that has just been published."

Gustavo López, who selected the Argentinian poets for the book
The Lord Of The Books
By Diego Rojas
El Argentino
19 June 2009



"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!

'Now 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




Would you like to return to your childhood?


Who knows? Let's see if I end up in Argentina, like a farmer. I think I would like that.

"I'd like to film in Argentina"
By Fernanda Iglesias - translated by Margarita
Clarín
15 November 2005

Quotable Viggo: 21 August 2010

As we are finally seeing Good DVD's and Blu-Rays coming out in new markets, I thought now would be a good time to take a retrospective look at this film and see the experience through Viggo's eyes. There are thoughts on how he prepared for the role of Halder, on his character and on the challenges that face everyone who might find themselves in situations where every decision has unimaginable consequences.



Screencap by Paradise.
© Good Films.


"I like the title. It's intelligent. It lets the audience think for itself a bit. If you wanted to be really obvious, it would be Good?, or "Good" in quotation marks. The movie doesn't steer you that much. It shows you some lives, parts of some lives, and I think it leaves a certain amount open to debate, I like that there's something to talk about afterwards."

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



"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."

Emmanuel Levy
Emmanuel Levy.com
24 November 2008



'I brought [from Germany and Poland] a lot of books, editions that would have been from that time. Poets from the 18th and 19th centuries, and Scandinavian writers. And my glasses; I found some frames that were made back then. My pocket watch. Little things. I like collaborating with the props and set designers, to feel like I'm involved in the character's life.'

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



"He's maddening at times. He goes from being very passive and stumbling, and thinking it doesn't seem a big deal, until finally he's got the uniform on and denial kicks in. It's an accumulation of all of these compromises. He can't run away from it any more and then he crumbles. And at the root of it he has been seduced by flattery."

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



"We thought about the period of history, and the choice was made that everyone would speak with a neutral British accent, so that once the story starts you're just paying attention to what is happening and not the combination of strange accents."

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009



"My goal was not to think about history, and what we know about this period, but to think about this situation and each moment. Why does John Halder do the things that he does? He's not one thing or the other. He's not good or bad. He's somewhere in between, we all are."

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009



"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



It was spring, there were flowers, and the sky was blue. You sit on the grass and yes, you're moved by all these things and the ghosts that you can feel. I was thinking about the guards, the prisoners, the kids... but there were things that I didn't expect. It's hard to explain, but it just keeps opening and opening, and you can never stop learning."

Viggo Mortensen on visiting the concentration camps
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009



"I did not like it, I felt uncomfortable. The first time I tried it on, I told the costume designer: "Is the hat that tight, are the boots that stiff?" I realized I felt bad because of the meaning I assigned to that uniform."

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



"...there is a point, as he's building this new persona for himself and buying into his new status, that he becomes less distracted, flustered, stuttery. And it's this edifice that he's constructing that at the end is probably going to crumble."

Viggo Mortensen
Things are getting 'Good' for Mortensen
By John Clark
SF Gate-San Francisco Chronicle
23 January 2009



"He imagines that people are singing-on the street, and wherever he is, in parks, or in buildings, at work-and they're not really. The music's being played, and then he takes a second look, and they're not. He's, like, feeling like he's losing his mind, you know? For him, the escape isn't alcohol, or drugs, or whatever-it's music."

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



"I think there's calm descent to the horror that doesn't happen all at once. It happens on a daily basis in a very normal, quiet way. That's more disturbing than the usual dramatic heroic gesture, tragic gesture, horror moment you usually see in Holocaust-related movies with the Nazis. The audience here can't have that distance to just judge it or say, "Wow. That thing is different than me." This is a lot like you, unfortunately, whether you wanna deal with it or not."

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



"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



"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

Quotable Viggo: 7 August 2010

There have been some interesting reviews of Viggo's old films coming out lately, which got me thinking of all the reviews I've gathered over the years and especially the ones that have now got stuck fast in my memory like a forest of old Post-its. It's usually because they are witty, surprising, very astute or just plain daft. These are all favourites, and I've posted a bumper crop to make up for the fact that 'Quotables' will be taking a holiday break for Post-it clearance purposes next week. Enjoy!



© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.


At least we can take solace knowing that in this parched desolate land populated by filthy, unshaven vagrants that Viggo Mortensen is still the sexiest man alive.

In fact, you could say he looks good enough to eat, which might explain why so many of his fellow survivors are licking their chops in anticipation of incorporating him into their next batch of stew.

The Road
Movie review: Father and son take a harrowing, honest journey through a post-apocalyptic world in 'The Road'
By Al Alexander
Echo Pilot
25 November 2009



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

Appaloosa
Richard Corliss on Mortensen and Harris
Time
19 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.

Appaloosa
Richard Crouse
CTV.ca
6 September 2008



...But the audience's longest glimpse of Viggo's zero-fat bod, man-bits and all, comes in a scene that can be watched only from between clenched fingers: Nikolai's climactic battle with two Chechen gangsters in a steam bath. 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.

Eastern Promises
Dana Stevens
Slate.com
13 Sept 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



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.

Alatriste
Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
11 December 2008



Viggo, speaking vintage Castillian Spanish with his own voice, dominates the film as a kind of Medieval Clint Eastwood...

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



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
Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005



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

A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
11Sept 2005



Viggo Mortensen nails the archetypal cowboy... As one woman at a preview screening said to her girlfriend looking up at the big screen: 'What's not to like about a forty-foot tall Viggo Mortensen?'

Hidalgo
Cowboy and Mustang Meet Arabian Nights
John P. McCarthy
reeltalkreviews.com 2004



When it comes to playing disillusioned veterans of anti-Indian atrocities, it's Viggo Mortensen over Tom Cruise by a nose.

Hidalgo
Hot to Trot
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly



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.

FOTR
Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001



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

ROTK
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003



Walker is no mindless hippie going with the flow. He cares about Pearl. Certainly, he cares about pleasing her sexually. She gets her own flight to the moon at the same time as Neil Armstrong. And what Walker does to her under a waterfall should be bottled.

A Walk on the Woon
A Steamy 'Walk on The Moon'
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, April 2, 1999



He... manages the tricky balance of being horrible and seductive enough to slip you out of your soul, a balance few Lord of Darknesses achieve. Plus, he manages it in a mullet.

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



Viggo Mortensen, 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



...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.

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

Quotable Viggo: 31 July 2010

'The greatest traveller and huntsman in this age of the world' is how Gandalf described Aragorn. Viggo's travels might not be quite as dangerous or arduous as Aragorn's but he certainly gets about a bit. Jetting around the world has its own pitfalls with suspicious passport officers, different time zones and a succession of strange hotel rooms. So, how do you make yourself feel at home? How do manage to keep creating when you are hardly still? Most of all how do you stop your luggage being mistaken for modern art?



© New Line Productions Inc.


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



There's a UN patch on his sweatshirt and if you ask him where he's based, he says, hippyishly, "Planet Earth, mostly."

By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008



'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.'

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



Viggo Mortensen loves rituals. He never changes his habits, no matter where he goes. For example, he enters the villa in Deauville - made available by the French top jeweller Cartier - in bare feet, as if he is in his own living room.

In his right hand, he is holding a cup with his favorite beverage: maté - an herbal drink from Argentina, the country where he spent the majority of his childhood. He also remembered to bring a silver straw, the bombilla.

The actor explains why he always behaves the same way, no matter where he is in the world. "In this business you're travelling half the time. Sometimes I feel like a world traveller who doesn't know where he'll sleep the next day. I am exaggerating a little, but I do value my habits, so I can quickly feel at home. If I don't, it takes me too long to adapt to strange surroundings. That's very important for an actor. That way he can more quickly concentrate on his role."

Viggo Mortensen Goes To Bed With A Shotgun
By - translated by Airwin
Algemeen Dagblad
27 April 2009



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.

"Want to see my luggage?" Mortensen asked, emerging from his hand-washing and following my gaze to the "sculpture." "Let's see what's in here," he added, removing underwear, several T-shirts - one with fishing records on it, another emblazoned with "Bring Our Troops Home" - and a United Nations flag from the bag. "I travel light."

Renaissance man jousts with career-changing role
by Chris Hewitt,
Twin Cities
28 September 2005



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



'I have to tell you...what an awful combination it is to have a US passport and a Buenos Aires accent when you arrive at the Chile airport. A pretty long delay... my friends that had Spanish passports had already gone through (customs), and they were waiting... and the guy kept checking, very kindly, but he wasn't letting me go anywhere, and he talks to me in a pretty tortured English, and so I tell him: "I speak Spanish, you can talk to me in Spanish". And so he gave me a long look, and then I realized I had f***** up, really, because the combination of the accent and the passport... I was going straight to jail, or so it looked. And so another customs officer comes and says, "No, no, he is the Lord of the Rings", and so..."Welcome to Chile" and (pam, pam - sound of passport getting stamped) "Here you go...go ahead"'.

Viggo on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Radio Cooperativa
27 March 2007



"He is so kind and playful and funny off set. He's almost like a hippie. We picked him up at the airport one time, and he wasn't wearing shoes. I still have no idea how he got through the airport barefoot."

Fran Walsh
On 'The Road' And Off, Viggo Mortensen Walks The Walk
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
3 December 2009



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



'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



'As an individual, I try to take care of the places I go to whether it's where I live or hide. It's a cliche, but leave the place looking better than you found it---pack it in and pack it out. I try to do that-always.'

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



The following morning he flew towards Buenos Aires. At night, he left for the USA; he had to start working on the character of his next movie. "I'll come back," he said before taking the airport escalator. I began to lose sight of him. He had a bombilla in his back pocket, a white plastic bag, and a San Lorenzo flag wrapped around his shoulders.

A Trip With Viggo Mortensen Through The Heart Of The Province
By Robustiano Pinedo - translated by Graciela
El Tribuno Salta
14 May 2007



"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


Quotable Viggo: 24 July 2010

Although known and respected for years as a character actor, Viggo only became 'famous' when fate thrust him into Middle-earth. Suddenly he was in the centre of a very bright spotlight and things have never been quite the same since. Fame, like everything in life, has its ups and downs. You have to try and stay sane when you are recognised nearly everywhere you go, but you are also in a privileged position, able to chose the roles you want, support causes and disappear when you need to. For the man who would rather paint than party there are few places left where you might not be recognised....



Miami Int'l Film Festival 3.5.07.
Image provided by Sachie.
© Akiyo. Used by permission


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



His Middle-earth exploits made him a planet-sized star, so what does shy, ungodly handsome Viggo Mortensen do with his shiny new fame? What he doesn't do is cut big deals then hit the clubs. Mortensen would rather work on offbeat art projects and hang out with David Cronenberg.

Viggo Get 'Em
21 September 2005
E!



"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



"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




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

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



When I mention how incredible it must be when as a result of starring in Lord of the Rings, his face is on the side of an Air New Zealand plane, Mortensen shakes his head as though he's bewildered by it all.

"I know, it's scary," he says of the rush of fame that has come with such global success. "It is a little weird but this will pass. As you can probably guess neither my ego nor my sense of worth is tied to all that's happening. So if it goes away it's not going to be hugely depressing to me at all."

Comes A Horseman
By John Millar
Film Review (Special #51) Summer
2004




"If Aragorn hadn't became well known," he smiles, "and I hadn't got that visibility in The Lord of the Rings, there's no way that any production company would let me play Nikolai in Eastern Promises or Tom Stall in A History of Violence, or star in [Spanish movie] Alatriste. I simply wouldn't have got that chance."

My painful decision to fight in the nude
By Will Lawrence
The Daily Telegraph
19 October 2007




"... Now I'm more well-known and I have to be a little more careful when I go out. But I see it as something positive. Because I also have a publishing house and sell more books thanks to the fame. I publish books by authors that aren't well known, but people see them because they know me from the movies."

Viggo Mortensen
"I'd like to film in Argentina"
By Fernanda Iglesias - translated by Margarita
Clarín
15 November 2005




"The success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy changed the deal a little. Before then, when I put on a poetry reading, there would just be a circle of my friends around me. Now there are hundreds of inquisitive strangers. If fame can make an under-appreciated art better known, it's perfect!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009




What's the oddest place you've ever been recognized?


I was in Iceland with my son [Henry, 19] once in the thermal pools south of Reykjavik. We were floating, and, all of a sudden, this man wearing no clothes comes out of the mist with a soggy piece of paper and asks for an autograph.

That's scary.

We drifted over to some rock so I could write. Strange.

Viggo Mortensen - Brooding Star of Eastern Promises
By Natasha Stoynoff
People
1 October 2007




How do you deal with fame?

It's like everything else, if you take it too seriously... It's part of the job. And if people go to the theater to watch one of your movies, and they like it and applaud... I'm not going to complain! The red carpet and the pictures is weird, and sometimes, blinding. If you don't take it too seriously, you can be a part of it without buying it.

"I like to observe the world from an artistic point of view"
By J Fiestras - translated by Graciela
La Verdad
5 October 2007




He's... probably the most unlikely star ever to have been made into a fast-food action figure. Although Mortensen now sees LOTR as an unexpected gift, the fame it has afforded him can be "stressful and a little weird."

"Maybe I should go hide myself for a couple of years in Middle Earth."

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




To research his role in Eastern Promises, Mortensen went alone on a two-week trip through Moscow, St. Petersburg and country villages, riding public transit and hanging out in coffee shops to photograph, record and study ordinary Russians.

It wasn't until the last day of his research trip, he says, that his cover was blown:

"A little boy started staring at me, then he pointed and whispered, 'Aragorn?' "

The Promise of Viggo Mortensen
By Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
10 September 2007



'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




No matter how outstanding his work, or how successful his films, it's impossible to imagine Mortensen without that customary reticence that makes him such a fine actor and such a reluctant star. Long may he stay off the radar.

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

Quotable Viggo: 17 July 2010

Viggo doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word 'stuntman'. If it needs doing Viggo's there doing it - crashing onto tiled floors in the altogether, bouncing along bareback at a gallop, running over half of New Zealand with two broken toes, losing teeth... over the years we've winced with him as he's performed over and above the call of duty. Along the way there have been some scary near misses and moments that have thrilled and astonished. There should be a special Oscar for it, there really should.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Eastern Promises


"... the two guys playing my attackers were good - one guy was a Georgian who had been in the Russian military, and the other guy was a Turkish professional boxer. They were perfect, and perfectly painful."

Viggo on the bathhouse fight
Ties That Bind
By Melora Koepke
Hour
13 September 2007



"I knew at times it would be awkward and vulnerable. It would also be painful because I couldn't wear any pads to protect me. All I was wearing was a bunch of tattoos."

My painful decision to fight in the nude
By Will Lawrence
The Daily Telegraph
19 October 2007



JMA: ...I imagine it was difficult to choreograph.

DC: Any fight scene has to be choreographed, because you don't want to hurt anyone. Except I like to hurt him a bit.

VM: And he knows I liked it.

From Russia With Lugs
By Jeffrey M Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
24 August 2007


The Lord of the Rings

The months of night shooting, without break, eventually took their toll on Mortensen.

"He had no knuckles," laughs make-up man Perez. "He'd been virtually slaughtered by everyone because he would not let anyone do his rehearsals. All his knuckles were completely bruised and cut and God knows what else. Every time that he had a scene, I said, 'Okay, now where did they hit you?'"

Filming the Battle of Helms Deep
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003



"On the fifth take, Viggo kicked the helmet, screamed, clenched his fists and dropped to his knees. I thought he was just doing some powerful acting. But then I noticed after I said 'cut' that he wasn't saying anything. Finally, he did the next scene limping."

Once they had finished filming, Jackson made the actor take off his boot.

"His toes were broken. Normally, an actor would yell 'ow!' if they hurt themselves, and stop the scene. Viggo turned a broken toe into a performance that's a great moment in the film."

Two Towers 'bloodier, more compelling'
New Zealand Herald
7 December 2002



In one take, Mortensen was battling an Uruk-Hai, a powerful and ferocious strain of orc, when a blade that was jutting from an extra's armour slashed into his face. "I thought, Oh my God, he's lost his face," recalls Perez, who then saw that the blade had somehow missed Mortensen's flesh but split his tooth - literally in half. "I said, 'You lost half a tooth.' And he looked at me and said, 'Look for it. You can stick it on with superglue.' And I said, 'No, come on, don't be silly, you can't.'" Mortensen finally relented and went to a dentist's office, still in full battle armour.

Filming the Battle of Helms Deep
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003



"I can remember thinking, 'Oh, I could be dead,' a few times because there were a lot of situations that were dangerous. But there was one time I did come really close," he recalls. "It was while I was crossing a river with all my gear on. I got caught in the current and went straight to the bottom! I remember looking up, thinking it was a beautiful, sunny day. But then I started to black out.

"At that point, I genuinely thought, 'This is it,' because it was pretty far up to the surface. But somehow I kicked against a rock and managed to get out of it. It was close, though. Of all the things that happened during this movie, that was the one time where I genuinely thought I'd had it."

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



I understand you broke two toes and a tooth during the fight scenes.

Yes, every actor who was involved with fight scenes got hurt, in one way or another. You got stabbed, or smashed-up. It sort of went with the territory. But as in so many areas, you were swept along in the river of the story to such a degree, that you were able to put up with, physically, mentally and emotionally, a lot more than you were accustomed to. A human being can be quite a resilient creature. When people are put to the test and engaged in something, they will go well past what they thought were the limits of their endurance. And all of us, certainly did that.

Hail To The King
By Lawrence French
December 2003
Source: Starburst #305


Hidalgo

"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



"I've always liked to ride, and it sort of reminds me of when I was a little boy. When you're a kid, you're kind of fearless. You can get afraid of things, but you're not as conscious of your mortality or of getting hurt as when you're an older guy and you're kind of like, 'Well, you know, if I come off goin' full tilt...this is gonna hurt.'"

Viggo on riding bareback in Hidalgo
'King' Star Returns To The Screen, Riding High
By Todd Camp
Star Telegram
6 March 2004



There's a part of the body that we weren't aware of called the 'nacho'. In other words, it's sort of right in the middle, it's not your, uh, you know, up front and it's not your...and that got pretty sore. We got a nacho pad, but it was a little too late.

Viggo Mortensen on riding bareback
'King' Star Returns To The Screen, Riding High
by Todd Camp
Star Telegram, 6 March 2004



Is it true that you and your British co-star, Zuleikha Robinson, could have been killed while shooting Hidalgo?

That was scary! We were both riding this horse, and it just took off and headed for this really high wall. I knew that there were trucks and equipment on the other side, and two huge storage jars on top. I was sitting behind Zuleikha, just hanging on. Somehow we stayed on, but Zuleikha lost the reins and I jumped off and grabbed them, and miraculously no one - not even the horse - got hurt. We could easily have been killed. Zuleikha was giggling - I think the shock hit her later. It wasn't caught on camera, but it would have looked like a great special effect. It was unbelievable!

Our Kiss Was Just a kiss
By John Millar
Hot Stars
27 March 2004


GI Jane

"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


Quotable Viggo: 10 July 2010

A couple of weeks ago I looked at how Directors choose actors, but there is a lot of serendipity involved in matching an actor to a role and sometimes getting picked doesn't mean you end up on screen, especially at the start of a career. You are very lucky if you even make it past the auditioning stage as we saw this week in a great quote found by Dom, about the casting for Blood Red. Even when everything comes together a role can be turned down or an actor asked to leave, leaving the gate open for another. Viggo himself very nearly didn't take The Road and he's currently playing Freud because Fate has played an unexpected hand. So this week's quotes are a whole bunch of 'might have beens' and 'nearly nots'.




© New Line Productions Inc.


The early days of Viggo's film career were marked by an epidemic of raised hopes and false starts. He was flown to England to screen-test for the lead role of Tarzan in Greystroke, "in a loincloth, sitting up on the tree branch, pretending to be a monkey," and flew home believing that he had the part. He didn't.

He was cast, however, in Jonathan Demme's Swing Shift, playing a brash young sailor trying to pick up an emotionally fragile Goldie Hawn in a movie theatre. He felt it went well, but when he saw the movie he discovered that they had reshot the scene with Goldie Hawn in the movie theatre alone.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004



'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



'The "Blood Red" auditions at the Actors Studio were notable for one other reason: Viggo Mortensen came by every day--barefoot, with long, dirty blond hair--wanting to audition in the worst way for one of my Italian immigrants. His dirty feet and hair scared me just as much as his blue-eyed blondness wasn't right for the cast I was building. After days of just being rude to him, I finally threw him out of the studio and told him never to darken my casting door again. I have since apologized to him for my lack of artistic vision and behavior. It's the one truly bad casting mistake I ever made. He's such a talented actor; he could have played Italian or anything else he made up his mind to do. I often use him as an example of how one-pointed, dedicated, and willing to be rejected an actor has to be.'

Pamela Guess
Backstage.com
July 2010



Viggo Mortensen: I tried out for a lot of parts where looks were necessary and I didn't get them. I've probably done two dozen on-camera tests for those roles and I've never gotten anything that way. It's scary to think of all my audition tapes out there somewhere.

Q: Any tapes you wouldn't mind seeing?

A: One. The test for the part Patrick Swayze got in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

Q: What was your drag queen outfit like?

A: I think it was Chanel, like a Jackie O. thing with Ann-Margaret hair. Before the audition, 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.

Q: How did the screen test go?

A: I asked if I could sing 'When I Fall in Love' a cappella, figuring if I could make that much of an ass of myself I'd be less embarrassed saying the dialogue.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
By Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine
August 1998



'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



Oliver Stone cast Viggo as a sergeant in a war movie that he was making. Platoon. Then the financing fell through but Viggo knew that Oliver Stone would get the movie made in the end, and he would be ready as an actor had ever been. For the next year, Viggo read every book on Vietnam he could lay his hands on. "I researched that part as thoroughly as I f****** could," he remembers. "Mentally and in every way. Physically."

One day he heard that the film was going into production and that Oliver Stone had recast his role, giving it to Willem Dafoe.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004



"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."

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



'Basically, I got a call: "Do you want to go to New Zealand for fourteen months to film The Lord of the Rings?" Just, you know, this famous epic trilogy! And my first reaction was "No!" Obviously I'd heard of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but I hadn't read the book, and I certainly hadn't read the script; I usually like to have a lot more time to prepare for a major role; and I really didn't want to be away from my family for that long. I have to say, it didn't sound like a very wise move to me at all!

My son said I was crazy and that I had to do it, even if I was going to be gone a long time. So there I am on the plane for New Zealand, reading that enormous, telephone directory-sized book and then the scripts, and a couple of days later I'm filming. I continued to feel unprepared, but at least I didn't have much time to get nervous, which was probably good!'

Viggo Mortensen on joining the LotR cast
Official Movie Guide



'I felt a little funny about it,' the softly spoken Mortensen says. 'It was really an error on the filmmakers' part. As right as he is for that character, Stuart was simply too young. He looked like he was the same age as the hobbits.

'I think he and the filmmakers realised they would have spent half or more of their time trying to make him look older and more experienced than he was. There was enough work to be done without having that added burden, so I think the change was mutually agreed on.

'But I still felt funny about it. As soon as I got the role, I wrote to him and said I was sorry about what had gone down. I said 'it's probably difficult to look at it this way, but you have many more years than I to play roles like that - rest assured I'll do the best I can to honour the role'. And I guess indirectly honour him. I basically wished him luck and said, without saying it, that I wasn't taking any pleasure in replacing anyone.'

Viggocentric
By Claire Sutherland
Herald Sun
9 March 2006



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




'When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand.'

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



Is it true that you almost turned down The Road?

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



VC: Viggo and I will be reunited in this movie, is that down to chance?

DC: It's a matter of perfect casting. As you say, there's a strange similarity in the relationships between your two characters in these two movies. In Dangerous Method, you play Otto Gross, a very crazy psychoanalyst, a kid of antisocial agitator. And the master, the controller, is Freud, sure enough, played by Viggo. In the beginning we were thinking of someone else to play Freud, so it could have been not between you and Viggo. But fate decreed otherwise. When luck is with you, you end up with the people you need to have. But it wasn't that I felt any obligation to re-unite you. If the role did not suit you, it would not have been a service to you to offer it.

Vincent Cassel talking to David Cronenberg
Première France
May 2010

Quotable Viggo: 3 July 2010

Being a bit short of time this week, I'm offering you a Pick 'n Mix of quotes. Among the treats we have Vladimir Putin, schooldays, San Lorenzo (how could we leave them out...), the strain of awards ceremonies, advice on how to get along with trees, some plumbers and a bit of frangipane. We even discover why he should currently feel right at home in a costume movie. Enjoy!



© New Line Productions Inc.


"I'm spreading "the cuervo gospel" all over the world. That's not only my mission, but my career, that's my job. Cinema, poetry and all the rest are hobbies. Spreading the cuervo gospel, that's what I'm dedicated to..."

Viggo Mortensen
In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010




"I am an old romantic, and I love costume movies. Elizabeth is my favourite."

Viggo Mortensen
A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy),May 2007




VM: So do you think (Russian president Vladimir) Putin will like this movie?

DC: Putin will probably love this movie.

VM: I think he'll probably get some of my character's tattoos.

DC: Frankly, I think he has them already.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007




"Some of the tattoos were humorous - and some were quite poetic. On the instep of my right foot, one said 'Where are you going?' On the instep of the other foot, another said 'What the hell do you care?"

Viggo Mortensen
Eastern Promises Production Notes
Focus Features
20 August 2007




"It's always a bit bewildering when people are taking pictures and asking questions before the ceremony. I'm not very good at giving quick answers, and that's what they want. So I end up saying half a sentence, and then they go, 'OK, thank you!' and I'm thinking, 'WHAT did I just say?'"

Viggo on awards ceremonies
'My mother is very happy about it'
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008




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
Boston Globe
September 28, 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, Mar '04





"Every tree is something special, just like people are. All different, but...
I look at them as I look at people. I get along well with most trees. I don't get into arguments with them, and if I do it's probably my own fault. If I don't watch where I'm going when I'm in the forest, it comes back and smacks me in the nose, and I only have myself to blame."

Viggo Mortensen
RUV Interview
Skovbo Exhibition, Iceland
Translated by Mums
30 May 2008



'The other day I came across a Mad Magazine. For the first time I felt like I had arrived when I saw a GI Jane parody of me called GI Shame. [Laughs] My favorite part was the idea that the candidates were dropping out of the SEALs not from the physical abuse but from my awful poetry readings.'

Viggo Mortensen on GI Jane
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998




You act, write poetry and paint. Do you still struggle to achieve everything you want to do?

Yeah, I wish life was longer. I wish that I didn't have to sleep. I like sleeping, and dreaming especially. But I wish sleep was a luxury, that I could just lie under the covers, listen to the rain but that I didn't have to if I didn't want to.

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




When Viggo was 7, his parents sent him to boarding school in Argentina. "It was a strict school, isolated in the foothills of the mountains," he said. "Other than holidays, I really didn't see my parents. The other kids were miserable, always crying or wetting their beds. But I was pretty self-sufficient. So I guess it must have suited me."

Back in the saddle 'Rings' hero Mortensen is riding high with 'Hidalgo'
By Nancy Mills
Daily News
25 February 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




"I guess they're not going to sell magazines by doing Manchester's loveliest plumbers, although you could make a case for them I'm sure."

Viggo on appearing in a '50 Most Beautiful Men' list
The New Hollywood Male
By Charles Gant
Arena Homme Plus #18
December 2002

Quotable Viggo: 26 June 2010

With the publication of Viggo's long awaited and much anticipated new book Winter Songs (Canciones de Invierno), how could we have anything but a poetry Quotable this week? Viggo was a published poet before he became well known as an actor and has been a long time at the craft. Over the years his style has changed and evolved, old poems have been reworked and he has continued to astonish and seduce us with his writing. He deftly reveals hidden truths - sometimes in a single, well-chosen word, makes us look again at the familiar with new and curious eyes and gives us images and phrases which make us catch our breath at their beauty. I can say, hand on heart, that if (heaven forbid) Viggo was to say 'Acting, photography, painting or writing, which one of these shall I continue with?' I'd beg him to keep on writing.



Linger Signing - International Center of Photography, NYC, NY 2.17.06.
© Palmalyn


"I have written since I was a child. At six or seven, I did my first little stories. I talked about animals, kid things. At about 15, I started with poetry. I always write. In airplanes, in bed, in the bathtub."

"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine - translated by Zooey
September 2009



"I've always liked to write stories and poems," says Mortensen. "I learned watching other people do it and by trial and error, just like acting."

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



Before becoming an actor, he was a published poet, and he still carries a notebook wherever he goes 'just in case a moment presents itself to be stolen.'

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006



"Poetry," he says," is a way to look at life from multiple points of view, a feeling of duplication which even gets more intense if you do it in two languages, like I do."

To Viggo, poetry is a way to leave reality behind in order to reach another, purer reality, away from those commonplace moments and the difficult situations for which there's no apparent relief. Poetry, to him, is a way to put the world into perspective.

About Them... "I like a brave woman"
By Salvador Llopart - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
La Vanguardia
14 March 2010



"For me, it's like taking apart an engine. You take all the pieces, you put them on a table and when you finish putting it together, you leave some of them aside."

Viggo on writing poetry
"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine - translated by Zooey
September 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



'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



"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



'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



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



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



"Patches of recorded feeling vanished, irretrievable. There is no point in trying to remember and rebuild the word houses, word hills, word dams, or word skeletons like some sort of archeology project. There may be pieces I recall or inadvertently retell, but every word will be new, will go somewhere, will die no matter what I might do to tame or hold it."

Viggo Mortensen on his lost writings
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 19 June 2010

Why does a director pick a particular actor for a role? More to the point, why do they pick Viggo (unless you're Peter Jackson and Fate, Fran, Phillppa Boyens and Mark Ordesky intervene)? The reasons are very complex and combine all sorts of different elements - intelligence, personality, physicality, star quality, a feeling of mutual understanding about what the role will require and a certain look. In Viggo's case this can stretch from being perfectly action-manly to being sweet and gentle, and from being perfectly Slavic and Germanic, to resembling both a Spanish mercenary and a subject for a Dorothea Lange Midwesterner. As an actor, Viggo presents such variety that it's more about a certain potential an individual Director sees than anything typical about his work. It's essential for a director to get this right. As Cronenberg himself said during Eastern Promises: 'You don't do an actor a favor by miscasting him'.



©Image Macall Polay 2929/Dimension Films/MGM / New Line Cinema/Warner
Brothers / Focus Features / Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures / 2006 Yahoo! Iberia SL / Westmount


John Hillcoat, The Road

"I was trying to think of an everyman, yet someone you could really buy as credible in making that journey," Hillcoat said. "Actors come with baggage, as well. Sometimes that baggage can help, like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. His baggage was part of the performance. With Viggo, there's something slightly elusive about him, and he has quite a wide range, and yet, also, there's this real physicality about him. And there's this tenderness.

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

On The Road with Viggo and Kodi:
By Jay Stone
Canada.com
18 November 2009



Ed Harris, Appaloosa

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

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



Vicente Amorim, Good

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



David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises

'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
Q+A : David Cronenberg, Film Festival Preview
nowtoronto.com
30 Aug 2007



Agustín Diaz-Yanes, Alatriste

'I thought in Viggo because this is a very high-budget film and he fulfilled two basic things: he looked like Alatriste and he was a Spanish speaking star, for something was clear to me: I'd had never made this film in English. So Viggo fulfilled all requirements. Ray Loriga passed him the script and it happened that Viggo had watched my two films and we went to Berlin and met him. He liked the script a lot and said yes at once.'

Agustín Diaz-Yanes
By Rocío García
El País, 21 February 2005
translated by Queneplace



David Cronenberg, A History of Violence


'I started to do research, which I always do when actors are named and you start to look at DVDs and stuff that you have. Movies that you know they have done. Because obviously what he did in "Lord of the Rings,' which is why he's famous, has very little to do with his role in this movie. But other movies that he's done, like one called "A Walk on the Moon' with Diane Lane, has a lot to do with it because in that movie, he's very gentle and sweet and tender. Usually he plays bad guys or scary guys, but I could see from that movie he could be very lovely as a gentle, sweet guy and very sexy as well. So it didn't take long for him to sort of go on the top of the list.'

David Cronenberg on casting Viggo
Interview with "A History of Violence" Director David Cronenberg
By Rebecca Murray,
aboutmovies.com
July 2005



Joe Johnston, Hidalgo

'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



Tony Goldwyn, A Walk on the Moon

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," Gus Van Sant's "Psycho."

"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



Ridley Scott, GI Jane

'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



Sean Penn, The Indian Runner

"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
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)



Philip Ridley, The Reflecting Skin

'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.

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



The final word goes to Joe Johnston:

"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 from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004


Quotable Viggo: 12 June 2010

Hoorah! The Alatriste DVD is now available in Canada and El Capitan has taken another barricade. To celebrate this modest but encouraging victory, let's take a look at what those discovering Alatriste for the first time will find; the piercing gaze, the pride, the terse northern Spanish speech, the bullfighter like stance, the moustache, all embodied in a dedicated actor who stopped at nothing to bring Alatriste to life. Arturo Pérez-Reverte's words in the last quote sum up, for me, why this film should still have its chance to move audiences around the world.



© Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.


...I liked the plot as a tale, as a story. And it captivated me. So I decided to do it, against everyone and against everything."

Viggo Mortensen
The filming of Alatriste, by Jesús Martin
Acción Magazine July, 2006
Translated by Paddy for V-W



'Without Viggo this wouldn't have been built up ever. Viggo could have done any film, especially after The Lord of the Rings. He fell in love with the project. He insisted on it and this could be done thanks to him.'

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



...Viggo is an actor with a very intense look; you must take into account that Agustín (the director) has chosen Viggo for his look. 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 remember the eyes of Viggo, that are the eyes of Alatriste"

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Diario de Cadiz, October 2004
translated by Vicky



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

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



"I also tried to discover theCaptain's soul; that's why I went to León..."

Viggo Mortensen
The Desired One
By Ester Aguado, Women Magazine, August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela



'I think this is the best way of getting into in the role (under the character's skin), knowing his roots, his environment, how the places where he grew are, how their houses are, what they eat, how the people live and speak. Without these premises you can never bring a character to life with credibility".

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen finds Alatriste in Curueño
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno, Diario de León, 20 March 2005
translated by Paddy



'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 know that my character is bitter and upset. He has good things within him, but it is difficult to find them."

Viggo Mortensen
The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan, Accion magazine, April 2005
translated by Chrissie



'Alatriste does not always behave correctly, he is crafty and breaks the law, and he lies to women and gets drunk. He even kills mistakenly, out of anger or jealousy, but he is more real than Aragorn, who always behaves correctly. Alatriste is a more real and darker story. Alongside it The Lord of the Rings is like a fairy tale.'

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



"And there's something very interesting; Agustín Diaz Yanes is the son of a bullfighter, and he told Viggo that the attitude of the bullfighter is the attitude Alatriste has, in the contact with death, the steel as a companion, and he was with bullfighters. And there are scenes in the film in which Viggo is composing his gestures, his attitudes before the enemy like a bullfighter..."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Talk About Alatriste
By Luthien 66 (transcription) - translation for V-W by Paddy
4 April 2006



Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

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



'Later, during a break in filming, I shake hands with Viggo, stained with special effects blood. We chatted for a while and then went to eat underneath the tent that protected us from the sun, while I observed his soldier's moustache, his scars, his doublet covered with dust and blood, his light and engrossing eyes that looked only like those of veterans, more beyond life and death. He wasn't an actor, I suddenly thought. He was the exact image of the tired hero........

.......I understood that I could never repay Viggo Mortensen the debt of gratitude that I felt towards him during this long and complex adventure of filming.'

Arturo Pérez Reverte
Viggo, The Captain
El Semanal 20 July 2005
Translated by Elessars Queen



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

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


Quotable Viggo: 5 June 2010

This week is a rather a rag-bag of film quotes that I really like but haven't yet found a place for. But - hey - they don't need a theme to be interesting and entertaining. Through them we learn that even gauntness and grime can't stop Viggo being sexy but 1940's swimming trunks might, why Viggo was upset by the A History of Violence poster, the knotty problem of Eight-gauges and Uzi's as weapons of choice, and how to make friends and influence people on the set of GI Jane. We finish with some fine words from the Immortal Dennis Hopper.



© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers


The Road

...we would not be displeased that Viggo Mortensen is the last Adam on earth. More than one lady would certainly follow HIM to the end of The Road ...

A la mort, à la vie
By Laurence Haloche
Le Figaro Magazine
27 November 2009



Appaloosa

"When I first had it, I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed?...It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance.' I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically.'"

Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008



Good

'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



Eastern Promises

He also went for a walkabout in the Urals. "We kind of worried he'd never come back and we'd never find out what happened to him, until we'd probably find him running the country eventually," says Cronenberg...

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



Alatriste

"But of course he's Leonese!, Viggo wanted it that way and I haven't doubted it."

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



A History of Violence

"It became a classic Viggo issue. He was really upset,' Cronenberg recalls, remembering how the posters were promptly changed to reflect reality. "He's not afraid of what he is.'

Cronenberg on the airbrushing of Viggo's scar out of the posters.
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006



Hidalgo

As Hopkins in Hidalgo, as part of the team that worked to portray the Ghost Dance and subsequent Wounded Knee massacre, and as someone taking the opportunity to be outspoken about the personal and cultural consequences of the troubled history, Mortensen is a rare bridge. Viggo Mortensen the ikce wicasa (common man) can be trusted not to give out under the weight of the responsibility.

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



Return of the King

On the very last day of shooting Aragorn fighting the orcs, Peter quietly gave Viggo an Uzi, loaded with blanks, for the last take.

Dan Hennah
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004



A Walk on the Moon

"I knew I wanted him for that role in such a way that I was saying, Please take some of my money and give it to him....Because he gives immeasurable depth to what he does, full commitment, full conviction."

Diane Lane
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



Psycho

'It was fun,' says Mortensen. 'Like doing a play from a certain period and trying to make the language relevant today.'

Viggo Mortensen on Psycho
Leave It To Viggo
by Susan Perry
Black Book 1999



GI Jane

'While Demi and the entire cast endured a mini-boot camp in Florida preparing for the film, I worked with Navy SEAL guys, but on my own for several months. The other cast members, with the exception of Demi, were pissed I didn't go through what they had to go through. And that's what I wanted.

Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
September 1997
Source: W



The Prophecy

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

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

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



The Indian Runner

Dennis Hopper, who starred in the movie with him ("I'm an old barkeeper he murders at the end," Hopper explains), calls it one of Mortensen's best roles ever. "He's not a good actor, he's a great f****** actor," Hopper says. "I'm not a fan of Sean's other two movies, but this is a hell of a movie. Don't live another day without seeing it. Mortensen is it. He's the real deal."

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

Quotable Viggo: 30 May 2010

After a wierd week where I've been encountering rabbits in the most unlikely places (don't ask) I'm talking a look at the wilder side of life. Viggo said that he 'feels good close to nature', so I have a selection of encounters with various horses, poisonous snakes, locusts, chillied crickets, whiffy fish and a swarm of 'rat-a-roos'. All together now: 'All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small...'



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures


While waiting [for a shot to be set up], Mr. Mortensen came back and fretfully studied the monitor. Kodi, meanwhile, dug for sand beetles, showing an especially plump one to Mr. Mortensen.

"Looks like good eatin'," Mr. Mortensen said, and it wasn't entirely clear whether he was joking or talking as a man who was supposed to be starving.

At World's End, Honing a Father-Son Dynamic
By Charles McGrath
New York Times
May 27, 2008




"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's a small horse, but very intelligent, very quick learner, for a stallion very relaxed on the set. He wasn't afraid or worried about the lights, camera, or anything. He was totally calm. You know that comic strip Andy Capp? That guy with his hat? I just think of him like that. He would just be there like, 'Whatever.''

Viggo Mortensen on TJ
The Lord of the Rings & Hidalgo Star Discusses Horses, Learning New Languages, Photography and More.
FilmForceIGN
By Spence D, 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




I was really touched by that scene where you're helping the horse but was that the horse you bought?

The horse that picks me up in the second movie? ...the way that particular horse came to this production was similar to the way I came to it: at the very last minute and without much preparation....slowly, by just being patient with him, and him in the end being patient with us, he got comfortable. And by the end, he was really good at it and he had a good feeling, I sensed, for the camera and was flexible and tried things. And so when it came time to do the scene where he comes and lies down, you know, it's a big animal, it can be very dangerous in a very closed set that was no bigger than this area here. And he came in, laid down with crew all around, let me get on him without getting scared, got up and rode away. It looked simple but it's a complicated thing for a horse to do. And it showed how far he had come. So I felt that we went through this journey together, starting in more or less the same place, and learning on the job. This is one of the reasons I had such a strong connection.

Viggo talking about Ureaus
Interview With Viggo Mortensen
Cinema Voice
February 2004




" 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."

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




Sitting casually, hanging out on the bench, seems ideal. But there is a problem. There are rats. Many of them. They are running back and forth between the bushes, over the footpath, and it is impossible to ignore them.

"Wow. They're bold," he says, incredulously. ..."Whoa! Did you see that one? That was a rat-a-roo. Is it a herd of rats, a flock of rats? Maybe it's a swarm."

The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times
30 November 2003




I encouraged Viggo to hang out with Kodi as much as possible, and Viggo took him to the Bodies exhibition in Pittsburgh, which is made up of hundreds of specimens of dead human bodies. They later found packages of edible dried insects in a local shop - crickets and maggots in either chilli or salt and vinegar flavours. We decide to use the chilli crickets for the movie.

The Road - John Hillcoat's Diary
By John Hillcoat
Sunday Telegraph
3 January 2010




Fish Fridays became an event. But 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.

Filming A History of Violence
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




His favorite [Eastern Promises tattoo] is a picture of a black crow and "these words from a really old Russian song: 'Black crow, I'm not ready for you to take me yet.' This film is about survival. And Nikolai, he's not ready to die."

Tattooed Love Thug
New York Magazine
26 August 2007




"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




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'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

Quotable Viggo: 23 May 2010

For an artist or actor - no matter how experienced you are, prepared you are, or technically proficient at your craft - when it comes down to it real creativity often appears when you let all that go and then just see what happens. Viggo has that down (I think) to a fine art (pardon the awful pun). You never know what wonderful things you might end up with and there can be interesting surprises even in the mistakes. Like the title of Scott Thill's article from 2002, finding that elusive Muse is often about 'a religious moment where something might happen.'



Screencap by Eriko.
© 2929/Dimension Films


'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




'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



'....this was one of those rare situations where intentionally doing "the wrong thing" with the camera worked in an interesting way. As conscious an exercise as making these particular pictures was, there are accidents in the images - weird spots, unexpected areas of saturation and contrast variations - strange things that I couldn't see when shooting and still cannot really explain. The longer the exposure, the more room for surprises. I like the fact that even with a medium as supposedly controlled and predictable as photography is meant to be, there still is mystery in the results. You won't necessarily be sure what you will get, where you are going.'

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




ST: I was trying to figure out the process for those flares. I thought that burn came from the development process.

VM: No, it was in the camera. The wiring that advanced the film and activated the flash got messed up. I was fishing and dropped the camera and it got wet. When it dried out, it started doing that. I shot a roll, saw it and thought, "Oh, shit." But when I looked at them, I thought that some of them looked kind of interesting. So on the next roll, I tried moving the wire all the way to one side and the flares would go to that side. Then I moved it to the middle, the right, and on the bottom and shot maybe eight rolls of film before it stopped working altogether.

A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
20 September 2002




"... last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen."

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




'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




"What I find with poetry or painting or even acting is that mistakes can often be helpful. In the brief time I've been making paintings, I've ruined a lot of them by not knowing when to stop. But you just put it aside, and later when you come back to it maybe you remove one thing, or add something else, and all of a sudden it works, where before you were ready to burn it. Or maybe you look at it and realize it doesn't need anything at all."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo From 5 to 7
by Dennis Hopper
Flaunt magazine 1999




"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




"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




'It was the very last take, and it was the scene by the campfire, and I knew that Duvall wasn't satisfied. I knew that there was something, that magic little thing hadn't happened yet. He said, "If we could do one more take ... let's just do one for ourselves," and I go, "Yeah, whatever." Then, suddenly, he says, "I had a boy once," and the hair just went up on the back of my neck, and I was like, "Wow, that is so right." I realized that, which happens once in a while, and you are just so happy that it happened. ... It's so simple and beautiful and obvious, and he said it with such feeling that, when we went back to the line from the scene, there was a little pause, so I asked, "What happened to your boy, your son?" And the rest was magic.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Hits The Road
By Roger Durling
Santa Barbara Independent
22 November 2009




"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



Quotable Viggo: 15 May 2010

My copy of Reclaiming the Blade finally arrived today and I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I've always loved movies with swordplay - Robin Hood (with Errol Flynn of course), Scaramouche, The Princess Bride - and it's been a thrill to add The Lord of the Rings and Alatriste to my favourites list. What better than a bit of swash and buckle with our favourite swordsman?



Image Alatriste - La Colección Espiral.
© Ocho y Medio, Libros de Cine.


"... 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
28 November 2001
Source: BT (Berlingske Tidende) a Danish newspaper



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



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
Official Movie Guide




'...I had to get a sense of not only what it was like to fight, but also to walk around with a sword around your belt. Just getting the physical baby steps of the character helped.'

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



Mortensen's facility with the sword became immediately apparent. "The people who were teaching him said that he was insanely talented," says Miranda Otto, who plays the Lady Eowyn, who falls for Aragorn. "There's one scene [at the end of] the first film where a knife is thrown at Aragorn, who clocks it with his sword. One of the stunt guys who was meant to be his double said, 'I've been practicing that and I've never been able to [hit the knife] once, and Viggo hits it on the first take. I hate him.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003



"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



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



One day he suggests we go to a beautiful place he knows, Huntington Botanical Gardens, in Pasadena. He picks me up in his hybrid, clearing a scattering of CDs and a small ornamental dagger of Henry's from the passenger seat. Only later, when we park, do I notice the full-size fencing sabre across the shelf by the back window.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004



In the darkness, Alatriste's sword glows like Luke Skywalker's lightsabre. By day, his steel blade would be the envy of The Three Musketeers.

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



Viggo Mortensen plays his character to perfection. He submerges himself in Alatriste and his terse, murmured and yet sonorous speech is that of one who knows words are extraneous when swords meet.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno talking about Alatriste
Diario de León
29 Aug 2006



What was the physical training like for this role?

I worked not only for the swords, including the "vizcaína", but also to get used to the character. I went to the sword fighting rehearsals with those boots, the hat, the cape, to get used to handling the cape, to swirl it around, just like the "gauchos", that's where it comes from.

Viggo Mortensen ZonaCinemania Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
ZonaCinemania
29 March 2007



... Mortensen... has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002



Tribune: When you were making Good, did people talk to you a lot about The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter?

Isaacs: It's all, "Aragorn versus Lucius: Who would win?" I got that a lot. I go, "Well, I've got magic. He's got a sword. Get serious."

Jason Isaacs
People We Want To Talk To...Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs
By Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
2 November 2008



One final thing, do you prefer fighting with a pistol or a sword?

I'm not such a big fan of fighting, I prefer to try to work things out.

Two-Minute Interview
By Anwar Brett
Ultimate DVD magazine, #57
September 2004

Quotable Viggo: 9 May 2010

Viggo the actor, Viggo the writer, Viggo the photographer, Viggo the painter.... I've looked at all of these, but chewing over whether to revisit one of these creative outlets for fresh insights I realised that something is missing.... Viggo the musician. Over the years Viggo has released a whole string of CDs full of experimental, edgy, just-play-and-see-what-happens words and music. He wrote and sang his own coronation song in Return of the King. He's enchanted us, occasionally confused us and challenged us, and shown that you don't need to read music or follow rules to have fun, play a motorcycle muffler, and share pleasure and ideas through music.


As a little treat, here is a nice video of the Coronation Oath

And as another treat, here is the Half Fling song from Pandemoniumfromamerica. Hobbits will never be the same again.

And something a bit different, the moody, atmospheric Holyhead with Buckethead.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Writing or acting or playing music, I need to feel like I'm connecting with something. And although acting brings me many moments like that I'm probably most relaxed sitting down at a piano. I don't read music and I've never had lessons but it's fun and I find it very relaxing. I'm okay with mistakes and people not liking what I play. I just do it.

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



"I think for him, to work with me, I'm obviously not, you know, a professional musician or a professional music producer or anything like that, so I don't work in a conventional way and I don't have set rules for how we are going to do each take or how long its going to be or what approach we are going to take, so I think it's probably refreshing for Buckethead to just go ahead and play. And be safe, he can be safe in making mistakes, doing whatever. I'm never going to make him do something and I would never use something he didn't like so I think its a safe atmosphere for him to be really creative."

Viggo Mortensen on working with Buckethead
CHUD magazine
by John Makarewicz, 2004



One listen to The Other Parade, his re-released 1998 album with Buckethead, ex-wife Exene Cervenka, and a host of others, reveals total artistic fearlessness (Mortensen plays a motorcycle muffler on every track). Its haunting, post-industrial abstractions make Einstürzende Neubauten sound like 'NSync -- and, if taken in the wrong mood, they may encourage a listener to beat on the disc itself. But there's absolutely no lack of energy and presence.

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003



"It is a tribute to the memory of the victims of the 11th September tragedy. I wrote the words, but I also used texts that I love very much, from Noam Chomsky, to whom the album is dedicated, and from Jonathan Swift. It's totally experimental. The Hobbits agreed to join me and it was a lot of fun, we improvised on the spot, we spent our time exchanging instruments. Elijah played the battery and the piano."

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



Taking lyrical cues from William Blake, Rumi, and Jonathan Swift (whose "Holyhead" gets murky, standout treatment), the album could almost be called the dissonant but similarly adventurous Sgt. Pepper of its age, or, more rationally, the My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

On Pandemoniumfromamerica
Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003



...we're sitting in front of the pounding ocean in my rented LeSabre listening to Mortensen's new CD, an activity that serves two purposes: I get to hear his latest songs (his car doesn't have a CD player), and we both get to sober up before the drive home.

The music is dark, spooky stuff. Most of it comes from a jam session with Buckethead. We smoke American Spirit cigarettes as Mortensen, on the CD, recites over ominous guitar tracks a poem in Danish about a warrior who must leave home to avenge his country. We get into a long, boozy discussion about why he does so much stuff, why he is so bursting with creative energy that he can't just be an actor.

"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?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



"....for Good.....I play a professor who has music as his refuge. I also placed myself in the situation of having Mahler's music in my head. I felt the need to play the piano. Each night after filming, I played a bit, a way of leaving myself inspired for the scene the next day. Each time, something different came from my imagination. When I returned home I recorded what I had composed to save a trace, and it became an album!"

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



[Howard Shore] asked me a few days ago if I wanted to [perform the song with him as part of the symphony]. I said, 'I'm not sure if that's going to be a good idea. I'm not going to be able to rehearse I don't think or anything. And I couldn't. So I got there whilst they were under way. In the intermission, I met the gentleman who was going to do it and said, 'it's not my idea. It was Howard's suggestion [laughs loudly]!'
"It was fun. I don't think I'll be singing with a symphony again [laughs]! It was a once in a lifetime thing. But because Howard wanted that, I certainly wanted to support him and his wishes; so I got up there and did my best," he giggles coyly..... "Fortunately it was brief and thank God it was a language that no one understands."

Viggo on performing in the Lord of the Rings Symphony in New Zealand
ROTK Press Junket
Nazz chats with Viggo Mortensen
Lilithlotr.net
Feb 2004



Is it true that you sang serenades to calm Gwyneth Paltrow before the scenes in 'A Perfect Murder'?

'How do you know that?'

She has said that herself.

'That is correct. To calm her and create a certain atmosphere of intimacy I did sing a couple of love songs that I learned in Argentina when I was young. I don't know if that ended up scaring her instead.'

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



Now if he just changes his handle to something catchy like "V-Go," the fellow might prove quite the pop star.

On Pandemoniumfromamerica
Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003



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

Quotable Viggo: 24 April 2010

This week I've got another miscellany of Viggo quotes that I've been squirreling away (some for a long time) but have never yet used in a Quotable. Time to dust them off because all of them are interesting or revealing, and many have really good advice tucked away inside them. They ramble around good, days, bad days, Life, the Universe and Everything.



© Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.


"My job is to see the world from different points of view than my own. Sometimes quite different than my own. Even if I disagree with it in principle, I'm gonna investigate it."

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



'I'd do it [acting]for myself anyway. Before I got into acting, I was interested in one way or another in photography or writing stories or poems or making drawings or something because I like doing it. That's who I am. That's my way of being in the world. I imagine I'll keep doing things that way. Who knows? Part of being in the world is being open to changing your mind. But so far, I haven't changed my mind about that. That's what makes me comfortable.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality,
by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




"I have written since I was a child. At six or seven, I did my first little stories. I talked about animals, kid things. At about 15, I started with poetry. I always write. In airplanes, in bed, in the bathtub."

"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine - translated by Zooey
September 2009




"Sometimes, I can express my feelings and access my emotions much better in Spanish than I can in English."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier
Chris Betros
Japantoday.com
5 December 2008




"Life is so short! I tell myself frequently to "Go slow to go fast", to remind me to take my time in order to sample as many things as possible."

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




You act, write poetry and paint. Do you still struggle to achieve everything you want to do?


Yeah, I wish life was longer. I wish that I didn't have to sleep. I like sleeping, and dreaming especially. But I wish sleep was a luxury, that I could just lie under the covers, listen to the rain but that I didn't have to if I didn't want to.

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




'Because of how I was brought up, I go along with it for a while when someone tells me about a rule, but eventually I always end up asking myself: Why does it have to be this way?'

Viggo talking about art
Treasure Island: A visit with Viggo Mortensen
Recent Forgeries
Kristine McKenna 1998




'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




"What I find with poetry or painting or even acting is that mistakes can often be helpful. In the brief time I've been making paintings, I've ruined a lot of them by not knowing when to stop. But you just put it aside, and later when you come back to it maybe you remove one thing, or add something else, and all of a sudden it works, where before you were ready to burn it. Or maybe you look at it and realize it doesn't need anything at all."

Viggo From 5 to 7
by Dennis Hopper
Flaunt magazine 1999




Before, you were saying you are an optimist by nature. What are you doing to protect the environment and prevent the planet from becoming what it is in the movie?

Everything that's in my hands. I have a hybrid car, the first Prius that came out on the market; it still works great. My son shares it with me. I recycle everything I can. I try not to waste natural resources or to pollute. Small things that if done every day, serve to make a better world.

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




"I like to go to new places and, above all, in spaces in the middle of nature, whether it's sea or mountains. It soothes me. Even if it rains, even in bad weather, even if I'm on top of the most uncomfortable rock in the world. I feel happy in that setting."

Viggo Mortensen - Passage To Hell
By Ruben Romero - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
On Madrid - El Pais
5 February 2010



MC: Are you always so positive?

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

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




He understands why, in dire times, you'd be tempted to "set your house on fire and never answer the phone again, but it would be better to ask yourself: How can I be most useful to this world? Not that I'm some ******* genius."

VIGGO MORTENSEN (free radical) Twenty one reasons to dig Viggo Mortensen
by Allison Glock
GQ Magazine 2003

Quotable Viggo: 17 April 2010

This week we've all been thrilled by the news that Queen Margrethe of Denmark is honouring Viggo with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog. Being a knight has changed rather a lot over the years and you are no longer expected to protect your monarch with your sword and your honour (although I'm sure Viggo is one Knight who actually could, if called upon). Being a romantic, I thought we should take a light hearted look this week at the courtly warrior and all things Knightly. This, of course, involves a large dollop of Aragorn, a smidge of Hitch, the inspiration for Perceval Press and even the rescue of a damsel in distress.



© New Line Productions Inc.


It has always helped that he looks like a Round Table knight; parts abound for the handsome hero-rescuer waving a literal or metaphorical sword. 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




Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with an Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had

Fellowship of the Ring Review
Nick Nunziata



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

ROTK review
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003




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.

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




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




Here was the Viggo Mortensen effect at work. As Aragorn, the perfectly chiselled Mortensen was the embodiment of the fairytale romantic hero, brave yet somehow ethereal, part Chaucer's "parfit, gentil knight" and part rock star.

The Viggo Effect
By Stephanie Bunbury
The Age
24 February 2006




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




Watching Viggo Mortensen positioning himself in grand style in the preparation for the climactic shootout offers visual pleasure as well as reaffirmation of a code of honor that may be too mythical but helps maintain the tradition of the Westerner as a gentleman guided by strong inner conscience and sense of self.

Appaloosa Review
Emmanuel Levy
Emmanuellevy.com
7 September 2008




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



The name of [Pervceval] press harks back to the legend of Parsifal, the knight of the Arthurian legend who found the Castle of the Grail and saved the Fisher King.

On his way to achieve knighthood at King Arthur's Court, he and his knights choose to find their own paths. "If there was a trail," says Mortensen, "they wouldn't take it. They had to make their own ways. I wanted to provide that opportunity for artists."

Little Press Shines With Star Power
By Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times
3 March 2004




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




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

Richard Clabaugh
Cinematographer for American Yakuza
www.rclabaugh.com



Quotable Viggo: 10 April 2010

With The Talking Cure looking more and more like a certainty I thought this might be a good time to look again at why Viggo is always drawn back to film, despite all the frustrations and ups and downs of the movie business, and despite all the other creative mediums he can express himself in. Reading all of his thoughts on why he is an actor and why he enjoys the process of acting, I think you'll agree that Freud is in very good hands!



© Good Films/Odd Lot International.


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



'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 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



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



"I agreed with that piece of narration where I say--this is right out of the book; every word is McCarthy's--essentially what I say is, I wouldn't trade this life for any other," Mortensen says. "Not that I can. But anything that makes you appreciate the time you have on this earth, that makes you feel like reaching out and asking yourself questions--reaching in and reaching out after you see it--something's working. And that's no different for a poetry reading to ten people than it is to working on a character. And it can be Aragorn where it's this giant crew and seven units shooting, or it can be a very small crew in the woods in Pennsylvania shooting a scene by a stream with a boy from Australia. Everything falls away when you're in the right place as an artist."

Rocky Road
By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
13 November 2009



"My best movies, I look at them years later and think, 'I was kind of another person then.' At certain points, it's beyond you. It transports you. That's the magical thing about telling stories in movies, and even going to movies - there's something else that happens. You hope. Because you want to be transported. You want to come out feeling different."

Viggo Mortensen
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009



"I choose roles for my own edification and entertainment, and really to learn and to challenge myself. People will go where they are comfortable with in terms of casting, but I will do what I can to take parts that I want to explore."

Appaloosa's Viggo Mortensen still hunting challenges
By Ian Caddell
Straight.com
2 October 2008



'I think, any good story, the dramatic part of the story, what makes it interesting, why you'd want to go see it, why you'd want to talk about it afterwards--comes from those moments or periods of time, whether it suddenly happens or it's a gradual realization, that things are not what they seem.'

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



"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 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



MP: So why, with so many outlets to your passion and so many of them making up the components of film -

MORTENSEN: That's a perfect universe, movies. It has everything.

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



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 April 2010

This week's Quotable just had to be about football after the opening of the new chapel at Ciudad Deportiva. It's no secret that Viggo is probably San Lorenzo's most dedicated fan when even his socks come in red and blue. I've put together a mixture of some old favourites that are so good it's no hardship to read them again, along with some new ones that I've ferreted out for the occasion. Go Cuervos!



San Lorenzo 100th Anniversary Celebration, 4.1.08.
© Ary / mundoazulgrana.


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 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



"...these are my heroes. The one group of people or thing I support unconditionally. They can do no wrong,"

Viggo on San Lorenzo
Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009



"I would rather see San Lorenzo win the tournament than get an Oscar, definitely."

Viggo Mortensen
By Juan Cruz Sanchez Marino - translated by Graciela
GENTE
26 December 2008




Wearing all manner of Buenos Aires and soccer trappings (socks, bracelet, and a San Lorenzo pin, plus a complete mate set and the sports section of The Nation on hand), Viggo Mortensen greeted the Argentinean press on his recent visit to Buenos Aires..... He takes off his black boots and allows us to see the wide stripes on his socks in the colours of the team he loves.

Viggo Mortensen: The Biggest Soccer Fan In Hollywood
By Lorena García - translated by Margarita
La Nacion
16 November 2005



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



'I left Argentina when I was eleven, in '69, and there was no cable TV, no Internet, nothing. I was in the northern United States with my picture cards, my little t-shirt, my flag, and nothing else.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
By - translated by Zooey and Sage
Pagina 12
14 August 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



Go San Lorenzo! My membership card says "supporter from another country", but I am not a supporter from another country; that does not describe me properly... I am a "local" supporter, [a supporter] from the bottom of my heart, from a heart that is ours, that belongs to all the "cuervos", in the past, in the present and for ever.

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



"We're cuervos till death!"

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



This cuervo that exhales cigarette smoke, tracing a blue and red circle that starts from his feet, is Viggo Mortensen, the seductive Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, David Cronenberg's fetish actor, fanatic supporter of the Cyclone, who did not win the Oscar for his interpretation in Eastern Promises, and display the San Lorenzo flag on the stage of the Kodak Theatre, as he had planned.

"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"
By - translated by Zooey and Sage
Pagina 12
14 August 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



It's almost three o' clock in the morning. He is sitting next to the fire on a wood and leather chair. The "asado" (barbecue) is over. The people he was preparing mate for, two at the same time, have said goodbye. He is wearing a gray San Lorenzo goalkeeper's soccer shirt, and he throws a cigarette butt into the embers. Viggo Mortensen, 49, now has a needle in his hand and he starts sewing his red and blue flag, which suffered a passionate tear in the victory against Lanus: "I like to sew it myself."

A Trip With Viggo Mortensen Through The Heart Of The Province
By Robustiano Pinedo - translated by Graciela
14 May 2007
Source: El Tribuno Salta


Quotable Viggo: 27 March 2010

Remember all the excitement of Alatriste? Discovering Pérez-Reverte's wonderful books, anticipating the film, enjoying the reports of our good friend Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno, immersing ourselves in Spanish history and admiring that humungous moustache? Although the film never got the distribution it deserved outside of Spain we loved it and we loved El Capitán. Time for some hot, dusty and blood-stirring Spanish nostalgia.



© Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.


"I wanted to be Alatriste at any cost."

Viggo Mortensen
A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy), May 2007



"Some people in Spain thought it was strange that I came to do this story. In the United States, some people asked me why I was going to do this. I answered them that the script was very good, that it was the best thing I had ever read; that not only did I like the story of Alatriste, but also the period. It's a valuable project, an interesting character, a historical period that is very unknown outside the academic world. '

Viggo Mortensen
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W 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



"But of course he's Leonese!, Viggo wanted it that way and I haven't doubted it."

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



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



"I know that my character is bitter and upset. He has good things within him, but it is difficult to find them."

Viggo Mortensen
The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan,
Accion magazine, April 2005
translated by Chrissie



CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything.

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



'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Top Men - Viggo Mortensen, Glamour Magazine,
August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela



"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



Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

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



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

Unax Ugalde
20 Minutos, Frank Marta
26 the April 2005



'Later, during a break in filming, I shake hands with Viggo, stained with special effects blood. We chatted for a while and then went to eat underneath the tent that protected us from the sun, while I observed his soldier's moustache, his scars, his doublet covered with dust and blood, his light and engrossing eyes that looked only like those of veterans, more beyond life and death. He wasn't an actor, I suddenly thought. He was the exact image of the tired hero... I understood that I could never repay Viggo Mortensen the debt of gratitude that I felt towards him during this long and complex adventure of filming.'

Arturo Pérez Reverte
Viggo, The Captain
El Semanal 20 July 2005
Translated by Elessars Queen



"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



And last weekend, on the eve of the summer solstice, like King Elessar, Captain Alatriste went back to León to walk round its streets, taverns, bookstores and even to keep some promise, in solitude.

Returning to Leon after filming
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

Quotable Viggo: 20 March 2010

While we wait with bated breath for confirmation that Viggo will indeed be working with Cronenberg again, I thought now would be a good time to take a look back at their first collaboration. So here are some very enlightening quotes from around the time of the release of A History of Violence. Some of us were nervous when it was announced that Viggo would be teaming up with this controversial auteur of the cimema. But we knew we were looking at a cinema marriage made in heaven when we saw the outstanding result.



© New Line Productions Inc.


"They're [the films] uncomfortable to watch because people in reality are not neat and tidy and orderly and always predictable and always the same. He's a great observer of human nature and on that level, you know, I do feel like we're kindred spirits."

Viggo Mortensen on Cronenberg
Rebecca Murray
About.com
26 September 2005



"...'Lord of the Rings,' which is why he's famous, has very little to do with his role in this movie. But other movies that he's done, like one called "A Walk on the Moon' with Diane Lane, has a lot to do with it because in that movie, he's very gentle and sweet and tender. Usually he plays bad guys or scary guys, but I could see from that movie he could be very lovely as a gentle, sweet guy and very sexy as well. So it didn't take long for him to sort of go on the top of the list."

David Cronenberg on casting Viggo
Interview with "A History of Violence" Director David Cronenberg
By Rebecca Murray,
aboutmovies.com
July 2005



'It felt good to shed my hero's costume'

Viggo Mortensen
The Anti-Hero
by Renaud Baronian
Metro 18 May 2005



"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..."

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



Stories about quiet men who unleash their gift for violence to save their families aren't exactly rare in American movies. After reading the script, which was inspired by a graphic novel, actor Mortensen wondered why Cronenberg took the project on. "I thought it was interesting, but most directors would make an exploitation movie out of it and it might have been interesting to look at, but not very thought-provoking. Obviously, he makes thought-provoking movies, so I wondered why he wanted to do this one. I asked him immediately. He gave -- and continues to give -- interesting answers."

American brutality
Globe and Mail Cannes Review
by Liam Lacey
May 17 2005



"...anything I asked him, any doubt or reservation I had, he also had the same ones. That's what I mean by being in step with him. We right away were in agreement and we were like real partners."

Viggo Mortensen on Cronenberg
Rebecca Murray
About.com
26 September 2005



"David doesn't tell you what to think. 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.''


Viggo Mortensen
David Gritten
TheDaily Telegraph
September 24, 2005



'......even though emotionally there was a lot of difficult days on the set, you know, uncomfortable. There was always a lot of joking going on. It was a lot of fun making this movie. He has a very good sense of humour, maybe a very dark sense of humour, [laughs] but a good one.'

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



... Mortensen's collaboration with Cronenberg is a wonder - it's difficult for me to imagine many actors who would be receptive to such a singular idea, let alone be able to put it into such vivid relief.

Kent Jones
Cinema Scope Magazine
Summer 2005



'Viggo does things in this movie that you will not have seen him do.'

David Cronenberg
Graphic depictions
by Denis Seguin
Times online, May 12, 2005



'His work in this is so layered and so subtle that it becomes what I think most great works of art are...universally accessible or applicable.'

Viggo on Cronenberg
Charlie Rose Show Interview
transcription for V-W by Chrissie
22 September 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



"Everything that looks normal, in the end, isn't really. And like a lot of David's movies, at the end you say, 'Well, is anyone really normal?' "

Viggo Mortensen
Hurt's so good
LA Daily News
26 September 2005



In the film, Viggo Mortensen stars as an owner of a small-town diner who attracts the attention of mobsters (William Hurt and Ed Harris) when he prevents a robery. 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: 13 March 2010

The Oscars are over and the Academy didn't take The Road. In fact they completely missed the turning despite all the signposts. This week's Quotables comes courtesy of Chrissie who has thoughtfully gathered enough quotes from those end-of-year best movie lists to show that many critics found the Road one of the most haunting, beautiful and inspiring films of the year. In this post-Oscar week it's nice to know.



Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films.


"The Road" -- Powerful, moving, affecting and haunting. This is cinema that speaks to viewers, in the hardest-to-forget of ways.
Mike Scott,
NOLA.com




The Road got beat up because it wasn't Hollywood enough. It was pretentious. It was too much like the novel, but without the interior nuances of the Cormac McCarthy's acclaimed book. Nothing happened. That's not true. Plenty happens. Perhaps I'm taken with a starving father and son navigating their way through a post apocalyptic landscape, enduring their own fears and emotions and inner demons, and not to mention cannibals, but The Road(directed by John Hillcoat) was one of the most powerful and beautiful movies I saw all year. Viggo Mortensen, wounded, vulnerable, tough and tender is a heartbreaking vision of walking life and death. He so fits into the wasteland (perfectly grim and strangely spectacular), that he feels an organic part of this ragged, twisted wilderness. Though the singer never graces the movie, I could hear Ralph Stanley's beautifully broken voice echoing "O Death" throughout every frame. That's a potent experience.

Kim Morgan
Huffington Post




Bleak as it is, The Road still finds room to let in a sliver of hope as it explores the bonds between a father and son struggling to survive in postapocalyptic America. Viggo Mortensen has never been better

Linda Barnard
Toronto Star




Cormac McCarthy's novel of the apocalypse comes to the screen with all it's spare and deadly beauty intact. It's often painful to watch (at my screening I actually heard the projectionist sobbing as the film neared its end), but Viggo Mortensen's performance as the dedicated father is Oscar bait.

Stephen King
Entertainment Weekly




Sad and beautiful, John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's dark, post-apocalyptic novel comes to life thanks to engaging performances by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Kim Brown
Tulsa World




"The Road." Doomsday again with Viggo Mortensen traveling the country, fending off numerous forces that try to kill him and his young son. The Cormac McCarthy work is depressing, yet with an element of hope for the remnants of mankind. Mortensen has never been better.

Joan Vadeboncoeur
Syracuse Post-Standard




The Road -- The incredibly stark adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a man and his son struggling to keep their decency and humanity intact after a worldwide disaster was a haunting masterpiece from beginning to end. Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of the father deserves an Oscar nomination as well as a lifetime achievement award someday.

Carl Kozlowski
Pasadena Weekly




The Road Screenwriter Joe Penhall and director John Hillcoat dared scale the lofty terrain of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and the resulting film packs a gut punch. Astonishing performances (particularly those of Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and son) power this morality play about humanity's emotional and behavioral limits.

Peter Canavese
Palo Alto Online




"The Road" -- You won't see this movie on many top 10 lists; critics over-praised the last Cormac McCarthy adaptation, "No Country for Old Men," and are making up for that. The post-apocalyptic setting is profoundly disturbing, but Viggo Mortensen and child actor Kodi Smit-McPhee achieve the same humanity that's in all of us.

Todd Hill
Staten Island Live




In an era where the apocalypse strikes inside cinema with alarming regularity, this was the grimmest and most unflinching look at a world where every ounce of green, and almost every spark of human kindness, has been destroyed.

Charlie Jane Anders
io9




I cannot recall too many films in 2009 that left a room full of seasoned journalists crying in their hankies. This one did the trick, however. Featuring the finest performance of Viggo Mortensen's career, this unflinching love story about a father and son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic America is tough to watch. But, the huge emotional payoff was - and is -- worth the price of admission.

Constance Droganes
CTV.ca




The Road: John Hillcoat's second feature is as unflinching as his first. An adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel tells the story of a man protecting his young son as they journey across a post-apocalyptic U.S., rife with cannibalism and haunting reminders of an entire culture lost. Viggo Mortensen gives yet another fine performance as the desperate father and strengthens his status as one of the finest actors working. The film doesn't shy away from the dark nature of the subject matter, but still earns its somewhat hopeful ending.

Ned Prickett
Blast


Quotable Viggo: 6 March 2010

In a Viggo drought it's great to play around with the possibility that he might portray the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Could the recent unconfirmed rumour that he will soon be teaming up again with Cronenberg be true? Either way I thought it would be a bit of fun to turn the tables and put Viggo himself 'on the couch' with some very probing questions.



© New Line Productions Inc.


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




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




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




MC: Are you always so positive?

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

Viggo on wearing the SS uniform
The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 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



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




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

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

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




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 Margarit
a



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




Do you prefer fighting with a pistol or a sword?

"I'm not such a big fan of fighting, I prefer to try to work things out."

Two-Minute Interview
by Anwar Brett
Ultimate DVD magazine, 2004




What are you still determined to learn to do?

What I haven't.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007


What do you believe in above all else?

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

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




MP: On a lighter note, 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


Quotable Viggo: 28 February 2010

While revamping our film quotes section (and - of course - stopping to read all the time) I was surprised just how many there were for The Indian Runner and how insightful they were. Well worth their own special Quotable. With Viggo playing a part that Sean Penn strongly identified with, it was bound to be an interesting shoot. It's also good to know that Viggo's habit of bringing 'the kitchen sink' to the set started so early. After reading these you'll want to get the DVD out and take another look...



© Westmount.


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
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)




'Seeing his face and his expression, I knew it was him. I was praying for such a wonderful actor. I wasn't disappointed..'

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



[Sean Penn] sent me the script and I was instantly hooked. At the start, I preferred the character which was finally played by David Morse. Mine was just described as "the baddy'. But I said to myself that, behind the slightly too obvious behaviour of Frank Roberts, there had to be a really complex reason. The filming was extremely interesting ... The more so because Sean was very involved.

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



'I had always thought of Frank as a barking dog that bites,' Penn says, 'so I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
Premier,
By Christopher Connelly
October 1991




'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
Premier,
By Christopher Connelly
October 1991




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 (UK: Faber and Faber, US: Canongate US, 2004)



Sean had decided that Viggo and I were going to rehearse for two weeks, but we were only going to rehearse our big scene in the bar. So he had a bar set up in a gymnasium where we could shoot baskets but also really do our work. And during those two weeks, I have a feeling it was harder for Viggo, because Sean identified more with the role of Frank, and he would really try to push him to do certain things. But Viggo just kept holding back. He never really did the scene in those two weeks.... I think Sean was still a little nervous going into the bar scene. Then I remember a real struggle for what was going to happen, what the moments were going to be between the two of them. And something happened, it crystallized, and suddenly Viggo was on fire.


David Morse
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)




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 . . .

Sean Penn
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)




"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]."

History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005




....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.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 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



"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


Quotable Viggo: 20 February 2010

I've got another mixed bag of quotes this week, all gleaned through my efforts to re-organise our Quotes Section so that you can all find things easier. I kept coming across gems that I've not posted here before, like Ben Barnes (Dorian Gray) overcome with a bit of hero worship in Toronto, VM and DC pondering about Putin's movie tastes and how a Habs T-shirt gets it's moment of stardom.



© Focus Features.


Acting

VM: So do you think (Russian president Vladimir) Putin will like this movie?

DC: Putin will probably love this movie.

VM: I think he'll probably get some of my character's tattoos.

DC: Frankly, I think he has them already.

VM and DC talking about Eastern Promises
A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007



...who would have thought that Cronenberg (a poet of unease and neurosis) was ready to mine a vein of dark heroism or to find the situations that could leave Mortensen looking like a god of understatement?

Viggo Mortensen
By David Thomson
The Guardian,
10 April 2009



"Oh wow. It's Viggo," says the "Dorian Gray" star. The observation was understated -- no hoots, hollers or autograph mania here. But the surprise was unmistakable as a publicist escorted the handsome British star down a corridor at Toronto's Intercontinental Hotel.

"You sound impressed," the woman comments, hurrying the 28-year-old actor off to another interview.

"Sure I'm impressed," Barnes smiles broadly. "That's Viggo Mortensen!"

Ben Barnes spots Viggo at Toronto
Constance Droganes
CTV.ca
12 September 2009



"Thank God for special effects, makeup the voice dubbing and all that. They completely replaced Kodi, thank God! We had Andy Serkis [who played Gollum in "the Lord of the Rings" movies] do it."

Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, 'The Road' and 'The Hobbit'
By Carla Hay
Examiner.com
25November 2009



Mortensen--who, in playing heroes light and dark, has effortlessly come to embody the best of Us--is soft spoken, loyal to a fault, brainy, literate, artistic, hunky, sensual, athletic and strong; he's the ultimate ideal of what a male heterosexual should be. The ladies and the gay men love him and pretty much everyone else does, too. I bet the guy even turns off his cell phone in movie theatres.

Movie review: The Road will rivet you
Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
25 November 2009


Sport

We heard a rumor that Aragorn is also a big Habs supporter - did you really wear a Canadiens T-shirt under your armor while filming The Lord of the Rings trilogy?

VM: I did - I wore it quite a bit, actually. I'll always look to see if the shirt peeks out on screen but I've never been able to see it. In The Road, you'll see it a few times. It sort of stands out because it's a movie that's very muted in terms of its colors so you'll notice my red, white and blue under there.

The Last Word : Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009



As he turns away I see that his football shirt has been signed by a player called The Frog, who wrote: "Thank you for being simple," which I ask him to explain. Is he thanking you for being a half-wit? He laughs. "I think he means thank you for being real. He was a childhood hero of mine. A great player. Kept it simple." Simple is the last thing you would ever think of Mortensen. He's very complicated, but also very real.

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



"...these are my heroes. The one group of people or thing I support unconditionally. They can do no wrong,"

Viggo on San Lorenzo
Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009



Bits and Bobs

"I'm an optimist. People are resourceful. I'd like to think ... you try to do the right thing and when you're really up against it, that in the end, you'll make the right choice, even if it's not the easy one. I'm optimistic about people and about the planet and about nature. I think it's resilient, like people are"

Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, 'The Road' and 'The Hobbit'
By Carla Hay
Examiner.com
25November 2009



Viggo Mortensen.... speaks quietly and thoughtfully, and often at length, on every question, hammering his subject from all sides until it submits to the truth.

Viggo Mortensen v the apocalypse
By Kevin Maher
The Times
3 October 2009



What are you still determined to learn to do?

What I haven't.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007


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

Quotable Viggo: 14 February 2010

While preparing a completely different Quotable, I noticed that I had four quotes lined up that started with exactly the same three words. Of course this meant that I just had to go and find more. So..... Viggo Mortensen is ....



© Focus Features


.... is a study in contradictions: rugged and undeniably virile, and yet thoroughly and irresistibly sensitive.

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
Cinematical
26 November 2009



....is not a movie star. A poet? Yes. Photographer? Yep. Guitarist? Sure. Author? Uh-huh. Painter? Yessir. Actor? Most definitely. But celebrity? No way.

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010



... is no flake. He's a pretty intense guy -- with a mellow sort of presence.
After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"

By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009



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

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



....is one of the most diverse, least mannered but most overlooked actors working in Hollywood (on the same level as Jeff Bridges, also ultra-modest and ultra-brilliant actor taken for granted by the industry).

Emanuel Levy
emanuellevy.com
1 Sept 2007



...is a glowering marvel, locating a great range of expression in impassivity, his stone face prone to compelling split-second fissures.

Indelible Ink Eastern Promises review
By Adam Nayman
Eye Weekly
30 Aug 2007



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

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



"... is 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



'... is a real artist. He lives for creating art and be absorbed by it - not for talking.'

Gwynneth Paltrow
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times
1998



...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



...is also a singular fine artist and poet. The paintings and drawings in this book suck you in with their beauty and vague sense of menace. His words are simple and vast, and his photography reminds you of the best of William Eggleston and Walker Evans.

Best books: Recent Forgeries ... chosen by Neil LaBute
The Week
3 April 2009



...the very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man.

Validation for Viggo
Filmstew
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008



...is the spitting image of a hero.

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



'...is just the coolest guy, it's hard to say too much about how cool he is.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004



....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



...is that rare and interesting combination, a heroic screen action man possessed of obvious intelligence and sophistication.

Comes A Horseman
By John Millar
Film Review, 2004



....is long overdue for an Oscar win.

Kofi Outlaw
Screenrant
24 November 2009


Quotable Viggo: 6 February 2010

I have a bit of a mixed bag of quotes this week. There have been some really great ones over the last few months that are just too good to hold onto until I can fit them into a theme. Some, of course, have come out of all The Road publicity, some are impressions from interviewers who have been well and truly Viggoed and some are just quirky, funny or profoundly revealing. Enjoy!



© Iolanthe


Actor and Artist

MJ: Do you think of yourself as an actor first?

VM: When I land in a country and they ask for "occupation," I always just put "artist." I think that covers all of it.

Viggo Mortensen, King of The Road
By Michael Mechanic
MotherJones.com
23 November 2009



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

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



"Good luck talking someone into that: ' History of Violence , The Road - that guy? Forget it.'"

Viggo after the interviewer suggests a comedy
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009


Interviews

Viggo Mortensen doesn't talk with his hands so much as he batters the air.

On 'The Road' and off, Viggo Mortensen walks the walk
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
3 December 2009



Viggo Mortensen is, besides a great actor, an inexhaustible conversationalist, so full of curiosity that he doesn't hesitate to occasionally take the role of the interviewer.

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



Viggo Mortensen isn't just a celebrity, as you're probably aware. He isn't even just a fine actor. He's also a painter, a poet and a photographer, and he makes records, too, often in collaboration with Buckethead, the masked wizard guitarist. In addition, he's also conversant in half a dozen languages -- yet another body blow to an interviewer's self-esteem. But I soldiered on.

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road,'
By Kurt Loder
MTV.com
25 November 2009


The Road

Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010



Viggo Mortensen, wounded, vulnerable, tough and tender is a heartbreaking vision of walking life and death. He so fits into the wasteland (perfectly grim and strangely spectacular), that he feels an organic part of this ragged, twisted wilderness.

Kim Morgan
Huffington Post
29 December 2009



I've had a few leads in indies since I worked on "The Road," and it's become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up."

Garett Dillahunt
By Paul Gaita
The Envelope
17 December 2009



Reporter: You both had to go to some tough emotional places in this movie. How did you turn that off once the take was done?

Mortensen: He'd tell me I sucked.

Smit-McPhee: Then he went back to his room and had a cry.

Viggo and Kodi joking around at the Toronto Film Festival
Where 'Road' takes them
By Jen Chaney
The Washington Post
22 November 2009



There's a question here for every viewer: could you, under similar circumstances, continue to behave decently? "I find that to be a really interesting question," Mortensen says. "I don't know until I am in that situation. I tend to think I would because I am stubborn. I might not know how to live as I should, but I would know why I should try."

Viggo Mortensen
One for The Road
By Donald Clarke
The Irish Times
8 January 2010


Miscellaneous

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

Not dying.

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



With so many active interests, Mortensen admits he used to be impatient. "It felt unjust that we were given such a limited period on earth, but I don't feel that way any more. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I just figure, eh, what's your hurry?'"

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



You're a painter, a musician, a photographer, an actor, a poet and you're a natural at swordplay. Is there anything you won't try at least once?

VM: You know what? I'm not so interested in skydiving. I'm not sure why anyone wants to jump out of a plane that's working perfectly well.

The Last Word : Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009


Quotable Viggo: 31 January 2010

As an ardent sports fan, Viggo knows all about what it takes to make a successful team. But there are other kinds of teams, one of which Viggo plays in himself - the team that gets together to create great films. The final film stands or falls on how everyone works together. Everyone has to play their best and being a star player doesn't have to mean being a Star.



© New Line Productions Inc.


"If I've learned anything these past years it's that everyone is in some way your superior. Every movie I've made has confirmed the fact that this is a team sport."

Viggo Mortensen
AFI Fest: Viggo and The Road
The Bloggomist: The Local Boy
Evil Monito Magazine
17 November 2009



"I've always looked at working on movies the same way as I do now, which is that a movie is only as good as the compromise that the group makes."

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




"Viggo is a wonderful team player and one of the sweetest persons I ever met."

Scriptwriter Miriam Segal
Good Premiere, Budapest
6 December 2008




"....in recent roles, a little bit more each time I think I've tended to trust my instincts and trust whatever preparation I've done. I mean, I've always felt dependent on others, which I think is a good thing; I don't think it's a weakness, I think, really, my performance depends on other people all of the time. Not just the actors, well, mainly the actors but the crew [as well]."

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
Cinematical
26 November 2009



'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 talking about Hidalgo
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill




He seems to gravitate towards films that involve wet, cold and physical privation. ''I suppose I must thrive on it,'' he agrees, recalling shooting The Road under heavy cloud, sometimes in snow, always in the cold. ''Sometimes it's tiring or annoying but there is a certain satisfaction, especially when you're going through it with the crew and everyone is wet and cold with you, when you go and have a drink together at the end of the day and say: 'Well, we got that done.'''

Walking at world's end
By Stephanie Bunbury
TheAge.com
14 January 2010




"I actually like the social aspect of moviemaking. I like to spend a lot of time by myself, but on the set I invariably make a lot of new friends. That feeling of group effort is something I find very worthwhile. It gets me out of myself."

Viggo Mortensen

Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009




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



What about the trilogy's legacy?


'It's the overall process of making the movies, not so much the end result of each film, that sticks in my mind. It honestly was a group effort from beginning to end; that is the way movies ought to be made. That's the thing I value most, and I realize that it's rare.'

Viggo talking about The Lord of the Rings
The Players - Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)
Entertainment Weekly
May 2004




"You know when Aragorn says at the coronation, 'This day is not for one man, but for all'? The experience was that way. It was the only way it could be done."

Journey's End
By Patrick Lee
Science Fiction Weekly #348
December 2003




"In a story like Lord of the Rings, whether the Ring and Sauron are evil is incidental to me. Even if we were not to get the Ring anywhere near Mount Doom. Even if we all died. It doesn't really matter," Mortensen says. "It's the fact that everybody got together and decided to go on this trip. That's the thing. That's the miracle."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Quotable Viggo: 23 January 2010

This week we were all sad to hear of the death of Robert B Parker, the man who gave us Cole and Hitch and hours of pleasure here at V-W through his books Appaloosa, Resolution and Brimstone and (of course) though Ed Harris's film adaption of Appaloosa, which Parker loved. Parker's sparse dialogue - always saying much with little - and Harris's leisurely adaption, which gave the actors plenty of room to fully inhabit these two wonderful characters, finally made me love the Western. I thought it would be fitting this week to remember Parker and to take a look back at how two of the Western genre's greatest partners were brought to life.



© Warner Brothers.


Harris first read Parker's novel during a trip to Ireland in the summer of 2005, where his daughter was competing in an equestrian event. He placed an overseas call to his agent to see about acquiring the film rights. Harris later met with Parker over dinner in Boston to discuss the project.

"In my opinion Ed Harris is one of the best actors now working, and from a distance he always struck me as a man who paid little attention to guff, so I was honored by his interest," Parker wrote in a 2007 article published in the New York Times.

Ed Harris' Appaloosa
By Tom Wilmes
American Cowboy
October 2008




"It was just a character-driven piece, they could have been two guys in the service, two cops in a car, a couple of athletes, and I still would have been drawn to it. It just happens that the relationship between these two men takes place in the West, and they are these lawmen and it's 1882."

Ed Harris
Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris gab about garb, camaraderie in Appaloosa
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
2 October 2008




Ed Harris got a hold of the book in Toronto, while promoting A History of Violence. He gave it to me, and I loved the characters, the dialogue, the tension...so I accepted to become part of the project, without any hesitation."

Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
La Butaca
20 November 2008




Appaloosa, the movie, is now available on DVD. Since I had nothing to do with it once they bought the book, I can say without false modesty, that it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Robert B Parker's Blog
32 April 2009




In Appaloosa, Mortensen's a gun for hire, deputy to actor-director Ed Harris's marshal. "Sort of like a lethal butler" is how Mortensen sees his character, Everett Hitch. But you won't hear Hitch saying ain't like the rest of them: He's a West Point man--though without a doubt, the black sheep of the family. Or that's how Mortensen imagines him.

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




"I like characters who find themselves at the brink of change. Everett is in the centre of the transition from anarchy to civil law in America. My characters always stand for crossing a ford. Years ago, Everett studied at West Point but I love imagining him as the black sheep of the family because he has gone West, looking for adventure and he has found it. In the book he says: I'd been in West Point, like my father, but I found it boring. While the hairstyle, gun, saddlebag, riding positions are based on the photos of that period; it was me who added the dandy touches to him; the gilet, the Victorian manners, formalistic as well as brutal, he can't erase them."

Appaloosa - 5 Questions For Viggo Mortensen
By Antonella Catena - translated by Ewa
Max
16 January 2009




"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




"Cole and Hitch are not that far removed from the 'outlaws' that they're up against. There's not much difference between them in some moments; they both have displays of temper and violence."

Viggo Mortensen
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008



One of the things that will make Everett Hitch an iconic western hero is not his selflessness, his skill or integrity... It's his gun. You see, Hitch's weapon of choice is an 8-gauge shotgun. You heard me right, 8-gauge. I didn't even know a shotgun that large existed and Hitch carries the telephone pole-sized cannon the entire movie. When he uses it, your jaw will hit the ground.

Coop Cooper
The Small Town Critic
1 October 2008




" ....I like this one because it's told in a leisurely pace. I enjoyed being in it because Ed didn't try to reinvent the genre or appeal to younger audiences. He said, 'This is how these stories are told, and I'm going to respect the genre.'"

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




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




Watching Viggo Mortensen positioning himself in grand style in the preparation for the climactic shootout offers visual pleasure as well as reaffirmation of a code of honor that may be too mythical but helps maintain the tradition of the Westerner as a gentleman guided by strong inner conscience and sense of self.

Emmanuel Levy
Emmanuellevy.com
7 September 2008


Their bond [between Cole and Hitch] is easily one of the best portrayed in the entire Western canon. Viggo Mortensen's Hitch outdoes Val Kilmer's role as Doc Holliday, something I wouldn't have thought possible. And the interactions between these two extremely efficient killers and decent men is movie-making magic.

Crimecritics.com
9 January 2009




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

Viggo Mortensen
CBS News Interview
8 September 2008


Quotable Viggo: 16 January 2010

Viggo has mentioned that in preparing for his role in The Road he had taken another look at 'Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc for the emotional truth of the performances and cinematography.' (Los Angeles Magazine, Dec 2009). This is a film he has mentioned many times in the past as one of his major film influences. Maria Falconetti's mesmerising performance in the Dreyer's silent film astonished him when he first saw it. With her eyes alone she conveys all the emotions of Joan of Arc in one of the world's great screen performances. It's easy to see why Viggo returned to it for a sparse film where just a look has to convey the depth of McCarthy's beautiful text. Falconetti is just one of several actors and actresses that have either inspired Viggo over the years or given him the kind of thrill that all fans will recognise when he's had the chance to act with them.



© Touchstone/Buena Vista.


"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. Between the ages of 18 and 20, I started to watch works which I had ignored until then, essentially European and Japanese movies directed by Carl Dreyer, Yasujiro Ozu, Ingmar Bergman... I started to ask myself questions about their contents and direction."

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



"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."

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



He opens a large cardboard box at his feet. There are about a dozen books... all are published by Perceval, a small press he runs with a partner. Then he pulls out a DVD of The Passion of Joan of Arc, a 1928 silent movie. He informs me that the original negative was destroyed in a fire, and that the filmmaker died believing his masterwork had been obliterated. But a complete version was found in a closet in a Norwegian mental institution in the early 1980s and was restored.

"You published this too?" I ask.

"Nah," he says. "You should just see it."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



"The real trigger for me was the film that everyone was talking about when I was twenty: The Deer Hunter, particularly Meryl Streep. What an inspiration! All the actors in that movie are amazing, no doubt; but there's something about Meryl Streep in that movie that makes me identify with her. I don't know why, something mysterious that you can't put your finger on, but which haunts you deeply, and for a long time..."

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



"Meryl Streep was someone I really admired and Greta Garbo also. There was something about her. There was something that she almost always was able to transmit, that I think is a mystery to me."

The Viggo Question & Answer Session at C.U.N.Y.
By - transcription by Chrissie and Tatiana
New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend
6 January 2006



"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



It should come as no surprise to learn that Mortensen is an admirer of Greta Garbo, the "I vant to be alone" diva, and also John "The Duke" Wayne, star of Howard Hawks' Red River, a classic western and one of Mortensen's favourites.

"I just think John Wayne was wonderful, and I'm not looking at him as just this icon," said the chisel-jawed actor, a study in seriousness behind innocent blue eyes.

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004



"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



"...Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington had a lot...quite a bit of dialogue, and it was being filmed in Culver City in the west side of Los Angeles, near where I lived. So I would go on my days off, which were many, and just watch them. It was a free class, you know."

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



Did you enjoy working with Omar Sharif?

How could you not? He's very right for the part because of his background as an Egyptian actor in Hollywood - he's got one foot in the east and one in the west. It was great to work with him because of Lawrence of Arabia and his place in cinema history; not only working with him, but pestering him with questions about David Lean and Peter O'Toole and all that.

Here Viggo Again
Total DVD magazine #64
July 2004



"... I took note of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Cliff. But I still remain in ecstasy watching the work of actresses like Liv Ullman in Sonata, by Ingmar Bergman..."

A Multi-talented Hero
By J. A. - translated by NacidaLibre
Dominical
27 August 2006



While studying in New York, the encouragement he received from Warren Robertson was only slightly more important than his love of watching theater and movies....

"I think I insulted him one time, unintentionally, but he knew what I meant. The teacher had talked about a certain movie, I think it was a movie with Montgomery Clift... I can't remember. But anyway, I went to see it, and I remember saying, you know, 'I learned as much from that movie as probably a month of going to class'..."

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995



"I like Missouri Breaks. And Red River, a case, as in this movie, where most of the main actors are not known as "western" actors. Montgomery Clift had basically never done a movie, much less a western, and he's an urban easterner. He comes out stepping smack in the middle of John Wayne's turf, and working for Howard Hawks, he must have been a little nervous, I'm sure. But he did a great job. I think he pushed Wayne into giving my favorite Wayne performance."

An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008



"Not many child actors could do what he did every day. Just on a technical level, he reacted the way a veteran actor would, seizing on an obstacle and befriending it. I told him, 'You're doing things that are revolutionary -- things that Brando and Montgomery Clift did.' He said, 'Who's Montgomery Clift?' "

Viggo talking about Kodi Smit-McPhee
Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 10 January 2010

Reading this week that Viggo was mistaken for one of the homeless while filming The Road reminded me of all those other occasions where Viggo has turned up in such unexpected ways and in such unexpected places you'd be forgiven for a) not recognising him b) being faintly alarmed or c) wondering what a movie 'star' is doing there at all. So be warned, world, you could be Viggoed anywhere and not even know it...



© Focus Features.


Mortensen....was so grime-ridden that he was once mistaken for a vagrant and removed by the production's security team. "They saw that he was in the shot," Hillcoat says, "and presumed he was a homeless person, so they asked him to leave."

The Road: a sure-fire hit for 2010
Kevin Maher
The Times
11 November 2009



The executive producer insisted that the actor spent the entire day, "I think even the weekends, filthy and with his make up on, because he said that he had to feel as uncomfortable as the character in order to portray it correctly." The difference is that, when he wasn't shooting, due to doctor's advice, he would take off his boots and walk barefoot, "so in Seville he walked into a store and the owner, an old man who did not know who Mortensen was, gave him a pair of used canvas shoes."

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



I went into a bar and it looked like the saloon of a Western. When I went in, everybody stopped talking because I was a stranger. Although I looked like them - half the people were blond and blue-eyed - no one spoke to me. I had a coffee and stayed for a little while because it was snowing outside and it was cold. I left, but I kept thinking about that place, about that village, about those people. I went back a second time and, without asking me anything, they served me the same thing I had had the previous time. On that occasion they'd talked to me. On my third visit I was a friend, they already trusted me. Their character, their way of speaking, the tone they used, that sharp tone, that so succinct character...I thought I had arrived at the place where Alatriste had grew up.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García - translated by Paddy
El País Semanal
6 August 2006



"I only heard him speak after the shoot was over, and then only to say, 'Thanks everybody, so long.' He'd make clicking noises in the back of his throat to communicate," recalls costar Brendan Fraser. Mortensen refused to break character even to settle his hotel bill. "The concierge probably didn't speak English, and here's Viggo gesturing with his hands and pointing, scribbling on a pad. And I think Viggo eventually got 50% off the bill. If you know Viggo, it makes perfect sense. In a way, he transcends the acting."

Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39
November 2002



The other day, Mortensen popped into a Russian-owned soup counter near the London set. "The place went silent," says our spy, "not because of his star power, but because the people recognized the tattoos - and were appropriately intimidated. Later, when it became clear Viggo didn't know 10 words of Russian, the atmosphere relaxed."

New York Daily News
January 2007



"Before the audition, 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 auditioning for To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



As an oblivious world walked by - including hordes of media types attending TIFF - actor Viggo Mortensen sat openly in the lobby of the Sutton Place, gently tickling the ivories of a baby grand piano.... Following his impromptu recital, the soft-spoken taciturn actor said, "I just made it up."

Viggo Mortensen plays piano at Sutton Place
Bruce Demara
TheStar.com
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



I have to tell you...what an awful combination it is to have a US passport and a Buenos Aires accent when you arrive at the Chile airport. A pretty long delay... my friends that had Spanish passports had already gone through (customs), and they were waiting... and the guy kept checking, very kindly, but he wasn't letting me go anywhere, and he talks to me in a pretty tortured English, and so I tell him: "I speak Spanish, you can talk to me in Spanish". And so he gave me a long look, and then I realized I had ****** up, really, because the combination of the accent and the passport... I was going straight to jail, or so it looked. And so another customs officer comes and says, "No, no, he is the Lord of the Rings", and so..."Welcome to Chile" and (pam, pam - sound of passport getting stamped) "Here you go...go ahead".

Viggo on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
Transcribed/translated by Graciela
27 March 2007



'Yesterday, my limousine was blockaded by people. The fans were banging against the windows. I opened the door and escaped down a small alley. And who did I run into? King Pelé and his bodyguards. I asked for an autograph...but his bodyguards stopped me. King in his limousine, poor beggar in the street. A good lesson,' concludes Mortensen, who invites you to reflect on the morality of such a story.

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


Quotable Viggo: 2 January 2010

It's 2010 and Awards Season is here again. The SAG and the Golden Globe nominations have been announced and we've been fighting disappointment here at V-W, but there are more awards to come, and we've got a rollercoaster ahead of us as we wait to see if Viggo and The Road get the recognition we hope for. To help us through I thought it was time to take a look at awards in general, bask again in the glory of 2008 and look at the philosophical way Viggo treats them as a great way of promoting a film, but not himself.



© 2929/Dimension Films.


Mortensen is long overdue for an Oscar win and if this film doesn't earn him that honor, there really is little justice (or sense) in the Academy voting system. Hearing the cast and crew talk about the actor's strict dedication to the part is downright inspiring.

Kofi Outlaw
Screenrant
24 November 2009



Some comments in the international press remark on your acting, speculating on a new nomination for the Oscar. What importance do you attach to the Hollywood Academy Award?

As Julio Cortazar wrote, "because yesterday is never/and tomorrow, tomorrow, "that is, if it happens, it happens. And if not, it doesn't. The recognition would be a big help to us in making sure The Road reaches the theatres and audience that this moving story deserves, since North American distributors were of little help with the promotion of the film. I think that awards and nominations are a crap shoot, a game of chance, and one shouldn't think about them too much, Accept it, with gratitude, if the film is nominated, yes. Win or lose with dignity. And that's it.

Of Crows And Condors
By Cristian H Savio - translated by Zooey and Ollie
El Argentino
16 December 2009



"Some actors think more on their Oscar-speech, money or fame than the scene they're shooting."

The Star Is Named Viggo
By Rolf Pedersen
November 2001
Source: M! magazine



"... I think someone who has that as their main goal risks missing out on the true satisfaction of teamwork, of being in the moment and enjoying the moviemaking process. You're not really giving your full attention to the work."

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



"You watch [the Oscars] and you realize that good work is maybe rewarded half the time and the other half of the time it's sort of a crapshoot, a popularity contest, and it's become more so. It's not gonna change my opinion about it having been a job well done, a good effort, and that's gonna last."

Viggo Mortensen on the ROTK Oscars
'King' Star Returns To The Screen, Riding High
by Todd Camp
Star Telegram, 6 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



"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



"I don't know why I was included this time. I certainly haven't gone out and done the campaign that one is supposed to do. If you're lucky, you get a lottery ticket, then you have to go find some nice clothes, wash up and go, and it's very flattering, and my mother is very happy about it. But like most people - unless they're very practised at it or have no warm blood at all in their veins - I feel a little apprehensive about the red carpet.

Viggo on the 2008 Oscars
"My mother is very happy about it"
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
22 February 2008



"I feel probably like Eli Manning felt at the Super Bowl. Glad to be in the show, ready for anything." _ Viggo Mortensen, nominated for best actor in "Eastern Promises."

Viggo at the Oscars
Newsweek.com
Associated Press
24 February 2008



"I'm realistic," Mortensen says. "I know I'm the odds-on favourite to remain seated throughout the ceremony."

Viggo on the 2008 Oscars
'My mother is very happy about it'
By Harriet Lane
The Guardian
February 22, 2008



"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



"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



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 Road publicity photos
19 August 2008
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Last edited: 2 January 2011 10:05:08

Source: https://www.viggo-works.com/?page=2241