Quotable Viggo

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Quotable Viggo 2011

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Quotable Viggo: 10 December 2011

Several recent interviews have once again highlighted Viggo's maverick film career, one that goes forward without a plan, following what interests him and what he believes will interest others. His care for his craft and the roles that he's taken have earned respect throughout the industry, and it's an attitude that has served him well over the years, making him - despite his refusal to pursue what others would regard as a 'career' - 'one of the last great leading men standing' (Men's Journal 2009).



© Good Films.


He never had Champagne dreams and caviar wishes...

Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2December 2011




...arguably the most unconventional, maverick A-list actor around.

Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




" .....my goals aren't the same goals that other people have that are perfectly justifiable on their own terms: wanting to be famous, wanting to make lots of money, wanting to win Oscars or something. It's not my main reason for doing it. My main reason for doing it is because I am drawn to it."

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




'I don't really have a game plan. I've never really had one. Some people say, "Hollywood prefers this now," and I always go, "What is Hollywood? I really don't know what that is." I don't plan to do big or small movies.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Dangerous Method' Taught Me How to Talk in a Movie
By Michael Hogan
Moviefone
23 November 2011




"To find a good story, you're generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies... I wouldn't mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story."

Viggo Mortensen
Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




The thought about Viggo Mortensen not feeling home in this city is not far away. He is at the same time too much and too little for Hollywood.

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




"If he chose to be a movie star, he could've done it a long time ago. . . . He's in control. That's the bottom line."

Joe Johnston
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004




"Viggo's turned down quite a few things that might have made a difference in his life because he just didn't connect with them creatively. Viggo is his own man. He's not dictated by the Hollywood horseshit machine."

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




Not for him the quick cash-in roles, the wham-bam-thank-you-mam blaze of multiplex fodder that would have no doubt made him a very wealthy man.

Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie, 2004




'I haven't done the biggest movies I could find one after another, which was an option after Lord of the Rings. But when you choose to go with your heart rather than career ambition, then your star tends to wane a little bit.'

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




"I don't have a five year plan or a five minute plan. For some people that does work. That's a safer way to do it, it's maybe more remunerative. You can make a fortune and be on the cover of every magazine or whatever, but that's probably a type of prison."

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




'I don't care about being famous. I don't care about having my face on posters. It doesn't massage my ego. It's nice to have a poster, but in the end it's about the movie. Nobody walks around saying "The movie stunk, but the poster was awesome'.'

Viggo Mortensen while promoting Hidalgo
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004




Have you ever asked yourself what you're doing in the world of movies?

Many times, but I always come to the conclusion that I'm in the right profession, one that permits me to share what I have inside and, by chance, allows me to explore other means of artistic expression.

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




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

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


Quotable Viggo: 4 December 2011

With Viggo famous for his film acting, taking the risk of returning to the stage after all this time in Purgartorio could have landed him in well, purgatory, if not downright hell. But there have been very good reviews of the play and of Viggo's performance - remarkable for someone who hasn't walked the boards for more than 24 years since his award winning performance in Martin Sherman's Bent in Los Angeles, and the theatre has been packed out. With a quote from 2008, it's also a reminder how long Viggo has been thinking about the play which he has been passionate about seeing presented.



Image Andrés de Gabriel.
© Teatro Español.


"I haven't done theatre in 20 years, and that terrifies me more than death."

Viggo on Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen: first Good - and then goodbye?
By Kevin Maher
The Times
2 April 2009




"There's no take 2, no escape. You either remember your lines or you don't. It'll be a good challenge."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier talking about taking the stage
Chris Betros
Japantoday.com
5 December 2008




Do you approach a character for the theatre in the same way you would if you were acting in a film?

Yes, always with a certain fear and preparing myself the best I can, paying a lot of attention. I don't think there's so much difference between good acting in film and good acting in theatre. In general, depending on the size of the hall, it's true that in theatre you have to take into account adequate voice projection, but, ultimately, what matters is whether the spectator believes what the actor is doing or not.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011




'Tough subject, difficult script to memorize and present.'

Viggo Mortensen on Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen Talks Working With Kristen Stewart in On the Road
by Allie Merriam
Buzz Sugar
29 November 2011




Mr. Mortensen, 52, said that during rehearsals for "Purgatorio" he sometimes thought he "should have picked something easier."

"It's just two characters, and it's an hour and 45 minutes," he said, with no intermission. "Any mistake you make is live, and it can go off the rails," he said. "Also, in the script, there's a lot of repetition and a lot of strange things about time."

Viggo Mortensen interview
By Chris Brock
Watertown Daily Times
20 November 2011




"The most interesting part is that you clearly see how, both in our friends' lives and in the lives of people in the public spotlight, in politics, in legend and myth, mistakes and weaknesses always emerge," says Mortensen, and to illustrate it he brings up a fragment of a poem by Leonard Cohen: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011




"First you need to forgive yourself, then forgive others. Revenge over and over again is a kind of poison, even if saying so is quite justified."

Viggo on the message of Purgatorio
Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011




"You have to be honest about weakness and feelings of guilt. The good thing about any creative work, movie, story or poem, is that it asks you questions without asking you to think one way or another, and this play asks whether it is possible to forgive unconditionally, whether there are things that are so hurtful that they cannot be forgiven, and the answer I personally provide is that real forgiveness cannot set any conditions, be they what they may."

Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011




Sometimes, during rehearsals, I have thought that I've been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge, but then the doubt, the insecurity go away and I keep enjoying what I´m learning from my colleague Carme Elías, and from our director, Josep María Mestres. Ariel Dorfman´s script is demanding, but it´s full of little gifts that keep coming to you to the extent that you are deciphering the text and physically absorbing it.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011




Reviews:


The third act, when the cursed lovers meet again, is a beauty. Carme Elías throws herself into the horrifying confession and reaches her emotional height because she captures the duality of this devastated and indomitable woman who wants to begin anew but would return to doing everything she'd done, and Viggo Mortensen is unsurpassable in humanity, contained pain and buried passion.

You and I make four
By Marcos Ordóñez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
7 November 2011




Viggo Mortensen is a better stage than film actor. And not because that medium is bad, but because the nearness of the spectator and the live performance allow one to appreciate more intensely the entire panoply of gestures and intonations that accompany his acting. From the sober, tough, unpleasant, and relentless interrogator of the first act, he transforms himself into the frightened, eager to please, somewhat conceited and competitive man he is in the second, when the roles change and he turns into the victim of a tyrant, also played to perfection by Carme Elías, who is at times playful and affectionate, other times inflexible and insensitive.

An Interpretive Reading
By María Martín - translated by Ollie and Rio
Diario Abierto
14 November 2011




Here is Elias, one of the great actresses of our stage; I was so close to her this time that, yet again, I was left astounded. The well-known film actor Viggo Mortensen does a magnificent piece of work, which starts from the moment he pretends to be the psychologist. He has a warm voice and a wealth of technique; he takes advantage of his Argentinian speech, especially in this false character, just as he does in the later ones.

Hatred and Forgiveness
By Enrique Centeno - translated by Ollie and Rio
Enrique Centeno Teatro Critica
9 November 2011




The fact is that Mortensen on film is very good; it's his thing. But let's not kid ourselves...the theatre is another world. It's very difficult. I think that I went because I'd already seen almost all the other shows on right now. But the man holds his own quite well. His propensity for raising his hand as if he were going to thrust a sword at someone, Aragorn style, makes me a little nervous, but otherwise, he does an excellent job.

Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Decine21.com
25 November 2011




If Viggo Mortensen seems much more convincing, it´s because, to begin with, he manages to surf over the rhetorical encrustations in the text. It cannot be easy to say naturally things like "When they´ve extracted my true face from my most hidden interior." In his actor´s profile - what a novelty - an extreme sensuality, a latent danger and an intense purity coexist. No actor likes to be compared to others, but he makes me think of a cross between the power of the young Kirk Douglas (chin included) and the innocence of Woody Harrelson or John Savage. There´s a great sobriety in his work, although he, too, overuses gestures to express what he feels. For example, the tendency to hunch to show his fragility and the weight he is carrying looks affected and detracts from the power and the mystery.

You and I make four
By Marcos Ordóñez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
7 November 2011




This mirada oblicua* challenge, undertaken "poetically" at the Matadero del Español, was complicated by the difficulty of the text, a "flowering hell" halfway between a bolerazo** and Sartre, and by the vicissitudes suffered by the play since it was announced that it would open back in 2009, and which kept being postponed by various problems.

The actress who initially was going to star in it, Ariadna Gil, sitting between the author and the film director Agustín Díaz-Yanes, has been a privileged witness to "the tour de force" performance offered by Elías and Mortensen, the New Yorker raised in Buenos Aires, who occasionally failed to find "le mot juste."

The Aragorn of Lord of the Rings and Capitán Alatriste has managed to solve the omissions, we don't know if as a result of bilingualism or his own memory, with such stage presence, especially after the second scene, that it made it impossible to believe that 23 years have already passed since he set foot in a theatre.

Mortensen and Elías open in the Spanish "Purgatorio" to public acclaim
By Concha Barrigós - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
EFE
4 November 2011


Quotable Viggo: 27 November 2011

With so many new reviews coming out, and a plethora of interviews to read and digest, this week just had to be another round up of A Dangerous Method treats. So I've put together a mixture of thoughts from Viggo, Critics and Cronenberg that shouldn't be missed.



© Hanway/Lago.


A Dangerous Method is very different from A History of Violence or Eastern Promises, the movies you made with Cronenberg before...

You mean, there are no exploding heads?

For example.

On the contrary, there are many of them - only in a symbolic way.

Viggo Mortensen: Love Means Listening
by Kerstin Lindemann
Translation by Athelin
Monsters and Critics (Germany)
4 November 201
1



"If it had been another director I may have been more cowardly about it, but with David I knew I would be in good hands."

Viggo talking about accepting the part
LFF 2011: A Dangerous Method Press Conference
24 October 2011




'I wanted to show another Freud, not the strict looking grandfather we all know, but someone in his fifties who, it's said, was handsome, funny and charismatic. How was I not to think of Viggo?'

David Cronenberg: "Nunca he ido a terapia, pero me parece una situación fascinante"
Rafa Vidiella
20minutos.es
3 November 2011




'In a lot of ways, it was the biggest stretch I've had as an actor in movies.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Dangerous Method' Taught Me How to Talk in a Movie
By Michael Hogan
Moviefone
23 November 2011




"It was an education, it was an education in terms of acting, using different tools, speaking a lot more, speaking really well written words. Christopher Hampton's script is like a very well laid out well manicured garden with very exotic blooms, in the shadows of which are really disturbing little creatures and secrets (laughs)."

Viggo Mortensen
LFF 2011: A Dangerous Method Press Conference
24 October 2011




'There's only one scene in the movie where I am not smoking a cigar, I think, and that's when Jung comes over for dinner. David and I wrote 20-30 emails just about cigars, finding the kind that was exactly Freud's type.'

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




'He'd send 25 emails of Freud's cigars, you know, with pictures going back and forth: "What kind were they?" "How many did he smoke a day?" "What shape were they?" "What strength?" "Would he have ever varied the kind during the course of the day, or did he always smoke the same kind?" "Could he afford them?" "Were they expensive?" You know, it went on and on and on.'

David Cronenberg Discusses His Dangerous Method
by Luke Goodsell
Rotten Tomatoes
23 November 2011




"He grew up in that atmosphere and also in a very repressive atmosphere generally, not just about sex, but free thinking. There were very strict censorship laws in the 19th century in Vienna and one of the roots of his wit -- that sort of ironic tone that he has in conversation -- is a self-defense mechanism, a way of getting around censorship and anti-Semitism."

Viggo Mortensen didn't shrink from Freud role in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Barbara Vancheri
The Republic
4 November 2011




Words, though, can barely express just how wonderful Mortensen is as Freud, except to say that this is a truly Brando-like performance in its serene amusement and its subtle habitation of a lofty, intractable man. Look especially at the moments when the cash-strapped Freud tries not to be bothered by Jung's financial security. Most actors would be tempted to signal Freud's unrest to get easy laughs, but Mortensen doesn't show the indicated unrest at all. He just allows Freud to feel it behind a stony face and lets us provide the particulars of this joke.

By Dan Callahan
Fandor
6 October 2011




Freud's desk had all of these little statutes and things, and some of them were phallus sculptures from different cultures around the world. And Viggo kept pushing them towards my end of the desk. I didn't notice at first until I looked down and saw them all, inching ever-forward, with Viggo smirking, really a prankster, dressed up as Freud. It was surreal!"

Michael Fassbender
Jung and the Restless: On Michael Fassbender's Role as Carl Jung in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Christopher Sweetapple
Pop Matters
23 November 2011




Perhaps the most interesting facet of Mortensen's take on Freud is his ability to convey a roiling complexity below a placid surface. His Freud is a man wracked by anxiety over a demanding, and perhaps unwilling, public. He is an outsider, self-conscious of his radical ideas, terrified of moving too far too fast, of pushing too much and being slapped down for his transgressions. His confidence is a mask draped across his insecurity. But this diffidence is as much about his concern that psychoanalysis is too radical for the people as it is about his own ethnic difference.

The Deliberate Method of Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Stuart Henderson
Pop Matters
17 November 2011




It is also marvelous to see Freud, that embattled colossus, restored to his human dimensions by Mr. Mortensen. His sly performance is so convincingly full of humor, warmth and vanity that it renders moot just about every other posthumous representation of the patriarch of psychoanalysis.

A.O.Scott
New York Times
22 November 2011




"I come to like all the characters I play, but I really like him, I think he's funny and engaging."

Viggo Mortensen didn't shrink from Freud role in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Barbara Vancheri
The Republic
4 November 2011




But there is no denying that A Dangerous Method doesn't come alive until we get our asses some Viggo.

Joshua Miller
Chud.com
21 October 2011



Quotable Viggo: 20 November 2011

Playing twins in Todos Tenemos Un Plan couldn't be more up Viggo's street, as he has become masterly in portraying contradictions and holding them together. As many have repeatedly observed, he is a bit of a contradiction himself, a character actor with the looks of a leading man, and a poet who can convincingly take out the odd Orc between composing lines.



© Haddock Films.


"What I liked immediately and what I continue to like a lot are the contradictions, the dualities that it contains, not only between the two twin brothers that I play, but also the landscapes, the city and the river, and all the characters have certain contradictions."

Viggo Mortensen
Todos Tenemos Un Plan Press Conference
By - transcribed and translated by Rio, Zoe and Ollie
La Metro Television
9 August 2011




"Because the subject of ambivalence is very important and I don't know if there are many actors that can do that," she says. "It was hard for me to think of Argentine actors like that. He has something very soft and very hard at the same time and one doesn't find that so easily."

Ana Piterbarg: Life Change
translated by Zoe
Clarín
8 July 2011




Viggo Mortensen 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



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




"As a moviegoer I like to be surprised, to be involved and unsure where the story is going, and that certainly happens here. When choosing movies I don't look to play a heroic character, in fact if he is supposedly a terrible person, my first question instinctively is, 'When is he not terrible? And why do you say he's terrible?' I always look for the contradiction in any character, big or small."

Viggo talking about Eastern Promises
From Russia With Loot
By Helen Barlow
Sydney Morning Herald
26 October 200
7



No matter what, Mortensen's performance is transfixing, with every contradiction and internal struggle crawling slowly, subtly across his face and furrowed brow. He brings a vulnerability and a danger to the character of Tom Stall that play beautifully against one another.

History of Violence review
Tom Long
Detroit News
24 September 2005




He shimmers with decency as the epitome of American family values at the beginning of the film but, as the film progresses, the violence buried deep within his soul slowly seeps out. His Tom Stall has two completely different identities, both are held under control and he is able to snap between them at will. With skilful underplaying, Mortensen ensures that Stall's violent outbursts are shocking.

Jon Salt
Channel4.com Cannes Diary
17 May 200
5



Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it.

Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005




He is sporting silky shoulder-length hair (an effeminate touch that is duly balanced by the hyper-masculinity of his granite-like jawline...)

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




"He has a great physical ability coupled with a real sensitivity. It's sort of a contradiction between the two, that he can kill so many orcs and ride a horse like he can."

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




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

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




...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


Quotable Viggo: 13 November 2011

Words - Viggo's head must be full of them at the moment as he interprets Dorfman's compelling and complex play in Madrid. We all know how important words have always been in Viggo's creative life. He runs a publishing company, he writes whenever he can, filling his journals. He collects poems and quotes. Words even appear in his paintings, sometimes coming to the fore, sometimes scrubbed over. Single, strange words often catch his eye and appear in his photos in unusual places. If anyone is in love with words, Viggo is.



© Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.


I value words. I am curious about the way words sound, how they draw pictures and provoke unexpected emotional reactions A single disconnected word or phrase can stop you cold, give you a new world to live in.

Introduction to Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004
By Viggo Mortensen
The Best American Nonrequired Reading (ed. Dave Eggers)
2004




"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."

Viggo Mortensen
"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




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

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




Did you ever read or write a sentence without a thought for the origin or reason of any of the words from first to last, simply because you felt like doing so? Don't you snatch words impulsively or intuitively from road signs, songs, newspapers, magazines, television shows, Web sites, overheard sotto voce disagreements - from your own decaying, hodgepodge record of all that happens? Individual words and phrases can stand alone and satisfy a reader in even the longest story, regardless of context. When we read willingly, we can get lost in the beauty and rhythm of words before we look for any satisfaction in the significance of their ordering.

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




"I stay with the words of Federico García Lorca, who said that `Poetry is the union of two words that you never supposed should get together and that form something of a mystery.´ Poetry doesn´t have adepts; it has lovers".

Viggo Goes Poetic
By Natalia Torres - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Día a Día
3 December 2010




'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




'His words are simple and vast...'

Best books: Recent Forgeries ... chosen by Neil LaBute
The Week
3 April 2009




...a real travel notebook; an illustrated journal that tries to perpetuate life and experience, emotion and memory intact, in order to leave no gap to the inevitable final touches that the memory makes use of. His words are emotive, and the image strengthens even more that desperate attempt to retain what he has experienced.

Review of Linger
Linger: The Traveller's Journal
By María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
Diario de León
27 August 2006




How much of your life is in your stories and poems?

Like all writers, I write many different things, but you always create using your own life, even if everything is imaginary on the page. As much as you invent a totally distinct world, there's always something of yourself, even if you don't realize it.

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




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

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




"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: 6 November 2011

This is yet another week where I've tried to present a miscellaneous group of favourite quotes and ended up finding a theme running through them. Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno's comment that Viggo has his 'own light' sums them up. Always the individual, Viggo has never stopped living his life in his own - often quirky - way, and this ability to always be himself applies to his career as much as to his moments alone.


">www.viggo-works.com/webpageimages/011ars.jpg">
Argentina November 2005.
© GOFF INF.


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

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




"He's an unusual and very special guy, and I admire him because he will never adjust to other people's ideas of how he should be.'

Elijah Wood
Viggo: "I'm shy with women"
By - translated by Suzy
Vecko-Revyn #3
30 January 2003




...he went to see the game his team played against Tigre in Victoria Stadium. The management had reserved a box for him, but Mortensen preferred sitting in the stands among the fans.

Viggo Mortensen - Lights, Camera... Passion
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Gente
10 May 2011




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




"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




'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




"People who are creators create," he says. "People say to me all the time, 'Why don't you just focus on one thing?' And I say, 'Why? Why just one thing? Why can't I do more? Who makes up these rules?"

Viggo Mortensen
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




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

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




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




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




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




"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."

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




At the end of a day of filming in the desert, the crew would pack up for the two-hour drive back to the hotel. Mortensen, however, would stay behind and sleep in the sand dunes, the rare Hollywood actor who is happiest when alone with a book, his thoughts and the stars in the sky.

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

Quotable Viggo: 23 October 2011

This week was going to be a random collection of interesting quotes, but as I've gone along, pulling out ones that catch my eye, I realised that they are, perhaps, not so random after all...



Sådanset Art Exhibition - Roskilde, Denmark 10.18.08.
© Indian Moon


".....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




"I didn't have friends when I was little that I know now - there wasn't any sense of continuity like that," Mortensen says. "But I got to see a lot of things and learn a lot of things. And I learned to rely on my imagination, and on myself."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




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

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




..constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine
1998




"I have a tendency to always leave things for another day. Before I make the first mark on a canvas, it always ends up seeming much more urgent for me to have another cup of tea [laughter]. And then I only have 45 minutes left before some other appointment, so I've already made myself late to begin with..."

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




How much of your life is in your stories and poems?

Like all writers, I write many different things, but you always create using your own life, even if everything is imaginary on the page. As much as you invent a totally distinct world, there's always something of yourself, even if you don't realize it. I contribute my experiences as a person who's travelled all over and has had a somewhat unusual bond with language. Canciones de invierno [Winter Songs], for example, has things that seem to be very true and very much mine, and they aren't. Maybe the writings where I hide or invent myself are more my own than those that are directly autobiographical.

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




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

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




"He's circumspect around people," says director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon). "He has high standards, so he's not Mr. Friendly to everybody. But I think he just tries to be careful, because once he opens up, there's none of the artifice or barriers you find with most people."

Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




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

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




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 200
2



"In my life, I never did anything while weighing the effects of my actions. If you ask me what I'm planning for the next two years, I really don't know. Acting, writing, taking pictures or painting are all things which answer the necessity to express what I have inside me. And there is no preferential order among them, only chances that I try to take day by day."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy)
May 200
7



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

Quotable Viggo: 16 October 2011

We've got three new Viggo films to look forward to in the future, but there is one film I can't wait to see which, alas, he isn't in - The Hobbit - where we see the finding of Sauron's Ring, believed lost and hidden in the mists of time. At a crucial point in the story Bilbo, a humble Hobbit, finds what Gollum has lost and wins the right to keep it in a riddle contest. When Tolkien first wrote about Gollum's 'precious', it was a simple magic ring, The Lord of the Rings was many years away and even he didn't know what extraordinary power that small band of gold would exert. While we look forward to another Peter Jackson journey into Middle-earth, I've decided to take a look backwards and see Tolkien and the Ring through Viggo's intersting perspective.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Unlike some classmates at Watertown High School in the mid-1970s, Viggo Mortensen wasn't convinced that the meaning of life might be found somewhere in the pages of J R R Tolkien's fantasy The Lord of the Rings. "I didn't read it until I got the job," said the star who plays the nobleman Aragorn in New Line Cinema's nine-hour trilogy of films based on the tales. "And, in fact, what I'd heard about it and The Hobbit and all that sounded sort of interesting. But I figured it was just a bunch of gnomes and fairies and that kind of story."

On top of all that, "It looked like a pretty thick book."

Ready for Round 2
By David P DeMar, Jr
Watertown Daily Times
15 December 2002




'When I got the job, I started reading the book immediately so I knew what we were dealing with on film. ... I recognized themes from lots of other cultures, Samurai, Native American myths, not just European fairy tale -- the idea of a heroic journey, characters being tested.'

Viggo on locusts, life and kissing Liv Tyler
By Molly Woulfe
Northwest Indiana Times
3 August 2004




'Since I hadn't read the book, I didn't realize what Tolkien's source material had been. [When I found out], it was almost like a reward for having said yes. It was a sign I had made the right choice. Just knowing that I was dealing with something that had its roots in nearly forgotten material - things that are just sort of part of us as humans, whether we realize it or not - I thought was a unique opportunity.'

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




'I think Tolkien wrote the book because he loved language and mediaeval and Nordic history. It was almost like an excuse to do it. He breathed new air into those old stories. I just happened to like those kinds of stories. Not every kid's gonna want to read Icelandic sagas but some kids would. And as you get into them, they're very exciting, as they obviously were for Tolkien. he wrote them in a language that readers in the 20th century could grab hold of.'

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001




'The long road to Mordor really begins when Bilbo finds the ring in The Hobbit. [The Lord of the Rings] is a continuation of that story. The Hobbit has more of a fairy tale kind of quality. And even though I believe Tolkien thought of Lord of the Rings as being a fairy tale, it's much darker and more complex. Also, he had improved as a writer and was challenging himself, using everything he'd been as a linguist and lover of history.'

Veni, Vidi, Viggo
By Bilge Ebiri
Yahoo Internet Life magazine
23 November 2001




'What I like about Tolkien is that it's not black and white. Evil does not have one place. Evil doesn't, as an idea, have a geographical location - it is wherever its victims are. And its victims are, at any given time, all of us, all the people in the story.'

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




The Two Towers, the second part of Peter Jackson's filmed trilogy from J.R.R. Tolkien's heroic romance, The Lord of the Rings, comes to theatres in a world that is no more secure than the one in which The Fellowship of the Ring was released last year. Tolkien composed his original masterpiece in equally troubled times of terror, war and uncertainty. The great Nordic poets and saga-writers of medieval Iceland, who provided great inspiration to Tolkien, themselves lived under dictatorship and in times of extreme hardship. It would seem from even a cursory reading of world history that there is no new horror under the sun, that we will perhaps always have contend with destructive impulses in ourselves and others. That does not prevent us from making an effort to change, from working to find a better way.

Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion
By Viggo Mortensen
The Two Towers Visual Companion by Jude Fisher
2002




Mortensen's final phone call dealt with why he first went public with his politics. He had grown weary, he said, of media commentators who made forced comparisons between U.S. policy in the Middle East and the "free peoples" of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Mortensen has read collections of Tolkien's letters. He knows the author was uneasy about the tactics that led to Allied victory in World War II, especially the use of atomic weapons. To emphasize that point, Mortensen underlined this passage from a letter Tolkien sent during World War II to his son Christopher, one of the rare times that Tolkien equated the real world to the heroes and villains of Middle Earth:

"For we are attempting to conquer Sauron with the Ring. And we shall (it seems) succeed. But the penalty is, as you will know, to breed new Saurons, and to slowly turn Men and Elves into Orcs."

Actor details his opposition to Iraq war, Bush administration
By Sean Kirst
The Post-Standard
17 September 2006




"It's a very complex story. The Ring is not evil in itself, any more than Mordor or Sauron themselves are. On the surface, the plan is to drop the Ring into Mount Doom, if possible. I believe the Ring is not one thing. The Ring comes from each of us. It resides in each of us as the potential for making selfish choices, as the potential for attempting to control the worlds of others. Aragorn and Gandalf are trying to find a way to get this job done, they have to find a way to unite people, to reject the impulse that is the Ring."

Viggo Mortensen on The Two Towers
By Ian Nathan
Empire
January 2003




'What's interesting about whether you are a human, like Aragorn is, or whether you're an elf or a dwarf, is that everybody has flaws in the story. Even Galadriel and Gandalf have their doubts and their moments. They have to examine themselves before they can go out and tell people what to do. And in fact, what's notable in Tolkien's writing is that Galadriel, Gandalf, Aragron and I suppose Elrond are very hesitant to tell anybody what to do. There is advice and there is watching people meandering as they come into their own and make their own decisions.'

The Human: Viggo Mortensen
Pavement magazine #50
January 2001




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

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




'You go into a bookstore and there are 50,000 books that wouldn't have been written - including Harry Potter, as good as that is - without Tolkien having done what he did.'

Playing the Hero Suits Mortensen Fine
Philadelphia Enquirer
January 2002




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

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



Quotable Viggo: 9 October 2011

This week's Quotable is a round-up of recent quotes from the last couple of years about acting, taking a look at what 'seduces' Viggo into accepting a film and how he approaches it. There are also comments and opinions on why Viggo's choice of film and approach has led to him being recognised as an actor who 'goes beyond the screen'. It's also refreshing to know that despite all his success in a huge variety of roles he can still feel the fear that brings the required edge to every performance.



Image John Harris.
© Haddock Films.


"Every film capable of "seducing" me, as it had already happened with On the Road, represents a stage in my development as an actor", says the actor. "But also as writer, painter, editor, poet and photographer. Although I can no longer separate my interests one from the other. Nowadays I need to have strong motivations to accept a new film project. I look for fascinating stories to tell."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




"To find a good story, you're generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies... I wouldn't mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story."

Viggo Mortensen
Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




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

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




"...my approach to a role, even if it's an action one, it's never only physical but "from the mind". It´s been like this even with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is my method: first of all I begin with an extensive research."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




"In the past I've worked in scenes with physical violence, intense but like a metaphor of what was happening in the mind of the characters I was playing.
Instead, in this case, everything was happening in the mind of the protagonists. To work in order to bring into focus the world of Sigmund Freud has been like working through a filter through which I could explore"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




I was so taken with Mortensen's constantly alert and cunning eyes. He was always thinking, sometimes on a current that flows in opposite direction of his dialogue. It is a very effective performance, and Mortensen, one of the best actors working today, has shown us something new in his repertoire. It bodes well for his life as a middle-aged actor.

By Sheila OMalley
Capital new York
6 October 2011




'....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




Q: What's it like working with Viggo Mortensen? Is there any competition about how far you can push each other?

Let me tell you something: it's impossible to have a competition with Viggo Mortensen because he's not on that vibe, you know? And neither am I. No, no, when you work with Viggo it's very warm. You get presents all the time and there is no competition on the set.

Vincent Cassel on BLACK SWAN, Darren Aronofsky, EASTERN PROMISES 2!
By Robert Beames
Obsessed with Film
19 January 2011




"At work he is one of the crew, a great workmate, deeply involved in the film in every aspect and not only with his character. He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty. We rehearsed, we read the script, we got to know each other a bit and build up a relationship as people...I like him as an actor, he goes beyond the screen. He has an impressive level of communication. I was interested to know how he faces work, someone who comes from filming with Cronenberg. And the truth is he is very professional, very serious on the set, and he knows very well how to control his energy."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
Clarín
8 July 2011




"He's very deep in his way of preparing the character. He's living in Tigre, he dresses like somebody from there and I admire this. He's an actor that connects with the character and he's a little crazy, crazy enough to play these characters that he plays."

Javier Godino
Viggo Mortensen at home in first Argentine film
By Luis Andres Henao
Reuters Canada
22 July 2011




"I´m getting to know myself bit by bit (laughs) and one thing that always happens is that when I´m on the right path I get a little scared. Rather quickly. Always, after saying "yes", hanging up the phone or coming out of the office... they´ve said to you "OK! We choose you." or "Your test was the best." Or they call you sometimes, and if you are lucky, they say "We thought you´d do this role very well." You read it, you think about the script and make the leap. And everything is fine but at the moment you do it, myself at least, then I get scared and think "Well, they think I can do it, but I don´t know." The truth is that I say it half jokingly, but a lot of times I say "I don´t know how to act. Don´t know how to act!" Because you look at each character..."How do you do this?""

Viggo Mortensen
Lleida Festival Press Conference
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
April 2011




"...when I read the book [On The Road], the last person I'd have seen myself playing was Bull Lee, the William Burroughs character. But I kind of said to myself, 'Don't forget you were surprised by David's idea you could play Freud.

Viggo talking about On The Road
Mortensen up for Burroughs role
By Jim Slotek, Kevin Williamson, QMI Agency
Toronto Sun/Tiff
18 September 2011




"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




Film is a visual medium; I have been fortunate to begin my career with small roles: often they give you few words and you get used to finding a way to express yourself. Anyway, in my opinion a good performance is a matter of reacting to what happens, or what they say to you, not necessarily with words.

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


Quotable Viggo: 2 October 2011

Yes, I know, yet another A Dangerous Method Quotable! But as the film makes its way from Festival to Festival as the film everybody wants to have in their lists, I think now is an excellent time to present a full roundup of all the reviews Viggo has garnered for his performance as Freud. Critics have come to only expect the very best from his film work, even in such an unexpected role as Sigmund Freud. And, as always, he delivers.



© Hanway/Lago


...Mortensen is instantly Sigmund Freud without a shadow of a doubt. With a calm, cool and elegant demeanor he walks with confidence, cane at his side and cigar always hanging from his mouth. He seduces the audience and he seduces Jung...

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
10 September 2011




Mortensen is terrific as Freud and he lends the film its dry humor along with its few shades of sadness as the Austrian doctor goes from hoping his work will be carried on by his protégé to fearing how it will be perverted by Jung's emotions and willingness to consider fringe-science like telepathy and mysticism.

Matt Goldberg
Collider.com
10 September 2011




And then there's Mortensen, certainly the most physically imposing Sigmund Freud to ever insinuate itself on the public imagination.

Jim Slotek
Toronto Sun
11 September 2011




... as the cigar-smoking Freud, Mortensen -- sporting a nose prosthesis -- all but steals the picture with his knowing gaze and wry insights

Erica Abeel
Huffington Post
11 September 2011




It was a stroke of inspiration to cast the virile, hyper-secure Mortensen as the godfather of neurosis. Puffing on a cigar, he makes Freud a charismatic control freak, a man all too eager to engage in dream analysis yet too much of a self-designed authority figure to put his own dreams up for dissection.

Enertainment Weekly
Owen Gleiberman
10 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen (a phallic cigar never leaving his mouth) makes for an almost fatherly Freud, in a surprisingly controlled and dignified turn.

Michał Oleszczyk
Fandor
10 September 2011




...Mortensen is so silkily persuasive an argumentative foil for Fassbender in the scenes they share that the narrative seems more a head-to-head than it structurally is.

Guy Lodge
In Contention
2 September 2011




He is utterly extraordinary, wryly assaying the world with an ever-present cigar and a gift for keeping a distance between everything and his own ego, whose needs he is virtuosically gifted at concealing.

Jeff Simon
Buffalo News
13 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen, effortlessly devouring scenery...

Simon Howell
Sound on Sight
8 September 2011




Films featuring well-known historical figures can often seem arch and self-conscious in the extreme. Here, Mortensen has such immediate authority and swagger as Freud that we don't question his portrayal.

He is a sardonic and witty cigar-chewing patriarch, encouraging but also gently mocking Jung, whom he sees initially as a protégé.

Geoffrey Macnab
The Independent
3 September 2011




Mortensen - who has become Cronenberg's muse, of sorts, having also starred in his last two pictures - is one of the most understated and magnetic actors working today.

Scott Feinberg
Hollywood Reporter
5 September 2010




Mortensen has never seemed so relaxed in a difficult role; he is the charming papa one hates to overthrow but knows one must.

Richard Corliss
Time
2 September 2011




... Mr. Mortensen again reveals his amazing skills of self-transformation...

Roderick Conway Morris
New York Times
6 September 2011




Mortensen's Freud is an engagingly calm character, with cigar constantly in his mouth and at ease with a confident composure and genial humour. As always Mortensen - in his third film with Cronenberg after A History of Violence and Eastern Promises - dominates the film and brings a much needed sly humour to the proceedings.

Mark Adams
Screen Daily
3 September 2011




... its three main actors should receive nominations for their work: Fassbender and Keira Knightley in the lead categories and Viggo Mortensen in the supporting one.

Emanuel Levy
Emanuellevy.com
3 September 20011




Mortensen gives Doctor Freud a patriarchal presence that justifies the title of "fatherly figure" given to him by Jung...

Domenico La Porta
Cineuropa
2 September 2011




A drier, more contained figure, Freud is brought wonderfully to life by Mortensen in a bit of unexpected casting that proves entirely successful.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
2 September 2011




Fortunately, things improve a great deal once Freud arrrives. Mortensen (aided by probably the most significant nose prosthesis since Nicole Kidman's in "The Hours") is, as he so often is these days, tremendous, bringing a patrician wit and real pathos to the part.....Mortensen caps off a trilogy of perfect performances for Cronenberg (and is the film's best bet for award nods, we imagine).

Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
2 September 2011




Even in a period film like this one -- a picture that runs the heavy risk of being ponderous and stiff -- he can slip himself into the scenery with a "Don't mind me, here in my Sigmund Freud getup" naturalness....And his exchanges with Mortensen's Freud are among the movie's greatest pleasures.

Stephanie Zacharek
Movieline
2 September 2011




..Mortensen's Freud, a sardonic, ineffably sinister presence who rarely raises his voice above a silky-smooth purr, calmly steals the picture...

Justin Chang
Variety
2 September 2011




Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Freud is endearingly complex.

Richard Porton
Cinemascope
2 September 2011




...if there's one thing that the critics can agree on, it's that Viggo Mortensen, in his third film on the trot with the Canadian maverick, gives another brilliant turn. Buried beneath a prosthetic nose, and playing older than he's usually allowed to, he's easily the highlight of the film, giving a beguiling turn worlds away from the professional killers he played for Cronenberg in "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises."

Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




Potential Oscar nods are in order for a jaw-dropping Keira Knightley and the ever-flawless Viggo Mortensen.

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks
San Francisco Bay Guardian
26 September 2011


Quotable Viggo: 18 September 2011

Viggo has been doing a lot of talking lately, appropriate for a film based on the Play The Talking Cure and a role where he's confessed that "Doctor Freud is a man who doesn't stop talking". As we know, Viggo is also not short of the ability to do some serious talking, and some of my favourite quotes arise from his taking interviewers around every subject under the sun except the one most are trying to pin him down on, himself...



© Hanway/Lago.


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




Mortensen speaks slowly and in each one of his answers it seems there are endless concepts that could need an extra explanation. This man, who in addition to being a famous actor is a well known lover of poetry, music and photography, has the humility of the great. Doesn't stop complimenting his colleagues, analyses words and does his utmost to give each thing a place...

Viggo Mortensen tiene un plan
By Justina Berard
Vos/La Voz
25 May 2011




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

Kris Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009




Mortensen is nothing if not precise. A conversation with him tends to lead wherever he wants it to go. Try to ask a follow-up question or change the subject, and he'll gently, politely raise his voice and continue talking over you.

Rocky Road
By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
13 November 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




He... 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




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

Viggo Mortensen is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 200
7



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

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




VM is not one of that kind of actors where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine
2004




The first thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he doesn't like talking about himself. The second thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he hasn't stopped talking about himself for the past six months.

On promoting 'Hidalgo' and 'ROTK'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register
7 March 2004



Quotable Viggo: 11 September 2011

Well - what a week it's been! My Quotable cup has been running over. There has been so much to read and listen to that I thought a round up from interviews and reviews would be in order. It is, of course, a personal choice of favourite quotes from a week that has informed me, amused me, given new insights into how Viggo works and much to think about from his (as always) deeply considered thoughts on A Dangerous Method and the birth of Psychoanalysis.



© Hanway/Lago.


The man has never disappointed us.

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




It was a stroke of inspiration to cast the virile, hyper-secure Mortensen as the godfather of neurosis.

Enertainment Weekly
Owen Gleiberman
10 September 2011




Mortensen is instantly Sigmund Freud without a shadow of a doubt.

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
10 September 2011




"Who would have imagined that Freud was so charismatic? But the film makes you realize that he had to have been."

Michael Barker's comment to Scott Feinberg after seeing the film
Hollywood Reporter
5 September 2010




Mortensen has never seemed so relaxed in a difficult role; he is the charming papa one hates to overthrow but knows one must.

Richard Corliss
Time
2 September 2011




- he can slip himself into the scenery with a "Don't mind me, here in my Sigmund Freud getup" naturalness.

Stephanie Zacharek
Movieline
2 September 2011




"I was completely trapped by the emotional and complicated human relationships in the film. Bodies and thoughts, words and life choices are interwoven, although the latter are "contaminated" by the social conventions."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




One of the other attractions of the project was collaborating with David Cronenberg again, but in a movie that's very different from what's usual in his films.

VM: That's what everyone in the world tells me, that this time there's no blood or exploding heads. What they haven't understood is that they are exploding, but in a more symbolic way.

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




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

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




"Apparently, this film is more traditional, more formal. This is only an appearance, if you watch it closely. He's an author. He invites you each time to think further. In my previous film with David, it was more the gesture that mattered for my character (Eastern Promises). Here it's the words. The word "is" the body language."

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




"The Freud in the story is not the Freud most people are accustomed to, the very thin, disease-ridden old man," he explains. "He was 50 and quite robust."

Mortensen believed he could pull him off, and so did the director. "That's the magic of casting," Cronenberg quips. "It's a black art."

'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




"...if you get too weighed down with the idea that you are doing something important, that you are playing someone of significance, your probably not gonna do a good job of it - you're certainly not going to have much fun."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
4 September 2011




"In the past I've worked in scenes with physical violence, intense but like a metaphor of what was happening in the mind of the characters I was playing", says Mortensen. "Instead, in this case, everything was happening in the mind of the protagonists. To work in order to bring into focus the world of Sigmund Freud has been like working through a filter through which I could explore"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 2011




As controversial and revolutionary as [Freud's] thought was, he nevertheless had the ability to deeply engage others, to make them feel like an integral part of his vision. He was very seductive and charming, the kind of man who knew how to draw people in and persuade them to share his viewpoint."

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




What aspects of Sigmund Freud related to you as a person and as an actor?


In principle, at least the way I read it, the most positive aspect of what Freud had a large hand in pioneering was the idea of listening to people, in a particular way. Why I say positive is because I think it's one of the most loving things you can do, just to listen to somebody.

TIFF ADM Press Conference
Flicks and Bits
10 September 2011




"No, I didn't feel the need to undergo analysis to prepare for this film. For me, Freud was as much an artist as a scientist - he thought so himself - so I tried to capture the complexity of the artist."

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




"I think one thing you see in the movie is that their intellectual positions weren't so vastly different. It was really a question of pride. They behaved as childishly as the patients they were trying to help."

Viggo at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
Rssbroadcast.com
2 September 2011




"It's essentially about people who are very intelligent, ambitious to be remembered and make their mark and also may be vulnerable to the point of being paranoid. David doesn't shy away from the academic."

Viggo Mortensen
'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




"We are in tune in considering cinema as the meeting point between painting, philosophy, literature and social analysis; a careful exploration of the outer and inner aspects."

Viggo talking about Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine - translated by Ollie
September 201
1



"I think my cast has great need of psychoanalysis, which is why I cast them actually, to introduce them gently to the idea that they needed help, a lot of help...."

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

Cronenberg at the Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
Rssbroadcast.com
2 September 2011



"We can do some doll therapy if anyone's interested..."

Viggo talking about 'Sigi' the Freud doll in San Lorenzo colours
at the Venice Film Festival ADM Press Conference
2 September 2011




"I have no idea what this jersey is. Viggo just told me it would wind David up."

Keira Knightly on wearing a Montreal Canadians sweater at the Press Conference
TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It's game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method
Ben Kaplan
National Post
10 September 2011




"It's over," he said of his relationship with Cronenberg. "This film was the last straw."

Viggo Mortensen joking at TIFF
TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It's game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method
Ben Kaplan
National Post
10 September 2011

Quotable Viggo: 3 September 2011

This week's L'Uomo Vogue interview has lots of fascinating insights into how Viggo has tackled playing Freud, and the most fascinating of all is the comparison he makes between filmmaker and subject, seeing parallels between Freud and Cronenberg. Jake Coyle of MSNBC observed that 'Mortensen hardly speaks about anything but his admiration for Cronenberg. If he was a politician, his only talking point would be: David Cronenberg is a master of cinema'. I thought that with A Dangerous Method premiering in Venice this week, now would be a good time to look again at what Viggo has to say about the man he has described as a 'genius' and a 'kindred-spirit'.



© Focus Features.


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

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




'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 talking about Cronenberg and A History of Violence
Viggo Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006




"People think that with A History of Violence, he's signed off on a more mainstream film. I don't agree with that. What I see here is like a doctor who wants to see what there is beneath the surface of things. Who lifts the veil on civilisation, on politeness, on society. When you look at what's beneath, we're animals (laughs)."

Viggo Mortensen: Everything Is Power
By Nicholas Crousse - translated by Shu
Le Guide
18 October 2005




"Human beings are very strange, very intelligent, and sometimes, extremely terrible. I think those are the things that interest Cronenberg, he's an expert at observing it and showing it."

One Year Between English And Spanish
By Gabriel De Lerma - translated by Paddy
Diarios Rumbo
5 October 2005




"...people who say: 'Ah, Cronenberg, he's nuts, he always shows these horrible killings', the fact is that there are very few minutes of violence in the movie, but it looks real. It does not give you the possibility, like other directors do...very good directors as well...to work with the camera, to put like a curtain so that it doesn't bother you too much...it doesn't affect you too much. But in the case of Cronenberg, it's like: 'Here it is, it's ugly...and you're going to see it."

Viggo talking about Eastern Promises
The Univision Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Univision
23 September 2007




"They're uncomfortable to watch because people in reality are not neat and tidy and orderly and always predictable and always the same."

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




"I never perceived him as someone who could be threatening, so much as an artist with the ideas of others. He could certainly reject your ideas, but equally he could take hold of them. This way made you feel at ease and made you want to give it your all."

Interview with Mortensen - Cronenberg's half-killer, half-lamb
By Julien Dokhan - translated by Kaijamin
Source: AlloCiné
20 October 2005




"...Cronenberg helped me do things, sometimes very subtle things, in a way that I hadn't been helped to do by other directors."

Viggo The Sponge: Actor Soaks Up Everything
By Jake Coyle
MSNBC
20 September 2007




"....what I love about him as a storyteller is that he doesn't tell you everything. What's going to happen to them now? I really think about that. I gotta see that again. That's a good story. And you don't really feel that way - I don't anyway - with most movies, even by good directors. I just don't get that feeling afterwards."

Viggo Mortensen
A History of Their Collaboration
By Pam Grady, Filmstew.com
11 Sept 2007




"....he asks many, many questions, and with each subsequent viewing you find that there are more and more questions, but he doesn't give you any answers."

Viggo Mortensen
Crimes and Misdemeanours
By Phillip Berk, Filmink
October 2007




"I think it's like instead of opening a door and pushing you inside a room, he opens the door and then he walks in and you have a look and say 'what's he DOING in there?' He encourages the audience to think for itself, which is great. And I think that these days, whether it's movie-makers or writers or certainly politicians, there is not much encouragement for people to think for themselves. In fact they would prefer that you didn't, because then they can sell you whatever they want. He doesn't do that."

Viggo Mortensen
The Viggo Effect
By Stephanie Bunbury
The Age
24 February 2006




"He doesn't impose, you know; he doesn't insist you see things any particular way at all. In fact most of his movies start like this one [HOV], with you going 'what's happening? Nothing's happening. Is this a BAD movie? Well, it's David Cronenberg, it must be OK.' And after a few minutes you forget these questions, because you're in it. You're there. And, suddenly, you're uncomfortable."

Viggo Mortensen
The Viggo Effect
By Stephanie Bunbury
The Age
24 February 2006




"...you want to do good work, not just for yourself or for the film, you want to give David what he wants from you because his vision of the film is very clear. And what's great is that you feel like his ally, that you are going into battle together."

Interview with Mortensen - Cronenberg's half-killer, half-lamb
By Julien Dokhan - translated by Kaijamin
AlloCiné
20 October 2005




"... David is just starting to hit his stride. Usually someone who's been making movies for 30 years starts to tire, but his curve keeps going up and up. It's almost like he's getting younger and more adventurous with every movie."

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




"I have higher expectations of other directors having worked with him," says Mortensen. "I can't really expect that I'm going to run into another person as gifted as him, but that doesn't mean I can't find other stories."

Viggo The Sponge: Actor Soaks Up Everything
By Jake Coyle
MSNBC
20 September 2007


Quotable Viggo: 21 August 2011

The Todos tenemos un plan filming has once again shown Viggo in his true colours - blue and red. Javier Godino commented that Viggo took care to transform the filming crew "into a family" through his love for the San Lorenzo de Almagro's soccer team and his wall of Argentinian team colours. I think Godino has hit the nail on the head with his family comment. Globe trotting as he does all around the world, perhaps carrying his team shirts with him and rallying other sports fans to him means that no matter where he is, he really is at home.



Tigre make-up department.
Image John Harris.
© Haddock Films.


"The first day, Viggo arrived and hung up a San Lorenzo pennant. That's the way it started, little by little, and then he brought a pennant from Tigre and later the one from Boca. In the end, he filled the entire wall with jerseys from all the teams from Argentina, but also from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Uruguay. And this has been the only thing that succeeded in uniting everybody."

Javier Godino
Mortensen faces the "mental challenge" of playing both twin brothers in 'Todos tenemos un plan'
By - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Terra.es
9 August 2011




Yesterday I had to work in the Delta from five in the afternoon on, and, unfortunately I couldn´t go to the rally for the return to Boedo. Wanting to be with the supporters at the Obelisco and the rally, I put on, under the character´s clothes, the San Lorenzo jersey that our great centre forward Jonathan Botinelli had given me, and hung all the banners, flags and scarves I´ve got in the woods by the stream where we shot all night long. That way I wasn´t so cold!

Viggo the San Lorenzo Columnist
Translated by Ollie,Rio, with assistance from Zoe, Silver and Dom
10 July 2011




Do you feel nostalgic about that kid you were, who lived here?

"Ah...What one remembers from childhood is often mixed with things we are told. Memory is like poetry, just one version of reality, not accurate at all. I left when I was eleven years old, at the beginning of the '70s, and only returned in '95. More than twenty years in which I was cut off from Argentina. There was no internet; it was very difficult. Do you know what I had left of those years? All I had were these soccer picture cards of the Carasucias of San Lorenzo (the team from which came his idolized Bambino Veira), a Martin Fierro, a Don Segundo Sombra, a little San Lorenzo jersey...and nothing more. When I returned, at age 37, I got off the plane and I went downtown to look for my places. The little park where I played soccer with my friends, for example. I found different things: there was a McDonald's, new immigrants. But the sounds, the smells were the same. I rented a car and took off for everywhere. I went as far as La Pampa, I don't know...It was a lot of fun to stop in any location, take photos, talk to people. I came back because I had unfinished business."

Viggo Mortensen: "Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Zooey
Gente
25 August 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




Viggo Mortensen arrives late. He is wearing blue pants and a San Lorenzo de Almagro t-shirt, the team he loves the most, whose flag he opens as a protective cloak and, from a corner, it will dominate our entire meeting.

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




"These characters, the father and his son, in spite of seeming to be very cold, in fact, beneath the rags they wear, happen to have San Lorenzo t-shirts," says the actor, and laughs.

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




"When we were shooting Good in Budapest, the team had the chance to become national champions of Argentina ... It came down to the last match, and we were shooting a scene that day."

Mortensen had his San Lorenzo flag with him, and he would wear his team shirt to work every day, so producer Segal knew of his passion. At the end of the shoot, a group of them went to the bar, and watched the match "and we won. It was emotional and crazy and fun."

The Final Seduction
By Philippa Hawker
The Age
3 April 2009




[He]....wears a San Lorenzo shirt like it's tattooed on his skin.

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




'I have enough shirts to field a whole San Lorenzo team...'

Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine
5 August 2004
Sports Illustrated magazine




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




If you had become a soccer player...?

"I really wasn't good at it. I can play, but only for fun. I'm a good fan, though, I wear the 'azulgrana' shirt, the one with the San Lorenzo colours, even at the movie premieres."

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




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




....if he were called to face the end of the world as we know it, he would do it with a t-shirt from his team pressed to his heart.

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


Quotable Viggo: 13 August 2011

As time goes by it has become more and more obvious that Viggo's acting career was never going to be a conventional one. Whenever it's seemed that there is an obvious course to take, he's veered off in another direction, avoiding a hero niche to work with Cronenberg, heading off to Spain when Hollywood was battering his door down, and currently following his artistic instincts by filming in Argentina. As he said in a 2009 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle '.... my goals aren't the same goals that other people have...'



Images from the Set of TTUP.
© Haddock Films.


'Many actors tend to think of their work in terms of career - this strange sort of concept that acting is like climbing up a mountain, that they get bigger with each job - and art doesn't move like that. Viggo knows that instinctively.'

Philip Ridley
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002




The thought about Viggo Mortensen not feeling home in this city is not far away. He is at the same time too much and too little for Hollywood.

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




"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




"For me, there was no doubt that Mortensen was going to have great career after the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings. But he didn't wait for this saga to be excellent, he always made very good career choices, he always took very interesting options. Personally, I find him excellent in The Indian Runner. He is very fastidious in his choices and it is totally apparent in his roles, in a way that I admire. He has a work philosophy close to mine. He is a bit like a big brother. So, his course does not surprise me, I am proud of Viggo, proud also that he is such an accomplice to a director of the talent of David Cronenberg. I wish only one thing for Viggo: that he continues to cut a path in this medium, because the medium needs actors of his caliber, who make films of course, for the public, but also for themselves, their own personal enlightening."

Elijah Wood on Viggo Mortensen
By Clément Cuyer, Allocine
14 novembre 2007




"Sure, we thought he was going to make it after The Indian Runner," Phillips says. "Viggo's turned down quite a few things that might have made a difference in his life because he just didn't connect with them creatively. Viggo is his own man. He's not dictated by the Hollywood horseshit machine."

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




'I haven't done the biggest movies I could find one after another, which was an option after Lord of the Rings. But when you choose to go with your heart rather than career ambition, then your star tends to wane a little bit.'

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




"I've always sensed that I'd be insulting him a little bit if I called him a movie star," Johnston says. "If he chose to be a movie star, he could've done it a long time ago. . . . He's in control. That's the bottom line. He's not waiting for someone to say, 'Hey, you've made it.' He'll decide when he's made it."

Joe Johnston
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004




Trying to describe his movie career is like finding your way in a Middle-eastern medina.

Soon you think you're on the right way - only to end up in a dead end of spices and camel-mongers. The Danish-American has had his breakthrough at a - for an actor - mature age. As Los Angeles Times found out with a shake on the head: 'He was not less than 40 years old, before he got his own website'.

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




'.... because he's capable of far more astute and profound judgements than most of the people he's around, I think there's a banality of mind in this industry that a man like Viggo would sort of despair of."

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




" .....my goals aren't the same goals that other people have that are perfectly justifiable on their own terms: wanting to be famous, wanting to make lots of money, wanting to win Oscars or something. It's not my main reason for doing it. My main reason for doing it is because I am drawn to it."

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




''..if you asked my agent or somebody about why I'm doing these sort of movies, or going off to do a play or something, they'd say 'Well, I dunno, I think he has a death wish or something'.

''Career suicide,'' he says with a laugh.

''I don't really know. I think life is short and while I have the chance to do good stories, I'm gonna do 'em.''

Viggo on doing Good and Alatriste
Viggo Mortensen on his new film Good
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 April 2009




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

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 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 August 2011

It's a while since I looked at Viggo's life as a creative artist here, but it's something that's always on my mind when I see his books on the shelf by my computer. You can't separate Viggo from his creativity. To quote one of my favourite comments about him, all his art is 'a trace of his own adventure'. It's his journal, his innermost response to the world around him, his way of tracking through the minutiae of daily life and making sense of it through the attention he gives it. That he shares it is something that constantly amazes me.



Sådanset Art Exhibition - Roskilde, Denmark 10.18.08.
© Indian Moon


It's not pretty pictures he's after, it's the thread of his existence as Viggo Mortensen. But paradoxically his pictures can be pretty. They can also be sophisticated, crude, elegant, or mundane. He plays the camera like a musical instrument. It's a conversational kind of photography: it's Viggo telling you who he is with images. He looks at everything, believes everything has a meaning, and he shows you his pictures in the belief that seeing might reveals the hidden mysteries of everyday life.

Mark Power
The Salt Mine
3 September 2008




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

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




"Whether you paint or act or write, you're giving importance to a given moment, a place, an emotion, and you're communicating the discoveries you've made as you engage in that process. So in that sense, everything is connected."

Viggo Mortensen, Photographer
Massey University
2003




When I see my own pictures, it's like seeing a movie. It is, for example a single moment in a film scene, that you remember. So is also the case with my pictures. I remember the places I've been to and can go there again through the pictures, Viggo says.'

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




...all photographs contain a duality of intimacy and distance. His camera establishes intimacy and closeness with his surroundings, but because of the anonymity of the subjects, the photos always involve distance. As it is ephemeral, this world tends to vanish and be forgotten. Yet, this world is present; it is right there before our eyes. However, we do not pay much attention to it, as our gaze routinely moves on. It is only elevated out of its hidden existence for as long as an observer, such as Mortensen, pays attention to it. Through his gaze, this world is rediscovered and reobserved.

Viggo Mortensen - Ephëmeris
By Lonnie Hansen - translated by Glen Garner
Katalog Vol 15 #2 Summer
2003




'To be an artist is to remain conscious of your surroundings, and I believe that we all have that capacity. Children have it and, as they grow up, they lose it.'

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




Mortensen's paintings relate to his photography in the sense that they also teem with lived incidents. They are collages, brushings of materials, and words, all used, felt, and constantly touched. Redefined and restated, there is always something beneath, rubbed out, obliterated, nuanced; there is always more happening. Words from his poems, found phrases, or overheard whispers both succumb and survive as they enter the field of the work.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




Mortensen, the artist, is low-key and unpretentious. He portrays his immediate surroundings. His subject matter centers on recognizable landscapes and relationships among people. His photos treat their subjects with great empathy and sensitivity, drawing out their sensuality, their poetic and dreamlike qualities. Moreover, his photos have an autobiographical component. They frequently present his own world and his joy in observing and recording seemingly insignificant events. Mortensen is an observer of the world, assigning importance and meaning to intimate relationships.

Viggo Mortensen - Ephëmeris
By Lonnie Hansen - translated by Glen Garner
Katalog Vol 15 #2 Summer
2003




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

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




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

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




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




Mortensen's work - photographs, paintings, and poems - all seems to me to be intensely autobiographical. I mean that his works are autobiographical in the sense that Robert Creeley gives to this term, "auto-bio-graphy', which felicitously translates as "as life tracking itself'.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




'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 Tschieder
Green Cine, 2003



Quotable Viggo: 24 July 2011

A couple of weeks ago I looked at the many actors that Viggo has enjoyed working with over the years. With Soledad Villamil's lovely comment about Viggo emerging recently, I thought that this week I'd turn it around completely and looking at actresses who have enjoyed working with him. We all know that they are very lucky, and there is no doubt that they do too....



© Haddock Films.


"At work he is one of the crew, a great workmate, deeply involved in the film in every aspect and not only with his character. He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty. We rehearsed, we read the script, we got to know each other a bit and build up a relationship as people...I like him as an actor, he goes beyond the screen. He has an impressive level of communication. I was interested to know how he faces work, someone who comes from filming with Cronenberg. And the truth is he is very professional, very serious on the set, and he knows very well how to control his energy."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
Clarín
8 July 2011



"I first got to know him on the phone," says Charlize Theron, who plays Mortensen's wife in flashbacks in The Road. "We would have lovely, long conversations. Viggo made such a point of wanting me to know that I was going to be completely supported. He's definitely a caretaker, which is a really beautiful quality, and a man of many passions - poetry, photography, books.... I arrived on set and there was a library in my trailer."

Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009


"Working with him was extraordinary. He was so into his character that I could tell he was upset to leave Nikolai behind!"

Naomi Watts
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features



"I think people should see it just for his performance alone."

Naomi Watts on Viggo in Eastern Promises
Good Morning America
6 Sept 2007



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

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



A lot of people lose their s**t completely over a couple of men you've worked with recently, so...Viggo Mortensen or Johnny Depp?

Maria Bello: Viggo, definitely Viggo. That's not to say that Johnny's not a wonderful actor and beautiful, but Viggo, I'd wanted to work with him since [Sean Penn's] Indian Runner. He's holy and ridiculous. I've never worked with anyone so determined to create an interesting character. He's a good human being, and he's very, very hot.

Maria Bello talking about Viggo
ThebookLA.com
January 2005



'Viggo 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



"He is exactly the opposite of what is considered a 'superstar'. He is aware of the image that he projects, but he doesn't care: he has a very rich personal world."

Ariadna Gil
The Desired One
Translation by Graciela
Woman
29 August 2006



"He has a great physical ability coupled with a real sensitivity. It's sort of a contradiction between the two, that he can kill so many orcs and ride a horse like he can. But he's taken an anti-hero approach to playing Aragorn. He's so much an artist that he takes everything very seriously."

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



"A dude. An absolutely brilliant, brilliant guy. He's really soft, he's really generous - in all senses of the word: as an actor, as a human being."

Jodie Whittaker talking about Viggo
by Ellen E Jones
Little White Lies
April 2009



"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 talking about A Walk on the Moon
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



"He's mysterious. He reminds me of Daniel Day-Lewis, who I'm working with now - you know there's an enormous interior life." Kidman met Mortensen on Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady in 1996. "He was a little awkward, which was sweet. He has all that humor and bravado, but that gave him a fragility. Viggo's a Campion man. Her favourite men are Byron-esque."

Niclole Kidman
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009



Patricia Arquette: You've taught me a lot. I remember I was agonizing over a character once and you said, 'Look you're the only person in the world who's playing her, and nobody knows how she's suposed to react. You're the only one who knows, and so whatever you do, you're right." That's a very liberating way of looking at things.

Viggo Mortensen: You can't achieve perfection, obviously, but the goal that I have - which I guess is a goal in life also, and it sounds trite - is to be happy, even if I'm playing a miserable individual.

Patricia Arquette: I think that's a great goal.

Interview with Patricia Arquette
By Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine
June 1995



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

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Quotable Viggo: 17 July 2011

While we eagerly anticipate three new Viggo films, I've been reviewing the quotes I've gathered from Viggo's early acting days and pre The Lord of the Rings movies (isn't everything pre and post LOTR?). I found that I have a whole bunch of new ones that have surfaced in later interviews, some that come from re-discovered lost reviews, and some oldies that I've never yet used in a Quotable. And there are a couple (the first and last ones) that I just liked so much I just had to include them again. What emerges is an actor who has always had the essentials that make him so fascinating to watch and work with.



© Westmount
Courtesy of sagralisse


'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 had already been in Witness and one or two other things. He was definitely somebody that people were keeping an eye on and what have you. He was this striking looking guy and he really was a good guy and still is. He's just a very nice person. But boy he really brought up the smoldering intensity right away. That was terrific.'

Screenwriter Courtney Joyner talking about 'Prison'
Late night classics - Prison
Jason Bene
Killerfilm.com
2 June 2010



'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 talking about 'The Indian Runner'
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 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 talking about 'The Indian Runner'
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



I'd recommend this movie to anyone interested in seeing a younger shirtless Viggo...

American Yakuza Review
Flash Bang: Action Movie Reviews
2005



'I sent him the script, he liked it and, only after adding a lot of riders and positive contributions and after hours talking about it, he accepted. He explores to the infinite, not only the character's emotions but also the wardrobe, all the things. He's so honest and generous.'

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



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.

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



But for what may have been the only time in his career, Walken has a movie plucked out from underneath him. Viggo Mortensen shows up in the third act as Satan and steals the show.

'Matthew'
Paracinema.net
11 March 2011



...not only that this is one of the more amusingly preposterous of the 90s run of disaster flicks, but, to my absolute amazement, it features Viggo Mortensen in a pre-Rings role, sporting a profoundly ridiculous blond weave, though still giving the film's best performance by miles as an arrogant survival fetishist who thinks he knows better than Kit.

Shaun Munro
BluRay review
Obsessed with Film
Feb 2011



'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 talking about GI Jane
The Master Chief
by Michele Manelis
Marie Claire
November 1997



"....when I met Gus [Van Sant] for the first time to discuss the part, my first question was: "why do you want to remake that movie; it was a perfectly good movie the first time round?" So I wasn't inclined to do it, but he simply said that it might be fun."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Psycho'
Uncut
November 2007



Mr. Mortensen has the movie's richest role as the duplicitous painter who is coerced into agreeing to murder his lover. In the scenes in which he is supposed to appear sympathetic, he insinuates enough surliness to give his character a disquieting undertone of potential violence. But once David has been established as a rat, the actor shows flashes of pained regret for having to kill a woman he half loves.

A Perfect Murder review
Stephen Holden
New York Times
June 5, 1998



"I think being a conventional leading man is something that gives him a lot of trouble," says Goldwyn, recalling Mortensen's fears that A Walk on the Moon's Blouse Man might become a one-note sex god. "Of course, the success that implies is very attractive, but the trappings of that for someone like Viggo, who has so much to offer, can be very scary."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002



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

Quotable Viggo: 9 July 2011

On the A Dangerous Method thread this week I made the tongue-in-cheek comment that 'most performers worth their salt would sell their grandmother' to work with Viggo. So this week I thought it would be fun to take a look at Viggo's thoughts about the male actors that he's enjoyed working with over the years. There are actors who are heroes he'd longed to work with, like Christopher Walken and Omar Sharif, others he enjoyed learning from as he perfected his craft in early roles, and others were just plain fun to be with.



Courtesy of HermioneO]
© Universal Pictures


'Harrison Ford was most of all professional. Conscientious. Interesting to study. I had the greats before me: Peter Weir, above all, with his calmness and efficiency. In the evening, when I came back from my wandering, they let me watch the rushes. Witness was an idyllic experience.'

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



"Charles Bronson I didn't get to know extremely well but I liked him; in fact, there's a version of the scene where I go to my parents' house at the beginning of the story. It was a really interesing scene with Charles and Sandy Dennis playing really well. In fact Charles delivered some of the best acting I've ever seen. Shame it didn't make the movie, but I could understand Sean's reasons. He thought my character should be more messed up. But it was a scene that was very awkward; I was high, and was really insulting. It was horrible, but also fascinating."

Viggo Mortensen
Uncut
November 2007



In 1993, you worked in Carlito's Way, by Brian de Palma, with Al Pacino, who many consider today's number one. What was that experience like?

He is a very interesting man, with a great sense of humour, very hard working and, above all, very generous and humble. You learn a lot from people like him. I don't know if he is the greatest. I liked him best during his early stage, in films like Scarface, Serpico or The Godfather.

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



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

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



"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



What surprised you about your other costar, Michael Douglas?

Just before Christmas, Michael was singing Christmas songs all day long, but he'd change the lyrics and he'd make the crew sing along, too. It was just goofy. You don't think of him as being that kind of a dorky guy.

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



When asked about the remake of Psycho, directed by Gus Van Sant, he softens. "I laughed every day making that movie. There is that scene in a hardware store with Bill Macy - he's just hilarious. He seems like someone who always has an absurd take on what's going on."

The Brain Dane
by Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003



'It's the best group of people I've ever worked with. The fact that the story celebrates team spirit galvanized us. It wasn't guaranteed though; we could have very quickly got frustrated with each other! But it must be said that the casting is inspired. Take Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf. He is very prepared, he knows what he has to do. And he has a good sense of humour and truly enjoys life. I don't know if it's a sign, but Ian came to see one of my plays, long ago, when I was unknown ... The team spirit was also heightened by shooting in New Zealand. This country has an island mentality: you have to work together.'

Viggo talking about Ian Mckellen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



Omar Sharif is known for his love of gambling, so did you ever go out gambling together at all?

No, but he's also known for his love of horses, so I guess every time he makes money, he either gambles it away, or buys race horses that don't usually win anything [laughs].

But one of the great things about this experience was working with him, and I think his casting was very important to the movie. It was already a good story, but him playing this part, I mean he's very right for it. The man he plays speaks several languages, he has some curiosity about the West, Omar has one foot in the east and one foot in the west, he lives in France, he's an Egyptian Muslim, and he's a perfect piece of casting.

Also, in terms of cinema history; obviously because of his connection to Lawrence of Arabia. You know, it just lifted the movie to another level, so, personally, it was a lot of fun to be able to sit close to him, not only working, but kind of pestering him with questions about David Lean, Peter O'Toole, and what it was like for an Egyptian actor to have that experience.

Hidalgo - Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Jack Foley
Indie London
April 2004



'Working with William Hurt was particularly enjoyable. He's also really smart.'

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



I just worked with Jeremy Irons on this western called Apaloosa and I hadn't met him before. So I was talking to him about the movies he did. He really loves David [Cronenberg] and really admires him.

And Jeremy Irons, still one of the greatest actors to this day...

And it's no accident. I think, when he won... what did he win an Oscar for?

Reversal of Fortune , I think...

Yeah. When he got his award, he, you know, David Cronenberg didn't direct that movie but he went up and thanked David Cronenberg because of what he did for him in Dead Ringers, and what that meant to him and that probably put him in a place to get that other job. It's unusual, [Laughing] to win a prize and thank another director.

Inerview: Viggo Mortensen
JoBlo.com
14 December 2007



Mortensen spoke with clear reverence for the opportunity to work with Duvall, as well as real joy for living and free-wheeling in the moment as a pair of actors working through a key scene.

"What was interesting about that was it was going fine as scripted and Duvall was such a great actor that it was really good. But there was time for one more before we lost the light. We looked at John [Hillcoat] and he says, 'Yeah, we can do one more.'

We were just sort of sitting talking as they were setting up the camera and getting the fire ready for another take. We talked about, 'Well let's forget everything, let's just do one for ourselves. Let's just let things happen.' There was nothing calculated. It was just like, 'Let's just open our hearts,' I guess, without saying it that way as much as we can and see where it goes.

Suddenly he said -- it was not scripted and added that other layer -- he just threw me that line: 'I had a boy once.' And I suddenly realized, 'Wow, okay.' And I just went with him, you know? And what happened to him. All of a sudden it was just magic. It was beautiful to watch him."

Viggo Mortensen on working with Robert Duvall in 'The Road'
By Kristopher Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009



You've worked with everyone from Al Pacino and Michael Douglas to Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington and even Demi Moore and Sandra Bullock. Who have you most enjoyed working with over the years?

VM: That's so hard because everybody's so different. What I appreciate in athletes is no different than what I like about fellow actors; I like people who go about their business and when success comes to them, they're grateful and they don't treat it like a given or like it will just be there forever. A lot of people can get lucky and have one great season or one great role, but it's what you do with it that matters.

The Last Word: Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009

Quotable Viggo: 3 July 2011

We know we girls love Viggo, but what about the guys? Well, they love being around him too. But, as Agustín Díaz Yanes says, when you have a friend like Viggo 'the bar is set very high'. Are they daunted? Nope. Are they the least bit jealous. Not at all. Well... OK... maybe just a little bit...



© New Line Productions Inc.


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

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



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's already cornered the market on animal magnetism.'

Liev Schreiber, A Walk on the Moon
The Knoxville News Sentinel
6 April 1999



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

Radio interview with Richard Glover
ABC Sydney
24 March 2009



"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

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



"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all. He's a massive work-horse, like a massive multiplex. You can go through one door and he's a photographer, then you go through the next door and he's a singer. Then you go and look at his poetry and his art and there's his films! I'm not jealous at all [laughs]. And he's just a great guy and my friend."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003



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 is also a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

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



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

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



'He writes poetry, he makes photos...it's extraordinary...he is handsome, he acts well...then we say ourselves it's not possible, people like this do not exist. I did not manage to find it out but there has to be a defect somewhere. One cannot be that perfect ! (laughs)"

Omar Sharif
"Hidalgo" : en téte à téte avec Omar Sharif...
by Peggy Zejgman
allocine.com, 24 March 2004
Trans. by Casablanca



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 is one of the most seriously committed actors I have ever met. He's got so much passion that it is almost extreme. It can be a little daunting at times."

Sean Astin
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004



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

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

Quotable Viggo: 25 June 2011

For a man with such distinctive features, I'm sure many watching the new A Dangerous Method trailer must be wondering how on earth he has managed to vanish, seemingly replaced by someone resembling Sigmund Freud. There is appropriate make-up, contact lenses, a different hairstyle, yes, but there really is much more to it than that. Somehow Viggo's face 'fits' almost everything he does, however unlikely it would seem given the fact that his striking Viking good looks hardly fade into the background. Russian mobster? No problem. Spanish swordsman? Easy. American everyman? Yup. Middle-earth King? Definitely. However he does it, it's clear it astonishes people. Susan Thea Posnock of Awards Daily said he was 'more like a magician than actor'. Perhaps it really is magic.



© New Line/Warner Brothers/Hanway/2929/Dimension Films/
Good Films/Focus Features/Estudios Picasso/OrigenProducciones


Viggo Mortensen has one of the most incredible faces in the world, striking and amazingly versatile. His rough-hewn, chiseled visage allows him to inhabit any character he wants to, regardless of background or ethnicity, and we buy into it unconditionally.

Through physical appearance alone, Mortensen can be both "Lord of the Rings'" rugged warrior and noble king and "Hidalgo's" half-Lakota cowboy. He was even entirely convincing as an everyman with a shady past in "A History of Violence."

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007



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

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



"There is a strange wizened quality to my face in The Road 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."

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



Mr. Mortensen gives him a gaunt grandeur--it doesn't hurt that the actor's face can evoke paintings of Christ without a muscle being moved....

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
26 November 2009



With his chiseled, windburned, mustachioed face, Mortensen is a dead ringer for men you'd see in an actual frontier photo.

Jim Vejvoda - Appaloosa
IGN
18 September 2008



"I listened to music, looked at paintings, trying to find my face in those pictures...."

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



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



With his... 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 talking about Eastern Promises
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007



At the beginning, Pérez-Reverte didn't imagine his Alatriste embodied by Viggo Mortensen. "No, I didn't, but once I've talked to him, I'll never be able to see Alatriste with another face than that of Mortensen.

Diario de Cadiz, October 2004
translated by Vicky



'There were probably a couple of other actors who I thought of, but he was in the top one or two. ...He's got the sort of quintessential type of American look to him.'

Josh Olson on History of Violence
Interview with Jock Olson, by Rebecca Murray
About.com. August 2005



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

Rick Groen on A History of Violence
The Globe and Mail
23 September 2005



As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did.

TTT
Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
December 20-26 2002



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)

Quotable Viggo: 19 June 2011

Books, books, books. Viggo's personal and professional life is just full of them. He writes prose and poetry, runs a publishing company, and has appeared in 5 book adaptions. He was praised for his 'bookish' portrayal of Halder in Good by several critics, amongst suggestions that he was playing against type, but Viggo is bookish. The range of material he reads for each role is quite astonishing, sometimes even proving crucial for a production. His research is a school he will never stop attending. Not content to just read books he also has the urge to create them, not just for himself but for others who would never otherwise be published. If we ever needed a fitting symbol for the shield of this modern Sir Perceval, it would be an open book.



Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.


'Viggo himself is a man possessed of both great creative integrity and strong, lucid political conviction. That he has used the fruits of his success as an actor to found Perceval is an extremely rare sort of endeavor but absolutely true to the man himself. There's a paradoxical quality to Viggo - he's a fiercely individual entity with an enviable creative output, but he simultaneously possesses a strong sense of community responsibility. I think Perceval is just one manifestation of that drive to illuminate work by others that might go unnoticed. It's a very, very positive quality, in my opinion.'

David Newsom, Author of "Skip'
ReadySteadyBook.com
Mark Thwaite, March 10 2006




"We take care with each book," he says, slouched against a doorway and looking down. "We try to keep the prices low. We're not operating with a goal in mind. We're not beholden to other people or to large companies. We don't have a plan. We just put out the books we want to. It's a kind of," he pauses searching for the word, "thoughtful anarchy."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
Little Press Shines With Star Power
Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times, 2004




He's a very cerebral man. He turned up with these beautiful old antique books from the time, like Baudelaire, and things that his character would have had. He had a bag of goodies that he brought with him and a hat, a tie and a shoulder holster. I thought, 'this guy is f**king cool.' I was quite intimidated.

Sam Riley talking about The Road
Sullivan on Cinema: Sam Riley
By Chris Sullivan
Redbull.com
9 June 2011




After the movie [The Road], Viggo came back up on the stage and answered a few questions. When put on the spot to add on a final word he thought for a second then dug into his bag and brought out his personal copy of THE ROAD. There were what looked like a hundred stick-it notes marking different pages and the spine was cracked and worn. It's obviously seen a lot of use.

To close the event he read a bit from McCarthy's description of the sea-area landscape. That was pretty cool...

Quint at the Telluride Viggo Mortensen tribute
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008




"...the book was my constant companion. It's pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to."

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009




"I read and re-read lots of German authors that someone would have read at the time. Not just German writers, but authors who a literary professor like John Halder might have taught at the time: Proust, Hamsun, American writers. In the movie, you see him in the classroom teaching Proust. I also spent time in Berlin, where I found all the books that you see in John Halder's house and office."

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




"Viggo sent me books on Russian criminal tattoos which were filled with not just photos and diagrams but also texts about the meanings of tattoos. He also sent me The Mark of Cain. There's this whole hidden world of symbolism that is immediately fascinating......Tattoos suddenly became an intense metaphor and symbol in the movie."

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




"I had seen photos in books in Russia on wrestling, such as the practices of the military. I learned those techniques for defence and attack. My partners knew them too: One was a Georgian who was in the army, the other a former Turkish boxer. In this way we could film the scene without doubles. It's because of that it is made so realistic. Nobody ever let their guard down!"

Viggo Mortensen on the fight scene in Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007




"You have to take into account,' he says, 'that Viggo is a cultured man and he finds out about the places he is going to shoot. In the case of León I know he has read a large number of books about that ancient realm, he knows its poets, writers, painters, its history and geography, and anything that refers to that land is followed with attention and kept.'

José Luis Pérez on Viggo's interest in León
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




He was the one who read the most about the Golden Century's history. He sent books and CDs for all his casting colleagues to savour that time - "not to seduce or control what the others did, but to share what I had found out," Mortensen informs.

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




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!

Philippa Boyens
The Making of the Movie Trilogy




He hadn't read 'Lord of the Rings' at all when he came to the project. By the end of it all I think Viggo knew more about Tolkien and his context than anybody else on the whole production. He read absolutely everything there was - every critical book there was to lay hands on. He doesn't do things by halves!

Jude Fisher
Q&A at The Making of Middle-earth Book Signing
The Science Museum, London
November 8, 2003
Published with permission from Ian Smith




'... it was I who suggested to Ridley Scott the use of a poem by D.H. Lawrence for the introduction scene in "GI Jane'. This reference gave my military character another dimension. It made him a lot more original, it was also my way of making him less misogynist! And 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




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...

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 22, 1997




A movie star who backpacks in remote, unlovely places. A beautiful man who will sleep in the dirt on a mountain in New Zealand. A rich guy who uses his money to publish books that will never sell because they are lovely.
If you could design the perfect man, Mortensen might just be close to it.

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




There can be millions of identical copies of any book, and yet the copy you hold and read is your personal doorway.

Viggo Mortensen
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

Quotable Viggo: 5 June 2011

A lucky costumier purchased Viggo's Hidalgo costume this week, and it reminded me that the clothes Viggo wears in his films almost evolve a personality of their own. The right costume is one of the most crucial elements in helping an actor fully become a character. They have to become part of that character and also a confortable part of the actor. They have to transcend being 'costumes' and become everyday clothes. With Viggo, there is a long process of wearing them in and, more often than not, putting his own stamp on them. Something will be added, some little detail springing from the insights into a character that only an actor fully engaged in the transformation process would have.



© 20th Century Fox Espana/New Line/Touchstone/Buena Vista Pictures/Focus Features


'You can show up the first day and say "Hi, everybody, where's my clothes?" and put your clothes on and just start. It's certainly possible. But I find that if there's time to break them in and make them comfortable, make them second nature... You know, if you see a cowboy in a movie and he puts his feet up and the soles of his boots look brand-new, it's possible that he's just gotten them re-soled. But still, it's a detail, visually, that you would notice. Likewise, you would notice that they're broken in. But more than anything, it's just to get comfortable and get a jump on the character.'

Viggo Mortensen
By Tasha Robinson
The Onion
10 March 2004



...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



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.

Viggo Mortensen
Appaloosa - 5 Questions For Viggo Mortensen
By Antonella Catena - translated by Ewa
Max
16 January 2009



"As Nikolai - Viggo Mortensen needed to be intimidating, yet there was a limitation because technically he is a chauffeur for the family. So the trick was to dress him in a suit and tie - dress shirt, coat and gloves - and smart sunglasses, all of which had convey that there is more to him. He would just absorb the character when he put the clothes on - even the shoes helped him get into it."

Denise Cronenberg, Costume Designer
Eastern Promises Production Notes
Focus Features
20 August 2007



"...she came up with the clothes and we just sort of fine tuned and picked particular kinds of shoes and suits. And it was - the outward - you know, the presentation outwardly of a character is obviously very important, especially because so much is concealed within. And the hair, the squareness and the certain rigidity and streamline look to the hair, the clothes, sunglasses, the watch, the - you know, all went with the posture and the behavior. It was all of a piece, but it was done in complete collaboration which I really enjoy."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Talks Eastern Promises
By Andre Rivas
Ropeofsilicon.com
December 24, 2007



MP: Did putting on that [Nazi] uniform have any effect on you? Was it more than just a costume?

MORTENSEN: It ended up being, yeah; in a way that I didn't expect. It just kind of snuck up on me because I'd been trying on all the other ones when we had the fitting, and then I put it on and I said, "Oh the boots are - I guess they fit. They're all right." Then the pants. It's, like, "I don't know. Is this the way they're supposed to fit?" "Yeah. It looks right." "What about the jacket? It feels strange around the shoulders." "No, it looks good. Can you lift your arms? Yeah. It's fine." "Really? "Cause it feels funny. The hat feels like it's too small." "No it's not."

And I'm not like a fussy person; really, I want it to work. To all eyes it was perfect as it should be, but there was something about each piece of clothing I put on that seemed - it didn't fit right or something...I've learned over the years that when there's something that's not working, whether it's a scene in general or text, sometimes, you do have to rewrite something or change the way of doing a scene, but it's always worth trying at least once to befriend it instead of fighting what doesn't work. So I thought, "OK, what can be good about this?

Well, maybe it's OK to feel uncomfortable wearing this uniform. Just trust that.

Viggo talking about Good
Viggo Mortensen - For The Good Of The People
By Elliot V Kotek
Moving Pictures, Winter 08-09



The thing is that Viggo looks very uncomfortable in it, which means Halder looks very uncomfortable in it, and isn't that kind of the point?

Good - The Costume Review
By Kristin M Burke
Frocktalk
5 January 2009



How did you approach your characters and which aspects did you identify with?

I had lots of things in mind, but there are some that you can't be aware of, things that come to you or that you have inside and it's a question of finding them. Among the superficial things, the writings, the paintings, the geographical locations, the language as it is spoken in certain parts of Spain. And the practice of moving in those boots with heels, that hat, that cape, the weapons (the sword hanging from the belt), spinning around, walking, running, jumping. That is to say, a bunch of things to find a way to seem like a natural person who's comfortable with those things, and that way of speaking, of walking and all of that.

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



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



'On the reservation, I rode with some Lakota people, and there was this amazing stallion that was the father of most of the horses we were riding that day. He was quite old and he had a heart attack; he just fell down and died. And they had a ceremony. They cried and sang and made a prayer and made tobacco offerings, and eventually, they got the horse home and buried it on this hill. Then we sat out that night and made a fire. It was summer, so we were outside, and they just told stories - as though it was a human that had died in the family - about this horse. Odd things that had happened to him, funny things, sort of like a wake, where they could unburden themselves. It was really beautiful. I was given a hank of hair from his tail, and I used that to make the hatbands for my hats in Hidalgo ....one braid for each hat. You know, I had double hats, in case one got messed up. And usually people don't think about this, but you're in different terrain, and the dust is different colors, so I had different hats for different periods, as the hat got more worn out through the story. So I had to make more than one braid, because we jumped back and forth throughout the sequences. They made these really nice hats, and I broke them each in and made a headband for each one. That makes you feel more involved. Until you start shooting, and you get your feet wet, it's just a way to get into it, and to connect with a role. And it's something that a guy like that might have made.'

Viggo Mortensen talking about Hidalgo
By Tasha Robinson
The Onion
10 March 2004



Viggo paced up and down and said, "Do you think we could just put a few more ties on these boots?" And in that moment - I had known the first time he put that costume on that it was ten times better on him and that was actually to do with the amount of - just Viggo's experience and age and life. He imbued that costume with its own life. The terrifying thing for me was that I might have an actor who simply wanted to get rid of it, but he did not do that.

He just wanted to add to it. I was in love with Viggo from the beginning. (laughs)

Ngila Dickson on Viggo trying on the Aragorn costume
Lord of the Rings
DVDFILE.com Interview



You got so close to Aragorn's character that even when you were not filming, you wore parts of your costume...

That's how I work. I always wear an accessory of my character during filming. On Hidalgo, for instance, I never took off my character's boots. On Lord of the Rings, it was even more important, because having arrived after they had started filming, I needed to become Aragorn immediately, to wear the costume as naturally as my own face. So it's true, I wore some of his clothes all of the time, and also I often carried my sword around between takes. But Peter Jackson encouraged us all to immerse ourselves in the film to make this epic as real as possible.

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



Who knows, perhaps it was because [Viggo] washed and repaired Aragorn's clothes himself that he so perfectly came to inhabit them-to a point, indeed, where the costume seemed almost to blend with his body. [pause] You know, I really do think that particular costume is incredibly beautiful. It seems funny, perhaps, to talk about something that is so worn and broken down, so darned and patched, as being beautiful-but it is to me.

Ngila Dickson
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

Quotable Viggo: 29 May 2011

Reading Ana Piterbarg's comments about Viggo's latest film, Todos Tenemos Un Plan, they sounded very familiar. It's hard not to be struck by how often Viggo's involvement and enthusiasm has been the key to getting a project off the ground or overcoming a hurdle that's stalled it. Whether it's lending his support to projects which he believes in, like Alatriste, Todos Tenemos Un Plan or Good (though for Good, top accolade goes to Jason Isaacs dogged determination to help Miriam Segal), or whether it involves jumping in at the last minute to help a friend, as in A Dangerous Method, or talking a plunge into the unknown, like LotR, it's obvious there are a lot of Directors out there who must be wondering where their film would be without Viggo.



© Haddock Films.


"With the entry of Viggo, what wasn't viable became possible..."

Vanessa Ragone, Producer, Todos Tenemos Un Plan
Local filmmakers use Hollywood stars as lure
By Charles Newbery
Variety
15 May 2011



"Making a first film is very difficult. Fortunately, and also unfortunately, I had thought up a very complicated story, and because of that it took me a lot of time to persuade the producers. I had the good fortune of finding Viggo; I'd been thinking of him for a long time. You could say, 'Dreams are only dreams,' but the truth is, no. I met him one day, very much by chance, and I said I had a script for him to read, because I was interested in making the film with him. And one day, he told me yes. From that point on, all my problems, which had been infinite, became finite. That's how this dream went on, because if I'd convinced Viggo, everything after that seems easier."

Ana Piterbarg, Producer, Todos Tenemos Un Plan
by Ezequiel Obregon
Escribiendo Cine
Translation by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
23 May 2011




Without him, the $3.5 million film hadn't been able to raise financing in Argentina alone for what promises to be a demanding nine-week shoot, steep in special effects and action scenes, including shootouts and two boat explosions in Tigre (a delta region outside Buenos Aires navigated only by boat).

Local filmmakers use Hollywood stars as lure
By Charles Newbery
Variety
15 May 2011




I phoned Viggo. I said, "I know that you weren't interested in playing Freud but it's come up for grabs again and I would be remiss if I didn't ask you if you wanted to do it." He said, "Let me look at the script," and in two days he was doing it.

David Cronenberg on Viggo taking over the role from Christoph Waltz
August 2010




Stephan Dupuis, a David Cronenberg collaborator since 1977 and head of the make-up department on this film, has had a fight on his hands to make Viggo Mortensen more credible for his role as Freud: "I had to fit him with a prosthetic nose and give him brown contact lenses. Viggo has such intense blue eyes that it wasn't working at all!" The actor has saved the film, so to speak.

Of Couches And Men
By Catherine Poirier - translated by Celine
Le Nouvel Observateur - TéléObs supplement
13 November 2010




Isaacs supported Segal throughout the project's many ups and downs, and even signed on to be one of the film's executive producers.

But, it was Viggo Mortensen's attachment to Good that finally gave the project some momentum. Oscar-nominated for his brilliant portrayal of a Russian mobster in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, Mortensen also drew raves for his starring role a year earlier in A History of Violence. Suddenly at the top of his game, Mortensen sparked to the role of John Halder, even though this bookish, cerebral intellectual couldn't have been further from the laconic men-of-action he has so recently been playing.

Good: Production Notes
Good Films/THINKfilm
November 2008




It took Segal several years to get Good to hit the screen. At one point, says Isaacs, the film was ready to start production in Germany with a different actor as Halder and a different director. "There was just some tiny rubber-stamp thing that needed to happen at the bank," he says. "A lot of people hadn't been paid in such a long time. Miriam has sacrificed her rather booming production company, apartment and car to finally get this thing up."

Isaacs wrote a check to help keep things going, but the production still collapsed, "leaving huge debts everywhere, including me. But she was determined."

A Matter Of "Good" And Evil
By Susan King
30 December 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times




... And that's where we can see the silver lining also because even though collecting the money again wasn't easy, it was due to this delay that they could win Viggo Mortensen for the role of the main character.

But even this didn't make signing Viggo Mortensen up for the movie any easier because in those days he had said in every forum that he didn't intend to make another movie for at least a year. Finally Mr. Isaacs sent him the screenplay through a friend (which, according to the unwritten rules every actor keeps to, is forbidden, Mr. Isaacs said), and when Mr. Mortensen realized which play it was about he said yes right away. According to both the producer and Mr. Isaacs, Mr. Mortensen was the only actor they could picture in the role; what's more, they could only obtain money for the shooting if they provided a name that would draw in the crowds. Miriam Segal considered Viggo Mortensen one the few actors today who's not only a movie star but a very talented actor.

Good
Santa Brought Us Viggo Mortensen
By Lavicska Zsuzsanna - translated by Zee
Film Klub
7 December 2008




'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 talking about Alatriste
Mano a Mano
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy




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
Citizen K Espana
July 2006




"I bow down to Viggo. He came in and saved the day. A lot of things would happen on this film where a certain amount of trouble would arise, and then something would come along where it would not only solve it, but would seem like fate, like it was meant to be. And Viggo was one of those cases. Someone just mentioned his name, they called him, he came and it was perfect. He was meant to play Aragorn, he is Aragorn."

Elijah Wood on Viggo joining LotR
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
By Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
14 December 2001




"At the very end of the call, I thought it had gone very badly, that he wasn't going to do the role," Mr. Jackson continued. "I was thinking, `What are we going to do now?' as I was waiting for the call to end, and then there was another long silence and Viggo said, `I guess I'll see you on Tuesday.' "

Peter Jackson on offering him the part of Aragorn
The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
By Sarah Lyall
New York Times, 2003




"I guess in the end I did it because I would feel that I had been chicken shit really. I had to leave the next day, so I'm on the plane reading, looking at this gigantic book and thinking, 'What the hell have I done?"

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White Magazine 2001




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

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

Quotable Viggo: 21 May 2011

Last week I took a retrospective look at Good, a film which was seen by far fewer audiences than it should have been. This week I'm taking a look at Appaloosa, a film which gathered accolades from critics but which also underachieved at the Box Office. Fairly dismal promotions and a limited release meant that many people missed what could (and should) have been one of the most iconic pairings in the history of the Western. Harris knew exactly what he was doing when he cast Viggo as Hitch. Mortensen and Harris are a dream team, panning more gold out of every pause and glance than the Californian Gold Rush. Both, as Richard Corliss commented for Time '...as weathered and craggily handsome as any butte in Monument Valley.'



©New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.


It has the rangy Mortensen, who looks so right he seems to have stepped out of a Daguerreotype. And it has the flinty Harris -- who, like true flint, has the remarkable ability to stand still in this moving world, and allow the most remarkable sparks to be struck from him.

Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
18 September 2008



Have there ever been so many chiseled features on one big screen? You could sharpen knives with their stony cheekbones.

New York Magazine
By Logan Hill
24 August 2008



Are there two more stronger, silenter types in modern movies than Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen? Each of these actors are a throw back to the days when cowboy stars were manly men who mean what they say and only say what they mean and nothing else.

Richard Crouse
CTV.ca
6 September 2008



The bond that ties him to Mr. Harris is also what wrenches them apart; one tries to hide his lack of education, the other tries to conceal his I.Q, and both men act rugged in their denial of their covert affection.

Rex Reed
The New York Observer
17 September 2008



It goes without saying that Mortensen and Harris are tremendous as both shoot-first lawmen and vulnerable souls, both actors gifting the screen dense performances built on exhilarating restraint.

Brian Orndorf
Filmjerk
2 October 2008



Harris and Mortensen, who co-starred in 2005's A History of Violence, do some of the tangiest acting of their respective careers...

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
18 September 2008



The two men collaborate so well, in fact, that the real love match of "Appaloosa" is between the two of them and no one else.

Kenneth Turan,
LA Times
19 September 2008



And if you want to know what the film's "about," above and beyond the story (which is a deliberate but well-constructed yarn in its own right), it's "about" the relationships that certain men build, where they form a partnership that supercedes everything else, a code that exists that is more binding than law. It's about the way that code changes everything else they do. And when you're making a movie about that, and it stars Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, and Harris is directing which means that there's all the room in the world for these two to just act the shit out of every unspoken silence, every action beat unfolding as a duet between these two serious badasses. This film is all about the soul behind the gunslinger, and it's verrrrry subtle stuff.

Moriarty
Ain't it Cool news
5 October 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



Like Harris, Mortensen is a great listener, and good listeners--in life and in movies--barely move. That quality is just right for the role of Hitch, whose life hangs on Cole's next word and slightest gesture.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008



Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, two of my favorite actors today, had the on-screen chemistry that every filmmaker dreams of. Rugged, badass and tough lawman who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film.....They were brilliant. There just isn't much more I can say to communicate how well they were in Appaloosa.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008



Harris and (especially) Mortensen are the magic that makes this movie work so well, film fans can only hope, based on their chemistry here and in "A History of Violence," they are given many more opportunities to work together. They're right up there with DeNiro and Pesci as one of the screen's best team.

Edward Havens
Filmjerk
23 September 2008

Quotable Viggo: 15 April 2011

This week's Quotable is Good. It's a while now since the release of this challenging film, which sharply divided critics between those who recognised its merits, the outstanding performances and the difficult subject it tackled, and those (rightly or wrongly) who found it didn't meet their expectations. Viggo, as usual, prepared immaculately for the role. Here are some thoughts from him and from Jason Isaacs about the film, creating the character of Halder and the reasons why the movie - like the play - doesn't (and shouldn't) follow the expected course.



Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films


"The thing about whoever played Halder is he had to have a sense of integrity and goodness. That's something I've always thought of (Mortensen) and something I'd been told by people who knew him -- that he was a really lovely guy."

Jason Isaacs
Feb 2009



'I call it an ethical thriller. It does it in a great storytelling fashion, so you're not quite sure what these people are going to do next. What they don't do, any of them, are any of the things I expect them to do. It's Viggo Mortensen, it's Aragorn for God's sake [laughs], surely he should be joining the partisans and hiding people in his attic and getting a machine gun. Maurice should be grateful and slide off somewhere and cower in the corner. None of the characters do what you expect them to.'

Jason Isaacs
Capone sits with Jason Isaacs
by Harry Knowles
Ain't it Cool News
30 December 2008



'...maybe there's an element of them having seen me in another movie and going, 'Oh, he's going to do something at some point'. And, it's not. He just keeps going down, down, down.'

Viggo Mortensen talking about reactions to 'Good'
Capone has a GOOD chat with Viggo Mortensen about politics, THE ROAD, APPALOOSA, and THE HOBBIT!!!
Ain't it Cool News
3 December 2008



"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



'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



"I read and re-read lots of German authors that someone would have read at the time. Not just German writers, but authors who a literary professor like John Halder might have taught at the time: Proust, Hamsun, American writers. In the movie, you see him in the classroom teaching Proust. I also spent time in Berlin, where I found all the books that you see in John Halder's house and office."

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



"I wanted to go to Auschwitz, which I did, and I was looking around. I'd found a map that showed all the places where the camps were. I went to every single one. I drove like a maniac, day after day, and sometimes it was difficult to find them. People don't want to talk about it so much, and in most cases, there's just a plaque."

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



"Halder, good father, caring husband, son nursing his mother, friend to the Jewish Maurice, chokes his former human contacts to death without seemingly knowing about what he is doing. The audience might be able to identify with him up to a point, but when they see him in his SS uniform on Crystal Night, they reject him immediately: this is not me, this cannot happen to me! This is what Halder does, too, by the way. 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
Kulturpart
17 December 2008



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



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



"...when we were shooting that scene at the end, the strangest thing was the quiet. We hear this music playing as I approach with the camera following me, and it [gets] louder and louder, but there wasn't much else. So people say, "It doesn't seem like concentration camp." No, it doesn't seem like a concentration camp in movies. But it's a place, and there are people there, and it's just another day. Unfortunately. I'm not saying I wasn't disturbed by it. It was even more disturbing. I brought things and covered them in dirt and placed them around... But it was more disturbing than fires and rain and screaming."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs Address Good and Wax Philosophical about the Nazis
by Brad Balfour
Huffinton Post
13 January 2009



"This is different in that it doesn't have a big moment at the end. You're not let off the hook as an audience, with a catharsis. You can't say, "Oh, what a horrible villainous person who deserved to die," or "How great, he went down in a hail of bullets but he did save four-and-a-half people. This film is different. It's not over when it's over, which is the mark of a good story."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs Address Good and Wax Philosophical about the Nazis
by Brad Balfour
Huffinton Post
13 January 2009



"I guess the main thing I felt, making the movie, just like I did in watching the play 25 years earlier, was that it's worthwhile paying attention. You don't need to be some kind of bookworm or political activist; little and big decisions that individuals make in society on a daily basis are what any country is."

Viggo Mortensen's history lessons
Michael Ordoña
LA Times
31 October 2008

Quotable Viggo: 8 May 2011

This week the President of Fox International took up the distribution rights for Todos Tenemos Un Plan, saying that he would 'watch Viggo Mortensen in any language'. Panitch is not alone. Over the last few years Viggo has emerged as an actor who you can't take your eyes off, giving mesmerising performances where attention to his smallest expressions and gestures rewards the viewer richly.



© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.


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

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



It's hard not to be drawn in by the sunken, haunted weariness of Mortensen's face, especially when he's doing some of the best quiet, understated work of a long career built on quiet, understated work.

Locke Peterseim
Redblog
Redbox.com
26 May 2010



...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008



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

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008



...Eastern Promises" instantly takes its place among David Cronenberg's very best films. Same could be said for Viggo Mortensen, whose tightly coiled star turn recalls the magnetic work of Hollywood's greats of yore.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
8 Sept 2007



Viggo Mortensen dares you to take your eyes off of him.

Eastern Promises review
Jan Stuart
Newsday
14 Sept 2007



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

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



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

Appaloosa review
Ty Burr
Boston Globe: Take 2
October 2008



Mortensen plays the character so strongly the movie stops being about anything or anyone else. The more we get to know him, the denser his mystery gets...
Mortensen is the reason to watch this movie...

Eastern Promises review
Jeffrey Chen
Realmovienews.com
15 Sept 2007



...he's the sort of actor who can make a scene more interesting with something as simple as a shift of his weight.

Nicolas Rapold
New York Sun
19 September 2008



There's a new Viggo Mortensen movie out and all is right with the world. It's called Good and, as usual, he gives a mesmerising performance.

Jeffrey Lyons
Reel Talk
December 2008



In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Eastern Promises review
Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007



'Viggo has credibility as a human being, which seems to be rare these days. I wanted a guy who you can't take your eyes off, but who also has that character-actor thing, which means he can be real.'

David Cronenberg
Viggo Mortensen - Tom Stall, A History of Violence
By Tom Roston
Premiere
February 2006



No matter what, Mortensen's performance is transfixing, with every contradiction and internal struggle crawling slowly, subtly across his face and furrowed brow. He brings a vulnerability and a danger to the character of Tom Stall that play beautifully against one another.

Tom Long
Detroit News
24 September 2005



...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"

Diario de Cadiz, October 2004
translated by Vicky



Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

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

Quotable Viggo: 30 April 2011

If watching the Royal Wedding and being impressed by sight of a whole battalion of horses clip-clopping up the Mall behind the carriage, patiently ignoring the roaring crowd, the waving flags and an overwhelming atmosphere of excitement has left you with an overwhelming desire to watch Hidalgo again (OK... maybe that was just me ;-) ), then this is the Quotable for you. Let's hear it for the horses that can tackle anything, and those that ride them...



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.


Viggo Mortensen was being difficult.

He was on the Morocco set of Hidalgo, his western adventure that opens today, and he felt it necessary to remind director Joe Johnston and the rest of the crew who the star of the movie is.

It's the kind of primadonna move you might expect of a guy who has come off The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, one of the most profitable movie franchises in history..... Except that the usually self-effacing Mortensen wasn't demanding more attention for himself. He was speaking up for his horse T.J., the cream-and-sorrel nag who plays the title mustang of Hidalgo.

"People kept saying, 'Frank this and Frank that.' And I'd say, `Well, last time I checked, the movie is not called Frank Hopkins. So let's keep in mind that the horse needs to be (front and centre)."

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004



"You know, every actor you work with, you ask them, 'So, how do you ride?' And they always say, 'I ride excellently.' Viggo says to me, 'I ride O.K.' He gets on the horse, and he rides better than me. That's what I mean when I say the guy has no ego problems. He does not exist on the Hollywood plane - do you know what I mean?"

Rex Peterson
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004



Not only did Peterson serve as trainer, but also adviser to Mortensen on cowboy attitudes - to the point that a joke on the set called Viggo "Rex, Jr".

Hidalgo - Production Notes
Touchstone Pictures
2004



By the time the cameras rolled, head animal trainer Rex Peterson had selected five paint horses to play the role of the plucky mustang Hidalgo. TJ, RJ, Oscar, Doc and DC each had their special talents and enough of a resemblance that makeup and hair specialists could create one seamless character....TJ demonstrated the greatest bond with his co-star Viggo Mortensen... RJ proved to be the most agile trick horse; Oscar the best ride for actors; Doc took the lead as the main chase horse; and DC was the ultimate endurance racer.

Hidalgo - Animal Action
American Humane Association
March 2004



A skilled horseman, Mortensen did all his own stunts in the film, including a breakneck bareback ride that even the stuntman couldn't handle.

"The more you ride, the better off you are," he says. "In preparation for this movie, when one wasn't available I would ride a different horse on purpose. I even rode some of the Arabian horses. It's like driving lots of different cars and bicycles. You'll just be more comfortable and flexible and able to react and deal with things."

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




"I pretty much got to do [all the riding]," Mortensen says. "That's because I worked hard with the trainer, with Rex Peterson and with the stunt guy Mike Watson and with all the horses and because I rode as a kid, so I was comfortable, so they felt it was a worthwhile risk. I'm sure the producers sometimes were sweating it but sometimes you do take some chances in order to get something that you can't really buy otherwise, digitally or otherwise, especially with a movie like this which isn't a special-effects driven movie, you can follow me in one shot without cutting. You can be close on me and see what I'm doing. "

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



Mortensen was fascinated with the David-versus-Goliath nature of the story. "The odds are stacked against Frank," he continues. "Compared to the Arabian horses, the mustang Hidalgo looks like a little dog. A pony, next to their steeds. But though the race is his redemption, it's not winning the race that's important - it's that Frank is there at all.

Hidalgo - Production Notes
Touchstone Pictures
2004



'They're sort of unruly these horses and they're already a pretty high-strung breed and we're all packed together knee and once the horses realize what we're up to, they're all wanting to go and they're all wanting to kill each other. I'm on this little horse, which is effective visually because he's strong, but even though he's little he's got all this personality. He's a stallion who thinks he's pretty tough so he's wanting to pick fights. It was really the most worrisome moment in a way of the whole movie, was that, not this full-tilt stuff that was kinda scary at times.'

Viggo Mortensen on the start of the race
Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04



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



'You're not going to be able to lie to that horse. You need to ask nicely. '

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



'He was way ahead of his time in the way he trained horses. There's a lot made of natural horsemanship these days, but Hopkins was writing about this 70 years ago. Horse people still talk about what he wrote as being ahead of its time. I mean it's indisputable that he rode and trained and raced.'

Viggo Mortensen talking about the Frank Hopkins controversy
A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004



"I was in the middle of a herd of six or seven hundred horses. I was really aware of the fact that very few people would ever get to be in such a place. Nobody in the world gets to be in the middle of that many horses, running as fast as you can." And where does that thought lead you to, I ask. He pauses. "Just, 'Don't forget this'."

Viggo on filming in Montana
The New Hollywood Male
by Charles Gant
Arena Hommes Plus #18, 2001



It takes a thoroughbred star like Mortensen to make the bond between man and horses believable, and to keep Hidalgo from straying too far into fields of corn.

From hobbits to horses
Jennie Punter
The Globe and Mail
5 March 2004



'Viggo was just the best rider ever. The filming was as tough as the Ocean of Fire and I couldn't have wished for a better partner to make the journey with, even though he was obsessed with the way his chocolate kept melting and wouldn't stop fondling my ears. And kept asking the horse makeup guys to paint my hair red and blue. And the singing. Apart from that he was terrific.'

TJ aka 'Hidalgo' talking about Viggo
The Horse is OK
By Snowmane
Horse and Hooves Magazine
March 2004

Ok.... so I made that last one up :-). If only horses could talk, eh?.

Quotable Viggo: 17 April 2011

It won't be long before Viggo is filming again, this time in Argentina for Todos Tenemos Un Plan. He will be speaking his beloved Spanish, a language adopted in childhood, in which he has always written poems, sung songs, and to which he has increasingly returned with Spanish speaking films like Gimlet, La pistola de mi hermano and Alatriste. Spanish has always run like a strand through his creative life and has come to the fore recently with the publication of his book of Spanish poetry, Canciones de Invierno and his translation and publication of Talo Kejner's poetry. His Spanish language roots run very, very deep, a beating heart at the centre of his creativity.



©Enrique Cerezo Producciones Cinematográficas S.A/Star Line Productions/Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones


"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



"My brothers have told me that when I speak Spanish I'm slightly more relaxed. When I speak English I'm a little more careful. It has to do with the sound, with the language...."

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



Mortensen turns down my offer to brush off the cushion he'd be sitting on. "Looks like my car," he says. He pets my cat, says hi to a guy who came by to drop off a package, speaks Spanish to my cleaning lady, and gives me fliers for a show of his photography and a party to celebrate the release of One Less Thing to Worry About, an album he has made of poetry and music.

Viggo Mortensen
By Steve Pond
September 1997
Source: US Magazine #236



"Only with my mother did I speak English. We only spoke Spanish." he recalls. "And suddenly I'm in a small town in northern New York where nobody speaks it. That was a big change."

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



'I brought 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.'

Díaz Yanes talking about Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País, 21 February 2005
translated by Queneplace



'I learned Spanish like I learned English, not only in school but also on the farm. The culture became a part of me. So there was no language hurdle for me although I was really nervous because I wanted to do it perfectly.'

Viggo Mortensen
"It was a big, brutal mess"
By Leif Kramp - translated by Doreen
Kino
9 May 2007



'Many people have said that I wasn't able to master the rhythm of Spanish speech but what I was looking for was a specific manner of speaking: the pace and the rhythm, as they would have been spoken by a terse Northern Spaniard.'

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



The American star delivers his own lines in Castilian Spanish, having lived as a child in Argentina and Venezuela, with a curiously more authentic accent than the slurred modern diction of the supporting cast (including Eduardo Noriego in a minor role).

Peter Besas
Screen Daily
7 September 2006



'If there is one thing I can't stand it's badly dubbed movies. And generally they are bad. I once had a huge fight with a Spanish distributor. They dub every movie over there and the results are awful. So I offered to dub my role in the movie itself, but when I finally convinced them, they didn't like the result, they said that my accent was "not very Spanish." I was so angry; the Argentinean accent is as Spanish as the Spanish from Castile.'

Viggo talking about The Lord of the Rings
"I Used To Read 'Martin Fierro' As A Child"
By Jimena Castro Bravo
2 February 2002
Source: Revista Noticias #1310



"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



His book, Canciones de invierno, has poems written originally in Spanish, but also others translated from English. "I started writing in English because I was living in the United States, but I was always writing little things in Spanish..."

Viggo Goes Poetic
By Natalia Torres - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Día a Día
3 December 2010



"I always kept writing in Spanish. But I realized that my language was out of date. It was my parent's language. Then, with the long trips to Argentina and Spain, close contact with the language allowed me to enter a new stage, more up to date and rich."

Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
By Valeria Melon - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion
19 December 2010



"I wanted the book to be bilingual so that his work could be known in the US and in other countries. But for me, it was very important, because it helped me return to the strict grammar of both languages and to my personal double history."

Viggo talking about Talo Kejner book of poems
Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
By Valeria Melon - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion
19 December 2010



On record, Mortensen's speaking voice--especially in Spanish--actually is more melodic and alluring than his singing. Confident and clear, he draws listeners in as he spins tales of deceit and humor.

On the Recent Forgeries CD
Sensitive Side of Psycho
by Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun Times, 1998



...when I speak Spanish, whether in Spain or here in Chile with you, it's a part of me that does not go away, that I can't forget. I feel comfortable.

Viggo on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
Translation by Graciela
Radio Cooperativa
04 April 2007

Quotable Viggo: 10 April 2011

We have another miscellaneous Quotable this week, some taken from 2010 interviews and some gems that I've been holding onto from older ones. In the mix we have praise from Orlando Bloom, warm tributes from Agustín Díaz Yanes and Jodi Whittaker, Viggo's thoughts on translating poems and writing in Spanish, his film choices and how they influence his artistic work, the trials of fame, and an insight on who he'd really like to play opposite.



Image Larry Horricks
© Good Films.


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

Kris Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009



Getting to know him has been a gift from life. During the shooting of Alatriste, he behaved like a true gentleman; he not only made the movie, but he also did many more things. He is a 100% professional, a superb actor.

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Portrait - A Good Friend
By Agustín Díaz Yanes - translated for V-W by Graciela
El Mundo
20 November 2009



He's just a really passionate actor and he's a proper actor, he really works hard and he picks his films. He's not in it for money, he's not in the magazines being papped everywhere, he's a very focused guy and he's incredibly multi-talented, he's got so many side projects that he's involved in, whereas I'm really good at... cooking?

Jodie Whittaker talking about Viggo
by Ellen E Jones
Little White Lies
April 2009



Corey, Triple M, Melbourne: Viggo you're now at the stage where you could get the majority of roles you wanted. You've had love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow and now Liv Tyler. Is there anyone you aspire to have a love scene with, in the world?

Viggo: Gimli? That was cut from the movie - maybe it'll be in the extended version.

Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003
Source: Nazz



...you look back on these things 10 years later and ask yourself, 'Who had a major impact on me?' As an actor, it was Viggo. I was unpacking a load of boxes recently, recounting old memories, and I remembered how lucky I was that he was around me at that time.

Orlando Bloom remembering LotR
April 2011
Shortlist.com



"I wanted the book to be bilingual so that his work could be known in the US and in other countries. But for me, it was very important, because it helped me return to the strict grammar of both languages and to my personal double history. Nevertheless, I believe that translating a poem always causes damage; there are times in which one feels that justice is not done to it. Because of this, I'm very careful, because the cleaning up of texts is a crime."

Viggo talking about Talo Kejner book of poems
Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
By Valeria Melon - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion
19 December 2010



"I always kept writing in Spanish. But I realized that my language was out of date. It was my parent's language. Then, with the long trips to Argentina and Spain, close contact with the language allowed me to enter a new stage, more up to date and rich."

Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
By Valeria Melon - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion
19 December 2010



Do the directors, the screenwriters, the photographers that you meet in film projects influence your artistic work?

When I'm working on a film, I don't take photos on the set, but yes, what the photographer does influences me, if he does interesting things and gives me something. I'm also influenced by the story that we're telling and the character that I'm preparing. As a result, I take a kind of photos that I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been part of that production.

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



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



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



...is fame a big distraction?

It´s a thing that came to me late. I had been working for a long time. It came as a surprise to me. Sometimes it is strange and a bit overwhelming, But it´s already passing because I´m not making that kind of film. Now I´m working in independent films or ones that don´t have a box office impact like The Lord of the Rings. I´m aware I have chosen that because I want to feel proud of the work, like anybody else. I want to think that some of my films have been good and that it's worth the trouble to see them in 10 or 20 years. I´m not saying that The Lord of the Rings is not one of those, but it´s another kind of phenomenon.

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



"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



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

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


Quotable Viggo: 3 April 2011

Along with all his other talents and interests, it's clear that one thing Viggo likes to do is sing... in private, in public, in his own recordings and on screen - and it's not all Latin tangos, he sang - a cappella - Dylan's 'Masters of War' at Zinn's The People Speak in 2008 and he performed at the premier of the Lord of the Rings Symphony in New Zealand (all of which takes some considerable guts). You won't be at all surprised to know that his singing is also bound up with his love of soccer and San Lorenzo. In fact, he breaks into song in all sorts of unexpected places.


Some Viggo vocal goodness in this His and Hers recording.



© New Line Productions Inc.



...I was 11 when we moved back to the States. I couldn't believe the swear words, the slang, the music - all the kids were into Blue Oyster Cult and Grand Funk Railroad. I was a closet Carpenters fan. I'd sing 'Top of the World' to myself on the way to school, but when I got close to campus I'd shut up.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



Q: How did the screen test go [For To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar]?

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



[Howard] 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]!"

Viggo on singing at the first Lord of the Rings Symphony performance
Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003
Source: Nazz



I've sometimes done poetry readings where I've sung a cappella. It's harder when you're singing with someone. There's like a Twilight Zone sort of moment. I had made up that melody for those words originally when we did it years ago. I got a hold of the CD of the song - that is out now - and I was desperately trying to find it on the walkman before I had to go on. The guy I was with - Roger was his name - said, "don't worry about it, let's just practise." So we practised and I was trying to sing like he was, in tone, but on the other hand he was as unfamiliar with Elvish as I was with professional singing like he does. He was very kind and patient with me [laughs]. But it was interesting because I think I was able to help him a little bit with singing in Elvish or singing it this way or that. So there I was, backstage at the symphony, telling this man how to sing in Elvish! But, uhh, I think it worked okay. I think we more or less got through it. Fortunately it was brief and thank God it was a language that no one understands.

Viggo on singing at the first Lord of the Rings Symphony performance
Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003
Source: Nazz



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

Viggo: How do you know that?

Interviewer: She has said that herself.

Viggo: 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 Høi
M/S Magazine
August 2001



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

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



...I 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



'All that time I was in Morocco it was neat. We'd be out there in the desert. Everyone else would drive the hour, hour and a half back to town where the hotel was, and I'd stay out in the trailer on the set, alone. The dust would settle and it was quiet. It would get dark and I would wash up, make myself some food or whatever and put on these tapes and a bunch CDs that I got from people and different places like Prairie Edge. I'd play these tapes and songs, ceremonial songs, and I'd have the door open in the trailer and I'd be out in the desert, in the middle of the Sahara. I'd be like singing Lakota songs out there - it was cool! I knew I had to come back here.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo, by Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice, January 2004



VM: I like music very much, and as an actor, it has helped me to get under the skin of many of the characters that I have played.

MC: And if I tell you: "My passion is red and blue and it asks for your fervor", does it ring a bell?

VM: It is a tango that I changed a bit to sing it to my team (laughs). Yes, I sang it for San Lorenzo de Almagro.

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



"The highest honor in my life is to be a San Lorenzo fan; we have a noble spirit... we know how to win and how to lose with dignity; and the only time we have an ugly face in the stadium is when we play. It will always be like this for me; and stealing some words from the great Homero Manzi (tango writer)... something like this: (singing) "I love you today more than I did yesterday, but less than I will tomorrow; my passion is azulgrana (red and blue), and it demands your fervor". Thank you San Lorenzo! Go Ciclón!"

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



What do you remember of the first time you saw San Lorenzo play live in a stadium ?

That we lost... but that the passion, the unconditional support of the fans, the non-stop singing, were exactly what I had always imagined and felt. Every time I go to a match I get excited and enjoy myself just as much, no matter what happens soccerwise. As the song says "... it´s a feeling you carry deep inside.."

Viggo, A True Cuervo
La Revista de San Lorenzo
Translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
18 April 2010



"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

Quotable Viggo: 26 March 2011

A few weeks ago I did a quotable about Viggo and Cronenberg's comic double act. It's clear Viggo's silly genes (the phrase wonderfully coined by his Aunt Tulle) are infectious, when you see the repartee between Viggo and Kodi during The Road promotions, the endless joshing between him and Dominic Monaghan during and after LotR filming, the Oscar Losers Dance, the History of Violence fish infestation. Then there's the jokes that refuse to die because no one gets them. To get us in the mood for some comic madness, how about theHalf Fling song from Viggo's CD Pandemoniumfromamerica, where the Hobbits are given full comic rein.

Half Fling



© New Line Productions Inc.


He's known as a practical joker on set. "There's no sense in doing something, especially if it's a hard job, if you can't have a little fun," he says.

"On Lord Of The Rings we had these little people who were stand-ins for the hobbits. One time Dominic (Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry) and I mimicked this one particular guy who had a really distinctive voice and rang the producers to say that all the little people were stranded on (New Zealand's) South Island with nothing to eat and no water. It became this big crisis and the producers sent everyone scrambling.

"Another time I called Elijah Wood (Frodo) every day for six weeks pretending to be a long-lost German friend. Most of the calls were in the middle of the night. Fortunately he thought it was funny..."

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




For the past two years, Viggo and I have been involved in trying to sabotage each other in the media by giving each other s***. For the second DVD of The Two Towers, the extended cut, there's a documentary of the actors just giving each other hassles, and there's HUGE stuff going on with Viggo and me, where we're just making up rumors about each other, and makin' out that things happened that actually didn't happen.

IGN Interviews Dominic Monaghan
December 2003




...I would say probably 95% of the work that you see as Viggo onscreen is completely computer generated, because he has a wooden leg and he can't run.

IGN Interviews Dominic Monaghan
December 2003




"Thank God for special effects, makeup the voice dubbing and all that. They completely replaced Kodi, thank God! We had Andy Serkis do it."
Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, 'The Road' and 'The Hobbit'

By Carla Hay
Examiner.com
25November 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




"He can be silly," says Ed Harris, who worked with Mortensen on A History of Violence and Appaloosa. "Not so much with men. But around women, he's the silliest." His Good co-star Jodie Whittaker suffered it first-hand. "Everyone says he's a really sexy guy, but that's not his everyday way of being. He's like a teenager - excitable and funny. He starts really laughing, and even if you don't find it funny, you lose it too, just because he's laughing! It's enchanting."

Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009




During production on David Cronenberg's thriller A History of Violence last fall, Viggo Mortensen carried around a fish - a 12-inch, anatomically correct plastic trout. It was a peripheral prop, a toy brought in for his character's young daughter, but Mortensen decided to adopt it as a secret talisman of sorts. Every day, he tucked it into his back pocket, his cowboy boots, his bag, anywhere that was out of Cronenberg's sight. "It was like a compulsive thing after a while," the actor explains. "I felt like it was unlucky not to have the trout, so I would sneak it in. It became this game to see if I could keep getting away with it." He did - until the last day of shooting, when his finnish friend fell out...on camera. Says Mortensen, with just a touch of mischievous pride: "David saw it and was appalled."

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005




To Maria Bello the enigmatic Viggo Mortensen's still waters don't just run deep - they're rife with wildlife. "Viggo is obsessed with fish," says Bello, 38, of her A History of Violence co-star. No word, though, on if he loved the piscine-themed decor a secret interior designer created for him. Says Bello: "I'm happy to say, on the last day of shooting he walked into his trailer and saw a three-foot dead fish hanging from his chandelier. I'm not at liberty to say how it got there. But I'm very proud of it."

Fishy Behaviour
By Danielle Anderson
People
3 October 2005




"You have to remember that basically you're children. Talk about innocence, you have to allow yourself to be innocent when you're making a movie," Mortensen explains. "You have to be like children, because after all, you're putting on funny mustaches that aren't real. You're putting on clothes; you're calling each other by names that you are not. It's like playing in a sandbox and you don't want to lose that naivety and that innocence. You want to create a reality. You can't be cynical and you can't be too adult."

A History Of Their Collaboration
By Pam Grady
Film Stew
11 September 2007




"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




One highly regarded website claims that Mortensen has a clause in his movie contracts that he doesn't have to film on Halloween - a sacred day which he shares with his son. Repeat this to him and the intense eyes gleam with mischief: Seriously? That's too funny! Can you imagine? A film company saying, "Yeah, of course you don't have to work on Halloween!'? ....But just for the record, no, Halloween isn't special to me. You know what? I made that story up when I was bored in an interview once and it's come back to bite me ever since. I guess it goes to show that people will pretty much believe anything.'

Partners in Crime
By Gill Pringle
Filmink Magazine
31 March 2006




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

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


Quotable Viggo: 20 March 2011

Cityladynyc has been treating us to photos of Viggo's hands for several weeks now. Tattooed in Eastern Promises, covered in paint, scribbled with things to remember, knocked raw filming LotR, vividly illustrating a point in an interview, so distinctive we'd probably recognise him anywhere by his fingers alone, it's definitely time for a Hands Quotable!



© New Line Productions Inc.


Several late-afternoon hours earlier in the hotel's nearly empty dining area, Mortensen is sitting at the piano, leaning close to the ivory keys, playing soft, sad, jazzy notes. His dark blond hair falls across his face, but the square, cleft jaw is recognizable, as are the thick-knuckled hands that famously know their way around a sword (Lord of the Rings), a gun (A History of Violence), a knife (Eastern Promises), and a woman (A Walk on the Moon).

Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009




Had I seen photographs of only his hands, not knowing who he was, I'd have made them for one of Richard Avedon's Midwestern carny/ranch-hand stills: dark, rough, and callused along the edges of his forefingers.

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995




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 200
9



Viggo Mortensen was bare-footed, with loose dark pants and a large shirt that makes him look both small and newly awakened. His left hand is decorated with stuff to remember and phone numbers all the way up his arm and a stubborn bit of tape has attached itself to his sleeve.

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




...a soft-spoken man with splatters of gray-green paint on his knuckles.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine
December 1998




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.

David Cronenberg
Cronenberg and the Russian Godfather
By Serge Grunberg - translated by Celine
Studio, May 2007




"The language of the tattoos that the character has, which are a lot...tattoos are like a personal code, a summary of one's life up to then. Tattoos speak. They say...I am from here, from this area, this society, this country. I have loyalties towards certain people... from a certain area. These are my criminal specialties, this is what I do, this is my job. These are the prisons where I have been [pointing to his hands], and how many times, everything.

The Univision Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Univision
23 September 2007




"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."

Brendan Fraser talking about Viggo staying mute through The Passion of Darkly Noon filming.
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




...stirring up the bowels of everyday life with his curious eyes and his restless hands...

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




If you're a woman you will remember the way he slid his hands backward over her cheeks as they made love in his grimy loft.

Talking about 'A Perfect Murder'
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




I am being seduced by royalty. And not your garden variety Windsor, either. Admittedly, he looks more like a gypsy in his earthy tunic repaired to within an inch of its life, his hands and nails bearing the ingrained grit of a farmer. But he's a king all right...

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




"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?'"

Jose Perez talking about The Lord of the Rings filming
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




...soon enough a hectic press person is standing there, pulling at him again. We shake hands. His hand is surprisingly large and warm and sort of rough while mine is closer to being quick. The face is still somewhat sad as caught in its own image when he puts his head through the lift doors and says: 'It was nice meeting you.'

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


Quotable Viggo: 13 March 2011

We had a wonderful quote this week from Michael Fassbender, who described Viggo as 'the most beautiful man in the world'. 'Beautiful' is a word used a lot by both men and women when talking about him, and is an unusual choice to describe a man. But of course we know that the beauty they are talking about isn't skin deep. They are talking about something far more meaningful. Tom Roston, in probably my favourite Viggo article of all times, The Hero Returns, gets to the heart of it with his insight that Viggo's beauty 'extends beyond the physical', although (as you will see from the quotes) it has indeed been used many times to describe his looks where 'handsome' doesn't convey anywhere near enough. 'Beautiful' has even appeared in three article titles: 'Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage' (Le Figaro, 2008), 'Viggo Mortensen - Beautiful Idealist' (Grazia, 2009) and 'Beautiful Dreamer' (Elle, 2009). Now we have a 'beautiful' Quotable.



©New Line Productions Inc.


His physical appeal - the soulful eyes, high cheekbones, cleft chin, and general ruggedness - is obviously apparent. He was named one of People's most beautiful of 2002, but, again, he taps into something that extends beyond the physical.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003



'...Viggo Mortensen -- he is the most beautiful man in the world! He is! He's just like, wow! He's such a special dude.'

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender, future superstar
By Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
8 March 2011



Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo in the films, says that Mortensen is one of the strangest and most charismatic people he has ever encountered. "When I first met him, we sat down in this real crusty place, the Green Parrot, and I remember not being able to hold a conversation, because I was so intimidated," Wood says. "There is something beautiful and quiet about Viggo, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized how insanely brilliant and crazy he is - how he has this insane wild side."

Elijah Wood
Finding Viggo By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



"He's a really beautiful, delicate artist of a man. He's nothing like any other actor I've worked with."

Jason Issacs
Good premier, Toronto
7 September 2008



The years have written their history on him with traces of lines that turn beauty into wisdom, while the harsh trace of life, which clouds yesterday's glowing eyes, has given them in exchange a deep and warm expression where we find the courage to meet our own fears.

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



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

Road review
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
15 November 2009



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

Dana Stevens
Slate.com
13 Sept 2007



'I thought that he was certainly going to be an intense guy, from everything that I've read about him. (laughs) And he's not. He's so lovely and light. He's a beautiful human being.'

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



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

As Lucifer in The Prophecy
Sympathy for the Devil
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
MSN.com 18 April 2005



Over the years, Mortensen has been perceived by casting directors as so unlikely in the role of a mainstream character that his physical beauty was played for decadence. How could the future romantic warrior of The Lord of the Rings have been so misunderstood?

Man Power
By Katherine Mitchell
Movieline
September 2002



"I was in New York, doing a book that was going to be called "The Beautiful Men." and somebody suggested him. He was totally unknown at the time, and I told him he'd never get anywhere with a name like Viggo Mortensen. But then he started taking off his shirt, and his name no longer mattered."

Ellen Graham, Photographer, on her book "The Bad and the Beautiful'
Town and Country magazine
November 2004



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

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



... the artist who can tame a stallion and then adopt him, an outspoken political liberal who can cook from scratch and sword fight with a vengeance. A movie star who backpacks in remote, unlovely places. A beautiful man who will sleep in the dirt on a mountain in New Zealand. A rich guy who uses his money to publish books that will never sell because they are lovely.

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

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

Quotable Viggo: 6 March 2011

While preparing last week's Cowboy Quotable, I found yet another reference to Viggo's amazing ability to convey a huge amount of meaning while appearing to do very little, calling it 'a specialized art, one with few masters'. While this reviewer was talking about Appaloosa, Viggo's minimalist approach blew critics away in The Road, A History of Violence and where this ability probably had its biggest impact, Eastern Promises.



©Focus Features.


...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters. Like Harris, Mortensen is a great listener, and good listeners--in life and in movies--barely move. That quality is just right for the role of Hitch, whose life hangs on Cole's next word and slightest gesture. It's an old truth, and not just about westerns: When the talking stops, the dying begins.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008



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

A O Scott
International Herald Tribune
18 September 2008



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

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



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

Ty Burr talking about Appaloosa
Boston Globe: Take 2
October 2008



He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses.

Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman
18 October 2007



In Viggo Mortensen, Hillcoat is working with one of the current cinema's great quiet everymen, and if anyone can make the novel's stolid, unnamed hero empathic and emotionally alive on screen whilst remaining loyal to the novel's aesthetic minimalism, it's this immensely physical, restrained performer.

The Road
Kris Tapley
InContention.com
August 2009



Mr. Mortensen gives him a gaunt grandeur--it doesn't hurt that the actor's face can evoke paintings of Christ without a muscle being moved...

The Road
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
26 November 2009



.....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



In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007



"Viggo is so minimal and so stoic....There's one scene where Naomi Watts gets on the motorcycle. Viggo is standing by a post and not moving: 'Where'd you get that bike?' I was impressed with how minimal he was; I just bought that he was a Russian hitman."

Dennis Hopper
Variety Awards News
29 November 2007



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

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



He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done.... It's kinda perfect.

A History of Violance
Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005



With the smallest of moves, the most understated of plays, he connects us to Tom in ways few actors could

A History of Violence
David Cornelius
EFilmcritic.com
1 October 2005



Film is a visual medium; I have been fortunate to begin my career with small roles: often they give you few words and you get used to finding a way to express yourself. Anyway, in my opinion a good performance is a matter of reacting to what happens, or what they say to you, not necessarily with words.

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



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

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

Quotable Viggo: 26 February 2011

This week we have a collection of cowboy related quotes, for no other reason than the fact that I found a quote from a review of Young Guns 11 where the film was described as "double-barrelled cowpuffery". That was just too good to miss. So what makes a good Western? What makes a good Cowboy? And was Viggo born to tote an Eight Gauge, gallop horses, and ride firm-jawed into those sunsets?




© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers/Matt Lankes./ Morgan Creek Productions/Touchstone/Buena Vista Pictures.


"double-barrelled cowpuffery"

Review of Young Guns 11
Quoted by Alex Kuczynski in Vanity Fair
January 2004



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."

That is part of what appealed to him about his latest movie, Hidalgo...

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004



Standing 5 feet, 11 inches tall, he undoubtedly an outdoorsy guy - all weathered skin, callused hands and easygoing gestures. One could easily see him at home on the range - he even has that "ah shucks" cowboy mumble.

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



He is not a man who can walk into a room unnoticed.... His blond hair is neatly parted and he is clean-shaven; there is a jagged scar on his upper lip, a streak of lightning against his tan, the relic of a fight during his teenage years.

A weird mix of cowboy and playboy, Mortensen gives the impression of Indiana Jones going to a fancy dress party as Bryan Ferry.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald
Dorchester, UK 11 April 2004



"I found out a while back that I'm related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother's mother's side of the family," he says. "It's true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection."

Viggo Mortensen: The Straight-Shooting Star of the New Western
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys & Indians
April 2004



"One thing that sometimes happens when people think they're being really authentic is that they tend to make everything look too worn-out. If you do the research, you'll see that even if a cowboy was poor, he'd take pride in certain things. Like, his saddle wasn't going to be some piece of crap. And they had color - it wasn't all drab browns and grays, all worn-out stuff. That scarf - that's something Hitch takes pride in, and he takes care of it."

Viggo Mortensen
Spotlight - Appaloosa
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys & Indians
October 2008



Viggo Mortensen follows a classic cowboy code in the Western "Appaloosa": Speak softly and carry a big honkin' gun.

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



"I looked at old Remington drawings and other images to see how guys would really stand in gunfights back then. It wasn't that thing you always see in movies, where the guy is standing there with his legs apart and with his hands out waiting to draw his gun. Not that people never did that. But it just made more sense to me that you'd have one leg forward, and your hand forward, and your gun's already out. I have to say, I did think about it like a bullfighter at that final moment, with the sword. I saw a Remington drawing of a guy facing down another guy in the street, using exactly that position."


Viggo Mortensen
Spotlight - Appaloosa
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys & Indians
October 2008



It's not as if we haven't seen movies like "Hidalgo" before - the cowboy, the horse, the hat - and yet there's something fresh about it all the same. Part of it comes from Viggo Mortensen, an actor who has the measured pace and steady gaze of a Cooper or a Stewart.

Wild West to wild Mideast
Mortensen saddles up as former cowboy racing across desert
Mick LaSalle
Chronicle, 5 March 2004



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

Hidalgo Review
Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review
2004



"The cowboy 'ethic' has as much in common ideally with the Medieval Knight or Lakota warrior or Samurai warrior in that you can be an individual, be independent minded and allow other people to have their individual experience too! It can be that way."

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo
By Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice
January 2004



In the film, Harris and Mortensen play Marshall and loyal sidekick, respectively. Both men carry guns, squint into the open plain and communicate with long, almost loving silences. They're the archetypal cowboys and the base layer of the American psyche that believes in riding into the sunset and heroic endings.

Mortensen says he loves the cowboy ideal as well as the cowboy aesthetic, but the classic old codes are fast becoming obsolete as the western world faces a looming geopolitical shift as well as a climate crisis.

"We're going to hell in a handbasket...."


Mortensen Delves Into America's Cowboy Mentality
By Katherine Monk
Ottawa Citizen
7 September 2008



Hopkins was ahead of his time as a humane horse-trainer and endurance rider. He was also an example of what I have seen in cowboys (and cowgirls) I have met and admired among Argentines, Uruguyans, Moroccans, Algerians, Egyptians, the French, New Zealanders, Australians, Icelanders, Lakota, Blackfeet, Apache, Quebecois, and so on: a straightforward, open-minded, and ethical individual. I think it is a wonderful thing to see the apparent revival (again) of the "Western" genre in the movies, but it might be worth keeping in mind that neither cowboys nor stories in the "Western" genre are exclusively an area of expertise or solely of relevance to North Americans. Making "Westerns" can be as positive or negative, as universal or narrow-minded as the stories they portray. Making good "Westerns" can mean being on the right track, but, as Will Rogers said:

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

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


Quotable Viggo: 20 February 2011

The Oscars are upon us again and this year we've been spared the roller-coaster of 'will-he/won't-he' nomination angst. Which was nowhere near as stressful as the 'will-he/won't-he' angst we had when made the running for Eastern Promises. Viggo described awards as a 'crap-shoot' in a Newsarama interview in 2009, and has confessed that he 'would rather see San Lorenzo win the tournament than get an Oscar' (Gente, 2008), but we have still nurtured our hopes. Now we are a year away from The Road and even further from Appaloosa, EP and A History of Violence, perhaps we can now take a stress-free look back at what might have been...



Image Macall Polay
©2929/Dimension Films


The Road

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
Awards Daily
October 2009



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

Filmblogger
TheFilmBlogger.com
19 October 2009



Mortensen is 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



This is easily the best movie at the Toronto Film Festival and is not only well-made, but has some of the most disturbing scenes I have ever witnessed (people around me were covering their faces in horror). Viggo Mortensen's performance is definitely Oscar-worthy and so is John Hillcoat's directing. Do yourself a favor, see this movie as soon as it becomes available. And be ready to cry, scream and enjoy yourself.

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



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

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
13 September 2009



Viggo Mortensen gives one of his most haunting and emotional performances in "The Road," the post-apocalyptic tale from the pen of the great American author, Cormac McCarthy, whose book "No Country for Old Men" deservedly won the 2007 Best Picture Oscar. It may be premature, but I think that Viggo Mortensen's work in this tough, relentlessly grim but ultimately humanistic picture should get a serious consideration comes Oscar time.

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



The Road features, what I consider to be, the best male performance of the year in Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen reveals fear like no actor I've ever seen. But it isn't just his gaunt, frightened face - it's the love in his eyes, the tragedy that lays before them, the impossibility of his situation.

Sasha Stone
Awards Daily
20 January 2010


Appaloosa

With the moustache of the year (that should be an award), Mortensen turned a rather standard best-friend part into a quiet tour de force.

Oscar nominations 2009
Scott Taverner
martiniboys.com
January 2009



Theodore Roosevelt coined the phrase: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." While Appaloosa is your everyday western, Viggo Mortensen is no ordinary actor. Mortensen's Oscar-class performance as Everett Hitch was masterful as a poetic yet fierce officer of the law. He "spoke softly," but his big stick was an 8-gauge shotgun......Playing Hitch, Mortensen is horrifically convincing as a cool customer who is not only intelligent but quick on the gun and knows when to pick his battles.

Parimal M. Rohit
Buzzine.com
19 September 2008


Eastern Promises

It's a watershed role for Mortensen and, such is the commitment he offers, it's not too rash to compare his performance to Robert De Niro's Oscar-winning turn as the young Don Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007



Here is my personal take on the Oscar-nominated performances I believe will survive the "test" of time:

As driver/hitman Nikolai Luzhin, Viggo Mortensen not only mastered the Russian accent and dare to bare much more than his soul. He immersed himself into the mind of this man born and raised in the former Soviet Union, a dark figure with more good to him than anyone around him can even imagine. Mortensen played Nikolai as a real person (living in a very raw London, thanks to David Cronenberg's direction) and his idealization of this character other actors have similarly played to over-the-top results in many crime stories is among the best in the genre, ever.

THE TOP 10 OPINIONS: PERFORMANCES THAT WON'T WIN OSCARS...
Johnny Alba
The Oscar Igloo
7 February 2008



Any clip from the bath house scene would make the best darned Oscar clip ever.

Daniel Feinberg
zap2it.com
23 December 2007



Most noticeably, Viggo Mortensen as the quietly timid yet dangerously terrifying mob driver Nikolai, gives an Oscar caliber performance of both restrained humility and fear. 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.

Jake Hamilton
That movie guy Blog
10 Sept 2007


A History of Violence

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

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

Quotable Viggo: 13 February 2011

Seeing Viggo make Virgin Media's Extreme Preparation list for Eastern Promises reminded me of Cronenberg's amused dismay that his lead star was gadding about Russia all on his own. When you think about it, you could make up the entire extreme preparation list from Viggo's work alone. But let's stick with all things Russian for now and take a look at all that travelling in the name of research, and how fantastically well it paid off. It's also an excuse for two of my favourite Cronenberg EP quotes.



© Focus Features.


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




"You say, 'Well, where's Viggo today?' " says David Cronenberg, recalling the conversation that happened more than once on the London shoot, last year, of the exceptionally fine new thriller, Eastern Promises. "And they say, 'Oh, he's in St. Petersburg.'

"And you say, 'What!? I thought he was at the hotel.'"

Star's Eastern Immersion Impresses His Director
By Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
16 September 2007




"I know everyone was a little bit worried because I disappeared for two weeks. They said I should have someone go with me into the underworld, but the whole point of me of going was not to get a filtered version of what Russians do and what they're like. "I just wanted to draw my own conclusions."

Viggo on his trip to Russia
Contactmusic.com
13 Sept 2007




"...the production people were kind of scared because I disappeared for two weeks and I came back right before shooting started. And they said: 'Phew, it's great that this guy made it back, otherwise we would have been screwed'"

Viggo Mortensen
The Univision Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Univision
23 September 2007




"He went away and immersed himself in that world, and spent time with a lot of very disreputable Russian people! I wrote the lines but the heart and soul of Nikolai is really from Viggo."

Scriptwriter Steven Knight
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features




"I went far, far away, to the center of the country, where Europe ends and Asia starts, because that's where the character comes from more or less, although maybe he hasn't been there for a long time, that's his place of origin."

Viggo Mortensen
The Univision Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Univision
23 September 2007




"I met some people who were marvellous, who had backgrounds like my character, who had been in prison and were no longer involved with that life - or maybe they were, I was never sure," says the actor.

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




"On the road, I also met people with a shady past, who introduced me, for example, to the tradition of tattoos with which Russian criminals mark their bodies. Not as decoration, but to signify their status within the hierarchy. In the film, I have 43 tattoos - and when I entered a Russian pub in London, wearing a T-Shirt, some people nervously changed their places. That made me very happy."

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




"I was pretty much ready to start shooting, but when I arrived in Russia, I was better able to find the tone of the character, and I saw many things that cannot be put into writing. I like to do an in-depth preparation, just like David, then throw that out of the window and count on what is left in the subconscious. You have to count on what you have done and think that it will be there. There is no need to worry if you have prepared thoroughly."

Viggo Mortensen
Although I will never be another person, it's nice to try"
By Teresa Sala - translated by Graciela
Diario de Noticias de Alava
22 Sept 2007




During the film shoot, Mortensen had with him artefacts that he had brought back from Russia - including worry beads made in prison from melted-down plastic cigarette lighters. He decorated his trailer with copies of Russian icons and created an atmosphere that was conducive to maintaining his character.

Eastern Promises Production Notes
Focus Features
20 August 2007




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

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

Festwatch
Globe and Mail
10 Sept 2007




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




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

Quotable Viggo: 6 February 2011

When Viggo first shot into the limelight with The Fellowship of the Ring, much was made of his arriving at interviews barefoot, his idiosyncrasy, stories of his disappearing into the wild on days off, his energy, his crazy humour and the profound effect he had on cast and crew. I don't think the journalists had ever come across anyone like him. Of course there is no one like him because, in a world where many pretend to be what they are not, Viggo is never anybody but himself.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Mortensen definitely marches to the beat of his own drum.

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




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




"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that."

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




What some might see as LOTR affectation - such as rocking up to interviews barefoot - is actually the real deal. "No, I'm not doing a hobbit thing or a Peter Jackson thing," he told a reporter who queried his lack of footwear. "I'm doing a Viggo Mortensen thing."

The King and I
by Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003




'He'll show up at your door barefoot. It's real with him - it's not an affectation. He is very much of the earth. He's relaxed and in the moment and he brings real emotions to the table. He's very human with great artistic sensibilities.'

Dennis Hopper
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002




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

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




"He's circumspect around people," says director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon). "He has high standards, so he's not Mr. Friendly to everybody. But I think he just tries to be careful, because once he opens up, there's none of the artifice or barriers you find with most people."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




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

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




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

Viggo talking about Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com
24 October 2003




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

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




"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




What is your biggest fear?

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

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


Quotable Viggo: 29 January 2011

A quote that I've posted many times here tells us that 'dreams about telling stories' is what got Viggo into acting. Over the last few weeks we've seen his name endlessly popping up in the casting rumours of more than one epic and mythic tale, so I thought it would be apt to take a look at what storytelling means to Viggo. It's clear that in most cases where he's had the luxury to pick and choose, the story is everything. More than that, like Sam, he knows that we are all part of a big story where we choose our own roles, and there are other mighty weapons than a sword.



© New Line Productions Inc.


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
Morgunblaðið
29 May 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




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

Viggo Mortensen
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstrete
ChristianityToday, 2004




"Just the story itself attracted me to The Lord of the Rings," he says. "I liked all the connections with myth, ritual and archetypes. All those things that fed Tolkien as he wrote his book fed us as we made the movies.

For Viggo Mortensen, the War of the Rings Gets Serious
By Ian Spelling
New York Times
15 December 2002




'Lord of the Rings is the same basic story that has been told thousands of times before. And not just in Europe. The same story has been told in Asia, Japan and by Native Americans. I don't think there isn't a place in the world that doesn't understand this story.'

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




"It's the same sort of story that has been told as long as there have been people, and that will be told as long as there are people: a challenge is presented to an individual, big or small, who is obligated in most cases to accept it. You have to take that step to say 'Yes,' and once you do, you're in for a pretty hard time of it in a lot of ways ... in big and small ways. It can be a test of your honor or your ability to keep your composure in difficult situations."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Hidalgo
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004




Much of the film is based on myth and conjecture. Are you comfortable with that?

To be honest, I would have been happy to go with 100 per cent myth, just because it's such a good, old-fashioned adventure story. That said, the fact that it is about someone that really existed and events that actually happened is very important to me, especially when it comes out of such a long-standing oral tradition.

Here Viggo Again
Total DVD magazine #64
July 2004




'A concern that I had, initially, was, "How does it keep from being flat? Enough with the suffering already." But, you trust the story and there's so many things that are learned along the way, in the interactions with other people, the environment and each other. You just have to trust what Cormac McCarthy wrote. Because the script was a very faithful adaptation, you just had to trust that book and that story.'

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




"....what I love about him as a storyteller is that he doesn't tell you everything. What's going to happen to them now? I really think about that. I gotta see that again. That's a good story. And you don't really feel that way - I don't anyway - with most movies, even by good directors. I just don't get that feeling afterwards."

Viggo Mortensen
A History of Their Collaboration
By Pam Grady, Filmstew.com
11 Sept 2007




"This film is different. It's not over when it's over, which is the mark of a good story."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs Address Good and Wax Philosophical about the Nazis
by Brad Balfour
Huffinton Post
13 January 2009




"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 talking about Alatriste
The filming of Alatriste, by Jesús Martin
Acción Magazine July, 2006
Translated by Paddy for V-W




''..if you asked my agent or somebody about why I'm doing these sort of movies, or going off to do a play or something, they'd say 'Well, I dunno, I think he has a death wish or something'.

''Career suicide,'' he says with a laugh.

''I don't really know. I think life is short and while I have the chance to do good stories, I'm gonna do 'em.''

Viggo on doing Good and Alatriste
Viggo Mortensen on his new film Good
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 April 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




Seeing a film is not something to be looked down on in comparison with reading a book. There can be millions of identical copies of any book, and yet the copy you hold and read is your personal doorway. It is the same when you go to the movie theater: you and the movie have a secret. It might even be a god-awful movie and you could still walk out with this little secret -- or a big secret -- inside you: a discovery that might stay with you for a day, for a month or two, even years. In those secrets we touch myth and confront universal issues, perhaps even draw new strength for our own lives.

Viggo Mortensen
The Making of the Movie Trilogy




Storytellers and stories change, but the opportunity to do well or ill by others and ourselves will always be present. The right to choose how we coexist is ours unless we willingly surrender it. There can be no quick fix, no easy or permanent answer to the troubles of today or tomorrow. A sword is a sword, nothing more. Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are, for Middle-earth as for our world, the mightiest weapons at hand.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




'...it's all about telling stories for me: taking pictures, painting, poems. It's all about telling stories, or parts of stories.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008




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

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


Quotable Viggo: 22 January 2011

I think we all have our fingers crossed that A Dangerous Method will have its first showing at Cannes, accompanied by a merry-go-round of interviews and photo shoots. While it will be a much longer wait until we actually all get to see the film, what I'm looking forward to in the meantime is much more from that irrepressible comedy double act: Cronenberg and Mortensen. So here are some reminders of their repartee, new and not so new, but all huge fun.



© Focus Features.


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

David Cronenberg introducing his A History of Violence cast at TIFF
From Topaz's account



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

A History of Violoence Cannes Press Conference
National Post Cannes Review, by Chris Knight
17 May 2005



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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



Cronenberg added that he often found Mortensen comforting cast-mates who weren't used to the director's style. "I'd see them sobbing in corners, and Viggo saying, 'It's okay. It's okay. He's always like that.'"

Cronenberg And Viggo Together Again
By Gayle MacDonald
Globe and Mail
18 July 2007



DC: I don't think of you as an American. As I said when we did History Of
Violence, I could tell that you were actually Russian-it's obvious from your
cheekbones. I doubt that you'll be able to play any other kind of role now.
They'll say, "You can't cast Mortensen as an American - he's so foreign.....

......I thought it was incredibly bold of me to cast you as an American in
History Of Violence.

VM: Well, yeah, but it was a twisted view of America.

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



On the stillness in Nikolai's character:

Mr. Mortensen: "They had to freeze-frame me." Mr. Cronenberg: "It was stop-motion. I worked him like a puppet."

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



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

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



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

Added Cronenberg: "When we started to shoot the scene we were surprised to discover that Viggo has no genitals so we had to CG [computer-generate] them in."

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

"It was very expensive CG," Cronenberg explained.

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



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

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



Q: So what's going to be the next Cronenberg-Mortensen movie?

CRONENBERG: We really don't know. I mean, (Viggo) works a lot, and I get very jealous. He works with other directors, but I'll only work with him. So he's the **** in the relationship.

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



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

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

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

Quotable Viggo: 16 January 2011

I've been thinking a lot about painting this week (mainly because I've hardly done any over the holidays). I've also been thinking a lot about process and inspiration. After discovering a passion for slapping stuff on canvas while preparing for the filming of A Perfect Murder, Viggo produced an extraordinary body of powerful mixed-media work, chronicling his life and interests. One of his most powerful pieces is Mother Memory. It appears on the cover of Recent Forgeries and has been in the news over the last few weeks as part of Dennis Hopper's auctioned collection. This was the start of an extraordinary creative period for Viggo where art almost swallowed his entire house and where, as Robert Mann observes, he needed to paint to live. I think the last quote I've chosen is a maxim for any artist, to make things that are 'honestly yours'. Finally, the Chicago Sun Times quote from 2007 makes me hope that somewhere there are still 'collages, brushings of materials, and words' waiting to see the light of day.



© Warner Brothers


'My house has gradually, over the past year and half, turned into this work shed almost. I have moved the furniture aside and there's drop cloths [everywhere]. I just have boxes of these paint sticks and paint stuff so that, if I think of something, I can make it.'

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



The house is like a giant compost pile that provides an inexhaustible supply of mulch, and when you see how Mortensen lives, you begin to understand how he produces so much art; it's as if he resides in a paintbox.

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



"He doesn't need to paint for a living. But in order to live, he needs to paint."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001



'...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



Mortensen's paintings relate to his photography in the sense that they also teem with lived incidents. They are collages, brushings of materials, and words, all used, felt, and constantly touched. Redefined and restated, there is always something beneath, rubbed out, obliterated, nuanced; there is always more happening. Words from his poems, found phrases, or overheard whispers both succumb and survive as they enter the field of the work.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002



"I like to paint and I like glue. I like gel, you know? Acrylic gel. It's fun to play with that and see what that does. I mean, some of the things are things you're not supposed to mix; oil, acrylics, or water. I just like to get dirty and play with it and see what happens. It's just fun. Sometimes you get something interesting by accident by coating something with some thing you haven't tried coating with before. You just have a hunch that will do something to It will change the texture or alter it some how chemically in an interesting way and change the tone of it. I don't know. I don't have a reason really..."

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



"In the canvases on which I have been working a while, there are phrases, maxims, extracts from personal diaries or newspapers ... I even use these as the material for my paintings, like the paint. These days I've stopped copying them, so as not to lose them, in notebooks or on the kitchen wall. However they are still there, in my paintings, like so many indications of my past points of view and my experiences ..."

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



"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



The paintings and drawings in this book suck you in with their beauty and vague sense of menace.

Best books: Recent Forgeries ... chosen by Neil LaBute
The Week
3 April 2009



"I usually use the excuse that everything is abstract. That way, I can do whatever I want. And if you don't like it, it's because you don't get it," he joked.

Viggo joking about his art
Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
20 November 2008
Source: La Butaca



"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."

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



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

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


Quotable Viggo: 08 January 2011

We heard the news this week that Elijah Wood is likely to have a cameo role in the opening of The Hobbit, and the film's cast now seems to be finally coming together. Some are confirmed like Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage, and some are still unconfirmed although it's inconceivable that they won't be in it, like Ian McKellen. If they are very lucky, they will have the same experience of fellowship that made The Lord of the Rings such a special journey for everyone in it. Through interviews and DVD extras we were privileged to share that experience and see the closeness of the cast, the trials they overcame and the sheer fun they had. So this week is a little nostalgic walk down Memory Lane.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Instead of the standard luxury lodging demanded by most stars on set, Viggo and co-star Orlando Bloom shared a converted bus while filming Rings. Viggo stocked the bus with a wine cellar and wallpapered the inside with candid behind-the-scenes photos. A source on the set said the bus was the site of frequent cast parties, with the motto, "Everyone is welcome, but when it's time to go, get out!"

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



"One time I wanted to film the sunrise and sunset for a Fellowship scene. Viggo said, "I'll just camp out," and pretty soon, we had everyone there--the makeup crew, Orlando Bloom and other cast members who weren't in the shot, like Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill. We made a big fire, camped out, filmed our early sunrise shot and went fishing. It was great!"

Barrie Osborne
Source Unknown
2003



"We got on very well together, and spent a lot of time together as friends. But as an actor you can't wish to work with anyone more truthful and more honest than him. He brings an incredible pathos to the role, and I was so pleased to be doing scenes with him."

Sean Bean
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001



"The sequence where Pippin was talking about breakfast and it's snowing - that was real snow. And [after] about an hour of that snow coming down, we were in danger of being snowed in, so they cancelled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo's room and drank a bottle of whiskey, and Viggo took some photos of us. And then we went out and had a huge snowball fight around town. We got thrown out of a couple of pubs 'cause we were having snowball fights in the pubs."

Dominic Monaghan
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004



"I always have a camera with me. To capture the moment. I am not someone to put people into impossible poses. I made photos during the filming of Lord, and I am just happy to have caught Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and the others at that moment in their lives."

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



... you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go?

Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.

Viggo Mortensen
Chairman Of The Sword
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003

Note: Viggo went surfing with the Hobbit actors, and his surfboard came up and hit his face. The right side of his face was swollen and he had a black eye. For about a week, the filming crew was only able to shoot his profile.



"...we all decided how [the tattoo] should be and each individual decided where they wanted it, and if they wanted it. It was a voluntary thing. No one was forced to do it but everybody wanted to do it. So you know, it's an outward symbol. In a way, we didn't really need to do that because what's important is what we have inside and in our head as far as the memory of doing it and the feeling that we have of each other now as a result of going through the experience together in a good way."

Viggo talking about the Fellowship tattoo
Interview With Viggo Mortensen
Cinema Voice
February 2004



"Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004



"Those bonds of friendship will last forever," he says. "We spent a lot of time in New Zealand. It was tough. We got sick, we were tired. But we had each other to lean on. That's what it's all about. Tolkien realized that, and so did Peter Jackson. It's universal. That's why people all over the world love the Lord of the Rings films."

Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine
1 March 2004



"It was sad and happy at the same time. Terrible and confusing. The end of such an adventure. Each of the end-of-shoot parties - all of the actors had one - was an occasion for looking back one more time. I was equally careful to talk to all the stuntmen who doubled for me. When I was leaving, Peter Jackson gave me my sword and a tape with my best scenes and also.... the worst!."

Viggo Mortensen on the last day of filming LOTR
Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen,
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine, 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



"I think [the films'] so powerful because aside from the great special effects, it's also very human. You can sense the values of the people involved, the group ethic, their imperfections, the emotions, exhaustion and commitment. In 20 or 30 years from now, some of the special effects will still hold up but what will always hold up is the intention, feel, emotion, commitment and that palpable intensity."

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



"We walked on a red carpet about four football fields long. All of a sudden, the sound of the crowd all blurred together. It was a perfect sunny day. It wasn't windy in a town that usually is windy. I looked up and saw people in every window in every house. Just the faces, how happy they were. I heard in my head a voice, my voice, saying, 'Remember this.' "

Viggo Mortensen on the ROTK Premier in NZ
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 2 January 2011


As we head into 2011, now seems like a good time to take a look back over 2010. I've compiled all my favourite quotes of the year. It's been slim pickings because while Viggo has worked on two films, they haven't reached the stage where we have a cornucopia of wonderful interviews to enjoy, and there have been no new releases in 2010. There was still some talk about The Road and still the occasional review coming out. The Alatriste DVD also gathered some comments as it finally reached new markets, one of which I've included below. With the publication of Canciones de Invierno we also had new insights into what poetry really means to him. A quiet year, but one in which we have a whole book of Winter Songs to treasure and the anticipation of a new Cronenberg to enjoy. Whatever 2011 brings, we wish Viggo a very happy and quotable New Year!



©Alen/Images Fotobaires/Universal Pictures InternationalDimension Films


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



...Viggo would sleep in his outfit. When he went into a local shop one day, security was called to remove him from the premises, thinking he was a homeless bum.

John Hillcoat
No Country for Any man
Telegraph Magazine
January 2010



"These characters, the father and his son, in spite of seeming to be very cold, in fact, beneath the rags they wear, happen to have San Lorenzo t-shirts," says the actor, and laughs.

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



It's a testament to Hillcoat's obvious belief in the strength of unadorned screen acting that he, like McCarthy before him, refuses even to explain the global cataclysm that has brought his protagonists to this state. Instead he asks us to read it, mostly, in the depths of Mortensen's wide, pellucid eyes. The actor, whose often underrated intensity has been overshadowed by his heroic role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is here unleashed to mesmerising effect. His body is skeletal (the result of severe and deliberate weight loss), and his skin ingrained with dirt, but his eyes are filled with the kind of tremulous compassion that can carry the emotional weight of an entire movie.

Kevin Maher
The Times Online
8 January 2010



Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010



If Viggo Mortensen has given a better performance, I haven't seen it

Paul Byrne
Brisbane Times
26 January 2010



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

Bruce Kirkland Alatriste DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010



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 "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



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



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



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



I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but Viggo Mortensen 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



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



"....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



'It's great if someone who never would've gone to a poetry reading goes to one because they're thinking, "Oh, that actor guy's doing it - it'll probably be shit, but we should go and see it anyway!"'

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



What keeps you awake at night?

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

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010
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Last edited: 10 December 2011 14:27:54

Source: https://www.viggo-works.com/?page=2541