This week's Quotable is full of very, very long quotes because they are all favourite anecdotes. I make no apologies that some have appeared here before ? I love all of them and I'm pretty sure you do to. They are funny, quirky, inspiring and tell you pretty much everything you need to know about Viggo.
© New Line Productions Inc.
One last thing that I wish to report is a small anecdote concerning someone. One of my charming girlfriends, attached to the press core assisting all of the DVDrama personel, yesterday was herself helped by a hero and not the least of which since it was Mr. Viggo Mortensen, alias the sensual Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, about whom we are still having numerous fantasies since the first showing of Peter Jackson's trilogy. Present in Cannes to support David Cronenberg's film, A History of Violence, in which he proves once again his immensity talent, he went to the private evening gathering that followed the premiere screening, which was exactly where my girlfriend was, whose dress suddenly caught fire as she walked down the centre of an avenue edged with small candles. An accident which could have transformed itself very quickly into a catastrophe if the courageous Viggo hadn't intervened immediately, gently throwing himself on her to help extinguish the first flames that could have become a conflagration. Reassuring and concerned he next took lengthy care of her. After this summer the King of Tolkien, Viggo, is today the King of Cannes and I regret not being the one of whose dress caught fire!
Viggo the Hero
DVDrama, Cannes Film Festival Report
17 May 2005
A really nice box-office clerk (I'm not naming names) at a downtown Madrid theatre discovers that Viggo Mortensen, whose girlfriend, a famous Spanish film star, was acting in a version (very poor, to be sure) of a famous play which was playing right there, has come to buy a ticket.
Quite possibly, Mortensen could have asked his partner for an invitation and that would have been that. Instead, he insisted on paying like any regular guy. The box-office clerk recognised him, and smiling, gave him a guest ticket. "How much do I owe you?" said Mortensen in his cheerful Argentinian accent. "No, no, nothing, you are invited," answered the box-office clerk. The Hollywood star thanks her cordially, goes, and ten minutes later returns with an ice cream for the box-office clerk! He insisted that she should take it, although she said she was on a diet, so he sweetened her afternoon. Anyway, when I grow up, I want to be Viggo Mortensen.
Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
25 November 2011
I order a margarita. He orders a whiskey and a beer. The waiter sees a notepad on the table and his celebrity antennae pop up like Ray Walston's extraterrestrial ones in My Favorite Martian.
"So just who is interviewing who?" the waiter asks us. This is a formality. He's pretty sure that this is the guy from The Lord of the Rings. I start to reply, but Mortensen holds up his hand. "She has just set the world record for the longest distance windsurfed by a human being," he says, tilting his head in my direction.
"No!" the waiter gasps.
"She windsurfed from Hawaii to the mainland," he continues. "Sure, there was a boat that followed her, and she slept at night, but still. That's what, how many miles?" He looks at me.
"Um, thirty-seven hundred?" I say. I have no idea.
"And not even a man has done that yet," Mortensen tells the waiter. "Isn't that cool?"
The waiter asks me to sign a menu.
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
In one take, Mortensen was battling an Uruk-Hai, a powerful and ferocious strain of orc, when a blade that was jutting from an extra's armour slashed into his face. "I thought, Oh my God, he's lost his face," recalls Perez, who then saw that the blade had somehow missed Mortensen's flesh but split his tooth - literally in half. "I said, 'You lost half a tooth.' And he looked at me and said, 'Look for it. You can stick it on with superglue.' And I said, 'No, come on, don't be silly, you can't.'" Mortensen finally relented and went to a dentist's office, still in full battle armour.
Filming the Battle of Helms Deep
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Occasionally, people who walk by will do a double take - nah, that guy just looks like Viggo Mortensen. The real Viggo Mortensen wouldn't be hanging out on a bench with a camera, would he? But this is how he lives. He does not insulate himself from the world - just, maybe, from who he is rather than who he wants to be: himself.
Sitting casually, hanging out on the bench, seems ideal. But there is a problem. There are rats. Many of them. They are running back and forth between the bushes, over the footpath, and it is impossible to ignore them.
"Wow. They're bold," he says, incredulously. A couple of Brazilians pass by. "Hey - I could ask them who they played in the World Cup final."
He jumps up off the bench, leaving me alone with the vermin. As he stands chatting with the Brazilians, a small huddle forms around him. Next thing, he is posing, arms draped around them, for a photo. He looks back at me over his shoulder with an expression that says "Oops."
Minutes later, he returns. "Yeah, in the final it was Brazil against Holland. I didn't really give a sh** but I was rooting against Brazil - I grew up in Argentina." But Brazil has never met Holland in a World Cup final: it was the semifinal in 1994. No matter, he's still impressed by the rats.
"Whoa! Did you see that one? That was a rat-a-roo. Is it a herd of rats, a flock of rats? Maybe it's a swarm."
Another one tumbles past. "That one has a bad back. He's old - that's sad." Having a conversation about anything else proves impossible. "I don't remember seeing that many rats here," he says. "They're twice as big as the rats in Los Angeles. That one was like a possum'.
The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times
30 November 2003
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,
28 September 2005
We wander our way to the Japanese garden, where the cherry blossoms bloom and sit on a steep grass bank. As is his wont wherever and whenever possible, Viggo wears no shoes. He spots an oval-headed balding man, with wisps of gray hair, walking with two younger women.
"Is that Arthur Miller?" he whispers. "Wait till we see his face."
We watch, and even before we see his face, we agree that there is something about the way this man walks that is not the way we somehow know Arthur Miller would walk. And the women are somehow not the women Arthur Miller would walk with in a Japanese garden.
"Let's just say it was," Viggo says, and by this I don't think for a moment he is suggesting that we should conspire to lie about it. Just that, with some willpower and a creative refusal to join the dots and draw a line we will no longer be able to cross, we can delay even this small disappointment and keep alive our moment in the park with Arthur Miller a little while longer.
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004
A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.
Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita