Just recently we were able to connect up with Viggo and ask him a couple of timely questions that have been nagging us for a while. As is always the case, his responses once again make for interesting reading. Our thanks to Chrissie for taking the lead on the questions.
You have recently created a site for Perceval Pictures and have talked about your plans for developing your own movie over the next two years. Do you plan to invest in other movie projects? Is the selling of DVDs like The Mark of Cain something you intend to expand?
Perceval Pictures came about as we started to co-produce movies like Todos tenemos un plan, Loin des hommes and Jauja, as well as special projects like the just-released re-issue of Alix Lambert's The Mark of Cain DVD and the original documentary related to the band Skating Polly that Henry Mortensen is now editing. I would like to reissue a couple of other movies that deserve a second, well-produced viewing. As these become official, we will list those titles on our site as well. As is the case in my acting career, I do not have, as a producer, any long-range plans, but do expect that stories that seem worthy will appear sooner or later. I've written two new screenplays this year, and would like to direct one or both. If I direct one of those, or anything else comes along that I end up directing, they will be made in connection with Perceval Pictures.
Were you able to get a true taste of what it's like to live in Palestine during your visit for the Franco-Arab Film Festival?
It was a brief but intense visit to East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus. David Oelhoffen, the director of Loin des hommes, and I were fortunate to have received privileged glimpses of day-to-day life for Palestinian people in these places. Hopefully I will be able to return for a longer visit to this embattled, marginalised, and haunted part of the world. Apart from the obvious open wounds and old scars that these lands and their people carry, I also found hope, beauty, and joy there. I met people who create singular works of art under very difficult circumstances, as well as mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who care for one another and carry on with a degree of optimism and gratitude for life that stands in stark contrast with the unjust, often repressive socio-political situation they are forced to make their homes in as best they can.
Are you close to publishing the second volume of Argentinean poetry? And will you go to Argentina to promote it when it is published?
We had hoped to have had that second volume published long ago. I am not sure what the delay from our Argentine editor in getting the new collection sorted out for our review is due to. I will be speaking with him soon to find out if he has given up on the idea or if it is something he still wants to move forward with.
Comic book fans on social media regularly put your name forward as someone they would like to see playing a particular character. A number of names have been bandied about over the years but if you could choose to portray any comic book character who would it be and why?
Usually these mentions of my possible involvement in movie adaptations from comic books are just unfounded internet rumours, although I have been offered a couple of characters from comics over the years. Up to this point I have either been unavailable or did not feel I was right for the project. To tell you the truth, I do not differentiate between comic book characters, characters from novels, real history, or any other source. I always feel that the characters need to be as real as I can help make them, regardless of the story and style of the production involved. There are characters from comics that I find unusually compelling, but I would not be physically right for most of them unless the character was visually a full-on computer-generated being. Some of the comic book characters I find interesting, in no particular order of preference, are 'Asterix', 'Felix the Cat', 'Vladek' (from "Maus"), 'Ogami Itto' (from the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series), 'Patoruzu', 'Condorito', 'Aquaman', 'Korak, Son of Tarzan', 'Dr. Manhattan' (from "The Watchmen" series), 'The Green Lantern' (first comic book i ever read from cover to cover, as a little boy in Argentina), 'Ren' (from "Ren and Stimpy"), 'Maggie Chascarrillo' (from "Love and Rockets"), 'Lucifer' (from "The Sandman" series), 'Corto Maltese', 'Morpheus' (from "The Sandman"), 'Enid Coleslaw' (from "Ghost World"), 'The Pink Panther', and... I can't think of any others at the moment.
If you were writing a travel guide which places in Spain would you recommend to tourists and why?
Even though I have not been to many of the places that are reputed to be uniquely beautiful in Spain, there are, among the many striking landscapes and towns and buildings of historical importance that I have seen, too many to list. In terms of natural environments, places that immediately come to mind are the Costa de la Muerte, Cap de Creus, the Sierra de Gredos, the Picos de Europa, and the mountains of northern León, Navarra, Aragón, and Catalunya. A few of the relatively well-known buildings I particularly like are the cathedral Santa María del Mar in Barcelona, the Mosque of Córdoba, San Isidoro church and the Catedral in the city of León, the church Sant Climent de Taüll in the Valle de Boí, as well as many other romanesque churches in Catalunya, various old buildings in the cities of Cáceres, Úbeda, and Baeza, and so on. As far as places to swim, sleep, eat and/or drink go, there are too many to start listing them here!
What do you regard as the best Christmas present you received as a child?
Gifts I remember being very happy receiving from my parents when I was a little boy were, in no order of preference, my first knife, first rawhide lasso, first compass, first bicycle, Henry Treece's Viking trilogy (published by Penguin I believe), a cowskin-covered copy of Martín Fierro, first shotgun (16 gauge single barrel), first pair of real leather football boots, my first authentic San Lorenzo shirt, my first one-man tent. Those are some that come to mind. I have been very lucky, as a boy and as a man, to have received many good presents. It would be hard to single out one particular official gift.