Viggo's thoughts on Acting and Filmmaking

ep05nik.jpg
© Focus Features.
"The places you will or can go in your mind in this line of work is still why I am doing it." - Viggo Mortensen

Print View


Thoughts on Acting

Have you ever thought what you would say if you won an Oscar?

Thank you.

El Mundo Webchat With Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 November 2011




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

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




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




"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




It was also a challenge to play a such a taciturn character [the Man in The Road]. 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




"...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




"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




"The places you will or can go in your mind in this line of work is still why I am doing it."

Viggo Mortensen Talks 'Appaloosa'
Premier Magazine
By Karl Rozemeyer
19 September 2008



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

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




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

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




'My goal is just to make movies, whether they're big or small, that I'd like to see 10 years from now. That's sort of the way I gauge it.'

Viggo Mortensen: Lay off the pope
By Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
20 March 2013




"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




Why are you an actor?

To fight against forgetting.

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




'I don't think there is any such thing as "Method Acting" because method is "what works," you know?'

Viggo Mortensen on Everybody Has a Plan, Argentine Popes and His Beloved San Lorenzo
John Lopez
Huffington Post
21 March 2013




Film reconciles the sprawl of his interests: philosophy, history, psychology, photography, music. Sure, it's an odd business, with plenty of pitfalls, but he thinks he has a pretty healthy take on it. "But then," he says, "if I had a really healthy attitude, I wouldn't be in the industry at all. So I must be somewhat contaminated."

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




There´s very little that I don´t like about being an actor, an artist. I think I´m very lucky to be able to make a living from this profession, and it´s a privilege. I travel, I meet a great variety of people and landscapes, I continue learning from other points of view. Sometimes the amount of time it takes to promote the finished films, with a lot of interviews, photo sessions, can be a bit annoying, but I understand it and accept it as part of my job.'

Viggo Mortensen demonstrates to this newspaper that the great never lose their humility
By - translated by Ollie and Zoe
TiempoSur
9 June 2013




'Films are teamwork and there are actors who don't mind saying that the film was a piece of shit but I was just fine. I don't like that. If the film doesn't work, there's nothing. It's like saying, I'm the top scorer, but my team didn't make it to the final.'

Viggo Mortensen
River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




"Acting is something that when it goes well it's the easiest and most enjoyable job you could imagine. But when it doesn't go well it's embarrassing and terrible and there's no way to solve a problem when you're in the middle of shooting a film."

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
By covermg.com
10 July 2012




'There are many talented individuals in this art form, but if there is one thing I have learned during the thirty years that I have been working as an actor in the movies it is that there is always a surprise around the corner. Stories and performances you would not expect to work, full of moments of rare beauty, humor, and inspiration. As an audience member, every time the lights go down and the images begin to dance in front of me, I am hoping for that kind of story, those sorts of moments.'

Viggo Mortensen
One-on-one interview with 'On the Road's' Viggo Mortensen
By Steven Lebowitz
Examiner.com
6 April 2013




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

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




"I never stopped traveling through countries and characters; this is my job."

Viggo Mortensen
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




'There's no better thing as I'm concerned in my profession than to be called reliable. Sounds boring, but if someone can count on you to do a job well, or as best that you can, that's what I strive for…'

Let's Get Viggo'd at The Coolidge
by Megan Johnson
Boston Herald Blog
6 March 2012




"Everyone has their own way of doing things. As for me, I love the preparation period, imagining the characters and playing like when I was a little boy. In my profession, I think it's very useful to maintain that fondness, that taste for play."

Viggo Mortensen: "I'm attracted to what scares me"
By Roció García - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
24 November 2011




Yesterday, as we finished our filming, I was overcome by a strange feeling of loss, this emptiness you speak about. It´s normal when plays or the shooting of a film come to an end; the work of the group is over and you are left alone in the night while the process of telling disappears as if it had never taken place.

Viggo Mortensen
The Rigors of Fate
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
4 June 2013




...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 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




'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




"When it works, acting is the easiest and most fun job in the world. When everything goes wrong, it can become the most embarrassing and humiliating. And there, unfortunately, no one can help you."

By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




"I'm glad when people like the work I've done and a little recognition is not a bad thing. The only problem is when you're recognized a lot. Then you can't sit at a table or walk down the street without people looking at you. I want to be the one looking at people. That's my research. I live to be a fly on the wall, soaking up everything and anything."

Superstar Viggo's a serious soul at heart
by Cindy Pearlman,
Chicago Sun Times
9 Sept 2007




'I would say there's two roles that I would have liked to play and that I came within a hair's breadth of playing. One was right in the beginning, Greystoke--to play Tarzan. The other was the Willem Dafoe part in Platoon. The thing is, I didn't have the experience to deal with the consequences of being in a big studio movie playing a lead. I wouldn't have kept learning. I've been lucky to learn by playing all kinds of roles and watching all kinds of really good cinematographers, actors, and directors for many years before people were even aware of me in terms of audience.'

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




'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




" .....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




'Working with fantasy is, in a certain way, a childish activity. However, 'it's childish behavior' is often said in a pejorative way. How many times have we heard that phrase? I think that it's something that doesn't have to be negative. Childish behavior? Yes, thanks! Me, I'm really interested in going to that extreme. Perhaps other actors aren't.'

Viggo Mortensen
River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




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

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




"Good luck talking someone into that: ' History of Violence, The Road - that guy? Forget it.'"

Viggo after the interviewer suggests a comedy
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009




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

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

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




'I've been told I've "arrived' so many times I don't know where I ever went,'[/i]

Viggo Mortensen
Mooning Over Viggo Mortensen
by Stephen Schaefer
USA Today 1999




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




"When I saw Death in Venice, by Visconti, I had a big shock. It is one of the movies that has really inspired me. I saw it again recently, it's a little dated, especially the flashbacks, but still ... That mixture of beauty and sadness ... And also the performance of Dirk Bogarde is so extraordinary! Its impact on me has been enormous."

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




Photography, like his painting and writing, gives him a sense of completion acting doesn't. "I see them all as the same thing, the only difference being that in acting you have to give it away," he says. "Unfinished paintings, that's what I keep handing in as an actor."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




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

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




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

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

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




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

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




"I've always looked at working on movies the same way as I do now, which is that a movie is only as good as the compromise that the group makes."

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




'....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




"If I've learned anything these past years it's that everyone is in some way your superior. Every movie I've made has confirmed the fact that this is a team sport."

AFI Fest: Viggo and The Road
The Bloggomist: The Local Boy
Evil Monito Magazine
17 November 2009




"I actually like the social aspect of moviemaking. I like to spend a lot of time by myself, but on the set I invariably make a lot of new friends. That feeling of group effort is something I find very worthwhile. It gets me out of myself."

Viggo Mortensen
Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009




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

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




"I have all kinds of little rituals, when I'm getting ready", he confesses with a slightly embarrassed laugh. "Before takes I dress in my costume in exactly the same way every day. If I do it wrong, I will do it all over again. I always put on my clothes in a certain order with my left sock first. There are also objects that I always carry around."

Viggo Mortensen
Verdensborgeren
By Patricia Danaher
Ekko Magazine
Translated by Estel
May-August 2012




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




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

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




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

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




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

Viggo Mortensen
Tasha Robinson
The Onion, 2004




"People talk about Method actors, meaning someone that's prepared very, very well, or whatever they mean when they talk about it. But the right method is whatever works for you. And what works for me on any given day is going to be different. It's going to depend on things like, does the director, or do the other people involved, want to rehearse? Do they believe in rehearsing? How do they rehearse? Do they like to improvise or not? How do they want to shoot the scene? Is it all one master, or is it bits and pieces? What kind of character am I playing? Does he talk a lot, or does he not talk much? Do people speak quickly? There are so many factors. If you have only one way of doing it, you're selling yourself short and depriving yourself of a fuller experience, and possibly of delivering better work to the director, to use as raw material in building a story."

Viggo Mortensen
Tasha Robinson
The Onion, 2004




"I've always avoided playing the hunk in the movies that I make," says Mortensen, "because that can limit your career so much. It's very rare too that the dashing leading man is a very interesting one, so that was another reason to avoid that route."

Incredible Hunk
by Paul Byrne
Wow! Cinema, 2001






"If I really think about it, there isn't any one movie I would wipe off my slate," Mortensen says. "Even during the worst experiences, there was somebody I got to know, or something about the place we were in, something memorable. A lesson."

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




"As always, I try to find something that's a good piece of writing, an interesting character, [and see] if there's a good director attached. If the other elements are good that's always extra, but it starts with the story being interesting and the character. Sometimes it's interesting but I'm not sure about it, and then you ask yourself why am I not sure about this? Is it because I'm afraid, because it's different, it's unknown? And then in which case maybe you should do it just for that reason."

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




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

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

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




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

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




"If there's something in a story that might be good for me to explore and learn about, that pricks my conscience or even scares me on some level, then that's where I try to go."

Viggo Mortensen
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right":
An Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Scott Thill
Morphizm.com,6 April 2004




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

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




...did the bad guy roles never give you problems with your conscience?

Yes, a couple of times. Like in the Sean Penn movie. But whenever I had to face up to a bad guy, I looked for the reasons he was bad (no-one is totally bad). If I could find those reasons, I took the role. A couple of times I turned down roles which displayed gratuitous violence. However the bad guy roles are nearly always better written, they are richer characters and are more interesting. A character like Aragorn can be so good it's boring.

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




'It's always a bit scary to start something new, even when I am convinced that it is a good story and a good character. But I think it is necessary to be afraid, because when you think that you know everything and you feel confident, you can contribute or learn very little. Yet, it is very important to visualize yourself doing everything, and to believe that you can do it; that will guarantee your success.'

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




"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




As Peter Jackson's record-breaking adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings began to take over the world two years ago, Mortensen retreated. Not for him the quick cash-in roles, the wham-bam-thank-you-mam blaze of multiplex fodder that would have no doubt made him a very wealthy man. Instead, he waited. And waited.

"I just couldn't bring myself to sign up to the kind of clichéd nonsense that I was being sent," he says. "Especially after an experience like The Lord Of The Rings. I'm not in this to be famous, or to make lots and lots of money; I want every film I make to be a learning experience, something that makes me wiser and mentally healthier afterwards. If I'd signed up for the scripts I was being sent, I'd merely be wealthier, but I certainly wouldn't be healthier."

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




"As an actor, whether you're well-known or not, the only real power you have is to say no, thank you. There are more things to say no, thank you to if you're in a movie that does as well as Lord of the Rings."

Viggo Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006




"Some people will take or pursue a particular job so they can put themselves in a position to win an Oscar. I think that can be kind of sad. It doesn't mean that they're in any way deficient as artists or they're not going to do a good job, but I think someone who has that as their main goal risks missing out on the true satisfaction of teamwork, of being in the moment and enjoying the moviemaking process. You're not really giving your full attention to the work."

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




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

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




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

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




"I don't think I'm quite cut out for the glamour side of this business," says the 45-year old, Manhattan-born actor. "I enjoy the working process more than the hoopla that comes once a film is released. For me, it's all about the making of the art itself - whether it's films, or music, or painting, or whatever. Once it's done, I'd just rather move on."

Viggo Mortensen
Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie 2004




You watch [the Oscars] and you realize that good work is maybe rewarded half the time and the other half of the time it's sort of a crapshoot, a popularity contest, and it's become more so. It's not gonna change my opinion about it having been a job well done, a good effort, and that's gonna last.

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




'For me, awards are a lottery; if it's your turn, it's your turn. I don't remember who told me, but it's like Churchill's medals: "You shouldn't go in search of them, but must accept them and never wear them."'

Viggo Mortensen
Alatriste, The Modern Hero
By Robert Andres Gomez - translated by Margarita
El Universal
25 March 2007




''I'm not gonna be rude about it. I'll show up for the ceremony. But I didn't participate in the everyday ... I dunno what they do, cocktail parties, keeping in people's minds, trying to convince people to vote for them. It's like, 'ugh, I'd rather just let the work speak', you know."

Viggo on the Oscars
Viggo Mortensen on his new film Good
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 April 2009




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

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




"I'm comfortable being by myself," he said. "If I could get out of going to my own premieres, I would."

Viggo Mortensen
I Still Ask Why
Dotson Rader
Parade magazine, 2004




'I don't 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




...when you say you want to take a break as an actor, people think he stops, goes off the set, and he's taking a break. No, it's, like, stopping a ship on the Great Lakes, one of those big freighters, and you say, "I wanna stop the boat' or 'I wanna turn the boat, one way or another'. You got to plan that miles ahead.

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




Mortensen is running late again. He should be packing his bags [for Morocco], but he'd rather finish the stack of paintings sitting around his house (his work will be exhibited in Cuba and Italy next year) and then hang out with Henry. Just as his success is opening doors, it's pulling him away from he values. "I'm starting to feel like, Ahhhh, I'm planning my life away too much, and I'm wary of that." He once said that if his acting career ever became too life-altering, he would leave it behind. "I'm pretty close to that now," he says. He isn't joking. "If I never did another movie it wouldn't really matter to me."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




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

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




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

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

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




"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




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

Viggo Mortensen: A Very Devilish Devil In The Prophecy
by Ferran Viladevall
La Opinión 1995
Last edited: 29 June 2014 08:44:04