Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Viggo News

Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

Sticking with Purgatorio and Ariel Dorfman after his comment that Viggo spotted an anomaly in the script, I thought it would be good to take a look back at the play. Unbelievably, it's been 7 years since Viggo took his courage in both hands and trod the boards at the Matadero Naves del Español in Madrid. As you can see from the the quotes below, it was a very challenging text…

What brought you to theatre? "Fear. I've done theatre because it frightens me. I'm attracted to everything that frightens me."

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

"…when I met [Dorfman] in person, since he's Chilean, we were talking in Spanish and I asked him, out of curiosity, if there was a version in Spanish, and he said, "Well, yes, I have a version. A translation, and furthermore it would be interesting if you'd be interested in doing it, since you're bilingual, if you'd do it, Viggo, in Spanish first and we'll see what happens after that."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

Ariel says, more or less in jest, that it's a cursed play, that every time he tries to put it on in a, shall we say, legitimate theater, it doesn't work. Someone gets sick, something happens, somebody leaves, and there's been a long journey for us, too, before arriving here."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

'Sometimes, during rehearsals, I have thought that I've been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge…'

Viggo Mortensen
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011

"…this script is complicated because it's not how people speak. I think that it's just as complicated to seem natural, conversational in a script by Lope de Vega, by Shakespeare. It's complicated!"

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

'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

"I learned more about acting and thinking on your feet in that play than in my last ten or fifteen years in filming," he says, seriously. "There's no saying cut, you just figure it out; it's like an hour and forty minutes long take. I really loved it, loved the connection with the audience."

Viggo's round-table at the Freud Museum
by Lucy Wiles
Felix Films
10 February 2012

"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

"I find peace in Viggo´s eyes. Confronted with the giddiness of the text, you can take risks with him, walk the tightrope."

Carme Elías
Viggo Mortensen And Forgiveness
By Ulises Fuente - translated by Ollie and Rio
La Razón
1 November 2011

I put the script here, although I already know the text. I always have the script backstage. I have this owl with the bracelet in San Lorenzo colors; I touch the two eyes of the owl every night before I go on. I have a photo of San Lorenzo's first championship team in 1923, Father Lorenzo Massa, the Silesian who founded San Lorenzo, I have chocolate. I'm always eating...

Viggo Mortensen
Inside The Dressing Room
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
15 December 2011

'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

"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

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Andrés de Gabriel/Teatro Español.

Print View Link to this newsitem

TRANSLATION: From Perceval Press: Viggo & Catalan

Source: Translation by Ollie
Categories: Politics

Thanks to ollie for the translation of Viggo's remarks regarding his recent affiliation to Òmnium Cultural.
About a month ago I decided to become a member of Òmnium Cultural. I did it because of the interest I feel for the original function of this association, which was in 1961 and remains today, regardless of its growing political side, the claim of the language, culture and civil rights of Catalonia. This was clear (at least for me) in the text that Òmnium Cultural published announcing that I joined as a member: "Welcome to the family of Òmnium, Viggo Mortensen! It is an honour that you give support to the entity that works for the culture, language and civil rights of Catalonia ".

Surely the Spaniards know better than me that after the end of Franco's dictatorship cultural and political liberties were recovered in their country, including Catalonia. Perhaps they also know that Òmnium Cultural has continued, since the Transition, promoting the normalisation of the use of the Catalan language and its equalisation to the use of Spanish, and of the traditions and celebrations typical of Catalonia. I think it's an important task, and I recommend anyone interested in multiculturalism to take a look at it.

Since it was announced that I belonged to that organisation, I have been identified as "independentist". I knew that the issue of Catalan identity within Spain is very complicated, and that my link with Òmnium Cultural could be considered as part of the secessionist movement, but the truth is that I have never spoken in favour of the Catalan independence movement. I have said publicly that I think that Catalans have the right to decide how they want to be represented and governed, as the citizens of Quebec and Scotland have done, within a legal framework.

I don´t give a damn about flags, borders and passports. Well, I like the flags of the Athletic Club San Lorenzo de Almagro, the Canadiens de Montréal, and the Real Madrid Football Club, but I would never kill anyone for them. I have a passport because I need it to travel freely, but I am not a supporter of nationalisms - nor of Spanish, Catalan, American, Danish, Argentine, or of any human group. I know where I come from and I'm interested in learning where others are coming from. Where we will go cannot be known.

I am interested in Catalonia as I am interested in Andalusia, León or Madagascar. I was not asked if the recent affirmations in some media outlets and social networks that I supported a secession of Catalonia were true; it has simply been written and said, and it seems that it is already a fact for many readers. Also - and this causes me more sadness and anger than the lies and moral turpitude of many of the comments - when I have been blamed of certain convictions, it has been assumed that my partner has to think the same as me, something out of place in this day and age.

On the other hand, I do not intend to stop being a member of Òmnium because of the personal insults and lies propagated by biased or ill-informed people. As Albert Camus said, "all the misfortunes of men come from not speaking clearly." I hope I have done it this time.

Visca Catalunya and Hala Madrid.

-Viggo Mortensen

© Perceval Press.

Print View Link to this newsitem

From Perceval Press: Viggo & Catalan

Source: Perceval Press.
Found By: ollie
Categories: Politics

Thanks to ollie for the find. Viggo has something to say regarding his recent affiliation to Òmnium Cultural.

© Getty.
Hace más o menos un mes decidí hacerme miembro de Òmnium Cultural. Lo hice por el interés que siento por la función original de esta asociación, que era en 1961 y sigue siendo hoy, al margen de su creciente lado político, la reivindicación de la lengua, cultura y derechos civiles de Cataluña. Esto quedó claro (al menos para mí) en el texto que Òmnium Cultural publicó anunciando que yo me sumaba como miembro: "¡Bienvenido a la familia de Òmnium, Viggo Mortensen! Es un honor que des apoyo a la entidad que trabaja por la cultura, la lengua y los derechos civiles de Catalunya".

Seguro que los españoles saben mejor que yo que después del fin de la dictadura de Franco se recuperaron libertades culturales y políticas en su país, incluida Cataluña. Quizás saben también que Òmnium Cultural ha seguido, desde la Transición, fomentando la normalización del uso del idioma catalán y su equiparación al uso del castellano, y de las tradiciones y celebraciones propias de Cataluña. Me parece una labor importante, y le recomiendo a cualquier persona interesada en el multiculturalismo que le eche un vistazo.

Desde que fue anunciado que yo pertenecía a esa organización, se me ha identificado como "independentista". Sabía que el tema de la identidad catalana dentro de España es muy complicado, y que mi vínculo con Òmnium Cultural podría tacharme de ser parte del movimiento secesionista, pero lo cierto es que nunca me he pronunciado a favor del independentismo catalán. He dicho públicamente que pienso que los catalanes tienen derecho a decidir como quieren ser representados y gobernados, como han hecho los ciudadanos de Québec y Escocia, dentro de un marco legal.

Las banderas, las fronteras y los pasaportes no me importan un carajo. Bueno, la bandera del Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro, la de los Canadiens de Montréal, y la del Real Madrid Club de Fútbol sí que me gustan, pero nunca mataría a nadie por ellas. Tengo pasaporte porque lo necesito para viajar libremente, pero no soy partidario de los nacionalismos -ni del español, el catalán, el estadounidense, danés, argentino, ni el de ningún grupo humano. Sé de dónde vengo y me interesa aprender de dónde vienen los demás. A dónde iremos no se puede saber.

Me intereso por Cataluña como me intereso por Andalucía, León o Madagascar. No se me preguntó si eran ciertas las recientes afirmaciones en algunos medios y en las redes sociales de que yo apoyaba una secesión de Cataluña; simplemente se ha escrito y dicho, y parece que ya es un hecho para muchos lectores. También -y esto me produce más tristeza y enojo que las mentiras y la bajeza moral de muchos de los comentarios- cuando se me han achacado ciertas convicciones se ha dado por hecho que mi pareja tiene que pensar lo mismo que yo, algo impropio de esta época.

Por otro lado, no pienso dejar de ser miembro de Òmnium a causa de los insultos personales y las mentiras propagadas por gente tendenciosa o mal informada. Como bien dijo Albert Camus, "todas las desgracias de los hombres provienen de no hablar claro". Espero haberlo hecho en esta ocasión.

Visca Catalunya y Hala Madrid.

-Viggo Mortensen

© Viggo Mortensen/Perceval Press. Images © Getty.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I loved Ariel Dorfman's comment this week about Viggo querying his text in Purgatorio. It's so very Viggo isn't it? That depth of knowledge, his constant attention to detail, his desire to ensure that whatever he appears in is the best it can possibly be. Once he's committed he is a power house of information and ideas, from badgering Cronenberg about Freud's cigars to persuading Perez-Reverte that Alatriste came from Leon. It's a dedication that has been greatly admired and drawn on by fellow creatives over the years.

During a production of his play Purgatorio, Dorfman was challenged by the actor Viggo Mortensen, who was insistent about a line of dialogue: "This doesn't make sense!" he kept repeating. "He wouldn't let me go," Dorfman says. And Mortensen was right. The actor was able to teach Dorfman something about his own play. "You learn, if there's no aggression in an artist exchange." If an actor or editor is generous and open, the writer can gain something.

Ariel Dorfman: 'Not to belong anywhere, to be displaced, is not a bad thing for a writer'
By Andrew Madigan
The Guardian
9 May 2018

'We really trust each other's sensibility. I did talk to a director once who said, "You know this guy Viggo you worked with? I sent a script to him, and he sent me notes!" I said, "Yeah? Well, were they good notes?" He looked at me like I was crazy.'

David Cronenberg
'Dangerous Method' helmer talks working with Pattinson, Giamatti on 'Cosmopolis'
By Christy Grosz
13 December 2011

"Viggo was a central collaborator in terms of his ideas about the script. He had wonderful and insightful ideas about everything, including adding his own original music to the film. For me, he exemplifies a very high level of artistry and integrity. That is one of the things that made him my first choice to play Ben, Physically and temperamentally, he was absolutely right."

Director Matt Ross
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016

'He comes to the role with such fierce dedication and so many ideas. We invited him into the editing room later in the process and he had a very complete memory of what he had done and what had been shot and asked us very challenging questions about why we had chosen one approach over the other. He was a very good extra eye in the editing room and I was glad we were able to spend some time with him there.'

Interview with Joseph Krings, Editor of "Captain Fantastic"
Manhatten Edit Workshop blog
20 July 2016

'He thinks 24 hours a day about the film; he is insatiable when thinking ideas, dialogues, suggestions for enhancing the images, the work of the group in general, and with the other professional and nonprofessional actors who acted with him in different scenes from the movie. I was very lucky that he liked the story.'

Lisandro Alonso
Nueva voz: Lisandro Alonso y el cine de los hombres solos
El Deber
28 December 2013

'…this is a thing I knew about Viggo -- once he commits, he's committed. He's incredibly loyal to the project, to the character, to the movie. Once he committed there was never any going back; it was full on, "Let's do research of the Viggo kind" -- which is very deep, to say the least. 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

"You would think, 'Of course Cronenberg was drawn in by the tattooing,' but it was almost not there," says the director. "In the original script, tattooing was just alluded to. Viggo discovered a set of books called Russian Criminal Tattoo and a doc called Mark of Cain, which was about the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons, and when I saw them my mind was blown completely."

Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

"Viggo's one-man research engine helped mould David's thinking about the script, and fed into the script in a great way. It informed our whole process."

Paul Webster
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features

'He called me once to talk about certain aspects of his character and history, such as Alatriste's birthplace. I had never detailed it in any of the five novels published up until now, but Viggo was interested in the fact. 'In Old Castile,' I responded. 'Could it be Leon?' he asked after thinking about it for a while. 'It could,' I responded. So then he went to Leon and walked about covering it inch by inch, remaining in each town, in every bar, talking with whoever happened to be in front of him. In effect, he finally concluded that Alatriste was Leonese. And he said it with such conviction that even I didn't question or argue the point.'

Arturo Pérez Reverte: Alatriste
El Semanal, July 2005-08-04
Translated by Elessars Quee

'I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, "listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: 'Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those painting."'

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

'I worked with him 12 years ago on horses, we rode together down by the Mexico border in Arizona while working on Young Guns 2. He played a small role [in which] he rides along with Billy Peterson, who played Pat Garret. He plays John W. Poe, a historical bounty hunter who pursued Billy the Kid. We had all these young actors playing historical figures and I had all this research available. But it was Viggo who had this tiny little role, who just kept coming to me and saying [things like], 'You know, I was doing some research and copper was really big at that time and they were making copper rifle scopes. I think that Poe would've made his own scope, you know, as a bounty hunter to personalize his tool of the trade.' Then he would come back and say, 'What was Poe's relationship with John Chisum? Did he have any cattle interests...?' So when I heard that he was interested in the role [of Hopkins] I anticipated that kind of commitment to research and sure enough, days after he was cast he called me and said, 'Who do you know on Pine Ridge reservation and can I go there?' Within a week he was out with these Lakota horsemen and riding with them, and on a long ride to Wounded Knee."'

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

When Mr. Jackson telephoned Mr. Mortensen, whose work he admired, the conversation did not seem to go well.

"Knowing Viggo now, his conversation was incredibly Viggo-like, but at the time it was incredibly off-putting," Mr. Jackson said. "He was asking about the character: how long has he lived with the elves? Where are his parents? If I didn't know the answer, I'd make it up. There would be this terrible long silence, and I didn't know if the phone had disconnected or not, and then he'd ask another question and there would be 30 more seconds of silence."

"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

"Viggo commits himself to a project with the same intensity as the filmmakers - which is rare for an actor," the director says. "After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, Fran Walsh and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

'He is absolutely dedicated to the process,' says Ridley Scott. 'He was constantly revisiting me with questions and notes and suggestions, none of which I ever got tired of.'

Ridley Scott on GI Jane
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

"…with Viggo you don't just get a violin, you get a whole symphony orchestra."

David Cronenberg
RT talks Eastern Promises
By Sara Schieron, Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

You will find all previous Quotables

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Hanway/Lago.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Actor Viggo Mortensen joins pro-independence Catalan group

Categories: Politics

As is his way ... Viggo takes a stand.


American actor Viggo Mortensen, known for playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has become a member of pro-independence Catalan association Omnium Cultural, the organisation said Thursday.

© Getty.
"The Omnium family is getting bigger and bigger, and from today, we have the honour to count on the support of actor Viggo Mortensen as a new member," the group said on Twitter in a post re-tweeted by an account of the actor.

The 59-year-old, who grew up in Argentina and currently lives in Madrid, is in a relationship with Catalan actress Ariadna Gil.

Last year, he came out in favour of an independence referendum in Catalonia, which took place on October 1 despite a court ban.

Founded in 1961 to promote the Catalan language and culture that were then being severely repressed by dictator Francisco Franco, Omnium has in the past years become a major actor in the region's secession movement, organising huge protests along with the ANC, another pro-independence group.

Its current president, Jordi Cuixart, has been in jail since mid-October, accused of rebellion for his role in the region's failed secession bid.

© Images © Getty.

Display options:
Order by:        
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 26 May 2018 12:00:18