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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Viggo has been busy preparing for Green Book we all know what that means – a humungous amount of deep and varied research. Viggo has always said that this is the best part of his job. He loves learning about new things, visiting new places, immersing himself in the life of the character he's playing. He goes much further than most actors, often taking things to awesome lengths that have become legendary in the business. The only thing that defeated his research methodology was wily old Lucifer…





Carlito's Way

'…it's not just in the viewing that there are no small parts, but there are no small roles in terms of preparation, either. I ended up spending a long time in East Harlem where there are a lot of Puerto Ricans, and listening day and night to the music. I found a wheelchair that was from 1974, which is the one you see. I left Manhattan with a big collection of salsa music from the early '70s, and I think I bought the entire catalog of Fania, a record company. I went back to Los Angeles and I made dinner in the wheelchair, wheeling around. By the time I got there I was completely ready and I had a lot of fun. It might as well been a whole movie, because each character is the whole movie for the person playing the character.

Viggo talking about Carlito's Way
10 Lessons on Filmmaking from Viggo Mortensen
Filmmaker Magazine
3 November 2016



The Passion of Darkly Noon

For his role as a mute in 1995's The Passion of Darkly Noon, Mortensen remained silent throughout filming. "I only heard him speak after the shoot was over, and then only to say, 'Thanks everybody, so long.' He'd make clicking noises in the back of his throat to communicate," recalls costar Brendan Fraser. Mortensen refused to break character even to settle his hotel bill. "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."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39
2002



GI Jane

One thing to remember is that all the actors did go through the brutal training themselves, except for Viggo Mortensen. He trained alone a lot earlier than his fellow actors. He spent a considerable amount of time observing actual training sessions and talked to several active and retired Navy Seals. Most of the supporting cast were angry with him that he didn't go through the grueling training, with the exception of Moore, but in the end, that's exactly what Mortensen wanted so that the actors who have a reason for not liking his character.

Demi Moore Displays Sheer Will and Determination as 'G.I. Jane' Turns 20 Years Old!
By Rick Rice
mxdwn.com
22 August 2017



A Perfect Murder

'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine
1998



The Lord of the Rings


BE: I heard that you showed up on the set with a copy of the 13th-century Icelandic Völsunga Saga.

VM: Yeah. I was on the plane to New Zealand, thinking, God, what have I done? Once I got off the plane, I went to the bookstore and got a copy of the Völsunga Saga and a couple other things that I was pretty sure I'd need. And then I had a friend send me whatever I could remember that I had on the bookshelf at home. It wasn't as if all the elements of the book were unfamiliar to me, given my background. Tolkien even took the names of the dwarves right out of Nordic texts.

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



Hidalgo

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… 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



A History of Violence

Mortensen's commitment translated to a collection of artifacts he purchased in the Midwest on his travels, which included ducks and a bank in the shape of a fish head that says 'fishin' money' on it and is set on the diner's cash register, posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle and other animal sculptures for his daughter's room which he thought Tom's character would have in his home."

Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit


Alatriste

'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.'

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El Semanal - Translated by Elessars Queen
July 2005



Eastern Promises

"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



Good

"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. The thing that was valuable was just standing there. It was spring, there were flowers, and the sky was blue. You sit on the grass and yes, you're moved by all these things and the ghosts that you can feel. I was thinking about the guards, the prisoners, the kids... but there were things that I didn't expect. It's hard to explain, but it just keeps opening and opening, and you can never stop learning."

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



The Road

While he was on a tour doing publicity for another movie, Mortensen would sneak off and talk to homeless people, whose survival-oriented existence paralleled that of his character. "Every major city around the world, there are people that live outside, and they have the same concerns as our characters," he said. "How am I going to get food? How am I going to stay dry? How am I going to keep people from stealing my stuff or hurting me? You can't get any more basic than that."

Viggo Mortensen: 'Road' Warrior
Mortensen talks about playing a father in the post-apocalyptic 'The Road.'
By Sam Adams
18 November 2009



A Dangerous Method

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



Two Faces of January


I was mainly interested in what kind of generation [Chester] was from. I spoke with my father's friends, men who came of age during the Great Depression and served in WWII, like Chester. And that informed how he'd wear his clothes, how he'd speak, his gestures and his attitude towards women. The one thing about these men that I found most interesting was that, even at their most downcast, their appearance was paramount. Every day, they ironed their shirts and smoothed their hair, no matter what.

Actor Viggo Mortensen
Vanessa Keys
Sunday Style Magazine
13 June 2014



Jauja

What past did you invent for this Captain Dinesen?


I took things from another Dinesen. A writer and adventurer who also went to the New World at the end of the 19th century. A hunter, he was the father of Isak Dinesen whose real name was Karen Blixen. I took things from my grandfather, my father's accent and since I know something about the history of Denmark and Argentina, I could link them.

Viggo Mortensen: Film and Soccer Activist
By Horacio Bilbao - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Clarín.com
27 November 2014



Loin des Hommes

'I've walked I don´t know how many kilometers, from alley to alley, going up and coming down thousands of steps around the Casbah and the old European neighborhoods, letting myself be drawn towards a nameless destination, going forward or retracing my steps according to noises and colors, mental associations, memories, questions I was asking myself. Everything perfect, everything inconclusive, everything valuable, the city came into me, and I into it.'

Viggo on preparing to film in Morocco
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 October 2013



Captain Fantastic


The director sent Mortensen a huge box of books of recommended reading, including texts by Tom Brown, the renowned naturalist and author of 'Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival; linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky; and Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and writer Jared Diamond, all of which he felt Ben would be intimately familiar with. "I thought that was a great way to frame some of the knowledge that this family would have," Ross says. "It turned out Viggo had read all the books already."

Cannes Press Kit
May 2016



And Finally…


The Prophecy

'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
La Prensa Grafica
7 March 2007
La Prensa Grafica



You will find all previous Quotables
here.


© Viggo-Works/iolanthe. Images © Focus Features.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

Having just made a herculean effort to tidy up my garden ready for the winter and facing an afternoon sprucing up the house and cooking ready for visitors, I've been thinking. I could do with Viggo. Forget acting, art, poetry and all that stuff. Viggo is a man who cooks, grows his own vegetables and vacuums. Every house should definitely have one…




"I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else."

Really? Anything else?

He looks at me, his gaze is quite level. "I like gardening a lot."

Viggo Mortensen on 'A Dangerous Method'
By John Preston
Seven Magazine
The Telegraph
11 February 2012




Are you a keen gardener?


I always have plants — even if I'm staying in a hotel for an extended period, I tend to get plants and find a way to keep them growing depending on how much light the room gets.

60 Seconds - VIGGO MORTENSEN
Metro.
2 February 2017




'Viggo was there early enough that he planted the entire garden and that's a real garden.'

Matt Ross describing Viggo adding to the Captain Fantastic set
'Captain Fantastic': Matt Ross, Viggo Mortensen and the perils of off-the-grid fatherhood
by Michelle Lanz
The Frame
7 July 2016




'…I could say to Matt, "If it's this time of year, this is how big the vegetables would be. This is what would grow in such a small clearing." All those things you only see in passing, but it was important to him and to me that the way this family lives be completely credible.'

Viggo Mortensen goes 'extreme' in 'Captain Fantastic'
Josh Rottenberg
LA Times
30 June 2016




Walking calms me down and sets my body and mind in motion. And gardening. Planting trees and seeing how they're doing a year later. It's like visiting your friends. Actually, I usually plant seeds from the places where I go. Maybe it's not legal, but hey, they are gifts from nature that I find in my pocket.

Viggo Mortensen: "The older I get, the more tired I get of Hollywood."
By Rocío Ayuso - translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Pais
8 October 2016




PA: O.K., Vig, give me a gardening tip. What do I do if I have snails eating all of my strawberries?

VM: Put little bowls of beer down for them.

PA: What does that do?

VM: They crawl in there and drown. They probably die happy. Beer is better for the environment than pellets.

Interview with Patricia Arquette
By Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine
June 1995




"I like to live dangerously. Last night I was quietly at home, cooking a meal of chicken, onions and garlic, Cuban style, and then here I am today facing a pack of journalists."

Viggo Mortensen Talks About "Jauja" and "Far from Men"
By Martin Dale
Variety
7 December 2014




"I'm not sure that you'd like my cooking. It's not at all conventional ..."

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




"When I called Viggo, he said, 'Pick me up at 8." I get there and he cooks. He's a Renaissance man. He paints, he acts, he writes poetry, you could bounce a quarter off of him and he cooks the way our mothers cook -- from scratch."

Mark Ordesky
Valiant Effort: A Late Substitution, Viggo Mortensen Dived into Rings.
By Irene Lacher
LA Times
21 December 2002




"I love to cook," he admits. "When we did Lord of the Rings, I'd help cook these big Thanksgiving feasts on the set."

The Renaissance Man adds, "I do all the trimmings plus even make pies."

Viggo Starring In Different Sort Of Psychological Thriller
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times
8 December 2011




This myth of the poor lonesome cowboy, the guy who has no need of others to be happy, is it really a trick to attract women?

On the contrary! Each time I have tried to charm them with my poetic cowboy side, it's ended in total failure. To seduce a woman, food is more effective than poetry. I love to make complex dishes. That always works!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009




'I'm a bit frantic in the kitchen though. I'm calm while I'm doing it, but I'm pretty restless in that regard.'

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




"Some might say I am a better cook than I am a painter," says Mortensen and laughs out loud.

From Movies To Photos
By Jette Hansen - translated by Rosen
Morgenavisen, Jyllands-Posten
19 October 2008




Do you have a cleaning lady?

No, I do that all by myself. I don't even own a dishwasher. If you wash off plates and cups by hand, it has something meditative. It's like that with the fishing. The spirit is directed toward an action, one relaxes and begins to perceive things at the edge of view.

To do the Dishes has Something Meditative
Celebrity
14 April 2007




I understand that you're very neat.


Well, I'm very messy in a lot of ways, but there are two things I always do: wash my clothes and wash my dishes, and even though everything might be messy, it's clean.

Like David Beckham.

He must be neater than I am. Do I look like a disaster? The truth is that I wash everything all the time.

Viggo Mortensen: "When Mourinho speaks, you don't know if he's calculating or crazy."
By Gloria Scola ? translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
ABC.es
5 September 2011




'I even vacuum...'

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




"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."

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

So The Lord of the Rings might be getting a TV adaption? If it happens, heaven help whoever plays Aragorn as there are mighty boots to fill. In the minds of – well – pretty much everybody, Viggo IS Aragorn, even while presenting a reluctant side of Aragorn which didn't appear in the books and which Tolkien never imagined. He made Aragorn into the Hero we all wanted to walk Middle-earth with. Whether Tolkien's Aragorn or not Tolkien's Aragorn, Viggo brought Middle-earth's King in Waiting to life in a way that can hardly be matched. Who will ever again find that intensity, grace, swordsmanship and – on set and off – inspiring leadership?




Mortensen is Aragorn!

'The Lord of the Rings' is Getting a TV Adaptation
By Sheryl Oh
Film School Rejects
6 November 2017




Why is Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy so good? It could be his immersion in J. R. R. Tolkien's original novels: He can speak knowledgeably on why Aragorn carries a bow, although it's not directly mentioned in the original text. Or it could be his complete dedication to the role: During filming, Mortensen went everywhere with his sword, even to restaurants. Or it could be his overall intelligence: When he first read The Lord of the Rings (on the plane down to New Zealand, after he was brought in as a last-minute replacement), he was struck by the echoes of Beowulf and ancient Icelandic sagas. Once he had landed, he bought a pile of the books Tolkien himself had used as sources. 'I made it a classroom in mythology and literature,' he says - and he turned Aragorn into an uncommon film hero, one with genuine mythic resonances across the centuries.

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




'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




There is something other-worldly about Mortensen that makes him so suited to playing the dashing Aragorn who, along with Russell Crowe's toga-hero Maximus in Gladiator, has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002




"I read an article that said, 'Finally, someone's found the niche for Viggo Mortensen: the rugged hero who has a deep intellect and a great humanity. That's what Aragorn is, because Viggo has brought that to it. He's very like that as a human being."

Bernard Hill
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003




Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn.

FOTR
Nick Nunziata
CHUD
December 2001




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn carries himself with the perfect air of strength, compassion, and quiet nobility that you expect from someone who you would be willing to follow into battle.

The Two Towers review
efilmcritic.com
Brian McKay
22 December 2002




As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did; his threadbare regality is more eloquent than any exposition.

The Two Towers review
Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
20 December 2002




Towers belongs to Mortensen, an actor of considerable range who makes Aragorn's moral and romantic dilemmas seems amazingly plausible and immediate.

The Two Towers review
Louise B. Hobson
Calgary Sun
18 December 2002




Mortensen as much mobilizes this cast of thousands externally as he does within the narrative, and plays the true-hearted hero with enough gravity to make Aragon believable without slipping into parody Prince Valiant clichés.

The Two Towers review
Todd Gilchrist
FilmStew.com
18 December 2002




A few of the characters seem even richer, more profound than Tolkien's own conception. Viggo Mortensen finds an astonishing stillness and poise at the heart of Aragorn (he's a bit of a stiff in the novel). This deep love of peace is what drives him to fight, a paradox which makes him more kinglike than any other character.

The Two Towers review
Suzi Feay
The Independent on Sunday
15 December 2002




The dashing Mortensen never lets his audience down in his representation of this rugged warrior, a leader of men who endure one battle after another, testing not only their valor but also their very existence.

Return of the King review
Diana Saenger
Reeltalkreviews.com
December 2003




As the capstone to one of the single greatest achievements of modern motion-picture history, The Return of the King is generally peerless - Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, the King of the title, is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...

Return of the King review
Marc Savlov
The Austin Chronicle
19 December 2003




I really don't know what happened myself, but I lost myself completely in the role. I am a man who likes to withdraw into solitude and take long hikes in the woods and mountains. So was Aragorn. We fitted perfectly together.'

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




'Viggo just became so synonymous with Aragorn that it was hard to see him as Viggo again and not Aragorn. I have never witnessed an actor enter the spirit of a role as he did.'

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

I confess I'm more than a tad over-excited by the news of a new Viggo photography book, Ramas Para un Nido. One thing is for sure, it won't be predictable. With Viggo all photography rules get broken (don't shoot into the sun, don't over expose, hold it steady…). Even the camera itself is often broken – when most of us would be packing it away for a journey to the camera repair shop, Viggo keeps shooting just to see if something interesting will happen. It always does.





The pictures in this book have been made with different cameras, techniques, and, unavoidably, with all the longing, love, laughter, doubts, and mistakes that have shaped my life so far.

Viggo Mortensen
Perceval Press
October, 2017



'In a way, I am a photographer even when I don't take pictures. I think it's an instinctive thing by now, a part of myself'.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008




He likes to sit in bars to listen, and he would love to go unnoticed as the least known of the regulars. But he almost never does. He seeks images, constantly, or images find him. And then, Viggo Mortensen takes out his professional camera and photographs at ease. He always has it ready, just in case. It could be a landscape, like when he went about the north of Argentina; it could be someone who catches his attention...

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
Gente
April 2010




Several of Viggo Mortensen's different faces can be seen in his photos, some more recognisable than others. In front of the large photograph Topanga 7 where golden green light moves across a profile like it was a reflecting water surface, he says in perfect Danish:

'This self-portrait I shot with a slow shutter speed. That way I became part of nature. You can see the blue sky through the brim of the hat and there are plants in my face. With that technique you can become one with the surroundings - the house, the wall, or nature.'

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




Recently, I'm doing digital photography almost exclusively. I have old cameras, two from 1903 which I sometimes also continue using.

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
20 Minutos
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
6 September 2012




'Two years ago, I spent a few days in Montana with Viggo while he was shooting Hidalgo, and I swear he was never without a camera. One moment he was slamming on the brakes to photograph a horse on a hill, and the next, he was slowing down to take a picture of a cloud.'

Tom Roston
Editorial
Premiere
November 2004




'I have a camera with a broken lens -- I was actually doing it two days ago in Montana. There were all these horses running and I was taking pictures and then the lens was just all screwed up. So I took it off. I don't know what it's going to look like. It's hopefully just going to be a good flow of shapes and color.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002




Did you and Viggo Mortensen use homemade cameras?

We're not that renaissance. Viggo's got an old hasselblad that he takes forever to focus & shoot. But I must admit he's got some real talent behind the lens. . . not too bad in front either.

John Doe
John Doe finds Emily at a Crossroads
By Emily Strange
Emilystrange.com
June 2012




I've photographed a lot with Leica and Hasselblad cameras but last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen. Then you check out the films and choose the best ones. I have an opinion of how I want them to be."

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




The artist uses multiple exposures, camera shake and long open shutter exposures coupled with extensive camera movement, to paint images onto the film emulsion.

Viggo Mortensen - Painting with Light
By Christopher Harrod
New Zealand Art Monthly
April 2004




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




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




Viggo Mortensen's photographs can be explained as poetic; sometimes the focus is shallow, a lot of movement, light sometimes leaks into the pictures and makes weird influences.

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




ST: I was trying to figure out the process for those flares. I thought that burn came from the development process.

VM: No, it was in the camera. The wiring that advanced the film and activated the flash got messed up. I was fishing and dropped the camera and it got wet. When it dried out, it started doing that. I shot a roll, saw it and thought, "Oh, shit." But when I looked at them, I thought that some of them looked kind of interesting. So on the next roll, I tried moving the wire all the way to one side and the flares would go to that side. Then I moved it to the middle, the right, and on the bottom and shot maybe eight rolls of film before it stopped working altogether.

A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
20 September 2002
Source: Morphizm




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




Not everything's a masterpiece, of course, not by a long shot. But when Mortensen's good, when he's firing on all cylinders, he has the ability to produce some truly breathtaking images. According to Dennis Hopper, it's because Mortensen's instincts "come from the right place, from the subconscious."

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Viggo Mortensen.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Finally the Blu-ray Special Edition of Sean Penn's The Indian Runner has been released and I hope it will give a new lease of life to an outstanding film that barely raised a ripple on its release. Multi-layered, frightening, thought provoking and at times deeply moving, it's full of outstanding performances from Viggo, David Morse, Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette, Charles Bronson and Sandy Dennis. It's time it was appreciated by a wider audience.





As moody and volatile as the problematic Frankie, "The Indian Runner" starts off with a killing and sustains a threat of possible violence throughout even its gentlest episodes. That threat is especially evident in the presence of Mr. Mortensen, a magnetic actor capable of both scary outbursts and eerie, reptilian calm. (Mr. Penn's own acting style is strongly echoed in this performance.) It is some measure of Mr. Mortensen's savage, mocking ferocity that in a final confrontation with Dennis Hopper, who plays a bartender given to in-your-face philosophizing, Mr. Hopper seems easily the tamer of the two.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
20 September 1991




Over at his place Sean had a really interesting book of photographs from the sixties by Dennis Hopper-just plain ordinary folks across the country. There was a picture of a guy at a diner, with his hair up in the air, wearing a white shirt with the cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve and a tattoo on his arm. And Sean said, 'That's Frank!' Then Sean calls me and says, 'I got the television on here, it's HBO, and there's a movie on called Fresh Horses, and there's this actor in it . . . '

Don Phillips
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)




'Seeing his face and his expression, I knew it was him. I was praying for such a wonderful actor. I wasn't disappointed.'

Sean Penn
Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
8 January 2004




'I had always thought of Frank as a barking dog that bites,' Penn says, 'so I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




Facially, Mortensen looks like a cross between Sam Shepard and echt movie villain Lance Henriksen, a suggestion enhanced by his character's myriad jailhouse tattoos (applied in hours-long makeup sessions) and the unperiodlike leather brace on his right hand and wrist, which he wears constantly and removes only immediately before shooting. Word on the set is that Mortensen busted a knuckle and sprained his wrist during rehearsals for a fight scene, but when asked about the injury, his eyes take on a demonic glint.

'Sean Penn,' he says, 'bit me.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premiere
October 1991




"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




… it's the brothers who hold the screen. Mortensen, working in hot colors, and Morse, working in gray, deliver sensational performances.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone




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
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)




Deploying that unsettling stare and those bacon-slicer cheekbones for the first time, he creates a memorably feral, seductive and unpredictable lost soul with a capacity to switch from charm to menace in an instant that brings to mind a young Kirk Douglas.

The Indian Runner Film Review
By Jeff Robson
Eye for Film
14 September 2011




'When you feel his anger brewing - and it comes out of nowhere, like a freak storm-you want to duck for cover. Sometimes the alarm dissipates; in my favorite scene from the film, he startles a neighbor who has called at his door, yanking her Elvis t-shirt over her face while an inquisitive old coot looks on. Mortensen oscillates between drowsy menace and raucous mania, making you unsure of the scene's intended tone, and of him; it recalls Jack Nicholson's infamous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces, only without the comforting hint of showmanship...'

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




This is room 202, practically at the top of the stairs, which has been dressed as Frank's crash pad. Mortensen walks in and surveys its detritus. He takes a washcloth from the room's sink, folds it, and drapes it over the railing at the foot of the bed...no, not just yet. First, he goes to the bottle of Southern Comfort that sits on the dresser, lies on the bed, and puts the bottle between his legs to open it. Then he splashes some sour mash on the washcloth and re-drapes it. With his thumb over the top, he sprinkles more over the sheets and replaces the bottle. Finally, he ponders the room's Bible: Should it go over the bed? No. Under the pillow? No.

Then he seems to get an idea: he grabs his switchblade, inserts it as a bookmark, and places the Bible on the bed. There.

Viggo's attention to detail on set
Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier,
October 1991




'Hopefully what will come across is that he does things he does because he's pure, pure good and pure bad,' explains Mortensen. 'I mean, compared to me and most people I know - we kind of have little controls and little ways of limiting our behaviour and our reactions to people. Frank doesn't really do that.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




The fact that Frank is more than a bit of a bastard and yet the audience still feels for him? That's testament to the quality of Mortenen's work here.

The Indian Runner Blu-ray Review
DVD Talk
25 October 2017




"I remember Sean saying to me on about the sixth week of shooting," Indian producer Phillips recalls, "'Don, Viggo's going to be a humongous star.'"

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"He's not a good actor, he's a great ****ing actor," Hopper says. "I'm not a fan of Sean's other two movies, but this is a hell of a movie. Don't live another day without seeing it. Mortensen is it. He's the real deal."

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



You will find all previous Quotables
here.


© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Westmount.


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Last edited: 11 December 2017 23:15:37