Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



In 2012 Viggo played the small cameo part of 'Old Bull Lee' in On The Road but made a HUGE impact. Reading through the reviews recently I was struck again by how completely he inhabited the part and how much the critics loved his voice and every 'completely smoky' moment. While I'm sure Viggo would be horrified at the idea of 'stealing the show', we can enjoy the recognition of his work here.





…spare attention too for Viggo Mortensen. He gets two minutes in which to draw a spot-on caricature of William Burroughs.

Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
26 May 2012




In a brilliant cameo, Mortensen gets Burroughs's flat, wry voice exactly right as he denounces Moriarty as psychotic, exposes how the English translation of Voyage au bout de la nuit bowdlerises Céline's original, and hilariously demonstrates his version of Wilhelm Reich's ludicrous, once fashionable orgone boxes for the control of psychic energy.

Philip French
The Observer
14 October 2012




Show-stealer Viggo Mortensen channels William Burroughs with relish.

Tara Brady
The Irish Times
12 October 2012




Viggo Mortensen, priceless in Old Bull Lee / William Burroughs, highly intelligent and completely smoky.

Norbert Creutz
Le Temps
26 May 2012




Of those men, all the Beat icons, only Viggo Mortensen's William Burroughs makes a strong impression, albeit only fleetingly in a brief cameo. Unlike the others, Burroughs is a stay-at-home fellow at this point, but what a home (a crumbling abode in the Louisiana bayou) and what a fellow (by turns brilliantly incisive and demonstrably unhinged). Again, the balance inadvertently shifts – we'd rather forego the highway to stick with William and his William Tell act.

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
18 January 2013




Mortensen's performance has the genuine, and ferocious, frisson of inhabitation that the biopic demands: alternately gun-crazy, butt naked and sharply observant.

Sophie Mayer
BFI
12 October 2012




Viggo Mortensen's Old Bull Lee is perfect in his grizzly, strung-out-on-heroin brand of isolation.

Julien Hawthorne
Colombia Spectator
13 January 2013




Viggo Mortensen… does an uncanny job of reproducing Burroughs' well-known voice, while capturing the whole of the character as well as (or better than) Peter Weller in "Naked Lunch." Very little of the book's humor comes across on screen, and Mortensen manages to provide what little there is.

Andy Klein
Glendale News
5 January 2013




… Viggo Mortensen amusingly nails William Burroughs' dry, paint-chip voice in the role of Old Bull Lee, a Burroughs-esque junkie already deep into violence and paranoia.

Owen Gleiberman's
Entertainment Weekly
23 May 2012




Viggo Mortensen makes things jump with his sepulchral growl as Old Bull Lee (William S. Burroughs)

Manohla Dargis
The New York Times
23 May 2012




One could watch an entire movie of Viggo Mortensen playing Bull, a sharp-dressed heroin addict who nods off with his child in his arms and strips off his clothes to get in an orgone accumulator he built in his backyard.

Jenni Miller
Hollywood.com
10 December 2012




Mortensen steals the show with a perfect Bill Burroughs drawl....

Jonathan Romney
The Independent
14 October 2012




…Viggo Mortensen is purely glorious playing a thinly-veiled William Burroughs, the trio's wise but wonky mentor.

Xan Brooks
The Guardian
23 May 2012



You will find all previous Quotables
here.


© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Gregory Smith/MK2 Productions.

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Quotable Christmas Quiz - The Answers


Found By: Iolanthe

Here are the answers to last week's Quotable Quiz, I hope you had a lot of fun quessing them! How many did you manage to get?





Who said?

"He's one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him is quite literally the best thing that's happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her."

Answer: Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic)


"I was terrified during improvisation that he might ask me something about Nietzsche, like, 'What do you think about the Ubermensch?' The night before he arrived, I spent hours Wikipedia-ing Jean-Paul Sartre and others just in case he threw me a curveball."

Answer: Sam Riley (On the Road)


"Come on, we've all been Viggo-tized before."

Answer: Michael K Williams (The Road)


"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Answer: Ed Harris introducing Viggo at the Deauville film Festival


"He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Answer: Renée Zellweger (Appaloosa)


"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient! And he's got a great chin."

Answer: David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises)



"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Answer: Elijah Wood (LOTR)




What's the missing word?


Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Answer: Santa Claus


"To be honest about the climbing scenes, I have a little vertigo," says Mortensen. "It gets me. I'm glad I look like I'm comfortable."

Answer: vertigo


Few stars of his stature would consider such a low-budget arthouse film in a foreign language - let alone co-produce it, be able to act in both Spanish and Danish, and be prepared to sport such spectacularly awful whiskers.

Answer: whiskers



...no man other than Viggo Mortensen could carry the moniker 'Blouse Man' and retain the sort of paint-peeling smoldering sexuality that he wields throughout this film…

Answer: Blouse Man


Viggo Mortensen, as far as I'm concerned, could do a Rubix Cube on screen for two hours and I'd still want to watch him, the guy is that good.

Answer: Rubix cube


Nikolai's charming nickname is "The Undertaker." Around the set, his squared-off Dracula pompadour acquired a nickname, too: "The Soviet Bloc."

Answer: Soviet Bloc


Which Movie?


"Next day my agent calls me and said, 'He loves you. You got a part.' 'Oh really? What's the part?' He goes, 'I don't know exactly, but it's a part. You're in the movie,'" Mortensen said….

…."And of course the movie comes out the next fall or whatever, and I told my family, 'Friday.' And I'm not in it. I'm not in the credit, nothing," Mortensen laughed.

Answer: Purple Rose of Cairo


"It was a crew of about ten people walking over the rocks. We were all tired but we had a lot of fun. By nightfall, since we were 150 km from the internet and telephones, we made a little fire, an asado, we talked... It was a family experience."

Answer: Jauja



…during the preparation of my character I listened to thousands of hours of salsa music from the early seventies.

Answer: Carlito's Way



'I was supposed to be handing him tools and he'd say 'Hand me a whatever,' and I didn't know what the hell he was talking about.'

Answer: Witness (building the barn with Harrison Ford)


"When you see the character sitting alone, he's like a monk. It's like you've given up things of this world for other purposes, to serve something bigger than you. It just happens to be something scary."

Answer: Eastern Promises


'My character is an average person in an extraordinary situation who has to make difficult decisions. It was nice to play a guy with a job and a family, rather than a guy with a big axe to grind. And scary too, because in a role like that you have to fit in, whereas you don't if you play a sociopath. In this role, I couldn't hide behind violence or fake teeth.'

Answer: Crimson Tide



What/who is it?

"It was so big, I didn't know at first if I could walk around with it in the movie because it was so huge."

Answer: Eight-gauge shotgun in Appaloosa


…honestly folks, how can anyone… NOT want to build a hut in it?? I mean, even just for the summertimes, you know?

Answer: Viggo's beard



"It was like a compulsive thing after a while," the actor explains. "I felt like it was unlucky not to have it, so I would sneak it in. It became this game to see if I could keep getting away with it." He did--until the last day of shooting, when his finnish friend fell out...on camera. Says Mortensen, with just a touch of mischievous pride: "David saw it and was appalled."

Answer: Plastic trout (while filming A History of Violence)


He wasn't afraid or worried about the lights, camera, or anything. He was totally calm. You know that comic strip Andy Capp? That guy with his hat? I just think of him like that. He would just be there like, 'Whatever.''

Answer: TJ ('Hidalgo')


"Is it horrible?" he winces. "Does it look like me? As long as it doesn't look like me, then there's no voodoo risk."

Answer: Viggo's LOTR action figure



And finally, who did Viggo give his San Lorenzo socks to?

In the last minutes of the program, I took off my boots to give him the San Lorenzo socks I was wearing and I think I told him that he'd have to look for the shorts himself. He also accepted that gift with a lot of dignity and in an extremely generous spirit. If he thought that I was an idiotic Cuervo, he didn't say so.

Answer: Maradona



You will find all previous Quotables
here.



© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe


After my last Two Faces of January Quotable there was a comment that critics always end up saying that his latest performance is the best thing he's done in years. So – just to tease you – I've rounded a few of those up, along with a couple of outstanding comments from earlier roles because they just couldn't be left out. What do you think Viggo's best ever performance is? Or does he just get better and better with every role?






Captain Fantastic


...this is a thoughtful examination of the fragility of any idyll under pressure from the imperfect world outside. But all of it is anchored and, like the family itself, dominated by Mortensen's Ben, who's both the hero and the villain. Caring but dictatorial, idealistic but often blind, he's a fascinating figure and, in bringing him to life, Mortensen gives his best performance yet.

Helen O'Hara
Empire Magazine
18 August 2016



Loin Des Hommes

...filmmaker David Oelhoffen's more significant achievement is in the casting of a never-better Mortensen, who possesses the sort of face that conveys volumes in virtual silence and the similarly expressive French Algerian actor Kateb.

Michael Rechtshaffen
LA Times
1 May 2015



Two Faces of January


Soaking up the highlights of Ancient Greece, Chester MacFarland resembles a spick-and-span palace. In fact, as becomes apparent, he's a ruin. Every time he gets drunk another partition collapses; when he sobers up, the grand edifice dazzles again.

It's the best thing Mortensen has done in years.

Charlotte O'Sullivan
London Evening Standard
16 May 2014



A Dangerous Method


It's possible that in lusting after Mortensen all these years, we've taken his talent for granted. Of course, we really didn't know how talented he was until he started working with Cronenberg. This is the best thing Mortensen's ever done. His slow, paunchy, hairy Freud has a cavalier authority and a capacity for drollery. He's also seductively wise in a way that makes both Fassbender and Knightley, as very good as they are, also seem uncharacteristically callow. I don't know where Mortensen found this physical and psychological heaviness, this expressive inexpressiveness, but now isn't the time to start a diet.

Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
23 December 2011



Todos Tenemos Un Plan


If you, for some reason, want to watch Viggo Mortensen watching Viggo Mortensen take a bath, then, my friend, your luck is in – as the renowned star of The Lord of the Rings franchise turns in one of the finest performances of his career, taking on the role(s) of identical twins in Ana Piterbarg's intense, if somewhat unfulfilling drama Everybody Has a Plan.

Stefan Pape
Heyuguys.co.uk
28 May 2013



The Road

It's hard not to be drawn in by the sunken, haunted weariness of Mortensen's face, especially when he's doing some of the best quiet, understated work of a long career built on quiet, understated work. Mortensen's laconic strength has always well served the hero who knows how unlikely a happy ending is, and yet keeps pushing ahead.

Locke Peterseim
Redblog
Redbox.com
26 May 2010



Appaloosa

While many might not appreciate this slow and slightly revisionist western, I'm going to put it up there with "Open Range" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" as one of best. Go to see Ed Harris kick tail, but stay for one of Viggo Mortensen's best performances.

Coop Cooper
The Small Town Critic
1 October 2008



Good

An extremely powerful World War II drama about a man at a crossroads, forced to make almost impossible choices between friendship and survival. It's the best work Viggo Mortensen has done.

Jeffrey Lyons
NBC/Lyons and Bailes Reek Talk
October 2008



Eastern Promises

As Nikolai, Mortensen is nothing short of remarkable, completely disappearing into his heavily-tattooed character and speaking in both Russian and flawlessly accented English. Hardly a cardboard villain, Nikolai is easily the most compelling character in the movie. In spite of earlier scenes of furious — and chillingly callous — violence, he nevertheless gains some of the audience's sympathies as he compellingly presents his internal conflict with subtlety and nuance, often using only his eyes. It may very well be the best performance of his career thus far, topping even his recent work in another Cronenberg thriller, A History of Violence. Someone, nominate this man for an Oscar already!

Jason Turer
Cornell Daily Sun
14 Sept 2007



Alatriste


Viggo Mortensen carried the role of Diego Alatriste y Tenorio to perfection. Right down to small but highly effective ways of expressing an emotion, Mortensen's portrayal of this 17th century Spanish soldier-turned-mercenary is his best work to date topping even his stellar performance in the 2004 release of Hidalgo.

Egyptian Theatre Premiere of Captain Alatriste Glitters, Deserved Goya Best Director Award
by Kriss Perras Running Waters
Malibu Arts Review March 2007



A History of Violence

Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film......Viggo's acting here reminds me of vintage Harrison Ford, before... whatever happened to him. Think WITNESS or maybe even THE FUGITIVE. He's just very very good. He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done. It's kinda perfect.

Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005



The Lord of the Rings


The king who returns in "The Return of the King" is Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), the Ranger originally known to the hobbits as Strider, but of the royal line dating back to the first war against Sauron, in which the One Ring was taken and lost. The character of Strider/Aragorn grows in stature as the books go along, from a stout-hearted vagabond to a great leader in battle, to (finally) the noble monarch born to rule wisely and well. Mortensen's performance follows that same arc; given the time and space by Jackson to build his character in all its nuance, he becomes Aragorn to the life.

ROTK
Jim Lane
Sacramento News and Review
December 2003



GI Jane


Doing his best to steal the film, however, is Mortensen, who is simply terrific as the Master Chief who brings everyone to the brink and uncharacteristically loses it when a mock prisoner interrogation with Jordan gets out of hand. This fine actor has been an arresting presence in numerous films in recent years, but he cuts such a strong profile here that he may finally have found his breakthrough role.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
7 August 1997



Carlito's Way

Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005



The Indian Runner

Arquette is perfectly cast, her natural aura of gentle goodness and purity making what follows all the more horrific to watch. At Dorothy's admonishment- "Frank don't talk like that!" - Frank switches. If we weren't so caught up in the film itself, we would be in awe of Mortensen's skill here. His acting is breathtaking, as he builds from disappointment through hurt to a mean sarcasm - "Did I say the wrong thing?" that turns quickly to simmering anger - "Is it that we're strangers? We're not strangers". He is genuinely frightening to watch, the whole scene feels as if we are onlookers at a real-life domestic dispute. By the time Dorothy tells him "I don't know what you're talking about. Let's eat", he is ready to explode.

Why I love… Viggo Mortensen's Frank in The Indian Runner
Rowan Righelato
The Guardian
27 September 2013



You will find all previous Quotables
here.


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

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Ed Harris has some interesting comments on Appaloosa


Source: Cowboys & Indians.
Found By: Iolanthe
Iolanthe brings us this little snipper from a nice interview with Ed Harris from Cowboys and Indians .
Quote:
appweb3.jpg
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
C&I: Ten years ago you made Appaloosa, an adaptation of the first in the Cole and Hitch series of western novels by the acclaimed novelist Robert B. Parker. The movie has your imprint all over it, as star [playing Virgil Cole opposite Viggo Mortensen's Everett Hitch], director, and co-writer with your friend Robert Knott. Tell us a bit about the experience of making it.

Harris: I guess it was 10 years ago. Well, I think that Appaloosa is a really good story that we made in a more classical vein than most westerns are filmed today. It felt genuine to me from the horse tack, guns, and other weapons to the historic--style buildings and what was inside them, along with the other set designs and props. It was really fun doing it. We all paid such attention to detail, and all that attention really paid off.

This was the first book in the Cole and Hitch series. My daughter and I were doing a horseback riding trip in Ireland, and I brought the book along on the trip. I think I had just finished the third chapter and was so taken by the characters and story that I called my agent to see if it might be available to option.

C&I: New York Times film critic A.O. Scott had this to say about the film: "One important gunfight goes by so quickly and anti-climactically that even Everett remarks on how fast it was over. 'That's because the folks knew how to shoot,' Virgil says, offering an implicit defense of Mr. Harris's crafty and unassuming approach to filmmaking."

Harris:
There you go. I think my directing was unassuming, although I don't know how crafty it was. But it sure was fun making the movie.

C&I: Appaloosa has also been called a violent period western, as Virgil and Everett make their living as gunmen for hire. But, on another level, it is a relationship movie about the two characters.

Harris:
My buddy and bestselling writer Robert Knott and I co-wrote the screenplay, and I really felt that we captured the relationship that Parker put on the page between those two cowboys. I gave the book to Viggo at the Toronto [International] Film Festival in 2005 when we were there for A History of Violence. There was no one else I really wanted to do the film with, and I certainly never considered anyone else. I just thought he and I would make a strong partnership on screen.

I think Cole and Everett would be a great twosome to have on a well-made television series. We would have done a sequel to Appaloosa, but Viggo didn't want to play to same character twice. He's really a great and creative guy and I'd love to work with him again. He can talk all day long. ... You won't get that from me. ...

Parker wrote four books in the series, and then Robert took over after he passed away and wrote another four or five. I'm really proud of Robert; he's my best buddy who works his butt off to keep the series going.

© Cowboys & Indians. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Two Faces of January is on TV this week with a 4 star rating and seeing it in the listings has reminded me how much I need to see this film again. Viggo gives a powerhouse performance (as does his suit) and Amini is masterly in the way he steadily builds up the tension and dependency between the three lead characters. We loathe and pity them at the same time. We root for them while trying to remind ourselves that we really shouldn't. All that and fabulous locations too!





Was it a thrill when Viggo came on board?

Yes! And a big surprise. I went to see him in Spain and one of the things I remember is the feeling that I was auditioning for a movie star. I expected to be kept waiting for days, but it went completely opposite of what I'd imagined. First, he phoned to make sure I was alright as soon as I'd arrived at my hotel, he walked to my hotel to meet me and took me out to dinner. He paid. He wouldn't let me pay. That's just an example of what a kind and gracious man he is.

Hossein Amini
Viggo Mortensen & Kirsten Dunst Open Up About New Movie, Paparazzi & Being Boring
By Dorri Olds
The Blot Magazine
26 September 2014




"He became almost like a partner, sort of a patron saint to the whole movie. That allowed me to go and get the financing."

Hossein Amini
New director turns to an old favorite, '2 Faces of January'
By Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
1 October 2014




"Viggo is a gorgeous man, so it wasn't that difficult to have chemistry with Viggo. He's really funny, which a lot of people wouldn't expect, and we had a really good time together."

Kirsten Dunst
London Premier Interview
Press Association
14 May 2014




After Viggo Mortensen committed to playing Chester MacFarland, Amini slightly tweaked his conception of the character. "Viggo looks heroic and there's an element of Gatsby in the character, which doesn't exist in the book so much," says the British-Iranian Amini. "I love that element of striking, handsome, charismatic men who are destined to be defeated somehow; Chester struck me as that sort of character, whereas in the book he is a little more wasted from the very beginning."

"The Two Faces of January" - Production Notes
StudioCanal
February 2014




"[Hossein Amini's] process is one of the best experiences I've ever had. "He got us altogether for a month, month and a half, to talk about the script. We could work out these things before shooting and ask questions about the characters. He was really open to changes that we felt were necessary. It was incredible for a director who has spent twenty years fine tuning his script to open up that process to us. It allowed us to work more smoothly and be more invested."

Viggo Mortensen
Press Conference
Cinema Chords
14 May 2014




"Chester is kind of a slob, all sweaty and paranoid; he's crazy from the start, really."

Viggo Mortensen
Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
By Robyn Candyce
Moviehole
24 September 2014




"He's got a lot of hidden fears. It's a real banquet for an actor."

Viggo Mortensen explains rooting for the bad guy in 'The Two Faces of January'
By Chris Lee
Entertainment Weekly
26 September 2014




'...it's part of his con, the look, he wants to look like he came from money and all that. I don't think his origins are those clothes that you see.'

Viggo Mortensen on "Lord of the Rings" — and playing an American at last
By Andrew O'Hehir
Salon
24 September 2014




"It was kind of fun to speak with an atrocious accent. He's speaking in a muddle of Greek and Italian; that was sort of a funny little touch."

Viggo Mortensen
The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 2014




'...they lie, steal, cheat, murder - they deserve any bad thing that happens to them. But as an audience member you find yourself cheering them on. You want them to get away with everything. You want them to get away from the cops, you want them to get away with the girl, with the money. It's a contradictory thing, it's a strange thing, but it's a dynamic that happens a lot, at least to me as an audience member. When a movie, a film noir thriller, works I want the bad guy to get away with it.'

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Two Faces Of January
Adam Miller
Entertainmentwise
15 September 2014




"Viggo really embraces the ugly side of characters… not a lot of stars do."

Dave McNary
Variety
22 June 2014




"There was a brotherhood of masculinity then," Mortensen says with measured admiration. "Those men, they prized self-sufficiency. You cared about how you presented yourself, drunk or sober; I love those pictures of guys, working-class guys, going to a ballgame in suits and hats. But there's another side, too. There was a certain intolerance of foreigners. And if you yourself had any kind of leanings or unusual interests — jazz, say — you could be a little suspect, too... It was interesting to look at all that, my father's generation, through a magnifying glass."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Two Faces of January,' LOTR and what his movies teach him
By Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
21 September 2014




Soaking up the highlights of Ancient Greece, Chester MacFarland resembles a spick-and-span palace. In fact, as becomes apparent, he's a ruin. Every time he gets drunk another partition collapses; when he sobers up, the grand edifice dazzles again.

It's the best thing Mortensen has done in years.

Charlotte O'Sullivan
London Evening Standard
16 May 2014




The voice on the phone is husky, familiar, and just a little menacing. "I was told to call this number," the speaker says. I give a little shudder before realising it's Viggo Mortensen, calling as planned to talk about his new film, The Two Faces of January. Phew.

The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 1014



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© VIggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © StudioCanal/Working Title.


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Last edited: 26 May 2018 12:00:18