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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe


As Riv has named this Alatriste week there's no need to tell you what this week's Quotable is about! Remember those heady days of intrigue, battles, capes, swords and that amazing moustache? Of Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno's wonderful articles for Diario de León which he always took the trouble to share with us? And how we followed the Captain through the heat and dust and fell in love with Spain? Wasn't it all wonderful?





The protagonist of this franchise is perhaps the least dashing, most enigmatic hero ever to rattle a rapier. Alatriste speaks little, drinks alone, dresses badly and blunders into traps set by more cunning adversaries. But he is fearless, deadly with a blade and, beneath his armored persona, stubbornly loyal.

The Pen and the Sword
By Donald Morrison
Time Europe
29 May 2006




"I liked the script a lot, and if you really want me to play this character, and it turns out that this can be done, it would be an honour for me, I'd like it." That was the simple and firm answer that the New York actor Viggo Mortensen gave the director Agustín Díaz Yanes when the latter offered him the part of Alatriste, the wicked soldier of the convulsed Spanish XVII century, created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García - translated by Paddy
El País Semanal
6 August 2006




CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film with?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything. In Spain, because of the tradition of our cinema, we don't have action heroes, and Viggo combines an impressive physique (that "exact image of the weary hero" that Arturo wanted) with the fact of being a spectacular actor of action films. He's an extraordinary actor in dialogue, in everything...he has that combination that it's so difficult to find here. Viggo has been the vital centre of the film. The title of the movie is Alatriste! His experience, his help and his advice have also been very important.

Action, history...and skilled swordsmen
By Andrés Rubin de Celis - translated by Paddy
Citizen K Espana
July 2006




CC: Which part of the novel was the most difficult to turn into a film?

ADY: What I was most scared of, but then it wasn't difficult, were the swords and the action, but via Viggo we brought in Bob Anderson. He taught us how to do it and we weren't afraid anymore.

Capitán Alatriste - in conversation with Agustín Díaz Yanes
By Ignacio Saldaña - translated by Paddy
Comunicación Cultural
25 July 2006




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 paintings."

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




"I know that my character is bitter and upset. He has good things within him, but it is difficult to find them."

Viggo Mortensen
The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan -translated by Chrissie
Accion magazine
April 2005



"Some supposedly great stars doubt you and call you and say. 'Man, what are you doing?!' But Viggo went for the kill. He was the first one to throw himself into the cold water, into a filthy mud puddle, and the rest followed him."

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




'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it!'

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




Viggo Mortensen plays his character to perfection. He submerges himself in Alatriste and his terse, murmured and yet sonorous speech is that of one who knows words are extraneous when swords meet. His clear gaze, firm and serene, his calm, fluid gestures and that loyal spirit he has toward his comrades in arms, serve better than any narrative to tell the story of a man who knows irrevocably what his destiny will be, but still keeps hope alive for a future day when Spain will see better times and break free of the agonized struggles it is presently enmeshed in.

Diego Alatriste y Tenorio - Hero or villain?
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Margarita
Diario de León
29 August 2006




"He is Alatriste, the one I thought, the one I wrote! He's almost the one from the drawings!"

Pérez-Reverte
A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy




Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




The final sequence of the film was being shot, because it is in Rocroi that the final square made up of veterans from the Old Cartagena regiment makes a stand and the story of Captain Alatriste ends. I was behind the cameras, a privileged spectator watching hundreds of riders charge again and again against the loyal Spanish infantry and Viggo in the front line, his head uncovered and sword in hand, defending his life and that of his comrades. "He truly believes he is Diego Alatriste," Agustín Díaz Yanes told me between takes. "Actors are all a strange breed," he added, "but this one is a special case."

Viggo, The Captain
By Arturo Pérez-Reverte - translated by Elessars Queen and Astarloa
El Semanal, Diario de León
20 July 2005




"We were enormously lucky with the appearance of Viggo Mortensen; it could be no one else! Even Arturo took things from Viggo for the next novel. That´s where we succeeded with the followers... Viggo was so extraordinary that he surpassed everything that Arturo, and obviously I, could have thought. His physical presence on screen is tremendous, " he says emphatically."

Diaz Yanes
The Biography of Captain Alatriste
By Jose Edurado Arenas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
ABC.es
6 June 2010




That hero will have Viggo Mortensen's face forever. Challenging and tender. Big blue eyes and proud look.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García
El País Semanal - Translated for V-W by Paddy
6 August 2006


[B][COLOR=#FFFF00]
You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



Viggo has appeared in rather a lot of literary adaptions (not surprising for a man who reads and reads and reads...) – A Portrait of a Lady, The Lord of the Rings, Alatriste, Appaloosa, The Road, On the Road, Two Faces of January and Loin Des Hommes - and it's always clear how important the text is to him and that the script honours the book and the author's vision. Sometimes the book has been familiar to him for a long time, sometimes the script has introduced him to the book. Either way it's important that it's a good adaption and you can bet that in every case a copy of the book is always with him, sprouting post-it notes from nearly every page.





Loin des Hommes

Q. Was the Camus story a strong influence on how you conceived of your character?

A. Both David and I referenced the story as much as possible. I have always admired Camus and thought he didn't get a fair deal from the left in France. History has proven him right; he spoke truth to power and paid a heavy price for it. He thought people should find a way to live together, whatever their differences of skin color or language. I think the character in the story in many ways represents who Camus might have become if he had stayed in Algeria.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Silcas
New York Times
26 August 2014




Two Faces of January


Mortensen appears to be a fine connoisseur of the novelist and her work. He admitted he liked her short stories "even the ones that are a page and a quarter and you go 'oh come on' like the collection 'Little Tales of Misogyny'".

The American Friend, Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley also made the cut but he prefers the approach in The Two Faces of January, a "more graceful" one.

Berlin: Viggo Mortensen knows his Patricia Highsmith
By Tara Karajica
Screen Daily.
12 February 2014




On the Road


"...in the '70s, when I was 17-18 years old and living in America, on the border with Canada. On the Road was an initiation book for many adolescents of my generation, even for me. Much later, I discovered other writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Céline, Rimbaud, Camus ... But I find that Burroughs was the most original, an outsider, a pioneer of the language."

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




I read this novel for the first time as a teenager, and since then three times as a whole and often in parts. I've read everything that was published by Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. In preparation of the movie, I listened to all available voice recordings of Burroughs... among them were also talks between him and Cronenberg concerning the filming of Naked Lunch.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012




For many people, this novel was deemed unfit for filming. Did you ever have similar qualms?

Viggo:
I never thought this novel unfit for filming, yet it was obviously no easy task. But after reading the script, my concerns were easily resolved. The movie takes over the novel's best elements, stays true to the characters and besides focuses on the women, which for me is a true improvement compared to the original.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012




The Road


Viggo did you come to the film from reading the book or the actual script?

I'm a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, I had read all of his books except The Road. The Road came out with great fanfare and went on to become his most far reaching universally appealing work because it's more straight ahead, it's easily understood, the dilemmas are understood by any culture. I hadn't gotten around to reading it just out of shear stubbornness because everyone kept telling me how great it was. I was meaning to read it. I had seen it wherever I went, in airports and so forth and I just hadn't read it. But then I read the script which I thought was a great script, a great story. I realised it was quite an honour to be offered this role. After reading the script I ran to the store to buy The Road and read it all

Viggo Mortensen at the BFI London Film Festival
Flicks and Bits
30 October 2009




What did you learn from your discussion with the book's author, Cormac McCarthy?


I talked to him one long time before shooting on the phone. We basically talked about his kid and my kid and being dads. I had tons of notes and questions to ask him. I was ready to pick his brain. At the end of the conversation, he asked me, "Do you have any specific questions about the book?" I had 50,000 post-it notes in the book and not one but two pens in case it ran out of ink. I mean I was ready. But I said "Nah, I don't really" because I realized the conversation we had was all I need to get going. His book and his words are so heartfelt and so free of any gimmickry. He just transcends cultures and languages.

Viggo on The Road
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun Times
22 November 2009




"…the book was my constant companion. It's pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to. But this movie is about man's humanity, this flower that blooms in a desert between two people."

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009




After the movie, Viggo came back up on the stage and answered a few questions. When put on the spot to add on a final word he thought for a second then dug into his bag and brought out his personal copy of THE ROAD. There were what looked like a hundred stick-it notes marking different pages and the spine was cracked and worn. It's obviously seen a lot of use.

To close the event he read a bit from McCarthy's description of the sea-area landscape. That was pretty cool…

Quint at the Telluride Viggo Mortensen tribute
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008




Appaloosa

Ed Harris read Appaloosa while you guys were still working on A History of Violence. Then you read the book after that, right?


Mortensen:
When A History Of Violence was presented here at the Toronto Film Festival, he was here to do interviews, just like I was for that movie. He handed me this book and in his kind of quiet way said, "Here's this book. You might like it. It could make a good movie." He wasn't very forward about it but that was sort of a big step, I thought. It must mean something, being that he's such a good actor. And he did a great job directing Appaloosa. I thought that it was intriguing. I knew that was what he was driving at - that he wanted to direct this movie.

So you kind of committed to him based on the book?


Mortensen:
The book, yeah. He hadn't written [the screenplay] yet.

Interview With Appaloosa Star Viggo Mortensen
Reelz Channel
3 October 2008




Alatriste

While the texts that this film is adapted from are widely known in the Hispanic world, in the United States they haven't had such a similar recognition. Assuming that fact, how did the opportunity to take part in this production fall into your hands?

I didn't know Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novels. Long ago, I had worked in Spain with Ray Loriga, in My Brother's Gun. One day, Ray told me he was going to be in Berlin, where I was promoting Peter Jackson's The Return of the King. Loriga went with a friend, Tano (Agustín Díaz Yanes), who brought a script that he gave me to read. I liked the plot as a tale, as a story. And it captivated me. So I decided to do it, against everyone and against everything.

The Filming of Alatriste - Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Jesús Martin - translated by Paddy
Acción
July 2006




'When I read the books which the movie is based on, I liked them so much: they told me an interesting and complicated story. The character too is more complicated than my previous ones. For this reason the movie can even catch the viewers unprepared: they expect a lot of action in imperial Spain, and they find themselves deeply lost in events full of shadows.'

Viggo, a movie star forced to fight - "Heroism? It's only propaganda..."
By Claudia Morgoglione - translated by Cindalea
Repubblica
18 June 2007




Lord of the Rings


Basically, I got a call: "Do you want to go to New Zealand for fourteen months to film The Lord of the Rings?" Just, you know, this famous epic trilogy! And my first reaction was "No!" Obviously I'd heard of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but I hadn't read the book, and I certainly hadn't read the script; I usually like to have a lot more time to prepare for a major role; and I really didn't want to be away from my family for that long. I have to say, it didn't sound like a very wise move to me at all!

My son said I was crazy and that I had to do it, even if I was going to be gone a long time. So there I am on the plane for New Zealand, reading that enormous, telephone directory-sized book and then the scripts, and a couple of days later I'm filming. I continued to feel unprepared, but at least I didn't have much time to get nervous, which was probably good!

Viggo Mortensen
Official Movie Guide




Were you a J.R.R. Tolkien fan before the film "The Fellowship of the Ring?"


VIGGO: No. I'd heard of Tolkien and Hobbits and "Lord of the Rings." But I didn't know much about it. l assumed it was about elves and dwarves, maybe fairy tales. When I got the job, I started reading the book immediately so I knew what we were dealing with on film. ... I recognized themes from lots of other cultures, Samurai, Native American myths, not just European fairy tale -- the idea of a heroic journey, characters being tested.

Viggo on locusts, life and kissing Liv Tyler
By Molly Woulfe
Northwest Indiana Times thetimesonline.com
3 August 2004




"While Peter obviously cares a great deal for Tolkien's writing-otherwise he wouldn't have given so much of his life to it-what seems to have drawn him most as a filmmaker was the pure adventure aspect of the tale. The heroic sacrifice of individuals for the common good. All the breathtaking sequences-he really poured himself into those. The more I explored Tolkien, the more I felt I had two bosses: Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I tried my best to be loyal to both of them."

Viggo Mortensen
We Were All On an Epic Journey
by Jeff Giles
Newsweek magazine, 2001



You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



You may have noticed (how could you not!) that we have had Viggo the Swordsman every day this week as our 'Good Day Viggodom' offering. I do like a bit of swash-and-buckle so I have been teasing you in readiness for a whole quotable of swordplay from The Lord of the Rings and Alatriste and, of course, from that true King of Swords, the great Bob Anderson.




Alatriste


It is the return to the big screen of the king of swords...

The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan, Accion magazine, April 2005
translated by Chrissie




In the darkness, Alatriste's sword glows like Luke Skywalker's lightsabre. By day, his steel blade would be the envy of The Three Musketeers.

Alatriste: The Great Spanish Hero
By Carlos Maranon - translated by Margarita
Cinemania
September 2006




What was the physical training like for this role?

I worked not only for the swords, including the "vizcaína", but also to get used to the character. I went to the sword fighting rehearsals with those boots, the hat, the cape, to get used to handling the cape, to swirl it around, just like the "gauchos", that's where it comes from.

Viggo Mortensen ZonaCinemania Alatriste Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
ZonaCinemania
29 March 2007




I remember a practice session with Bob [Anderson] which was attended by several highly experienced fencers who were my opponents, including one who was internationally ranked. This man was attacking me with some ferocity when Bob suddenly halted the practice. He asked him to come closer, that he wanted to ask him something. Bob wasn't feeling well at that time; he had a lot of problems with his health, and was seated in a chair. He wasn't able to fight with us to show us how he wanted to put the sequences together. He remained seated, watching the practice, occasionally giving us instructions with absolute calmness and authority. He didn't miss a single detail. He asked the fencer if he felt comfortable. He said yes. Bob asked him if he wouldn't feel a little more comfortable if he slightly changed the way he held the sword, a matter of a centimeter. The swordsman said it wasn't necessary, that he'd done it that way for many years, and quite successfully. So Bob grabbed a sword that he had on the table beside him and asked the guy to put himself en garde. "Are you ready, sir?" asked the master fencer. "Yes, always," said the swordsman with a small smile, probably thinking that Bob was joking. "Are you really ready?" "Yes, sir." With a light but very quick movement of his wrist, Bob struck the man's sword, and it flew some 10 meters. The swordsman stood there amazed and a little upset. We were very still, amazed..

Warrior Geniuses Sought For 2012
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Sobrevuelos
Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro
17 January 2012




'Enrico Lo Verso was there, a great discovery for this film, a tall guy who plays the baddie, and Unax Ugalde and Viggo. They were rehearsing and I saw it: they were sweating like pigs, he insulted them and beat them with a stick..."You're a sissy, this isn't done like that! You would have been killed already, you son of a bitch! Come on, do it again!!, Do you want to kill?. You can't kill s**t!!. You're a mug!!' Do not expect "ornate postures" in the duel scenes, because you're looking for the right moment to move in (for the kill), because if you make your move too early you'll lose. That's what Bob Anderson transmitted to the actors, that's how it was done in the Golden Century.'

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Talk About Alatriste at the Alatriste y su mundo exposition
By Luthien 66 (transcription) - translation by Paddy
4 April 2006



The Lord of the Rings


... Mortensen... 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




Well the first day I met the fight choreographer, Bob Anderson, who's been around a long time - he taught Errol Flynn to fence and represented the UK at the Olympics. I went into this room and there were all these stunt people standing there and screaming and yelling. He had them all pumped-up and he stood me in front of them and said "Okay, go!" And they all started running at me, and I was like, "Holy shit!" He said "stop" and they all stopped. Then he told me: "This is what you're going to be dealing with so let's get to work..." He gave me a sword and it was just, like, crazy for two days. The first thing I did on camera was swordplay and I liked it. It was fun.

The Ranger - Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
by Martyn Palmer
Total Film magazine
2002




Mortensen's facility with the sword became immediately apparent. "The people who were teaching him said that he was insanely talented," says Miranda Otto, who plays the Lady Eowyn, who falls for Aragorn. "There's one scene [at the end of] the first film where a knife is thrown at Aragorn, who clocks it with his sword. One of the stunt guys who was meant to be his double said, 'I've been practicing that and I've never been able to [hit the knife] once, and Viggo hits it on the first take. I hate him.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




Bob Anderson once called Mortensen as good a fencing student as he'd ever instructed.

A History Of Defiance
By Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009




'...I had to get a sense of not only what it was like to fight, but also to walk around with a sword around your belt. Just getting the physical baby steps of the character helped.'

Lord of the Horse
By Anne and Lynne Huddleston
Manawatu Evening Standard
8 December 2003




"It was very important to me to make everything as believable as possible. That's why, even when I was exhausted, I always fought with the [heavy] steel sword rather than the lighter one," he explains. "I wanted to make sure the fight scenes were realistic. I shouldn't be able to just throw my sword around like Errol Flynn did, especially when I'm really tired. It should be hard to fight with it! Even when I was just walking around, I'd still wear the steel sword because it was heavier and it affected the way I moved."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson,
Pavement #62, 2003




Mortensen... 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 was given the ranger sword, not the re-forged sword, but the one that I used on my first day of shooting in October of "99 that was really well worn and that I kind of took care of and used throughout.'

Viggo Mortensen on his end of filming gift
Journey's End
By Patrick Lee
Science Fiction Weekly #348
December 2003




One day he suggests we go to a beautiful place he knows, Huntington Botanical Gardens, in Pasadena. He picks me up in his hybrid, clearing a scattering of CDs and a small ornamental dagger of Henry's from the passenger seat. Only later, when we park, do I notice the full-size fencing sabre across the shelf by the back window.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004




Do you prefer fighting with a pistol or a sword?

"I'm not such a big fan of fighting, I prefer to try to work things out."

Two-Minute Interview
By Anwar Brett
Ultimate DVD magazine, 2004




Storytellers and stories change, but the opportunity to do well or ill by others and ourselves will always be present. The right to choose how we coexist is ours unless we willingly surrender it. There can be no quick fix, no easy or permanent answer to the troubles of today or tomorrow. A sword is a sword, nothing more. Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are, for Middle-earth as for our world, the mightiest weapons at hand.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



It just has to be an Alatriste Quotable, doesn't it? A reminder of why, for us, Viggo will always be the one and only. A reminder that however the film is judged (more harshly now, I think, than when it was released), Viggo's performance got to the core of the character in the most extraordinary way, so much so that the bar has been set very high for any actor stepping into Alatriste's scuffed and worn boots.

You might like to listen to Roque Baños's truly awesome music while you read this.






The entire tone of "Alatriste" is set to match Mortensen's harsh, brittle handsomeness.

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times Review
11 December 2008




The film sheds the romanticism of costume dramas. Battle scenes are brutal and bloody. Regular life is dirty and desperate. Heroism is found in intimate human gestures — and in Mortensen's soulful eyes.

Bruce Kirkland DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010




Viggo, speaking vintage Castillian Spanish with his own voice, dominates the film as a kind of Medieval Clint Eastwood, short on words, long on deadly action when required…

Viggo Mortensen - Heroic On And Off Screen
By Alex Deleon
Fest21
16 October 2006




His clear gaze, firm and serene, his calm, fluid gestures and that loyal spirit he has toward his comrades in arms, serve better than any narrative to tell the story of a man who knows irrevocably what his destiny will be, but still keeps hope alive for a future day when Spain will see better times and break free of the agonized struggles it is presently enmeshed in.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
29 Aug 2006




Mortensen is astonishing, channelling the very essence of Alatriste's fiery integrity.

Diana Sanchez
Toronto Film Festival Promo
Aug 2006




One of the biggest surprises in the film is the competence and perfection with which Viggo Mortensen incarnates the main character.

Alatriste - A Review
by Uno translated for V-W by Paddy
Yahoo.es
1 September 2006




Mortensen, whose odd accent is initially disconcerting and ends up being a perfect fit for his character's taciturn personality, has brought grit and mystery to the screen. Díaz Yanes has given him depth.

The Story of an Empire's Decline is told with panache and grit
By Carlos Marañón - translated for V-W by Margarita
Cinemanía
September 2006




"He is Alatriste, the one I thought, the one I wrote! He's almost the one from the drawings!"

Pérez-Reverte
A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz
El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy




Just seeing him stand there, his face half-obscured by a tattered black hat, his sculpted frame offset by a long cloak worn over the shoulders — it's no wonder Maria looks as though she's ready for cardiac arrest every time he appears.

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
11 December 2008




"Viggo was so extraordinary that he surpassed everything that Arturo, and obviously I, could have thought. His physical presence on screen is tremendous," he says emphatically.

Diaz Yanes
The Biography of Captain Alatriste
By Jose Edurado Arenas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
ABC.es
6 June 2010




"Viggo filled himself with Spain; with our history, with the light and the shadow that made us who we are. And, in that way, in an astonishing process of assimilation, he finished transforming himself into a Spaniard, down to the bone."

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El Semanal, July 2005-08-04
Translated by Elessars Queen




"There's nothing more respectful with the original texts. Nothing more straightforward, fascinating and terrible than the mirror that, through Viggo Mortensen's masterly performance - he looks impressive on the screen, that son of a bitch - is put before our eyes during the two hours and a quarter that the film lasts."

Arturo Pérez-Reverte after seeing the film
That Captain Alatriste
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy




'Perhaps that's why, after the private screening was finished the lights came on, and with a lump in my throat I looked around, I saw that some of the actors of the film who were on the contiguous seats - I'm not telling any names, let every one of them confess if they want to - remained still on their seats, crying their eyes out. Crying like babies because of their characters, because of the story. Because of the beautiful, dramatic ending. And also because no one had ever done, so far, a film like that of this wretched and damned Spain. As Captain Alatriste himself would say, in spite of God, and in spite of anyone.'

Arturo Pérez-Reverte after seeing the film
That Captain Alatriste
XL Semanal, 20 August 2006
Translation for V-W by Paddy




"No longer can we imagine another Alatriste that is not Viggo".

Unax Ugalde
20 Minutos
Frank Marta
26 the April 2005




That hero will have Viggo Mortensen's face forever. Challenging and tender. Big blue eyes and proud look.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García
El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy



You will find all previous Quotables
here.


© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Produccions.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



Another long Quotable! We've been hearing all week about Viggo's partnership with Cronenberg, a partnership that has brought us three extraordinary films and which we and, I'm betting, every serious film goer and critic out there, hopes will long continue. So how about all those other directors? Taking a look back over Viggo's non-Cronenberg career it's clear that they have all, to a man and woman, appreciated exactly the same things about Viggo that Cronenberg does. The commitment, the risk taking, the dedication and research, his ability to almost read their minds, the complexity he brings to characters and the fact that he becomes a true collaborator.





Lisandro Alonso: awaiting title


"I liked him very much; right then I realized that we could treat one another as equals. He's an actor I love, among other things for the way in which he transmits emotions physically, gesturally. He's not an actor who's usually given great lines of dialogue, but you see him, for example, in the final scene of History of Violence, David Cronenberg's film, and you realize how incredible his work is, the things you can read in his face."

Lisandro Alonso
"It´s a mixture of spaces, times and languages."
By Diego Brodersen - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Pagina 12
27 October 2013




"Viggo is directed by himself, doesn´t need my help; he is an amazing actor, a unique person, a dream producer."

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




Ana Piterbarg: Todos Tenemos Un Plan


What was it that drew you to Viggo. Why was he right for the role?

I think he one of the best actors in the world. In his body of work he plays such a range of different characters that I knew that he could play the two diverse roles in this movie. He is a well travelled and cultured person as well as being sensitive he can be brutal at the same time.

Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet's Holly Patrick for Everybody Has a Plan at the 56th LFF
By Holly Patrick
Fancarpet
20 October 2012




John Hillcoat: The Road


"Actors come with baggage, as well. Sometimes that baggage can help, like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. His baggage was part of the performance. With Viggo, there's something slightly elusive about him, and he has quite a wide range, and yet, also, there's this real physicality about him. And there's this tenderness.

"And his face also reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, the Dorothea Lange photos of the Great Depression, Midwest people struggling with the collapse of the environment and the economy."

John Hillcoat
On The Road with Viggo and Kodi:
By Jay Stone
Canada.com
18 November 2009




Ed Harris: Appaloosa


"Not only do I have a great respect for him as an actor but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These were two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it ... If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie"

Ed Harris
Viggo is one straight shooter
By Kevin Williamson
Toronto Sun
6th September 2008




"I figured if he wanted to do it - if he responded to the material - then he would immediately understand what this was between these guys without us having to talk about for hours on end..."

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




Vicente Amorim: Good


"I loved having chosen him, because I liked his performance in "A History of Violence" very much. He has a sweet masculinity and an unusual political consciousness, especially among Americans. Viggo didn't need any explanation, for example, about the contemporary political relevance of "Good" and he was very interested in the dramatic potential of the character."

Vicente Amorim Starts His International Career (and talks about Good)
By Catalina Arica - translated for V-W by Paddy
EGO
29 May 2006




Q: Aren't you scared to work with an actor like Viggo?

A: Of course, I'm scared. I'm anxious. I'm looking forward to it. I'd love to start it right now.

Vicente Amorim (Director)
Rede CBN radio interview
3 June 2006
Translated by Claudia




Agustín Díaz Yanes: Alatriste


CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything. In Spain, because of the tradition of our cinema, we don't have action heroes, and Viggo combines an impressive physique (that "exact image of the weary hero" that Arturo wanted) with the fact of being a spectacular actor of action (films). He's an extraordinary actor in dialogues, in everything...he has that combination that it's so difficult to find here. Viggo has been the vital centre of the film. The title of the movie is "Alatriste"!!. His experience, his help and his advice have also been very important.

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Action, history...and skilled swordsmen
By Andrés Rubin de Celis - translated by Paddy for V-W
Citizen K Espana
July 2006



"He is the ultimate. He is a confident actor, he expresses everything with his eyes, he is an internal actor of action, who is present in all scenes in the film, some 90, with the exception of 6. It has been like filming with a Spanish actor, you can ask any cinematic favors you wish. He is also very exacting with himself from both an artistic and moral point of view. If I ever had the chance to work with him again, I would be delighted..."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Alatriste Fights in the Streets
By Rocío García
EL PAÍS 1st Aug 2005
Translated by Elessars Queen




Joe Johnston: Hidalgo


"I hadn't seen the first Lord of the Rings before we cast him, but I figured anybody that could sell blouses to Diane Lane out of a truck could do anything."

Joe Johnston
Staci Layne Wilson
American Western Magazine
March 2004




"He's also completely devoted to the project. He was always there. We worked him a lot more than we should have. He never complained, and he was there dawn to dusk and beyond. He's largely responsible for making that whole aspect of this really work. He's really amazing."

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




Peter Jackson: The Lord of the Rings



"Viggo has that dark, mysterious, quiet-man quality. He's also very intelligent and private. A lot of people have said these movies are going to make Viggo a big star. I nod and smile, knowing that being a big star is the last thing in the world that Viggo wants. He's completely unimpressed and disinterested in that world. I think he'd prefer to stay home and paint, write his poetry, and enjoy himself rather than play the Hollywood game. That's an aspect of him that I respect a lot."

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine




"After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter 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




Tony Goldwyn: A Walk on the Moon


"When I saw some of Viggo's work, I thought, that's always who I've had in my head. I realized there is not one other actor anywhere who could play Viggo's part other than Viggo. He has this kind of complexity and mysteriousness to him. He doesn't have to say much and you get a lot."

Tony Goldwyn, Director of A Walk on the Moon
Actor Goldwyn side-stepped cliches for summer of '69 directorial debut
By Robin Blackwelder
SPLICEDwire, splicedonline.com



Ridley Scott: G I Jane


'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 Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond,
US Magazine #236, 1997




Phillip Ridley: The Reflecting Skin and Passion of Darkly Noon


'Viggo is one of the few people I've worked with who, I feel, is a true kindred spirit. From the moment we first met - when I was casting The Reflecting Skin in Los Angeles - it was as if we'd known each other all our lives. He understands my work totally. By the time we were doing Darkly Noon I hardly had to give him a word of direction. He knew instinctively what I wanted. '

Philip Ridley at the Tokyo International Film Festival
From "The American Dreams: Two Screenplays by Philip Ridley'
Methuen 1997




José Luis Acosta: Gimlet


"He explores to the infinite, not only the character's emotions but also the wardrobe, all the things. He's so honest and generous,"

José Luis Acosta
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia
El Pais, Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
17 May 2009




Sean Penn: The Indian Runner


"He was dazzlingly committed all the time. He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character. He's an often solitary, very poetic creature, Viggo, and all of that worked [for the movie]."

History Teacher by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005




Jeff Burr: Leatherface: Texas Chain Saw Massacre 111


"Viggo, just like everyone else in the cast was always there, ready to go and had great ideas. Just a joy to work with, and I'm not just saying that. I can guarantee his approach to stuff now is exactly the same as it was then. He's just so committed and he's such a really good guy. All the family members were great."

Interview with Director Jeff Burr
Icons of Fright
by Robg. & Mike C




Renny Harlin: Prison


"I was looking for a young James Dean. Then, Viggo Mortensen walked into the room. I knew almost instantly that he was the one. There was such a charisma about him. I really thought that this film would make him a household name. Unfortunately, since the film wasn't really released theatrically, it took Viggo a little longer to get there, but he still got there eventually."

Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A With "Prison" Director Renny Harlin
Patrick Hickey Jr.
Review Fix
14 February 2013



You will find all previous Quotables
here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Good Films.


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Last edited: 15 July 2018 12:07:15