Viggo's thoughts on...

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Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life. - Viggo Mortensen

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Viggo's thoughts on...

"...I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008




"We may not know why we're here, or where we're going after we die, but if you're here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think."

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008




"Actors sometimes forget we're rich and famous because of the fans. I never forget."

Viggo at the Toronto Film Festival
Tiffinsider.ca
7 September 2008




Where are you from?

At the moment I'm from here.

Viggo Mortensen - Man of the Week
By Einar Falur - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008
Source: Morgunblaðið



What keeps you awake at night?

Yesterday and tomorrow, but I eventually fall asleep because neither exists.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010



"Life is so short! I tell myself frequently to "Go slow to go fast", to remind me to take my time in order to sample as many things as possible."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 200
8



What do you believe in above all else?

"In everything. I believe in everything! However, it makes my life so complicated" (laughs)

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008




"I am a happy man when I am not tied down," he says, taking a sip of maté. "I don't have a hidden self, I am not prone to depression. If I feel unwell, it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better. I am an optimistic dreamer who has never been imprisoned by fear."

Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage
Richard Gianorio
Le Figaro
26 September 2008




Correspondence greatly occupied Freud and Jung. One no longer writes many letters today. Do you?

Yes, I still do. And when I do, people are surprised to receive them. It's becoming rare. Almost exotic. But I like it, yes.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir - translated by Dom
4 September 2011




"Time passes, the world changes, people evolve and it's nice to stop every now and then and not do anything. I want to imagine things that interest me, to give myself time to get excited about something."

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum
Gala Magazine
30 August 2006




With so many active interests, Mortensen admits he used to be impatient. "It felt unjust that we were given such a limited period on earth, but I don't feel that way any more. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I just figure, eh, what's your hurry?'"

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




"If I have a day off, I'm not at a Hollywood party. I'm not the type of actor who lives in the press. I'd rather be home in shorts and a T-shirt surrounded by paint brushes, a blank canvas and have a few candles burning as the day fades into the night."

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




"Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama Firs
t



What are you still determined to learn to do?

What I haven't.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007




What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Occasionally being mistrustful of others.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010




Do you have to have the last word in an argument?

Only if I get really incensed. It usually has to do with fairness, or if I feel I've been cornered or misrepresented, then I will lash out. It's good to have the presence of mind to say: 'Can I call you back? Let me take a break and go for a walk.' Always better.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009




"...I do have a sense of justice and fairness. I do get upset when I think about people who can't defend themselves being treated badly. If I have a chance, I'll try to do something about it. I tend to speak up. Sometimes people are offended by that, but I always try to be fair and well informed. I think that I could be brutal about meting out justice in the way that Virgil and Everett are. Maybe I'd make a good lawman..."

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




'I'm a very curious guy and I stick my nose in everything. I travel a lot because I'm interested in knowing how the rest of the world lives. I love to learn about other cultures, to submerge myself in them, to learn of points of view that are different from mine.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum, Gala Magazine
30 August 2006




"My job is to see the world from different points of view than my own. Sometimes quite different than my own. Even if I disagree with it in principle, I'm gonna investigate it."

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




"I am what I am and there is nothing I can do. But I have never changed a bit of myself because of my work or, worse, because of the success I have reached."

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




"I believe in luck and in the thousands of ways attracting it. I can go into a Mosque, or into the San Isidoro of León Collegiate Church, and sit there until things happen. I love visiting temples, churches, places that are supposed to be sacred, and that includes a cinema or a theatre. Where there's acting, there's communion."

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
November 2008
Source: Vanity Fair (Spain)



"In my life, I never did anything while weighing the effects of my actions. If you ask me what I'm planning for the next two years, I really don't know. Acting, writing, taking pictures or painting are all things which answer the necessity to express what I have inside me. And there is no preferential order among them, only chances that I try to take day by day."

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




You are really fit. Are you worried about age?

"Not about age, I am 50 years old, but time worries me ever since I was a child. Sometimes I would wake up and think: what a pity, I'll die without being able to finish all the things I have to do in this life. That annoyed me. I'm not afraid of death; it is anger about the limits of time."

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
November 2008
Source: Vanity Fair (Spain)




What is your biggest fear?

Not being honest with myself and not getting the most out of life. This is one of the reasons I stay very active, always doing things that interest me in the field of art, by editing books, writing, drawing, painting, photography...

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Interview: "This film has made me feel closer to my father"
By Laura Sacksville - translated by Ollie, Rio and Sage
Cuore
13 February 2010




In the act of filtering, there can always be manipulation. Spanish psychiatrist Rojas Marcos said on one occasion that it is impossible to live without a small dose of self-deceit.

"We all lie to each other and to ourselves; everyday we show ourselves to the world in a different way. You wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, you brush your teeth, you choose your clothes, and you prepare coffee....Without thinking about it, you create a man with his own personality and that is different to the one from the day before, and that you show to the first person you see. There is a very good phrase in an X band song (my ex-wife's band): 'Life is a game that changes while you're playing'."

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
November 2008
Source: Vanity Fair (Spain
)



MP: On a lighter note, what makes you laugh either on the screen or elsewhere these days?

MORTENSEN: Total unguarded honesty. It makes me cry, too.

Viggo Mortensen - For The Good Of The People
By Elliot V Kotek
Moving Pictures
Winter 2008-200
9



"I learned Spanish and English at the same time as a child, growing up in Buenos Aires. My brothers have told me that when I speak Spanish I'm slightly more relaxed. When I speak English I'm a little more careful. It has to do with the sound, with the language...."

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




"Sometimes, I can express my feelings and access my emotions much better in Spanish than I can in English."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier
Chris Betros
Japantoday.com
5 December 2008




"I like to take care of my own problems, shoulder my responsibilities. I don't have a bevy of people assisting me and filtering what I hear or what I say. I'd rather be overworked and underslept and have a good idea of what's going on."

Viggo Mortensen
Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Neala Johnson
Herald Sun (Australia)
March 8 2007




"....I must confess that I'm interested in collecting as much experience as I can from wherever I go because I don't know what happens in the next world. I'm not counting on anything happening. That's one of the great things about making movies - you get to explore these things."

Viggo Mortensen
Crimes and Misdemeanours
By Phillip Berk
Filmink
October 2007




"I have nothing against being seen as the greatest invention since sliced bread,"

Viggo Mortensen
Fyens Stiftstidende
23 October 2005




"For a long time now, I've been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I've proved it."

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




"I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said this," Mortensen says, "it was about meandering through a career, or the arts in general, without seeming to have a deliberate plan. He said, 'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is in the labor.' That's a great line, 'To travel hopefully.' That's what I'd like to do."

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




MC: Are you always so positive?

VM: Almost always, but at times, I'm not. Often I wake up thinking of all the bad things that could happen. It's my way of facing the day; I'm cautious. You could always fall down the stairs...

Viggo on wearing the SS uniform
The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009




"We each have only a limited amount of time here. We have to do more with it - pay attention, explore, be open to all of life. Because we have only one chance, we have to make life seem longer than it really is."

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




Always at the peak of the events, do you have some inner, emotional stability?

"Yes, it exists in the equilibrium I successfully create inside me. On one side I do appreciate the moment I live in, on the other side I'm always ready to go somewhere else."

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009




As he turns away I see that his football shirt has been signed by a player called The Frog, who wrote: "Thank you for being simple," which I ask him to explain. Is he thanking you for being a half-wit? He laughs. "I think he means thank you for being real. He was a childhood hero of mine. A great player. Kept it simple." Simple is the last thing you would ever think of Mortensen. He's very complicated, but also very real.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009




"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know. There are periods of time that are gems, but you don't have to go into a blizzard in South Dakota or into the rain forests of New Zealand or the middle of the Sahara. You can find that just walking down the street."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




"I have never been in a natural place and felt that that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."

Viggo Mortensen
The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003




'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her. '

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




'....in a certain sense, I'm fairly solitary. I'm a very sociable person, but I love to be alone, to listen to the silence, to not speak to anyone for a while. What would drive some people crazy gives me energy.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
By Amelia Enríquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006




"If you go out with a big bunch of people, in a big fancy car, then you're essentially still the face on the side of the bus and you're inviting attention. But I try to stay low-profile and keep moving. You just have to be more nimble."

Viggo on avoiding recognition
The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009




He understands why, in dire times, you'd be tempted to "set your house on fire and never answer the phone again, but it would be better to ask yourself: How can I be most useful to this world? Not that I'm some fucking genius."

VIGGO MORTENSEN (free radical)
Twenty one reasons to dig Viggo Mortensen
by Allison Glock
GQ Magazine 2003




At our best we, like the Fellowship, realize individually and collectively that peaceful coexistence can be achieved only through vigilance and conscious compassion. Compassion for oneself and others, especially for those determined to do us harm. An effort made to identify with others and understand them in order to understand ourselves. To understand that there is no absolute difference between us. That is not to say that we ought to allow ourselves to be trampled, eliminated as individuals, races or nations. Regardless of the odds, it is important to defend oneself and others against oppression. "It is becoming to be humble, yet at the same time you must make a bold showing if put to the test." as a father advises his departing son in one of the oldest and best-known sagas. The most enlightened beings in Tolkien's Middle-earth are conscious of the ubiguity of good and evil in neighbors, starngers, adversaries and, most important, themselves. There can be little future in adopting a permanent policy of "an eye for an eye." If we were all regularly to put into effect such an inflexible approach, we would all soon be blind, as Gandhi pointed out. One must pick one's battles and fight only when it is unavoidable.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




'Don't ever be afraid to ask the question, "why?," or as most small children do, to repeat that question as many times as you receive an unsatisfactory answer. Inquiring minds are essential to a healthy society, and to making an individual art out of living.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006




'Here's wishing you all a shining summer, and exemplary lives as citizens of the world. Go get 'em.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006




'I have travelled a lot my entire life. As a child I lived in five-six different countries - from Denmark to USA, from Argentine to Egypt - and as a grown up I have travelled half around the globe myself. The movie business is a very vagrant business. The last two years I've spent in NewZealand filming 'Lord of the Rings' and sometimes I'm in five cities in a week. Someplace, in the back of your mind, you need to have a fix point, a place you call home, and Denmark is that to me'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




'I feel at home in many places, and with time, I learned that in life it is more important who you are, what you do and how you feel than where you are.'

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela




What is your fondest memory of New Zealand?

'Memory? I think you've talked to me before so you know how bad I am at these kinds of short answers. I'm trying to formulate one... In the sincere hope that my experiences in New Zealand will not remain only a memory, I will say that my fondest memory of New Zealand is, I hope, still to come.'

Viggo Mortensen
The One King
By Bryan Cairns
Film Review Yearbook, 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




When asked what else he has no tolerance for, he says solidly: "Cruelty. Deliberately going out of your way when you have a choice to make someone feel bad."

The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003




'As an individual, I try to take care of the places I go to whether it's where I live or hide. It's a cliche, but leave the place looking better than you found it---pack it in and pack it out. I try to do that-always.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004




'You know, for me to look each person in the eye and listen to their question and answer them, and get their name right and be respectful---that takes a certain amount of energy for complete concentration. Unless you're just someone who doesn't look at somebody, who doesn't deal with it. At the end of the day you don't have anything left, sometimes, for yourself. You have to find ways to hide out, that's all.'

Viggo Mortensen on meeting fans
Native Voice Interview with Viggo
By Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
December 2003




We hear that you're a good friend who is honest and loyal. Do you have any flaws?

Those descriptions of me were given by my friends, right? Well, don't trust them; you know that friends always believe the best things about us. You're asking me for a flaw? I think that my impatience is one. I want everything 'yesterday' and it takes time for me to adjust to others rhythms.

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
By Amelia Enríquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006




'I don't think we're the best judges of our own character. If I have a job to do on a given day, I do my best and try to treat people with respect. I mind my own business. I suppose I'm a private person; have been pretty much that way all along. I'm certainly not someone who can't sit for five minutes without calling someone or turning on the television set. I can entertain myself.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004




'You know, they have nice beds in this hotel. It's a nice change once in a while. Just like TV. I don't watch TV at home, but when I come to the hotel, it's like, all these pillows and TV! And it's like, this is great! God, why didn't I do this before, but every time, it lasts about 15 minutes before I get bored and switch off the TV.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




MT:Is there a common denominator to all your various artistic endeavors?

VM: Curiosity, I suppose. I've been aware for as long as I can remember of the fact that I was going to die. I don't remember not being aware of that. And that, therefore, life is limited. And no matter how many movies you see or how many conversations you have or how many people you listen to or how many books you read or how many travel experiences you have, how many times you return to the same street or the same tree, you can never do it enough. So why not make the effort? You can't put everything off until tomorrow.

A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003




You act, write poetry and paint. Do you still struggle to achieve everything you want to do?

Yeah, I wish life was longer. I wish that I didn't have to sleep. I like sleeping, and dreaming especially. But I wish sleep was a luxury, that I could just lie under the covers, listen to the rain but that I didn't have to if I didn't want to.

The Inner Viggo
By Jenny Ewart
New Zealand's Woman's Weekly, 2003




Is there anything you regret not having even attempted?

Yes, many things. But it's never too late. I wish I had learned music at a younger age, but I did many things and I was very lucky about the people and places that
I got to know in my travels, the experiences I had, the people I loved and the ones that loved me. I cannot complain.

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Last edited: 14 September 2011 11:06:16