A Minute with Viggo

Source: Viggo-Works

We recently had another chance to ask Viggo some exclusive Viggo-Works questions, and once again, we think you will find his answers interesting.

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These days more and more films are premiering in online download/streaming deals with sites like Amazon Prime (in fact Bleecker Street have already done a deal with them for Captain Fantastic) - how do you feel about films being presented in this way? Do you think it adversely affects their distribution to proper cinema screens and their availability on DVD? And could you envisage yourself ever viewing a film on a mobile phone?

I understand that it is a convenient way of people who might not otherwise have access to certain movies, especially small independent U.S. and foreign language stories, in their towns or areas, to get to see them. However, I feel that this has become the only way anyone anywhere gets to see most of these nowadays - more and more. That is a shame. These movies should be seen on a big screen. Overall I am a fan of going to the movie theatre as a ritual, of the communal experience of watching movie stories with strangers in these places removed from everyday distractions. There is something meditative - something that transports one - in that experience. Although inferior as an experience, the next best thing is a good DVD reproduction watched at home. I doubt that I will ever watch a movie on a mobile phone.

Over the years you've mentioned various injuries you have received and we're all familiar with the famous broken toes scene in The Two Towers - what do you regard as the most excruciating physical pain you have ever experienced?

I've memories of many painful injuries, including an array of sprains, fractures, pulled muscles, burns, bone bruises, cuts and sharp blows to various parts of the body, but, like everyone, I tend to forget the pain, the real pain. Our minds protect us that way. One of the more excruciating types of injuries can be had in the soles of the feet, because of all the nerve endings down there. I once had a long shard of glass enter the soft part of my right sole and nearly come out the top of my foot. What hurt the most was the extraction and cleaning of the wound. Gruesome enough?

Do you have any memorable wildlife experiences from your time spent filming in New Zealand (apart from the fishing, the rabbit roadkill and the getting lost)?

So many. Hard to pick. Seeing wild boars and deer in the bush was wonderful, but many of the memories involve seeing beautiful rainbow and brown trout swimming in pristine rivers and streams running through remote areas on both the North and South Islands. Being in the mountains and forests around Fiordland, Te Anau, the Mount Cook area, and also various inspiring North Island natural settings was also exhilarating. We who worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy had the good fortune to work in and near so many awe-inspiring places that it is hard to choose favourites. Some of the most precious outdoor images I retain, however, are from the periods when we worked in Wellington, especially from times spent kayaking seaward from Lyall Bay, through Owhiro or Fitzroy Bays and sometimes, if it was calm enough, a ways out into Cook Strait. Although I was fortunate to be able to paddle in many beautiful lakes, rivers, and along stunning coastlines all over the country, I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises while moving in and out of the waters near the capital of that extraordinarily beautiful country. Few major cities can boast of such clean waters, skies, shorelines, and great views in all directions. Paddling around there usually took place on weekends for me, owing to the heavy shooting schedule we had. Sometimes I managed to sneak in an evening outing after a day's work at the studios in Miramar. Peter Jackson and his family were kind enough to allow me to use a small boat shack they had in front of their home to store the kayak in when I was in Wellington. A couple of times I was out later than I ought to have been, which is not a good idea in such a small craft, and got home long after dark. When we were on the road in various parts of New Zealand, I travelled with the boat on the roof of my rental car

In a recent Sobrevuelos you mentioned (not for the first time) that you'd been listening to the Ramones - what are your favourite Ramones tracks? And did you ever see them perform?

I saw them live a couple of times only, once in New York, around 1979, and then again in the mid-80s in Los Angeles. Some of the first tracks that come to mind at this point, in no particular order, are "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", "53rd and 3rd", "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow", "California Sun", "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement", "I Wanna Be Sedated", and also love Joey's version of "What A Wonderful World" and their cover of "Needles and Pins". "I Wanna Live" is also a great song. So many good ones. They were remarkable. Listened to them a lot in New Zealand, by the way, and still do.
Last edited: 31 January 2016 09:23:30
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