Quotable Viggo 2018

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Quotable Viggo: 24 February 2018

Sometimes I wonder if Viggo missed his calling. He would have made a terrific Librarian. Books are an essential part of his life - he not only reads pretty much everything (is there a book he hasn't read yet?), he also publishes them, and it was great to see Perceval Press recently honoured by the Spanish Geographical Society for Hijos de la Selva. Books are also essential part of his preparation for roles. Heck, he also makes sure it's a part of fellow actor's preparation too, almost bringing a mobile library to the set.



Image Gregory Smith.
© MK2 Productions.



He publishes books—not just one or two every now and again, but consistently, through an actual publishing house he founded 15 years ago and continues to run.

Viggo Mortensen and the Art of Deliberate Living
By Michael Dunaway
Paste Magazine
3 August 2016




We just put out the books we want to. It's a kind of," he pauses searching for the word, "thoughtful anarchy."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
Little Press Shines With Star Power
Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times
2004




Last Wednesday the star of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and one of my favorite movies, Hidalgo, donated a set of books to each of the 350 Sandpoint High School seniors… Each senior received two books written by Mike Davis: Land of the Mammoths and Pirates, Bats and Dragons. In addition, they received two bookmarks and a handwritten copy of a note from Viggo wishing the students well.

C-P reporter Becky Garrison talked with several students who were moved by the gift.

"I think it's great," said senior Nichole Rench. "I would hope it would be an inspiration. I thought it was really exciting to see him do stuff for our community."

Mortensen's Gift of Books Inspires Sandpoint High School Seniors
By David Keyes
Bonner County Daily Bee
10 February 2006




Mortensen -- in a well-tailored plaid jacket (no grunge look for him) and looking slighter than he does on screen -- leads the way upstairs to the poetry room. He immediately heads for the used-books bin. "I might find something out of print or something I haven't noticed before," he says, perusing titles with experienced eyes.

King of the big screen a champion of poetry: Blake's poetry makes an impression on Mortensen
By Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
20 February 2004




"Viggo is such an amazing guy. He's the gentlest, kindest person you'll ever meet. All the 'family' members got along but I think the strongest bonds that were made were between the kids and Viggo. He would come on set every day with different books for all the kids to read. I ended up having about 10 books that I've never gotten around to reading. He really is a generous, amazingly kind man."

Nicholas Hamilton
Captain Fantastic and the Sundance Kid
By Matthew Lowe
Filmink.com
20 January 2015




'I tend to bring things to films. I find things that are useful for a movie and I usually end up getting along well with the prop man, or the designer. In this film, for example, there are the books that Chester finds in the market... I brought those books.'

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
By Tom Ward
GQ
16 May 2014




'It was such a crazy experience. There were things that were not in the script and you were asked to do on the day, like improvising with Viggo Mortensen [who plays Old Bull Lee], which is quite crazy. He's a very cerebral man. He turned up with these beautiful old antique books from the time, like Baudelaire, and things that his character would have had. He had a bag of goodies that he brought with him and a hat, a tie and a shoulder holster. I thought, 'this guy is f**king cool.' I was quite intimidated.'

Sam Riley
Sullivan on Cinema: Sam Riley
By Chris Sullivan
Redbull.com
9 June 2011




What did you think of the Beat Generation before the film? Had you already read the book?


"Yes, 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 Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




"Viggo will bring props to the set. I mean, he basically does his own set decoration. He'd come in with these rare books — editions that Freud actually had in his own study — and the production designer would say, 'Where did you find these?' "

David Cronenberg
Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011




How exactly does spending ages hunting down books Freud might have had in his library help his performance?

"It doesn't really help you act, but it helps you make believe. It's a more sophisticated way of doing what a child does when it says, 'I'm going to be a prince', or a milkman. A child doesn't have to be prompted – it has to be for real. As an actor, you have to find a way to believe it for yourself so that others can."

Viggo Mortensen
By Lucy Kellaway
Financial Times
10 February 2012




"I arrived on set and there was a library in my trailer."

Charlize Theron, The Road
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009




"I read and re-read lots of German authors that someone would have read at the time. Not just German writers, but authors who a literary professor like John Halder might have taught at the time: Proust, Hamsun, American writers. In the movie, you see him in the classroom teaching Proust. I also spent time in Berlin, where I found all the books that you see in John Halder's house and office."

Viggo Mortensen talking about 'Good'
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




"Viggo discovered a set of books called Russian Criminal Tattoo and a doc called Mark of Cain, which was about the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons, and when I saw them my mind was blown completely."

David Cronenberg
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




He was the one who read the most about the Golden Century's history. He sent books and CDs for all his casting colleagues to savour that time - "not to seduce or control what the others did, but to share what I had found out," Mortensen informs.

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




"Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the time I have. I respect people who want to do that by watching television. I happen to want to read books." He sighs and looks a bit sad. "But I know I can't read all the books or watch all the movies in one lifetime." Does he find that frustrating? Mortensen fixes me with his intense blue gaze. "Mostly no," he says. "If we could run out of books and movies, then we would be bored."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

Quotable Viggo: 18 February 2018

With Viggo looking startlingly different with his slicked back black hair in Green Book, I've been thinking quite a bit about A Dangerous Method recently, a film where Viggo transformed himself physically into a role we never could have expected – Sigmund Freud. Different eyes, different nose, different weight. It was a remarkable change and one that took place without his usual long preparation period when Viggo had to step in to replace Christopher Waltz.


© Hanway/Lago.


"…[Cronenberg] was in a jam. It was just last, not totally last minute, but pretty late in the pre-production. The actor that was supposed to play Sigmund Freud [Christoph Waltz] decided to do another movie so they had to recast. Fortunately I was available."

Viggo Mortensen
The Deliberate Method of Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Stuart Henderson
Pop Matters
17 November 2011




"The Freud in the story is not the Freud most people are accustomed to, the very thin, disease-ridden old man," he explains. "He was 50 and quite robust."

Mortensen believed he could pull him off, and so did the director. "That's the magic of casting," Cronenberg quips. "It's a black art."

'A Dangerous Method': David Cronenberg's Mild Manner and Outrageous Movies
By Stephen Galloway
Hollywood Reporter
7 September 2011




You underwent sort of a physical transformation to play the father of modern psychoanalysis.

Once we started talking about it, I thought with the help of a great makeup person—David's longtime makeup collaborator Stephan Dupuis who was nominated for an Oscar for "The Fly,"—it could work. He altered my nose. And one thing that's mentioned a lot by his contemporaries is that Freud had a particular type of penetrating brown-eyed gaze. I said "Montgomery Clift did it with his clear eyes in John Huston's movie," [the 1962 film, "Freud: The Secret Passion"] but I don't think if we're trying to be accurate that it would be right. So he started playing around with lenses that looked right but also didn't take away my own eyes' expressiveness.

How Viggo Mortensen Got Inside Sigmund Freud's Head
By Rachel Dodes
The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy
18 November 2011




Do you think playing Freud was the biggest departure for you as an actor?


I eventually got used to the idea and I am really glad I got to play him. But it was a stretch for me, more so than playing the Russian character [in "Eastern Promises"]. Sometimes it's good to be put in a position where you're forced to try something that you didn't think you were capable of.

Viggo Mortensen
How Viggo Mortensen Got Inside Sigmund Freud's Head
By Rachel Dodes
The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy
18 November 2011




Viggo Mortensen is the champ. Hands down. Of all the "say what?" performances some of us first heard about at last fall's Toronto International Film Festival — and which characterized 2011 as a hugely surprising year for film — none of them surprised me more than Mortensen playing Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."

In other words, not even the bracing successes of Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover or Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe shocked me the way Mortensen did playing Freud in Cronenberg's elegant, altogether surprising film.

Freud, for most of us, is a wild guess in speech and manner. Which is why Mortensen's cool, slow, contemplative version of Freud is — for the purpose of a movie anyway — brilliantly credible.

Jeff Simon
Buffalo News
26 January 2012




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…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




Freud, played by the perpetual shape-shifter Viggo Mortensen, slinks around like a silent old Zen master. Mortensen is a calmer, gentler Freud, not the dogmatic tyrant of psychological thought imagined by the common populace.

By Matthew D'Abate
Your Beautiful New York
14 December 2011




…if there's one thing that the critics can agree on, it's that Viggo Mortensen, in his third film on the trot with the Canadian maverick, gives another brilliant turn. Buried beneath a prosthetic nose, and playing older than he's usually allowed to, he's easily the highlight of the film, giving a beguiling turn worlds away from the professional killers he played for Cronenberg in "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises."

Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011




Almost serenading the audience with his Austrian accent, Mortensen is instantly Sigmund Freud without a shadow of a doubt. With a calm, cool and elegant demeanor he walks with confidence, cane at his side and cigar always hanging from his mouth. He seduces the audience and he seduces Jung…

Brad Brevet
Rope of Silicon
10 September 2011




Mr. Mortensen again reveals his amazing skills of self-transformation…

Roderick Conway Morris
New York Times
6 September 2011




…Mortensen, certainly the most physically imposing Sigmund Freud to ever insinuate itself on the public imagination.

Jim Slotek
Toronto Sun
11 September 2011




"It was a lot of fun. A lot of times that happens, though. The thing that seems like the biggest challenge, and the most: This is not going to work, I don't know how to do it… Once you crack it and get comfortable, it ends up being more enjoyable than the things that come easier."

Viggo Mortensen
The Deliberate Method of Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Stuart Henderson
Pop Matters
17 November 2011



DC: As I look at his nose, it appears much more Freudian than it used to.

VM:
It's getting bigger, isn't it?

DC:
Yeah, it is.

Cronenberg and Mortensen - Dangerous Minds
Shortlist.com
10 February 2012


Quotable Viggo: 3 February 2018

A lovely comment about Viggo from Charlize Theron turned up this week: "every moment with Viggo is memorable". I think that's a cue to look at Viggo's other leading ladies and their memorable Viggo moments.



Image Macall Polay. © 2929/Dimension Films.


"Pretty much every moment with Viggo is memorable. He's an incredibly powerful actor".

Charlize Theron Video Interview On 'The Road
Uinterview.com
24 November 2009




"He's surprisingly hilarious. The first time I met him, he was reserved. It was in an elevator. I was like, 'Hi.' He was like, 'Oh, hi.' I learned later he was very shy. So I was nervous, even a little scared, to work with him. I thought, 'This is going to be intense.' Then I got the whole other side, which I don't think many people know. He should do comedy, I've told him that... I'm sure he wouldn't be happy with people knowing how funny he is."

Kirsten Dunst
By Ajesh Patalay
Harper's Bazaar
May 2014




Can you talk about that very fateful moment in the cave, or would you prefer not to spoil it.

KD: Well, Viggo had to illuminate that scene with a lighter, and he was holding it and he burnt me and he was wailing and being emotional, and I couldn't say anything. The light was out was out but it was still so hot. I think I still have a scar. I didn't want to mess with Viggo.

VM: Scarred her for life.

Kirsten Dunst & Viggo Mortensen Talk Bonding On Set, Paparazzi, & 'The Two Faces of January'
by Hillary Weston
Black Book
1 October 2014




"I find peace in Viggo´s eyes. Confronted with the giddiness of the text, you can take risks with him, walk the tightrope."

Carme Elías
Viggo Mortensen And Forgiveness
By Ulises Fuente - translated by Ollie and Rio
La Razón
1 November 2011




"He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty. We rehearsed, we read the script, we got to know each other a bit and build up a relationship as people…I like him as an actor, he goes beyond the screen. He has an impressive level of communication. I was interested to know how he faces work, someone who comes from filming with Cronenberg. And the truth is he is very professional, very serious on the set, and he knows very well how to control his energy."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
Clarín
8 July 2011




"I have no idea what this jersey is. Viggo just told me it would wind David up."

Keira Knightly on wearing a Montreal Canadians sweater at the Press Conference
TIFF Press Conference Diaries: It's game on for the stars of A Dangerous Method
Ben Kaplan
National Post
10 September 2011




"There's rarely a day he doesn't show up bearing gifts of some sort from his different weekend jaunts, where he'll go find some really obscure village behind Taos somewhere and visit an artists' colony and bring back some wares to share. And there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
By Phoebe Eaton
[I]Men's Vogue
March 2008



LWLies: How would you describe Viggo Mortensen?

Whittaker: A dude. An absolutely brilliant, brilliant guy. He's really soft, he's really generous – in all senses of the word: as an actor, as a human being. I don't know anyone who's met him during filming Good or any of the press we did afterwards that could find anything pretentious or starry in him. He's just a really passionate actor and he's a proper actor, he really works hard and he picks his films. He's not in it for money, he's not in the magazines being papped everywhere, he's a very focused guy and he's incredibly multi-talented…

Jodie Whittaker talking about Viggo
by Ellen E Jones
Little White Lies




"Viggo blew me away on a daily basis..…He spent time in Russia and every day he would come to the set with something interesting: a piece of writing or a Russian chocolate or a photo album. I think he stayed in character pretty much the whole time. And that's great. It really helped me… I saw Viggo yesterday for the first time since we finished the film and it was like a whole different person. I almost didn't recognise him."

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller
Total Film
October 2007




I knew "Vig" as an artist before I knew he was an actor, like eight or nine years ago, I went to an art show in L.A. and saw these incredible paintings and photographs and said "Who is this man?" and found out he was an actor. So I've always had an artistic, intellectual crush on him, and people told us throughout the years, we'd be friends, and when we met, it was certainly like that.

Maria Bello on A History of Violence
by Edward Douglas
Coming Soon!
23 September 2005




"He has a great physical ability coupled with a real sensitivity. It's sort of a contradiction between the two, that he can kill so many orcs and ride a horse like he can. But he's taken an anti-hero approach to playing Aragorn. He's so much an artist that he takes everything very seriously."

Miranda Otto
It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003




"For our love scenes, he would come to me the night before and say he wanted to change all the lines to the Elvish language. He was trying to make that connection stronger, and I thought it was beautiful that they'd speak Elvish to each other because it adds a layer to their history that you wouldn't otherwise see."

Liv Tyler
Mellow Warrior
By Anthony Breznican
South Coast Today
15 December 2003




"He's mysterious. He reminds me of Daniel Day-Lewis, who I'm working with now – you know there's an enormous interior life." Kidman met Mortensen on Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady in 1996. "He was a little awkward, which was sweet. He has all that humor and bravado, but that gave him a fragility. Viggo's a Campion man. Her favourite men are Byron-esque."

Nicole Kidman
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009




"You've taught me a lot. I remember I was agonizing over a character once and you said, 'Look you're the only person in the world who's playing her, and nobody knows how she's suposed to react. You're the only one who knows, and so whatever you do, you're right." That's a very liberating way of looking at things."

Patricia Arquette interviewing Viggo
By Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine
June 1995




'Viggo is a real artist. He lives for creating art and be absorbed by it - not for talking.'

Gwynneth Paltrow
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times
1998




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




'If Viggo and I convince people we're enjoying every second of that encounter we've really done our job as actors. It was freezing in that river. The water was filled with debris and cigarette butts and the rocks were covered in little worms.'

Diane Lane on the Waterfall scene
Calgary Sun,
10 April 1999

Quotable Viggo: 28 January 2018

From the few Green Book photos we've seen it's clear that once again Viggo has managed to transform himself physically, bulked up with slicked back black hair. And no doubt we will see an even bigger transformation through his acting when the film is eventually released. Always the chameleon, the mixture of reviews shows that he can play almost anything and keeps surprising the film critics with a range of outstanding performances. Is 'Aragorn' really also 'Captain Gunnar Dinesen'? Well yes, he is.



© 4L Productions.


...The beauty of the film lies in its refusal to paint Ben as a deluded tyrant or principled pioneer. He doesn't have two faces — thanks to the script, as well as Mortensen's squirrely brilliance, he has hundreds.

Captain Fantastic
Charlotte O'Sullivan
Evening Standard
9 September 2016




As he progresses through this limbo-like landscape we watch him gradually transforming, Mortenson's weathered features becoming akin to the rocks surrounding him. As he emerges from within dark cracks, kneels to sip dripping streams or dozes underneath the stars, he melts into the environment, the boundaries of Dineson's self slowly eroding into the Patagonian dirt.

Jauja
David James
wegotthiscovered.com
6 April 2015




Mortensen has always seemed to be an underutilized chameleon in film despite acclaimed and recognized performances in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Eastern Promises. As Chester, he lavishes in a new type of slimy demeanor that stands out as one of the actors most dynamic. He enjoys the aura and demeanor of Chester, unrelenting and unwilling to compromise on an escape but driven by jealousy and rage, Mortensen displays some of his most authentic and creative ticks.

Two Faces of January
Clayton Davis
Awards Circuit
29 August 2014




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.

A Dangerous Method
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
23 December 2011




Mortensen's performance is astounding. Looking a lot more like Gollum than Aragorn, he's shaggily bearded, smeared in grime and shockingly thin, with cheekbones like lemon juicers and teeth like the visual aids in a school anti-smoking lecture…Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

The Road

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010




Mortensen comes off best. Not only does he seem like a genuine artifact of the late 19th Century, his plain-spoken charisma is well-suited to the western genre. ….But with or without that fantastic mustache, Mortensen should certainly do another western, soon.

Appaloosa
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
2 October 2008




Viggo Mortensen continues to display his brilliance in front of the camera with another chameleon turn in his representation of the shy and humble Hadler. The gradual moral corruption is wonderfully and convincingly portrayed and the entire film would fail in the hands of a less capable thespian. Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Good
Sebastian Cordoba
TheVine
7 April 2009




The visceral and gritty performance of Viggo Mortensen is like a tornado. It knocks us off our feet, and swallows us whole. His accent is pitch perfect and absolutely never falters. This was not just a role he could sink his teeth into. Mortensen clamps down and never lets go….… Mortensen is almost unrecognizable as a Russian mobster, and this dogged job is a testament to his acting ability.

Eastern Promises
Chad Webb
411mania.com
25 Sept 2007




Viggo Mortensen continues to surprise. He is not only a great actor in English — and a muse for Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg — but he can carry a Spanish film. Without dubbing. Mortensen is fluent in several languages and the historical adventure, Capitaine Alatriste, proves Spanish is among them.... As written in the original novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte, and as played with such robust conviction by Mortensen, our anti-hero is flawed yet worthy. Through him, we enter a period of European history rarely portrayed from a uniquely Spanish point-of-view. 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.

Alatriste
Bruce Kirkland DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010




Viggo's got a lot of his plate here, playing a character almost constantly at war with himself, and he nails it. There's no stupid tricks, where he changes his hairstyle or something when he goes back to being Joey. It's all done with the set of his shoulders, and his walk, and the look in his eyes, and it's chilling.

A History of Violence
Anton Sirius
Ain't it Cool News
15 September 2005




When there's action to be had, Mortensen looks like a real pro. He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood; and has a great seat on a horse. Even when the movie gets a little slow--and it does, a 3000-mile desert race will do that to a movie--Mortensen's onscreen appeal saves the day.

Hidalgo
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

The Two Towers
Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002




Viggo Mortensen undergoes an interesting transformation in his key scene with Douglas; we believe him when he's a nice guy, and we believe him even more when he's not; he doesn't do a big style shift, he simply turns off his people-pleasing face.

A Perfect Murder
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-times
June 5, 1998




The most refreshing performance is by Mortensen as her commanding officer. He espouses the usual military-sadism spiel, including excusing apparent cruelty with the explanation that it saves lives. Mortensen, who appeared in Portrait of a Lady and Crimson Tide, has rarely looked so sleek, appealing and ready to play romantic leads as he does this time, gleaming out from behind a clipped mustache and a dangerous attitude. This ought to launch his career into the highest spheres.

GI Jane
Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner
22 August 1997


Quotable Viggo: 21 January 2018

Viggo may love all things Spanish and Latin American, and he may be the greatest San Lorenzo fan in the history of fandom, but he's also Viking through-and-through. A guy who had a picture of the Queen of Denmark up in his A Dangerous Method trailer. Whose name has come from the Norse sagas. Who took Jauja to Denmark on a wonderful magical mystery tour. A star who will always be 'Viggo from Ringsted'.



Image Jens Oster-Mortensen.
© SN.dk.



What do you think of when you think of Denmark?

'I think about a beautiful landscape, I think of a country where I can be myself and meet my family, where my cousin's think of me as Viggo from Ringsted.

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S
August 2001




Denmark is also a home for me. I have travelled a lot and lived in many places, but Denmark is of course one of the places I feel at home because of the years I have lived and worked here and also because of my family, says Viggo Mortensen.

Viggo interview on Danish TV2
3 March 2015




'There is no doubt that my heart beats heavily for Denmark and, during my current visit to Denmark, the first thing I did was visit my aunt Tulle in Ringsted to have 'Biksemad'.'

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007




'In Denmark, I dine at 6 pm and I'm Danish. In Spain, where I live now, I dine at 10 pm and I'm Latin.'

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015




"… for many years, I'd dreamt of working, in Danish, under the helm of one of the great Scandinavian film directors. And so the occasion finally arrived. It took place deep in Patagonia."

Viggo's Best Actor Acceptance Speech at the Fénix Awards
transcribed and translated by Ollie and Zoe
30 October 2014




Are there concrete situations, where you feel "the Danishnes" surfacing in your behavior?


I noticed it during the shooting of Jauja. In the interaction with Vilbjørk Malling and Ghita Nørby. And also as I wander sort of aimlessly around in Patagonia as "Captain Gunnar Dinesen" it was fun to use Danish irony and humor. Generally speaking, I think I have inherited my family's ability to tease and be teased. It is not always the case that team mates in other countries understand that kind of fun."

Euroman
11 August 2015




I'd like to know about the origin of the name Viggo; do you know anything about that?


It's a name that's been in all the generations of my family, in the Danish part of my family. Like all names, it comes and goes. Right now, it's relatively common but when I was born, it was seen as an odd name, an old-fashioned one. Viggo is a name that can be found in Norse sagas; it's a very old name.

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




"I very strongly feel that I share a common past with my family in Denmark. And feel connected to the Scandinavian mythology, when I walk in the forest at Jystrup, where there are many tales told of what has happened. The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past. I felt that already as a child, back then when I played with swords there outside my uncle's farm, played and felt like a Viking."

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidender
28 November 2001




Mortensen, one of the few Danes who can get away with a cowboy hat…

A History of Violence is David Cronenberg's Western
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine
March 2006




You have been described as the Robert De Niro of your generation, what are your views on that? And how much are you looking forward to becoming a Lego figure?


I already am a Lego figure! Very proud to be a part of Danish industry in that way. I'm not sure that Robert De Niro is a Lego figure yet, so he's got some catching up to do.

Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012




"[His] poetry works because Mortensen is Scandinavian (Danish father, American mother), says Manhire, "and there is this Scandinavian myth about how poetry is a mixture of blood and honey - his poetry has that mixture."

Bill Manhire, Victoria University, NZ
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003




So who would Viggo side with if, for example, Denmark and Argentina met in the next World Championship final?


"Oh, that's a very difficult question that I have often asked myself. It's not unthinkable at all, because both Denmark and Argentina play good football," Mortensen says, and adds: "But if they really met each other in the World Championship final, I'd buy both countries national team jumpers and cut them through the middle. And then I'd sew them together again to make one jumper. In that way I could cheer both Denmark and Argentina. But I think it would be very difficult as far as I can see if the two teams play against each other."

I Love Danish Football
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Chrissie
Ekstra Bladet
24 July 2007




If you could go back in time, where would you go?


To the first Viking ship to land in North America.

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

Quotable Viggo: 14 January 2018

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.



Image Gregory Smith.
© MK2 Productions.



…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
Last edited: 24 February 2018 04:29:00