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Viggo on 'Thirteen Lives'

Found By: Chrissie

Thanks to Chrissie for the find. Great clip from Movie Roar - 13 Lives Soundbite Pulls Viggo Mortensen as Rick Stanton

© Movie Roar.

Viggo Mortensen on heroism: 'You don't have to go save 13 people in a cave in Thailand to do the right thing'

Source: Yahoo News.
Found By: Lindi

Our thanks to Lindi for the find.


Viggo Mortensen as Rick Stanton in 'Thirteen Lives'

Joshua Rothkopf

Even as the actual event was unfolding, you knew the 2018 Thai cave rescue — a gripping real-life story of ingenuity and international cooperation with a happy ending — would become a Hollywood movie. But we should count ourselves lucky that the resulting film is Thirteen Lives, directed by a consummate pro, Ron Howard, and starring the flinty, always-interesting Viggo Mortensen as Richard "Rick" Stanton, the no-nonsense British cave diver who devised a daring plan that resulted in all lives being saved. We spoke with Mortensen, 63, about his attachment to the story, his preparation for the role, and his deeper thoughts about inspiration and heroism.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You've played one of the most iconic heroes in literature, J.R.R. Tolkien's Aragorn, but what I like about your Rick Stanton is that he's not iconic. There's something very rough-edged and cranky about him — an unlikely hero — and it's fascinating watching you perform this. Was that part of the appeal of the role for you?

VIGGO MORTENSEN: It's interesting that you compare him to Aragorn. There are similarities. Both can be a little gruff, but they're very direct: men of few words, men who are determined to do the right thing. They're both working within a team. Both stories are about a collective effort, a selfless effort, for the common good, for the good of all people on the planet. Or, in the case of Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth.

Meanwhile, our whole planet has heard about the Thai cave rescue. Does being in a movie like Thirteen Lives go beyond character?

My main reason to do it was what this story says about us as human beings, about our potential to do good. It's about the best of us. Because this is a story where hundreds, thousands of people got together, not just these divers from Great Britain, but all kinds of people, especially in Thailand, for all the right reasons. Not to make money, not to gain territory, not to beat someone at something competitively.

Sadly, that's not the kind of story we hear a lot about these days, even from Hollywood.

We do live in polarized times. There's a lot of conflict, a lot of modeling by leaders, whether they be in politics or the corporate world, entertainment, sports — not just in the U.S., but around the world. Examples of selfishness and greed and super-competitive behavior, dishonesty. And people are getting rewarded for that. You have people, especially young people going, "Maybe that's the way to be. Look at that guy, he's got the cars, he's got the girls," or, "Look at her, she got all the attention she wants, all the money." But every once in a while something happens that's remarkable, where a lot of people get together and do things for all the right reasons.

Thirteen Lives also dramatizes a victory for science and problem-solving.

You're right about science. There's a very methodical approach to what Rick did and what others did as to how to get them out. It was just a massive effort. Every aspect of the story is too good to be true. It beggars belief. And yet, that is how it happened. It did happen.

I sometimes had to remind myself while watching it: This really happened.

I remember as a kid seeing Apollo 11, when they landed on the moon, it's like, "God, they did that," or the rescue of the miners in Chile. Where there's a will, there's a way, because human beings certainly have the ingenuity, the bravery, the ability to show compassion, to sacrifice. This is massive, active, effective volunteerism. And we could be doing this a lot more.

You bring up Apollo 11 — Thirteen Lives reminds me of Ron Howard's Apollo 13 for its bristly character moments, people caught in extremis. Talk to me about what it was like meeting Rick. Is he like that?

He is like that, certainly when you first meet him. We arranged to meet by Zoom and he wasn't saying a lot and we just started tentatively. But then he warmed up. I think it's just a matter of trust, the way he doesn't like to waste words or energy. Once he realized that my interest was in getting it right and portraying him as accurately as I could, then he opened up. Over a period of months, we were Zooming several days a week for hours. But yeah, he's not the easiest person to get to know. He calls it like it is, even if it hurts people's feelings. He says what he thinks.

"I don't even like kids," you grumble in the movie, and it's a big laugh line. Meanwhile, when you're in something like Green Book, you're behind the wheel of a beautiful car, you're gulping down pizzas. Or in David Cronenberg's Crimes of the Future, you're hanging out with Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. This film, on the other hand, feels like it was a lot of physical labor, swimming and diving. Talk to me about the sheer stamina of doing this.

It was a strenuous job for all of us who were diving in this story. What you see on screen is just a small fraction of what we shot. I became certified to scuba dive about 25, 26 years ago. It was when I was preparing to do G.I. Jane [1997]. There was a sequence that was going to happen underwater and we ended up not shooting that. So I had to re-certify and get familiar with it again. But now it wasn't in open water. If you came up to the surface, there's no sky above you. Two feet above you is just rock, and you better get through this passageway or you're not going to come out. It was time consuming, energy consuming, but all the actors wanted to do it. We spent countless hours underwater. I was sad when I said goodbye to the last tunnel and eventually took my gear off and had to turn in my harness and my tanks. I was like, "These are my friends."

Were those tunnels built for the film?

They built it. There was this enormous airplane hangar-type building — these huge, double Olympic-size tanks — and they would build these long sections of tunnel. And then they would flood it, put 20 feet of water in there. We would practice for a day for several hours to figure out how to get through. While we were doing the weeks of shooting in that part, they would be building the next section in another hangar. We'd finish that and then the following week, we'd try that. Each one by degree got more difficult. If they'd given us the fourth or fifth section to do the first week, we wouldn't have known to do it. It would've been too hard.

Have there been moments in your life where you feel like you've heard that call to become a hero, and do you mind sharing one with me?

I don't know if I'm comfortable doing that, but everybody has situations, moments. It's all a question of choice, freewill. There are moments where — it can be as simple as you bump into someone walking down the street, you have the choice to turn around and say, "Excuse me," or not do anything and pretend it didn't happen. You have the choice to stop and apologize and make amends, or just move on. It's just little things. It's compassion.

Those are the things that people are called on every day. You don't have to go save 13 people in a cave in Thailand to do the right thing. When I say there should be more of the volunteerism and more collective thinking, I just mean your day-to-day, how you deal with people, especially people that you don't necessarily agree with politically. How do you behave? What's your tone of voice? Do you listen to others who differ in their opinions from you? It's just that stuff.

© Yahoo News. Images © MGM.

How Viggo Mortensen Transformed into the Cave Diver Who Rescued a Thai Soccer Team

Source: Outside.
Found By: Chrissie

Thanks to Chrissie for the find.


In the new film ’Thirteen Lives,’ the Hollywood A-lister plays Rick Stanton, the British diver who helped lead the effort to save 12 boys and their coach who were trapped in Thailand’s Tham Luang cave.

By Paddy O’Connell

In June 2018, the rescue of twelve boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Northern Thailand captivated the world. Over the course of 18 days, thousands of volunteers, including more than 100 divers, helped in the effort to extricate the soccer team amid monsoon rains. Not surprisingly, Hollywood was enthralled too: Tinseltown’s best screenwriter couldn’t have dreamt up such a miraculous series of events with high stakes and a plot thicker than boxed mashed potatoes. Plus it had unexpected heroes at the center of it: a bunch of geeky, middle-aged dudes from England who spend their weekends cave diving.

Five years later, Ron Howard, the famed director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, is releasing Thirteen Lives, a big-budget account of the rescue—it hit theaters on July 29 and will start streaming on Amazon Prime on August 5. The movie’s star? Aragorn, er, Viggo Mortensen, the Hollywood A-lister with three Oscar nominations. He plays a retired firefighter from Coventry, England, named Rick Stanton, who led the group of British and Australian divers who carried out the rescue. “These guys are the biggest nerds in the world and, at the same time, they’re all like Evil Knievel. It’s kind of a weird combination,” Mortensen told me over a press junket Zoom call. Mortensen’s career is dog-eared with daring, quietly strong characters, all of whom he spends months exhaustively researching. But transforming into Stanton was one of his biggest acting challenges yet.

Before he was at the center of one of the most publicized news stories of the decade, Stanton was already one of the world’s best cave divers. At the time of the rescue in 2018, he was 57 years old, had plunged to record-setting depths in the world’s largest caves, and had made multiple successful rescues and body retrievals in Mexico and around Europe with his diving partners, including John Volanthen (who is played by Colin Farrell in the film), Jason Mallinson (played by Paul Gleeson), Dr. Richard Harris (played by Joel Edgerton), and Chris Jewell (played by Tom Bateman). “From the cave diving community, there is such respect for Rick,” Mortensen says. “He’s a Zen master of this discipline. Nobody is more focused and more well-prepared to deal with the unknown than he is.”

Mortensen first learned about Stanton and his heroism when the rest of us did, glued to his television set watching the rescue unfold in 2018. When he first read the script, he was eager to portray a complex, brash man at the center of such an astonishing endeavor. And Mortensen knows how to fully commit to truthful portrayals of his characters. To become a Russian mobster in David Cronenberg’s 2007 film Eastern Promises, he traveled to Russia to read Russian novels and stayed in prison-gang-tattoo make-up while on set in London (and while frequenting a neighboring Russian restaurant, which, of course, completely freaked out all the diners). He got his open water scuba diving certification because of a single underwater scene in G.I. Jane, which eventually ended up on the cutting room floor. And he studied sword fighting so intently for The Lord of the Rings that legendary stunt coordinator (and former Olympic fencer) Bob Anderson said he was the best swordsmen he’d ever trained.

After he got the role, the actor applied his rigorous research methods to Stanton. Before shooting began, he spent close to five months talking to Stanton, building a rapport, and uncovering his quirks, including the slight variations of his speech. “He’s from Essex originally,” Mortensen says. “But he’s been living in Coventry for years, so it’s this sort of blended accent.” He read an advanced copy of Stanton’s 2022 book, Aquanaut: The Inside Story of the Thai Cave Rescue, in which Stanton describes himself as a grumpy old man with a life designed to avoid children and meaningless professional work. In the process, Mortensen started to grasp Stanton’s personality: gruff and confident, but devoid of hubris. “There’s a certain curtness,” Mortensen says of Stanton. “He’s not a man of a lot of words. He does things rather than talks about them.”

Those qualities were exactly what was needed during the chaos of the 2018 cave rescue. The Tham Luang cave in Northern Thailand is nearly six and a half miles of narrow tunnels and chambers that weave into the Doi Nang Non mountains. After the twelve boys and their soccer coach entered the cave to explore in mid-June 2018, unexpected monsoon rains fell without warning and flooded the cave with millions of gallons of water. When it was discovered that the boys and their coach never came out of the cave, officials called the Thai Navy SEALs to coordinate a rescue. Thousands of volunteers from all over Thailand (and a handful of other countries) arrived to help. They set up pumps, constructed dams, and tried to divert water any way they could. But it seemed hopeless. The water was so murky and fast-moving that the SEAL divers, who had little-to-no experience navigating flooded caves, couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of them. Navy SEAL Captain Arnont Sureewong (played by Tui Thiraphat Sajakul) died in an effort to reach the kids, and time was running out. So the Thai government contacted the only people who could possibly help: Stanton and his scruffy team of divers.

“Four middle-aged men wandering around with all this equipment and being the heroes of the day. How preposterous it must have looked from the outsiders looking into the rescue,” Stanton jokingly told me over another press junket call. “How preposterous was it that there was a 57-year-old man flown out from England to take part in this rescue. It does seem a bit far-fetched.”

During their Zoom calls, Stanton showed Mortensen photos and diagrams of the cave, the rescue, and his equipment, most of which Stanton had built and fabricated for years on his at-home lathe. “The equipment we use is very bespoke. It’s often homemade. It’s very esoteric,” Stanton tells me. “There’s a British phrase ‘men in sheds’—people who spend their time in sheds making things or inventing things. We are all geeky men in sheds who came forward and saved the day.”

Mortensen spent the winter before shooting began for Thirteen Lives at his home in Spain. To get a leg up on preparation, Stanton told Mortensen he could arrange a mountain cave exploration with some Spanish friends. Mortensen immediately agreed. He can’t recall how many watery miles into the earth they waded but far enough that he nervously wondered if anyone else was concerned about the cave crumbling atop them. “Then we get to this rock wall,” Mortensen recalls. “I said, ‘So, this is the end of the line.’ And my guide goes, ‘No, this is just the beginning.’” The guide asked if Mortensen was game to continue the dive. “I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’” But, the next day, Mortensen followed the guide into a longer underwater tunnel. “It gave me a taste for what we were going to do for the movie,” Mortensen says. “That was really helpful. The rock was the same, the conditions, the tight spots, the current, all that.”

When they finally met in-person on the film’s set in Australia, Mortensen learned Stanton’s physical movements. “I studied the way he walks, the way he puts on his equipment, the way he presents himself to others,” says Mortensen. “The way he sort of stands back and doesn’t offer his opinion unless it’s absolutely necessary.” Mortensen was even able to perfectly replicate Stanton’s slow, precise underwater swimming and breathing techniques, including his specialized frog kick in which his legs push water out rather than back and down so that no sediment is disturbed.

I couldn’t help but ask Stanton what it felt like to be portrayed by such a beloved actor, who just so happens to be stupidly good-looking. “It’s not going to do me any harm, is it?” he replied. All jokes aside, Stanton said he and Mortensen became friends over the months of calls and shooting, and he was impressed by Mortensen’s commitment to researching the role.

When it came time to film, Stanton was on set as technical advisor, working with designers, cinematographers, and the film’s dive supervisor, Andrew Allen, to ensure the cave and the rescue were depicted as accurately as if it had been filmed in Tham Luang (which wasn’t possible due to the pandemic). Though the set had to accommodate space for underwater cinematographers, director Ron Howard and his crew perfectly recreated the cave sections Stanton and his fellow rescuers said were the most difficult. Even the unshakable Stanton was in awe of the movie-making magic. “That is their craft, to be able to mimic what they see with uncanny accuracy,” he tells me. “The diving scenes, they do look like professional cave divers.”

However, for Mortensen, the set was a little too realistic. “There were times where it was so narrow, I said, ‘Rick, I can’t get through there,’” Mortensen says of shooting in the cave recreations. “And he’d say, ‘Yes, you can. Think about it. How would you do it?’” The answer: Mortensen would have to take the air cylinder off his back while keeping the rebreather in his mouth, push the tank through the tight hole first, and follow it, squeezing and wriggling his body through the rocky opening. Yikes.

It is this granular attention to detail that makes Thirteen Lives, and particularly Mortensen’s portrayal of Stanton, a triumph. Mortensen becomes Rick Stanton, one of the world’s greatest cave divers, a man who feels the hefty yoke of moral obligation and the burden of responsibility to save thirteen souls stranded in a cave chamber miles under a mountain.

At the end of our interview, I jokingly ask Mortensen if he’ll quit acting and become a full-time cave diver. “No,” he laughs. “I like being in the water, but I’d rather have the sky above when I come to the surface.”

© Outside Interactive Inc.. Images © MGM Pictures.

Lovely interview with Viggo and Joel Edgerton from

Found By: Chrissie

Thanks to Chrissie for the find.


Viggo Mortensen And Léa Seydoux On Why They Loved Working With David Cronenberg On ‘Crimes of the Future’

Found By: Chrissie

Thanks again to Chrissie for this interview from where Viggo talks as much about not being in The Purple Rose of Cairo as he does about being in Crimes of the Future.

Viggo Mortensen (or, as he was once called, "Morganstern," more on that in a bit) has reteamed with David Cronenberg for their fourth collaboration, Crimes of the Future. Cronenberg is very much one of these directors where actors seem to come back for more time and time again. This is Léa Seydoux's first time working with Cronenberg and she didn't know what to expect.

Mortensen and Seydoux play Saul and Caprice, a couple who put on underground art shows in which Caprice operates on Saul, removing unwanted organs from his body that grow from a condition that, if not removed, they will kill him. So Saul's disease is literally turned into a sensual art performance. As the film goes on, the couple are faced with a situation where they have to decide what's going too far in the sake of art in a way that only Cronenberg can really explore quite like this. There are, let's say, unpleasant scenes in Crimes of the Future, but they are all there to drive the plot, not to shock. Considering the subject matter, it's funny to hear from Mortensen and Seydoux what a fun shoot this was and there were real moments of laughter on set. It's no wonder people keep wanting to work with Cronenberg.

Mortensen had this whole career before he became incredibly famous from the Lord of the Rings movies, which means you can be watching almost anything from the mid-80s until the late 90s (Witness, Young Guns II, Daylight, to name a few) and Mortensen just might pop up. I mention this to Seydoux, which leads Mortensen to tell a very detailed story about how he was cut out of Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, to which Seydoux even seemed shocked by this. And the way Mortensen tells it, he still seems just a little pissed about it.

Did you see the Crimes of the Future board game tweet?

Viggo Mortensen: Yes.

What do you think of that?

Viggo Mortensen: Well, we saw the game actually.

It's real?

Viggo Mortensen: Someone showed it to us. It looks real. It was a game with a doll. Yeah, there was some buzzers and things.

So it's like Operation?

Viggo Mortensen: Yeah. At least part.

That would be a very unusual game to own.

Viggo Mortensen: We should steal it. It would be worth the money.

You should definitely steal it.

Viggo Mortensen: We'll try to steal an extra one for you.

That would make my day. It's one thing if I just had it. If you stole it for me, that's a much better story.

Viggo Mortensen: Good story. We'll see.

Are you happy with the reaction to this movie? Because David Cronenberg predicted people would walk out at Cannes.

Viggo Mortensen: I think he was joking.

Oh, he was joking? Because people printed that as he was serious.

Viggo Mortensen: Well, they take him literally a lot.

Léa Seydoux: People will walk out? He said that?

Viggo Mortensen: Yeah. I think he has fun. People don't realize how funny he is, actually.

I think if you've seen his movies, you know he's really funny.

Viggo Mortensen: Absolutely.

Have you always wanted to be in one of his Videodrome-type movies?

Viggo Mortensen: I never thought about it. Each story that he tells is quite different. Even the ones of the so-called body horror, or whatever people label it as. I don't think he labels it that way. But each one is quite different, what it's dealing with.

But it harkens back, imagery-wise, to certain movies that he made 20, 30 years ago. But he's changed as a filmmaker. He's leaner, more precise. He's evolved and learned from his own experience. And so working with him, even the first one, A History of Violence, to now, he's become more specific and precise about the amount of shots, the amount of takes. He knows what he needs. He knows when he has it. He's already editing the movie in his head. So it's been great to watch him do that.

Léa hadn't worked with him before, so what are your expectations going in?

Léa Seydoux: For me, it's the first time. So no, I didn't know really what to expect. And I like that. Sometimes you have the script and you get the story immediately, you understand everything. I mean, everything. It's like, it's clear. And sometimes you read something and you're like, Oh my God, how am I going to do this? How is this going to work?

There had to be a lot of moments in this script where you're thinking that. "How would this even work?"

Léa Seydoux: Yeah, exactly. But I like that feeling as well. I think that I like the challenge. So I was like, how am I going to fit in this world? But then I met David and he was so kind and nice and I really loved him as a person. I thought he was, first, extremely funny. Very intelligent. And we got along immediately. There was this tacit connection, when you feel that you speak the same language, in a way, that it was like we didn't need words. It was just… and yeah.

People seem to keep wanting to do movies with him after they do one. There's a lot of history of people coming back. Anyway, it seems like it works that way, but I don't know if it's that easy.

Viggo Mortensen: Well, yes. Sometimes you're in movies that turn out well and they're interesting, but maybe the experience of making it was really difficult. But then the final thing, you're like, Okay, yeah, it was worth it. With him, every time I worked with him, it's enjoyable. It's not only an adventure, but it's a fun adventure. You do laugh. You make friendships. He makes something that's very complex. But there's a lot of thought that goes into it. He's very precise about his work. But it's relaxed, and you feel like almost anything could happen and it would be okay to try anything. In other words, there's a trust that he inspires.

What's an example that?

Viggo Mortensen: When we're in the sock together, for example. We didn't really talk about it with him. It was like, Okay, we see what's on the page, but how are we going to do it? Or when she's operating on me and how do these remote controls work? If we have any questions, he'll explain in detail whatever we want. But if there are no questions, then we're in it together. We're just trying. And you would think, because he's so precise, that he does storyboards and lots of rehearsing. No rehearsing. No storyboards. He's not one of these directors who's insecure and he needs everybody to realize that he knows everything and it's all controlled and it's all my plan. He trusts people. And when you feel like you're trusted as an artist or as a technician, you want to do a good job for that person because you are encouraged and your contribution is respected. Not all directors have this ability to inspire good work in that way.

Do you feel that way, too? You've obviously been in a lot of big movies. Was this a unique experience?

Léa Seydoux: Yeah. It was a unique experience and it's not always the… One can be very different from another. But first, David doesn't work for somebody. He works for himself.

He seems maybe one of the few directors of that stature that is in that situation.

Léa Seydoux: Exactly. Yeah. It's his ideas and it really comes from his mind, which makes a huge difference. And what I loved about the working with him is that I love the meaning that lies underneath. I find this extremely interesting and it's not made to entertain, in a way. It's not made to feed you with images.

Viggo Mortensen: Or shock you or anything.

Léa Seydoux: Yeah. To shock you. It's really just a way to… a reflection.

Viggo Mortensen: There are some artists in the story who are superficial. Sort of sent up. But it made me think about, yeah, there are movies that are shocking and have a lot of surface provocation and then there's not much substance underneath it. And those movies, even if you liked it the first time, the second and third time, you maybe see less. They're less interesting. You might fast forward through it. Whereas his movies, each time you watch them, you see something more. And as time goes by, they become strangely relevant later on. And this script he wrote 24 years ago, 1998, it's really relevant now. Not that he's trying to be a prophet. He just happens to be thinking outside the box and extrapolating, Okay, well, maybe this could happen. I can create this world that's very particular because I'm thinking about this subject matter in my own life, about where we might be headed as creatures.

When I spoke to you for Falling I mentioned this and it happened again. Léa have you ever noticed with him, you can be watching some older movie, he just pops up in it. It's like, "What's Viggo Mortensen doing in Young Guns II?"

Viggo Mortensen: I'm ancient!

I watched Witness recently. What are you doing in Witness? How are you in all these movies?

Viggo Mortensen: That was very early. That was the first movie I was in where I wasn't cut out of the movie.

What were you cut out of?

Viggo Mortensen: The Purple Rose of Cairo.

What? Really?

Léa Seydoux: Yeah? Really?

Viggo Mortensen: Yeah. And Swing Shift. I really liked the part in Purple Rose of Cairo, too. It was a funny story. But it was Woody Allen. I went to this audition. They said, "We want to meet you for this thing." I said, "Can I see the script?" "No, no, no. You can't see it you're just going to meet him and he's going to decide if you're in the movie." I said okay. And then when I got to the office of the casting person, they said, "Now, don't be surprised if this goes very quickly and if he doesn't talk to you." I said, "Okay. Am I going into a room in which he is in?" "He will be there. It'll just be the two of you."

So I walk in and he's sitting in a chair behind a table and he's looking at me. And I'm standing there and I see there's a chair. And I look at the chair and he looks at the chair like, "What's he going to do? What's this actor going to do with the chair?" So I sit down, looking at him, and he's looking at me. And then after a long time, he says, "Hello." And I said, "Hello." It seemed like about 10 minutes, but maybe another minute goes by, and he's just sort of looking at me. And he goes, "Thank you." And I'm like, "Oh, I guess that means I'm done." So I stood up and I walked out, and I'm going, "What the ****?"

So I said to my agent, "That was really bizarre, and I don't think it went very well." And she said, "No, no, you've got the part." I go, "What is the part?" And she said, "I don't know. I know it's something that takes place in the 1920s or the '30s, silent movie era, and you're just in the scene as some kind of Hollywood party." So I got a ride in, I don't know, a van out to Long Island. This is the middle of winter and in this big mansion. I go in and there are hundreds of actors and actresses, all in these costumes, like wow. I had no experience, really. Short films. So this is amazing.

And then I go in and there's this row of makeup, hair. And I had really long hair down to here then, so they were like, "We're going to cut your hair a little bit, okay?" And I said, "Well, just a little bit." And they go, "Well, you have to fit the period." Whoosh! And then it's slicked back and parted and I don't know what. And this nice suit, like a tuxedo. And then they said, "Well, sit down and wait here," in this hallway with all these other actors, waiting hours. I'm like, "What are we doing? Can I see the scene so I can prepare?" "No, you'll be told what to do." So then finally I go. They finally say, "Da da da da, Morganstern!" "It's Mortensen."

Viggo Mortensen: And then off I go with all these other actors into this room and there's this fabulous cupola kind of dome. It was a very nice mansion — living room and marble floors and an orchestra, I think. And lots of cocktails. And they said, "Here, this is yours," and it's like a martini but it was water. And Woody Allen's standing there by the camera and he's talking to an actor, he's whispering in his ear, this other actor about my age. But he had darker hair and maybe a mustache or something.

And then he says, "Okay, let's do one." And I say, "Mr. Allen, what do you want me to do?" He says, "You react to him." And action. And then he comes over. I have no ****ing idea. And he says, "So how was it like, working in the new DeMille picture?" Cecil B. DeMille, right? And I'm thinking, and the camera's rolling, and I'm like, "Um." So then I made up this story. I decided, well, I feel like a really stupid actor, so that's what I'm going to play. So I told him how my arms got really tired because I was standing and it was like this tree with another big log, and I was just wearing these diapers and I had all these thorns in my head, and fake blood, and I also had to have my arms up this whole time and I was really exhausted. And then this Roman guy was poking at me with a stick and I didn't know what the hell was going on. Like, I was such a stupid actor I didn't even know I was playing Jesus Christ. And so that was the thing.

And then Woody Allen was chuckling. He loved that. And he said, "That's really good. Let's do it one more time." I go, "What do you want me to do?" And he goes, "Do the same thing." So I did it again. And then I heard from my agent, they called to say he loved it. He loved the Jesus improv and great, great, great. And then I told my mother, a year later, when it was coming out. "Friday, it's coming out!" And then I see that I'm not in it. I'm not in the credits. And this happened to me twice. Then Swing Shift also.

And if anyone is wondering about the game referred to:

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Last edited: 31 May 2023 15:42:13