Viggo News

Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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


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

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

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

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

What was the physical training like for this role?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord of the Rings

... Mortensen... has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002

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

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

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

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mortensen... has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002

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

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

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

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine
April 2004

Do you prefer fighting with a pistol or a sword?

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

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

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

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion

You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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

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

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

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times Review
11 December 2008

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

Bruce Kirkland DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010

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

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

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

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
29 Aug 2006

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

Diana Sanchez
Toronto Film Festival Promo
Aug 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
11 December 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unax Ugalde
20 Minutos
Frank Marta
26 the April 2005

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

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

You will find all previous Quotables

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

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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

Lisandro Alonso: awaiting title

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

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

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

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

Ana Piterbarg: Todos Tenemos Un Plan

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

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

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

John Hillcoat: The Road

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

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

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

Ed Harris: Appaloosa

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

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

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

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008

Vicente Amorim: Good

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

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

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

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

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

Agustín Díaz Yanes: Alatriste

CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film?

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

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

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

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

Joe Johnston: Hidalgo

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

Joe Johnston
Staci Layne Wilson
American Western Magazine
March 2004

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

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

Peter Jackson: The Lord of the Rings

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

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine

"After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh] and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

Tony Goldwyn: A Walk on the Moon

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

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

Ridley Scott: G I Jane

'He is absolutely dedicated to the process,' says Ridley Scott. 'He was constantly revisiting me with questions and notes and suggestions, none of which I ever got tired of.'

Ridley Scott Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond,
US Magazine #236, 1997

Phillip Ridley: The Reflecting Skin and Passion of Darkly Noon

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

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

José Luis Acosta: Gimlet

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

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

Sean Penn: The Indian Runner

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

History Teacher by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
August 19, 2005

Jeff Burr: Leatherface: Texas Chain Saw Massacre 111

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

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

Renny Harlin: Prison

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

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

You will find all previous Quotables

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

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

As Viggo features yet again in a best movie beard list, I decided it's definitely time I took another look at facial fuzz. Growing good facial fuzz counts among his many manly talents. He's sported the world's sexiest stubble, grown several terrifying moustaches, sprouted a grizzled mass as The Man (he even twinned it in TTUP), and a carefully trimmed affair as Freud. He was all dapper in Appaloosa, devilish in The Prophecy, and he's currently sporting a kind of moustachey-sideboardy-beardy thingy that still needs its own definition.

How many peculiar things would one need to add to Viggo Mortensen's face before he ceases to be hot?

On the Appaloosa moustache and goatee
Awards Daily
Ryan Adams
8 August 2008

As for Mr. Mortensen's look, the beard that was in the early stages on the Oscar red carpet is in full flower.

Filming wraps up on post-apocalyptic 'The Road'
By Barbara Vancher
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
24 April 2008

I know this might be a little "cliche" to say on this site, but honestly folks, how can anyone look at Viggo Mortensen's awesome beard and NOT want to build a hut in it?? I mean, even just for the summertimes, you know? Great man...even greater beard!!

Reaction to Viggo's 'Road' look at the Oscars
25 February 2008

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren.

Return of the King Review
The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003

Corey, Triple M, Melbourne: Viggo you're now at the stage where you could get the majority of roles you wanted. You've had love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow and now Liv Tyler. Is there anyone you aspire to have a love scene with, in the world?

Viggo: Gimli? That was cut from the movie - maybe it'll be in the extended version.

I did hear about you and the bearded ladies.

Viggo: There was a very nice beard tugging moment between me and Sean, if they ever go back and make a more extended version. You can ask Sean about it. He may pretend not to remember. And there were bearded ladies on this production, quite a few.

Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003

...the always-strong Viggo Mortensen got little recognition [for Appaloosa] for a nuanced supporting turn. With the moustache of the year (that should be an award), Mortensen turned a rather standard best-friend part into a quiet tour de force.

Oscar nominations 2009
Scott Taverner
January 2009

Mortensen, his eyes partly hidden under a round-brimmed hat, has a dandy's wide moustache and spadelike beard, and he cocks his head at odd angles and stares at Ed Harris's character as if he were a god in boots.

Guns And Lovers
By David Denby
The New Yorker
29 September 2008

A face rendered (almost) unrecognizable with that distracting droop of a Wild West moustache, the familiar starburst cleft in his chin forested over by a neat beard. In his black skullcap and flannel shirt, jeans and dirt-caked Tasmanian sheep-station boots, Mortensen, 49, has the sullen affect of a man who's just found a ticket on his windshield.

The Great Dane
Phoebe Eaton
Men's Vogue
March 2008

Supping a herbal remedy from a mysterious brass pot that looks like it was stolen from Middle-earthy, while sporting a bushy moustache liable to make Bill the Butcher green with envy (for his next role as a Spanish soldier in Alatriste), Mortensen exudes a Zen-like calm.

"We're Animals Too, Y'Know?"
By James Mottram
Hotdog #67
September 2005

It is difficult to recognize the sexy star because of the mighty moustache that fills a lot of his face... "It took months to get it to the way it is now," he says laughing about his large moustache. "But as soon as I can, it will be removed!"

Viggo On His Way To Denmark
Billed-Bladet #24 - translated by Westfold
June 2005

Resembling Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, Alatriste boasts a moustache that serves as a lonely guy's double-edged sword: capable of seducing and persuading.

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

Mortensen, bearded, smudged, greasy-haired, has a primal, haggard beauty.

The Road Review
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
15 November 2009

"I like acting because it's a way to keep on playing. It lets me grow a beard and put on glasses, gain weight, put on a fake nose, speak with a certain accent - all to play Sigmund Freud. I don't look anything like Freud, but I did it very seriously and I also had fun."

El mundo de Viggo Mortensen
By Manuel Martínez ? translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire Latinoamerica
15 march 2012

When Claudia is away, Pedro, Agustín's twin, visits him. He is his antithesis. Pedro is a scruffy man sporting a beard. Agustín has begun to drink, to grow a beard and to let himself go in response to his wife leaving.

I Know That You Know I Know
By Pablo O. Scholz - translated by Zoe
29 August 2012

'I literally would have to play one part for a few days, doing all those scenes, and then trim the beard and get the look of the other brother and then do the other side of it. That was a little strange...'

Viggo Mortensen: Lay off the pope
By Andrew O'Hehir
20 March 2013

Mortensen sports some cool-looking facial hair in Appaloosa. But Viggo got his sarcasm on when asked "did you grow it yourself or was it a piece?"

"No, I had someone grow it for me," he replied. "There's a beard stubble farm, as it happens, just north of Sante Fe where they grow the best beard stubble in the world.... They use a rare ... kind of mountain goat turd they put on it and when it was ready, they knocked me out with some kind of weird peyote stuff and sewed it on."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 4L Productions/20th Century Fox/Haddock Films/Hanway/Lago/ Matt Lankes/20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

This week's Quotable is full of very, very long quotes because they are all favourite anecdotes. I make no apologies that some have appeared here before ? I love all of them and I'm pretty sure you do to. They are funny, quirky, inspiring and tell you pretty much everything you need to know about Viggo.

One last thing that I wish to report is a small anecdote concerning someone. One of my charming girlfriends, attached to the press core assisting all of the DVDrama personel, yesterday was herself helped by a hero and not the least of which since it was Mr. Viggo Mortensen, alias the sensual Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, about whom we are still having numerous fantasies since the first showing of Peter Jackson's trilogy. Present in Cannes to support David Cronenberg's film, A History of Violence, in which he proves once again his immensity talent, he went to the private evening gathering that followed the premiere screening, which was exactly where my girlfriend was, whose dress suddenly caught fire as she walked down the centre of an avenue edged with small candles. An accident which could have transformed itself very quickly into a catastrophe if the courageous Viggo hadn't intervened immediately, gently throwing himself on her to help extinguish the first flames that could have become a conflagration. Reassuring and concerned he next took lengthy care of her. After this summer the King of Tolkien, Viggo, is today the King of Cannes and I regret not being the one of whose dress caught fire!

Viggo the Hero
DVDrama, Cannes Film Festival Report
17 May 2005

A really nice box-office clerk (I'm not naming names) at a downtown Madrid theatre discovers that Viggo Mortensen, whose girlfriend, a famous Spanish film star, was acting in a version (very poor, to be sure) of a famous play which was playing right there, has come to buy a ticket.

Quite possibly, Mortensen could have asked his partner for an invitation and that would have been that. Instead, he insisted on paying like any regular guy. The box-office clerk recognised him, and smiling, gave him a guest ticket. "How much do I owe you?" said Mortensen in his cheerful Argentinian accent. "No, no, nothing, you are invited," answered the box-office clerk. The Hollywood star thanks her cordially, goes, and ten minutes later returns with an ice cream for the box-office clerk! He insisted that she should take it, although she said she was on a diet, so he sweetened her afternoon. Anyway, when I grow up, I want to be Viggo Mortensen.

Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
25 November 2011

I order a margarita. He orders a whiskey and a beer. The waiter sees a notepad on the table and his celebrity antennae pop up like Ray Walston's extraterrestrial ones in My Favorite Martian.

"So just who is interviewing who?" the waiter asks us. This is a formality. He's pretty sure that this is the guy from The Lord of the Rings. I start to reply, but Mortensen holds up his hand. "She has just set the world record for the longest distance windsurfed by a human being," he says, tilting his head in my direction.

"No!" the waiter gasps.

"She windsurfed from Hawaii to the mainland," he continues. "Sure, there was a boat that followed her, and she slept at night, but still. That's what, how many miles?" He looks at me.

"Um, thirty-seven hundred?" I say. I have no idea.

"And not even a man has done that yet," Mortensen tells the waiter. "Isn't that cool?"

The waiter asks me to sign a menu.

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
January 2004
Source: Vanity Fair magazine

In one take, Mortensen was battling an Uruk-Hai, a powerful and ferocious strain of orc, when a blade that was jutting from an extra's armour slashed into his face. "I thought, Oh my God, he's lost his face," recalls Perez, who then saw that the blade had somehow missed Mortensen's flesh but split his tooth - literally in half. "I said, 'You lost half a tooth.' And he looked at me and said, 'Look for it. You can stick it on with superglue.' And I said, 'No, come on, don't be silly, you can't.'" Mortensen finally relented and went to a dentist's office, still in full battle armour.

Filming the Battle of Helms Deep
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
January 2003

Occasionally, people who walk by will do a double take - nah, that guy just looks like Viggo Mortensen. The real Viggo Mortensen wouldn't be hanging out on a bench with a camera, would he? But this is how he lives. He does not insulate himself from the world - just, maybe, from who he is rather than who he wants to be: himself.

Sitting casually, hanging out on the bench, seems ideal. But there is a problem. There are rats. Many of them. They are running back and forth between the bushes, over the footpath, and it is impossible to ignore them.

"Wow. They're bold," he says, incredulously. A couple of Brazilians pass by. "Hey - I could ask them who they played in the World Cup final."

He jumps up off the bench, leaving me alone with the vermin. As he stands chatting with the Brazilians, a small huddle forms around him. Next thing, he is posing, arms draped around them, for a photo. He looks back at me over his shoulder with an expression that says "Oops."

Minutes later, he returns. "Yeah, in the final it was Brazil against Holland. I didn't really give a sh** but I was rooting against Brazil - I grew up in Argentina." But Brazil has never met Holland in a World Cup final: it was the semifinal in 1994. No matter, he's still impressed by the rats.

"Whoa! Did you see that one? That was a rat-a-roo. Is it a herd of rats, a flock of rats? Maybe it's a swarm."

Another one tumbles past. "That one has a bad back. He's old - that's sad." Having a conversation about anything else proves impossible. "I don't remember seeing that many rats here," he says. "They're twice as big as the rats in Los Angeles. That one was like a possum'.

The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times
30 November 2003

Viggo Mortensen's temporary headquarters during the Toronto Film Festival were bare except for one corner, where there was a sculpture assembled from a plastic grocery-store bag draped over a tripod.....While Mortensen used the restroom, I tried to decide if the bag-on-tripod sculpture was a comment on our throwaway culture or a meditation on the relationship between art and reality. Turns out it was his luggage.

"Want to see my luggage?" Mortensen asked, emerging from his hand-washing and following my gaze to the "sculpture." "Let's see what's in here," he added, removing underwear, several T-shirts - one with fishing records on it, another emblazoned with "Bring Our Troops Home" - and a United Nations flag from the bag. "I travel light."

Renaissance man jousts with career-changing role
By Chris Hewitt,
Twin Cities
28 September 2005

We wander our way to the Japanese garden, where the cherry blossoms bloom and sit on a steep grass bank. As is his wont wherever and whenever possible, Viggo wears no shoes. He spots an oval-headed balding man, with wisps of gray hair, walking with two younger women.

"Is that Arthur Miller?" he whispers. "Wait till we see his face."

We watch, and even before we see his face, we agree that there is something about the way this man walks that is not the way we somehow know Arthur Miller would walk. And the women are somehow not the women Arthur Miller would walk with in a Japanese garden.

"Let's just say it was," Viggo says, and by this I don't think for a moment he is suggesting that we should conspire to lie about it. Just that, with some willpower and a creative refusal to join the dots and draw a line we will no longer be able to cross, we can delay even this small disappointment and keep alive our moment in the park with Arthur Miller a little while longer.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions Inc.

Display options:


Order by:
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 18 March 2023 05:00:24