by Helen Earnshaw
Viggo Mortensen is an actor who has enjoyed a career that has spanned almost thirty years and has seen him find success on the big screen as well as in the theatre.The Oscar nominated actor is back this week with his new movie Everybody Has A Plan, which is the directorial debut of Ana Piterbarg.We take a look back over Mortensen's career and pick out some of his greatest acting roles.
Mortensen made his big screen debut back in 1985 when he took on the role of Moses Hochleitner in Witness. Directed by Peter Weir the movie starred Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis and was both a box office and critical hit. The movie went on to be nominated for eight Oscars; going on to win for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. While Mortensen did not have a huge role in the movie this role led to more film projects as well as a role in stage show Bent.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Mortensen may have enjoyed a long career before taking on the role of Aragorn in THE LORD OF THE RINGS it was this trilogy that was to be his mainstream breakthrough. The movie saw Mortensen team up with director Peter Jackson as he brought the novels of Tolkien to the big screen. Despite being a last minute replacement on the film Mortensen threw himself into the role and really gets under the skin of the character of Aragorn. Not only did we see the warrior side of Aragorn but we also see the a side to him of uncertainty as he fears the royalty and weakness that is in his blood. THE LORD OF THE RINGS dominated the box office for three years and were huge critical and commercial hits - it went on to become one of the biggest franchises of all time.
A History of Violence
He moved into the crime thriller in 2005 as he teamed up with director David Cronenberg for the first time; a partnership that has proved to be incredibly fruitful. A History of Violence is a big screen adaptation of the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke and saw Mortensen take on the role of a man with a secret. This is an engrossing movie from start to finish about the past. secrets and family and saw Mortensen deliver a truly terrific performance. It was a performance where Mortensen keeps audiences guessing in what was an intelligent and exciting movie.
Eastern Promises remains Mortensen's greatest role as he picked up his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his work. The film saw him reunite with director Cronenberg and it really was a dark and powerful performance from Mortensen. From start to finish this is a brutal movie but it is also a film where the tension builds and builds with every scene. Mortensen is simply magnificent in the role of Nikolai Luzhin - much like in A History of Violence he is a man who is not all that he seems. Eastern Promises has gone on to be a bit of a cult classic and it really is the finest film in the Mortensen/Cronenberg collaboration.
In 2009 he starred in the big screen adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel The Road, which was directed by John Hillcoat. The movie followed a man and his young son as they make a journey to the south in a post-apocalyptic world. The Road is a truly chilling movie from start to finish and yet there is a desolate beauty to it that really draws you in. Mortensen is terrific from start to finish as he and his son face danger and uncertainty at ever turn. Mortensen was nominated for a string of Best Actor gongs at critics awards in what was another very successful role.
Everybody Has A Plan
Everybody Has A Plan sees Mortensen return to the big screen as he stars in the debut of director Ana Piterbarg. Everybody Has A Plan tells the story of Agustín (Mortensen), a man desperate to abandon what for him has become, after years of living in Buenos Aires, a very frustrating existence. After the death of his twin brother, Pedro, Agustín decides to start a new life, adopting the identity of his brother and returning to the mysterious region of the Delta, in the Tigre, where they lived when they were boys. However, shortly after his return, Agustín will find himself unwillingly involved in the dangerous criminal world that was a part of his brother's life.
Everybody Has A Plan is released 31st May.