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Viggo Mortensen in Empire magazine

Source: Empire.
Found By: Chrissie
Many thanks to Chrissie for these.

Here are scans of the article in the May issue of Empire magazine where Viggo discusses some of his movie roles:

Click to enlarge

Images © Bauer Consumer Media.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

My frustration knew no bounds this week when A History of Violence appeared a yet another list of 'underrated films'. Underrated, that is, in terms of audience figures, not critical acclaim. When it's not A History of Violence it's The Road. Or that hugely underrated Western, Appaloosa. And my frustration is mainly because one thing that is NEVER underrated is Viggo's ability as an Actor. Directors, Critics and (even more importantly) fellow Actors think he is one of the premier actors in the business. They would probably turn up to watch him read a telephone directory because they know he would make it extraordinary. Yup. I'm suffering from a bad case of Box Office.

As for Mr. Mortensen, his whole career seems to have been a set-up for this moment where he finally comes into his own and claims his own place among the best actors of his generation.

Sasha Stone reviewing 'A History of Violence'
Santa Monica Mirror
28 September 2005

'Any film he's in is a film I want to see. He's one of the greats.'

Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen To Star In Electric City's 'Captain Fantastic'
By Mike Fleming Jnr
20 February 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, certainly one of the great actors of our time, told us in a Venetian hallway of the Hotel Excelsior how he regarded Viggo Mortensen as one of the masters of the profession. A point of view that is totally shared.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir – translated by Dom
4 September 2011

'Viggo Mortensen probably gave the best performance I have seen in a motion picture in as long as I can remember in A History of Violence .... Bill Hurt got a nomination for a rather bizarre, overly done performance in that film, but Viggo Mortensen is probably the premier actor in the business.'

Dale Olson, publicist
Oscar, You Insensitive Lout
by Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer,
February 2006

'I would want to watch Viggo Mortensen in any language.

Sanford Panitch, President of Fox International
Fox International Acquires Worldwide Rights To Viggo Mortensen-Starrer 'Everybody Has A Plan'
By Mike Fleming
5 May 2011

'To me, there's a lack of self-consciousness to the great actors. I think the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises is brilliant: he's living the guy's life on screen and you can't take your eyes off him. It's the same with Marlon Brando. You might not know why you're drawn to him, but you are.'

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008

I saw "Eastern Promises," in which Viggo Mortensen is giving one of the great, great powerful screen performances. It's absolutely amazing.

Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush Revisits The Golden Age
By Edward Douglas, Coming
5 Oct 2007

...when an actor like Viggo Mortensen is in front of the camera, it's best to just let the camera run and let him be. Mortensen gives a brilliant, genius performance. His character's every breath is not just his own, but a breath for his son, a breath for hope, and Mortensen conveys that with harrowing accuracy.

Brandon Lee Tenney reviewing 'The Road'
25 November 2009

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

"Mortensen is wonderful. He's one of the best actors at not doing anything and making you watch him all the more."

Ty Burr
Boston Globe: Take 2
October 2008

The best actor nomination for its star Viggo Mortensen made me happier than any other on Tuesday's ballots.

Jack Matthews
New York Daily News
23 January 2003

Viggo has been a fantastic performer for years, he's very subtle, he's never showboating, it's always about the character, and I think that's why it's taken people so long to realise he's not just a good actor he's a great actor."

David Cronenberg
14 January 2008

There seems to be no end to Viggo Mortensen's talents

Rex Reed
New York Observer
24 November 2009

There's a new Viggo Mortensen movie out and all is right with the world.

Jeffrey Lyons talking about 'Good'
Reel Talk
December 2008

Viggo Mortensen's versatility never ceases to amaze me.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 2008

Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005

In Viggo Mortensen, Hillcoat is working with one of the current cinema's great quiet everymen, and if anyone can make the novel's stolid, unnamed hero empathic and emotionally alive on screen whilst remaining loyal to the novel's aesthetic minimalism, it's this immensely physical, restrained performer. It's a masterstroke of casting that I hope connects with its on-paper potential: if it does, I can see Mortensen leading the film's awards trail.

Kris Tapley talking about 'The Road'
August 2009

... one of the most adventurous, talented actors working in film today (his contemporaries being, in my mind Edward Norton, Mathieu Amalric and Daniel Day Lewis). ...Not unlike the greatest leading men in classic Hollywood westerns, Mortensen is stoic, brimming with quiet fury.

Hitting 'The Road' with Director John Hillcoat
Matt Mazur
22 November 2009

Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Sebastian Cordoba
7 April 2009

You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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.

The Man - A Favorite Father

Source: Under The Gun Review.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for this Father's Day piece.
It's Fathers Day which means it's time for another Favorite Fathers in Film list and, once again, the Man makes it.
Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films.
2009's The Road (based on the book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy) is a bleak and terrifying, yet absolutely beautiful, post-apocalyptic story of a man and his son struggling to survive as they make their way to the coast in hopes of a warmer, more comfortable climate. The father, played by Viggo Mortensen and simply referred to as "the Man," cares about nothing more than protecting his son and preparing him for the worst as his own health quickly deteriorates and his inevitable death approaches. I have watched this film many times since its release and not a single viewing has gone by without my eyes welling up with tears. In my opinion, few performances have passed since 2009 even equal to that of either Mortensen or Kodi Smit-McPhee, "the Boy." The realism and raw emotion in their performances make for one of the most touchingly beautiful connections in film history and the father in this story is everything one could possibly be in their terrible situation. Regardless of the fact that The Road touches on a much darker theme than some of the films in this collection, "the Man" is a father that loves his son wholeheartedly and it shows in every frame of this film.

© Under The Gun Review. Images © 2929/Dimension Films.

Top 6 Viggo Mortensen Performances

Source: Female First.
Found By: Iolanthe
Iolanthe brings us this piece from Female First.
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
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.

The Road
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.

© Female First. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.; Focus Features; 2929/Dimension Films/MGM; Haddock Films.

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Last edited: 18 March 2023 05:00:24