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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

We recently had the photo below as our Good Day Viggodom picture and I'm sure I'm not the only one fascinated by all that green scrawl. Viggo's notebooks are part of that 'inexhaustible supply of mulch' which feeds his research, poetry and even his paintings. When his backpack with three years' worth of journals inside was stolen from his car, we felt his loss. It inspired Viggo to write a paean to journal keeping in his Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading. I've quoted a sizeable chunk of it below because all inveterate journal keepers know that journals deserve the honour. We can imagine the huge pleasure he had looking at Freud's notebooks in his Hampstead study and it's impossible to imagine Viggo without his own notebook somewhere close at hand, especially has he views his whole artistic life as a kind of diary.

Before becoming an actor, he was a published poet, and he still carries a notebook wherever he goes 'just in case a moment presents itself to be stolen.'

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
March 2006

Viggo extracts a big moleskin notebook from his backpack, like a naturalist's notebook, a logbook, in which he notes down his thoughts and everything that passes through his mind with a big, tangled handwriting like the rigging of a schooner.

River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
September 2012

The backpack also contained a couple of journals, two screenplays, my passport, and two half-read books. The hardest losses were the stories and poems in the notebooks. I had been looking forward, in particular, to reviewing and fine-tuning hundreds of pages of, for me, uncharacteristically long and unguarded poetry that had been written during a series of very quiet nights spent in the Sahara Desert in late 2002. During that time, for various reasons, I had begun writing extended pieces using a lot of abstract imagery and fragmented recollections from my childhood, combined with the rush of sensory impressions I was receiving while living and working in Morocco. The thick white pages of the notebooks from that time were grimy, stained red from the dust near Ouarzazate, yellow from Erfoud and Merzouga, brown and gray from my hands and the ashes of campfires and cigarettes, dogeared, black with grease. They held sandstorms, camel gargles, vultures, Arabic songs, calls to prayer, prayer rugs, tea, coffee, tent flaps. They reeked of diesel, were alive with flies, fossils, heat waves, goats, soldiers, scorpions, unseen women, donkeys, date palms, doves, hawks, vipers, new or decaying gardens, graveyards, city walls, mosques, stables, wells, fortresses, and schools. This was the start of a long-overdue cataloging of buried memories of plants and their names, horses, car accidents, lightning, pet lizards, parts of arguments between my parents, ifinesses, sheep; of fish caught, lost, released, cleaned, cooked, spied in rivers, ponds, lakes, eaten, rotting, struggling, dying, or dead. In those notebooks could be found faces of teachers I've had, of policemen, children, and old people suffering, giggling, sleeping, or otherwise lingering in emergency rooms, bus stations, on street corners, walking or standing on traces of roads or tracks through harsh deserts, prairies, icescapes, or urban wastelands. Here were all the toy soldiers, ineffective windshield wipers, first tastes of chocolate, wine, asparagus, venison, trout, chalk, ants, a Big Mac, dirt, dandelion stem, unsweetened yerba maté, duck, beer, snow, blood...

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Patches of recorded feeling vanished, irretrievable. There is no point in trying to remember and rebuild the word houses, word hills, word dams, or word skeletons like some sort of archeology project. There may be pieces I recall or inadvertently retell, but every word will be new, will go somewhere, will die no matter what I might do to tame or hold it.

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

We meet at a coffee house in Santa Monica, where he's already upstairs with a glass of iced coffee and a notebook. Beside him rests a box, overflowing with sheets of rumpled paper and picture frames, much like one would find in an attic, or on the neglected shelves of Christmas decorations (his manager had asked me if he could make a contribution to the magazine, to which I gave an unqualified "yes").

"I don't know what you're looking for," he says, "but I brought a few things to show you."

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995

And Viggo Mortensen pulls a notebook from his bag. The poets look at it. Because poets always look. And they see. At the table are Fabián Casas, Damian Ríos and Gabriela Bejerman, three of the 22 Argentine poets in the Anthology of New Argentine Poetry, the brand new book from Perceval Press, Viggo Mortensen's publishing house... "There it is; it's called 'Matinee'," he says. And he reads it.

Viggo Mortensen: "Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Zooey
25 August 2009

Never without his camera, he snapped away at branches, sky, ice and snow while he talked, stopping only to ask a question, write something in his journal or point out deer tracks and places where beavers had gnawed through trees. Nearly every step seemed to elicit a memory, of some youthful mischief with a friend, a favored fishing or skiing spot from years ago, a conversation with a former neighbor.

Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers: A Walk Down Memory Lane (Literally) with the Photographer, Poet and Actor
Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University, Canton NY February 2003

He'd visited the Freud museum in Hampstead before, but for the purposes of our interview we were allowed behind the velvet ropes and into Freud's study, right next to the famous couch. Viggo was clearly unsettled by such close contact with Freud's personal artefacts, and affected some shivers of recognition as he pored over Freud's notebook which sits on his desk, a pair of fold-up pince-nez placed neatly beside it.

Viggo's Freudian Slip
By Jason Solomons
The Observer
5 February 2012

I spent a lot of time and effort in the following weeks scouring my part of town, looking through trash cans and alleyways, offering no-questions-asked rewards, doing anything I could think of to find what was irreplaceable for me and probably completely useless to whoever had stolen it. Finally, I let most of it go, knowing I would never be able to recreate what had been written far from home in that exhausted but uniquely productive state of mind.

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004

"To me the movies that I'm in or a painting or a drawing or a poem that I've made, a photograph, they are all journals in a way, a living diary," said Mortensen. "Everything's about that, valuing what's been and where I am now based on the accumulation of those experiences."

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road' And The Importance Of Human Connections
By Todd Hill
Staten Island Advance
27 November 2009

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Focus Features.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

You're bound to have noticed from all the activity on our Other Movies thread that Prison has come out on Blu-ray and has garnered a lot of quite favourable reviews from horror buffs. It's nice to see some recognition for a film that is ? I think ? a lot better than you expect it to be. It also has a young, gorgeous Viggo in early 'moody bad boy' mode. Did I mention you can watch that on Blu-ray? Thanks to advancing technology I now have enough quotes for a whole Prison Quotable and, in case you've missed the best of the reviews, I've gathered them together here for you. It's also an excuse to use the Goatherding quote one more time. I tried to leave it out, honest I did, .... but I couldn't. Prison just wouldn't be complete without it.

Prison deserves props for being much smarter (and more dignified) than most of us expect a B-movie to be.

Prison Review
By John W Bowen
Classic Horror
7 April 2001

Before Viggo Mortensen became Aragorn and before Renny Harlin became known for helming such flashily forgettable action fare as The Long Kiss Goodnight and Driven, the two made sweet incarcerated horror music together with the aptly named Prison (1988). Well, not that sweet, but Prison does have the dubious distinction of being one of Harlin's best as well as the finest film to come out of the late '80s trend of the return of the vengeful executed (remember Wes Craven's Shocker?).

Haunted Prison
Independent Film Channel
30 October 2007

... I met with about 80 young Hollywood actors for Viggo's part. I couldn't find the one. 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

"I just looked at him and thought please let him know how to act..."

Director Renny Harlin
Daily Grindhouse
19 December 2011

"Viggo had already been in Witness and one or two other things. He was definitely somebody that people were keeping an eye on and what have you. He was this striking looking guy and he really was a good guy and still is. He's just a very nice person. But boy he really brought up the smoldering intensity right away. That was terrific."

Screenwriter Courtney Joyner
Late night classics ? Prison
Jason Bene
2 June 2010

'It was a real low budget horror exploitation thing. The cast was a bunch of people [who were] New York stage actors. For that kind of movie, it was a pretty experienced group of actors; good actors got those parts. So, I was surrounded by people who really knew what they were doing, which was nice. It was fun to work with them. I mean, the story was what it was. It was a horror movie and it was on the cheap side and all that, but Renny Hahn had a certain amount of visual flair. Other that,I don't know if it stands out any more than the other movies at this time. I liked the location, I liked Wyoming.'

Viggo talking about Prison
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
By Carnell
March 1999

PRISON is pretty remarkable on a lot of levels; it also features Viggo Mortensen in one of his first feature film roles. I know it's cliché to say an actor has intensity but I think PRISON is one of his more intense roles. There is a scene in the prison yard when he's going toe-to-toe with a prisoner who's trying to run the yard that is just cool as hell. His performance actually in EASTERN PROMISES kind of reminds me of PRISON because in both films he uses his eyes so much.

Daily Grindhouse
19 December 2011

This was an early role for Mortensen, who would go on to fame in The Lord of the Rings, Eastern Promises and The Road, among other films. It's interesting to watch him here as he channels a James Dean vibe, with his wedge-cut hair and sulky, almost shy delivery. He rises to the occasion when the dramatic scenes demand it, but for much of the movie his presence borders on the self-effacing, in contrast to his later work.

David Maine
20 February 2013

Mortensen, who can count PRISON as his first starring role, is equally great as the "strong silent" con who has no problem threatening to tear the dick off of his ward's biggest, baddest rapist in the middle of the yard. It's not a showy perfomance (particularly when you put it into context with the rest of Viggo's career, TEXAS CHAINSAW III included), but it's enough to keep the film anchored and give the audience a formidable anti-hero to root for once Forsythe's ghost begins wreaking havoc.

Jacob Knight
22 February 2013

Viggo Mortensen is something of a find as Burke, an inmate apparently bred on James Dean and Montgomery Clift films. All the supporting roles are solid as well. As for the Spirit of Forsythe, he's not just another masked menace or a flesh-rotted presence, but more of a malevolent specter à la The Keep. When his hell breaks loose, it's quite chilling.

Source: Hollibonitos

Mortensen shows good leading man chops well before Hollywood took notice of him...

Shlockmania Blu-ray review
18 February 2013

Viggo Mortensen, in an early role before stardom, offers a strong-willed, no-frills performance that suits the character wonderfully.

Martin Liebman
2 February 2013

This was Mortensen's first lead role, too, but he delivers with a calm and extremely cool persona who holds his own against the more traditional thugs.

By Rob Hunter
filmschoolrejects Blu-ray review
16 February 2013

Even though Mortensen is the lead he really doesn't say too much but his character just has this strong silent presence and he takes care of business. Blu-ray review
13 February 2013

Prison features a strong cast of recognizable actors, many of whom were at the start of their careers. Viggo Mortensen (The Prophecy) has enjoyed the most success and it is easy to recognize his talent in this early piece. His performance is subtle as a short-time convict gradually pushed into the role of reluctant hero. Blu-ray review
19 February 2013

"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Empire Pictures.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

A word popped up in an interview recently that got my quotable senses twitching: Renaissance. 'There's that word again', I thought. Viggo has been called a 'Renaissance Man' more times than I've had hot dinners. It's even been in the title of a fair number of interviews by journalists obviously overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff he does. Below is just the tiny tip of the 'Renaissance' Iceberg.

?the very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man.

Validation for Viggo
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008

As we've reported to you before, Viggo is a very, very colorful character. He's a renaissance man (although he hates it if you call him that)...

Goin' Fishin' with Viggo Mortensen
By Lynn Barker
Teen Hollywood
28 September 2005

Charismatic and with a prolific renaissance spirit...

"I love leading an itinerant life"
By P. S. - translated by Ollie and Zoe
September 2012

The inveterate actor, whose self-taught, renaissance-man leanings have the reputation of being based on actual talent...

Leave It To Viggo
By Susan Perry
Black Book

To say that Viggo Mortensen is a Renaissance Man would probably be an understatement.

Celebrity Artist - Viggo Mortensen
By Ken Hall
Art & Frame Review
May 2002

"He's a complete Renaissance man. He can do it all, and very well."

Elijah Wood
Mortensen is an artist three times over
Kelly Carter
USA Today
8 February 2002

In real life, actor Viggo Mortensen really has the soul of a renaissance man.

"If I have a day off, I'm not at a Hollywood party. I'm not the type of actor who lives in the press. I'd rather be home in shorts and a T-shirt surrounded by paint brushes, a blank canvas and have a few candles burning as the day fades into the night," he says.

"I think our true occupation as human beings is to learn as much as possible about life and ourselves," he adds. "You find those answers in the quiet moments."

Superstar Viggo's A Serious Soul At Heart
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times
9 September 2007's not easy being a Renaissance man when you've got hordes of fans, a publicity campaign to support and a family to attend to.

Viggo Mortensen: Hunky star finds an unlikely kindred spirit in David Cronenberg
By Wendy Banks
8 September 2005

The multi-talented Mortensen, a Renaissance man if ever there was one, needs as many waking hours as he can get to accommodate his cultural activities in the fields of art, poetry and music, not to mention his acting work - he stars in three vastly different films due for release in the next few months.

Viggo Mortensen looks beyond Hollywood
25 September 2008

During down time between filming love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow in "A Perfect Murder," Mortensen kept his leading lady entertained by serenading her with Spanish songs. (His original paintings also made it into the film.) So it's a little surprising when, during the middle of an interview, he singsongs,

"Clap on, clap off."

"Whatever happened to those things?" said Mortensen, 40, laughing. "That was a good commercial. All my references are outdated because I don't watch television anymore. But I remember that one." Mortensen can be forgiven for not watching much TV--the busy Renaissance man just doesn't have the time.

Sensitive Side of Psycho
Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun Times
16 December 1998

Nikolai is flawlessly performed by the ingenious Renaissance man Viggo Mortensen.

Borscht, Baddies, BadAss
Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff
Santa Fe Reporter
3 October 2007

His face is granite, and built on the most imposing jawline in the business since Kirk Douglas, but his eyes are soft and expressive, nervous even. He speaks quietly, often just above a whisper, and over the course of our interview he will convey the impression of a Zen-like renaissance man, a poet, a painter and a musician who fell into acting and could just as easily fall out of it again.

Viggo Mortensen: first Good - and then goodbye?
Kevin Maher
The Times
2 April 2009
The Times

"He's a Renaissance man. He paints, he acts, he writes poetry, you could bounce a quarter off of him and he cooks the way our mothers cook -- from scratch."

Mark Ordesky
Valiant Effort: A Late Substitution, Viggo Mortensen Dived into Rings.
By Irene Lacher
LA Times
21 December 2002

Unlike many actors who essentially play themselves in every role, Viggo Mortensen is developing a reputation for diversity.

The US-born renaissance man has published nine volumes of poetry, is an avid photographer, and his abstract paintings have been hung in galleries worldwide. Then there's his discography - 15 or so albums, generally of ambient music, featuring spoken word and poetry.

While some artists with this much output may be driven by ego, there was no trace of it during Mortensen's visit to Sydney yesterday to promote his latest film, Good. "You open one door, then another, then another," he said.

Renaissance Man Mortensen Arrives With Good Advice
By Ian Cuthbertson
The Australian
24 March 2009

"A human always has some secret," he says. "Something we keep for ourselves, something the audience wants to know about. It's what creates the dramatic tension." He pauses to consider his answer, suggesting that no moment is wasted. Every experience on or off screen will probably surface in a new character, piece of music or poem. Probably while riding a horse. Danny DeVito, it's time to step aside. We have a new renaissance man.

The Renaissance Man
Colin Fraser
8 April 2009

"Viggo is a really nice guy, he's really bright, and he's a bit of a renaissance man. He paints, writes poetry and takes photos and speaks at least three languages. He's very generous and really was involved in this film. He likes to talk about it and make sure we're on the same page. I've enjoyed sharing time with him very much."

Ed Harris
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit

Viggo speaks softly. He's especially reluctant to speak about himself. In fact, most information about the mega-star in his bulky press packet comes from colleagues or from journalists' observations during time spent with the Hollywood hunk whom most term a 'Renaissance Man.' This humble being of limitless interests is not reluctant, however, to reflect on his experiences, his passions or his observations of the world around him.

A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine Winter Edition

This 44-year-old renaissance man, whom I encounter while he's pacing a hotel suite pondering various eating options, isn't just unaware of or indifferent to his appeal; he seems truly baffled by it.

Super Natural
Anna David
Daily Telegraph
30 November 2002

Q: Poet, musician, painter, photographer. Do you feel like a Renaissance man, or is it better not to exaggerate?

A: Better not to. I think I'm a restless guy. And not much more

"When I wake up I think of death"
By Karmentxu Marín - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Pais
9 September 2012

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © St. Lawrence University.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

In last week's The Road Quotable we looked at how the film was cast and how Viggo approached playing the character of The Man. But both on screen and off, this was a journey taken by two people. And all the filming and acting difficulties faced by Viggo were also faced by Kodi ? a huge challenge for a young actor and one which Viggo did everything in his power to make easier, sharing jokes, football, and probably a lot of chocolate as well as they battled the cold and wet.

" was a chamber of horrors. But, I was on the journey together with Kodi."

Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
9 November 2009

"It's an extreme version of what every half-way decent parent goes through, worrying about their children's well-being, that they will grow up to be adults and take care of themselves, so you can leave the world knowing your kids are going to be safe. It's more extreme here, but it's the same worry. If I go, this kid is completely alone. It's every parent's nightmare."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: A Man Apart
Dave Calhoun
AnOther Man
Issue 7 Autumn/Winter 2008

The comradeship between you two is obvious on the screen.

It is, isn't it? I think it shows, too, that you feel we have that complicity, that true relationship. Those are things that can't be faked. We became good friends very quickly and I came to love him as much as my own son. The truth is that he didn't just remind me a lot of my son when he was that age; he also made me remember my own childhood, the way I had of seeing things.

Viggo Mortensen: "As an actor, you must have some fear in order to learn"
By Desirée de Fez - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Sage
El Periodico
31 January 2010

"The first week or so we shot some pretty emotional scenes and that really made us bond. He's such a beautiful boy with such a beautiful presence, and his heart and soul is in this movie. Our combined heart. It sounds really sappy but it's true."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen talks about finding hope in 'The Road' and if he'll do 'The Hobbit'
by Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
25 November 2009

One aspect of his performance in 'The Road' that stands out is just how convincingly he cries. It feels genuine, as if he's going a step further than just holding up some shallots to his eyes and trying to picture the family dog being taken around the back of the barn and shot. 'A lot of it was down to Kodi Smit-McPhee... The relationship I have with the boy is so intense that I didn't need to visualise anything other than what was in the film itself: it was sad and real enough for me.'

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

Smit-McPhee began to cry while shooting one scene because the weather was so biting and cold.

"He didn't say anything. He's such a professional," says Hillcoat. "He just kept saying the words. Viggo kept going. When I called 'cut' and looked at what we got on film it was amazing. Viggo just kept holding Kodi as he stood there crying. That moment captured an incredible bond between these two people."

John Hillcoat
Hard road to TIFF for Viggo Mortensen and kid co-star
By Constance Droganes
14 September 2009

While waiting [for a shot to be set up], Mr. Mortensen came back and fretfully studied the monitor. Kodi, meanwhile, dug for sand beetles, showing an especially plump one to Mr. Mortensen.

"Looks like good eatin'," Mr. Mortensen said, and it wasn't entirely clear whether he was joking or talking as a man who was supposed to be starving.

At World's End, Honing a Father-Son Dynamic
By Charles McGrath
New York Times
May 27, 2008

"He's very in the moment, definitely, right in the moment. When you see me running with him, and he's holding my hand and I trip over and all that, it's totally real. I was falling into thorns and stuff -- Aah! Aah! -- and he just drags me up and puts me on his shoulder. I'm like, Oh, my God."

Kodi Smit-McPhee
Viggo Mortensen: 'A Grown Man in an Era of Boys'
Jay A. Fernandez
Risky Biz
12 September 2009

Burnt and sinewy in each scene, he registers a liquid panic in every glance at the woods and a sort of angry regret in every peek at the boy. Mortensen is a different filthy man in each function of fatherhood. You recognize them all, without voice-over, without undue exposition. He still cares. And it hurts more than ever to care.

The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year
By Tom Chiarella
Esquire Magazine
12 May 2009

"Everything depends on reaching the coast. And we get there and it's just as bad or worse. It's just as cold. There's just as little food. Just as little shelter or safety, and you can just quit and not even reflect on that, or you can just realize that the thing we kept looking for, which, in fact, we can be grateful for that illusion, because it got us there. It drove us on. It was just that. An illusion. What we're looking for, we always had and still have it. It's each other. Our both being alive. And taking care of each other. That's the thing. That's the most important."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Hits The Road
by Jenna Busch
The Huffington Post
12 November 2009

'My favourite line of the film happens to be in voiceover, where [my character] says that by the end, the boy has helped him accept his fate and accept the way things are and appreciate life. He says, "If I were God, I would make the world just so, and no different."'

Viggo Mortensen
Against all odds
Melora Koepke
12 November 2009

"Not many child actors could do what he did every day. Just on a technical level, he reacted the way a veteran actor would, seizing on an obstacle and befriending it. I told him, 'You're doing things that are revolutionary ? things that Brando and Montgomery Clift did.' He said, 'Who's Montgomery Clift?' "

Viggo talking about Kodi Smit-McPhee
Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

"These characters, the father and his son, in spite of seeming to be very cold, in fact, beneath the rags they wear, happen to have San Lorenzo t-shirts," says the actor, and laughs.

Viggo talking about The Road
In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010

Reporter: You both had to go to some tough emotional places in this movie. How did you turn that off once the take was done?

Mortensen: He'd tell me I sucked.

Smit-McPhee: Then he went back to his room and had a cry.

Viggo and Kodi joking around at the Toronto Film Festival
Where 'Road' takes them
By Jen Chaney
The Washington Post
22 November 2009

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Image Macall Polay/2929/Dimension Films.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

The world didn't end on 22 December 2012 (I'm sure you noticed), but one thing that kept endlessly popping up in the media's fascination with possible apocalypse was The Road. It got mentioned almost as much as when the film actually came out. Mainly as everyone's favourite film guide on how to behave if the world ends not with a bang, but a whimper. Who knew the Mayans would be boosting an overlooked masterclass in acting, total commitment and dedicated production, by running out of calendar days? So this week and next week I'll be looking back down The Road. The film, and Viggo, more than deserves it.

Before accepting the role, he was coming out of two solid years of non-stop intense work and had sworn to take a rest. He had arranged a series of exhibitions of his photography, but as soon as Hillcoat got him to read the script of The Road, he understood that he could not refuse the role.

Premier Magazine
By Gérard Delorme
June 2008
Translated by Chrissiejane

"We took a shot with Viggo as opposed to bigger box-office stars. In large part, he's the right choice because, as good as he is, he's still untapped."

John Hillcoat
The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year
By Tom Chiarella
Esquire Magazine
12 May 2009

"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."

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

"I got the role and was in the middle of shooting "Appaloosa" and at the same time, somehow promoting on evenings and weekends "Eastern Promises" and then surprisingly being nominated for awards and also having to travel to places. The day before we started shooting, I was at the Oscars, you know? Which is why I had that beard. It was kind of stressful. But that stress put me at a fragile place to begin with which probably helped me, just take that leap that I was going to have to take one way or another."

It's really about the here and now
By Gina Piccalo
Access Atlanta
26 November 2009

Mortensen felt drained after reading both the book and script in the same day. "Yeah, I was worthless that day," admitted Mortensen. "I was at my mother's house, actually, visiting her and she said, 'So, what do you want to do for dinner?' 'Dinner?' I said, 'How can I eat now?'"

Viggo Mortensen Talks About 'The Road'
Rebecca Murray
23 November 2009

What did you learn from your discussion with the book's author, Cormac McCarthy?

I talked to him one long time before shooting on the phone. We basically talked about his kid and my kid and being dads. I had tons of notes and questions to ask him. I was ready to pick his brain. At the end of the conversation, he asked me, "Do you have any specific questions about the book?" I had 50,000 post-it notes in the book and not one but two pens in case it ran out of ink. I mean I was ready. But I said "Nah, I don't really" because I realized the conversation we had was all I need to get going. His book and his words are so heartfelt and so free of any gimmickry. He just transcends cultures and languages.

Viggo on The Road
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun Times
22 November 2009

While he was on a tour doing publicity for another movie, Mortensen would sneak off and talk to homeless people, whose survival-oriented existence paralleled that of his character. "Every major city around the world, there are people that live outside, and they have the same concerns as our characters," he said. "How am I going to get food? How am I going to stay dry? How am I going to keep people from stealing my stuff or hurting me? You can't get any more basic than that."

Viggo Mortensen: 'Road' Warrior
Mortensen talks about playing a father in the post-apocalyptic 'The Road.'
By Sam Adams
18 November 2009

"What I've seen with Viggo is that he is able to use the environment more so than any other actor I've worked with before to put him where he needs to be emotionally?.And maybe it's pouring down rain, and he'll walk away from umbrellas, raincoats. He'll walk away from any tent that's being offered or any blanket to be intentionally cold and wet, and it seems to take him to a place that's quite remarkable."

Simmons (producer)
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

"Viggo emptied himself out, always. He'd be exhausted at the end of a hard day. He gives everything."

Javier Aguirresarobe
Diary of The Road's Shooting
By Javier Aguirresarobe - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio, Sage and Zooey
Esquire (Spain)
January 2010

"He is able to reflect struggle without even speaking, and I knew we needed someone who would not hold back."

John Hillcoat
No Country for Any man
Telegraph Magazine
January 2010

"I felt like I had a burden that I had not had before on an emotional level, this turbulence under the surface, of how I was going to make this believable."

Viggo Mortensen
The Road's Viggo Mortensen survives post-apocalyptic tale
By Elisa Osegueda
29 November 2009

"It was a hell of a thing for him to undertake, because there's nowhere to hide."

Hillcoat talking about Viggo
John Hillcoat Hits The Road
By Edward Douglas
19 November 2009

"It's true that when you're traveling through these suffering landscapes, these devastating landscapes, it's so real, and it was definitely cold, and we were definitely wet. Everything was so real visually and physically for us that we could not be anywhere else other than at that level. We had to reach that somehow in terms of our emotions and our relationship. It had to be credible, and I think it was a great help to us."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Hits The Road
By Roger Durling
Santa Barbara Independent
22 November 2009

"When I looked at the movie for the first time, we were sitting next to each other in Venice, I was shocked sometimes. It's beyond the makeup; there's something in our faces that's more lean, more suffering, beyond what I thought was happening. And I think that has to do with committing mentally and emotionally to the material."

Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, 'The Road' and 'The Hobbit'
By Carla Hay
25November 2009

Thank you Viggo Mortensen for accepting the lead role. I have trust that you will dominate the atomic wasteland of your surroundings.
B Alan Orange
22 January 2008

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Macall Polay/2929/Dimension Films.

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Last edited: 31 May 2023 15:42:13