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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

This week we had a lovely quote from Karl Urban who still considers Viggo the person he?s learnt most from working with, even though Lord of the Rings finished a decade ago. He?s clearly been Viggo-tized and he?s not the only one. This is a long Quotable, and it would have been even longer if I hadn?t confined myself to just fellow actors. Even then I?ve probably left out 30 more I could have used. Maybe it?s all the chocolates he plies everyone with...

Who have you learnt the most from working with?

Viggo Mortensen, in terms of he way he approaches a scene, his commitment to the people he?s working with and his follow-through in support of the film that he?s made.

Karl Urban: I had 14 weeks of intense training to get fit for Dredd
By Andrew Williams
7 September 2012

?Come on, we?ve all been Viggo-tized before. He has that charisma, he has a swagger. He?s a great dude.?

Michael K Williams
?Wire? Hero Michael K. Williams Loved Getting ?Viggo-tized? on ?The Road?
Bryan Alexander
19 November 2009

?I find peace in Viggo´s eyes. Confronted with the giddiness of the text, you can take risks with him, walk the tightrope.?

Carme Elías
Viggo Mortensen And Forgiveness
By Ulises Fuente - translated by Ollie and Rio
La Razón
1 November 2011

?Viggo Mortensen -- he is the most beautiful man in the world! He is! He's just like, wow! He's such a special dude.?

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender, future superstar
By Andrew O'Hehir
8 March 2011

?Viggo made such a point of wanting me to know that I was going to be completely supported. He?s definitely a caretaker, which is a really beautiful quality, and a man of many passions ? poetry, photography, books.... I arrived on set and there was a library in my trailer.?

Charlize Theron
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009

?Viggo's ? a real artist. He cares about what speaks to him. He doesn't care about how much he's paid, doesn't care where he lives, doesn't care how nice the hotel is. He's a horse. I feel like he could go all day, work all day and he's polite and creative and generous. That made it easy. Not only is he physically gifted, he?s graceful and tough.?

Garret Dillahunt
Fred Topel
20 March 2009

"I just really enjoyed working with him. He's a really decent guy, a wonderful actor, a great-looking actor. I thought the two of us could capture this kind of unspoken love, appreciation that these guys have for each other. And his sense of humor. He's got kind of a weird sense of humor I like."

Ed Harris
Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008

"He's a really beautiful, delicate artist of a man. He's nothing like any other actor I've worked with.?

Jason Issacs
Good premier, Toronto
7 September 2008

?...when you act with him in a scene, even when his part is done, he stays close to the camera in order to help you. We function very differently, especially in the way we channel our energy. He is always calm, and speaks softly. I have a more brutal side. I learned a lot from knowing him."

Vincent Cassel
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007

?I knew "Vig" as an artist before I knew he was an actor, like eight or nine years ago, I went to an art show in L.A. and saw these incredible paintings and photographs and said "Who is this man?" and found out he was an actor. So I've always had an artistic, intellectual crush on him, and people told us throughout the years, we'd be friends, and when we met, it was certainly like that.?

Bello on A History of Violence
Coming Soon!, by Edward Douglas
September 23, 2005

?Viggo is not pompous or pretentious. He doesn't arrive with an entourage. He's grounded, quirky, and observant. He is artistic. I deeply appreciate that since I basically arrive on the set with my shovel in hand and go to work as well. And I love it when someone else does that."

William Hurt
Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit

'I can not believe that somebody can be so perfect. This man must carry a deep secret with him, or he has a skeleton in his cupboard, or something like that. Because Viggo Mortensen is the nicest, most artistic and most generous person I've ever met. And not only towards me, but he also has eye for the 'little/small people'. He gives you things all the time: his poems, paintings, pictures. I have to take all these things home with me to Paris.'

Omar Sharif
Source unknown

"From the moment that I saw him onscreen," says Otto, "I thought, 'Shit, he looks incredible. Here's a character I don't have to pretend to be in love with.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

'Viggo is just the coolest guy, it's hard to say too much about how cool he is. If you spend enough time with people they will do something to piss you off, or that shows them to be just a normal human being, but I think Viggo does like to push himself to be just the best person he can, and that comes across. If you believe in reincarnation, he does seem to be quite far along his line.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

"He got this reputation as an eccentric because he would carry his sword around, but I found it quite inspiring. There was a glimmer in his eye - he was aware of how other people were perceiving him - but he really reawakened in me a sense of the possibilities of what it can be as an actor enjoying a role."

Sean Astin
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001

'It was great doing [the death scene] with Viggo because he is such a generous, truthful actor and I'm glad he was there with me at the end, as it were, and he brought a sort of peacefulness to it and a spirituality to it, which I think he naturally has as a person. So that was a great help to me.'

Sean Bean
Toronto Sun
Dec. 17, 2002

"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all. He's a massive work-horse, like a massive multiplex. You can go through one door and he's a photographer, then you go through the next door and he's a singer. Then you go and look at his poetry and his art and there's his films! I'm not jealous at all [laughs]. And he's just a great guy and my friend."

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

?He kind of makes the film for me."

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

Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty.

Ian McKellen
"The White book"

"We're talking about how much integrity he has and how brilliant he is," says Wood. "He's also completely insane."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

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

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Ana Piterbarg says she wanted Viggo for the two brothers in Todos Tenemos Un Plan "Because the subject of ambivalence is very important and I don't know if there are many actors that can do that..". Time, I thought, to look back at the two roles which have established him as the master of ambivalence, secrets, masks and identity and have given Viggo the chance to really flex his acting muscles: Tom Stall, the mobster trying to be a good man, and Nikolai Luzhin, the good man trying to be a mobster.

A History of Violence

"The challenge in preparing and playing Tom Stall was to be thoroughly honest and specific with behaviour, to lie as truthfully as possible. But that's what actors are always ideally trying to do anyway."

Viggo Mortensen
V-Life magazine, Jan 2006

'Identity is [an] important aspect of A History of Violence. I play someone who's escaped from somewhere to become someone else and create a new identity. It is one of the basic acts of human existence that we create an identity. It's not a genetic thing that's given to us as an absolute like the colour of our eyes; it's something we are involved in creating as we live our lives by the choices we make.....'

Viggo Mortensen
Ol' Blue Eyes is Back, by Marianne Gray
8 October 2005

'Tom doesn't go from wearing a white hat to a black hat....David's hope, like mine, was that his transition would be subtle and that you couldn't really fix exactly when you feel it happens because it's normal for people not to show what they are thinking or feeling.'

Viggo Mortensen
Interview: Viggo Mortensen, By Ingrid Randoja
Famous, September 2005

It's a role that soon reveals itself as playing to Mortensen's strengths -- his humility, his forcefulness and a certain odd unknowable quality. Even before Tom proves himself a capable man when danger lurks, there's something about Mortensen -- or is it something he does as an actor? -- that makes the audience think, "No. There has to be more to this guy."

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005

He is an ordinary man, and vengeful gangsters have turned up in his home town, claiming to recognize him from the bad old days. He claims they are mistaken. And it is to Mortensen's credit that, despite the movie's giveaway title, we still can't be certain until he reaches breaking point. The scene which confirms the truth is a masterclass in understatement - it's a shot rather than a scene, the merest flicker on Mortensen's face, but you couldn't say it wasn't dynamite. The actor nailed it on his first stab; Cronenberg knew instantly that there was no need for take two.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

His Tom Stall has two completely different identities, both are held under control and he is able to snap between them at will. With skilful underplaying, Mortensen ensures that Stall's violent outbursts are shocking.

Jon Salt Cannes Diary
17 May 2005

What Mortensen does brilliantly is to keep us guessing.

Anthony Quinn
The Independent (UK)
30 September 2005

If you see this film twice, you'll see two different performances from Viggo, and that's the real genius of the movie. The first time through, you're watching him the same way his family is, accepting him as Tom Stall, loving family man, quiet and kind and nearly invisible. But when you see it a second time, you'll see Joey Cusack lurking behind those eyes, pushing through even in the moments before the thugs bring violence back into his life.

Ain't it Cool News
29 September 2005

Eastern Promises

...Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of laconic chauffeur Nikolai is truly astounding and keeps us guessing the true nature that lurks behind his shades.

Ben Rawson-Jones
23 October 2007

I would describe Mortensen as a revelation in the role, had he not already demonstrated what he was capable of in his previous collaboration with Cronenberg, A History of Violence. As he did then, Mortensen shows himself more comfortable with darkness and ambivalence than he ever was with the gaudy heroism required of a king in Middle Earth. His Nikolai is an enigma, an evidently decent man surrounded by, and comfortable amidst, heinous evil, one whose motives, at least initially, are unclear.

Christopher Orr
TNR Online
15 Sept 2007

In "A History of Violence," Mr. Mortensen seamlessly impersonated an ordinary, decent small-town guy who was also a cold, professional killer. Nikolai is a similarly ambiguous -- or perhaps divided -- character. He is all hard, tense muscle, and yet an almost subliminal hint of compassion occasionally shines through his icy, impassive face.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
14 Sept 2007

Mortensen's character does the skillful cinematic equivalent of an intellectual striptease during the course of this story. Slowly, ever so slowly, bits of my first impression are stripped away, destroyed. In the end, Nikolai is nothing at all like I first imagined, and yet he is all that I imagined.

'Eastern Promises' a gripping mob thriller
Bend Weekly
Robert Hawkins
21 December 2007

Since it would be an injustice to the film to reveal any of the plot points, suffice it to say that the character of Nikolai, played with amazing grace by Viggo Mortensen, is a complex and troubled man.

Evrim Ersoy
12 September 2007

"The flip-side of Tom Stall," says Cronenberg, Nikolai is also burdened with secrets, though not in the same way according to Mortensen. "I don't think he's deceiving himself. I think he's quite clear on who he is, where he is, what's at risk and what his motives are."

I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema/Focus Features.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Over the last few days Todos Tenemos Un Plan has been at the forefront of all our news here with articles, clips and photos coming out daily. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that the more clips I watch, the more desperate I am to see it! It's almost the perfect Viggo film, filled with ambiguity, subtle shifts in identity, duality and plenty of action. We also have the double delight of two Viggo's on-screen for the price of one, in some technically challenging scenes. I've been gathering quotes for some time that give us a taste of the film, with huge thanks for our intrepid team of translators. What would we do without them?

Why Viggo?

"Because the subject of ambivalence is very important and I don't know if there are many actors that can do that," she says. "It was hard for me to think of Argentine actors like that. He has something very soft and very hard at the same time and one doesn't find that so easily."

Ana Piterbarg: Life Change
translated by Zoe
8 July 2011

'For a long time, I'd been thinking about who would be the appropriate person and I thought of him, but in an ideal way. I liked him because he's an actor who, although he's made action or violent films, offers something else behind that tough character that he portrays. And this story has to do with that other thing that is seen behind, that is intuited, or that is felt, but that isn't literally put on the screen.'

The Argentinian Who Convinced Mortensen
By Agustina Ordoqui - translated by Ollie and Zoe
16 June 2012

Ana Piterbarg didn't have such an easy time. She had directed a short and assisted on films like "Goodbye Moon" -- a thin resume for landing big talent for her debut feature. Yet when she ran into Viggo Mortensen in Buenos Aires, she asked if he would read her script for "Everyone Has a Plan," a thriller about a man who takes on the identity of his deceased twin brother.

Local filmmakers use Hollywood stars as lure
By Charles Newbery
15 May 2011

"I gave her my address, she sent [the script to me, it surprised me. I liked the script very much. It was a strange story, but strange in a very positive way, because it's very original. It's a very original thriller. What I liked immediately and what I continue to like a lot are the contradictions, the dualities that it contains, not only between the two twin brothers that I play, but also the landscapes, the city and the river, and all the characters have certain contradictions."

Viggo Mortensen
Todos Tenemos Un Plan Press Conference
By - transcribed and translated by Rio, Zoe and Ollie
La Metro Television
9 August 2011

"With the entry of Viggo, what wasn't viable became possible,"

Vanessa Ragone, producer.
Local filmmakers use Hollywood stars as lure
By Charles Newbery
15 May 2011

'It freed me to be able to act in Spanish, speaking more or less as I normally do. I'm not saying that I speak the same way for Pedro and Agustín. Neither of the two speaks exactly as I do, but I had the measure...I know the accents of Pedro and Agustín; I grew up with those accents. It was something immediate.'

Viggo Mortensen - Todos Tenemos Un Plan Production Notes
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Todos Tenemos Un Plan website (Spain)
July 2012

"The filming in Argentina was hard, because of the weather, but we were very lucky and miraculously finished on time. The encounter between the two brothers, which we're filming here, we knew that that was going to be complicated, because it was another challenge, a more technical challenge on the one hand, more mental, a puzzle, and I almost had more fear of that as an actor than of filming in the winter and on the river..."

Viggo Mortensen
Mortensen faces the "mental challenge" of playing both twin brothers in 'Todos tenemos un plan'
By - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
9 August 2011

'The scenes where I play both brothers together were technically complicated to make because at some points I had to talk to empty space. We'd film a shot and then, without moving the camera, two or three days later, when I hadn't shaved and had a different 'look' to play the character of the other brother, I had to play the part of the brother I'd been talking to three days before - that is to say me, talking to myself, but talking to empty space.'

Viggo Mortensen - Todos Tenemos Un Plan Production Notes
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Todos Tenemos Un Plan website (Spain)
July 2012

"At work he is one of the crew, a great workmate, deeply involved in the film in every aspect and not only with his character. He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty. We rehearsed, we read the script, we got to know each other a bit and build up a relationship as people...I like him as an actor, he goes beyond the screen. He has an impressive level of communication. I was interested to know how he faces work, someone who comes from filming with Cronenberg. And the truth is he is very professional, very serious on the set, and he knows very well how to control his energy."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
8 July 2011

"He's very deep in his way of preparing the character," Godino said, referring to Mortensen. "He's living in Tigre, he dresses like somebody from there and I admire this. He's an actor that connects with the character and he's a little crazy, crazy enough to play these characters that he plays."

Javier Godino
Viggo Mortensen at home in first Argentine film
By Luis Andres Henao
Reuters Canada
22 July 2011

Javier Godino recalled some anecdotes experienced by the crew during the shooting in Argentina, a crew that Viggo Mortensen took care "to transform into a family" through his love for San Lorenzo de Almagro´s soccer team, he said.

"The first day, Viggo arrived and hung up a San Lorenzo pennant. That´s the way it started, little by little, and then he brought a pennant from Tigre and later the one from Boca. In the end, he filled the entire wall with jerseys from all the teams from Argentina, but also from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Uruguay. And this has been the only thing that succeeded in uniting everybody."

Javier Godino
Mortensen faces the "mental challenge" of playing both twin brothers in 'Todos tenemos un plan'
By - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
9 August 2011

"What this film has that is interesting and original to me is that somehow the truth is arrived at through lying. The character Agustín lies. Obviously he does it when he acts as his brother Pedro, but to a certain extent, he's also lied as Agustín. In reality, he's never been Agustín. He's been the Agustín that he believed he should be, like many of us do in some way."

Viggo Mortensen - Agustín and Pedro (Production Notes)
translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Todos Tenemos Un Plan website
July 2012

'Because I was raised here, there are a lot of memories. I look around and the way people speak, talking to the crew each day, it's as if I were with my people, It was very special for me to be able to work in Argentina again and reconnect with the way of life here and with the people.'

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
10 July 2012

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

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

There isn't a specific theme to this week's Quotable, just a mixed bag that I've collected. There's a childhood memory, some useful advice on facing the camera, pre-performance rituals (something shared by several Olympians according to various interviews I've read this week!), several thoughts on acting and yet another reason why Viggo should always receive awards.

Q: What makes you happiest in life?

There's no one thing. I like a certain amount of solitude at times. I like feeling very free and open to the world. Any time I'm outdoors, whether it's in a desert or a sea or the forest. I like the elements - whatever the weather is, I don't feel that any moment is wasted at all.

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
10 July 2012

"...I was always running away. I did that a lot. [Another time] when I was a child, about two-and-a-half, I crawled out of bed and across the road and crawled into someone's house on a Sunday morning. I was in the kitchen playing with all the pots and pans, and they called my parents, who had been calling the police. I think they said: 'You are missing someone, and he is here playing with our kitchen knives.'"

Viggo Mortensen
Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

"I have all kinds of little rituals, when I'm getting ready", he confesses with a slightly embarrassed laugh. "Before takes I dress in my costume in exactly the same way every day. If I do it wrong, I will do it all over again. I always put on my clothes in a certain order with my left sock first. There are also objects that I always carry around."

By Patricia Danaher
Ekko Magazine
Translated by Estel
May-August 2012

"Most of Hollywood ignores or disdains . . . the Venice poets and Leimart Park painters," Davis says, "but Viggo is a passionate homeboy. Multiply him by one hundred, and Hollywood might be worth sparing when the Red Cavalry next rides down Sunset Boulevard."

Mike Davis
Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011

Hi Viggo, aside from knowing your lines, what's the most important thing you do to prepare yourself before you go in front of camera?


Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012

Having discussed the idea of directors becoming less interesting because of 'staying safe' strategies, it was wondered aloud whether some actors might have the same problem. "As you get older you get tired and it takes a lot to challenge yourself. But then it can be invigorating, probably rejuvenating," says Mortensen, enthusiastically.

Viggo's round-table at the Freud Museum
by Lucy Wiles
Felix Films
10 February 2012

Viggo Mortensen -- who is pickier than a five year-old at a salad bar...

The Playlist commenting on how selective Viggo is choosing films.
Kevin Jagernauth
The Playlist
29 June 2012

'There's no better thing as I'm concerned in my profession than to be called reliable. Sounds boring, but if someone can count on you to do a job well, or as best that you can, that's what I strive for...'

Let's Get Viggo'd at The Coolidge
by Megan Johnson
Boston Herald Blog
6 March 2012

His contempt for actors who engage in superfluous acts of self-promotion... extends to actors who appear in dopey blockbuster movies, just for the paycheck. "Sometimes you look at a movie and you can see that the actor or actress said, 'I'm taking this onboard because I'm making a ton of money, and not because it's going to be something special,' " he said, sounding scandalized.

Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011

The brevity of life and the importance of grasping the day are, one quickly learns, big themes for Mortensen. The sound of time's winged chariot is very loud in his ear, it seems, and the imperative to "use time well" crops up repeatedly in his conversation...

Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011

MC: Are you always so positive?

VM: Almost always, but at times, I'm not. Often I wake up thinking of all the bad things that could happen. It's my way of facing the day; I'm cautious. You could always fall down the stairs...

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009

He will always be Aragorn to us, but the 'Lord of the Rings' actor has been in over 30 films spanning three decades and seems to get more handsome with every rugged wrinkle.

June 2012

Viggo Mortensen visited the Coolidge Corner Theatre yesterday to receive the 2012 Coolidge Award, which honors a film artist whose work "advances the spirit of original and challenging cinema." I would have just given him an award for being a total hot piece, but whatever.

Let's Get Viggo'd at The Coolidge
by Megan Johnson
Boston Herald Blog
6 March 2012

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

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 20th Century Fox.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

With the Olympic Games opening yesterday in spectacular fashion, who could resist a topical look at all things sporty? Although football makes its appearance (I wouldn't dare leave it out!) a lot of what follows would never make it into an Olympic stadium...

There's no doubt about it, Danish-American world star Viggo Mortensen's heart beats for Denmark. He proved it once more when this afternoon he presented his photographs at an exhibition at Palæfløjen in Roskilde, dressed in an old, red soccer jersey that the Danish national soccer team used in 1960, when the team won a silver at the Olympic Games in Rome.

Viggo Wants To Live On Samsø
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Estel
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008

Best sporting event you've attended?

The 1972 Olympics in Munich. I didn't have tickets, but there was a huge glass wall at the swimming hall, and me and some other kids illicitly climbed up to the glass to watch. I saw Mark Spitz and Gary Hall Sr. Since I swam it was amazing.

Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine
5 August 2004

You're a painter, a musician, a photographer, an actor, a poet and you're a natural at swordplay. Is there anything you won't try at least once?

VM: You know what? I'm not so interested in skydiving. I'm not sure why anyone wants to jump out of a plane that's working perfectly well.

The Last Word : Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009

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

... you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go?

Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.

Viggo after getting a black eye from a surfboard
Chairman Of The Sword
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003

Viggo Mortensen has a trick. He performs it to amuse himself during back-to-back interviews, when he needs something, other than cigarettes, to keep himself alert.

The trick is this: He is wearing a Canadian Hockey League pendant - one of those pewter souvenirs you buy at any arena gift shop. He starts the interview with the pendant facing forward on his chest. Then, at some point, he flips the pendant over. On the other side is a Montreal Canadians sticker.

"First I try to guess if the interviewer is a hockey fan and secondly if they're a [Toronto Maple] Leafs fan. Then I wait to see how long it takes them to notice," he says. "This one guy stopped the interview and just starts going, 'No, no, no!' "

Profile: Viggo Mortensen
By Leah McLaren
Globe and Mail
23 September 2005

At the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, you worked as a translator for the Scandinavian teams. How did you pull that off?

I was at St Lawrence University in New York, and there was a call for volunteers with language skills. I spoke the Scandinavian languages because I'd lived in Denmark. The best thing was, I got free passes to events, and every night I'd watch hockey. The only game I didn't see was the U.S. final against Finland, because I had to go back to school.

Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Richard Deitsch
Sports Illustrated magazine
5 August 2004

So who would Viggo side with if, for example, Denmark and Argentina met in the next World Championship final?

"Oh, that's a very difficult question that I have often asked myself. It's not unthinkable at all, because both Denmark and Argentina play good football," Mortensen says, and adds: "But if they really met each other in the World Championship final, I'd buy both countries national team jumpers and cut them through the middle. And then I'd sew them together again to make one jumper. In that way I could cheer both Denmark and Argentina. But I think it would be very difficult as far as I can see if the two teams play against each other."

I Love Danish Football
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Chrissie
Ekstra Bladet
24 July 2007

Wearing all manner of Buenos Aires and soccer trappings (socks, bracelet, and a San Lorenzo pin, plus a complete mate set and the sports section of The Nation on hand), Viggo Mortensen greeted the Argentinean press on his recent visit to Buenos Aires..... He takes off his black boots and allows us to see the wide stripes on his socks in the colours of the team he loves.

Viggo Mortensen: The Biggest Soccer Fan In Hollywood
By Lorena García - translated by Margarita
La Nacion
16 November 2005

"I don't play soccer well... I sing just like I play soccer! But I like it, so I do it anyway, it's just a matter of starting, fear is useless..."

Viggo Mortensen
A Hollywood star in RSM
Argentinean TV interview with Mariana Fabbiani
11 October 2008

As he turns away I see that his football shirt has been signed by a player called The Frog, who wrote: "Thank you for being simple," which I ask him to explain. Is he thanking you for being a half-wit? He laughs. "I think he means thank you for being real. He was a childhood hero of mine. A great player. Kept it simple." Simple is the last thing you would ever think of Mortensen. He's very complicated, but also very real.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

'Yesterday, my limousine was blockaded by people. The fans were banging against the windows. I opened the door and escaped down a small alley. And who did I run into? King Pelé and his bodyguards. I asked for an autograph...but his bodyguards stopped me. King in his limousine, poor beggar in the street. A good lesson,' concludes Mortensen, who invites you to reflect on the morality of such a story.

Viggo Mortensen - The Lord Touches All
By François-Guillaume Lorrain - translated by Margarita
Le Point
27 October 2005

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

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

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Last edited: 16 September 2020 22:56:02