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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I loved Viggo’s comment about his flip phone in this week’s Q CBC interview. Indeed, it’s still working, so why throw it out? It’s just a functional item and Viggo has never been one to follow trends or live with his phone constantly in his hand. In some ways he is beautifully ‘old-fashioned’ in the best sense of the word. He still treasures things that our fast-paced, crazy world under-values and is increasingly leaving behind. He still believes in being in the moment without distraction, in having some silence in which to gather your thoughts, in the slower consideration of a hand-written letter, in the living experience of being in a cinema with others. It’s one of the reasons we love him, isn’t it?

He's still the proud owner of a flip phone, his one Luddite pleasure (well, aside from sending postcards to friends), and is in the midst of a self-made avalanche of responsibilities: an upcoming film he's directing, a publishing house he runs, a new book of Spanish poetry he's releasing.

He knows himself: "If I added social media and Instagram and Twitter, I'd never get anything done."

Finally, an Oscar for Viggo? Mortensen shines a light on 1960s-era racism in 'Green Book'
By Andrea Mandell
USA Today
15 November 2018

“It’s still working so why throw it out?”

Viggo Mortensen on his flip phone
Q CBC Interview
12 September 2020

Viggo Mortensen, who seems only loosely tied to modern life at the best of times...

Helen O'Hara
Empire Magazine
18 August 2016

People today are much less present in spite of being hyper-connected. You see people in the street absorbed in their cell-phone; there’s plenty of time for that message. What’s more important than now?

Viggo Mortensen: "The feeling of the absurd is something that's constant with me"
By Ima Sanchis - translated by Ollie and Zoe
La Vanguardia
8 October 2015

"…there is something to be said for being isolated and out of phone range, because you can fall into a habit to such a degree that you don’t even realise that you’ve lost something: silence."

Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men’s Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013

'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

Correspondence greatly occupied Freud and Jung. One no longer writes many letters today. Do you?

Yes, I still do. And when I do, people are surprised to receive them. It's becoming rare. Almost exotic. But I like it, yes.

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

In our relentlessly tech-driven age, the actor, now 57, feels strongly about the importance of the written word.

"Oh yeah,'' he says. "The written word and even the handwritten word. I still send postcards. I hope that it never becomes entirely impossible to put a letter in a mailbox and have it arrive magically on the other side of the world.'' And for all its benefits, he says technology — the harmful effects of which are alluded to in the film — may be shrinking our attention spans: "Sometimes, yeah. I think people are less patient and their attention span [is shorter]. It also goes with movie going culture. It's less frequent that people will sit for two hours or three hours and watch a movie that unfolds slowly and in a complex way. Same with novels and poems. People are maybe less patient.''

Viggo Mortensen goes off the grid for film Captain Fantastic
Rosemary Neill
The Austrailian
19 August 2016

...he’s still in love with old-school cinema.

“I’m sort of old-fashioned in that I don’t think a movie is fully realized until people have paid a few bucks to go into a room and sit down together, with strangers,” he said. “I think there’s something about that that’s different. You can sort of simulate that in your house, but there’s something about the movie house, the movie theater, that I think is valuable. I hope it never completely goes away.”

How Viggo Mortensen learned to be captain of 6 kids onscreen
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
8 July 2016

"I doubt that I will ever watch a movie on a mobile phone."

A Minute with Viggo
7 October 2015

Lately, he's repaired his analog cameras and has gone back to shooting film. "Nothing against digital photography," he says, "but I love those old cameras, and I love film.”

The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018

Viggo Mortensen, Oscar-nominated star of the new film "Captain Fantastic," said he hasn't played [Pokemon Go] but his son has explained it to him and he doesn't judge it.

"When I do have a little bit of free time, there are other things that I personally would like to do (rather) than that. But I can understand it's a fad," he said. "It probably won't last forever but people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, chasing these illusions.

"But they're also having fun. There's no point in being judgmental about it. I don't have a criticism, I just think it's amusing."

25 July 2016

"I've chosen to live a certain way, and I don't want that to change," offers Mortensen by way of explanation. "I like being detached from the constant feed of phone calls and news and entertainment. So much of it is based on selling you something. If you turn on the television, if it's not the ads, it's somebody with an agenda, trying to get some political message across, or force some opinion on you. I know there are some good things on there too - The Simpsons, Sopranos, whatever - but I just feel my time is better spent reading a book, or drawing, just creating something."

Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
April 2004

I bet the guy even turns off his cell phone in movie theatres.

Movie review: The Road will rivet you
Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
25 November 2009

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

After Viggo’s eyes, you’d think people would comment most about that distinctively dimpled chin, but no. It’s his cheekbones. Watching the trailer for Falling I was struck again by how chiselled his features are (I know, I was probable concentrating on the wrong thing). He has a bone structure that age will never wither. His cheekbones have been described as lemon-juicers, bookshelves, bacon slicers and arrowheads. They came most into their own in Eastern Promises where they probably should have had their own acting credit…

There is nothing fierce about him except his cheekbones.

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

His face is strangely feline in its geometry, heart shaped, the sharp lines of his cheekbones framing his blue eyes. Even when he is covered in dirt or sweat or blood (or sometimes all three), he’s still in possession of a dignity that few other actors can rival.

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018

As Frankie, Mortensen has a plum role for an actor starting out and grabs it with both hands. Deploying that unsettling stare and those bacon-slicer cheekbones for the first time, he creates a memorably feral, seductive and unpredictable lost soul with a capacity to switch from charm to menace in an instant that brings to mind a young Kirk Douglas.

The Indian Runner (1991) Film Review
By Jeff Robson
Eye for Film
14 September 2011

Mortensen's performance is astounding. Looking a lot more like Gollum than Aragorn, he's shaggily bearded, smeared in grime and shockingly thin, with cheekbones like lemon juicers and teeth like the visual aids in a school anti-smoking lecture? Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010

Mr. Mortensen has bladelike, Slavic cheekbones, the most jutting movie chin since Kirk Douglas's and icy blue eyes that can seem soulful one minute and menacing the next. He also has a compact, chiseled physique that looks great adorned with Russian mob tattoos.

Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

He is not a man who can walk into a room unnoticed. His father, also called Viggo, is Danish, and Mortensen has inherited his northern European features - the bowed brow and arrowhead cheekbones.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald
Dorchester, UK
11 April 2004

It does not hurt that, alone among the multinational leads, he manages a persuasive Russian accent--nor that, with his extraordinary looks (those cheekbones could have been cut by a jeweler) and athlete's physique, he all but demands the camera's attention.

Reviewer talking about Eastern Promises
Christopher Orr
TNR Online

Have there ever been so many chiseled features on one big screen? You could sharpen knives with their stony cheekbones.

Reviewer talking about Appaloosa
New York Magazine
By Logan Hill
24 August 2008

Viggo Mortensen is a serious and impassioned actor whose apparent severity extends to his Nordic features: he has hard blue eyes, and a pair of cheekbones that could double as bookshelves.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The, 2001

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......
......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004

But even his fatigue did not disguise his almost unfair handsomeness, which manifested itself in extremely chiseled cheekbones and jaw, in silky hair that fell over his forehead, and in eyes of ice-blue. Sadly, the fetching stubble and flowing hairstyle that he wears as Aragorn were absent, along with the swashbuckling cloak, but you can't have everything.

The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
Sarah Lyall
New York Times
7 September 2003
New York Times

On Monday, Viggo Mortensen stood, somewhat nervously, in Brookline to collect the ninth annual Coolidge Award, an honor that has in previous years gone to Meryl Streep and Thelma Schoonmaker for contributions to film. At the Coolidge press conference, Mortensen appeared charismatic but enigmatic, a clear reflection of the stern commitment to authenticity and humility that garnered him the award. At the same time, however, Mortensen's high cheekbones shadowed twenty years off of his age and gleamed with Tolkien's same childish voracity to absorb and preserve the richness of humanity.

The Profundity of Viggo Mortensen
By Michela Smith
Daily Free Press
8 March 2012

DC: I don't think of you as an American. As I said when we did History Of
Violence, I could tell that you were actually Russian-it's obvious from your
cheekbones. I doubt that you'll be able to play any other kind of role now.
They'll say, "You can't cast Mortensen as an American - he's so foreign?..

- I thought it was incredibly bold of me to cast you as an American in
History Of Violence.

VM: Well, yeah, but it was a twisted view of America.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

It looks like Viggo and Lisandro Alonso will be working together again and making more movie magic – their last collaboration produced the incredible journey that became Jauja. And this time we even have a name before filming: Eureka. Viggo was deeply involved with the creative process in Jauja and also took on the role of Producer. For Lisandro this was the first film in which he had worked with a professional actor rather than local amateurs, and the result was so extraordinary and original that festival critics were blown away. Let’s take a look back at the film and their highly creative partnership.

Some months ago, unthinkable, unpredictable news appeared: the famous American (and Danish) actor, Viggo Mortensen, the one from The Lord of the Rings, would be the star of the new Lisandro Alonso film, still untitled, spoken in Danish...

The Lord of Independence
By Roger Koza - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
La Voz
7 April 2013

Few stars of his stature would consider such a low-budget arthouse film in a foreign language - let alone co-produce it, be able to act in both Spanish and Danish, and be prepared to sport such spectacularly awful whiskers.

Viggo Mortensen shows his independent side
by Demetrios Matheou
Herald Scotland
4 March 2015

Why Viggo?

For me, it was ever since I saw the film he made with Cronenberg, A History of Violence. I really liked him as an actor. Then I met him in 2006, in Toronto for the film festival, and we just spent a couple of minutes together at a party. I’d never before worked with actors, because I thought… Well, I have some wrong ideas about some of them. [Laughs] Not all of them, but some of them.

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On “Jauja,” Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

… he gave me a San Lorenzo pin - he's always going around giving people those things. I liked him very much; right then I realized that we could treat one another as equals.’

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

‘He’s a great actor and I’m a new guy, in terms of actor’s stuff, so I think I had to sit down and learn from him. I didn’t speak that much, and I think Viggo knows 100 percent how to interpret this guy.’

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On “Jauja,” Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

The actor acknowledges that working with a director known for his off-the-grid methods – such as using primarily with non-professional actors – was a bit of an adjustment. “It took a little getting used to,” he says. “For one scene I asked Lisandro who was doing the continuity on the set, and he asked me, ‘What’s that?’ The way he works, he’s never had to worry about things like that before.”

Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
9 September 2014

‘He was the first one to wake up and try to organize the crew. I really learned a lot from him. He’s a worker, you know, a machine, all the time thinking good things for the project. Sometimes he was too much for me, because I was not used to that. I was used to working with people who don’t know how to read or write, you just organized a little bit of the frame, and that was it. But with Viggo, you have to talk about why you wanna do that, in terms of where to put the camera and the lights, you know.’

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On “Jauja,” Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

“I´d say, [he was] thinking about the film 24 hours a day.”

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

Lisandro Alonso says that, during the shoot, you'd knock on his door at 7:30 in the morning to suggest ideas to him. Are you an interventionist actor who constantly contributes ideas?

Yes, you have a limited window of time to say something that you hope lasts and you have to make the most of the opportunity. And with an open director, like Lisandro, it’s much easier. He can make use of whatever he likes.

Viggo Mortensen: "People don't think of me only as Aragorn."
By Àlex Montoya - translated by Ollie and Zoe
23 September 2014

‘We didn't have much film. We were shooting it on real film and we had a limited amount, so in the latter stages of the shoot we were down to short ends and that was clear. I'd ask, "Well, how much [film] do you have left?" And [Alonso] would say, "Well I have a piece about a minute or less, and one that's about 39 seconds." And I'd tell him, "Well, at a quick trot to cross that piece of ground, 39 seconds would be cutting it a little close so save that longer bit for the next scene."’

Viggo Mortensen Tells Us Why He Hasn't Done Blockbusters Since 'Lord Of The Rings'
By Carman Tse
19 March 2015

It was interesting to work with a director who does long shots, without being afraid of the calmness and the length of time: in front of the camera, everything you do becomes interesting. It's the first time that he was using professional actors, but in the film, we don't look like actors, we just look like people. People who are having real experiences. In these conditions, it's impossible to make a mistake. It's a strange feeling as an actor. What you do will be in the film. That gives you confidence and peace of mind.

Viggo Mortensen: "If The Lord of the Rings can win 12 Oscars, I don't see why Avatar wouldn't win the Oscar for best film."
By Eric Vernay - translated by Donna Marie
Premiere (France
21 May 2014

Mortensen and Lisandro are obviously more concerned with art than commerce. Even the way Jauja is presented could alienate, the 4:3 ratio looming like a relic of a bygone age. “The Academy frame was something that happened in the process,” explains Mortensen. “When [Lisandro] started looking at the footage the lab had cropped it strangely. He wanted to see more of the sky, and he was concerned about that. So he said, ‘Just send it to me so I can edit it.’ As soon as he saw it, he realised that’s the way it should look, and so he put it together that way.”

Viggo Mortensen talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnal
11 March 2015
6 April 2015

"Viggo is incredible. He has the triple role of actor, producer and musician and along with that, he was thinking about how to improve the film 24 hours a day. In addition he rigorously corrected every French, English and Danish subtitle.”

Lisandro Alonso
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe

“What I think is special about Lisandro is that he’s able to make a truly original movie, remarkably original, without referencing other filmmakers or other movies, without drawing attention to what he’s doing, without showing off. My feeling is that the film is not in any way pretentious, and yet it stands out from all other movies. That’s a hard thing to do.”

Viggo Mortensen talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnal
11 March 2015

I never enjoyed a collective effort more than I did during the ultra-creative, multilingual collaboration we experienced as a team in those beautiful natural landscapes deep in Argentina.

Viggo Mortensen
Something Material
By Viggo Mortensen, Fabián Casas and Lisandro Alonso - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
31 May 2014

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Guadalupe Gaona/4L Productions.

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Last edited: 22 October 2020 22:11:49