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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

The Oscar nominations are out and – as often the case – I read them and think ‘Viggo really should have got an Oscar for The Road’. How on earth did he not even get nominated? It is, IMHO, one of the great oversights in the Academy’s history. It was a very demanding role and the film took a huge toll on him and Kodi Smit-McPhee, both physically and emotionally. And no one else could have brought to The Man the depth of sensitivity and courage that Viggo did. OK… getting down off my soap box now!

"Viggo has the perfect qualities as a man and as an actor to do this part. He’s got incredible depth of soul.”

Nick Wechsler
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

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 - Translated by Chrissiejane
June 2008

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

“I was trying to think of an everyman, yet someone you could really buy as credible in making that journey,” Hillcoat said. “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.”

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

“A lot of times I take on roles because they scare me.” That, he explained, was what brought him to The Road. Viggo had read the book and was afraid. Afraid of a role he thought might be the most physically and emotionally demanding performance of his career.

Viggo Mortensen
AFI Fest: Viggo and The Road
The Bloggomist: The Local Boy
Evil Monito Magazine
17 November 2009

…the role requires not only physical verisimilitude, but the ability to show tenderness and inner strength. "For some actors it might be a stretch that they’re so tender and sensitive to a child and yet be able to physically do what he has to do. Viggo’s very intense and very wound up, and that is what the father is all about."

John Hillcoat
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

"It was a hell of a thing for him to undertake, because there’s nowhere to hide. He’s in every single frame almost, throughout every scene, and every emotion he has to delve into, every emotion. The journey is very extreme, so it’s a lot to ask of someone.”

John Hillcoat
John Hillcoat Hits The Road
By Edward Douglas
19 November 2009

“…the book was my constant companion. It’s pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to. But this movie is about man’s humanity, this flower that blooms in a desert between two people.”

Viggo Mortensen
After “The Road” Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: “You Could Always Be Dead”
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009

Luckily for Smit-McPhee, one of our greatest actors shares every scene with him. Viggo Mortensen is perfectly cast. Was anyone even surprised when he was announced as The Man? It’s a challenging role for any actor, but one can’t help but see it as something as a culmination of the excellent work he’s been doing since appearing in that little fantasy film a few years ago.

Brian Kinsley
September 2nd, 2008

"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 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
25 November 2009

Mortensen captures the wounded man’s pain in his wonderfully expressive eyes, and despite being faced with death all around him, he is a life force for whom survival is paramount.

John Foote
14 September 2009

“When I looked at the movie for the first time, [Kodi and I] 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
25 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

You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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Top 6 Viggo Mortensen Movies


Nice article by Helen Earnshaw at

Image Eric Simkins.
© Bleecker Street.
Viggo Mortensen is an actor who has enjoyed a career that has spanned over thirty years and seen him star in one of cinema's biggest franchises.

He returns to the big screen this week with new indie film Captain Fantastic, which sees him team up with filmmaker Matt Ross for the first time.

To celebrate the release of the film, we take a look at some of the actors best movies and roles

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

© New Line Productions Inc.
Mortensen may have been acting since 1984, but it was his role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings that made his a global star - it will be the role that will forever be synonymous with.

You can't really imagine another actor in the role of Aragorn, but Mortensen was actually a very late replacement for Stuart Townsend and was pushed to take on the role by his young son.

But the actor made the role his own as the swashbuckling and heroic Aragorn, who sets out on a quest to protect a Hobbit that puts him on a path to face his own destiny.

The Fellowship of the Ring hit the big screen in 2001 and was followed by The Two Towers and Return of the King in 2002 and 2003. Each film surpassed the one before it and became the big movie event of the year.

Met with critical acclaim and huge box office success, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful film series of all time; grossing over $2.9 billion at the global box office.

The Return of the King was the most successful film in the series and the only film in the trilogy to gross over $1 billion worldwide. The film also went on to scoop eleven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Jackson.

Some believed that J. R. R. Tolkien's trilogy was unfilmable but Jackson and co made it one of the biggest movie events of all time. These movies remain some of my best cinema experiences.

A History of Violence (2005)

Courtesy of Sachie
Courtesy of Sachie.
© New Line Productions Inc.
Mortensen teamed up with director David Cronenberg for the first time in 2005 as he starred in crime thriller A History of Violence.

A History of Violence was based on the 1997 graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke and was adapted for the big screen by Josh Olson. This was the first film for Cronenberg since Spider in 2002 and kicked off a partnership between the director and actor.

Mortensen takes on the role of Tom Stall, a mild-mannered man who becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core as secrets and his past catch up with him.

A History of Violence is an engrossing film from start to finish as Cronenberg notches up the tension and the suspense frame by frame and moment by moment. This is a wonderful study of violence, heroism, and trying to leave your past behind.

Mortensen gives one of the best performances of his career as he showed off a gritty and dark side to himself as an actor. Together, Mortensen and Cronenberg crafted a wonderfully layered and complex character that you never feel you know or trust.

The movie was met with acclaim upon release with performances from Mortensen and William Hurt receiving widespread praise.

A History of Violence grossed $60.7 million at the box office - easily making back its $32 million budget. The film went on to pick up two Oscar nominations; Best Adapted Screenplay for Olson and Best Supporting Actor for Hurt.

Eastern Promises (2007)

© Focus Features.
Two years later, Mortensen reunited with Cronenberg for Eastern Promises, which was written by screenwriter Steven Knight.

For me, Eastern Promises sees Mortensen deliver and even better performance than in History of Violence, as the actor and director explored the violent world of the Russian Mafia in London.

The mysterious yet ruthless Nikolai (Mortensen) is a driver for one of London's most notorious organised crime families. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl). The family owns a restaurant to hide their brutal core. But their fortune is being pushed to the limit by Semyon's violent son Kirill (Vincent Cassel).

His carefully maintained existence is put in jeopardy when he meets midwife Anna (Naomi Watts) who is searching for the identity and family of a young girl who died during childbirth on Christmas Eve, by using a diary that survives her. By delving into the diary she unleashes the full fury of the Vory. Her search leads her to an underground sex trafficking business run by London's Russian crime community.

Once again, the movie sees Mortensen take on a role of a man who is not all that he seems. Anna and the audience make assumptions about Nikolai when we first meet him - only for Mortensen and Cronenberg to turn that on its head.

It is a powerful performance from Mortensen and he dominates every scene that he is in - even if he is just stood saying nothing. He is both a captivating and intimidating presence and you just cannot take your eyes off him.

Eastern Promises is a dark, gritty, and violent movie that shares a lot of very similar themes and ideas with A History of Violence.

Eastern Promises was an even bigger critical hit and Mortensen went on to receive his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance - losing out to Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood.

The Road (2009)

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.
In 2009, Mortensen teamed up with filmmaker John Hillcoat for the first time for The Road, which was a big screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy.

The movie has been adapted by Joe Penhall and was the first film for Hillcoat since The Proposition back in 2005.

Starring Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in the central roles, the movie follows an ailing father who defends his son as they travel through a post-apocalyptic world towards the sea.

The Road is a movie that could well be a little too bleak for some, but that does not stop it from being a truly haunting watch. It is set to such a desolate backdrop, it is hard to believe that this movie was set on location.

This is a powerful ad emotional movie and the images that Hillcoat create of this post-apocalyptic world and how far the human race has fallen, will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

It is another memorable performance from Mortensen, who is trying to do all he can to ensure the survival of his young son. It is the central relationship between Mortensen and Smit-McPhee that really is the emotional core of the film and packs the greatest punch.

The Road was another critical success for Mortensen and, for many, the movie was one of the best to hit the big screen in 2009. Sadly, it was a film that did struggle to find an audience upon release.

The Two Faces of January (2014)

Image Jack English.
© StudioCanal.
Mortensen returned to the big screen in 2014 as he starred in The Two Face of January, which was an adaptation of the 1964 book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith.

The Two Faces of January marked the feature film directorial debut of Hossein Amini, who is best known for his work as a screenwriter on the likes of Drive. As well as being in the director's chair, Amini also penned the film's screenplay.

Intrigue begins at the Parthenon when wealthy American tourists Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his young wife Collete (Kirsten Dunst) meet American expat Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a scammer working as a tour guide. Instead of becoming his latest marks, the two befriend him, but a murder at the couple's hotel puts all three on the run together and creates a precarious bond between them as the trio's allegiance is put to the test.

The Two Faces of January is an assured directorial debut from Amini who delivers secrets, lies, and intrigue with every twist and turn - creating tension and atmosphere along the way.

Mortensen and Isaac deliver wonderful performances as the pair try to outmanoeuvre one another as the law starts to catch up with them. It becomes a wonderful game of cat and mouse as they struggle trusting one another.

From start to finish, The Two Faces of January is tense, gripping, and intriguing and was one of the best thrillers to hit the big screen in 2014. This remains Armini's only directorial effort to date but I hope we do see him in the director's chair again sooner rather than later.

Captain Fantastic (2016)

© Bleecker Street.
Mortensen is back this week with his latest film Captain Fantastic, which sees him return to an indie project.

The movie is directed and written by Matt Ross as he returns to the director's chair for his first movie since28 Hotel Rooms back in 2012. This is only the second feature film of his career.

Mortensen leads a terrific cast as George MacKay, Steve Zahn, Frank Langella, Missi Pyle, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, and Nicholas Hamilton are all on board.

Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society, a devoted father (Mortensen) dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults.

But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he's taught them.

Captain Fantastic is a movie that has played well on the festival circuit this year - screening at Sundance and Cannes - and it is set to be a film not to miss this weekend.

Captain Fantastic is released on September 9 in the U.K.


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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Viggo has appeared in rather a lot of literary adaptions (not surprising for a man who reads and reads and reads...) – A Portrait of a Lady, The Lord of the Rings, Alatriste, Appaloosa, The Road, On the Road, Two Faces of January and Loin Des Hommes - and it's always clear how important the text is to him and that the script honours the book and the author's vision. Sometimes the book has been familiar to him for a long time, sometimes the script has introduced him to the book. Either way it's important that it's a good adaption and you can bet that in every case a copy of the book is always with him, sprouting post-it notes from nearly every page.

Loin des Hommes

Q. Was the Camus story a strong influence on how you conceived of your character?

A. Both David and I referenced the story as much as possible. I have always admired Camus and thought he didn't get a fair deal from the left in France. History has proven him right; he spoke truth to power and paid a heavy price for it. He thought people should find a way to live together, whatever their differences of skin color or language. I think the character in the story in many ways represents who Camus might have become if he had stayed in Algeria.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Silcas
New York Times
26 August 2014

Two Faces of January

Mortensen appears to be a fine connoisseur of the novelist and her work. He admitted he liked her short stories "even the ones that are a page and a quarter and you go 'oh come on' like the collection 'Little Tales of Misogyny'".

The American Friend, Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley also made the cut but he prefers the approach in The Two Faces of January, a "more graceful" one.

Berlin: Viggo Mortensen knows his Patricia Highsmith
By Tara Karajica
Screen Daily.
12 February 2014

On the Road

" the '70s, when I was 17-18 years old and living in America, on the border with Canada. On the Road was an initiation book for many adolescents of my generation, even for me. Much later, I discovered other writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Céline, Rimbaud, Camus ... But I find that Burroughs was the most original, an outsider, a pioneer of the language."

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
9 October 2012

I read this novel for the first time as a teenager, and since then three times as a whole and often in parts. I've read everything that was published by Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. In preparation of the movie, I listened to all available voice recordings of Burroughs... among them were also talks between him and Cronenberg concerning the filming of Naked Lunch.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012

For many people, this novel was deemed unfit for filming. Did you ever have similar qualms?

I never thought this novel unfit for filming, yet it was obviously no easy task. But after reading the script, my concerns were easily resolved. The movie takes over the novel's best elements, stays true to the characters and besides focuses on the women, which for me is a true improvement compared to the original.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012

The Road

Viggo did you come to the film from reading the book or the actual script?

I'm a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, I had read all of his books except The Road. The Road came out with great fanfare and went on to become his most far reaching universally appealing work because it's more straight ahead, it's easily understood, the dilemmas are understood by any culture. I hadn't gotten around to reading it just out of shear stubbornness because everyone kept telling me how great it was. I was meaning to read it. I had seen it wherever I went, in airports and so forth and I just hadn't read it. But then I read the script which I thought was a great script, a great story. I realised it was quite an honour to be offered this role. After reading the script I ran to the store to buy The Road and read it all

Viggo Mortensen at the BFI London Film Festival
Flicks and Bits
30 October 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

"…the book was my constant companion. It's pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to. But this movie is about man's humanity, this flower that blooms in a desert between two people."

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009

After the movie, Viggo came back up on the stage and answered a few questions. When put on the spot to add on a final word he thought for a second then dug into his bag and brought out his personal copy of THE ROAD. There were what looked like a hundred stick-it notes marking different pages and the spine was cracked and worn. It's obviously seen a lot of use.

To close the event he read a bit from McCarthy's description of the sea-area landscape. That was pretty cool…

Quint at the Telluride Viggo Mortensen tribute
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008


Ed Harris read Appaloosa while you guys were still working on A History of Violence. Then you read the book after that, right?

When A History Of Violence was presented here at the Toronto Film Festival, he was here to do interviews, just like I was for that movie. He handed me this book and in his kind of quiet way said, "Here's this book. You might like it. It could make a good movie." He wasn't very forward about it but that was sort of a big step, I thought. It must mean something, being that he's such a good actor. And he did a great job directing Appaloosa. I thought that it was intriguing. I knew that was what he was driving at - that he wanted to direct this movie.

So you kind of committed to him based on the book?

The book, yeah. He hadn't written [the screenplay] yet.

Interview With Appaloosa Star Viggo Mortensen
Reelz Channel
3 October 2008


While the texts that this film is adapted from are widely known in the Hispanic world, in the United States they haven't had such a similar recognition. Assuming that fact, how did the opportunity to take part in this production fall into your hands?

I didn't know Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novels. Long ago, I had worked in Spain with Ray Loriga, in My Brother's Gun. One day, Ray told me he was going to be in Berlin, where I was promoting Peter Jackson's The Return of the King. Loriga went with a friend, Tano (Agustín Díaz Yanes), who brought a script that he gave me to read. I liked the plot as a tale, as a story. And it captivated me. So I decided to do it, against everyone and against everything.

The Filming of Alatriste - Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Jesús Martin - translated by Paddy
July 2006

'When I read the books which the movie is based on, I liked them so much: they told me an interesting and complicated story. The character too is more complicated than my previous ones. For this reason the movie can even catch the viewers unprepared: they expect a lot of action in imperial Spain, and they find themselves deeply lost in events full of shadows.'

Viggo, a movie star forced to fight - "Heroism? It's only propaganda..."
By Claudia Morgoglione - translated by Cindalea
18 June 2007

Lord of the Rings

Basically, I got a call: "Do you want to go to New Zealand for fourteen months to film The Lord of the Rings?" Just, you know, this famous epic trilogy! And my first reaction was "No!" Obviously I'd heard of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but I hadn't read the book, and I certainly hadn't read the script; I usually like to have a lot more time to prepare for a major role; and I really didn't want to be away from my family for that long. I have to say, it didn't sound like a very wise move to me at all!

My son said I was crazy and that I had to do it, even if I was going to be gone a long time. So there I am on the plane for New Zealand, reading that enormous, telephone directory-sized book and then the scripts, and a couple of days later I'm filming. I continued to feel unprepared, but at least I didn't have much time to get nervous, which was probably good!

Viggo Mortensen
Official Movie Guide

Were you a J.R.R. Tolkien fan before the film "The Fellowship of the Ring?"

VIGGO: No. I'd heard of Tolkien and Hobbits and "Lord of the Rings." But I didn't know much about it. l assumed it was about elves and dwarves, maybe fairy tales. When I got the job, I started reading the book immediately so I knew what we were dealing with on film. ... I recognized themes from lots of other cultures, Samurai, Native American myths, not just European fairy tale -- the idea of a heroic journey, characters being tested.

Viggo on locusts, life and kissing Liv Tyler
By Molly Woulfe
Northwest Indiana Times
3 August 2004

"While Peter obviously cares a great deal for Tolkien's writing-otherwise he wouldn't have given so much of his life to it-what seems to have drawn him most as a filmmaker was the pure adventure aspect of the tale. The heroic sacrifice of individuals for the common good. All the breathtaking sequences-he really poured himself into those. The more I explored Tolkien, the more I felt I had two bosses: Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I tried my best to be loyal to both of them."

Viggo Mortensen
We Were All On an Epic Journey
by Jeff Giles
Newsweek magazine, 2001

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © MK2 Productions.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Reading our latest Sobrevuelos translation where Viggo describes his latest fillm, Captain Fantastic, it's obvious that no one could play the part of the Father but Viggo. Living in the Wilderness, hunting, growing vegetables, preparing the food, giving the kids an education through a library of books. Heck – Viggo doesn't need to act, he can do all that for real!

We are undertaking an ambitious project. I will work almost the entire film with six "children" who are between six and eighteen years old, living together in a big "tipi," hunting deer and other animals, growing vegetables, living off nature. We have stacks of books, the "children" read Schopenhauer, Chomsky, Socrates, Einstein, Yeats, Shakespeare, Borges, and talk about all kinds of philosophy, science, poetry, etc. Their "mother" and I teach them, they don´t go to any other school, we don´t have TV.

Viggo Mortensen
Circular Wood
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
12 July 2014

"I arrived on set and there was a library in my trailer."

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

He's a very cerebral man. He turned up with these beautiful old antique books from the time, like Baudelaire, and things that his character would have had... I thought, 'this guy is f**king cool.' I was quite intimidated.

Sam Riley
Sullivan on Cinema: Sam Riley
By Chris Sullivan
9 June 2011

He was the one who read the most about the Golden Century's history. He sent books and CDs for all his casting colleagues to savour that time - "not to seduce or control what the others did, but to share what I had found out," Mortensen informs.

Viggo Mortensen
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País Semanal
6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

He smells of woodsmoke, as though he's just returned from some manly pursuit like chopping logs in a forest.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

When the elements, the weather and the terrain get tough, Viggo gets going.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

If anyone could survive in a post-apocalyptic world, the director [John Hillcoat]
says, it would be Viggo.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

'We lived in Buenos Aires, but most of all in the Chaco, where I learned to ride with my three brothers. My father, who is Danish and a farmer, would take us fishing and hunting. I shot a rifle for the first time when I was three years old. It's one of my first memories."

The Late Show with David Letterman
November 2005

"I was 20 years old, I was travelling in the north of Norway," he recalls, like an old war veteran. Trying to go "as far up as possible," young Mortensen got lost, survived by lighting a fire and being rescued by the inhabitants of the region, the Samis, a native people of Finno-Ougric descent. "They sheltered me in exchange for work. Afterwards they tried to convince me to spend the winter there. They offered me a big coat and kilos of meat. And when I said no, they offered me a small fat girl of about 16. Maybe I should have stayed. It would have been an interesting experience.

Viggo Mortensen
Lost in La Pampa
By Pierre Boisson - translated by Ollie
So Film #10 (France)
May 2013

VM: Rabbits sometimes run out in front of your car, right? Well, I hit this rabbit on this lonely road in the South Island and I wanted to make sure it was dead. If it wasn't, I'd put it out of its misery. And it was quite dead, so I thought, 'Well, why waste it?' And so I made a little fire and ate it.

Q: Is this something that you thought Aragorn would have done?

VM: As he was driving down the road and if he hit a rabbit? Yeah, he might. If he was hungry, I guess.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

'He came in and started talking about the character, and said, 'If I live out in the wild, I'd have a small hunting bow for catching food. It would never be a big deal, maybe you'd just see it while I'm making a campfire.' We said, 'Yes that makes complete sense, we didn't think of that, so let's make you a bow'. It was always great to have those kinds of discussions with the actors.'

Christian Rivers
Hail To The King
by Lawrence French
Starburst #305, 2003

"He is... a substantially better fisherman than I am. He can catch more fish, and I hate him for that!"

John Rhys-Davies
Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star, 2003

"I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else."

Really? Anything else?

He looks at me, his gaze is quite level. "I like gardening a lot."

Viggo Mortensen on 'A Dangerous Method'
By John Preston
Seven Magazine
The Telegraph
11 February 2012

Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life, as he explains with a deep, quiet voice, between long pauses and a cigarette rolled by himself.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

When the world goes boom, I want Viggo Mortensen to be my dad.

Marshall Fine 'The Road' review
Huffington Post
24 November 2009

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Last edited: 31 May 2023 15:42:13