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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

It’s wonderful that Viggo has paid homage to Peter Jackson a few times now in interviews about Falling. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was probably one of the greatest cinematic tests any Director could face and the fact they made it through is because Jackson always believed they could do it. He had a great production team and a great cast of actors, of course, but holding it all together with such energy and grace was a herculean task. Time for some Peter and Viggo moments!





Mortensen made special mention of Peter Jackson, who gave him his break with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "With his intelligence, his energy and problem-solving abilities, he taught his team how to adapt and overcome problems. You can do it if you really want to, there's always a way."

Up Close and Personal With Viggo Mortensen, the Director
Variety
12 October 2020




Describe Peter Jackson in three words.

A decent man.

Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn
Empire magazine
October 2003




"Knowing Viggo now, his conversation was incredibly Viggo-like, but at the time it was incredibly off-putting," Mr. Jackson said. "He was asking about the character: how long has he lived with the elves? Where are his parents? If I didn't know the answer, I'd make it up. There would be this terrible long silence, and I didn't know if the phone had disconnected or not, and then he'd ask another question and there would be 30 more seconds of silence."

"At the very end of the call, I thought it had gone very badly, that he wasn't going to do the role," Mr. Jackson continued. "I was thinking, `What are we going to do now?' as I was waiting for the call to end, and then there was another long silence and Viggo said, `I guess I'll see you on Tuesday.' "

Peter Jackson on offering him the part of Aragorn
The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
By Sarah Lyall
New York Times, 2003




"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




“I was looking at snapshots I have of the crew, Peter, the cast, and obviously people change, but there was more. There's something also in people's eyes, even in Peter's, who knew what he was getting into more than any of us. The way his eyes look, it's the eyes of a person before a major test."

Ringleaders
By Serena French
Flare magazine
January 2004




'Some of the photos are bit blurry though, Viggo, so perhaps you should buy yourself a tripod...

Peter Jackson at the "For Wellington' opening, Massey University
Stars Come Out For Exhibition Launch
Massey University
1st Dec 2003




"Viggo commits himself to a project with the same intensity as the filmmakers - which is rare for an actor," the director says. "After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh] and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston,
Premiere 2003




'Peter has kind of dusted the book off and breathed new life into it, combined it with other stories, and given it a bit of his own imagination. He's revived the book for people in the 21st century.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
Empire
December 2004




"Viggo commits himself to a project with the same intensity as the filmmakers - which is rare for an actor," the director says. "After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh] and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




Viggo has that dark, mysterious, quiet-man quality. He's also very intelligent and private. A lot of people have said these movies are going to make Viggo a big star. I nod and smile, knowing that being a big star is the last thing in the world that Viggo wants. He's completely unimpressed and disinterested in that world. I think he'd prefer to stay home and paint, write his poetry, and enjoy himself rather than play the Hollywood game. That's an aspect of him that I respect a lot.

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine




…Jackson [gave] his 8-year-old son's class a tour. He asks the kids questions and videotapes them as he walks backwards through a field of fake dead horses. The children worship the Aragorn character, and they had hoped to meet Mortensen. Later, when asked if they had got their wish, he nods giddily. 'Oh, yep-yep-yep,' he says. 'Viggo's great with kids. He showed them his sword, and then one of the boys very excitedly pointed to his dagger and said, "That's the dagger he stabbed Lurtz with in 'Fellowship of the Ring'!' So then Viggo whipped out his dagger.' Jackson is giggling now. 'Afterwards, one of the kids said to his friends, "Do you think Aragorn would baby-sit children?''

Peter Jackson
Newsweek
1 December 2003




On the very last day of shooting Aragorn fighting the orcs, Peter quietly gave Viggo an Uzi, loaded with blanks, for the last take.

Dan Hennah
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004




When I was leaving, Peter Jackson gave me my sword and a tape with my best scenes and also.... the worst!."

Viggo Mortensen on the last day of filming LOTR
Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen,
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
2003



You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

These last few weeks have all been about Falling, Viggo’s debut film as Director and Writer. Time to have a look back at the film from its first showing in Toronto to its current round of Festival viewings. Falling has been critically acclaimed by many for its uncompromising approach to a difficult subject and is anchored by a wonderful performance by Lance Henriksen as the Father. Alas, my Quotable collecting has been a little curtailed by my inability to speak anything but English, but there is still plenty here to enjoy!





“Falling” is unpretentious and perfectly accessible to mainstream audiences. Mortensen’s patience, his way with actors and his trust in our intelligence are not unlike late-career Eastwood, which isn’t a bad place to be so early in one’s directing career.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




Mortensen says that even though his father, mother, grandparents and uncle all suffered from dementia, and that the film is dedicated to his two other brothers, this is not an autobiographical story but one that sprung out of many places and it just suddenly all came to him, like a dream, on that plane. It finally became a story of a fictional family that shares traits of his own. “A few days after I got home I said I’m just going to look at this thing because I ended up writing a short story sort of. On the plane I couldn’t sleep so I just kept writing and then it just became something that had nothing to do with my family but this story.”

Viggo Mortensen On ‘Falling’ Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020




He started sculpting a story about finding common ground with someone you disagree with.

“As I was writing the screenplay, I was thinking about what’s actually happening in the country,” he said. “How do you deal with hate speech or with someone who just doesn’t accept, won’t even listen to you, doesn’t want to know anything about what you perhaps stand for, what you identify as — all those kinds of things.”

‘Falling’: Lance Henriksen Says Viggo Mortensen’s Feature Debut Made Him Realize The World Is Changing – Sundance Studio
ByDino-Ray Ramos
Deadline.com
28 January 2020




What was your most memorable experience while filming FALLING and working with the star and director, Viggo Mortensen?

Working with Viggo was almost surreal. I have not personally watched his movies since they are mostly for adults, but I saw him at the Oscars in 2019 when he was nominated for an Oscar for Green Book. When I saw him at the recall audition, I was starstruck and super excited. He has a really amazing voice that is really calming. He is very patient as director and really helps you do your best on set. He is very nice and also acts like a regular person.

Young Actor Carina Battrick Stars in Viggo Mortensen’s FALLING
Defective Geeks
2 September 2020




“I would’ve preferred not to be in the movie, I have to say that, but to get it made one of the conditions was I had to act in it. I’ve been around for a long time as an actor, but if you haven’t directed a movie you haven’t directed a movie – I’m unproven and I’m lucky to get a chance.”

Viggo Mortensen talks directing debut 'Falling'; first look at family drama
Tom Grater
Screen Daily
15 May 2019




Quick to change the subject away from his own on-screen contribution, [Viggo] heaped praise on his critically acclaimed co-star Lance Henriksen.
“It’s a great performance from him, and I believe he deserves all the acclaim he gets, and I hope he receives more.”

Viggo Mortensen Charms San Sebastian at ‘Falling’ Press Conference
ByJ amie Lange
Variety
25 September 2020




[Falling] gives erstwhile action star Henriksen (Bishop in “Aliens”) an unprecedented opportunity to actually act…It took long enough for someone to entrust a part as tricky as this to Henriksen, whose plunge pays off in Mortensen’s sensitive hands.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




He knew Henriksen from working with him in Appaloosa, the film directed by actor Ed Harris. “I just got to know him a little bit. I just felt he was right, somehow, even though he hadn’t done anything like this. Then people said it’ll be a lot easier for you to raise the money if you could get a name, somebody who’s more known or something. I said, no, he’s the right guy.

Viggo Mortensen On ‘Falling’ Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020




One thing FALLING does that’s terrific is that it gives Lance Henriksen a showcase role. One of the best in the biz, Henriksen’s been perennially underrated ever since the eighties, and approaching eighty he’s as good as he ever was, sinking his teeth into the role with vigor…

…It’s a passionate debut for Mortensen but it’s not an easy watch.

Chris Bumbray
JoBlo.com
24 January 2020




In Mortensen’s most notable directorial flare, Falling flashes back and forth between John’s childhood on the farm and his present-day life in California as a well-to-do suburban husband to his Chinese-American partner, Eric, and father to their daughter, Monica (Gabby Velis). There’s nothing novel about interwoven timelines, but Mortensen’s vision of how the two interact is poignant and meditative.

Luke Hicks
Film School Rejects




Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut is an earnest family drama etched in jagged memories and an elegant waltz between past and present. His sensitive handling of the material creates a quietly affecting reflection on the ties that bind and provides an unusually juicy role for Lance Henriksen as the belligerent, bile-spewing patriarch…
…Mortensen’s own performance is as understated as the film, making John a dutiful son of almost saintly patience straining every sinew to avoid confrontation. Scenes in which he finally lets rip are all the more effective for his earlier restraint.

‘Falling’: Toronto Review
By Allan Hunter
Screen Daily
10 September 2020




While it's true that Falling is so unrelenting in its negative depiction of Willis that it can feel one-note, that's not necessarily a criticism, as Mortensen wants to relay the terror that those around Willis have to live with. The drama also imagines realities to show Willis's warped state of mind. The performances are strong, with even Mortensen staying on top of his game, despite all the work he did behind the scenes in this debut that has a touch of Clint Eastwood about it.

Kaleem Aftab
cineuropa.org
18 September 2020




As a director, Mortensen doesn't make things easy for himself: We figure that a film like this is headed for some kind of redemption, but Willis seems completely irredeemable for much of the film. But Mortensen is too smart to go for an easy reconciliation, instead exploring shades of resignation and acceptance, particularly in the wake of an argument that can stand as a father/son version of the one in "Marriage Story" — primal and fearsome, it goes to places so dark that all the characters can do afterwards it attempt to crawl out of the wreckage.

"Falling" is a finely drawn character drama, as you might expect from much of Mortensen's acting career, and a film that pays attention to small details that bring these people to life.

Steve Pond
The Wrap
24 January 2020




Since discovering his sexuality, his father Willis has questioned the truthfulness of John’s reality in such insensitive ways that it’s hard to picture why any son would stick around to help – blood or not. But in that regard, Mortensen delivers such a defining performance that is so capable of impacting many whose experience is similar. His character’s reservations is matched with a nuanced delivery of emotion that feels as passionate as it is affecting.

Part of what makes Falling work for me is its dedication to not hide the ugly truth in what could’ve been a story that settled for stereotypical character growth and a happy ending. But if truth be told, it’s also what makes Mortensen’s Falling a difficult watch.

Brittany Witherspoon
Popculture Reviews
24 January 2020




Viggo gives a beautifully understated performance here, letting Henriksen (whom it’s nice to see in a really meaty role, again) carry the load and dive into Willis’ damaged psyche, giving a riveting performance, which allows the supporting cast to do just that: support a pair of great actors doing what they do.

Vsmoviepodcast
28 January 2020




Mortensen’s heart is in the right place; he wants us to understand these characters, as difficult as it might be to do so. With a more conventional director at the helm, Falling could have been reassuring, polished awards bait; instead, it’s something richer and more discomfiting. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I saw it. So will you.

TIFF review: Falling is Viggo Mortensen’s emotional directorial debut
By Norman Wilner
Now Toronto
10 September 2020




…Falling doesn't transform its emotional landscape into a simple question of rejection or forgiveness. It's comfortable knowing that meanness and affection can exist in the same person, and that tolerance, even when it only flows in one direction, benefits both giver and recipient.

John DeFour
Hollywood Reporter
24 January 2020




"We worked really hard. It's been a long road," he said. "You never know how people are going to look at a movie. You just have to make it and be faithful to what you're seeing, and hope other people like it. As William Goldman said, 'nobody knows anything.'"

Viggo Mortensen On ‘Falling’ Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
23 January 2020
Deadline.com



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I’ve decided in these difficult and frustrating times what we need is more Viggo Mortensen. That Zen like calm and concentration, that ability to savour every moment and live on the now. Is he really, as Thessaly La Force says, ‘the pond in the middle of the forest’? Maybe we could all do with a little of his philosophy.





He’s a regular guy — except he’s not. There’s something about Mortensen that is difficult to describe, because who he is, paradoxically, is almost entirely about what he isn’t. The empty charm and insecure braggadocio often present in his peers are unsettlingly, though wonderfully, absent in him. He is, in such a superficial medium, able to transmit the feeling of a soul.

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




He speaks with a gentle yet engaging passion and carries himself with a sense of calm that seems to radiate outwards to anyone in proximity - whether it be the ardent fans he enjoys speaking to while walking up red carpets or the hotel waiter who brings him boiling water so he can brew his cherished maté, a syrupy tea first tasted as a young boy growing up in Argentina.

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




Here's the thing about Viggo Mortensen: I could listen to this man speak on just about any topic for hours. His voice is both passionate and hypnotic. It's impossible not to be engaged when he's speaking because he presents himself with, somehow, both a welcome calmness and a focused intensity at the exact same time. It might be magic. I suspect it is magic.

Viggo Mortensen Will Hypnotize You With His Intensity As He Dissects What's Wrong With Our Polarized Country
By Mike Ryan
Uproxx
7 November 2016




The women in his movies are drawn to him as if there’s a hidden stillness that they need to reach, like finding a pond in the middle of a forest. So much of masculinity on film feels like watching a gift you don’t want being unwrapped. But Mortensen’s operates on another plane.

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




Supping a herbal remedy from a mysterious brass pot that looks like it was stolen from Middle-earth, while sporting a bushy moustache liable to make Bill the Butcher green with envy (for his next role as a Spanish soldier in Alatriste), Mortensen exudes a Zen-like calm.

"We're Animals Too, Y'Know?"
By James Mottram
Hotdog #67
September 2005




Viggo Mortensen is no flake. He's a pretty intense guy — with a mellow sort of presence.

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




His voice is calm, a Zen whisper from the depths.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016




Cerebral, spiritual, sex symbol in spite of himself.

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015




My first impressions of Viggo are a little hard to explain. He has an elusive reputation but I found him very down to earth. At the same time, however, he came off as quite mysterious. He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine
2004




Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul — Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




Most actors will agree on the value of appearing enigmatic. But there is enigmatic and then there is Viggo Mortensen…

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
Filminfocus.com
4 December 2007




"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




"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 – 'The Road'
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




'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. He does seem to have learned a lot of lessons, and seems quite old and wise. But he's not a serious fuddy-duddy. He'll go surfing with us, and he likes to go out at night and have some drinks.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




We like Mortensen because he shows us how to be.

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail.


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Last edited: 21 November 2020 11:20:12