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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

While we wait (and wait) for more Falling to fall into our laps, I’ve been thinking of the many films Viggo has made which have been directed by fellow actors. Captain Fantastic with Matt Ross, The Indian Runner with Sean Penn, Albino Alligator with Kevin Spacey (remember that one?) and, of course, Appaloosa, one of my favourite Viggo films with another of my favourite actors, Ed Harris.




In 2000, Ed Harris made his directorial debut with the fantastic Pollock. Hollywood pundits fawned over the film and the actor-turned-director ad nauseum. Strangely, his follow-up, the wonderful western, Appaloosa got largely lost in the shuffle. Even more irking, the always-strong Viggo Mortensen got little recognition for a nuanced supporting turn. With the moustache of the year (that should be an award), Mortensen turned a rather standard best-friend part into a quiet tour de force.

Oscar nominations 2009
Scott Taverner
martiniboys.com
January 2009




Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, two of my favorite actors today, had the on-screen chemistry that every filmmaker dreams of. Rugged, badass and tough lawman who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film. Viggo played Everett Hitch, the faithful deputy/ sidekick and even the sometimes needed vocab checker to the infamous lawman Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris. They were brilliant. There just isn’t much more I can say to communicate how well they were in Appaloosa.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008




Harris's first and only choice for the role of Everett Hitch was Viggo Mortensen, with whom he'd shared the screen in "A History of Violence."

"I had just finished reading Appaloosa when we shot 'A History of Violence,' and I gave it to Viggo and told him that I really wanted to make it into a film with him in it," recalls Harris. "One of the greatest things about Viggo is his sense of loyalty. He's a man of his word. Once he committed to the project, he was completely on board."

"We see eye to eye," says Mortensen of his experience working with Harris.

Appaloosa: New Western by Ed Harris
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008




"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




“Not only do I have a great respect for him as an actor but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These were two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it ... If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie”

Ed Harris
Viggo is one straight shooter
By Kevin Williamson
Toronto Sun
6th September 2008




“I figured if he wanted to do it - if he responded to the material - then he would immediately understand what this was between these guys without us having to talk about for hours on end,"

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




“ ….I like this one because it’s told in a leisurely pace. I enjoyed being in it because Ed didn’t try to reinvent the genre or appeal to younger audiences. He said, ‘This is how these stories are told, and I’m going to respect the genre.’”

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




"Viggo is very detailed and he really got into the fact that Hitch had been at West Point - so he was particular about all of his gear, the saddlebags and his haircut. In the book, his character is probably a little more of a hick. But Viggo's thing was I don't want to say 'ain't.' Viggo wanted to refine Hitch a bit, to clean him up. It made sense and was a nice choice."

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




"When I first had [the 8-gauge shotgun], I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed? It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance. I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically.'"

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




One area the actor always takes seriously, whether in The Lord of the Rings or Eastern Promises, is hair. For Appaloosa, Mortensen grew a thick goatee and bushy mustache while keeping his haircut military short, a reflection of Hitch's training at West Point.

"I showed up with it that way and just kind of maintained it," he says. "I based it on pictures."

As Mortensen discusses his versatile hair options, Harris, 57, chuckles. "I wish I had some versatile hair options," he says. "I actually had a (hair) piece made, and we screen-tested it. It was pretty interesting looking."

Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris gab about garb, camaraderie in Appaloosa
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
2 October 2008
USA Today




“… the love of my life in the film … the beautiful Renée Zellweger.” and finally… “The REAL love of my life in the film, Viggo Mortensen”.

Ed Harris’s introductions
Appaloosa Premier at TIFF – reported by Topaz
5 September 2008




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
5 September 2008




"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

I watched Appaloosa again recently and kept thinking that while I regret that there was never an Eastern Promises 2, I regret even more that Cole and Hitch never rode out together again for the last two of the Appaloosa books that I enjoyed reading so much. Viggo makes one heck of a cowboy. As one critic said recently, nobody moseys like Viggo Mortensen. Heck, he's even related to Buffalo Bill...




"I found out a while back that I'm related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother's mother's side of the family," he says. "It's true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection." Mortensen finds J.K. Simmons' performance as Buffalo Bill "terrific" - and it gave him an interesting opportunity to play in scenes with a distant relative.

Viggo Mortensen: The Straight-Shooting Star of the New Western
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys & Indians
April 2004




Indeed Mortensen, one of the few Danes who can get away with a cowboy hat (in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Hidalgo), looks so much like a man from the Golden West, it's a wonder he isn't attached to remakes of everything from High Noon to Carry On Cowboy.

A History of Violence is David Cronenberg's Western
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine
March 2006




'The cowboy 'ethic' has as much in common ideally with the Medieval Knight or Lakota warrior or Samurai warrior in that you can be an individual, be independent minded and allow other people to have their individual experience too! It can be that way.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice
January 2004




When there's action to be had, Mortensen looks like a real pro. He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood; and has a great seat on a horse. Even when the movie gets a little slow--and it does, a 3000-mile desert race will do that to a movie--Mortensen's onscreen appeal saves the day.

Hidalgo
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com




It's not as if we haven't seen movies like "Hidalgo" before -- the cowboy, the horse, the hat -- and yet there's something fresh about it all the same. Part of it comes from Viggo Mortensen, an actor who has the measured pace and steady gaze of a Cooper or a Stewart.

Wild West to wild Mideast
Mortensen saddles up as former cowboy racing across desert
Mick LaSalle
Chronicle, 5 March 2004




While [Hidalgo] can waver from itself, Mortensen is steadfast like a throw back to the old school smoldering actors that paraded about the prairies, years ago; sexy and very iconic American cowboy.

Hidalgo review
Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review
2004




Not only did Rex Peterson serve as trainer, but also adviser to Mortensen on cowboy attitudes - to the point that a joke on the set called Viggo "Rex, Jr".

Hidalgo - Production Notes
Touchstone Pictures
2004




Viggo Mortensen follows a classic cowboy code in the Western "Appaloosa": Speak softly and carry a big honkin' gun.

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




Are there two more stronger, silenter types in modern movies than Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen? Each of these actors are a throw back to the days when cowboy stars were manly men who mean what they say and only say what they mean and nothing else.

Richard Crouse
CTV.ca
6 September 2008




"There are film buffs and story buffs who like the apparent simplicity [of a Western]. Although in a movie like this you can see that, yes, there is silence and there's an easy pace at times punctuated by dramatic tension, but in that silence, if it is well acted, and it is a good Western, which I think this is, then that silence is full of complicated things and a lot of subtext."

Viggo Mortensen Talks 'Appaloosa'
Premier Magazine
By Karl Rozemeyer
19 September 2008




...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters. Like Harris, Mortensen is a great listener, and good listeners—in life and in movies—barely move. That quality is just right for the role of Hitch, whose life hangs on Cole's next word and slightest gesture. It's an old truth, and not just about westerns: When the talking stops, the dying begins.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 September 2008




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
September 05, 2008




Mortensen comes off best. Not only does he seem like a genuine artifact of the late 19th Century, his plain-spoken charisma is well-suited to the western genre. ….But with or without that fantastic mustache, Mortensen should certainly do another western, soon. Preferably he should do one with a real sense of danger to go along with all the neat, tidy, highfalutin' honor and decency.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
2 October 2008




You will find all previous Quotables
here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.

Ed Harris has some interesting comments on Appaloosa


Source: Cowboys & Indians.
Found By: Iolanthe
Iolanthe brings us this little snipper from a nice interview with Ed Harris from Cowboys and Indians .
Quote:
appweb3.jpg
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
 
C&I: Ten years ago you made Appaloosa, an adaptation of the first in the Cole and Hitch series of western novels by the acclaimed novelist Robert B. Parker. The movie has your imprint all over it, as star [playing Virgil Cole opposite Viggo Mortensen's Everett Hitch], director, and co-writer with your friend Robert Knott. Tell us a bit about the experience of making it.

Harris: I guess it was 10 years ago. Well, I think that Appaloosa is a really good story that we made in a more classical vein than most westerns are filmed today. It felt genuine to me from the horse tack, guns, and other weapons to the historic--style buildings and what was inside them, along with the other set designs and props. It was really fun doing it. We all paid such attention to detail, and all that attention really paid off.

This was the first book in the Cole and Hitch series. My daughter and I were doing a horseback riding trip in Ireland, and I brought the book along on the trip. I think I had just finished the third chapter and was so taken by the characters and story that I called my agent to see if it might be available to option.

C&I: New York Times film critic A.O. Scott had this to say about the film: "One important gunfight goes by so quickly and anti-climactically that even Everett remarks on how fast it was over. 'That's because the folks knew how to shoot,' Virgil says, offering an implicit defense of Mr. Harris's crafty and unassuming approach to filmmaking."

Harris:
There you go. I think my directing was unassuming, although I don't know how crafty it was. But it sure was fun making the movie.

C&I: Appaloosa has also been called a violent period western, as Virgil and Everett make their living as gunmen for hire. But, on another level, it is a relationship movie about the two characters.

Harris:
My buddy and bestselling writer Robert Knott and I co-wrote the screenplay, and I really felt that we captured the relationship that Parker put on the page between those two cowboys. I gave the book to Viggo at the Toronto [International] Film Festival in 2005 when we were there for A History of Violence. There was no one else I really wanted to do the film with, and I certainly never considered anyone else. I just thought he and I would make a strong partnership on screen.

I think Cole and Everett would be a great twosome to have on a well-made television series. We would have done a sequel to Appaloosa, but Viggo didn't want to play to same character twice. He's really a great and creative guy and I'd love to work with him again. He can talk all day long. ... You won't get that from me. ...

Parker wrote four books in the series, and then Robert took over after he passed away and wrote another four or five. I'm really proud of Robert; he's my best buddy who works his butt off to keep the series going.

© Cowboys & Indians. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.


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Last edited: 1 February 2023 10:53:17