Quotable Viggo 2012


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Quotable: 11 November 2012

He acts, writes, takes photos, paints, makes music... but there is one impressive skill that has constantly been overlooked. He cooks. I mean ? really cooks. I confess that I have long had a private fantasy of Viggo fronting a cookery programme... I'd pay for the box set of that any day. On top of that he washes, irons and gardens and does the odd bit of manly needlework. That might just make him the perfect catch.

© New Line Cinema/Good Films/Hollywood Pictures/
Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckheimer Films

This myth of the poor lonesome cowboy, the guy who has no need of others to be happy, is it really a trick to attract women?

On the contrary! Each time I have tried to charm them with my poetic cowboy side, it's ended in total failure. To seduce a woman, food is more effective than poetry. I love to make complex dishes. That always works!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009

Football is close to the artist's heart, he plays a bit himself. Besides that he writes poems, plays jazz music and paints. According to himself, he cooks well - and willingly does the dishes afterwards.

"Some might say I am a better cook than I am a painter," says Mortensen and laughs out loud.

"But that does not make it forbidden to enjoy it," the star jokes.

From Movies To Photos
By Jette Hansen - translated by Rosen
Morgenavisen, Jyllands-Posten
19 October 2008

...when it came his turn to enjoy an executive producer's morale-buffing dinner invitation for cast members, the producer, Mark Ordesky, never got a chance to reach for his wallet.

"When I called Viggo, he said, 'Pick me up at 8,' " New Line Cinema's Ordesky recalls. "I get there and he cooks. He's a Renaissance man. He paints, he acts, he writes poetry, you could bounce a quarter off of him and he cooks the way our mothers cook -- from scratch."

Valiant Effort: A Late Substitution, Viggo Mortensen Dived into Rings.
By Irene Lacher
LA Times
21 December 2002

"I love to cook," he admits. "When we did Lord of the Rings, I'd help cook these big Thanksgiving feasts on the set."

The Renaissance Man adds, "I do all the trimmings plus even make pies."

Viggo Starring In Different Sort Of Psychological Thriller
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times
8 December 2011

'Madrid is very pretty to walk in; it doesn't have the ocean, but it's very beautiful. I also like to cook like they do in Spain, chatting with friends and eating slowly. I might make some shrimp with garlic.'

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

'[Henry] likes to cook, and I miss his cooking. I like to cook too. I'm a bit frantic in the kitchen though. I'm calm while I'm doing it, but I'm pretty restless in that regard.'

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

He is wearing a gray San Lorenzo goalkeeper's soccer shirt, and he throws a cigarette butt into the embers. Viggo Mortensen, 49, now has a needle in his hand and he starts sewing his red and blue flag, which suffered a passionate tear in the victory against Lanus: "I like to sew it myself."

A Trip With Viggo Mortensen Through The Heart Of The Province
By Robustiano Pinedo - translated by Graciela
El Tribuno Salta
14 May 2007

'Who knows, perhaps it was because [Viggo] washed and repaired Aragorn's clothes himself that he so perfectly came to inhabit them-to a point, indeed, where the costume seemed almost to blend with his body. [pause] You know, I really do think that particular costume is incredibly beautiful. It seems funny, perhaps, to talk about something that is so worn and broken down, so darned and patched, as being beautiful-but it is to me.'

Ngila Dickson
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

I understand that you're very neat.

Well, I'm very messy in a lot of ways, but there are two things I always do: wash my clothes and wash my dishes, and even though everything might be messy, it's clean.

Like David Beckham.

He must be neater than I am. Do I look like a disaster? The truth is that I wash everything all the time.

Viggo Mortensen: "When Mourinho speaks, you don't know if he's calculating or crazy."
By Gloria Scola ? translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
5 September 2011

Do you have a cleaning lady?

No, I do that all by myself. I don't even own a dishwasher. If you wash off plates and cups by hand, it has something meditative. It's like that with the fishing. The spirit is directed toward an action, one relaxes and begins to perceive things at the edge of view.

To do the Dishes has Something Meditative
14 April 2007

'I even vacuum...'

Viggo Mortensen
"It was a big, brutal mess"
By Leif Kramp - translated by Doreen
9 May 2007

"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

Quotable Viggo: 3 November 2012

A recent review of Todos Tenemos Un Plan describes Viggo as 'innovative' and its certainly true that the one consistent thing about his work is that he likes new challenges. He has never settled into the 'safe' career that a lot of actors stick to. For Viggo it comes down to finding good stories and fresh experiences, working in new environments and often with first time directors.

©Haddock Films/Image Andrés de Gabriel/Teatro Español/Propaganda Films/
LME/Good Films/20th Century Fox Espana

It should seem somewhat moot to describe a man, who has had a film career run nearly three decades, as innovative but his last four films have made audiences aware just how multi-faceted he can be. Here, although they do not share the screen together for very long, he actually manages to suggest a real sense of individualism between Pedro and Agustín and, throughout, a manner of acting that relies upon physicality rather than the spoken word; few actors can emote so strongly and evidently.

Hel Jones
Eat Sleep Live Film
26 October 2012

?arguably the most unconventional, maverick A-list actor around.

Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011

"I've always sensed that I'd be insulting him a little bit if I called him a movie star," Johnston says. "If he chose to be a movie star, he could've done it a long time ago. . . . He's in control. That's the bottom line. He's not waiting for someone to say, 'Hey, you've made it.' He'll decide when he's made it."

Joe Johnston
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004

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

Sometimes, during rehearsals, I have thought that I've been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge, but then the doubt, the insecurity go away and I keep enjoying what I´m learning from my colleague Carme Elías, and from our director, Josep María Mestres. Ariel Dorfman´s script is demanding, but it´s full of little gifts that keep coming to you to the extent that you are deciphering the text and physically absorbing it.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011

In a world of paste reproductions Viggo Mortensen is a rare gem of creative energy. His work as an actor goes far beyond the normal level of effort exerted by a conventional leading man which results in his performances being elevated into works of art as unique as his poems and pictures.

Viggo Mortensen: An Artist For All Seasons
By Richard Marcus
BNN Blogger News Network
6 May 2005

'Many actors tend to think of their work in terms of career - this strange sort of concept that acting is like climbing up a mountain, that they get bigger with each job - and art doesn't move like that. Viggo knows that instinctively.'

Philip Ridley
Super Natural
By Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002

Trying to describe his movie career is like finding your way in a Middle-eastern medina.

Soon you think you're on the right way - only to end up in a dead end of spices and camel-mongers. The Danish-American has had his breakthrough in a - for an actor - mature age. As Los Angeles Times found out with a shake on the head: 'He was not less than 40 years old, before he got his own website'.

Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001

'.... because he's capable of far more astute and profound judgements than most of the people he's around, I think there's a banality of mind in this industry that a man like Viggo would sort of despair of."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002

"To find a good story, you're generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies? I wouldn't mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story."

Viggo Mortensen
Five Things We Learned In Toronto From The 'A Dangerous Method' Star
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
14 September 2011

Does saying no in Hollywood have a price?

Yes, of course there´s a price. People forget you quickly. They still offer me things from there, but one´s profile lasts less than you'd think. You are fashionable. Like clothes, like music. If you´re not active and don´t do interviews, you disappear.

"They brand me as a traitor, a communist"
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
26 August 2012

He never had Champagne dreams and caviar wishes?

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

"For me, there was no doubt that Mortensen was going to have great career after the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings. But he didn't wait for this saga to be excellent, he always made very good career choices, he always took very interesting options. Personally, I find him excellent in The Indian Runner. He is very fastidious in his choices and it is totally apparent in his roles, in a way that I admire. He has a work philosophy close to mine. He is a bit like a big brother. So, his course does not surprise me, I am proud of Viggo, proud also that he is such an accomplice to a director of the talent of David Cronenberg. I wish only one thing for Viggo: that he continues to cut a path in this medium, because the medium needs actors of his caliber, who make films of course, for the public, but also for themselves, their own personal enlightening."

Elijah Wood on Viggo Mortensen
By Clément Cuyer, Allocine
14 novembre 2007

''..if you asked my agent or somebody about why I'm doing these sort of movies, or going off to do a play or something, they'd say 'Well, I dunno, I think he has a death wish or something'.

''Career suicide,'' he says with a laugh.

''I don't really know. I think life is short and while I have the chance to do good stories, I'm gonna do 'em.''

Viggo on doing Good and Alatriste
Viggo Mortensen on his new film Good
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 April 2009

Quotable Viggo: 21 October 2012

Everyone on the set of Two faces of January must, by now, be experiencing The Viggo Effect so this week I have a mixed bunch of comments about Viggo which all reveal a little about what it must be like to work on a film with him ? a heady mix of fun, intellectual challenge, inspiration, chocolate, a pinch of craziness and, of course, gift giving!

Image Jack English.
© StudioCanal.

"I was nervous about improvising with Viggo because he is particularly well read, and a poet himself. The night before our scene, I was Wikipedia-ing as much information as I could about writers. I was worried that he might say something in the middle of our scene, like: 'What do you think of the Übermensch?'"

Sam Riley
Sam Riley Hits the Road
By Lanie Goodman
Wall Street Journal
4 October 2012

"He's an unbelievable man. He brings chocolates to the set, expensive haute cuisine chocolates, and he hands it out in plastic bags. He writes music and he's painting and doing poems; you feel pathetic around him."

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs Loved Working With Chocolate Man Mortensen
1 March 2012

"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

"There was little glamour about the shoot, least of all the scenes where Mortensen runs naked into the freezing sea. "The insurance company told him not to do it," smiles Penhall, "but he's mad as a snake."

Joe Penhall, novel adaptor
The Ultimate Road Movie
By Nick Roggick
London Evening Standard
4 September 2009

"He did things on the horse that the stunt man had difficulty doing. He fell off the horse, he rode bareback, he jumped on the horse at a gallop, which is difficult to do, and he you know, he fell off a few times and he got knocked down and he got kicked a few times, but you know, he also got right back up and wanted to do it again. I think he knew that if there was anything that was really life-threatening, he would come forward and say, 'I don't feel comfortable doing this.' But he never did."

Joe Johnston
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004

But as far as working with Viggo and Kodi, you know, I've had a few leads in indies since I worked on "The Road," and it's become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up." The guy is a mule -- he seems tireless. But he's kind and focused too.

Garett Dillahunt
By Paul Gaita
The Envelope
17 December 2009

"Viggo's an artist," said a movie exec and Mortensen fan during the Toronto fest. The way he said it underlined "artist."

Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic
September 2007

"He wanted to eat a real locust," Johnston says. "The locust he eats is made out of sugar. He said, 'You know, I can eat a live one.' I said, 'Let's eat all the fake ones first. If we run out, you can eat a live one.' "

Joe Johnston on filming Hidalgo
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004

"When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

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

"It was a show of its own to see Viggo Mortensen, because he is such a perfectionist in his acting". Anyway, he said that the actor, "like all the great ones, is a bit crazy, and during the shooting Viggo believed he was Alatriste, and when he wasn't shooting, he still kept his sword and hat. I think he still believes he is Alatriste."

"En España no hay suficientes actores jóvenes buenos para rodar 'Alatriste"
By L.M.-L. Alatriste conference in Murcia
El Faro de Murcia

"?with Viggo you don't just get a violin, you get a whole symphony orchestra."

David Cronenberg
RT talks Eastern Promises
By Sara Schieron, Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

"It became a classic Viggo issue. He was really upset,' Cronenberg recalls, remembering how the posters were promptly changed to reflect reality. "He's not afraid of what he is.'

Cronenberg on the airbrushing of Viggo's scar out of the posters.
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

"It's funny: you look back on these things 10 years later and ask yourself, 'Who had a major impact on me?' As an actor, it was Viggo. I was unpacking a load of boxes recently, recounting old memories, and I remembered how lucky I was that he was around me at that time."

Orlando Bloom
April 2011

Quotable Viggo: 13 October 2012

With two films now on general release there have been a plethora of reviews to plough through on the Todos Tenemos un Plan and On the Road threads. To make things easier, I've gathered together snippets of the best of them to show that, amongst some mixed responses to the films, Viggo's performances in both have received a lot of praise.

Image Gregory Smith.
© MK2 Productions.

On The Road

...but it's Viggo Mortensen who steals not only his scenes but the film, with a brilliantly unhinged performance as Old Bull Lee, Kerouac's pseudonym for writer William Burroughs.

Sophie Mayer
12 October 2012

Show- stealer Viggo Mortensen channels William Burroughs with relish.

Tara Brady
The Irish Times
12 October 2012

The supporting cast is tremendous: Kristen Stewart's restless child-bride, Viggo Mortensen's Burroughs surrogate and Kirsten Dunst's trapped Camille all make vivid impressions, as does Tom Sturridge's funny, lonely Carlo (the Ginsberg figure).

Tim Robey
The Telegraph
11 October 2012

The encounters with Old Bull (Viggo Mortensen) provide some of the most enjoyable moments where a faint echo of Kerouac's typewriter can be heard invoking the spirit of a generation in search of life that both embraced and defied the American dream.

Joe Walsh
Cine Vue
10 October 2012

Amongst the colourful characters encountered during the trio's several journeys is the William Burroughs-inspired, morphine-addicted Old Bull Lee (a gleefully entertaining performance from Viggo Mortensen) and his brittle wife (Amy Adams) who will all be immortalised in the thinly disguised fiction Sal will ultimately write.

Mark Naglazas
West Australian
29 September 2012

Viggo Mortensen's trigger-happy junkie Old Bull Lee (aka William Burroughs) is another high.

James Mottram
Total Film
2 October 2012

Supporting characters stun: Viggo Mortensen giving his usual all and total depth to a few minor scenes, Amy Adams coming a little unhinged, Kirsten Dunst breaking your heart.

Fred Topal
Crave online
7 September 2012

Even though the Beats were expert at perpetuating their own PR (so much of their work is about how great they all are) they were, you know, just guys. Young guys who thought they knew a lot more about life than they actually did. (That is, except for the spaced-out sage William Burroughs, played for marvelous laughs in quick scenes by Viggo Mortensen).

Jordan Hoffman
7 September 2012

Image John Harris.
© 20th Century Fox/Haddock Films.

Todos Tenemos un Plan

Mortensen quietly piles desperation atop desperation here, his eyes showing that part of Agustín realizes how unlikely it is he'll convince neighbors and colleagues he's the man they've known for years.

John DeFore
The Hollywood Reporter
11 September 2012

Viggo Mortensen's trademark quiet strength and enigmatic stillness works to impressive effect in Ana Piterbarg's moody and evocative drama Everybody Has A Plan (Todos Tenemos Un Plan), largely set against backdrop of Argentina's tough and isolated the Tigre Delta, a labyrinthine tangle of islands and waterways which has its own codes and sense of justice....

Mark Adams
Screen Daily
13 September 2012

Agustín/Pedro is really a third main character to whom Mortensen offers that mask of ambiguity and fear that was so much required by the script....Technically the film gets 10 points ? with great art direction ? and Mortensen, who has given his all, is supported by Fanego with another great performance (remember ¡Atraco!).

I Know That You Know I Know
By Pablo O. Scholz - translated by Zoe
29 August 2012

The film's narrative has a very fluid rhythm, and Bonelli´s cinematography is remarkable and key to building an atmosphere of suspense. Viggo Mortensen plays the brothers, each with their vocabulary, personality, and the circumstances in life in which they find themselves. He gets into their skin and succeeds in conveying credibility through his acting.

By Elena Marina D'Aquila
A Sala Llena
28th August 2012

Mortensen faces a deadly triple flip: to play a character, his brother and the version of Pedro that Agustín adopts in order not to set off the alarms of those who knew the real one. In that transition, please, someone point out which emotion is not out of range. Well, the actor nails them all. Even to the point of turning an impossible, farfetched situation into something as human and real as the news of incidents in any newspaper. In fact, the really surprising thing is that Todos tenemos un plan is not based on one of them.

Viggo Mortensen frees his evil, Argentinian twin
By Manuel Piñón - translated by Zoe
7 September 2012

With nature as the great protagonist of the film, Piterbarg constructs a plot that oscillates between a thriller and a love story, between friendship and hatred, between reason and the irrational.

And in the midst of all this, moves Viggo Mortensen, who plays two roles, two twin brothers, endowing each one with an opposing character but an absolutely identical depth.

Alicia García de Francisco - translated by Zoe
La Informacion
6 September 2012

There's no denying Viggo Mortensen's total intensity and rawness as an actor, in The Road, The Lord of the Rings, and as a muse in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and last year's A Dangerous Method, as a chatty, heady Freud. In Everybody Has A Plan, his fourth Spanish-language film (who knew?), helmed by Argentinean first-time feature writer-director Ana Piterbarg, the handsome blue-eyed actor wraps his arms around a dark, gritty role worthy of Cronenberg: identical twins.

Solvej Schou
Entertainment Weekly
10 September 2012

Viggo plays twin brothers and, like every roll he takes, commits to it completely. There are only two scenes in which the brothers interact, and while movie magic makes it seamless it is Viggo who makes it real.

The Roaming Life Blog
10 September 2012

Quotable Viggo: 6 October 2012

I've been working in the centre of London for most of this week and, fun as it's been, all I could think about was the fact that I'd rather be somewhere with open fields and more trees. Nature is a great restorative and we all know that Viggo is happy surrounded by it, even sitting 'on top of the most uncomfortable rock in the world.' Not only does it relieve stress, it inspires him, teaches him and brings about a deep connection with life.

© New Line Productions Inc.

'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile."

Viggo Mortensen
The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times, 2003

"I am a loner who flees from stress, I feel good living close to nature, living with the same rhythm as animals and weather, no pressure, no constraints, no deadlines. I write poems, I paint, I read, I phone my friends, I plunge into thought and all of a sudden without my having seen the hours go by, night falls?"

Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage
Richard Gianorio
Le Figaro
26 September 2008

'When I'm out in nature it can be an inspiration. If I am going through a rough period, if I just go out for a walk, on some level everything is all right because I'm here, do you know what I mean? That's my way of dealing with stress.'

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

"I like to go to new places and, above all, in spaces in the middle of nature, whether it's sea or mountains. It soothes me. Even if it rains, even in bad weather, even if I'm on top of the most uncomfortable rock in the world. I feel happy in that setting."

Viggo Mortensen - Passage To Hell
By Ruben Romero - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
On Madrid - El Pais
5 February 2010

At the end of a day of filming in the desert, the crew would pack up for the two-hour drive back to the hotel. Mortensen, however, would stay behind and sleep in the sand dunes, the rare Hollywood actor who is happiest when alone with a book, his thoughts and the stars in the sky.

Viggo filming Hidalgo
Hot Actor - Viggo Mortensen
By G. E.
Rolling Stone
September 2003

"Watching the dedication of Viggo Mortensen is really inspiring. He is Aragorn. One time I wanted to film the sunrise and sunset for a Fellowship scene. Viggo said, "I'll just camp out," and pretty soon, we had everyone there--the makeup crew, Orlando Bloom and other cast members who weren't in the shot, like Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill. We made a big fire, camped out, filmed our early sunrise shot and went fishing. It was great!"

Barrie Osborne
Source Unknown

"A change of light, a sunset, a sunrise. Things you may never see again. You grasp those moments. You don't see a bear in the wild and walk on, thinking: Oh, I'll see another bear. You just wait and watch."

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

'...when you are wandering in a hardwood or in the mountains or stand in a big, cold, mirroring lake, fishing. Then you are close to being happy - and what more can a man want.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001

"Every tree is something special, just like people are. All different, but... I look at them as I look at people. I get along well with most trees. I don't get into arguments with them, and if I do it's probably my own fault. If I don't watch where I'm going when I'm in the forest, it comes back and smacks me in the nose, and I only have myself to blame."

RUV Interview
Skovbo Exhibition, Iceland
Translated by Mums
30 May 2008

"Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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

"I wrote [the poem Chaco] while thinking about my childhood, the mental and physical strength children have: the daring, the innocent courage, the absence of prejudice, the visceral connection with nature, with the environment that surrounded me, which seemed to threaten me and embrace me,"

Viggo Mortensen
The Hidden Side of Viggo Mortensen
Fernanda Nicolini
Diario Crítica de la Argentina.
Translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
1 July 2009

When I ask him where he'd like to be if the end was near, Mortensen briefly waxes poetic.

"My first impulse is to say I want to be in nature," Mortensen says. "By the sea, on a mountain, in the woods. But on second thought, it doesn't really matter where you are ? it's how you are."

Viggo Mortensen travels the 'Road' not taken
By Joe Williams
STL Today
22 November 2009

'The consequences of human interference with Nature speak for themselves, and so do trees. We just need to listen a little more. God Fornojeise!'

Skovbo Exhibition Brochure
May/June 2008

Quotable Viggo: 23 September 2012

With Todos Tenemos Un Plan and On the Road now running around the Festival and cinema circuit, and Two Faces of January approaching the starting blocks (I've been watching too much Olympics...) I thought that this week I'd do another round-up of Viggo's comments on acting. Amongst other gems, there are some insights into how he started 'pretending to be someone else', what inspires him, thoughts on blockbusters and how best to prepare for a role.

© TeleShow/Infobae.

"There aren't that many good scripts, and as long as I find work and don't lack money, I'm never going to make a film, not in Argentina, or in Poland, not anywhere, if I don't like the story."

Viggo Mortensen
Soledad Villamil - Viggo Mortensen: Brothers In Arms
By Nazareno Brega - translated by Ollie and Zoe
29 August 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

"Every film capable of "seducing" me, as it had already happened with On the Road, represents a stage in my development as an actor", says the actor. "But also as writer, painter, editor, poet and photographer. Although I can no longer separate my interests one from the other."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: Interpreting the soul of Freud
By Giovanna Grassi
Sette Magazine ? translated by Ollie

"Acting is something that when it goes well it's the easiest and most enjoyable job you could imagine. But when it doesn't go well it's embarrassing and terrible and there's no way to solve a problem when you're in the middle of shooting a film."

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

"People talk about Method actors, meaning someone that's prepared very, very well, or whatever they mean when they talk about it. But the right method is whatever works for you. And what works for me on any given day is going to be different. It's going to depend on things like, does the director, or do the other people involved, want to rehearse? Do they believe in rehearsing? How do they rehearse? Do they like to improvise or not? How do they want to shoot the scene? Is it all one master, or is it bits and pieces? What kind of character am I playing? Does he talk a lot, or does he not talk much? Do people speak quickly? There are so many factors. If you have only one way of doing it, you're selling yourself short and depriving yourself of a fuller experience, and possibly of delivering better work to the director, to use as raw material in building a story."

Viggo Mortensen
Tasha Robinson
The Onion, 2004

"If I've learned anything these past years it's that everyone is in some way your superior. Every movie I've made has confirmed the fact that this is a team sport."

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

"When I saw Death in Venice, by Visconti, I had a big shock. It is one of the movies that has really inspired me. I saw it again recently, it's a little dated, especially the flashbacks, but still ... That mixture of beauty and sadness ... And also the performance of Dirk Bogarde is so extraordinary! Its impact on me has been enormous."

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002

Mortensen?.never had any overwhelming desire to jump into anyone else's skin. Instead, he drifted into it ? prompted, in part, by an experience he had in Denmark when he was 21.

"When I was a volunteer at the Winter Olympics, I met this woman who asked me if I would go and look after her elderly parents in Sweden for three weeks. They were in their nineties, and they lived miles from anywhere. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life. Every morning, the old man would write a letter to the king explaining why he couldn't pay his taxes. The wife was obsessed with Björn Borg and with playing bridge. She would insist that I play with her, even though I had no idea of the rules. Also, you need four people to play bridge, of course.

"Every night we would sit down and pretend to play. We had imaginary partners and she would deal out the hands. I never had any idea of what I was meant to do, none at all. It was totally crazy, but it was one of the first times I had to try to pretend to be someone else and in an odd sort of way I found it fulfilling."

Viggo Mortensen
By John Preston
Seven Magazine
The Telegraph
11 February 2012

'I've never been offered comedy and don't know why. But sometimes I subtly slip ironic touches into my roles.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006

"I am an old romantic, and I love costume movies. Elizabeth is my favourite."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy),May 2007

"Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories."

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

"I'm glad when people like the work I've done and a little recognition is not a bad thing. The only problem is when you're recognized a lot. Then you can't sit at a table or walk down the street without people looking at you. I want to be the one looking at people. That's my research. I live to be a fly on the wall, soaking up everything and anything."

Superstar Viggo's a serious soul at heart
by Cindy Pearlman,
Chicago Sun Times
9 Sept 2007

Have you ever thought what you would say if you won an Oscar?

Thank you.

El Mundo Webchat With Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 November 2011

Quotable Viggo: 16 September 2012

Last week I said it would be a very long Quotable if I hadn't confined myself to fellow actors who have been Viggo-tized. Well ? everyone loved it so much that this week I thought I'd pull together some of the quotes from everyone else. Some are oldies but goodies and as I never tire of reading them I'm sure you will enjoy them again, too.

© New Line Productions Inc.

'People say that all the time, but with Viggo, it's really true. And all that stuff they say about him - "No-Ego Viggo,' "he's not a star, he's an actor,' - that is so true. He's such a class act.'

John Fusco
Viggo, Ego and Hidalgo
By Brett Buckalew
FilmStew.com, 2004

'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

"For me, Viggo is one of the heroes of the film and a personal hero, in that he's a great friend and someone I admire in his approach to making the film.'

Barrie Osborne (LotR Producer)
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003

'Viggo is one of the pillars supporting The Road. I´d say he is everything. I have seldom seen an actor so dedicated, so ambitious and so ready for his work. Mortensen immersed himself in the project to the extent of giving all. He placed inconceivable demands on himself. After every take he would look me in the eyes and say: Have we got it? He's been a lesson in professionalism and comradeship.'

Javier Aguirresarobe (cinematographer)
On the Road with Javier Aguirresarobe
by Blanca J de la Hoz
February 2010

Mortensen ? an intriguing man, serene and philosophical ? spoke during our interview with such tender sincerity about the two characters and their unremitting and inexpressibly vital bond that it seems clear that he has invested a large but vulnerable part of his soul into his performance. I don't care that this sounds indulgent because there is something about this film, this novel, something so pure, so intrinsically human that forces one to shove aside smart-arsed scepticism and just marvel ? humbled ? at so crucial and compelling a message.

Dan Hollis
May 2010

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

Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
24 November 2009

Getting to know him has been a gift from life. During the shooting of Alatriste, he behaved like a true gentleman; he not only made the movie, but he also did many more things. He is a 100% professional, a superb actor.

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Portrait - A Good Friend
By Agustín Díaz Yanes - translated for V-W by Graciela
El Mundo
20 November 2009

He doesn't need to wield a sword to be recognized. For those who can see beyond that, his personality stands out from the rest with no need of spotlights. He has his own light.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

'I especially enjoyed working with our cast, particularly Viggo and Ryo, both of whom I hope to someday get a chance to work with again if the Fates should allow it. I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince.'

Richard Clabaugh, Cinematographer for American Yakuza

'Viggo is one of the few people I've worked with who, I feel, is a true kindred spirit. From the moment we first met - when I was casting The Reflecting Skin in Los Angeles - it was as if we'd known each other all our lives.'

Philip Ridley at the Tokyo International Film Festival
From "The American Dreams: Two Screenplays by Philip Ridley'
Methuen 1997

'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

Q: Aren't you scared to work with an actor like Viggo?

A: Of course, I'm scared. I'm anxious. I'm looking forward to it. I'd love to start it right now.

Vicente Amorim (Director)
Rede CBN radio interview
3 June 2006
Translated by Claudia

"He's... completely devoted to the project. He was always there. We worked him a lot more than we should have. He never complained, and he was there dawn to dusk and beyond. He's largely responsible for making that whole aspect of this really work. He's really amazing."

Joe Johnston
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004

"I love Viggo - it really is a collaboration," Cronenberg says. "It's like a marriage. You might see two people together and not understand why they are, but they know. We know. We feel we can get the best out of each other."

Viggo's 'Promises'
By Sara Stewart
New York Post
26 Aug 2007

'Viggo! Viggo! I chant in my head, my heart racing faster, fever burning, face flushed with anticipation. Then it dawns on me. I'm a freakin' journalist, for Chrissakes?

Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah
By Michelle Devereaux
Totonto International Film Festival
September 2006

When rumour had it that Captain Alatriste had returned, even the roe deer of Vegarada rushed to receive him. And the young ladies from the place, being dressed in all their finery, intoned that famous Leonese "jota"(tr. note: popular Spanish dance and music): "Even the ends of my petticoat/ are telling you/ do not leave. Do not leave/ stay here/ even the ends of my apron.'

Viggo returning to Leon after filming
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

"Oh wow. It's Viggo," says the "Dorian Gray" star. The observation was understated -- no hoots, hollers or autograph mania here. But the surprise was unmistakable as a publicist escorted the handsome British star down a corridor at Toronto's Intercontinental Hotel.

"You sound impressed," the woman comments, hurrying the 28-year-old actor off to another interview.

"Sure I'm impressed," Barnes smiles broadly. "That's Viggo Mortensen!"

Ben Barnes spots Viggo at Toronto
Constance Droganes
12 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 9 September 2012

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...

© New Line Productions Inc.

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

Quotable Viggo: 2 September 2012

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.

©New Line Cinema

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
Channel4.com 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

©Focus Features

...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

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