Quotable Viggo 2019

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Quotable Viggo: 13 July 2019

It's a long time since we had a Lord of the Rings Quotable and I was thinking – what would the films have been without Viggo? A bit like the book without Aragorn, I imagine. Ignoring the fact that no one else could have embodied Aragorn the way Viggo did, can you imagine the shoot without Viggo's extraordinary work ethic, his friendship and care for all those around him, his deep research into all things Tolkien? In the same way that Aragon did his best to look after and inspire the Fellowship, Viggo became the natural leader of the cast, his energy, thoughtfulness and sheer grit taking them all gracefully through very difficult shooting conditions.



© New Line Productions Inc.


'Viggo came late to the project, but he brought a dedication and an understanding of the role that became an example, particularly to the younger cast members. You have to remember that this was Orlando Bloom's first movie. Not only was Viggo valuable in his performance, but he was valuable as a leader of the cast.'

Barrie Osborne
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire
December 2004




"It's interesting, because Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 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. 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




Instead of the standard luxury lodging demanded by most stars on set, Viggo and co-star Orlando Bloom shared a converted bus while filming Rings. Viggo stocked the bus with a wine cellar and wallpapered the inside with candid behind-the-scenes photos. A source on the set said the bus was the site of frequent cast parties, with the motto, "Everyone is welcome, but when it's time to go, get out!"

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star
23 December 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
2003




Mortensen's humility and generosity turned his Rings co-stars into some of his biggest fans. They tell you of the time when a snowstorm shut down production. The cast was being transported to safety when Mortensen seized a four-wheel drive vehicle and drove back to the set in order to save the hobbits' four-feet-tall scale doubles from getting snowbound.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




"At the end of shooting one day, we went out and had a drink and Viggo was just so encouraging of everybody he'd worked with, including the extras. He always had a kind word to say to everyone. And I don't know anyone who has a bad word to say about him. He bought flowers for all the extras on one incredibly rainy day. He was just really generous with his time but he never talked himself up. He's quite shy about talking about his own achievements. They were really lucky they got him for this. He kind of makes the film for me."

Jed Brophy
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"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
Shortlist.com




"I read an article that said, 'Finally, someone's found the niche for Viggo Mortensen: the rugged hero who has a deep intellect and a great humanity. That's what Aragorn is, because Viggo has brought that to it. He's very like that as a human being."

Bernard Hill
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003




"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




He hadn't read 'Lord of the Rings' at all when he came to the project. By the end of it all I think Viggo knew more about Tolkien and his context than anybody else on the whole production. He read absolutely everything there was - every critical book there was to lay hands on. He doesn't do things by halves!

Jude Fisher
Q&A at Book Signing
The Science Museum, London
November 8, 2003
Published with permission from Ian Smith




'In many ways I realized no matter how much I researched and drew from that, in the end my best resource and closest thing to what we were going through as characters was what we were going through as people."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West
5 January 2004




'Ultimately, you create your own luck. Fate does step in. When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand. Viggo, in hindsight, was the one person who was perfect for this film.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire
December 2004




"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 (Producer)
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




"In a story like Lord of the Rings, whether the Ring and Sauron are evil is incidental to me. Even if we were not to get the Ring anywhere near Mount Doom. Even if we all died. It doesn't really matter," Mortensen says. "It's the fact that everybody got together and decided to go on this trip. That's the thing. That's the miracle."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"I felt I had to do other things than just act,' he says. 'That's why The Lord of The Rings answered my desires. There was art, poetry and acting all in one role. Even if I live to be 100, I'll never forget the thrill and the memory."

Viggo Mortensen
I've Loved All My Leading Ladies
by Garth Pearce,
Now magazine, 2002



Quotable Viggo: 7th July 2019

Viggo is now deep into editing ‘Falling’. Finally he has complete control of the finished look and performances of a film he is in after years of submitting ‘unfinished pictures’, as he described the actor’s lot in 2002. So I was thinking - which films and performances does Viggo like to watch? We know that going to the cinema as a young man nudged him towards acting because he wanted to discover just how cinema magic was woven. But it's not all Dreyer, Bergman and Pasolini...



Image Emma McIntyre.
© Getty Images.



'….I went to see films with my mother when I was a child. Towards twenty, I lived for a year close to London, and I went to a cinema which only showed classics. I discovered Bergman, Ozu, Pasolini, Dreyer ... It was a revelation.'

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




"I started thinking about acting about a year before I actually tried it," he says. "I just started watching movies in a different way, not just as entertainment. I started to really think about the ones that got to me, the ones that transported me so that, when I walked out of the theater, I'd be surprised. I'm really not in the desert? Or the 18th century? And I started to wonder what's the trick, how does a movie do that to you, technically? I wanted to try and figure that out."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Two Faces of January,' LOTR and what his movies teach him
By Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
21 September 2014




'I discovered [The Passion of Joan of Arc] when I was 20. I didn't know very much about movies, I wasn't even an actor: I wasn't yet measuring all of Dreyer's esthetic innovation and radicalism, but it still had a crazy effect on me. The story, the way it's told, but especially her, Falconetti: her modern way of acting, her immediacy. Whatever moment you're watching the film, she's there.'

Viggo talking about Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc
"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014




He opens a large cardboard box at his feet. There are about a dozen books... all are published by Perceval, a small press he runs with a partner. Then he pulls out a DVD of The Passion of Joan of Arc, a 1928 silent movie. He informs me that the original negative was destroyed in a fire, and that the filmmaker died believing his masterwork had been obliterated. But a complete version was found in a closet in a Norwegian mental institution in the early 1980s and was restored.

"You published this too?" I ask.

"Nah," he says. "You should just see it."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




"The real trigger for me was the film that everyone was talking about when I was twenty: The Deer Hunter, particularly Meryl Streep. What an inspiration! All the actors in that movie are amazing, no doubt; but there's something about Meryl Streep in that movie that makes me identify with her. I don't know why, something mysterious that you can't put your finger on, but which haunts you deeply, and for a long time..."

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




'Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Jessica Lange in Frances, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata, Anna Magnani... All of these roles have something indiscreet, indecent. You don't necessarily need to go through a series of tearful or hysterical scenes, it can be very sober and minimal, but this impression of seeing "inside" the person remains. This exposing of emotions touched me and inspired me very much.'

"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014




"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




It should come as no surprise to learn that Mortensen is an admirer of Greta Garbo, the "I vant to be alone" diva, and also John "The Duke" Wayne, star of Howard Hawks' Red River, a classic western and one of Mortensen's favourites.

"I just think John Wayne was wonderful, and I'm not looking at him as just this icon," said the chisel-jawed actor, a study in seriousness behind innocent blue eyes.

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004




"I like Missouri Breaks. And Red River, a case, as in this movie, where most of the main actors are not known as "western" actors. Montgomery Clift had basically never done a movie, much less a western, and he's an urban easterner. He comes out stepping smack in the middle of John Wayne's turf, and working for Howard Hawks, he must have been a little nervous, I'm sure. But he did a great job. I think he pushed Wayne into giving my favorite Wayne performance."

An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008




'I think I insulted [Warren Robertson] one time, unintentionally, but he knew what I meant. The teacher had talked about a certain movie, I think it was a movie with Montgomery Clift... I can't remember. But anyway, I went to see it, and I remember saying, you know, "I learned as much from that movie as probably a month of going to class..."'

Viggo talking about his time at the Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop
Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995




'I'd call my mom, and she'd say, "How are you doing?" "Oh, fine." "What have you guys been doing?" "Well, Henry and I watched all three Godfather films. He didn't care for the third one, but he liked the first two." And she'd say, "Isn't he a little young for that?" "No, he can handle it.'

Viggo Mortensen: Grilled
By Steve Pond
The Wrap
25 November 2009




"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




Are there special actors or movies that influenced you as a lad/young man?

(to do interview via email is a classic horror scenario because of the often very short answers, for example to a question like this. But Viggo Mortensen begins his answer with "Among others" and then mentions 88 movies and 63 actors. Very kindly he points out that nothing must be edited away. All mentioned, nobody forgot. )

Euroman Interview
11 August 2015




He tries... never to watch the same film twice. "You can spend your whole life looking at movies made outside the United States [alone] and never see them all," he marvels. There is at least one exception to this rule, however: Adam Sandler's 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, which he will watch any day, any time. The very mention of it makes him launch into his own Sandler imitation, which isn't half bad. "It's just one of those charmed movies," he says.

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005



Quotable Viggo: 22 June 2019

A friend recently described Viggo to me as ‘seductive’ and they weren’t just talking about how he looks. In films he’s been described as seductive playing everything from Satan to Freud, so what is it about Viggo that really draws everyone in? His looks certainly do, as does his extraordinary acting but there is something more. Viggo’s interesting take on it is that the most seductive characteristic anyone can have is honesty and there is a deep truthfulness and authenticity in everything he does which really resonates with people. I think Diane Lane hits the nail on the head in the last quote when she says that “he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets”.



© Libertad Digital.


Are you are aware of being very seductive?

"Only when I get into a character. And only if I believe in it myself."

By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




[In Captain Fantastic] Mortensen infuses Ben with his own seductive temperament, while giving him a steely, patriarchal edge.

Ann Hornaday
The Washington Post
3 June 2016




"There are actors whose performances come as light emanating from the screen. Then there's Mortensen. His effect is gravitational. It draws you closer, inward."

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing the film at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post Film Critic




He is Hollywood’s most appealing man probably because he is Hollywood’s least threatening man. He is paternal but not patronizing; he possesses strength without aggression. Even in his most violent scenes, the tension builds but Mortensen rarely acts on it until necessary — like a judo master, he seems able to take another’s energy and flip it to his advantage. You desire him, but he doesn’t set out to seduce. He is one of the few actors for whom the female gaze has been possible (the shock of seeing a naked man on the screen only exists because it is still so rare). 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




Viggo Mortensen, however, is that rare American actor who is both muscular and humane, tough and sensitive, fighter and lover. He seduces us with a threat of danger, his chiseled Nordic physique and stunning blue eyes.

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Road
By Anne Thompson
Indie Wire
13 September 2004




Viggo Mortensen is an extraordinarily beautiful man. But his handsome features are merely a suggestion of the tremendous sensitivity and resonant spirit that inform his inner self. 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




He’s a star who doesn’t act like a star, yet everyone in his orbit feels his power.

Joe Morgenstern
Wallstreet Journal
7 July 2016




As for Viggo Mortensen, whilst one always appreciates the power from his eyes and his physical presence, here, his capacity to invest total honesty into this impressive man who tries never to lie to his child even as he feels his life-force disappearing, is prodigious.

The Road
Hervé Deplasse
Brazil Magazine (French)
December Issue 2009




Is Viggo Mortensen the most interesting man in the world?

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 2016




...while he’s clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self. It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor.

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 2016




David Cronenberg said that when he first met you to talk about A History Of Violence, his goal was "to seduce Viggo". How did he go about it?

He was honest. I think the most seductive or interesting thing is when people are honest.

In Conversation With Viggo Mortensen
Dorian Lynskey
Empire
March 2008
Empire




All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph




"...as an actor you can't wish to work with anyone more truthful and more honest than him. He brings an incredible pathos to the role, and I was so pleased to be doing scenes with him."

Sean Bean
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003


Quotable Viggo: 16 June 2019

Watching Green Book last night, now the Blu-ray has finally been released in the UK (yay!), I found myself wondering at some point what my favourite review quote was. There is always one that lodges itself permanently in my memory for every film because I read through them so often. They are usually full of stonking great praise for Viggo’s acting, but they really stick in my mind because are clever, quirky and sometimes downright funny. Though Mark Kermode’s makes the list just because it is probably the best thing anyone said about Viggo ever. I know you will enjoy reading them again and maybe some of them are your favourites too?



© Universal.


Green Book

Mortensen, plump as a mortadella, doesn’t so much transcend the ethnic clichés of the role as chew through them, emerging into a zone of vaudevillian poetry.

By A O Scott
New York Times
15 November 2018



Captain Fantastic

He looks like the kind of guy who, yes, would worship Noam Chomsky, but he also looks like the kind of guy who would eat him for breakfast. It’s the ruggedly paradoxical, gentle-but-brute presence of Viggo Mortensen, more than anything else, that makes “Captain Fantastic” a twisting Rubik’s Cube of blue and red.

Owen Gleiberman
Variety
13 July 2016



Jauja

“Jauja” is also thrillingly beautiful, and graced with Mortensen, who seizes the imagination even when he’s sniffing horse manure.

Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
18 March 2015




Two Faces of January

Viggo Mortensen surely wasn't just cast because he's a great actor; it's because no one can rock a 1960s cream linen suit quite like him.

Leigh Singer
IGN.com
19 May 2014



Todos Tenemos Un Plan

If you, for some reason, want to watch Viggo Mortensen watching Viggo Mortensen take a bath, then, my friend, your luck is in – as the renowned star of The Lord of the Rings franchise turns in one of the finest performances of his career, taking on the role(s) of identical twins in Ana Piterbarg’s intense, if somewhat unfulfilling drama Everybody Has a Plan.

Stefan Pape
Heyuguys.co.uk
28 May 2013



On the Road

Viggo Mortensen, priceless in Old Bull Lee / William Burroughs, highly intelligent and completely smoky.

Norbert Creutz
Le Temps
26 May 2012



A Dangerous Method

Viggo Mortensen has so much on-screen magnetism, he'll probably destroy the credit cards of anyone sitting in the first 10 rows.

Wallace Bain
Santa Cruz Sentinel
25 January 2012



The Road

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

Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
24 November 2009



Appaloosa

Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008



Good

There’s a new Viggo Mortensen movie out and all is right with the world. It’s called Good and, as usual, he gives a mesmerising performance.

Jeffrey Lyons
Reel Talk
December 2008



Eastern Promises

Mortensen, with his slicked back pile of steely dark grey hair making his violin-like face look even longer, provides an unassailable core of authenticity and empathy throughout this often ludicrous film. He’s a master of minimalism – what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses. But a long, naked fight sequence? You’ve got to admire his balls. And now you can.

Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman
18 October 2007



Alatriste

Just seeing him stand there, his face half-obscured by a tattered black hat, his sculpted frame offset by a long cloak worn over the shoulders — it's no wonder Maria looks as though she's ready for cardiac arrest every time he appears.

Kaori Shoji
Japan Times
11 December 2008



A History of Violence

Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005



Hidalgo

It takes a thoroughbred star like Mortensen to make the bond between man and horses believable, and to keep Hidalgo from straying too far into fields of corn.

From hobbits to horses
Jennie Punter
The Globe and Mail
5 March 2004



The Lord of the Rings

This is Return of the King though, and Viggo is that king… Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

ROTK
Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003


Quotable Viggo: 8 June 2019

After last week’s Loin Des Hommes Quotable I’ve been musing about Viggo’s ability to make a film in just about any language on earth, including one that isn’t actually spoken by humans (elvish). Is there no end to his talents? Well, no, much to the consternation of every journalist on the planet.



© 4L Productions.


Is there a language Viggo Mortensen doesn't speak?

Jill Lawless
Associated Press
2 September 2014




Viggo Mortensen can do anything. Until recently, that wasn't true. We could all look at him and think, "Yeah sure, but can he speak French?" The answer was no, and our world had a modicum of balance. Now it turns out that answer was yes, and we are all ****ed.

Evan Saathoff
Badassdigest.com
25 August 2014




Viggo Mortensen is one of those people. You probably sat near one in high school, or have one on your floor at work. Good looking, effortlessly talented across a range of fields, just so perfect at everything you want to run them down with your car.

Because he probably had time between art exhibitions, dashing off a book of poetry and ridding Middle Earth of Sauron, the man has managed to become fluent in more than a half-dozen languages.

Viggo entertains in evil twin role
Cris Kennedy
29 June 2013




He's like a one-man United Nations. As well as speaking about eleventy billion languages, Mortensen has made films all over the world and unites the film industries of Spain, the US and Middle-earth.

The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars
Empire Magazine
October 201
3



Kateb and Mortensen put in utterly convincing performances, the latter showing that he can act in about five different languages.

Loin des Hommes review
Jo-Ann Titmarsh
Hey U Guys
1 September 2014




Whereas some actors have yet to master their native tongue, in this touchingly humane performance, Mortensen convincingly adds French to the already impressive list of languages he can speak onscreen — a list that includes English, Elvish ("The Lord of the Rings"), Danish ("Jauja"), Spanish ("Alatriste") and Lakota ("Hidalgo"), for those keeping track.

Loin Des Hommes review
Peter Debruge
Variety
30 August 2014




"...he has a musical ear for languages."

David Cronenberg
Mortensen, director discuss their noirish Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007




"I had days where I was only speaking Russian, and David was like, 'Jesus I didn't realize I was making a foreign film!'

Viggo Mortensen
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




So how many tongues has he used onscreen?

"Lakota, Elvish -- two kinds of Elvish -- Dwarvish, Arabic, French, Danish, Russian," he listed. "I think I spoke Swedish one time, German, Spanish."

It's possible he may have left out one or two.

Jill Lawless
Associated Press
2 September 2014




"For our love scenes, he would come to me the night before and say he wanted to change all the lines to the Elvish language. He was trying to make that connection stronger, and I thought it was beautiful that they'd speak Elvish to each other because it adds a layer to their history that you wouldn't otherwise see."

Liv Tyler
Mellow Warrior
By Anthony Breznican
South Coast Today
15 December 2003




The Empire Icon award this year went to the disgustingly multitalented Viggo Mortensen, who speaks more languages than God...

Jameson Empire Award Winners Announced!
Helen O'Hara
Empire Online
30 March 2009




Viggo Mortensen isn't just a celebrity, as you're probably aware. He isn't even just a fine actor. He's also a painter, a poet and a photographer, and he makes records, too, often in collaboration with Buckethead, the masked wizard guitarist. In addition, he's also conversant in half a dozen languages — yet another body blow to an interviewer's self-esteem. But I soldiered on.

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road,'
By Kurt Loder
MTV.com
25 November 2009




"Now, Viggo, you speak seven languages, you write poetry in three languages, Danish, Spanish and English, you ride horses superbly and you're a great swordsman and all our womenfolk are in love with you… do you understand how annoying you are?"

Radio interview with Richard Glover
ABC Sydney
24 March 2009




Viggo, I heard you're fluent in English, Danish and Spanish, conversational in French and Italian AND you can also understand some Norwegian and Swedish. That's seven languages with which I can woo your beard, and I like those odds because your beard makes me want to write sonnets.

Be Mine Beard: Viggo Mortensen Edition
Sarah Dawley
fora.mtv.ca
19 February 2014


Quotable Viggo: 25 May 2019

This week I’m looking back at a film which, alas, I still haven’t seen because there is no version with English subtitles for Region 2 (and why not?) – Loin Des Hommes. This is a film which Viggo was very eager to make. It’s also one for which he requested a long preparation time, so determined was he to deliver convincing French and Arabic. Arabic, of course, was a new language for Viggo and he worked hard to create the correct regional dialect. Although fluent in French he then had to take the Québécois edge off it. Unsurprisingly it was David Oelhoffen who came up with one of my favourite quotes about Viggo: ‘...it’s difficult for things to go wrong when you work with Viggo Mortensen.’



© One World Films.


In “Far From Men,” Viggo Mortensen, his sharply planed face weathered and solemn, plays a man who looks as if he were quarried right out of the hard red-rock earth.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
30 April 2015




…it’s a face that paints a thousand unknown memories)...

filmuforia
1 September 2014




‘I had dreamed of bringing Viggo Mortensen on board; his singularity made him the perfect fit for the role.’

Director David Oelhoffen
labiennale.org
21 August 2014




‘I’d seen him in a Spanish film called Captain Alatriste and I knew he could speak perfect Spanish. I didn’t know he could speak any language on earth, but I always had his face in my mind for this character, it actually helped me to write the script.’

2015 Tribeca Film Festival Interview: David Oelhoffen
By Lia Fietza
Indiwood
25 April 2015




‘It was one of the easiest decisions I ever had as far as accepting a part. I felt fortunate that it had been offered to me.’

Viggo Mortensen
More Than a Movie: ‘Far from Men’ Tells Important Human Story
By David Onda
Xfinity
24 April 2015




How long did it take you to master the French and Arabic?

I think I worked a lot. I worked for months and in Spain, where I live, I found someone who was from North Africa, and he helped me a lot. I looked at the whole script, and I made sure I could say it all in Arabic and made sure it was Arabic from that region.

Venice: Viggo Mortensen Talks Mastering New Languages
by Ariston Anderson
Hollywood Reporter
2 September 201
4



…Is there nothing he cannot do?

Paul Byrnes
Sydney Morning Herald
31 July 2015




‘Sometimes I asked people I met on the street [in Algiers] or in the cafes about things that could help me to finish building the character in the film we are soon going to shoot in the Atlas mountains. Specific things about phrases or historical references in our script - trying out my very limited Arabic vocabulary, mixed with the French that I'm refining for the shoot - but in general just seeking out human contact, to go along touching, even if it was only ephemeral brushing against, the history of the many cultures that have passed through this city.’

Viggo on preparing to film while in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 October 2013




We always thought with Viggo Mortensen that Daru’s character was very close to Camus himself, a Camus who would have stayed in Algeria, with no Nobel prize and literary success, a Camus who would have become a teacher.

Interview: ‘Far From Men’ Director David Oelhoffen
Fliks
by Steve Newall
13 October 2015




‘[Daru’s] lived with the ugly side of people and has decided to distance himself from everything - violence, corruption, conflict, the evil side of things. He wants to do good, teaching Arab children to read. I understand that impulse, but no one can flee forever because life is finally going to seek us out.’

Viggo Mortensen: "Camus has the ability to plunge into the grey areas"
By José Manuel Cuéllar - translated by Ollie and Zoe
ABC.es - Hoy Cinema
2 October 2015




“...the landscape pushed us together, and we're really small... I like that David chose to do several shots where we're so small, that you really have to look, even on a big screen -- we're that tiny -- when we're leaving the school...”

Viggo Mortensen
TIFF Q&A – transcribed by Topaz
14 September 2014




Nobody moseys like Viggo Mortensen. In The Road, Appaloosa, Jauja, and the new French Western Far From Men, the erstwhile Aragorn masters the tricky art of being a figure in the landscape. When it comes to traipsing either purposefully or desperately across the widescreen frame, he’s several lengths ahead of the competition...

Adam Nayman
AV Club
30 April 2015




Viggo Mortensen is terrific as Daru. He shows the conflicts of a principled man living in an unprincipled time, almost exclusively through minor shifts of his face and eyes. Few actors can say as much as he can by saying little.

Dana Lemaste
Thinking Cinema
25 April 2015




Mortensen has a heroic presence but he is also unafraid of conveying an almost feline grace. There are moments in this film when he reminded me of the young Gary Cooper, and of Steve McQueen, two other actors who convincingly integrated sensuality and masculinity. These are qualities he shares with Kateb, and when they are together on screen their interaction is absolutely riveting.

Christos Tsiolkas
The Saturday Paper
31 July 2015




“It’s the kind of story that you can transpose to many places in the world right now,” says Mortensen. “These two people seem so different and so unlikely to be able to carry on a conversation, much less become friends, but it is possible, only it takes a certain amount of patience and a degree of forgetting oneself, and to really, really listen to someone else.”

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
Tobias Grey
The Financial Times
27 March 2015



Quotable Viggo: 19 May 2019

This week's Quotable is a round-up of reporters' first encounters with Viggo. Some are thoughtful, some quirky and witty, all giving their impressions of meeting a man who is just as likely to turn up with a gift of chocolates and talk about the latest book he's read, as actually get down to answering their questions directly. Some are clearly awed by the encounter, and maybe more than a little seduced…



© Hey U Guys.


Meeting the Madrid-based poet, actor, photographer, editor and publisher in this place and under these circumstances feels something akin to encountering an albino bison in a veal pen. He seems to be a soul meant to wander the earth in search of universal truth, not discuss Hobbit movies over canapés with journalists.

On interviewing Viggo in a posh hotel
Dr. No: Viggo Mortensen Has Made Turning Down Roles Into an Art Form
By Oliver Jones
The Observer
6 July 2016




Viggo Mortensen is pressing me to eat a croissant from a large basket sitting on a table in front of him. It is certainly the right hour for them – most actors would draw the line at 8.30am interviews – but whoever imagined that arthouse cinema's most visibly rugged outdoors man would start his day with effete French pastries? This is the man whose chosen set souvenir from Lord of the Rings was his horse! He looks relieved when I take one; nobody need now be embarrassed.

Viggo Mortensen gets dirty to play a 'wolf dad' in Captain Fantastic
By Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
2 September 2016




Viggo Mortensen has come bearing pancake mix. We are curbside at the tiny airport in Syracuse, New York, on a truly dreary day (even by Syracuse standards), and within seconds of hopping into his rented Ford Fusion, I learn two things about him: He's the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport, and he's the kind of guy who brings presents. Pancake mix is a delicacy in upstate New York. "Do you like maple syrup?" Because he brought me some of that, too. He's prepared a gift bag.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016




In the flesh, his inscrutability gives off an electric hum. He is soberly dressed - grey suit, sensible shirt - and speaks in hushed, gravelly tones. If you didn't know, and of course you do, you might mistake Mortensen for a visiting academic or a writer.

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




He… presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

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




Barefoot and clad in a pair of sweats that have seen better days, Viggo Mortensen walks over to introduce himself. His hands and arms are covered with names and phone numbers he has scribbled on himself after checking his answering machine. And his hair is tousled and flecked with tiny bits of paint. None of this can hide Mortensen's deadly good looks.

Viggo Artist & Actor
By Jae-Ha Kim
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Los Angeles, CA 1 April 1999




'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




I'm a middle-aged father of two and I'm sitting in Wellington's Duxton Hotel eyeing Viggo Mortensen's bum. If a man's wife tells him often enough what a privilege it is to meet Mortensen, what physical perfection he is, what a sex god, this is what happens.

To thine own self be true
By Guy Somerset
NZ Listener
6-12 June 2009




Barefoot, carrying a coffee plunger of water and sporting a United Nations badge on his jacket, Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen wandered into his own press conference as though he were planning to sit on the back lawn.

A Barefoot Viggo Lords It Over The Fans
By James Gardiner
New Zealand Herald
29 November 2003




Viggo Mortensen stacks his case and suit protector neatly in the corner of the room. The precision of the movement is entirely in keeping with an angular formation of razor cheekbones and sharp suit. We probably shouldn't be surprised the Danish-American-Argentine has this travelling thing down.

The Mad Men
Tara Brady
The Irish Times
10 February 2012




If you were to analyse a Mortensen interview, you might conclude that Viggo is keen on deflection. He's certainly happier asking questions rather than answering them, and talking about his friends rather than his work in A Dangerous Method

Interview: Viggo Mortensen, actor
Scotsman.com
9 February 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




An encounter with Viggo is sitting on a porch, drinking a bombilla of mate and watching time pass in such a way that every now and then new reflections, inquiries, ways of looking at things arise. It can take a whole season. Watching many skies pass by.

River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




Following the press Q&A, as he left the stage, he paused, looked at the huge 'Viggo Mortensen' image on the screen behind him, and said, 'You spelled my name wrong…' There was a horrified moment as the organisers checked in panic – then he smiled, 'No, just kidding….'

Viggo after accepting the Coolidge Award in Boston
Greendragon posting on TORn
6 March 2012

Quotable Viggo: 12 May 2019

One thing I admire about Viggo (amongst several hundred others) is that he really does try to live in the moment. Maybe it’s his insatiable curiosity, maybe it’s the fact that he’s always been aware that life it short, but paying attention to the moment, enjoying it or learning from it, maybe recording it, has always been his way. It’s the springboard of his creativity but it’s also why he is such a present and powerful force, influencing and drawing in everyone who meets him.



© Getty Images.


“We may not know why we’re here, or where we’re going after we die, but if you’re here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think.”

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008




Mortensen likes sotto voce details; he gives his attention to instants that would otherwise have passed by unobserved, or more significantly, unregistered - things that in a literal sense were simply there for him because he was there for them - things that would have easily passed by as all else passes by, as we ourselves finally do.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




Where are you from?

At the moment I’m from here.

Viggo Mortensen - Man of the Week
By Einar Falur - translated by Ragga
Morgunblaðið
30 May 2008




Viggo extracts a big moleskin notebook from his backpack, like a naturalist's notebook, a logbook, in which he notes down his thoughts and everything that passes through his mind with a big, tangled handwriting like the rigging of a schooner.

River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




‘In October, I got caught in a snowstorm in Lapland. I lost the trail and had to find some place to hide. I was out there on my own for a couple of days. I was worried but managed to find shelter and make a fire. It’s really not about where you are, but how you are. I can get annoyed or say, “OK, this is where I am. I don’t have any choice at the moment. Let’s make the most of it.”’

Viggo Mortensen’s Travelling Life
By Nick McGrath
The Telegraph
10 April 2015




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

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




“Life is so short! I tell myself frequently to “Go slow to go fast”, to remind me to take my time in order to sample as many things as possible.”

Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008




“A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.”

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 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
July 2008
Source: Panorama First




What keeps you awake at night?

Yesterday and tomorrow, but I eventually fall asleep because neither exists.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010



"Great artists," writes critic Kevin Powers, "tell us the task is to train and polish the attention within the brilliance of our small shipwrecks. Viggo does that both insistently and obsessively."

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life, 2003




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

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Last edited: 10 November 2019 13:27:42