Quotable Viggo 2020


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Quotable Viggo: 24 October 2020

I'm sure we are all a wee bit thrilled that Cronenberg accepted a role in Falling and I bet he and Viggo had a great time back together with their usual roles reversed! It's ages since we had Viggo/Cronenberg 'double act' Quotable and although these are all old really chestnuts I think we could all do with a few laughs to brighten our day!

© HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.

"We both have such bad memories that neither of us could remember we had worked together," says Mr. Cronenberg. "It was only when I saw photographs that I realized."

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

"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

….exuding from [A History of Violence and A Dangerous Method] is a sense of ideal alchemy, as if the sculptured physique and the Sphinx like face of the actor were made for the dry and morally complex thrillers of the Canadian film maker.

Sans Viggo, je n'aurai pas fait ce film
Les Inrockuptibles
Serge Kanaski and Julien Gester
12 November 2007

DC: It's a total lie. I do everything, Viggo does nothing. I do all the work. But he pays me to say that he does a lot of stuff.

VM: Also to say that I'm thoughtful and considerate.

Talking Eastern Promises with David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen
By Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient!" laughs Cronenberg. "And he's got a great chin."

David Cronenberg
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

What was it that got you interested in A Dangerous Method? Was it mostly working again with Cronenberg, or the psychological theme? Or both?

Firstly, working with David Cronenberg again. Secondly, the bait that David threw my way, in the form of an elaborate system of undergarments that Sigmund Freud was reputed to have employed on some of his summer excursions deep into the Alps. They included an elaborate system of miniaturised pulleys and wires that assisted in muscular stimulation for the steeper climbs. I was allowed to wear these undergarments in all scenes whether I was climbing or not.

Viggo Mortensen
Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012

"I think my cast has great need of psychoanalysis, which is why I cast them actually, to introduce them gently to the idea that they needed help, a lot of help….And you can see they are much better people. Before they were messes. When I found them, they were neurotics, hopeless," Cronenberg said to great laughter.

Mortensen played along. "Now we dress ourselves," he retorted.

Venice Film Festival Press Conference
Cronenberg 'cures' cast in Freud-Jung drama
2 September 2011

"What I love most about David…..more so than any other director alive, is that he asks many, many questions, and with each subsequent viewing you find that there are more and more questions, but he doesn't give you any answers. He respects you enough to let you think for yourself and form your own opinions."

Viggo Mortensen
Crimes and Misdemeanours
By Phillip Berk, Filmink
October 2007

How did they work to create Mr. Mortensen's Nikolai, covered in tattoos and minimalist of motion?

"I just followed orders," deadpans Mr. Mortensen, 48. "And I just told him to do whatever he wanted," says Mr. Cronenberg, 64.

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

"In the movie," said Cronenberg, "Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

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

On the stillness in Nikolai's character:

Mr. Mortensen: "They had to freeze-frame me."

Mr. Cronenberg: "It was stop-motion. I worked him like a puppet."

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

VM: So do you think (Russian president Vladimir) Putin will like this movie?

Putin will probably love this movie.

I think he'll probably get some of my character's tattoos.

Frankly, I think he has them already.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Viggo — we hear you're a fan of horses. Is it true that you took some horses from Lord Of The Rings?

But he's a horse thief, that's why he did that. He basically had sex with all the horses in the movie. That was his way of dealing with it.

It wasn't great with every single one. But I did my best.

Cronenberg and Mortensen - Dangerous Minds
10 February 2012

First [introduced] was Ashton Holmes..."Next is fabulous, luscious.... William Hurt. Then the amazing, always surprising... Ed Harris... The startling and scintillating... Maria Bello. And finally, the really not too bad..... Viggo Mortensen!"

David Cronenberg introducing his cast at TIFF
From Topaz's account
Toronto International Film Festival

…they're as comfortable together as a pair of old shoes.

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

VM: Well, is there anything else? It's onerous to talk to me, I know.

It's torment. I actually had to take some codeine pills before we

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 17 October 2020

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

© New Line Productions Inc.

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

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

Describe Peter Jackson in three words.

A decent man.

Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn
Empire magazine
October 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Serena French
Flare magazine
January 2004

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

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

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

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston,
Premiere 2003

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

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

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

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

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

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine

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

Peter Jackson
1 December 2003

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

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

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

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

Quotable Viggo: 3 October 2020

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

Image David James.
© HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.

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

Peter DeBruge
24 January 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter DeBruge
24 January 2020

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

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

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

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

Chris Bumbray
24 January 2020

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

Luke Hicks
Film School Rejects

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

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

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

Kaleem Aftab
18 September 2020

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

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

Steve Pond
The Wrap
24 January 2020

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

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

Brittany Witherspoon
Popculture Reviews
24 January 2020

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

28 January 2020

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

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

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

John DeFour
Hollywood Reporter
24 January 2020

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

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

Quotable Viggo: 27 September 2020

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

Image Fernando Morales.
© The Globe and Mail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cerebral, spiritual, sex symbol in spite of himself.

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

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

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine

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

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

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

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

"We function very differently, especially in the way we channel our energy. He is always calm, and speaks softly. I have a more brutal side. I learned a lot from knowing him."

Vincent Cassel
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007

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

Nick Wechsler – 'The Road'
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

'Viggo is just the coolest guy. It's hard to say too much about how cool he is. If you spend enough time with people they will do something to piss you off, or that shows them to be just a normal human being, but I think Viggo does like to push himself to be just the best person he can, and that comes across. If you believe in reincarnation, he does seem to be quite far along his line. He does seem to have learned a lot of lessons, and seems quite old and wise. But he's not a serious fuddy-duddy. He'll go surfing with us, and he likes to go out at night and have some drinks.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

We like Mortensen because he shows us how to be.

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

Quotable Viggo: 13 September 2020

I loved Viggo’s comment about his flip phone in this week’s Q CBC interview. Indeed, it’s still working, so why throw it out? It’s just a functional item and Viggo has never been one to follow trends or live with his phone constantly in his hand. In some ways he is beautifully ‘old-fashioned’ in the best sense of the word. He still treasures things that our fast-paced, crazy world under-values and is increasingly leaving behind. He still believes in being in the moment without distraction, in having some silence in which to gather your thoughts, in the slower consideration of a hand-written letter, in the living experience of being in a cinema with others. It’s one of the reasons we love him, isn’t it?

Image Rich Polk.
© Getty Images for IMDb.

He's still the proud owner of a flip phone, his one Luddite pleasure (well, aside from sending postcards to friends), and is in the midst of a self-made avalanche of responsibilities: an upcoming film he's directing, a publishing house he runs, a new book of Spanish poetry he's releasing.

He knows himself: "If I added social media and Instagram and Twitter, I'd never get anything done."

Finally, an Oscar for Viggo? Mortensen shines a light on 1960s-era racism in 'Green Book'
By Andrea Mandell
USA Today
15 November 2018

“It’s still working so why throw it out?”

Viggo Mortensen on his flip phone
Q CBC Interview
12 September 2020

Viggo Mortensen, who seems only loosely tied to modern life at the best of times...

Helen O'Hara
Empire Magazine
18 August 2016

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

"…there is something to be said for being isolated and out of phone range, because you can fall into a habit to such a degree that you don’t even realise that you’ve lost something: silence."

Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men’s Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013

'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

Correspondence greatly occupied Freud and Jung. One no longer writes many letters today. Do you?

Yes, I still do. And when I do, people are surprised to receive them. It's becoming rare. Almost exotic. But I like it, yes.

Viggo Mortensen in the Shoes of Dr. Freud
By Nicolas Crousse
Le Soir – translated by Dom
4 September 2011

In our relentlessly tech-driven age, the actor, now 57, feels strongly about the importance of the written word.

"Oh yeah,'' he says. "The written word and even the handwritten word. I still send postcards. I hope that it never becomes entirely impossible to put a letter in a mailbox and have it arrive magically on the other side of the world.'' And for all its benefits, he says technology — the harmful effects of which are alluded to in the film — may be shrinking our attention spans: "Sometimes, yeah. I think people are less patient and their attention span [is shorter]. It also goes with movie going culture. It's less frequent that people will sit for two hours or three hours and watch a movie that unfolds slowly and in a complex way. Same with novels and poems. People are maybe less patient.''

Viggo Mortensen goes off the grid for film Captain Fantastic
Rosemary Neill
The Austrailian
19 August 2016

...he’s still in love with old-school cinema.

“I’m sort of old-fashioned in that I don’t think a movie is fully realized until people have paid a few bucks to go into a room and sit down together, with strangers,” he said. “I think there’s something about that that’s different. You can sort of simulate that in your house, but there’s something about the movie house, the movie theater, that I think is valuable. I hope it never completely goes away.”

How Viggo Mortensen learned to be captain of 6 kids onscreen
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
8 July 2016

"I doubt that I will ever watch a movie on a mobile phone."

A Minute with Viggo
7 October 2015

Lately, he's repaired his analog cameras and has gone back to shooting film. "Nothing against digital photography," he says, "but I love those old cameras, and I love film.”

The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018

Viggo Mortensen, Oscar-nominated star of the new film "Captain Fantastic," said he hasn't played [Pokemon Go] but his son has explained it to him and he doesn't judge it.

"When I do have a little bit of free time, there are other things that I personally would like to do (rather) than that. But I can understand it's a fad," he said. "It probably won't last forever but people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, chasing these illusions.

"But they're also having fun. There's no point in being judgmental about it. I don't have a criticism, I just think it's amusing."

25 July 2016

"I've chosen to live a certain way, and I don't want that to change," offers Mortensen by way of explanation. "I like being detached from the constant feed of phone calls and news and entertainment. So much of it is based on selling you something. If you turn on the television, if it's not the ads, it's somebody with an agenda, trying to get some political message across, or force some opinion on you. I know there are some good things on there too - The Simpsons, Sopranos, whatever - but I just feel my time is better spent reading a book, or drawing, just creating something."

Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
April 2004

I bet the guy even turns off his cell phone in movie theatres.

Movie review: The Road will rivet you
Marshall Fine
Huffington Post
25 November 2009

Quotable Viggo: 6 September 2020

After Viggo’s eyes, you’d think people would comment most about that distinctively dimpled chin, but no. It’s his cheekbones. Watching the trailer for Falling I was struck again by how chiselled his features are (I know, I was probable concentrating on the wrong thing). He has a bone structure that age will never wither. His cheekbones have been described as lemon-juicers, bookshelves, bacon slicers and arrowheads. They came most into their own in Eastern Promises where they probably should have had their own acting credit…

© Focus Features.

There is nothing fierce about him except his cheekbones.

The Brain Dane
By Ariel Leve
The Sunday Times
30 November 2003

His face is strangely feline in its geometry, heart shaped, the sharp lines of his cheekbones framing his blue eyes. Even when he is covered in dirt or sweat or blood (or sometimes all three), he’s still in possession of a dignity that few other actors can rival.

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

As Frankie, Mortensen has a plum role for an actor starting out and grabs it with both hands. Deploying that unsettling stare and those bacon-slicer cheekbones for the first time, he creates a memorably feral, seductive and unpredictable lost soul with a capacity to switch from charm to menace in an instant that brings to mind a young Kirk Douglas.

The Indian Runner (1991) Film Review
By Jeff Robson
Eye for Film
14 September 2011

Mortensen's performance is astounding. Looking a lot more like Gollum than Aragorn, he's shaggily bearded, smeared in grime and shockingly thin, with cheekbones like lemon juicers and teeth like the visual aids in a school anti-smoking lecture? Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010

Mr. Mortensen has bladelike, Slavic cheekbones, the most jutting movie chin since Kirk Douglas's and icy blue eyes that can seem soulful one minute and menacing the next. He also has a compact, chiseled physique that looks great adorned with Russian mob tattoos.

Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

He is not a man who can walk into a room unnoticed. His father, also called Viggo, is Danish, and Mortensen has inherited his northern European features - the bowed brow and arrowhead cheekbones.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald
Dorchester, UK
11 April 2004

It does not hurt that, alone among the multinational leads, he manages a persuasive Russian accent--nor that, with his extraordinary looks (those cheekbones could have been cut by a jeweler) and athlete's physique, he all but demands the camera's attention.

Reviewer talking about Eastern Promises
Christopher Orr
TNR Online

Have there ever been so many chiseled features on one big screen? You could sharpen knives with their stony cheekbones.

Reviewer talking about Appaloosa
New York Magazine
By Logan Hill
24 August 2008

Viggo Mortensen is a serious and impassioned actor whose apparent severity extends to his Nordic features: he has hard blue eyes, and a pair of cheekbones that could double as bookshelves.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......
......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004

But even his fatigue did not disguise his almost unfair handsomeness, which manifested itself in extremely chiseled cheekbones and jaw, in silky hair that fell over his forehead, and in eyes of ice-blue. Sadly, the fetching stubble and flowing hairstyle that he wears as Aragorn were absent, along with the swashbuckling cloak, but you can't have everything.

The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
Sarah Lyall
New York Times
7 September 2003
New York Times

On Monday, Viggo Mortensen stood, somewhat nervously, in Brookline to collect the ninth annual Coolidge Award, an honor that has in previous years gone to Meryl Streep and Thelma Schoonmaker for contributions to film. At the Coolidge press conference, Mortensen appeared charismatic but enigmatic, a clear reflection of the stern commitment to authenticity and humility that garnered him the award. At the same time, however, Mortensen's high cheekbones shadowed twenty years off of his age and gleamed with Tolkien's same childish voracity to absorb and preserve the richness of humanity.

The Profundity of Viggo Mortensen
By Michela Smith
Daily Free Press
8 March 2012

DC: I don't think of you as an American. As I said when we did History Of
Violence, I could tell that you were actually Russian-it's obvious from your
cheekbones. I doubt that you'll be able to play any other kind of role now.
They'll say, "You can't cast Mortensen as an American - he's so foreign?..

- I thought it was incredibly bold of me to cast you as an American in
History Of Violence.

VM: Well, yeah, but it was a twisted view of America.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 30 September 2020

It looks like Viggo and Lisandro Alonso will be working together again and making more movie magic – their last collaboration produced the incredible journey that became Jauja. And this time we even have a name before filming: Eureka. Viggo was deeply involved with the creative process in Jauja and also took on the role of Producer. For Lisandro this was the first film in which he had worked with a professional actor rather than local amateurs, and the result was so extraordinary and original that festival critics were blown away. Let's take a look back at the film and their highly creative partnership.

Image Guadalupe Gaona.
© 4L Productions.

Some months ago, unthinkable, unpredictable news appeared: the famous American (and Danish) actor, Viggo Mortensen, the one from The Lord of the Rings, would be the star of the new Lisandro Alonso film, still untitled, spoken in Danish...

The Lord of Independence
By Roger Koza - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
La Voz
7 April 2013

Few stars of his stature would consider such a low-budget arthouse film in a foreign language - let alone co-produce it, be able to act in both Spanish and Danish, and be prepared to sport such spectacularly awful whiskers.

Viggo Mortensen shows his independent side
by Demetrios Matheou
Herald Scotland
4 March 2015

Why Viggo?

For me, it was ever since I saw the film he made with Cronenberg, A History of Violence. I really liked him as an actor. Then I met him in 2006, in Toronto for the film festival, and we just spent a couple of minutes together at a party. I'd never before worked with actors, because I thought… Well, I have some wrong ideas about some of them. [Laughs] Not all of them, but some of them.

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On "Jauja," Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

… he gave me a San Lorenzo pin - he's always going around giving people those things. I liked him very much; right then I realized that we could treat one another as equals.'

Lisandro Alonso
"It´s a mixture of spaces, times and languages."
By Diego Brodersen - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Pagina 12

'He's a great actor and I'm a new guy, in terms of actor's stuff, so I think I had to sit down and learn from him. I didn't speak that much, and I think Viggo knows 100 percent how to interpret this guy.'

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On "Jauja," Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

The actor acknowledges that working with a director known for his off-the-grid methods – such as using primarily with non-professional actors – was a bit of an adjustment. "It took a little getting used to," he says. "For one scene I asked Lisandro who was doing the continuity on the set, and he asked me, 'What's that?' The way he works, he's never had to worry about things like that before."

Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
9 September 2014

'He was the first one to wake up and try to organize the crew. I really learned a lot from him. He's a worker, you know, a machine, all the time thinking good things for the project. Sometimes he was too much for me, because I was not used to that. I was used to working with people who don't know how to read or write, you just organized a little bit of the frame, and that was it. But with Viggo, you have to talk about why you wanna do that, in terms of where to put the camera and the lights, you know.'

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On "Jauja," Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015

"I´d say, [he was] thinking about the film 24 hours a day."

Lisandro Alonso
"It´s a mixture of spaces, times and languages."
By Diego Brodersen - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Pagina 12
27 October 2013

Lisandro Alonso says that, during the shoot, you'd knock on his door at 7:30 in the morning to suggest ideas to him. Are you an interventionist actor who constantly contributes ideas?

Yes, you have a limited window of time to say something that you hope lasts and you have to make the most of the opportunity. And with an open director, like Lisandro, it's much easier. He can make use of whatever he likes.

Viggo Mortensen: "People don't think of me only as Aragorn."
By Àlex Montoya - translated by Ollie and Zoe
23 September 2014

'We didn't have much film. We were shooting it on real film and we had a limited amount, so in the latter stages of the shoot we were down to short ends and that was clear. I'd ask, "Well, how much [film] do you have left?" And [Alonso] would say, "Well I have a piece about a minute or less, and one that's about 39 seconds." And I'd tell him, "Well, at a quick trot to cross that piece of ground, 39 seconds would be cutting it a little close so save that longer bit for the next scene."'

Viggo Mortensen Tells Us Why He Hasn't Done Blockbusters Since 'Lord Of The Rings'
By Carman Tse
19 March 2015

It was interesting to work with a director who does long shots, without being afraid of the calmness and the length of time: in front of the camera, everything you do becomes interesting. It's the first time that he was using professional actors, but in the film, we don't look like actors, we just look like people. People who are having real experiences. In these conditions, it's impossible to make a mistake. It's a strange feeling as an actor. What you do will be in the film. That gives you confidence and peace of mind.

Viggo Mortensen: "If The Lord of the Rings can win 12 Oscars, I don't see why Avatar wouldn't win the Oscar for best film."
By Eric Vernay - translated by Donna Marie
Premiere (France
21 May 2014

Mortensen and Lisandro are obviously more concerned with art than commerce. Even the way Jauja is presented could alienate, the 4:3 ratio looming like a relic of a bygone age. "The Academy frame was something that happened in the process," explains Mortensen. "When [Lisandro] started looking at the footage the lab had cropped it strangely. He wanted to see more of the sky, and he was concerned about that. So he said, 'Just send it to me so I can edit it.' As soon as he saw it, he realised that's the way it should look, and so he put it together that way."

Viggo Mortensen talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnal
11 March 2015
6 April 2015

"Viggo is incredible. He has the triple role of actor, producer and musician and along with that, he was thinking about how to improve the film 24 hours a day. In addition he rigorously corrected every French, English and Danish subtitle."

Lisandro Alonso
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe

"What I think is special about Lisandro is that he's able to make a truly original movie, remarkably original, without referencing other filmmakers or other movies, without drawing attention to what he's doing, without showing off. My feeling is that the film is not in any way pretentious, and yet it stands out from all other movies. That's a hard thing to do."

Viggo Mortensen talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnal
11 March 2015

I never enjoyed a collective effort more than I did during the ultra-creative, multilingual collaboration we experienced as a team in those beautiful natural landscapes deep in Argentina.

Viggo Mortensen
Something Material
By Viggo Mortensen, Fabián Casas and Lisandro Alonso - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
31 May 2014

Quotable Viggo: 15 August 2020

Theatre has been very much on my mind lately. My friends and I are all amateur theatre performers and with no sign yet of a sensible way to allow them all to reopen and still fill enough seats to avoid a massive loss, we are missing our acting and singing! Live theatre is special. It's dangerous – you never know what might happen or what a fellow actor may suddenly improvise. You never know how the audience will react to any scene or line - it varies from night to night. You never know what you might have to do when something goes wrong (I once spent most of an act on stage holding up a piece of scenery…). But you can never forget how wonderful it is, for audience and performer, when it goes right. I wish Viggo had done more theatre, especially after his early success in 'Bent', but cinema called. At least we have his performance in Purgatorio, a very difficult two-handed which presents the actors with enormous challenges…

https://www.viggo-works.com/webpageimages/6purg.jpgImage Andrés de Gabriel.
© Teatro Español.

What brought you to theatre? "Fear. I've done theatre because it frightens me. I'm attracted to everything that frightens me… It's a new adventure every night. If you get off track, you have to see how to get back."

Viggo Mortensen: "I'm attracted to what scares me"
By Roció García - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
24 November 2011

"[Dorfman] sent me a version of the play. It's a play that has been evolving. It was performed in a theater workshop, I think in Seattle, in the northwestern United States, for the first time and it's been attempted several times. Ariel says, more or less in jest, that it's a cursed play, that every time he tries to put it on in a, shall we say, legitimate theater, it doesn't work. Someone gets sick, something happens, somebody leaves, and there's been a long journey for us, too, before arriving here."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

The whole process of the [Purgatorio] rehearsals that were so difficult up till now, with a very complicated script, has been a very interesting education for me. I´ve liked this very much and, up to a certain point, it heals, improves my perspective as an actor, as a person.

Viggo Mortensen
Inside The Dressing Room
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
15 December 2011

'[It's] been a tough but rewarding challenge after more than 20 years not doing a play. Tough subject, difficult script to memorize and present.'

Viggo Mortensen on Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen Talks Working With Kristen Stewart in On the Road
by Allie Merriam
Buzz Sugar
29 November 2011

"It's just two characters, and it's an hour and 45 minutes," he said, with no intermission. "Any mistake you make is live, and it can go off the rails," he said. "Also, in the script, there's a lot of repetition and a lot of strange things about time."

Viggo Mortensen interview
By Chris Brock
Watertown Daily Times
20 November 2011

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…

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

During rehearsals, even in some performances, there are moments in which we say, "Ah, that phrase also means this or it could..." Or, last night, we had quite a laugh there. Also, it's also possible...Or, at times, you cry at one point and during another performance, you don't. I don't know, because the thing is alive."

"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

I put the script here, although I already know the text. I always have the script backstage. I have this owl with the bracelet in San Lorenzo colors; I touch the two eyes of the owl every night before I go on. I have a photo of San Lorenzo's first championship team in 1923, Father Lorenzo Massa, the Silesian who founded San Lorenzo, I have chocolate. I'm always eating...

Viggo Mortensen
Inside The Dressing Room
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
15 December 2011

Viggo Mortensen is a better stage than film actor. And not because that medium is bad, but because the nearness of the spectator and the live performance allow one to appreciate more intensely the entire panoply of gestures and intonations that accompany his acting.

An Interpretive Reading
By María Martín - translated by Ollie and Rio
Diario Abierto
14 November 2011

It seems incredible to me that the guy I had seen the day before in Freud´s skin in Cronenberg´s flick was the same actor we had less than a metre away (we were in the first row, facing the stage). He looked like another, completely different person. With another voice, other features, other movements...If this is not a huge actor, I don´t know who could be.

Purgatorio Review
By José Angel Barrueco - translated by Ollie and Rio
28 November 2011

The third act, when the cursed lovers meet again, is a beauty. Carme Elías throws herself into the horrifying confession and reaches her emotional height because she captures the duality of this devastated and indomitable woman who wants to begin anew but would return to doing everything she'd done, and Viggo Mortensen is unsurpassable in humanity, contained pain and buried passion.

You and I make four
By Marcos Ordóñez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
7 November 2011

"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

"I learned more about acting and thinking on your feet in that play than in my last ten or fifteen years in filming," he says, seriously. "There's no saying cut, you just figure it out; it's like an hour and forty minutes long take. I really loved it, loved the connection with the audience."

Viggo's round-table at the Freud Museum
by Lucy Wiles
Felix Films
10 February 2012

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Last edited: 9 January 2021 13:08:57