Comments about Viggo as an actor

With Joe Johnston
With Joe Johnston.
© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures.
Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present... - Ray Pride
Movie City News

Comments about Viggo as an actor

"Viggo has been a fantastic performer for years, he's very subtle, he's never showboating, it's always about the character, and I think that's why it's taken people so long to realise he's not just a good actor he's a great actor."

David Cronenberg
14 January 2008

"he...takes the best out of Method and leaves the bullshit behind."

David Cronenberg
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

'I would want to watch Viggo Mortensen in any language.

Sanford Panitch, President of Fox International
Fox International Acquires Worldwide Rights To Viggo Mortensen-Starrer 'Everybody Has A Plan'
By Mike Fleming
5 May 2011

There are some actors who work with the gesture: the fold of Robert Mitchum's eyes while he takes the last drag off a cigarette; Bogart's voice and the tic of his hand lightly touching his ear lobe to accompany a thought... Viggo Mortensen, on the other hand, can be completely expressive just by walking.

Alatriste - Opinion
By Susana Fortes - translated by Xabo
El País
21 September 2006

Philip Seymour Hoffman, certainly one of the great actors of our time, told us in a Venetian hallway of the Hotel Excelsior how he regarded Viggo Mortensen as one of the masters of the profession. A point of view that is totally shared.

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

The man has never disappointed us.

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

He's the kind of star directors dream about: professional, playful and eager to make a movie that doesn't wrap itself up in a neat pre-digested bow.

Viggo Mortensen on Everybody Has a Plan, Argentine Popes and His Beloved San Lorenzo
John Lopez
Huffington Post
21 March 2013

Now Mortensen has long been considered one of the best and most underrated of the new breed of serious, quietly intense and eminently watchable stars. He's like a Stateside version of Alec Guinness – a chameleon who never plays the same role twice.

There's a special pleasure in giving in to being a fan
by Tony Earnshaw
The Yorkshire Post
16 May 2014

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

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

I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but Viggo Mortensen is not a movie star. A poet? Yes. Photographer? Yep. Guitarist? Sure. Author? Uh-huh. Painter? Yessir. Actor? Most definitely. But celebrity? No way.

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

Despite his quirkiness, or maybe because of it, Mortensen, a 50 year old who has stubbornly resisted the formula for modern movie stardom, finds himself one of the last great leading men standing.

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

"He is methodical, exacting in his work, he carries out meticulous labors to do something that looks true, and projects it. He is like Robert Mitchum or William Holden, the class of actors whose work seems effortless."

Ray Loriga
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia - translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
El Pais
26 June 2009

"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

....warmest regards to Viggo Mortensen for attending the awards. His star power actually helped keep the electricity in the building running.

Nick Flanagan
Live-ish from the Genie Awards
9 March 2012

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

He's the guy you can count on to steal a scene or invigorate it.

Talking With Viggo
George magazine 1999

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. Never over the top, for Mortensen, less is more. His performances are slow reveals of hidden information and emotion.

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Road
By Anne Thompson
Indie Wire
13 September 2009

Q: What's it like working with Viggo Mortensen? Is there any competition about how far you can push each other?

Let me tell you something: it's impossible to have a competition with Viggo Mortensen because he's not on that vibe, you know? And neither am I. No, no, when you work with Viggo it's very warm. You get presents all the time and there is no competition on the set.

Vincent Cassel on BLACK SWAN, Darren Aronofsky, EASTERN PROMISES 2!
By Robert Beames
Obsessed with Film
19 January 2011

I think everybody finds Viggo to be a bit of a mentor because he's becoming a kind of — and certainly this is nothing that he would want — but I think he's becoming a kind of iconic figure in terms of how you should be an actor. Just your demeanor, your seriousness, but your sense of humor and the kind of research you do and your professionalism, and your loyalty to the project and to the people who are creating the project.

David Cronenberg
On the Analyst's Couch with David Cronenberg
Jenni Miller
GQ Magazine
21 November 2011

'To me, there's a lack of self-consciousness to the great actors. I think the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises is brilliant: he's living the guy's life on screen and you can't take your eyes off him. It's the same with Marlon Brando. You might not know why you're drawn to him, but you are.'

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008

I tell him [Viggo] I've interviewed two directors he's worked for (Johnston for this film [Hidalgo] and Tony Goldwyn for A Walk On The Moon), and both said almost the exact same thing about him: Viggo Mortensen doesn't have to say much and you get a lot...

Sittin' On The Ritz
SPLICEDwire, by Rob Blackwelder
26 March 2004

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present...

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

One of the things that has always fascinated me about Viggo Mortensen is the way he does ambiguity. The way he can look cruel and gentle at the same time. The way he can embrace extremes of danger and empathy.

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

...who would have thought that Cronenberg (a poet of unease and neurosis) was ready to mine a vein of dark heroism or to find the situations that could leave Mortensen looking like a god of understatement?

Viggo Mortensen
By David Thomson
The Guardian,
10 April 2009

....if you have the opportunity to meet him in person and see how different he is from his role as Aragorn, you begin to appreciate that he is a true actor. He even morphs himself into his characters' physicality to the point where you might not recognize him when he is simply 'Viggo.'

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
December 2003

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

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

"For Viggo, I think it's the experience of doing the work and achieving his high standards that are his measure of success," Diane Lane says. "It's nice being able to morph and disappear and morph again and reappear. He's like Hollywood's secret weapon. The only problem for Viggo might be that it's not a secret any more."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

'He's a method actor. He is able to scream loudly if he has to - just watch G.I. Jane. He's an excellent actor, but a shy actor'.

Michael Douglas
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times

The thought about Viggo Mortensen not feeling home in this city is not far away. He is at the same time too much and too little for Hollywood.

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

Viggo Mortensen -- who is pickier than a five year-old at a salad bar…

The Playlist commenting on how selective Viggo is choosing films.
Kevin Jagernauth
The Playlist
29 June 2012

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

Philip Ridley
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002

"Sure, we thought he was going to make it after The Indian Runner," Phillips says. "Viggo's turned down quite a few things that might have made a difference in his life because he just didn't connect with them creatively. Viggo is his own man. He's not dictated by the Hollywood horseshit machine. We thought he was going to make it after G.I. Jane. We thought he was going to make it after this, that, whatever. And now he's in the biggest movie of, well, maybe of all time."

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

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

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

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

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

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

"If you are both really talented and, deep down, a very core artist like Viggo, in the end you cannot swallow the bile, the bad scripts, the rest of it," says Rhys-Davies. "Eventually you just have to say, I could make this dross work, but I don't have enough time left in my life to do it. And Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

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

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

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

We can only hope that there is room on the A-list for a shoeless poet looking for beauty in Hollywood's seedy patchwork, who is gamely making it up as he goes along.

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002

Last edited: 29 June 2014 05:02:32