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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

For a man with so much creative energy it’s interesting how often people refer to Viggo’s quiet calmness and stillness, especially on screen where he has cornered the market in being the ‘strong silent type’. Off screen he can talk the hind-leg off the proverbial donkey, yet he still radiates a calm and self-possession that people who meet him clearly value.




In Viggo Mortensen, Hillcoat is working with one of the current cinema’s great quiet everymen…

Kris Tapley
InContention.com
August 2009




A surpassingly quiet and thoughtful actor…

A. O. Scott
New York Times
25 November 2009




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… 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




Few actors can do stillness on screen with as much conviction as Viggo Mortensen. That chiselled face, turned towards a landscape or held in concentration as someone else speaks, can stand in for any amount of narrative exposition: look at any of Mortensen's characters and you know, without having to be told about it, that man's had a hell of a past. When he does speak, of course – in whichever language, given he speaks four and has learned new ones on the hop for several of his films – you're the one paying attention. Quiet as he is, he commands the screen.

Far From Men: Viggo Mortensen saddles up in Albert Camus' short story
by Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
23 July 2015




'The quality that really stood out to me was his quietness,' says Ridley Scott, who cast Mortensen in GI Jane as the Navy instructor who makes life miserable for aspiring SEALs, including Moore. 'He has a still, modest quality to him that was perfect for these guys. I noticed that in some of the movies I'd seen him in, and he also had it in real life.'

Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236
1997




...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008




Mortensen again proves to be one of today’s few actors who can evoke quiet self-sufficiency and absolute resolution, à la Gary Cooper.

Jonathan Romney
Film Comment
1 May 2015




...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




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.

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine




‘Everything begins with stillness, with silence. Movies are light and time. Before the movie begins, there is darkness and nothing is happening. When the movie starts, the clock starts, and we see. And, unless it is a silent movie, we hear. From then on, it is all give and take with the initial stillness, the initial darkness, and nothing can ever be entirely unseen, unnoticed or immobile. Trusting that, letting yourself breathe and move in unison with the tension between “nothing is” and “anything could be,” allows you to communicate whatever you can imagine communicating, whether you appear to be still or are moving as fast as you can.’

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




“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




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




“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




"There is something beautiful and quiet about Viggo, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized how insanely brilliant and crazy he is - how he has this insane wild side

Elijah Wood
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004



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© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Guadalupe de la Vallina/Jot Down Magazine.