Showing Single Newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotabe Viggo

This week I thought I'd take an overdue look at Two Faces of January with a roundup of the comments and anecdotes I've been collecting since last February. Along the way we find out where Viggo's influences for the character came from, how he nearly set fire to Kirsten Dunst and the fate of the beautiful cream linen suit which, according to critic, Leigh Singer, no one can 'rock' quite like him.

After Viggo Mortensen committed to playing Chester MacFarland, Amini slightly tweaked his conception of the character. "Viggo looks heroic and there's an element of Gatsby in the character, which doesn't exist in the book so much," says the British-Iranian Amini. "I love that element of striking, handsome, charismatic men who are destined to be defeated somehow; Chester struck me as that sort of character, whereas in the book he is a little more wasted from the very beginning."

"The Two Faces of January" - Production Notes
February 2014

"Chester is kind of a slob, all sweaty and paranoid; he's crazy from the start, really."

Viggo Mortensen
Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
By Robyn Candyce
24 September 2014

How did you research to play Chester?

I was mainly interested in what kind of generation he was from. I spoke with my father's friends, men who came of age during the Great Depression and served in WWII, like Chester. And that informed how he'd wear his clothes, how he'd speak, his gestures and his attitude towards women. The one thing about these men that I found most interesting was that, even at their most downcast, their appearance was paramount. Every day, they ironed their shirts and smoothed their hair, no matter what.

Actor Viggo Mortensen
Vanessa Keys
Sunday Style Magazine
13 June 2014

"But there's another side, too. There was a certain intolerance of foreigners. And if you yourself had any kind of leanings or unusual interests — jazz, say — you could be a little suspect, too... It was interesting to look at all that, my father's generation, through a magnifying glass."

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

''s part of his con, the look, he wants to look like he came from money and all that. I don't think his origins are those clothes that you see.'

Viggo Mortensen on "Lord of the Rings" — and playing an American at last
By Andrew O'Hehir
24 September 2014

"I liked that suit because it's a great suit. It's an additional character in the story. It has its own transformation. By the time we get to the end of the movie the suit has its wrinkles, it's a little torn, a little soiled and it ends up in the dark and rain in Istanbul."

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
by Tom Ward
16 May 2014

"[As an actor], you lie as well as you can, that's what you're paid to do. And in this case I'm lying about a guy who's lying about being this person who's lying about being another person. It's kind of like a hall of mirrors. Instead of looking in one mirror and trying to be that person as an actor, it's a whole series of mirrors. It's fun."

Viggo Mortensen
The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 2014

"Everybody's got their secrets; even the nicest, calmest nun has got the possibility to think strange things or have resentments. All these characters have their secret desires and resentments, and their own sense of morality. Chester's just an opportunist. No one's purely good or purely bad in this story."

Viggo Mortensen
"The Two Faces of January" - Production Notes
February 2014

'The people have these beautiful clothes and these idealized lives. You wish you could be them. And then it starts to descend rapidly. You go down this crazy wormhole. It gets darker as you descend. And by the end, you go from the sunny hilltop and this happy life to this sad life in the gutter, in the rain on some nameless street in Istanbul.'

Viggo Mortensen explains rooting for the bad guy in 'The Two Faces of January'
By Chris Lee
Entertainment Weekly
26 September 2014 matter how badly they behave you're on their side somehow. You don't want the cops to catch them."

Berlinale Press Conference
11 February 2014

"It was kind of fun to speak with an atrocious accent. He's speaking in a muddle of Greek and Italian; that was sort of a funny little touch."

Viggo Mortensen
The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 1014

That one shot when you focus on Viggo gripping the bed frame, was that inspired by Nicolas Winding Refn?

It wasn't really. That was something that Viggo did at the time. I found with the actors, with Oscar as well, the scene I have in the ferry when the two of them are staring at each other, I could see them working themselves up into moods and I'd always thought as a director you go in and tell them what you want. Sometimes I learned that it was best to stay away and see what they were going to try to do. That bedroom scene, things where he's squeezing the bed frame and also when he's ruffling the sheets and smelled his fingers, that was all really Viggo. We let the camera roll and watched him and then decided where to put the camera afterwards. There were days where it was much more discussion and whatever, but other days they're such great actors I think just watching what they come up with was really fascinating.

[I]Hossein Amini
The Two Faces of January: Hossein Amini on Adapting Patricia Highsmith
By Fred Topel
Crave Online
28 January 2014[/I]

Can you talk about that very fateful moment in the cave, or would you prefer not to spoil it.

KD: Well, Viggo had to illuminate that scene with a lighter, and he was holding it and he burnt me and he was wailing and being emotional, and I couldn't say anything. The light was out was out but it was still so hot. I think I still have a scar. I didn't want to mess with Viggo.

VM: Scarred her for life.

Kirsten Dunst & Viggo Mortensen Talk Bonding On Set, Paparazzi, & 'The Two Faces of January'
by Hillary Weston
Black Book
1 October 2014

"(Viggo's) such a goofball, that's what I was most excited about, he's very funny and just likes having a good time."

Oscar Isaac
London Premier Interview
Press Association
14 May 2014

"One of the first things we did, where it still had to be kind of neat and tidy, we were filming in a bus that travels around Crete," he said. "It was a vintage bus, a 1959 Mercedes bus, and the seats were red leather, beautiful seats. But it was so hot, and we were sweating so much that when I stood up, all the dye from the seats got on it, so I had this big red ass."

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst Experienced the Downside of Wearing Vintage Costumes in The Two Faces of January
By Bennett Marcus
Vanity Fair
17 September 2014

You will find all previous Quotables

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © StudioCanal.