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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

25 June 2017 14:02:31
Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Alatriste Media Quotable Viggo

As Riv has named this Alatriste week there's no need to tell you what this week's Quotable is about! Remember those heady days of intrigue, battles, capes, swords and that amazing moustache? Of Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno's wonderful articles for Diario de León which he always took the trouble to share with us? And how we followed the Captain through the heat and dust and fell in love with Spain? Wasn't it all wonderful?

The protagonist of this franchise is perhaps the least dashing, most enigmatic hero ever to rattle a rapier. Alatriste speaks little, drinks alone, dresses badly and blunders into traps set by more cunning adversaries. But he is fearless, deadly with a blade and, beneath his armored persona, stubbornly loyal.

The Pen and the Sword
By Donald Morrison
Time Europe
29 May 2006

"I liked the script a lot, and if you really want me to play this character, and it turns out that this can be done, it would be an honour for me, I'd like it." That was the simple and firm answer that the New York actor Viggo Mortensen gave the director Agustín Díaz Yanes when the latter offered him the part of Alatriste, the wicked soldier of the convulsed Spanish XVII century, created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García - translated by Paddy
El País Semanal
6 August 2006

CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film with?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything. In Spain, because of the tradition of our cinema, we don't have action heroes, and Viggo combines an impressive physique (that "exact image of the weary hero" that Arturo wanted) with the fact of being a spectacular actor of action films. He's an extraordinary actor in dialogue, in everything...he has that combination that it's so difficult to find here. Viggo has been the vital centre of the film. The title of the movie is Alatriste! His experience, his help and his advice have also been very important.

Action, history...and skilled swordsmen
By Andrés Rubin de Celis - translated by Paddy
Citizen K Espana
July 2006

CC: Which part of the novel was the most difficult to turn into a film?

ADY: What I was most scared of, but then it wasn't difficult, were the swords and the action, but via Viggo we brought in Bob Anderson. He taught us how to do it and we weren't afraid anymore.

Capitán Alatriste - in conversation with Agustín Díaz Yanes
By Ignacio Saldaña - translated by Paddy
Comunicación Cultural
25 July 2006

I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, "listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: 'Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those paintings."

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007

"I know that my character is bitter and upset. He has good things within him, but it is difficult to find them."

Viggo Mortensen
The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan -translated by Chrissie
Accion magazine
April 2005

"Some supposedly great stars doubt you and call you and say. 'Man, what are you doing?!' But Viggo went for the kill. He was the first one to throw himself into the cold water, into a filthy mud puddle, and the rest followed him."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007

'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Top Men - Viggo Mortensen, Glamour Magazine,
August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela

Viggo Mortensen plays his character to perfection. He submerges himself in Alatriste and his terse, murmured and yet sonorous speech is that of one who knows words are extraneous when swords meet. His clear gaze, firm and serene, his calm, fluid gestures and that loyal spirit he has toward his comrades in arms, serve better than any narrative to tell the story of a man who knows irrevocably what his destiny will be, but still keeps hope alive for a future day when Spain will see better times and break free of the agonized struggles it is presently enmeshed in.

Diego Alatriste y Tenorio - Hero or villain?
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Margarita
Diario de León
29 August 2006

"He is Alatriste, the one I thought, the one I wrote! He's almost the one from the drawings!"

A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

The final sequence of the film was being shot, because it is in Rocroi that the final square made up of veterans from the Old Cartagena regiment makes a stand and the story of Captain Alatriste ends. I was behind the cameras, a privileged spectator watching hundreds of riders charge again and again against the loyal Spanish infantry and Viggo in the front line, his head uncovered and sword in hand, defending his life and that of his comrades. "He truly believes he is Diego Alatriste," Agustín Díaz Yanes told me between takes. "Actors are all a strange breed," he added, "but this one is a special case."

Viggo, The Captain
By Arturo Pérez-Reverte - translated by Elessars Queen and Astarloa
El Semanal, Diario de León
20 July 2005

"We were enormously lucky with the appearance of Viggo Mortensen; it could be no one else! Even Arturo took things from Viggo for the next novel. That´s where we succeeded with the followers... Viggo was so extraordinary that he surpassed everything that Arturo, and obviously I, could have thought. His physical presence on screen is tremendous, " he says emphatically."

Diaz Yanes
The Biography of Captain Alatriste
By Jose Edurado Arenas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
6 June 2010

That hero will have Viggo Mortensen's face forever. Challenging and tender. Big blue eyes and proud look.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García
El País Semanal - Translated for V-W by Paddy
6 August 2006

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