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León tiene une capitán

Source: Diario de León
Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán Diario de León - 8.27.06 León tiene une capitán
Many thanks to our friend Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno for sending us the scans of his wonderful article on Viggo and Alatriste and León from today's Diario de León. We left these scans rather large so that you are able to see the fine print around the images.

Click on scans to enlarge.

© Diario de León.

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Lecturas Translation

Translated by Margarita
Source: Lecturas
© 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen.
Our thanks to Margarita for translating the interview by Amelia Enríquez in the 30th August edition of Lecturas magazine.

"I'm permanently dissatisfied."

Those who know him well insist that he's a simple man. Whether or not that's true, what's certain is that after repeatedly getting under the skin of assassins and other individuals tortured by life, Viggo Mortensen is the spitting image of a hero.

After playing the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, here comes Captain Alatriste...

They're so different! Right? I'm happy with Alatriste. When they asked me to play the part, I knew nothing about him. I read the script in 24 hours and it hooked me so strongly that I couldn't resist.

You've never regretted the decision for a moment?

Never. And, if tomorrow I'm offered another Spanish project of this calibre, I'll say yes again. Some friends asked me why I needed to make a film in Spain when I had the pick of any other project in Hollywood. I told them that no other script offered me the possibilities that this particular story did. For a while now I've been lucky enough to be able to reject projects that don't fulfil me. I'm not looking to be the highest paid actor, that's why I make independent films that are difficult to digest. And this Alatriste is certainly a peculiar character, dark, complicated...

Was conveying his personality your biggest challenge?

The real difficulty I had was with the accent. I had to be a typical Spaniard, so I avoided all contact with anything Argentinean (Viggo spent part of his childhood in Argentina) while we were filming...I only kept my tradition of drinking maté...

Was it worth the effort?

Without a doubt. It's a great film, strong, emotive. All of the actors watched it together once it was complete. When the lights came back on in the room, we all had tears in our eyes. It was powerful!

Are you beginning to enjoy what you do more than ever?

In some ways, yes. It's ironic, right? I've spent 20 years making movies. I've filmed more than 40 movies but, until Lord of the Rings showed up in my life, I wasn't really known to a wide audience. And that wasn't something that obsessed me, to tell you the truth. I tend to run from popularity, from awards and public recognition.

What did you have in common with Aragorn?

We shared the same enjoyment of the outdoors, for example. And, in a certain sense, I'm fairly solitary. I'm a very sociable person, but I love to be alone, to listen to the silence, to not speak to anyone for a while. What would drive some people crazy gives me energy.

And how do that timid guy you're describing, and the superstar you also are, get along?

Not always very well. My shyness occasionally turns me into someone who seems cold and distant. Luckily, I like people and that makes me somebody outgoing, who uses conversation as a kind of self-defense mechanism.

We hear that you're a good friend who is honest and loyal. Do you have any flaws?

Those descriptions of me were given by my friends, right? Well, don't trust them; you know that friends always believe the best things about us. You're asking me for a flaw? I think that my impatience is one. I want everything 'yesterday' and it takes time for me to adjust to others rhythms.

That's not so bad...

Injustice also bothers me greatly, to see somebody who is defenseless being mistreated, for example. That kind of thing makes me hot under the collar. I know that by shouting I don't gain anything, but I can't help it.

Even with those faults, nine out ten women sigh when they see you. Is it flattering to be considered sexy?

Whoever thinks of me that way isn't being insulting, of course, but I'm not at all interested in such things. Do you really think I'm sexy? Take a good look. I'm a normal guy who people pay attention to because I'm a celebrity. If I were walking down the street without being famous, I assure you that nobody would turn and look.

But, deep down inside, it has to be a little flattering...

The one who is really happy about it is my mother. When, a while back, an American magazine decided I was one of the 50 sexiest men in the world, my mother told everybody. Honestly, those kinds of things just make me laugh.

Were you happier before, when you were just 'another guy'?

I don't know, but I'm convinced that whenever I was critiqued - whether it was good or bad - it wasn't because people were fixating on my looks, but because I aroused critics' curiosities with my work.

So you're saying that the physical thing is a cross you have to bear.

I'm handsome to my dismay (laughs). I haven't had to go through life apologizing for what I look like but, maybe, it's a little harder to convince people that, behind the physical aspect, there's an actor who works hard to improve with each role.

Is it true that you owe your success with Aragorn to your son?

He's the one who convinced me to make the movie. He had read the trilogy and knew the story by heart. The same thing happened with Alatriste, I didn't have a clue what it was about until I read the scripts. I mentioned it to him...and he wouldn't let me say no.

Without knowing it, he became your best representative.

I have to admit that these days I'm frequently thanking him. I laugh a lot with him. He's going to turn 19 and, for a long time now, we've been having very interesting conversations. I'm proud of him because he's a really sensible boy, very patient, who loves animals. I don't know, it seems crazy, but every day that goes by I see him as an example to emulate.

It's usually the other way around...

They say that parents see themselves, to a certain extent, projected in their children. That doesn't happen with me because my son and I are good friends. I was a young father and my son grew up knowing me as an unconditional friend. It's a matter of trust.

What do you have in common?

He's a really curious boy, he likes solitude. When I was his age, I liked fishing, playing quietly and taking walks by myself. And he's inherited that from me. There are moments when I really see myself reflected in him and I remember my childhood.

You spent those years in Argentina. That's where you became fluent in Spanish and in certain customs...

If you're saying that because I love to drink maté, you're right! It's an Argentinean trait and I can't live without it. I also love soccer. I remember my time in that country with great affection and nostalgia. I still have ties to Argentina. I was really happy as a child there, that's the truth.

Would you go back to those days?

Without hesitation. I would repeat each and every one of the things I did. The passing of years have given me a perspective that has made me more mature. Now I see things in hindsight and what I learned in those years is what has made me who I am today. And, even though I recognize that I'm a rather strange guy, I don't think the end result has been so bad.

Are you your own worst critic?

Yes. I'm really hard on myself, I'm permanently dissatisfied. I always think that things can be done better, that's why I strive to be better and better in each role. I appreciate good criticism, but nobody knows better than me what I need to improve upon.

Is it easy to survive in Hollywood?

With the life I lead, yes. I'm famous for wanting my space and it's true. The 'pomp' of Hollywood doesn't interest me. I'm lucky not to have to live there in order to work, so my survival is guaranteed.

And vanity?

I'm a little vain. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be an actor. But I work hard so my ego doesn't grow too big. My job is to tell stories, not to obtain fame and awards.

What's the best part of filming a movie?

Contact with my co-workers and, above all, being able to develop my hobbies: taking pictures, painting, writing, composing music...

Have you ever asked yourself what you're doing in the world of movies?

Many times, but I always come to the conclusion that I'm in the right profession, one that permits me to share what I have inside and, by chance, allows me to explore other means of artistic expression.

Have you ever thought of going into politics?

Nooooo! Arnold Schwarzenegger already did that. We each need to know our limitations and what we are really good at. I think that I can reach people very effectively through my work.

What do you owe the movies?

A lot of things, especially having been able to meet a group of people who became my family during the filming of Lord of the Rings, and now on Captain Alatriste. That's what I take with me.

Do you care about the image that is projected of you?

I don't worry about it. I'm passionate about this work, just as I am about painting, writing...all these activities make up my life and allow me to feel very good. Everything else is marketing.

© Lecturas. Images © 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.

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Ariadna Gil and Viggo in "Woman"

Source: Woman.
Found By: Lady Arwen and Romarie
Categories: Scans
Woman - 8.2006 Viggo El Deseado Woman - 8.2006 Viggo El Deseado Woman - 8.2006 Viggo El Deseado Woman - 2006 Ediciones Reunidas S.A. GRUPO ZETA 002vaa.jpg 001vaa.jpg
Our thanks to Romarie and Lady Arwen from El Alma de Viggo for sharing these wonderful scans from the Spanish magazine Woman.

Click on scan to enlarge.

© Woman - 2006 Ediciones Reunidas S.A. GRUPO ZETA. Images © Rafa Gallar.

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Soy un insatisfecho permanente

Source: Lecturas.
Found By: Indian Moon &
Categories: Alatriste Scans
Lecturas - 8.30.2006 Soy un insatis permanente Lecturas - 8.30.2006 Soy un insatisfecho permanente Lecturas - 8.30.2006 Soy un insatis permanente Lecturas - 8.30.2006 Soy un insatis permanente
Many thanks to Indian Moon who sends us this scan via our friends at

Click on scans to enlarge.

© 2006 Lecturas.

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Translation by Margarita
Source: Diario de León
© 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen.
Our thanks to Margarita who has translated the Diario de León article from 22 August which describes the great excitement that is mounting in the city and how much they have taken Viggo to their hearts:

Fans from 5 continents have plans to travel to the city to attend the world premiere of the movie starring Viggo Mortensen

The old empire is at the centre of the attention

By Miguel Á. Nepomuceno

With only 10 days left until the world premiere of a Spanish movie produced with one of the biggest budgets in history and an all-star cast, León is preparing to receive an avalanche of fans from 5 continents who will arrive in the capital of the ancient empire with their sole goal being to obtain a ticket to the screening and, if at all possible, an autograph from the actor.

Thanks to websites like the prestigious North American Viggo-Works, or the Spanish Capitán-Alatriste, which is more centered around the character and novels created by Reverte, who have taken charge of spreading throughout 5 continents all the news from Spain that relates to the filming by Yanes, multitudes of fans of Peter Jackson's Aragorn have instantaneously become diehard fans of one who until that moment had been a relative unknown for many, Captain Alatriste.

This newspaper has reported on his numerous visits to the city, as well as the statements made by the actor and his affection for the valley of Curueño, where he decided to locate the hometown of Diego Alatriste y Tenorio, all of which have made the rounds of the world in seconds, demonstrating once more the great power these internet pages have for unification.

Likewise, the names of León and Curueño, as connected to the actor and the filming of the movie, can be read on more than 158,000 pages that Chinese, Russians, British, New Yorkers, Danes, Germans and multitudes of others post online each day for the enjoyment of all fans and followers of the most popular actor today.

Many world citizens have gotten to know León through these pages as, at the same time that Diario articles are translated into ever more diverse languages, some sites enhance the texts with the history, customs and idiosyncrasies of the Leonese people. Paradoxically, when at the highest levels there has been a push to obliterate Leonese culture, others with a power greater than that of mere words have proudly carried the flag around the world, without being Leonese themselves but feeling more the part than many of those of us who are actually citizens.

Gifts of the people

It's difficult to thank someone like Viggo Mortensen, who has given us so much in return for so little. But, even so, the Leonese people have turned themselves upside down asking us to forward him an enormous variety of presents: From products common to the city, to a house in Curueño where he has been named an adopted son, honorary membership in the Friends of the Cloak, requests for him to read and produce scripts about historic Leonese events, or that he teach a course for foreign students at the University of León on all the attractions of the city, everything from the point of view of the teaching of Spanish, to the history and language. And, of course, there was the flag given to him by the Pro-Leonese Identity Group, which he so proudly carried from Cadiz to New York including the Tercios of Flanders.

All this and let's also not forget the inclusion of a brief biography of him in the Encyclopedia of León, the invitations from festival organizers for Viggo to participate in Leon's famous Holy Week events, or the request for him to play the first move in the finals of León's Professional Chess Tournament between the two world champions, Anand and Topalov.

Even stranger is the gesture made by one of my editorial colleagues, who supervised the gestation, birth and training of a Leonese Mastiff because, as he told me, 'If the Queen of Spain has one, why shouldn't Viggo?' So he has the dog, waiting for the day when the actor might make space for it beside his horse TJ.

But perhaps the sweetest story of all is the one about an old Curueño lady who, hearing about the affection that Viggo had developed for her city, spent all night cooking some very special 'bollos' so that a messenger could deliver them to the actor with the following instruction, 'Take these to the Captain, who is very thin and has been wasting away since that battle with the French. I'm worried he might become anaemic.'

Viggo was given the bollos in Uclés, and shared them with the cast and crew of Alatriste. So even the Captain's own homeland was present, if only in the form of food, in the terrible Battle of Rocroi.

These are all small things but they serve to show the feelings of some individuals who have already adopted the Captain as one of their own because Viggo Mortensen has, in some manner, changed their lives.

Movie of the decade

Alatriste will be the Spanish film of the decade. Not only because of Diaz Yanes' wonderful script which faithfully reflects the essence of Perez-Reverte's novels, but also because of the painstakingly careful work done to depict an entire era that went down in history because of the ineptitude of its rulers.

Another trump card for Yanes' extraordinary film is the magnificent music of Roque Baños, which is exquisitely paired with powerful images to create a great historical fresco where the Tercios of Flanders, those feared and yet sadly defeated elite soldiers, have a musical theme that moves us with its desolate lyricism: we have only to hear it to be transported to the searing plains of Rocroi, covered in dust, bullets and blood.

© Diario de León. Images © 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones. Image by César Urrutia.

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Last edited: 29 May 2020 08:07:50