Quotable Viggo

Quotable Viggo 2013

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Quotable Viggo: 21 December 2013

As a Christmas treat and to keep up with tradition, this week's Quotable is a round-up of my favourite quotes of the year. Some have been featured here before and some are new, covering everything from quirky comments from interviewers, football, acting and some philosophical gems to ponder over while you sip the mulled wine and eat just one more cocoa covered praline (what better tribute to the King of Chocolate?).

© New Line Productions Inc.

He smells of woodsmoke, as though he's just returned from some manly pursuit like chopping logs in a forest. Again, highly possible. He does have a home in the remote mountains of Idaho, surrounded by woods. In fact the scent is wafting from his cup of tea.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

Viggo Mortensen is one of those people. You probably sat near one in high school, or have one on your floor at work. Good looking, effortlessly talented across a range of fields, just so perfect at everything you want to run them down with your car.

Viggo entertains in evil twin role
Cris Kennedy
29 June 2013

...he's a disconcerting interviewee. The conversation goes like this. I ask question A, expecting answer B. He listens carefully, considers, and gives me answer E, and then we find ourselves on point K, V, or Z.

'If I think a film's beyond me – that's a good sign'
Imogen Tilden
The Guardian
28 May 2013

I've had four or five conversations with Mortensen over the years, and they've all followed the same pattern: He takes your measure for a minute or two, just to establish some basic comfort level and make sure he's not talking to a total idiot, and then it's hard to get the guy to shut up.

Viggo Mortensen: Lay off the pope
By Andrew O'Hehir
20 March 2013

He's like a one-man United Nations. As well as speaking about eleventy billion languages, Mortensen has made films all over the world and unites the film industries of Spain, the US and Middle-earth.

The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars
Empire Magazine
October 2013

The Dennis Lee Hopper Award is a gorgeous hunk of metal. Camera lenses and spray cans form a spiky bronze sphere. It looks like a naval mine for visual artists. The bomb will look great on Viggo's mantle.

Passion and Fearlessness Take Center Stage As Viggo Mortensen Receives The Dennis Hopper Award At The AMFM Fest
Gordy Grundy
Huffington Post
19 June 2013

"Viggo Mortensen had the biggest impact on me in terms of approach, dedication, intention, and artistic outlook and I'm nowhere close to how good he is as an artist and I wouldn't even put myself in the same category as an actor." said Bloom.

Orlando Bloom
Entertainment Weekly
10 October 2013

"Viggo is a hero of mine."

Actor Ed Asner
Passion and Fearlessness Take Center Stage As Viggo Mortensen Receives The Dennis Hopper Award At The AMFM Fest
Gordy Grundy
Huffington Post
19 June 2013

"I'd always thought I'd love to be able to say I'm part of its movie history,"

Viggo talking about filming in Argentina
'If I think a film's beyond me – that's a good sign'
Imogen Tilden
The Guardian
28 May 2013

'I've walked I don´t know how many kilometers, from alley to alley, going up and coming down thousands of steps around the Casbah and the old European neighborhoods, letting myself be drawn towards a nameless destination, going forward or retracing my steps according to noises and colors, mental associations, memories, questions I was asking myself. Everything perfect, everything inconclusive, everything valuable, the city came into me, and I into it.'

Viggo on preparing to film in Morocco
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 2013

"There's a saying in Spanish: Without risk there's no glory," Mortensen explained. "You can live a safe little life, but if you don't take a chance once in a while you'll imprison yourself. That's the whole point of our movie."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen's New Plan
By Constance Droganes
26 March 2013

'My goal is just to make movies, whether they're big or small, that I'd like to see 10 years from now. That's sort of the way I gauge it.'

Viggo Mortensen: Lay off the pope
By Andrew O'Hehir
20 March 2013

'I think in part I cling to CASLA because it is a fixed point for me, an ideal, a flame that never dies.'

Viggo Mortensen
Knowing How To Travel
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
30 March 2013

"He's a Cuervo," I kept shouting. "The Pope is a Supercuervo!"

This hell where we live
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Perceval Press
15 March 2013

'I ran from one side of my hotel room to the other, jumping and shouting like a man possessed. I opened the window and shouted the goal at the crescent moon.'

Viggo Mortensen in Algiers watching San Lorenzo
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 201

'If CASLA loses, I'm devastated for a while and when they win, the world seems like a stupendous place.'

Viggo Mortensen demonstrates to this newspaper that the great never lose their humility
By - translated by Ollie and Zoe
9 June 2013

"In the past, I might have believed that my actions and feelings were inherited from the impulses of my ancestors - warriors, pirates, peasants, adventurers, painters, survivors in terrible circumstances - anything that would have seemed interesting to emulate in the accounts that have tried to make up an exclusive fabric of biological links I'd have with the Mortensens, Rasmussens, Gambles, Atkinsons, Chapmans, Codys or any other angel or devil of our family that has left a mark on his time. But now I believe that all of us are unprecedented individuals, potentially dangerous animals, creatures of brain and bone who can tame themselves or be tamed, who can learn to get along with others - or not."

Viggo Mortensen
Against Hopelessness
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Perceval Press
10 February 2013

"...I know I can't read all the books or watch all the movies in one lifetime." Does he find that frustrating? Mortensen fixes me with his intense blue gaze. "Mostly no," he says. "If we could run out of books and movies, then we would be bored."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

"Creative expression is social change. Wear your feelings on everything you do. It will help people open up their minds and see themselves and their communities in new ways."

Actor Viggo Mortensen urges expression
by Kaci Yoder
Desert Sun
7 July 2013

"One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master," he tells me. "He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

Quotable Viggo: 15 December 2013

Now the second film in The Hobbit trilogy has been released, the media is full of comments comparing Luke Evans' Bard and Richard Armitage's Thorin to Viggo and Aragorn. Are they the new 'Vigorn' (or would that be 'Araggo')? A perfect blending of actor and character that takes heroic hotness to a level previously only dreamt about? I don't think so...

© New Line Productions Inc.

I am being seduced by royalty. And not your garden variety Windsor, either. Admittedly, he looks more like a gypsy in his earthy tunic repaired to within an inch of its life, his hands and nails bearing the ingrained grit of a farmer. But he's a king all right: the King, the Lord of Men. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and any minute now he's going to reach out one of those taut brown arms, lift me up on his trusty steed and whisk me away from all this...

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph
23 November 2003

The fiery passion that blazes in his eyes can do what no extra-large popcorn can: sustain a grown woman through six-plus hours of viewing pleasure for the past two years. It has been a torrid, if one-sided, affair, though I suspect many others have fallen for his unwashed charms.

On Viggo as Aragorn
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

You can have your wee hobbits and wizened wizards. Give me the man who would be king. Rough-hewn Aragorn is as manly as they come as he slays loathsome orcs and woos elf princess Arwen, whispering sweet nothings into her pointy ears.

It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

Casually dropping his name into conversations with the girls over the past 48 hours has produced more gasps, heaving bosoms and sighs of jealousy than a Lotto win.

"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
By Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times 2003

....even sitting in a plastic chair under the unflattering glare of fluorescent, in a drab office at Miramar Productions' headquarters in New Zealand, Viggo Mortensen is by far the dishiest bloke ever to have donned a crown.

The King and I
By Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003

"He has a great physical ability coupled with a real sensitivity. It's sort of a contradiction between the two, that he can kill so many orcs and ride a horse like he can."

Miranda Otto
It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

There is something other-worldly about Mortensen that makes him so suited to playing the dashing Aragorn who, along with Russell Crowe's toga-hero Maximus in Gladiator, has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero,
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002

Eyes ablaze and sword aglint, Mortensen proved a captivating warrior who stirred the hearts, souls and in many cases the loins of the first blockbuster film's audiences. The very first moment he is glimpsed-silently sitting in the shadows inside the Prancing Pony inn, his eyes shielded by the hood of his cloak-signalled the arrival of a New Hollywood Hero, a dynamic man of mystery, action and romance. Tall, graceful, handsome, athletic, charismatic-these are qualities that Mortensen has always possessed, but before this had never projected them with such vigour.

The New Hollywood Male
By Charles Gant
Arena Homme Plus #18
December 2002

Viggo Mortensen stuns as the tormented, destiny-shucking warrior Aragorn, exuding a bravery that will make men admire him and an intensity that will make women want to hop into his leather jerkin.

Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001

Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had.

Nick Nunziata
December 2001

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren.

The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003

Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

Film Hobbit
16 December 3003

It's crucial that the film, like the journeys it narrates, is straggly. I spent the duller sections thinking about how flaxen-haired Legolas looks like a Milky Bar hippy as he pings his egg-slicer-strong arrows at the barbarous monsters. I also drifted off looking at Viggo Mortensen: has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002

When Star asked the actor what he makes of being called a sex symbol, he joked, "I think you should ask Orlando Bloom that question!" Mortensen, it seems, considers himself more geeky than sexy: "They call me the 'Dork of New York'," he says.

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 7 December 2013

For fun this week – and because I was idly thinking how hard it is to sum a man like Viggo up – I've put together a compilation of single sentences all of which succinctly capture at least one facet. Not exactly Viggo in a nutshell but pretty darned close. If any of you want to have a go at your own 'Viggo in a sentence' I'd love to read them!

And here is my attempt to sum Viggo up in one photo:

In the dunes of La Loberia
Image Guadalupe Gaona.© 4L Productions.

Actor, poet, photographer, musician and always exquisitely provocative.

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
[I]Vanity Fair (Spain)

November 2008

If fame came with a report card, Viggo's would say can do better.

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
December 2001
Black & White magazine, #58

The one who teaches people to drink mate on million dollar sets.

The Habit Of Giving It All
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
20 June 2010

Mortensen has a disposition towards an archaeology of emotions, of things that are buried, weathered but surviving along with the rest of us

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

The very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man.

Validation for Viggo
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008

Mortensen is not what Tolkien's Treebeard would call "hasty."

After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004

Viggo Mortensen is a study in contradictions: rugged and undeniably virile, and yet thoroughly and irresistibly sensitive.

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
26 November 2009

With so many of Hollywood's movie stars seeming like overgrown kids, Viggo Mortensen is the rare American actor who is both muscular and humane, tough and sensitive, fighter and lover.

36th Telluride Film Festival Program Guide
September 2009

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

He has that incurable, unbearable, enigmatic eroticism of a three in the morning dream you've just awakened from.

Talking With Viggo
George Magazine 1999

He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001

Viggo is afraid of nothing, not on the screen and not in life.

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
By Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
Jan 8, 2004

He's like a one-man United Nations.

The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars
Empire Magazine
October 2013

The Cuervo ambassador to the world.

Jorge Barros
San Lorenzo Supporters Subcommittee interview
Transcribed/translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
SCH tv
20 May 2011

Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul — Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

When the elements, the weather and the terrain get tough, Viggo gets going.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

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

Quotable Viggo: 1 December 2013

After my Quotable a few weeks ago where Charlize Theron described Viggo as a 'Caretaker', I thought I'd gather together a bunch of 'leading lady' quotes including, of course, some old favourites! So here we have, amongst many other compliments paid, Viggo the 'Dude', the 'Tramp' the 'Byron-esque' and... the 'Chocolate Crack-Dealer'.

© Warner Brothers.

"At work he is one of the crew, a great workmate, deeply involved in the film in every aspect and not only with his character. He is a person with enormous warmth and great honesty."

Soledad Villamil
Soledad's Gaze
translated by Ollie
8 July 2011

"There's rarely a day he doesn't show up bearing gifts of some sort from his different weekend jaunts, where he'll go find some really obscure village behind Taos somewhere and visit an artists' colony and bring back some wares to share. And there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon–covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

'I thought that he was certainly going to be an intense guy, from everything that I've read about him. (laughs) And he's not. He's so lovely and light. He's a beautiful human being.'

Maria Bello on working with Viggo
JoBlo.com, by Thomas Luepp
27 September 2005

"I knew "Vig" as an artist before I knew he was an actor, like eight or nine years ago, I went to an art show in L.A. and saw these incredible paintings and photographs and said "Who is this man?" and found out he was an actor. So I've always had an artistic, intellectual crush on him, and people told us throughout the years, we'd be friends, and when we met, it was certainly like that."

Maria Bello on A History of Violence
Coming Soon!, by Edward Douglas
September 23, 2005

"I think he stayed in character pretty much the whole time. And that's great. It really helped me… I saw Viggo yesterday for the first time since we finished the film and it was like a whole different person. I almost didn't recognise him."

Naomi Watts
Matt Mueller, Total Film
October 2007

"A dude. An absolutely brilliant, brilliant guy. He's really soft, he's really generous – in all senses of the word: as an actor, as a human being. I don't know anyone who's met him during filming Good or any of the press we did afterwards that could find anything pretentious or starry in him. He's just a really passionate actor and he's a proper actor, he really works hard and he picks his films. He's not in it for money, he's not in the magazines being papped everywhere, he's a very focused guy and he's incredibly multi-talented, he's got so many side projects that he's involved in, whereas I'm really good at… cooking? I'm rubbish at everything."

Jodie Whittaker talking about Viggo
by Ellen E Jones
Little White Lies
April 2009

"From the moment that I saw him onscreen," says Otto, "I thought, 'Shit, he looks incredible. Here's a character I don't have to pretend to be in love with.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

"He has a great physical ability coupled with a real sensitivity. It's sort of a contradiction between the two, that he can kill so many orcs and ride a horse like he can. But he's taken an anti-hero approach to playing Aragorn. He's so much an artist that he takes everything very seriously."

Miranda Otto
It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
16 December 2003

"For our love scenes, he would come to me the night before and say he wanted to change all the lines to the Elvish language. He was trying to make that connection stronger, and I thought it was beautiful that they'd speak Elvish to each other because it adds a layer to their history that you wouldn't otherwise see."

Liv Tyler
Mellow Warrior
By Anthony Breznican
South Coast Today
15 December 2003

'Viggo is a real artist. He lives for creating art and be absorbed by it - not for talking.'

Gwynneth Paltrow
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times

"He was a little awkward, which was sweet. He has all that humor and bravado, but that gave him a fragility. Viggo's a Campion man. Her favourite men are Byron-esque."

Nicole Kidman
Beautiful Dreamer
By Holly Millea
Elle (U.S.)
October 2009

"I knew I wanted him for that role in such a way that I was saying, Please take some of my money and give it to him….Because he gives immeasurable depth to what he does, full commitment, full conviction."

Diane Lane
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that. And I love the fact that, as far as I have been able to see, he has not given away any of his mystery. People want to figure you out so they can move on. But he's the one who moves on." His muse, Lane says, is the tramp. "He can be as debonair as he wants. For that afternoon. But then the tramp will call him again."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

"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, Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen And Forgiveness
By Ulises Fuente - translated by Ollie and Rio
La Razón
1 November 2011

Quotable Viggo: 23 November 2013

While mulling over what to do this week, I realised that it was high time we had another Quotable on Viggo and music. Not – as you would probably think - about Viggo's musical creativity (although I do love to highlight the fact that Viggo can play a motorcycle muffler), but about listening to it. What goes in the CD player, what gets hummed or sung. What songs did he play in his youth,? Which have got stuck in his head? What music helps with a creative mood or fires up his spirit. I've been trawling the Quotables Vault (yes, I really do have one), and come up with quite a mix...

© Miramax Films/Village Roadshow.

Viggo Mortensen talks so eloquently about the joys of getting lost that 10 minutes into the interview I'm lost as well. The actor likes cutting loose and roaming free: partly for research but also for his own enjoyment. Maybe he'll browse around some out-of-the-way bookshop, or drop in at some museum, or visit some old-time record shop and listen to the music from times gone by. Try as I might I can't drag him back on track.

"What music does your dad listen to?" he asks.

My dad? My dad likes jazz, I tell him. Old jazz, trad jazz; 30s and 40s stuff.

"Chet Baker?" says Mortensen.

Er, that's probably too late for him, I say, with a nervous eye on the clock. Now, about your new film ....

"Coltrane?" says Mortensen.

The Happy Trails Of Viggo Mortensen
By Xan Brooks
The Guardian
17 April 2009

Didn't you live in South America for about nine years as a kid?

Yeah, I was 11 when we moved back to the States. I couldn't believe the swear words, the slang, the music - all the kids were into Blue Oyster Cult and Grand Funk Railroad. I was a closet Carpenters fan. I'd sing 'Top of the World' to myself on the way to school, but when I got close to campus I'd shut up.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
By Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998

"I still keep a collection of old tango songs and I listen to them all the time. I also listen to some other Argentine singers of the moment."

Viggo Mortensen Goes Back To His Roots For 'Everybody Has A Plan'
19 April 2013

"...I like to sing tangos every now and then, in private... I don't want to bother other people; I bother them enough with my movies."

Viggo talking about his Argentinian Childhood on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Radio Cooperativa
27 March 2007

"I love this Argentine song from the 1930s called Envidia by Ada Falcon. It's very special."

Viggo Mortensen Goes Back To His Roots For 'Everybody Has A Plan'
19 April 2013

And in music, what are your essentials?

I don't know if I have essentials; the selection depends on the moment. This morning I've been listening to Ray Barretto, The Ramones, Andrés Calamaro and Janis Joplin.

Viggo Mortensen: "If I'm lost, it's because that's how I want it."
By Juan Luis Álvarez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
La Vanguardia
9 September 2012

[John Doe] is an outstanding "live" performer, unique in his ability to connect with the words, the tune, and the audience in just the right heartbeat as he builds the long, exquisite moment. You'll hear it and feel it tonight, and you will be so glad you were here.

Viggo's programme notes for John Doe's performance at the Lincoln Centre
By Viggo Mortensen
American Songbook at Lincoln Center
28 January 2011

What kind of music do you enjoy while you are reading?

It depends what I'm reading, where, and when--and what music is on hand. No music is good sometimes, too. At moment I am listening to selected opera arias sung by Mark Reisen, the great bass voice of Russia, recorded in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Before that I was listening to Buckethead's Colma.

ForeWord Magazine.
31 October 2007

"There's a YouTube footage where we were singing outside the Belvedere [in Austria]. We used to sing a lot. That's something I do a lot of, anyway. It's like somebody will say a phrase and I'll sing the rest of the line. It's like a way to be relaxed."

What songs did he and Viggo sing? "Anything really," said Michael, "like 'Young Girl'" (by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap). He was told that the song's refrain, "Young girl, get out of my mind," was a fitting one for his characters in both "Shame" and "A Dangerous..."

"I remember Viggo and I came bursting into the makeup room and singing. Keira (Knightley) was getting her hair done. We made her and the makeup artist jump out of their skin," said Michael.

Michael Fassbender
No 'Shame' in Michael Fassbender's sex-addict role
By: Ruben V. Nepales
The Inquirer
5 January 2012

"Should I stay or should I go?", is what the famous song from the The Clash's "Combat Rock" album asks. Below I put a link to the song, in case Caruso Lombardi or any other people working for CASLA feel plagued by existential doubts before the key match against Tigre (or the two other very important matches we have left in this tournament) and they need to psych themselves. I recommend listening to the song at an excessive volume, maybe together with some mate with gin to stand the cold of the fall´s early morning."

Viggo Mortensen
"Should I stay or should I go?"
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro
1 June 2012

What about music, what kind of music makes you happy?

It depends. I do like the Swan of Tuonela by Sibelius. Aren't swans supposed to be like geese, in that they mate for life? That's the ideal. So be careful before you kill a swan because you are probably killing a very important relationship.

Viggo Mortensen: The New Box Office King
By Jenny Ewart
January 2004

Q: How did the screen test go [For To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar]?

A: I asked if I could sing 'When I Fall in Love' a cappella, figuring if I could make that much of an ass of myself I'd be less embarrassed saying the dialogue.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
By Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine
August 1998

We break up; collect nicely all out stuff, all orange peelings, bottle tops, and plastic glasses, and head back to his car, a Dodge Ram 2.500 pick-up diesel. On the dashboard lies dried flowers and what seems to be an Indian rosary, in the CD player is fusion music (new age and jazz), and Viggo Mortensen puts on a classic ranger hat. He seems to be very much at ease, as he sits here well above the driving lane and like a pinball navigates us through the brutal traffic.

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001

"Like others who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, I took an interest in not only Kerouac, but also in what supposedly inspired them - apart from literature - during those post-war decades: the jazz figures (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk?), painting (Abstract Expressionism), and movies (Italian Neorealism, Nouvelle Vague, etc.)."

Viggo Mortensen: Furrowed Burroughs
By Aureliano Tonet - translated by Anita Conrade
Trois Couleurs
May 2012

After that, [Viggo] came two more times, always dressed in the San Lorenzo colors or with something related to the club (he brought the flag twice, and he used it as a tablecloth...), until one day he made a reservation for the "end of shoot dinner". So he came again with David Cronenberg and a group of people who don't seem to sleep very often, to wrap up the shoot. What's more, towards the end of the night I played some music by Ray Barretto, and Viggo shouted at me from his table: "Acid!" For a moment, I froze because I thought he was asking for dessert, but then I remembered that Acid was the name of the Barretto disc I had just started playing, which is not only one of my favorites, but also one of his. Twin souls, shall we say.

Letter from London - Behind the Scenes on Eastern Promises
By John Rattagan - translated by Graciela
5 March 2007

Quotable Viggo: 16 November 2013

I loved Viggo's description of Algiers in his October Sobrevuelos column. He wanted to soak up the atmosphere that his character grew up in, and it reminded me of his disappearing into Russia before the Eastern Promises filming and adopting Leon as Alatriste's homeland. He describes his time on the streets of Algiers as an adventure and it's not just part of his acting process, but everything to do with who he is and what he enjoys: travelling alone, meeting people and learning.

© Mastín Español.

'Sometimes I asked people I met on the street or in the cafes about things that could help me to finish building the character in the film we are soon going to shoot in the Atlas mountains. Specific things about phrases or historical references in our script - trying out my very limited Arabic vocabulary, mixed with the French that I'm refining for the shoot - but in general just seeking out human contact, to go along touching, even if it was only ephemeral brushing against, the history of the many cultures that have passed through this city. The character that I'm going to play grew up here and I want to imagine his childhood and adolescence as best I can. I've always liked research like this, letting places, the weather, people and my own physical condition inform the adventure.'

Viggo on preparing to film while in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 2013

"He's very deep in his way of preparing the character," Godino said, referring to Mortensen. "He's living in Tigre, he dresses like somebody from there and I admire this. He's an actor that connects with the character and he's a little crazy, crazy enough to play these characters that he plays."

Javier Godino, Todos Tenemos Un Plan
Viggo Mortensen at home in first Argentine film
By Luis Andres Henao
Reuters Canada
22 July 2011

"I visited Pribor, his birthplace, which is now located in the Czech Republic, and spent a lot of time in Vienna walking around the places Freud must have frequented. I went to his house and scoured the bookshops, buying his books. It never worried me that it was a real character…"

Viggo Mortensen talking about Freud
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es – translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011

"I listened to music, looked at paintings, trying to find my face in those pictures. Walking down streets that you wouldn't have walked down. And you never know where that's going to take you. You're lost. I didn't have people with me smoothing the way, because then I wouldn't have learned anything."

Viggo doing research for Good in Germany
The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009

"I wanted to go to Auschwitz, which I did, and I was looking around. I'd found a map that showed all the places where the camps were. I went to every single one. I drove like a maniac, day after day, and sometimes it was difficult to find them. People don't want to talk about it so much, and in most cases, there's just a plaque. The thing that was valuable was just standing there. It was spring, there were flowers, and the sky was blue. You sit on the grass and yes, you're moved by all these things and the ghosts that you can feel. I was thinking about the guards, the prisoners, the kids... but there were things that I didn't expect. It's hard to explain, but it just keeps opening and opening, and you can never stop learning."

Viggo Mortensen on preparing for Good
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
April 2009

The typical Hollywood leading man travels with an entourage between his palatial homes, five-star hotel suites and luxury trailers. He does not disappear alone for two weeks to meet the Russian mafia in the name of research.

Actor joins the underworld's shadowy cast
Ben Hoyle
The Times
October 17, 2007

"You say, 'Well, where's Viggo today?' " says David Cronenberg, recalling the conversation that happened more than once on the London shoot, last year, of the exceptionally fine new thriller, Eastern Promises. "And they say, 'Oh, he's in St. Petersburg.'

"And you say, 'What!? I thought he was at the hotel.' "

Star's Eastern Immersion Impresses His Director
By Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
16 September 2007

"I know everyone was a little bit worried because I disappeared for two weeks. They said I should have someone go with me into the underworld, but the whole point of me of going was not to get a filtered version of what Russians do and what they're like. "I just wanted to draw my own conclusions."

Viggo on his trip to Russia for Eastern Promises
13 Sept 2007

"I met some people who were marvellous, who had backgrounds like my character, who had been in prison and were no longer involved with that life - or maybe they were, I was never sure," says the actor.

On travelling in Russia for Eastern Promises
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

'He called me once to talk about certain aspects of his character and history, such as Alatriste's birthplace. I had never detailed it in any of the five novels published up until now, but Viggo was interested in the fact. 'In Old Castile,' I responded. 'Could it be Leon?' he asked after thinking about it for a while. 'It could,' I responded. So then he went to Leon and walked about covering it inch by inch, remaining in each town, in every bar, talking with whoever happened to be in front of him. In effect, he finally concluded that Alatriste was Leonese. And he said it with such conviction that even I didn't question or argue the point.'

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El Semanal, July 2005-08-04
Translated by Elessars Queen

"I also tried to discover the Captain's soul; that's why I went to León..."

Viggo Mortensen on preparing for Alatriste
The Desired One
By Ester Aguado, Women Magazine, August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela

"You have to take into account,' he says, 'that Viggo is a cultured man and he finds out about the places he is going to shoot. In the case of León I know he has read a large number of books about that ancient realm, he knows its poets, writers, painters, its history and geography, and anything that refers to that land is followed with attention and kept.'

José Luis Pérez on Viggo's interest in León
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

"I think this is the best way of getting into in the role (under the character's skin), knowing his roots, his environment, how the places where he grew are, how their houses are, what they eat, how the people live and speak. Without these premises you can never bring a character to life with credibility".

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen finds Alatriste in Curueño
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno, Diario de León, 20 March 2005
translated by Paddy

"It doesn't matter if your roots are in other place, the important thing is that when you arrive in some unknown place, that place captures you and you begin to be part of its idiosyncrasy".

Viggo Mortensen
One of León called Viggo
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
April 29, 2005
translated by Paddy

"Among actors, Viggo is completely unique in my experience because of his attention to detail; the research he did - months before we started to film - was incredible. He is an artist in his own right and brings an artist's sensibility to the process, as well as an actor's craft."

Paul Webster
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features

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Last edited: 21 December 2013 17:56:53