Quotable Viggo

Quotable Viggo 2018

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Quotable Viggo: 14 October 2018

This week we have a musical quotable. Not only because I’ve been singing all week so music has been very much on my mind, but also because I keep thinking how nice it is that Green Book features some lovely piano playing and the fact that Viggo has a new music CD hopefully coming out sometime soon, Godzilla Sleeps Alone. So what rocks Viggo’s musical boat?

© Festival Aphonica

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

‘...music is when we all would get together [during Captain Fantastic]. That was at least once a day we'd get together, all of us. We really were jamming and laughing and talking. We'd have something to eat. Okay, let's go! And then we'd start playing. The feeling there was, There's no such thing as making a mistake. We're just playing together. We got better and better and more comfortable with each other...I thought the music was important as an initial bonding thing.’

Viggo Mortensen
'Captain Fantastic': Matt Ross, Viggo Mortensen and the perils of off-the-grid fatherhood
by Michelle Lanz
The Frame
7 July 2016

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

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 200

"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

Rain is the universal music - along with the contribution of the wind through a forest or punishing an open window, the roar of the rivers, the sea.

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
9 October 2014

Quotable Viggo: 29 September 2018

A lovely comment by Peter Farrelly in Screen Daily got me thinking about all the Directors Viggo has worked with, how deep the collaborations have become and how complete their faith in him is. Is there a Director out there who doesn't want the chance to work with Viggo? I'm betting not…

© Getty Images

"He's Viggo Mortensen…it didn't even occur to me that he couldn't pull it off. I wasn't hoping he could do it, I knew he could do it."

Peter Farrelly – Green Book
Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen talk 'Green Book' at Zurich opening
By Wendy Mitchell
Screen Daily
28 September 2018

'Viggo demonstrates the aspirations of the movie, what kind of movie are you hoping to make, and for me, I can have no better faith than in Viggo Mortensen.'

Matt Ross – Captain Fantastic
Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross Interview
Jason Gorber
14 July 2016

'I had dreamed of bringing Viggo Mortensen on board; his singularity made him the perfect fit for the role.'

David Oelhoffen – Far from Men
21 August 2014

'Viggo is directed by himself, doesn´t need my help; he is an amazing actor, a unique person, a dream producer… I was very lucky that he liked the story.'

Lisandro Alonso - Jauja
Nueva voz: Lisandro Alonso y el cine de los hombres solos
El Deber
28 December 2013

"He was incredibly gracious and generous… He became almost like a partner, sort of a patron saint to the whole movie."

Hossein Amini – Two Faces of January
New director turns to an old favorite, '2 Faces of January'
By Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
1 October 2014

What was it that drew you to Viggo. Why was he right for the role?

I think he one of the best actors in the world.

Ana Piterbarg - Todos Tenemos Un Plan
Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet's Holly Patrick for Everybody Has a Plan at the 56th LFF
By Holly Patrick
20 October 2012

'I wanted to show another Freud, not the strict looking grandfather we all know, but someone in his fifties who, it's said, was handsome, funny and charismatic. How was I not to think of Viggo?'

David Cronenberg – A Dangerous Method
David Cronenberg: "Nunca he ido a terapia, pero me parece una situación fascinante"
Rafa Vidiella
3 November 2011

'He is able to reflect struggle without even speaking, and I knew we needed someone who would not hold back.'

John Hillcoat – The Road
No Country for Any man
Telegraph Magazine
January 2010

"I wanted the guy who I could ride next to on a horse for ten hours and never say a word and feel totally comfortable, and I figured he'd be the guy. He's the only man I wanted to play the role."

Ed Harris - Appaloosa
TIFF: Riding Into Appaloosa with Ed Harrs, Renee Zellweger, Viggo Mortensen, and Jeremy Irons
By Jordan Riefe
The Dead Bolt
13 September 2008

Q: Aren't you scared to work with an actor like Viggo?

A: Of course, I'm scared. I'm anxious. I'm looking forward to it. I'd love to start it right now.

Vicente Amorim – Good
Rede CBN radio interview
3 June 2006
Translated by Claudia

'….you get an immense resource when you get Viggo.'

David Cronenberg – Eastern Promises
by Quint
18 December 2007

"...he's got the age, professionalism, look, body and he's one of the few action heroes in modern cinema."

Agustín Diaz-Yanes- Alatriste
Viggo Mortensen Will Be A Splendid Captain
by Gontzal Díez
The Truth of Murcail
19 February 2004

"Viggo has the charisma of a leading man, and the eccentricity and naturalistic presence of a character actor. He's the kind of actor I love."

David Cronenberg – A History of Violence
History Teacher, by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005

'I hadn't seen the first Lord of the Rings before we cast him, but I figured anybody that could sell blouses to Diane Lane out of a truck could do anything.'

Joe Johnston - Hidalgo
Staci Layne Wilson
American Western Magazine
March 2004

'Ultimately, you create your own luck. Fate does step in. When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand. Viggo, in hindsight, was the one person who was perfect for this film. He came out of nowhere, and suddenly there was Aragorn.'

Peter Jackson - LOTR Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
December 2004

Quotable Viggo : 22 September 2018

Well – this has been an exciting week in Viggodom with Green Book winning TIFF's Grolsch People's Choice Award, something that caught pundits well-and-truly unawares. Now there is some serious Oscar talk and Universal are intending to 'promote the hell out of it'. That's got the champagne corks popping in the V-W backroom! In case you have missed the best of the best, here is a compilation of the must read quotes and reviews from the week.

© Universal.

"I'm still reeling over the response to the film, so this is just incredible. Thanks so much to the festival: I was truly honoured just to be accepted into it, but to actually win is beyond my wildest dreams. Now I see why everyone says the audiences in Toronto are the best in the world."

Peter Farrelly
16 September 2018

Green Book, as predicted by Kris Tapley, has taken the People's Choice Audience Award at Toronto… One thing that is definitely possible is that Viggo Mortensen could finally win an Oscar he's a bit overdue for now. The history of this kind of award often does lead to acting wins – like Three Billboards, La La Land, Room, Silver Linings, King's Speech, 12 Years a Slave, etc. In almost every case, the winner or even runner up of these awards wins an acting prize. So this could be Viggo's year at last.

Viggo Mortensen Becomes Best Actor Frontrunner as Green Book Wins People's Choice Award in Toronto
By Sasha Stone
Awards Daily
17 September 2018

Universal has confirmation that their confidence in Green Book is not unwarranted. Studio marketers think they have a Blind Side: a populist mainstream commercial movie that also plays well for the Academy…The studio will give Green Book the full-tilt push now, for the win. And while the movie's comedic trailer did not put it on Oscar pundits radars, it is now. Enhanced coverage will follow.

'Green Book' Gets Oscar Boost from Winning TIFF Audience Award: Here's Why
By Anne Thompson
Indie Wire
17 September 2018

Best Actor in a Leading Role: I see Green Book getting both Viggo and Mahershala in. Think about it this way: Viggo received a nomination (well deserved, by the way) for Captain Fantastic, a massively overlooked film until it bounced back for awards season. If Viggo can get nominated for that, he should have no problem getting his third acting nod for Green Book.

2019 Oscars at a Glance: Second Oscar Nomination Predictions
By Chancey Plagman
Culture Vultures
21 September 2018

Green Book… made its world premiere at TIFF and gained momentum as critical raves and word of mouth spread from screenings that had audiences applauding multiple times throughout the film. "'Green Book' just surprised everybody and came out of the woodwork," said festival director and CEO Piers Handling
"I think it was smart because they came in and it wasn't over-hyped, it just snuck in under the radar."

Handling said he thinks "Green Book" struck a chord because of its "smart" blend of top-notch acting and compelling story that speaks to contemporary issues.
"I think the film was just so well-told, it's witty, it's funny, but it's also about what's going on right now in our society," Handling said.

'Green Book' wins People's Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival
By Victoria Ahearn
Toronto Star
16 September 2018

Going into a festival, you think you know what all the big movies will be, but really, you have no idea. Case in point: Green Book. Peter Farrelly's solo debut, the real-life tale of a white bodyguard and a black musician traveling across the Jim Crow South, didn't exactly come out of nowhere, but it didn't have anything close to the pre-festival buzz of a Star is Born, Roma, or Beale Street. Green Book screened later in the festival, when many journalists had already flown back home, and it was not high on either of our priority lists. But those who did make it to the premiere came out raving about the performances of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, and the movie eventually won Tiff's People's Choice Award a reliable harbinger of a Best Picture nomination. Next time I'm thinking of skipping a screening, I'll think of Green Book, and shudder in despair.

The Winners, Losers, and Surprises of the Toronto Film Festival
By Nate Jones
17 September 2018

Peter Farrelly's Green Book, which surprised everyone when it won in Toronto, is the kind of movie the gives back more than it takes. It's the kind of thing you didn't know you were missing until the credits roll… Mortensen is unrecognizable as Tony Lip. As impressed as I've been with his ability to disappear into roles, he's never delivered such a fully realized character as this. There isn't a moment in the entire film where you remember it's an actor playing a part. He IS Tony Lip. Every throwaway glance, every wipe of his mouth, every cigarette smoked, every look, every laugh — all of it readable on his face. For all of Mortensen's gifts in shapeshifting, he has never quite been able to create such an intimate dialogue with the viewer as he does here. If he judged Tony too harshly, he could never have played him with so much innate humanity. Tony means well. He hasn't been taught well, but he means well and where I come from that counts for a lot

Green Book – One of the Best Films of the Year and a Career High for the Shape Shifter that is Viggo Mortensen
By Sasha Stone
Awards Daily
20 September 2018

Peter Farrelly knows how to hit his audience right in the feels as both a co-writer and director, but he's also a playful enough filmmaker to prevent Green Room from becoming a dreary and sentimental slog. The film is funny, very funny. It's also very moving. That's a crowd-pleasing combo and the movie is guaranteed to please plenty of crowds this awards season... Mortensen dons a cartoonishly amusing accent (one that'll sound a little familiar to fans of Carlito's Way) and leans into the comedic exaggeration of his character. However, he finds dignity and heart at the core and transitions from silly punchline to warm family man and threatening presence with such ease that it's stunning.

TIFF Journal: Green Book
Phillip Brown
The Bonus Review
20 September 2018

The coupling of the two polar opposites (think The Odd Couple) is fascinating to watch. There isn't a wasted second in this perfectly told, shot (Sean Porter), edited (Patrick J. Don Vito), scored (Kris Bowers) and directed drama/comedy. Mortensen strikes the right balance of Italian bravura and class clown. Robert DeNiro must be envious; this is the kind of role he'd eat for lunch. Linda Cardellini as Tony's more accepting wife is pitch perfect. Mahershala Ali switches gears with ease from playing a hardened drug dealer in Moonlight to portraying a refined artist with great dignity and many secrets in this heart-warming crowd-pleaser. Expect Oscar nominations for the film, actors, director and screenplay. After all, Green Book won TIFF's prestigious 2018 Grolsch People's Choice Award, an award voted on by festival goers.

Dwight Brown
18 September 2018

Tony is written as the stereotypical mob-connected Italian-American New Yorker, and I'd take it almost like a caricature if it weren't written by his own son. It the hands of a lesser actor it would be easy for this character to come across as a joke, but Viggo Mortensen gives him some depth. Since he often plays serious, violent guys, it is fun to see him here in a more playful role.

Andy Howell
Film Threat
18 September 2018

Farrelly manages to respect the severity of the characters' social context while ensuring that Green Book never steps outside its protagonists' relationship, a delicate balancing act that credibly makes a feel-good, effervescent comedy out of its thorny subject matter without ever sanitizing it.

Jake Cole
Slant Magazine
16 September 2018

…there's never any doubt where Green Book is heading, and director Farrelly – who shares script credit with Tony's son Nick and Brian Hayes Currie – makes sure it gets there as smoothly as possible. And while I suspect he simply got out of Mortensen and Ali's way and let them figure out their chemistry and their timing on their own, that's the smartest thing he could have done.

It's a pleasure to watch them electrify this movie, and each other.

Norman Wilner
Now Toronto
14 September 2018

While the film does deal with some weighty topics, Farrelly manages to keep it light and entertaining. I cannot begin to put into words how refreshing it is to watch a buddy comedy that along with being funny somehow manages to embrace difficult themes such as racism and homosexuality without coming across as heavy-handed or depressing. Green Book is the type of film that studios don't make anymore. There hasn't been a film like this in such a long time that it makes Green Book feel wonderfully unique on top of it being the feel-great film of the year… Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are perfect together, and I can see Green Book becoming one of the biggest box office successes of the fall movie season.

Scott Menzel
16 September 2018

People tend to use 'feel‐good movie' as a pejorative, but this movie really does just make you feel good. It's breezy and accessible, it has a lot of love for its characters, and it ultimately offers a message of hope in the face of prejudice. For some reason, that sort of thing isn't so fashionable these days. But the 2,000 TIFF viewers who gave Green Book a standing ovation were having too good of a time to care.

TIFF 2018: Green Book
By Ryan Falconer
The Varsity
17 September 2018

Quotable Viggo: 15 September 2018

This week has seen a hugely positive reaction in the Press to Farrelly's Green Book after its premier at the Toronto Film Festival. In case you might have missed any goodies, here is a little round-up of the best reviews and comments! Enjoy...

© Universal.

The Elgin theatre audience exploded in cheers and whoo-whoo applause when a showing of Peter Farrelly''s Green Book ended late Tuesday night. I'm not talking about expressions of warmth and respect — I'm talking about instant kapow, instant "yes!" No other Toronto Film Festival screening I've attended has generated this kind of love, alpha vibes and excitement.

Hollywood Elsewhere
11 September 2018

The 130-minute running time of the film flashes by in heartbeat, and as the final moments arrive, you wish for the film never to end.

Paul Heath
The Hollywood News
14 September 2018

"I don't know if there are two better actors in the same movie this year," said Farrelly. "Viggo and Mahershala are at the top of their game. You can't believe how lucky you are.

Director Peter Farrelly
TIFF: 'Green Book' stars have amazing chemistry
By Jane Stevenson
12 September 201

Now this is a wonderful film. So wonderful… Mortensen transforms entirely, and Ali matches him with his wit, and grace, and humility.

Alex Billington
12 September 2018

Green Book is a road movie, a buddy comedy and a prestige studio release all at once. You will know every beat as it happens; you will almost be able to mouth the dialogue along with the characters. But none of that matters because you get to watch Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali exist together, from one moment to the next, giving performances so textured and alive that they knock Peter Farrelly's movie from "pretty good" to "goddamn transcendent."

Norman Wilmer
Now Magazine
13 September 2018

… packing on 30 pounds to play a good old boy from the Bronx, Viggo gets a laugh every time he opens his mouth — always for one of two purposes: either to hustle whoever's listening into giving him what he wants (hence his nickname, "Tony Lip") or else to stuff food inside it (he seems to spend half the movie eating, whether it's engaging in hot dog-eating contests at the local diner or alone in his hotel room, folding a pizza in half for a late-night snack). We seldom get to see Mortensen in comic roles, but his goofy, sideways smile seems perfectly suited to this one, making it hard — even when he's saying things that are nowhere near politically correct — to dislike the guy for long.

Peter Debruge
11 September 2018

…it charmingly evokes laughs and tears in all the right places, thanks in no small part to the original screenplay by Tony Lip's son Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Farrelly, but more than anything to the winning performances by Mortensen and Ali, two of the most versatile and likable actors in the biz, who are perfectly cast in this film.

Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
12 September 2018

Proving that he can blend in with virtually any material at his disposal, Viggo Mortensen adds another notch to his chameloenesque abilities as the streetwise Frank Anthony Vallelonga, who prefers the casual monicker Tony Lip… Mortensen inhabits the character with a kind of authenticity that endows some of the more heavy-handed showdowns with surprising depth (particularly in a monologue where he tells Ali, "I'm blacker than you are")

Eric Kohn
11 September 2018

Mortensen has the flamboyant role and makes the most of it, turning Tony into a gruff, gluttonous bonehead with a big heart and a thick accent. It's a deliciously oversized performance, though Mortensen also nails unexpectedly quiet moments, notably one where he learns something new and potentially shocking about his boss and simply mutters, "I've been working nightclubs in New York City my whole life. I know it's a … complicated world."

Steve Pond
The Wrap
11 September 2018

Mortensen's role may be the showier of the two, but Ali is a marvel to watch in his musical performances. The actor suggests Eddie Murphy in "Coming to America" crossed with the composure Adrien Brody brought to "The Pianist," where performing serves as a way to communicate across cultural differences, and also to redirect the frustration of all the ways he has been mistreated.

Peter Debruge
11 September 2018

Farrelly puts his actors in front of the camera armed with a tight script, but this picture sinks or swims based on the chemistry between its two leads. And fortunately for viewers, Mortensen and Ali couldn't turn in better work. They're two supremely talented dramatic actors, and their performances here scream out, "Oh we got jokes too!"

Victor Stiff
The Playlist
12 September 2018

The entire film relies heavily on the relationship and chemistry between Dr. Shirley and Tony. Mahershala and Viggo have spectacular chemistry with one another. The combination of Mahershala's seriousness and Viggo's rude humor and mannerisms make for some hilarious moments throughout the film. Coming from director Peter Farrelly, who is best known for movies such as Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Shallow Hal, the humor in the film is perfectly executed.

Ashley Menzel
12 September 2018

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortenson both deserve Best Actor nominations; Viggo brings real depth to the role of an Italian-American that could have easily delved into caricature; Ditto Mahershala Ali who seems to be, at least on-screen, maybe in real-life as well, a piano virtuoso -- his character is filled with restraint and the inner fight to sustain his dignity amidst the racial intolerance at hand.

Jordan Ruimy
12 September 2018

It's fun to see Mortensen go all in with what could have gone disastrously: a full-blooded comic character, complete with a gut and a thick Italian-American accent. He's better than the trailer suggests, the performance feeling less like an impression and more like the lived-in portrayal of a larger-than-life man.

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian
12 September 2018

Lip is a terrific character for Mortensen to sink his teeth into. Rarely has he seemed to be having more fun, displaying a flair for comedy as the streetwise Lip finds himself plunged into Shirley's arty-world, which includes an apartment above Carnegie Hall decorated in African art.

Chris Bumbray
12 September 2018

Suffice to say, I am unabashedly recommending Green Book to anyone who has wants to see one of the best films of the year. It checks all the boxes. Mortensen and Ali are terrific, so, don't be stunned if both get nominations come award season. Make no mistake: This is a big crowd-pleaser. Imagine, if you will, the best elements of, say, Driving Miss Daisy and Hidden Figures, with some well-placed laughs and unexpected tears added for a bit of much-needed spice.

George Prentice
Boise Weekly
14 September 2018

Expect a groundswell of awards support for Mortensen in the lead actor category and Ali in the supporting actor category that he won just two seasons ago for Moonlight — and maybe even for best picture, too.

Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
12 September 2018

Green Book is another ace in the hole that should prove to be a major audience favourite, boding well for its mainstream release via Universal…

… One final note - I saw this movie at a TIFF press screening halfway through the fest. At this point, journalists are cranky and tend to be harder on the movies they're watching as they're going on very little sleep and have already seen so many good movies that by this point it's hard for anything to stand out. Not so with GREEN BOOK. The audience roared with laughter throughout and gave it the strongest round of applause I've heard outside of A STAR IS BORN. To me, this is a sure sign that the movie works for even the most cynical audiences, and I predict it'll be a major sleeper hit in the months ahead. It's a charmer.

Chris Bumbray
12 September 2018

Quotable Viggo: 1 September 2018

In a recent Quotable we read how habits and rituals, and his faithful Bombilla of maté, all serve to make Viggo feel at home no matter where he is in the world. It's not surprising he needs anchors because he is a man who travels a lot. When Green Book promotion starts in earnest this month, so will all those endless plane journeys and hotel rooms, because we know he will be utterly dedicated to giving all the work everyone has put into the film the attention it deserves.

ROTK Wellington, NZ World Premiere
© Unknown.

The actor explains why he always behaves the same way, no matter where he is in the world. "In this business you're travelling half the time. Sometimes I feel like a world traveller who doesn't know where he'll sleep the next day. I am exaggerating a little, but I do value my habits, so I can quickly feel at home. If I don't, it takes me too long to adapt to strange surroundings. That's very important for an actor. That way he can more quickly concentrate on his role."

Viggo Mortensen Goes To Bed With A Shotgun
By - translated by Airwin
Algemeen Dagblad
27 April 2009

I put the Cuervo flag in my backpack, next to that of Real Madrid and the Montreal Canadians, others that I usually hang wherever I travel for work. An old habit, superstitious things.

The Past Is In Everything
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 August 2014

'Since I grew up travelling a lot, flying is almost like being at home for me, and a plane is like my second mother.... I continue to enjoy watching people from everywhere walking through the terminals, waiting, looking for their gates - each person with their own destination, their dreams, their belongings, their preoccupations. And being in the sky during those hours when you feel as though you've escaped from linear time always seemed like an opportunity for reflection to me.'

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

We human beings probably were not the first to see holes in the sky, to suppose that all that open space might be empty space. I am, however, the only person I know who has ever flown in seat 6-F of Iberia Flight 3166 at 18:58 hours Greenwich Mean Time, on the 27th June 2005, heading west by northwest over the English Channel, nearing Portsmouth. At approximately 30,000 feet we are invisible to the naked human eye watching from the ground, perceiving us as blue nothing.

Madrid to London to Connect to New York
By Viggo Mortensen
I Forget You For Ever

'I have to tell you...what an awful combination it is to have a US passport and a Buenos Aires accent when you arrive at the Chile airport. A pretty long delay... my friends that had Spanish passports had already gone through (customs), and they were waiting... and the guy kept checking, very kindly, but he wasn't letting me go anywhere, and he talks to me in a pretty tortured English, and so I tell him: "I speak Spanish, you can talk to me in Spanish". And so he gave me a long look, and then I realized I had f***** up, really, because the combination of the accent and the passport... I was going straight to jail, or so it looked. And so another customs officer comes and says, "No, no, he is the Lord of the Rings", and so..."Welcome to Chile" and (pam, pam - sound of passport getting stamped) "Here you go...go ahead".'

Viggo on Radio Cooperativa, Chile
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
Radio Cooperativa
27 March 2007

"We picked him up at the airport one time, and he wasn't wearing shoes. I still have no idea how he got through the airport barefoot."

Fran Walsh
On 'The Road' And Off, Viggo Mortensen Walks The Walk
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
3 December 2009

Your face is on the side of an Air New Zealand plane - that must be pretty surreal.

I know, it's scary.

Our Kiss Was Just a kiss
by John Millar
Hot Stars
27 March 200

Viggo Mortensen stacks his case and suit protector neatly in the corner of the room. The precision of the movement is entirely in keeping with an angular formation of razor cheekbones and sharp suit. We probably shouldn't be surprised the Danish-American-Argentine has this travelling thing down.

The Mad Men
Tara Brady
The Irish Times
10 February 2012

'You know, they have nice beds in this hotel. It's a nice change once in a while. Just like TV. I don't watch TV at home, but when I come to the hotel, it's like, all these pillows and TV! And it's like, this is great! God, why didn't I do this before, but every time, it lasts about 15 minutes before I get bored and switch off the TV.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003

The weekends in the Congress Hotel are pandemonium, with the noise from the concerts and the bar in the old lobby… That´s why I didn´t sleep well, and also because in my mind, I´m still a little bit in the Northeast of the country where two days ago I was excavating my rented car that was covered with more than a meter of fresh snow so I could get to the airport where my flight to New York was leaving. I went from -26 degrees centigrade to 35 [tr. note: -15 to 95 F] here in the desert of the Southwest. From the cold night by the frozen Saint Lawrence river that marks the border with Canada to the clear dawn of the Sonoran Desert, a shot away from Mexico.

The Origin of Myths
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
18 March 2014

He... presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

"I never stopped traveling through countries and characters; this is my job."

Viggo Mortensen
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
9 October 2012

One day, in Tehran, I see a tourist bus parked in front of my hotel. The name written on the side of the bus, I forget you forever, intrigues me. Isn't that a strange name for a transport company? It became the title of one of my books of poems and travel photos...'

Viggo Mortensen: "You must live your contradictions"
by Olivier Cariguel
Le Magazine Litteraire
March 2015

I've been on hundreds of planes, spent thousands of hours between times and places. We will land, and I won't be done writing about this and maybe other things.

Madrid to London to Connect to New York
By Viggo Mortensen
I Forget You For Ever

Quotable Viggo: 25 August 2018

Not long now! Green Book is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and the promotional hoopla will start again, filling our pages at V-W with wall to wall excitement. Time for some thoughts on movies and acting – the process, the teamwork, the feelings when the work has ended from the man who admits that he’s ‘not cut out for the glamour side of the business’.

© Universal.

“I’m sort of old-fashioned in that I don’t think a movie is fully realized until people have paid a few bucks to go into a room and sit down together, with strangers,” he said. “I think there’s something about that that’s different. You can sort of simulate that in your house, but there’s something about the movie house, the movie theater, that I think is valuable. I hope it never completely goes away.”

How Viggo Mortensen learned to be captain of 6 kids onscreen
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
8 July 2016

"The camera's your friend," he said. "But it's like this person that's there that doesn't talk. But they have really good eyesight! So you should be on your toes. It's this mute, hawkeyed friend that doesn't know how to keep a secret," he laughed. "I'm not afraid of it," he added.

Viggo Mortensen: Making peace with the camera
By Tracy Smith
11 December 2016

‘There’s no better thing as I’m concerned in my profession than to be called reliable. Sounds boring, but if someone can count on you to do a job well, or as best that you can, that’s what I strive for…’

Let’s Get Viggo’d at The Coolidge
by Megan Johnson
Boston Herald Blog
6 March 2012

"When it works, acting is the easiest and most fun job in the world. When everything goes wrong, it can become the most embarrassing and humiliating. And there, unfortunately, no one can help you."

By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
9 October 2012

‘Films are teamwork and there are actors who don't mind saying that the film was a piece of shit but I was just fine. I don't like that. If the film doesn't work, there's nothing. It's like saying, I'm the top scorer, but my team didn't make it to the final.’

Viggo Mortensen
River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
September 2012

“Some actors say that the best way to reach intensity is to stay fresh by not rehearsing, but I don't agree with that. I think being in control is much better: you understand the story, the surroundings, the scene, what went on before and so, if the dialogue suddenly changes because the script is rewritten or the other actor has made a mistake, you keep on acting in character. And, although sometimes you can be out of control, I don´t think that´s the way it has always to be. If anything unexpected happens you need to be ready to do something.”

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Gloria Scola - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Sage
Pantalla Semanal
5 February 2010

'I’ve never been offered comedy and don’t know why. But sometimes I subtly slip ironic touches into my roles.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006

'Working with fantasy is, in a certain way, a childish activity. However, 'it's childish behavior' is often said in a pejorative way. How many times have we heard that phrase? I think that it's something that doesn't have to be negative. Childish behavior? Yes, thanks! Me, I'm really interested in going to that extreme. Perhaps other actors aren't.’

Viggo Mortensen
River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
September 2012

Yesterday, as we finished our filming, I was overcome by a strange feeling of loss, this emptiness you speak about. It´s normal when plays or the shooting of a film come to an end; the work of the group is over and you are left alone in the night while the process of telling disappears as if it had never taken place.

Viggo Mortensen
The Rigors of Fate
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
4 June 2013

"I don't think I'm quite cut out for the glamour side of this business," says the 45-year old, Manhattan-born actor. "I enjoy the working process more than the hoopla that comes once a film is released. For me, it's all about the making of the art itself - whether it's films, or music, or painting, or whatever. Once it's done, I'd just rather move on."

Viggo Mortensen
Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie 2004

Which has been your favorite role in the films you've worked on?

It's like choosing a child. Or a brother. Or more accurately, a favorite foot or hand. The truth is that all the roles I've played have taught me something.

Encounters - Direct Response from Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 April 2015

"Look, you hope the movie turns out well, you want people to see it, but that, or awards, or anything like that — it's kind of a crapshoot," he says. "You put it out there, you promote it, but I can't predict what you or anyone else is going to think of it. I just know if it's a story I want to tell. And, maybe this sounds selfish, but however it turns out, I've still had the great experience of researching it, and studying it, and doing it, and that's the most valuable thing to me. Because that knowledge I've gained — that's something I keep. That's mine."

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

'My best movies, I look at them years later and think, 'I was kind of another person then.' At certain points, it's beyond you. It transports you. That's the magical thing about telling stories in movies, and even going to movies; there's something else that happens. You hope. Because you want to be transported. You want to come out feeling different.'

Viggo Mortensen
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009

Quotable Viggo: 4 August 2018

When it comes to Viggo's acting, less is definitely more. He can give us a character's whole life-story with just a look, with the smallest of gestures, something that film critics constantly remark on in his performances. As Michael Rechtshaffen comments below - he can convey volumes in virtual silence.

© New Line Productions Inc.

…..keep your eyes on Mortensen. You could make an entire movie about the way that guy just stands in a room and quietly scans the atmosphere for even the slightest molecular disturbance.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......
......Mortensen's an actor I'm content just to watch: Those riven cheeks, taut against blade-sharp cheekbones, features that gift golden hour. He quietly inhabits the role of Frank Hopkins....

Ray Pride
Movie City News
4 March 2004

...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 Septenber 2008

Mortensen shows his character's rage and capacity for violence in subtle fashion, simply by the sudden way he will clench his fist or frown.....

Two Faces of January
Geoffrey MacNab
The Independent
15 May 2014

The scene opens charmingly with Frank and the pregnant Dorothy canoodling at home. Frank has a hand on Dorothy's bump, and is talking softly to the baby inside. Seeing the affection between the parents-to-be is reassuring, not least because we see the volatile Frank smiling and relaxed, apparently in a playful mood. Then he suggests fiddling with the hydraulics.

Arquette is perfectly cast, her natural aura of gentle goodness and purity making what follows all the more horrific to watch. At Dorothy's admonishment- "Frank don't talk like that!" - Frank switches. If we weren't so caught up in the film itself, we would be in awe of Mortensen's skill here. His acting is breathtaking, as he builds from disappointment through hurt to a mean sarcasm - "Did I say the wrong thing?"

The Indian Runner
Rowan Righelato
The Guardian
27 September 2013

A single close-up upon realization of his daughter's disappearance and the quest it will entail becomes a tender conduit, a portraiture of a historical human that is unspeakably, indefinably beautiful.

Daniel Kasman
21 May 2014

Every now and then, a movie comes along that plays out almost entirely on a gifted actor's face; you feel as if you could watch the whole thing in quiet close-up, and catch every nuance of the story… Early on, watch that handsomely etched face; on it, flickering, is Ben's fierce love for his children, his stubbornness, his patience, his self-righteousness that's tempered — just a bit — by affection. And, later, see how it falls, like a seemingly immovable rock suddenly tumbling down a mountainside, when he realizes something rare for him: He has, perhaps, been wrong.

Captain Fantastic
Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times
14 July 2016

The scene which confirms the truth is a masterclass in understatement - it's a shot rather than a scene, the merest flicker on Mortensen's face, but you couldn't say it wasn't dynamite. The actor nailed it on his first stab; Cronenberg knew instantly that there was no need for take two.

A History of Violence
On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

A History of Violence
Christopher Childs
May 31, 2005

Mortensen, who possesses the sort of face that conveys volumes in virtual silence…

Loin Des Hommes
Michael Rechtshaffen
LA Times
1 May 2015

He is one of the few actors who can tell a story with his eyes, and these are eyes so full of pain. It is the best kind of acting, pure and honest.

The Road
John Foote
In Contention
15 September 2009

In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Eastern Promises
Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007

He's the only character who keeps us guessing throughout, and he manages to steal every scene he appears in by slyly underplaying the role.

A Perfect Murder
Judge Clark Douglas
DVD Verdict
12 June 2012

Mortensen is predictably fantastic. That dude can say 5 different things with his face in one ten second take..

Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008

Quotable Viggo: 28 July 2018

Here are the answers to last week's early film quiz. Did you know in which film Viggo sported a 'mullet'? Or where he channeled a 'James Dean vibe'? Did you get many of them right?

© Hollywood Pictures/Trap-Two-Zero.

GI Jane:

Mortensen… has rarely looked so sleek, appealing and ready to play romantic leads as he does this time, gleaming out from behind a clipped mustache and a dangerous attitude. This ought to launch his career into the highest spheres.

Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner
22 August 1997

The Prophecy:

He even manages the tricky balance of being horrible and seductive enough to slip you out of your soul… Plus, he manages it in a mullet.

Stars in Rewind: Viggo Mortensen in 'The Prophecy'
by Elisabeth Rappe
12 October 2009

The Indian Runner:

…a magnetic actor capable of both scary outbursts and eerie, reptilian calm.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
20 September 1991

The Passion of Darkly Noon:

…his silent actions are evidence that this actor is not one who doesn't need lines to act the role of his career. To a lesser-talented actor, this restriction might have resulted in a poor performance but does not.

"The Passion of Darkly Noon" Review
By Russell Hill

A Walk on the Moon:

…played with silky eroticism by Viggo Mortensen.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
March 26, 1999


Viggo Mortensen in a pre-Rings role, sporting a profoundly ridiculous blond weave, though still giving the film's best performance by miles…

Shaun Munro
BluRay review
Obsessed with Film
Feb 2011

A Perfect Murder:

But Viggo Mortensen, well heck, now there's an actor with some bite!! If you have yet to hear much about this man, open your ears, and listen wide. This guy can act...and act well goddammit! … certainly a force to reckon for all great future character roles. Watch for him...he's hot!

Berge Garabedian
November 2, 1998

Carlito's Way:

Viggo Mortensen, in a small role, manages to steal a scene… without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
October 2005

American Yakuza:

I'd recommend this movie to anyone interested in seeing a younger shirtless Viggo, as well as some nicely choreographed action.

American Yakuza Review
Flash Bang: Action Movie Reviews

The Reflecting Skin:

Viggo shows up well into the film, and we see an early example of his willingness to be both vulnerable and venomous. Naturally, too, we see his buttocks, surely at least part of the appeal for some audience members.

Jason Gorber
23 July 2015


It's interesting to watch him here as he channels a James Dean vibe, with his wedge-cut hair and sulky, almost shy delivery. He rises to the occasion when the dramatic scenes demand it, but for much of the movie his presence borders on the self-effacing, in contrast to his later work.

David Maine
20 February 2013

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Last edited: 29 December 2018 09:13:21