I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas! Here are the answers to last week’s Quotable Quiz and I’m betting all of you did amazingly well.
© New Line Productions Inc.
While filming which movie, did Viggo…
Singe his co-star?
Two Faces of January
– Kirsten Dunst: ‘Viggo had to illuminate that scene with a lighter, and he was holding it and he burnt me and he was wailing and being emotional, and I couldn’t say anything. The light was out was out but it was still so hot. I think I still have a scar. I didn’t want to mess with Viggo. ‘
Black Book 2014
Send down for a sandwich?
- “When everyone climbed down for lunch, I was still standing up there,” he said, laughing. “The kids were like ‘Viggo come down to lunch!’ and I said ‘No, just send a sandwich up!’ I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t look down.”
W Magazine 2016
Break a rib during filming?
– ‘...the production itself had a few hiccups; the originally cast actor for the role of Tex didn't work out, and had to be replaced (however he was replaced with Viggo Mortensen, so it's not exactly the worst thing that could happen)... The screening was boosted by a fun Q&A with Foree, who revealed that he accidentally broke Viggo's ribs during their fight scene - the shot is seemingly in the movie (watch Viggo suddenly clutch his side after being thrown to the ground)...’
Borrow a camera and end up with a book?
– ‘[Miyelo] came from a scene in the movie called "Hidalgo" [about long-distance horse rider Frank T. Hopkins, forthcoming in 2004] where the character I play, who's at the end of his energies and in the middle of nowhere without any water or hope left, begins to hallucinate. In a delirious state, he starts to hear these voices and see these fragments of people. I wondered how one would use a still camera to represent images of the ephemeral dancers in wide-open, empty landscape - how the ghosts of Ghost Dancers might look. So I really approached it as an exercise. In the end, I didn't actually use my own camera. I wanted to include more of the landscape, and Richard Cartwright, a very fine photographer who was shooting the official stills for the movie, was kind enough to lend me his panoramic Hasselblad camera.
Turn street sweeper?
– ‘Each time the tracks in the street were swept away rapidly by the crew including Dennis 'the horseman'. All of a sudden Viggo Mortensen apppeared, grabbed a big broom and started sweeping vigorously alongside the crew Now that was different. Viggo Mortensen is definitely not afraid of hard work and dirt…’
Give away one of his own poetry books?
- 'I… suggested to Ridley Scott the use of a poem by D.H. Lawrence for the introduction scene in "GI Jane'. This reference gave my military character another dimension. It made him a lot more original, it was also my way of making him less misogynist! And the book which I give to Demi Moore, in which there is that poem, it was mine, all battered, really old ...'
Studio Magazine 2002
Save the music budget by sending the director one of his own CDs?
– ‘We didn't have any money in the budget to buy music, but I told him, "I know a brilliant guitar player and we've recorded together." I sent him 10 tracks to see what he's interested in, and he picked "Moonset". He was right—it was perfect.’
Do a stunt with ambulances standing by?
– ‘How was it to jump in the ocean? “It was very cold. I asked for another take, but they were terrified. They didn’t want me to. They had ambulances. The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, “Just tell me when you’re rolling. I’m just going to run out and go.”’
Buy posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle for the set?
A History of Violence
– ‘Mortensen's commitment translated to a collection of artifacts he purchased in the Midwest on his travels, which included ducks and a bank in the shape of a fish head that says 'fishin' money' on it and is set on the diner's cash register, posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle and other animal sculptures for his daughter's room which he thought Tom's character would have in his home."
Cannes Film Festival Press Kit 200
Shoot a scene with an actor playing one of Viggo’s own ancestors?
– ‘“I found out a while back that I’m related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother’s mother’s side of the family,” he says. “It’s true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection.” Mortensen finds J.K. Simmons’ performance as Buffalo Bill “terrific” - and it gave him an interesting opportunity to play in scenes with a distant relative.’
Cowboys & Indians 2004
Make his own honey?
Todos Tenemos Un Plan
– ‘One of the skills he had to learn for the film was beekeeping. “We got to make honey,” he says, smiling. 'I have one jar left.”’
Telegraph Men’s Style Magazine 2013
Sing his co-star Argentinian love songs?
A Perfect Murde
r – ‘Interviewer: Is it true that you sang serenades to calm Gwyneth Paltrow before the love scenes in 'A Perfect Murder'? Viggo: That is correct. To calm her and create a certain atmosphere of intimacy I did sing a couple of love songs that I learned in Argentina when I was young. I don't know if that ended up scaring her instead’.
M/S Magazine 2001
Have a suit fitting while delirious with flu?
Two Faces of January
– ‘There was one occasion where I had a fitting with him in Barcelona but Viggo had just come down with a fever and was completely delirious. He was sweating buckets and he confessed to his girlfriend afterwards that he hadn’t a clue what he was trying on, but he remained professional to the core. I wasn’t aware how bad he was until he confessed to me later that he could have been trying on bin bags for all he’d known.’
Esquire Magazine 2014
Eat a flower?
– ‘Mortensen is out of this world. Watching him pluck the petals off a yellow rose and devour its crunchy interior is something you won’t soon forget.’
Scene Stealers 2011
Lose his hat as the final scene was being filmed?
– ‘…as the scene unfolded, Mortensen stood rock solid, waiting to draw his Colt .45. And then his hat went flying away, a Frisbee on steroids. Harris reset the scene, and then cinematographer Dean ran out of film. "That's why I like to shoot digitally," he muttered to Harris.’
Los Angeles Times 2008
Rescue fellow performers from being snowbound?
The Lord of the Rings
– ‘Mortensen's humility and generosity turned his Rings co-stars into some of his biggest fans. They tell you of the time when a snowstorm shut down production. The cast was being transported to safety when Mortensen seized a four-wheel drive vehicle and drove back to the set in order to save the hobbits' four-feet-tall scale doubles from getting snowbound.’
Terrify the customers of a local restaurant?
– ‘Mortensen's in-character tattoos for Nikolai were so authentic-looking that when the actor visited a Russian restaurant diners fell silent, thinking that a top Vory had entered. However, once he spoke English, many visibly relaxed...’
Eastern Promises Production Notes 2007
Play the piano every night after filming?
– “…I would be playing the piano and thinking about tomorrow's work and I ended up playing musically what the scene was for me, which I had never done before. I liked it so much I just did it all time. When I watched the movie last night there was a certain rhythm in the body language and speech-wise that has to do with the piano."
Sydney Morning Herald 2009
Sing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ with his co-star?
A Dangerous Method
– ‘“We also had a lot of fun singing duets. In Belvedere Gardens where Freud did take his walks, and then you see him in the end, in his morning walk, we were singing at the top of our lungs, which surprised the public and some of the journalists. He has a good singing voice and I did harmony. In Belvedere, we sang that song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," including all the high notes, which Michael hit really well.”
Yahoo Movies 2011
Wear one of his own shirts, bought in the 1980’s?
– ‘“I looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving in my pickup truck,” he remembered, “with bicycles and fishing poles and tools and pots and pans and clothes and sleeping bags, and I don’t know what else.” At least one of the items made it to the screen: a red-print Western shirt that Mortensen said he bought sometime in the 1980s, worn by Ben in a funeral scene.’
Seattle Times 2016
Change the scope of his rifle so that it was more historically accurate?
Young Guns 11
– ‘I was in my hotel room in Santa Fe, and there’s this knock on the door pretty late at night. I open it, and there was Viggo holding a rifle. He said, ‘I got some ideas about the scope my character would have on his rifle. Do you have a minute?’ He came in, and he sat down dead serious and showed me this conversion he’d done to an historically accurate scope. He said, ‘With all the copper mining in these parts, I think it would be copper.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is serious. He’s really got it.’”
Entertainment Weekly 2010
Approach a major corporation about using their product as a prop?
- “The Coca-Cola is in the book. I amused myself with the idea that it was a Diet Coke. (laughter). It would have been funny. But they only place their products in family movies. So I called them and told them everything: It's going to look great! Cheaper! Free! If it were Pepsi, it wouldn't be like the book. We filmed it with Pepsi, with Fanta…Things went better with Coke. [laughter]. We sent the scene to them and it made an impression. And they agreed.
On Madrid - El Pais 2010
Tease his co-star by moving items around on his desk between takes?
A Dangerous Method
– ‘And in between takes—at first I don’t notice—Viggo keeps pushing these penises, no, what do you call them? Phalluses? Freud’s desk had all of these little statutes and things, and some of them were phallus sculptures from different cultures around the world. And Viggo kept pushing them towards my end of the desk. I didn’t notice at first until I looked down and saw them all, inching ever-forward, with Viggo smirking, really a prankster, dressed up as Freud. It was surreal!”’
Pop Matters 2011
Get a black eye so he could only be filmed from one side?
The Lord of the Rings
– ‘… you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go? Viggo: Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.
Entertainment Weekly 2003
Get removed from his own set by the security team?
– ‘…Viggo would sleep in his outfit. When he went into a local shop one day, security was called to remove him from the premises, thinking he was a homeless bum.’
Telegraph Magazine 2010