In Brief 1991-2003

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The Ranger - Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

By Martyn Palmer

February 2002

Source: Total Film magazine

Taking on the role of the heroic swordsman was no mean feat for the G.I. Jane star - he even suffered a few genuine war wounds...

Had you read the books before you landed the role of Aragorn?

No, I hadn't. Can you fill me in really fast? [laughs]

You joined the shoot quite late, replacing Stuart Townsend. How tough was that?

I was offered the job and the next day I was on a plane to New Zealand, with a book and three scripts, wondering what I'd got myself into and worrying about not having time to get ready. I knew they'd been there for a few months preparing and that they'd been shooting for two weeks. It was a question of diving in.

How do you 'dive' into fight scenes?

Well the first day I met the fight choreographer, Bob Anderson, who's been around a long time - he taught Errol Flynn to fence and represented the UK at the Olympics. I went into this room and there were all these stunt people standing there and screaming and yelling. He had them all pumped-up and he stood me in front of them and said "Okay, go!" And they all started running at me, and I was like, "Holy shit!" He said "stop" and they all stopped. Then he told me: "This is what you're going to be dealing with so let's get to work..." He gave me a sword and it was just, like, crazy for two days. The first thing I did on camera was swordplay and I liked it. It was fun.

Didn't you lose a tooth?

Yeah, I got hurt a few times - everyone did. But I never ended up in hospital. I broke a few things, but there were a few people who got seriously hurt. There was one stunt guy who had to spend a long time in hospital, but the shoot was so long he recovered in time, got the cast off and was doing more stunts by the end.
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Last edited: 17 December 2005 12:36:44