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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

A few weeks ago, we took a look back at A Walk on the Moon. This week I thought we’d look at another of Viggo’s pre-LOTR films, A Perfect Murder. Like AWOTM, he plays an irresistible lover, and as a bonus we have a heap of original Viggo art thrown in for good measure. When the director wanted to buy in art for David Shaw, Viggo – being Viggo – decided he would do it all himself…





“Normally I think it’s an extreme lack of ideas to make re-makes,” Viggo Mortensen says, “but on the other side – when you can make “Hamlet” over and over again why not Hitchcock?”

Nice And Sensitive Movie-Star
By Susanne Johansen - translated by Majken
Berlingske Tidende
10 October 1998




'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998




“If it hadn't been for the role in A Perfect Murder I would have never painted seriously. I used to make some sketches every once in a while, nothing more.”

The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
CIAK
March 2002




'All three of the main characters in A Perfect Murder are ambiguous,' he warns. 'At my first meeting with Gwyneth, I took two photographs of her. I used both of them for the main artwork in Murder. It helped me to believe in my character.'

Versatile Viggo
By Louis B Hobson
Calgary Sun
5 June 1998




'...I'm surprised they let me do that, actually. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself? I showed them a couple of small samples and they said sure if I made this bigger and I said OK. So it was one of those things where you're at a job interview and they say can you speak Chinese? Because if you can speak Chinese you've got the job. And, of course, you go, "Yeah sure. You'll water ski or whatever. Then, you just figure you'll figure out how to speak Chinese between now and next Wednesday. Well maybe it's not that extreme... I like to draw and stuff but the reason they used photography in it was because that was something that I did know and I had a certain stock pile of images I could play with. That helped!'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell, Carpe Noctem magazine #15
1999




Because of his role Mortensen had to face an interesting phenomenon: Would David Shaw's images reflect the artistic feelings of himself, Viggo Mortensen or do they belong to the character of David Shaw? "I think both are right", answered Mortensen, "I didn't have time to occupy myself too much with this duality. I think that the artwork represents on the one hand my own subconsiousness and on the other hand my ideas on who David is."

Warner Brothers German Press Release
Translated by always smiling




“...there's also some other personal belongings in the movie because, as he says, "my movies are a kind of photo album for me. When I look at them some years from now, they'll reflect my feelings and where I was at that time. The pants I wear are some I found in Denmark. Other belongings are some things I got from my aunt in Jystrup. They're just some small things which make me feel at home and more relaxed," Viggo says.

Nice And Sensitive Movie-Star
By Susanne Johansen - translated by Majken
Berlingske Tidende
10 October 1998




"Viggo's ability to go into his part is very special. And his demands on himself are unique. For instance, he lived for a long time in his character's shabby apartment in Brooklyn to identify himself with the character.”

Nice and Sensitive Movie-Star
By Susanne Johansen - translated by Majken
Berlingske Tidende
10 October 1998




Interviewer: Is it true that you sang serenades to calm Gwyneth Paltrow before the love scenes in 'A Perfect Murder'?

Viggo: How do you know that?

Interviewer: She has said that herself.

Viggo: That's 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.

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Høi
M/S Magazine
August 2001




If you're a woman you will remember the way he slid his hands backward over her cheeks as they made love in his grimy loft.

Talking about 'A Perfect Murder'
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




In the end, the actor who makes the biggest impression is Viggo Mortensen, whose gentle presence seems to be masking some diabolical undercurrents. 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.

Judge Clark Douglas
DVD Verdict
12 June 2012




Viggo Mortensen undergoes an interesting transformation in his key scene with Douglas; we believe him when he's a nice guy, and we believe him even more when he's not; he doesn't do a big style shift, he simply turns off his people-pleasing face.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-times
June 5, 1998




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! I have loved almost all of his performances, with his role in THE INDIAN RUNNER (5/10) and last year's G.I. JANE (6/10) standing out in my mind, and certainly a force to reckon for all great future character roles. Watch for him...he's hot!

Berge Garabedian
Joblo.com
2 November 1998




In 'A Perfect Murder' he is - in spite of Michael Douglas's and Gwyneth Paltrow's presence - the star.

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Warner Brothers.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

We quite often have quotes and anecdotes here from actors who have appeared with Viggo. Just to mix things up, this week we are turning the tables with a Quotable of Viggo’s memories of some of the major actors he’s had a chance to work with over the years. Harrison Ford, Omar Sharif, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellan, Diane Lane, the list is endless and here are just a few.



Harrison Ford in Witness

[Harrison Ford] was most of all professional. Conscientious. Interesting to study. I had the greats before me: Peter Weir, above all, with his calmness and efficiency. In the evening, when I came back from my wandering, they let me watch the rushes. Witness was an idyllic experience.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



'He was really into the building-the-barn scene. I was supposed to be handing him tools and he'd say 'Hand me a whatever,' and I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He probably built most of that barn himself.'

Viggo Mortensen on working with Harrison Ford in Witness
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine, 1998



Charles Bronson in The Indian Runner

"Charles Bronson I didn't get to know extremely well but I liked him; in fact, there's a version of the scene where I go to my parents' house at the beginning of the story. It was a really interesing scene with Charles and Sandy Dennis playing really well. In fact Charles delivered some of the best acting I've ever seen. Shame it didn't make the movie, but I could understand Sean's reasons. He thought my character should be more messed up. But it was a scene that was very awkward; I was high, and was really insulting. It was horrible, but also fascinating."

Viggo Mortensen talking about The Indian Runner
Uncut
November 2007



Al Pacino in Carlito’s Way

"I loved working with Al Pacino. He was unusually generous for someone in his position. He has a very open mind, and a very open heart."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Carlito’s Way
Uncut
November 2007



“He is a very interesting man, with a great sense of humour, very hard working and, above all, very generous and humble. You learn a lot from people like him. I don’t know if he is the greatest. I liked him best during his early stage, in films like Scarface, Serpico or The Godfather.”

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



Demi Moore in GI Jane

'Demi Moore was probably the biggest shock, because she never asked for any special treatment. She was having to do some amazing things as a girl soldier. She never complained, although I know she was in pain and afraid of certain things. She never said anything, whereas the guys were whining and complaining on some days.'

I've Loved All My Leading Ladies
By Garth Pearce
Now magazine
January 2002



Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide

'Watching Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington was pretty interesting; to be at several scenes when they're arguing in speeches and stuff. I'd say that's fun to watch those actors go at it like a sporting event and I had a front row seat. '

Viggo Mortensen on Crimson Tide
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999



Christopher Walken In The Prophecy

"I accepted, in part because I had always wanted to work with Christopher Walken," the actor says while sitting on the sofa's edge. His face lights up when saying Walken's name. It's evident that Christopher Walken is a cult actor for many young actors nowadays. "I would do any movie with him, no matter what [it was]."

On "The Prophecy'
Viggo Mortensen: A Very Devilish Devil In The Prophecy
by Ferran Viladevall
La Opinión
1995



Nicole Kidman in Portrait of a Lady

'She never stopped working and getting inside her character's head,' he says 'You look at some of these people and wonder why they've done so well. With Nicole,it was clear, she has all the talent, but never lets it get in the way of hard work. She's also down-to-earth and could tell jokes very easily. The film crew fell in love with her.'

I've Loved All My Leading Ladies
By Garth Pearce
Now magazine
January 2002



Michael Douglas in A Perfect Murder

Q: What surprised you about your other costar, Michael Douglas?

A: Just before Christmas, Michael was singing Christmas songs all day long, but he'd change the lyrics and he'd make the crew sing along, too. It was just goofy. You don't think of him as being that kind of a dorky guy.

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



Diane Lane A Walk on the Moon

You've worked with many actresses: Demi Moore (GI Jane), Sandra Bullock (28 Days), Nicole Kidman (Portrait of a Lady), Gwyneth Paltrow (A Perfect Murder), Diane Lane (A Walk on the Moon) ... With who did you have the best relationship?

They were all great. But it was one of the lesser stars, Diane Lane, who perhaps impressed me the most. She's been working for years with little recognition in comparison to her talent.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



Ian McKellen in Lord of the Rings

…it must be said that the casting is inspired. Take Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf. He is very prepared, he knows what he has to do. And he has a good sense of humour and truly enjoys life. I don't know if it's a sign, but Ian came to see one of my plays, long ago, when I was unknown.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002



"He had more tricks than a bag of merlins and he really used them all."

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


Omar Sharif in Hidalgo

…one of the great things about this experience was working with Omar Sharif, and I think his casting was very important to the movie. It was already a good story, but him playing this part, I mean he's very right for it. The man he plays speaks several languages, he has some curiosity about the West, Omar has one foot in the east and one foot in the west, he lives in France, he's an Egyptian Muslim, and he's a perfect piece of casting.

Also, in terms of cinema history; obviously because of his connection to Lawrence of Arabia. You know, it just lifted the movie to another level, so, personally, it was a lot of fun to be able to sit close to him, not only working, but kind of pestering him with questions about David Lean, Peter O'Toole, and what it was like for an Egyptian actor to have that experience.

Hidalgo - Viggo Mortensen Q&A
By Jack Foley
Indie London
April 2004



Robert Duvall in The Road

It was the very last take, and it was the scene by the campfire, and I knew that Duvall wasn’t satisfied. I knew that there was something, that magic little thing hadn’t happened yet. He said, “If we could do one more take … let’s just do one for ourselves,” and I go, “Yeah, whatever.” Then, suddenly, he says, “I had a boy once,” and the hair just went up on the back of my neck, and I was like, “Wow, that is so right.” I realized that, which happens once in a while, and you are just so happy that it happened. … It’s so simple and beautiful and obvious, and he said it with such feeling that, when we went back to the line from the scene, there was a little pause, so I asked, “What happened to your boy, your son?” And the rest was magic.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Hits The Road
By Roger Durling
Santa Barbara Independent
22 November 2009



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Paramount Pictures.


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Last edited: 10 December 2019 21:05:12