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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

Viggo, we all know, is a man with an amazing array of different abilities. And now he’s showing the world his Directorial talents. He can do almost everything can’t he? Well – not quite and thank God otherwise we’d wonder if he was human! There are still a few areas where he’s challenged, though his motto mostly seems to be ‘just do it anyway’ because you never know what might come of it. As he says, below ‘What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.’




Do you feel like a Renaissance man?

No, because even at 500 years old, I still wouldn't be able to get anything right.

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




The Lord of the Rings star shows a full complement of skills including driving the family's bus, lighting a fire, playing guitar and rock-climbing.

"To be honest about the climbing scenes, I have a little vertigo," says Mortensen. "It gets me. I’m glad I look like I’m comfortable."

Viggo Mortensen is a marvel in 'Captain Fantastic'
Bryan Alexander
USA Today
19 May 2016




“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.”

Viggo Mortensen on His Idealistic New Film "Captain Fantastic"
by Gillian Sagansky
W Magazine
8 July 2016




… you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go?

Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.

Chairman Of The Sword
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003




“I don’t play soccer well… I sing just like I play soccer! But I like it, so I do it anyway, it’s just a matter of starting, fear is useless…”

Viggo Mortensen
A Hollywood star in RSM
Argentinean TV interview with Mariana Fabbiani
11 October 2008




'...I'm surprised they let me do [the paintings in A Perfect Murder], 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




“I usually use the excuse that everything is abstract. That way, I can do whatever I want. And if you don’t like it, it’s because you don’t get it,” he joked.

Viggo joking about his art
Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
La Butaca
20 November 2008




You’re a painter, a musician, a photographer, an actor, a poet and you’re a natural at swordplay. Is there anything you won’t try at least once?

You know what? I’m not so interested in skydiving. I’m not sure why anyone wants to jump out of a plane that’s working perfectly well.

The Last Word : Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009




I don't read music and I've never had lessons but it's fun and I find it very relaxing. I'm okay with mistakes and people not liking what I play. I just do it.

Viggo Mortensen on Good
By Angus Fontaine
Time Out, Sydney
9 April 2009




‘When I'm awake, I dream of perfection. It's not about reaching it, I'm aware that it is not possible. My concern is to seek it, to try very hard to shoot the perfect movie, to have the perfect marriage, to paint the perfect painting – above all to know that it will never work out. What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.’

Viggo Mortensen
I Have A Dream
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by CoCo and Techadmin
Zeit magazine
23 July 2015




“I think I've learned more from my mistakes than from things that turned out well.”

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
By covermg.com
10 July 2012




What are you still determined to learn to do?

What I haven’t.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

We know Viggo is a one-off original but it’s surprising how often he’s compared to the great actors of Hollywood’s heyday. Most often to one of my favourite silver screen actors, Gary Cooper. I think it’s a tribute to the huge range of his acting skills that he’s been compared to everyone from James Dean to Robert Mitchum. Just for fun – because we know he’s not really like any of them - I’ve pulled some of them together. It makes for rather a long Quotable and a few are quite surprising!




John Wayne and Harrison Ford

With his aqua blue eyes and chiseled jaw, he is every bit the American film hero - a Harrison Ford or a John Wayne, but with a darkness lurking beneath.....

Sasha Stone
Santa Monica Mirror
28 September 2005




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film......Viggo's acting here reminds me of vintage Harrison Ford, before... whatever happened to him. Think WITNESS or maybe even THE FUGITIVE. He's just very very good.

A History of Violence review
Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




A wonderful reflection on the evocative power of cinema. And, incidentally, the umpteenth confirmation of Viggo Mortensen´s great talent. Mustachioed , astride his horse in a cavalry uniform, sword in sheath and a splendid hat on his head, he is reminiscent of John Wayne in the early John Ford films.

Jauja review
Franck Nouchi - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Le Monde
19 May 2014



Gary Cooper

There’s a scene in that film, Eastern Promises, where his character, Nikolai, stubs a cigarette out on his own tongue. At that moment, all was made clear: Mortensen was an old-fashioned star, as confident and as taciturn as Gary Cooper.

Viggo Mortensen
By David Thomson
The Guardian
10 April 2009




Mortensen, who became a hunky heartthrob as the warrior Aragorn in the "Lord of the Rings" series, carries himself like Gary Cooper here, radiating earthy charm and easy humor, as well as a quiet determination.

James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
2004




Mortensen again proves to be one of today’s few actors who can evoke quiet self-sufficiency and absolute resolution, à la Gary Cooper. The odd fragility of his features—he truly looks here like a man who has been reduced by solitude and ascetic living to the barest necessary husk of self—convinces us totally that Daru is a modern anchorite as well as an ex-soldier who has known terrible times.

Loin des Hommes review
Jonathan Romney
Film Comment
1 May 2015




Mortensen has a heroic presence but he is also unafraid of conveying an almost feline grace. There are moments in this film when he reminded me of the young Gary Cooper, and of Steve McQueen, two other actors who convincingly integrated sensuality and masculinity. These are qualities he shares with Kateb, and when they are together on screen their interaction is absolutely riveting.

Loin des Hommes review
Christos Tsiolkas
The Saturday Paper
31 July 2015



De Niro and Brando


Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




Mortensen's interpretation, in Penn's film "The Indian Runner', of Frank, a Vietnam veteran who cannot adapt to civilian life, an habitual rebel, mutinous, violent, alcoholic, but at the same time vulnerable and touching, is perfect. His presence is both incandescent and dignified, recalling that of Robert de Niro in Scorcese's "Mean Streets'.

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




Even acting-wise, comparisons will be made between Viggo Mortensen's quietly menacing Mafioso to that of the young Robert De Niro in "The Godfather Part II," who morphs into Marlon Brando's Don Vitto Corleone in the first chapter of the epic saga, "The Godfather" (1972)

History of Violence review
Emanuel Levy
emanuellevy.com
1 Sept 2007




'To me, there's a lack of self-consciousness to the great actors. I think the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises is brilliant: he's living the guy's life on screen and you can't take your eyes off him. It's the same with Marlon Brando. You might not know why you're drawn to him, but you are.'

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008



Clint Eastwood


He's just somebody I spotted as having a kind of appeal that I don't see a lot of actors having anymore. It's just mainly from when I grew up that I'm always on the prowl for guys who could kind of play the roles Clint Eastwood played 30 years ago. And he sort of seems to be that kind - with some real serious acting chops.

Josh Olson on Viggo Mortensen
Interview with Jock Olson
by Rebecca Murray
About.com
August 2005




Viggo, speaking vintage Castillian Spanish with his own voice, dominates the film as a kind of Medieval Clint Eastwood, short on words, long on deadly action when required…

Viggo Mortensen - Heroic On And Off Screen
By Alex Deleon
Fest21
16 October 2006




He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood; and has a great seat on a horse. Even when the movie gets a little slow--and it does, a 3000-mile desert race will do that to a movie--Mortensen's onscreen appeal saves the day.

Hidalgo
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com



James Dean


I was looking for a young James Dean. Then, Viggo Mortensen walked into the room. I knew almost instantly that he was the one. There was such a charisma about him.

Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A With “Prison” Director Renny Harlin
Patrick Hickey Jr.
Review Fix
14 February 2013




If Jack Kerouac looked like a matinee idol - who in fact turned out to be a really good actor - he'd be a lot like Viggo Mortensen. But if James Dean wrote poetry and took pictures, he'd be closer.

Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
W
September 1997




Great things have been predicted for Mortensen: his good friend Michael Blake, who wrote Dances With Wolves, has called him 'the new James Dean'.

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991



Robert Mitchum and William Holden


"He is methodical, exacting in his work, he carries out meticulous labors to do something that looks true, and projects it. He is like Robert Mitchum or William Holden, the class of actors whose work seems effortless."

Ray Loriga
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia - translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
El Pais
26 June 2009




Mortensen tends to play listeners – whether the laconic adventurer-king Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, or Nikolai, his Russian mobster in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.

It's part of what makes the 55-year-old Danish-American star an old-fashioned sort of movie idol. He's cut from the same chiselled, masculine material as Robert Mitchum, with whom he shares a dimpled chin and a taste for complex heroes.

The Two Faces of January
By Tim Robey
The Telegraph
15 May 2014



And what does Viggo think?


HP: Does it mean anything to you when large movie magazines compare you with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and James Stewart? And say that you have the same "uugrundelige", under the surface madness?

VM: That's something, but you need to be lucky. If it happens you say "thank you", but you can never count on it.

Go'Aften Danmark Interview
TV2
By - transcribed/translated by Rosen
23 September 2007




"I just think John Wayne was wonderful, and I'm not looking at him as just this icon," said the chisel-jawed actor, a study in seriousness behind innocent blue eyes.

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004




Joe Johnson said that you reminded him of a matinee idol of a bygone era, such as Gary Cooper, how does that make you feel?

Very flattered, because they are very good actors. What they were good at, beyond what they looked like, or whatever their presence, is the same thing that I admire in Omar Sharif, which is a kind of acting that is often under-rated and under-valued.

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



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Studio Canal.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolnanthe

As I’ve had a very music-orientated few weeks I thought another music Quotable was in order. We all know how important it is in Viggo’s life. As well as releasing many albums, often with a mix of collaborators including Buckethead, music has featured in Captain Fantastic as the creative glue that bonded the Cash family together and in Good where it acted as a metaphor for Halder’s increasingly guilty conscience. In Jauja, Viggo’s musical creativity bonded with his acting when his own work with Buckethead, ‘Moonset’, became the only music featuring in a largely silent film, arriving near the end when Dinesen’s journey is becoming increasingly surreal and inward. Music frames our lives and intensifies our emotions and I love Viggo’s comment, below, that ‘rain is the universal music’.




He's a musician, but not in the way many actors dabble in music—he's released 17 albums, including some collaborations with some outstanding musicians.

Viggo Mortensen and the Art of Deliberate Living
By Michael Dunaway
Paste Magazine
3 August 2016




…a prolific discography which boasts more album releases than your average full-time musician.

An Unconventional Method: Viggo Mortensen
Clash
8 March 2015




‘...music is when we all would get together. 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




“...[Lisandro] said that we didn’t have any budget at all to go find what he was thinking about, so he needed somebody to propose something. And I said there is a guitar player named Buckethead whom I’ve known for years, I’ve done lots of records with him. A lot of the music is kinda strange, but some of it is pretty lyrical. It has a sort of circular quality that would suit the story. I sent Lisandro ten songs, and he picked the one you hear and I thought “great choice.” I wouldn’t have thought of it, but he could see that. It was one of those things that happen.”

Viggo discussing the music in Jauja
Viggo Mortensen on ‘Jauja,’ Producing, Protecting Directors’ Visions
John Hopewell
Variety
25 November 2014




It's the opening night of Viggo's photo exhibition and the room is packed with his friends and associates. They're all here to see the debut of his haunting, abstract images, the ones shot during the making of "Hidalgo", Disney's upcoming $90 million epic in which Mortensen stars as the first American to race across the Sahara Desert on horseback.

More to the point, everyone's also here to see the man himself, yet no one seems to know where he is.

As it turns out, the reluctant "The Lord of the Rings" star is out back with six or seven spiky-haired youths in the parking lot. He's the tall one in the center looking uncharacteristically polished in a charcoal suit and black leather shoes. At the moment, everyone's huddled around his dirty blue Toyota Prius, listening to some loud, swampy, guitar noise pumping out of his dashboard.

"Is that Buckethead?" asks the guy in baggy jeans, the one standing next to Elijah Wood.

"Yeah, that's him," says Mortensen, referring to a certain guitar wail. "I'm not sure about the mix, though. What do you think? Should it be brighter?"

This is vintage Viggo. While crowds of people are anxiously waiting inside to talk to him about one thing, he's already on to the next, in this case his next album with the Japanese [sic] experimental guitar legend known simply as Buckethead.


The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003




One listen to The Other Parade, his rereleased 1998 album with Buckethead, ex-wife Exene Cervenka, and a host of others, reveals total artistic fearlessness...

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003




"....for Good.....I play a professor who has music as his refuge. I also placed myself in the situation of having Mahler's music in my head. I felt the need to play the piano. Each night after filming, I played a bit, a way of leaving myself inspired for the scene the next day. Each time, something different came from my imagination. When I returned home I recorded what I had composed to save a trace, and it became an album!"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
by Sophie Benamon, Studio Magazine
November 2007




'I like to play with music. But I would not define myself as a musician, but as a sound modulator. I love to be with musicians and play, to see what comes out from the mess that we do together.’

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




As an oblivious world walked by - including hordes of media types attending TIFF - actor Viggo Mortensen sat openly in the lobby of the Sutton Place, gently tickling the ivories of a baby grand piano…. Following his impromptu recital, the soft-spoken taciturn actor said, "I just made it up."

Asked to comment on whether the piano was properly tuned, he replied: "More or less."

His response to the question, "I didn't know you played:"

"I didn't either," followed by a loud, horsy laugh.

Viggo Mortensen plays piano at Sutton Place
Bruce Demara
TheStar.com
8 September 2008




Listening to Viggo Mortensen and Buckethead's renditions of Viggo's works on ‘This That And The Other’ is to be brought back to the direct immediacy of art and to be given the opportunity to experience a creation firsthand from its creator.

Review: This That And The Other
By Richard Marcus
blogcritics.org
March 20, 2007




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




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
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
9 October 2014



Is there anything you regret not having even attempted?

Yes, many things. But it’s never too late. I wish I had learned music at a younger age, but I did many things and I was very lucky about the people and places that I got to know in my travels, the experiences I had, the people I loved and the ones that loved me. I cannot complain.
Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street.


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Last edited: 16 September 2020 22:56:02