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Fotogramas - Alatriste Special


Source: Fotogramas.
Found By: Chrissie



Thanks to Chrissie for the find.







The latest edition of the Spanish magazine Fotogramas features a look back at the filming of Alatriste as it marks 15 years since its release.

Article and video link can be found HERE







And from their Twitter - THUD!!!

© Fotogramas. Images © Pablo Sarabia.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe


As Riv has named this Alatriste week there's no need to tell you what this week's Quotable is about! Remember those heady days of intrigue, battles, capes, swords and that amazing moustache? Of Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno's wonderful articles for Diario de León which he always took the trouble to share with us? And how we followed the Captain through the heat and dust and fell in love with Spain? Wasn't it all wonderful?





The protagonist of this franchise is perhaps the least dashing, most enigmatic hero ever to rattle a rapier. Alatriste speaks little, drinks alone, dresses badly and blunders into traps set by more cunning adversaries. But he is fearless, deadly with a blade and, beneath his armored persona, stubbornly loyal.

The Pen and the Sword
By Donald Morrison
Time Europe
29 May 2006




"I liked the script a lot, and if you really want me to play this character, and it turns out that this can be done, it would be an honour for me, I'd like it." That was the simple and firm answer that the New York actor Viggo Mortensen gave the director Agustín Díaz Yanes when the latter offered him the part of Alatriste, the wicked soldier of the convulsed Spanish XVII century, created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García - translated by Paddy
El País Semanal
6 August 2006




CK: What did Viggo Mortensen provide the film with?

ADY: Everything; absolutely everything. In Spain, because of the tradition of our cinema, we don't have action heroes, and Viggo combines an impressive physique (that "exact image of the weary hero" that Arturo wanted) with the fact of being a spectacular actor of action films. He's an extraordinary actor in dialogue, in everything...he has that combination that it's so difficult to find here. Viggo has been the vital centre of the film. The title of the movie is Alatriste! His experience, his help and his advice have also been very important.

Action, history...and skilled swordsmen
By Andrés Rubin de Celis - translated by Paddy
Citizen K Espana
July 2006




CC: Which part of the novel was the most difficult to turn into a film?

ADY: What I was most scared of, but then it wasn't difficult, were the swords and the action, but via Viggo we brought in Bob Anderson. He taught us how to do it and we weren't afraid anymore.

Capitán Alatriste - in conversation with Agustín Díaz Yanes
By Ignacio Saldaña - translated by Paddy
Comunicación Cultural
25 July 2006




I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, "listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: 'Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those paintings."

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007




"I know that my character is bitter and upset. He has good things within him, but it is difficult to find them."

Viggo Mortensen
The Soul of Viggo (El Alama de Viggo)
By Miguel Juan Payan -translated by Chrissie
Accion magazine
April 2005



"Some supposedly great stars doubt you and call you and say. 'Man, what are you doing?!' But Viggo went for the kill. He was the first one to throw himself into the cold water, into a filthy mud puddle, and the rest followed him."

Agustín Díaz Yanes
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007




'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Top Men - Viggo Mortensen, Glamour Magazine,
August 2006
Translated for V-W by Graciela




Viggo Mortensen plays his character to perfection. He submerges himself in Alatriste and his terse, murmured and yet sonorous speech is that of one who knows words are extraneous when swords meet. His clear gaze, firm and serene, his calm, fluid gestures and that loyal spirit he has toward his comrades in arms, serve better than any narrative to tell the story of a man who knows irrevocably what his destiny will be, but still keeps hope alive for a future day when Spain will see better times and break free of the agonized struggles it is presently enmeshed in.

Diego Alatriste y Tenorio - Hero or villain?
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Margarita
Diario de León
29 August 2006




"He is Alatriste, the one I thought, the one I wrote! He's almost the one from the drawings!"

Pérez-Reverte
A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy




Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




The final sequence of the film was being shot, because it is in Rocroi that the final square made up of veterans from the Old Cartagena regiment makes a stand and the story of Captain Alatriste ends. I was behind the cameras, a privileged spectator watching hundreds of riders charge again and again against the loyal Spanish infantry and Viggo in the front line, his head uncovered and sword in hand, defending his life and that of his comrades. "He truly believes he is Diego Alatriste," Agustín Díaz Yanes told me between takes. "Actors are all a strange breed," he added, "but this one is a special case."

Viggo, The Captain
By Arturo Pérez-Reverte - translated by Elessars Queen and Astarloa
El Semanal, Diario de León
20 July 2005




"We were enormously lucky with the appearance of Viggo Mortensen; it could be no one else! Even Arturo took things from Viggo for the next novel. That´s where we succeeded with the followers... Viggo was so extraordinary that he surpassed everything that Arturo, and obviously I, could have thought. His physical presence on screen is tremendous, " he says emphatically."

Diaz Yanes
The Biography of Captain Alatriste
By Jose Edurado Arenas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
ABC.es
6 June 2010




That hero will have Viggo Mortensen's face forever. Challenging and tender. Big blue eyes and proud look.

The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García
El País Semanal - Translated for V-W by Paddy
6 August 2006


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You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 20th Century Fox/Estudios Picasso.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo



Viggo has appeared in rather a lot of literary adaptions (not surprising for a man who reads and reads and reads...) – A Portrait of a Lady, The Lord of the Rings, Alatriste, Appaloosa, The Road, On the Road, Two Faces of January and Loin Des Hommes - and it's always clear how important the text is to him and that the script honours the book and the author's vision. Sometimes the book has been familiar to him for a long time, sometimes the script has introduced him to the book. Either way it's important that it's a good adaption and you can bet that in every case a copy of the book is always with him, sprouting post-it notes from nearly every page.





Loin des Hommes

Q. Was the Camus story a strong influence on how you conceived of your character?

A. Both David and I referenced the story as much as possible. I have always admired Camus and thought he didn't get a fair deal from the left in France. History has proven him right; he spoke truth to power and paid a heavy price for it. He thought people should find a way to live together, whatever their differences of skin color or language. I think the character in the story in many ways represents who Camus might have become if he had stayed in Algeria.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Silcas
New York Times
26 August 2014




Two Faces of January


Mortensen appears to be a fine connoisseur of the novelist and her work. He admitted he liked her short stories "even the ones that are a page and a quarter and you go 'oh come on' like the collection 'Little Tales of Misogyny'".

The American Friend, Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley also made the cut but he prefers the approach in The Two Faces of January, a "more graceful" one.

Berlin: Viggo Mortensen knows his Patricia Highsmith
By Tara Karajica
Screen Daily.
12 February 2014




On the Road


"...in the '70s, when I was 17-18 years old and living in America, on the border with Canada. On the Road was an initiation book for many adolescents of my generation, even for me. Much later, I discovered other writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Céline, Rimbaud, Camus ... But I find that Burroughs was the most original, an outsider, a pioneer of the language."

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




I read this novel for the first time as a teenager, and since then three times as a whole and often in parts. I've read everything that was published by Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. In preparation of the movie, I listened to all available voice recordings of Burroughs... among them were also talks between him and Cronenberg concerning the filming of Naked Lunch.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
Viggo Mortensen
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012




For many people, this novel was deemed unfit for filming. Did you ever have similar qualms?

Viggo:
I never thought this novel unfit for filming, yet it was obviously no easy task. But after reading the script, my concerns were easily resolved. The movie takes over the novel's best elements, stays true to the characters and besides focuses on the women, which for me is a true improvement compared to the original.

Viggo talking about 'On the Road'
"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012




The Road


Viggo did you come to the film from reading the book or the actual script?

I'm a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, I had read all of his books except The Road. The Road came out with great fanfare and went on to become his most far reaching universally appealing work because it's more straight ahead, it's easily understood, the dilemmas are understood by any culture. I hadn't gotten around to reading it just out of shear stubbornness because everyone kept telling me how great it was. I was meaning to read it. I had seen it wherever I went, in airports and so forth and I just hadn't read it. But then I read the script which I thought was a great script, a great story. I realised it was quite an honour to be offered this role. After reading the script I ran to the store to buy The Road and read it all

Viggo Mortensen at the BFI London Film Festival
Flicks and Bits
30 October 2009




What did you learn from your discussion with the book's author, Cormac McCarthy?


I talked to him one long time before shooting on the phone. We basically talked about his kid and my kid and being dads. I had tons of notes and questions to ask him. I was ready to pick his brain. At the end of the conversation, he asked me, "Do you have any specific questions about the book?" I had 50,000 post-it notes in the book and not one but two pens in case it ran out of ink. I mean I was ready. But I said "Nah, I don't really" because I realized the conversation we had was all I need to get going. His book and his words are so heartfelt and so free of any gimmickry. He just transcends cultures and languages.

Viggo on The Road
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun Times
22 November 2009




"…the book was my constant companion. It's pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to. But this movie is about man's humanity, this flower that blooms in a desert between two people."

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009




After the movie, Viggo came back up on the stage and answered a few questions. When put on the spot to add on a final word he thought for a second then dug into his bag and brought out his personal copy of THE ROAD. There were what looked like a hundred stick-it notes marking different pages and the spine was cracked and worn. It's obviously seen a lot of use.

To close the event he read a bit from McCarthy's description of the sea-area landscape. That was pretty cool…

Quint at the Telluride Viggo Mortensen tribute
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008




Appaloosa

Ed Harris read Appaloosa while you guys were still working on A History of Violence. Then you read the book after that, right?


Mortensen:
When A History Of Violence was presented here at the Toronto Film Festival, he was here to do interviews, just like I was for that movie. He handed me this book and in his kind of quiet way said, "Here's this book. You might like it. It could make a good movie." He wasn't very forward about it but that was sort of a big step, I thought. It must mean something, being that he's such a good actor. And he did a great job directing Appaloosa. I thought that it was intriguing. I knew that was what he was driving at - that he wanted to direct this movie.

So you kind of committed to him based on the book?


Mortensen:
The book, yeah. He hadn't written [the screenplay] yet.

Interview With Appaloosa Star Viggo Mortensen
Reelz Channel
3 October 2008




Alatriste

While the texts that this film is adapted from are widely known in the Hispanic world, in the United States they haven't had such a similar recognition. Assuming that fact, how did the opportunity to take part in this production fall into your hands?

I didn't know Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novels. Long ago, I had worked in Spain with Ray Loriga, in My Brother's Gun. One day, Ray told me he was going to be in Berlin, where I was promoting Peter Jackson's The Return of the King. Loriga went with a friend, Tano (Agustín Díaz Yanes), who brought a script that he gave me to read. I liked the plot as a tale, as a story. And it captivated me. So I decided to do it, against everyone and against everything.

The Filming of Alatriste - Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Jesús Martin - translated by Paddy
Acción
July 2006




'When I read the books which the movie is based on, I liked them so much: they told me an interesting and complicated story. The character too is more complicated than my previous ones. For this reason the movie can even catch the viewers unprepared: they expect a lot of action in imperial Spain, and they find themselves deeply lost in events full of shadows.'

Viggo, a movie star forced to fight - "Heroism? It's only propaganda..."
By Claudia Morgoglione - translated by Cindalea
Repubblica
18 June 2007




Lord of the Rings


Basically, I got a call: "Do you want to go to New Zealand for fourteen months to film The Lord of the Rings?" Just, you know, this famous epic trilogy! And my first reaction was "No!" Obviously I'd heard of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, but I hadn't read the book, and I certainly hadn't read the script; I usually like to have a lot more time to prepare for a major role; and I really didn't want to be away from my family for that long. I have to say, it didn't sound like a very wise move to me at all!

My son said I was crazy and that I had to do it, even if I was going to be gone a long time. So there I am on the plane for New Zealand, reading that enormous, telephone directory-sized book and then the scripts, and a couple of days later I'm filming. I continued to feel unprepared, but at least I didn't have much time to get nervous, which was probably good!

Viggo Mortensen
Official Movie Guide




Were you a J.R.R. Tolkien fan before the film "The Fellowship of the Ring?"


VIGGO: No. I'd heard of Tolkien and Hobbits and "Lord of the Rings." But I didn't know much about it. l assumed it was about elves and dwarves, maybe fairy tales. When I got the job, I started reading the book immediately so I knew what we were dealing with on film. ... I recognized themes from lots of other cultures, Samurai, Native American myths, not just European fairy tale -- the idea of a heroic journey, characters being tested.

Viggo on locusts, life and kissing Liv Tyler
By Molly Woulfe
Northwest Indiana Times thetimesonline.com
3 August 2004




"While Peter obviously cares a great deal for Tolkien's writing-otherwise he wouldn't have given so much of his life to it-what seems to have drawn him most as a filmmaker was the pure adventure aspect of the tale. The heroic sacrifice of individuals for the common good. All the breathtaking sequences-he really poured himself into those. The more I explored Tolkien, the more I felt I had two bosses: Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I tried my best to be loyal to both of them."

Viggo Mortensen
We Were All On an Epic Journey
by Jeff Giles
Newsweek magazine, 2001



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © MK2 Productions.


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Last edited: 13 September 2021 12:23:27