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No Need To Do A Fundraiser In 2020

Categories: Editorials

You know . . . if I see one more ad that says we are in "challenging" times or "unprecedented" times, I think I will I will go bonkers. In my humble opinion, we are in tragic, grim, and scary times. Even if we are the lucky ones who have not been personally touched by the ravages of the actual covid-19 virus, we have all been impacted by loss of jobs and income.

The people who run our server continue to amaze me with the extraordinary quality of their work and their products. They are the major reason (along with Techadmin) that we were able to get back on the air so quickly after last year's hack and demand for ransom.

During this past year, we at Viggo-Works have been pretty frugal with our funds and we have a little in the bank. I know that we can pull together the rest of what is needed to pay for our annual server fees.
Therefore, I am pleased to announce to all of you that this year we will not need to ask you for any money to assist us in that endeavor.

With so many of you who would normally contribute to our server fundraising, scrambling to put food on your tables and pay the bills, we feel there is certainly a more urgent need for your money. To those of you who may be better off and have some funds to contribute, please put those funds to work in your local communities . . . help your hairdressers . . . help your (now unemployed) food servers at your favorite restaurants . . . help your neighbors who are laid off. Do some good with those funds.

Help each other out. Viggo-Works will be on the air for another year. Take a break from all the grim news and come join us in some diverting and interesting conversation. Oh . . . and . . . all the Viggo news.

BTW . . . I believe I still have a Viggo signed book in my library. Will think of a way to give it to someone on our 16th birthday!

Stay safe and well and bawdy!! And . . . thanks for joining us!!


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Is Viggo De Niro?

Source: BBC - Kermode Uncut.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for bringing us this entry from Mark Kermode's blog.
Viggo Mortensen is coming on the Kermode and Mayo's Films Review show this week to talk about his new film A Dangerous Method.

A while back I said that he was the natural successor to Robert De Niro - do you agree with me?

© 2012 BBC.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

With Viggo famous for his film acting, taking the risk of returning to the stage after all this time in Purgartorio could have landed him in well, purgatory, if not downright hell. But there have been very good reviews of the play and of Viggo's performance - remarkable for someone who hasn't walked the boards for more than 24 years since his award winning performance in Martin Sherman's Bent in Los Angeles, and the theatre has been packed out. With a quote from 2008, it's also a reminder how long Viggo has been thinking about the play which he has been passionate about seeing presented.

"I haven't done theatre in 20 years, and that terrifies me more than death."

Viggo on Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen: first Good - and then goodbye?
By Kevin Maher
The Times
2 April 2009

"There's no take 2, no escape. You either remember your lines or you don't. It'll be a good challenge."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier talking about taking the stage
Chris Betros
5 December 2008

Do you approach a character for the theatre in the same way you would if you were acting in a film?

Yes, always with a certain fear and preparing myself the best I can, paying a lot of attention. I don't think there's so much difference between good acting in film and good acting in theatre. In general, depending on the size of the hall, it's true that in theatre you have to take into account adequate voice projection, but, ultimately, what matters is whether the spectator believes what the actor is doing or not.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011

'Tough subject, difficult script to memorize and present.'

Viggo Mortensen on Purgatorio
Viggo Mortensen Talks Working With Kristen Stewart in On the Road
by Allie Merriam
Buzz Sugar
29 November 2011

Mr. Mortensen, 52, said that during rehearsals for "Purgatorio" he sometimes thought he "should have picked something easier."

"It's just two characters, and it's an hour and 45 minutes," he said, with no intermission. "Any mistake you make is live, and it can go off the rails," he said. "Also, in the script, there's a lot of repetition and a lot of strange things about time."

Viggo Mortensen interview
By Chris Brock
Watertown Daily Times
20 November 2011

"The most interesting part is that you clearly see how, both in our friends' lives and in the lives of people in the public spotlight, in politics, in legend and myth, mistakes and weaknesses always emerge," says Mortensen, and to illustrate it he brings up a fragment of a poem by Leonard Cohen: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011

"First you need to forgive yourself, then forgive others. Revenge over and over again is a kind of poison, even if saying so is quite justified."

Viggo on the message of Purgatorio
Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011

"You have to be honest about weakness and feelings of guilt. The good thing about any creative work, movie, story or poem, is that it asks you questions without asking you to think one way or another, and this play asks whether it is possible to forgive unconditionally, whether there are things that are so hurtful that they cannot be forgiven, and the answer I personally provide is that real forgiveness cannot set any conditions, be they what they may."

Viggo and Carme explore forgiveness
By Rosana Torres
El Pais
4 November 2011

Sometimes, during rehearsals, I have thought that I've been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge, but then the doubt, the insecurity go away and I keep enjoying what I´m learning from my colleague Carme Elías, and from our director, Josep María Mestres. Ariel Dorfman´s script is demanding, but it´s full of little gifts that keep coming to you to the extent that you are deciphering the text and physically absorbing it.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011


The third act, when the cursed lovers meet again, is a beauty. Carme Elías throws herself into the horrifying confession and reaches her emotional height because she captures the duality of this devastated and indomitable woman who wants to begin anew but would return to doing everything she'd done, and Viggo Mortensen is unsurpassable in humanity, contained pain and buried passion.

You and I make four
By Marcos Ordóñez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
7 November 2011

Viggo Mortensen is a better stage than film actor. And not because that medium is bad, but because the nearness of the spectator and the live performance allow one to appreciate more intensely the entire panoply of gestures and intonations that accompany his acting. From the sober, tough, unpleasant, and relentless interrogator of the first act, he transforms himself into the frightened, eager to please, somewhat conceited and competitive man he is in the second, when the roles change and he turns into the victim of a tyrant, also played to perfection by Carme Elías, who is at times playful and affectionate, other times inflexible and insensitive.

An Interpretive Reading
By María Martín - translated by Ollie and Rio
Diario Abierto
14 November 2011

Here is Elias, one of the great actresses of our stage; I was so close to her this time that, yet again, I was left astounded. The well-known film actor Viggo Mortensen does a magnificent piece of work, which starts from the moment he pretends to be the psychologist. He has a warm voice and a wealth of technique; he takes advantage of his Argentinian speech, especially in this false character, just as he does in the later ones.

Hatred and Forgiveness
By Enrique Centeno - translated by Ollie and Rio
Enrique Centeno Teatro Critica
9 November 2011

The fact is that Mortensen on film is very good; it's his thing. But let's not kid ourselves...the theatre is another world. It's very difficult. I think that I went because I'd already seen almost all the other shows on right now. But the man holds his own quite well. His propensity for raising his hand as if he were going to thrust a sword at someone, Aragorn style, makes me a little nervous, but otherwise, he does an excellent job.

Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
25 November 2011

If Viggo Mortensen seems much more convincing, it´s because, to begin with, he manages to surf over the rhetorical encrustations in the text. It cannot be easy to say naturally things like "When they´ve extracted my true face from my most hidden interior." In his actor´s profile - what a novelty - an extreme sensuality, a latent danger and an intense purity coexist. No actor likes to be compared to others, but he makes me think of a cross between the power of the young Kirk Douglas (chin included) and the innocence of Woody Harrelson or John Savage. There´s a great sobriety in his work, although he, too, overuses gestures to express what he feels. For example, the tendency to hunch to show his fragility and the weight he is carrying looks affected and detracts from the power and the mystery.

You and I make four
By Marcos Ordóñez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El País
7 November 2011

This mirada oblicua* challenge, undertaken "poetically" at the Matadero del Español, was complicated by the difficulty of the text, a "flowering hell" halfway between a bolerazo** and Sartre, and by the vicissitudes suffered by the play since it was announced that it would open back in 2009, and which kept being postponed by various problems.

The actress who initially was going to star in it, Ariadna Gil, sitting between the author and the film director Agustín Díaz-Yanes, has been a privileged witness to "the tour de force" performance offered by Elías and Mortensen, the New Yorker raised in Buenos Aires, who occasionally failed to find "le mot juste."

The Aragorn of Lord of the Rings and Capitán Alatriste has managed to solve the omissions, we don't know if as a result of bilingualism or his own memory, with such stage presence, especially after the second scene, that it made it impossible to believe that 23 years have already passed since he set foot in a theatre.

Mortensen and Elías open in the Spanish "Purgatorio" to public acclaim
By Concha Barrigós - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 November 2011

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Teatro Español.

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Oscars 2011: Viggo Mortensen Sets The Standard

Source: Awards Daily.
Found By: SkaldIs
Our thanks to SkaldIs for bringing us this article at Awards Daily.
© Hanway/Lago.
In David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method Viggo Mortensen is nearly unrecognizable. Few actors today really dive into the research the way he does and it shows in each new incarnation Mortensen delivers. He is one of the most unpredictable actors because he never gives you what you expect, and he never repeats himself. He is a character actor, a shapeshifter, someone who has the perceptive tools of a painter, a poet and a musician.

The thing about his work here is that all of his research, all of his thoughtful examination of his character's motivations and identity is on the screen. Somehow, it shows. You look into his characters -- they, as David Byrne might say, have a view. The striations of experience reveal themselves so that there is never any question that you're watching a character and not Mortensen, who all but disappears into them.

He functions a bit as Cronenberg's muse. Much of this, according to the director, is Mortensen's own enthusiasm for the work. Who wouldn't want to work with an actor who is up late emailing back and forth various things he's thinking about and uncovering about his character? He's someone who could have skated by on his leading man status but instead he morphed in and out of the strangest, most compelling characters in film.

That he wasn't nominated for The Road illuminates everything that is wrong with the Oscar race; if you're not in the business of awarding that kind of acting how can you use the word "best" in all seriousness? He's up to bat again playing Freud in the Cronenberg film this year, this time in Supporting.

I had an email exchange with Mortensen about Cronenberg and A Dangerous Method. The questions and answers after the cut.

1) Your collaboration with David Cronenberg is a subject you probably get asked about a lot. Some directors work well with a specific actor who works as their muse of sorts. Scorsese had De Niro, Woody Allen had Diane Keaton, Hitchcock had Grace Kelly and David Cronenberg has you. What is it about your working relationship that makes it such a good fit do you think?

First and foremost, we are friends who respect each other and share a similar sense of humour, of the absurd. Nothing is sacred, but everyone and every subject is treated with curiosity, courtesy and respect by him. I admire his natural good manners and modesty as much as I do his remarkable talents and track record. There is no yelling or panicking on his sets. He is as knowledgeable -- probably more so -- about the actor's process and all technical aspects of filming as any director I have ever worked with. He understands how I prepare and how I like to work, and I believe he knows that I respect and understand the same things about him. His workplace is calm, efficient, and fun. No matter how serious the subject matter or the pressure involved for the performers, any given scene to be shot is handled in a professional, quietly confident manner by David. He inspires confidence. He helps you feel that you can meet any challenge because he is right there with you at all times, seeing everything, feeling everything. As always when working with him, I not only do the usual extensive research that I enjoy so much, but also share that process with him in a way that does not happen as much with other directors. He always seems like a first-time, extremely gifted young director. At times he even appears to be a like-minded actor, leaving no stone unturned with regard to the story at hand, its socio-historical context. He clearly likes his job, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Although I can always count on enjoying what I experience and learn during the period of preparation for any movie, it is not always the case that the shoot and the final results are as pleasant or satisfying. With David I know that the shoot will also be fun and inspirational, and that the eventual movie will be one that I can feel proud of having participated in.

2) According to Cronenberg, you do intensive research on every role you play and did much research for this film. Did you learn anything about psychology or about Freud that changed the way you think about yourself or the people around you? Or what was the most interesting thing about that research?

I learned a lot of things about Freud, Jung, Spielrein, Gross, et al. about psychoanalysis and the time and places that "A Dangerous Method" is set in. Whether the research I did and the experience of shooting this movie changed the way I think about myself or others, I do not know. I imagine that it had to have, but I cannot say exactly how at this point. Perhaps in time I will understand that better. Certainly I think that the psychoanalytic process pioneered by Freud and embraced by Jung, Spielrein and others is of great value. I felt prior to working on this project, and continue to feel, that the idea of "confession" without judgment to a knowledgeable and sensitive professional can be of great value. The period leading up to the Great War was also a fascinating one to explore. I strongly recommend Stefan Zweig's THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY, if you have not read it. Zweig was a sort of poetic "Zelig", a fine writer and chronicler of his age who counted among his close friends an impressive list of artists, philosophers, poets, and scientists. He and Freud were Viennese contemporaries. There is no better-written or more informative and engaging documentation of late-19th century and early 20th century Vienna and Western Europe. Among the many research materials that David and I shared, this book was one we found quite useful.

Had another director asked me to take on the role of Freud at 50, I might not have accepted the offer. On the face of it, the role seemed a big stretch for me physically and in terms of speech patterns, among other things. Even more of a stretch than the Russian character I played for David in "Eastern Promises". However, once I started to learn how colleagues and others saw Freud -- how they remembered his authoritative presence and voice -- and then gradually became comfortable with the amount of dialogue entrusted to me, I understood how fortunate I was to be part of this movie. One of the most interesting things I learned about Freud was how witty he was, what a good sense of humour he had. Although there are not really any out-and-out jokes in the movie, I did find, with David's approval and assistance, a certain irony in the character's tone and body language that is, I think, at times helpfully amusing in the movie. This also helped show the contrast between him and Jung, the difference in their backgrounds, their attitudes. As with Christopher Hampton's excellent script in general, the depiction of Freud as a sociable man of great wit with an appetite for all kinds of knowledge is very much in keeping with the historical record. Apart from reading his work and Jung's, as well as others' descriptions of these men, I greatly enjoyed exploring and considering Freud's personal library, which included Wilde, Twain, Ibsen, Goethe, Nestroy, Busch, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Darwin, all manner of classical scholarship, mythology, histories of medicine, just to name some of the reading that he did for both work and pleasure. He was, above all, a great humanist who wrote beautifully and was able to quote with seemingly effortless accuracy and a remarkable capacity for comparative analysis from humorists, philosophers, novelists, poets and other literary sources. Educating myself further about Freud and what interested him in order to participate effectively in "A Dangerous Method" was a great gift to me as an actor and a reader. One of my favourite Freud quotes is: "Wherever I go, I find a poet has been there before me."

3) Your characters have been so wildly diverse, especially in your work with Cronenberg in your past three films together - you are, despite your good looks, a character actor at heart it appears. In A Dangerous Method you are nearly unrecognizable as Freud. Do you see your future as an actor as a shapeshifter? Or does Hollywood really want you still as a leading man?

I have no idea what "Hollywood" wants. Even if I assumed that there was such a thing as "Hollywood" and that it had one mind about what actors or directors ought to do in order to do good work and flourish, I'm not sure that I would want to try and conform to such hypothetical standards. There is no overall plan to my approach in terms of the work I end up doing in the movies. A lot has to do with good fortune. Had it not been for the box-office success of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, for example, David would not have been able to cast me in "A History of Violence" in 2004, and I may not have ended up playing his 'Freud'. One can prepare for luck, however, be as prepared as possible to seize a good chance when it comes along, do a thorough, professional job of facing the resulting challenges. It is impossible to know whether a movie will reach a large audience, receive critical respect or prizes. There is no point in trying to plan for those things. There are movies and performances that I have had a hand in -- including my previous collaborations with David, Ed Harris, John Hillcoat, and Agustín Díaz Yanes, to name just a few directors I've lately been fortunate to work with -- which in retrospect seem like they might have received more consideration, more attention at the time of their releases. As I have done up until now, I expect that I will continue to seek out unusual challenges, stories and characters that can teach me new things about life and about myself. With a little luck, those will continue to come my way, and I'll do my best with each one regardless of how others may perceive my choices or career trajectory.

© Awards Daily/Sasha Stone. Images © Hanway/Lago.

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Last edited: 24 May 2020 18:25:30