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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

While we wait (and wait) for more Falling to fall into our laps, I’ve been thinking of the many films Viggo has made which have been directed by fellow actors. Captain Fantastic with Matt Ross, The Indian Runner with Sean Penn, Albino Alligator with Kevin Spacey (remember that one?) and, of course, Appaloosa, one of my favourite Viggo films with another of my favourite actors, Ed Harris.




In 2000, Ed Harris made his directorial debut with the fantastic Pollock. Hollywood pundits fawned over the film and the actor-turned-director ad nauseum. Strangely, his follow-up, the wonderful western, Appaloosa got largely lost in the shuffle. Even more irking, the always-strong Viggo Mortensen got little recognition for a nuanced supporting turn. With the moustache of the year (that should be an award), Mortensen turned a rather standard best-friend part into a quiet tour de force.

Oscar nominations 2009
Scott Taverner
martiniboys.com
January 2009




Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, two of my favorite actors today, had the on-screen chemistry that every filmmaker dreams of. Rugged, badass and tough lawman who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film. Viggo played Everett Hitch, the faithful deputy/ sidekick and even the sometimes needed vocab checker to the infamous lawman Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris. They were brilliant. There just isn’t much more I can say to communicate how well they were in Appaloosa.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008




Harris's first and only choice for the role of Everett Hitch was Viggo Mortensen, with whom he'd shared the screen in "A History of Violence."

"I had just finished reading Appaloosa when we shot 'A History of Violence,' and I gave it to Viggo and told him that I really wanted to make it into a film with him in it," recalls Harris. "One of the greatest things about Viggo is his sense of loyalty. He's a man of his word. Once he committed to the project, he was completely on board."

"We see eye to eye," says Mortensen of his experience working with Harris.

Appaloosa: New Western by Ed Harris
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008




"He's got kind of a weird sense of humor I like."

Ed Harris
Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008




“Not only do I have a great respect for him as an actor but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These were two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it ... If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie”

Ed Harris
Viggo is one straight shooter
By Kevin Williamson
Toronto Sun
6th September 2008




“I figured if he wanted to do it - if he responded to the material - then he would immediately understand what this was between these guys without us having to talk about for hours on end,"

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




“ ….I like this one because it’s told in a leisurely pace. I enjoyed being in it because Ed didn’t try to reinvent the genre or appeal to younger audiences. He said, ‘This is how these stories are told, and I’m going to respect the genre.’”

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




"Viggo is very detailed and he really got into the fact that Hitch had been at West Point - so he was particular about all of his gear, the saddlebags and his haircut. In the book, his character is probably a little more of a hick. But Viggo's thing was I don't want to say 'ain't.' Viggo wanted to refine Hitch a bit, to clean him up. It made sense and was a nice choice."

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




"When I first had [the 8-gauge shotgun], I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed? It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance. I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically.'"

Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008




One area the actor always takes seriously, whether in The Lord of the Rings or Eastern Promises, is hair. For Appaloosa, Mortensen grew a thick goatee and bushy mustache while keeping his haircut military short, a reflection of Hitch's training at West Point.

"I showed up with it that way and just kind of maintained it," he says. "I based it on pictures."

As Mortensen discusses his versatile hair options, Harris, 57, chuckles. "I wish I had some versatile hair options," he says. "I actually had a (hair) piece made, and we screen-tested it. It was pretty interesting looking."

Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris gab about garb, camaraderie in Appaloosa
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
2 October 2008
USA Today




“… the love of my life in the film … the beautiful RenĂ©e Zellweger.” and finally… “The REAL love of my life in the film, Viggo Mortensen”.

Ed Harris’s introductions
Appaloosa Premier at TIFF – reported by Topaz
5 September 2008




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
5 September 2008




"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Viggo’s Directorial and Scriptwriting debut, Falling has finally premiered at Sundance and, of course, we are hoping that this will be the start of many Festival showings and a good run out there in Cinemaland. I’ve gathered together a mixture of reviews and comments (I was really hoping for more reviews!) for a Falling Quotable round-up, hopefully the first of many.





Mortensen says that even though his father, mother, grandparents and uncle all suffered from dementia, and that the film is dedicated to his two other brothers, this is not an autobiographical story but one that sprung out of many places and it just suddenly all came to him, like a dream, on that plane. It finally became a story of a fictional family that shares traits of his own. “A few days after I got home I said I’m just going to look at this thing because I ended up writing a short story sort of. On the plane I couldn’t sleep so I just kept writing and then it just became something that had nothing to do with my family but this story.”

Viggo Mortensen On ‘Falling’ Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020




He started sculpting a story about finding common ground with someone you disagree with.

“As I was writing the screenplay, I was thinking about what’s actually happening in the country,” he said. “How do you deal with hate speech or with someone who just doesn’t accept, won’t even listen to you, doesn’t want to know anything about what you perhaps stand for, what you identify as — all those kinds of things.”

‘Falling’: Lance Henriksen Says Viggo Mortensen’s Feature Debut Made Him Realize The World Is Changing – Sundance Studio
ByDino-Ray Ramos
Deadline.com
28 January 2020




“I would’ve preferred not to be in the movie, I have to say that, but to get it made one of the conditions was I had to act in it. I’ve been around for a long time as an actor, but if you haven’t directed a movie you haven’t directed a movie – I’m unproven and I’m lucky to get a chance.”

Viggo Mortensen talks directing debut 'Falling'; first look at family drama
Tom Grater
Screen Daily
15 May 2019




[Falling] gives erstwhile action star Henriksen (Bishop in “Aliens”) an unprecedented opportunity to actually act…It took long enough for someone to entrust a part as tricky as this to Henriksen, whose plunge pays off in Mortensen’s sensitive hands.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




As a director, Mortensen doesn't make things easy for himself: We figure that a film like this is headed for some kind of redemption, but Willis seems completely irredeemable for much of the film. But Mortensen is too smart to go for an easy reconciliation, instead exploring shades of resignation and acceptance, particularly in the wake of an argument that can stand as a father/son version of the one in "Marriage Story" — primal and fearsome, it goes to places so dark that all the characters can do afterwards it attempt to crawl out of the wreckage.

"Falling" is a finely drawn character drama, as you might expect from much of Mortensen's acting career, and a film that pays attention to small details that bring these people to life.

Steve Pond
The Wrap
24 January 2020




Having quietly spent years augmenting his acting work with prodigious output in music, poetry and visual arts (not to mention founding a publishing house that champions other artists' work), Viggo Mortensen finally takes the director's chair in Falling, a masterful family drama taking a compassionate view of a father whose faults are impossible to ignore…

…Falling doesn't transform its emotional landscape into a simple question of rejection or forgiveness. It's comfortable knowing that meanness and affection can exist in the same person, and that tolerance, even when it only flows in one direction, benefits both giver and recipient.

John DeFour
Hollywood Reporter
24 January 2020




“Falling” is unpretentious and perfectly accessible to mainstream audiences. Mortensen’s patience, his way with actors and his trust in our intelligence are not unlike late-career Eastwood, which isn’t a bad place to be so early in one’s directing career.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




Since discovering his sexuality, his father Willis has questioned the truthfulness of John’s reality in such insensitive ways that it’s hard to picture why any son would stick around to help – blood or not. But in that regard, Mortensen delivers such a defining performance that is so capable of impacting many whose experience is similar. His character’s reservations is matched with a nuanced delivery of emotion that feels as passionate as it is affecting.

Part of what makes Falling work for me is its dedication to not hide the ugly truth in what could’ve been a story that settled for stereotypical character growth and a happy ending. But if truth be told, it’s also what makes Mortensen’s Falling a difficult watch.

Brittany Witherspoon
Popculture Reviews
24 January 2020




Viggo gives a beautifully understated performance here, letting Henriksen (whom it’s nice to see in a really meaty role, again) carry the load and dive into Willis’ damaged psyche, giving a riveting performance, which allows the supporting cast to do just that: support a pair of great actors doing what they do.

Vsmoviepodcast
28 January 2020




In Mortensen’s most notable directorial flare, Falling flashes back and forth between John’s childhood on the farm and his present-day life in California as a well-to-do suburban husband to his Chinese-American partner, Eric, and father to their daughter, Monica (Gabby Velis). There’s nothing novel about interwoven timelines, but Mortensen’s vision of how the two interact is poignant and meditative.

Luke Hicks
Film School Rejects



In many ways Falling is a tough film to watch, as we’re essentially voyeurs, watching horrible family dysfunction without it ever really amounting to much, other than the fact that there’s some grace to forgiveness even if its undeserved. One can’t fault the craft or the acting, with Mortensen low-key as the kindly son forced to keep in his simmering rage… One thing FALLING does that’s terrific is that it gives Lance Henriksen a showcase role. One of the best in the biz, Henriksen’s been perennially underrated ever since the eighties, and approaching eighty he’s as good as he ever was, sinking his teeth into the role with vigor…

…It’s a passionate debut for Mortensen but it’s not an easy watch.

Chris Bumbray
JoBlo.com
24 January 2020




It's a confident, assured directorial effort by Mortensen, who breezes through the various time periods (with Borg/McEnroe star Sverrir Gudnason as young Willis) with ease…

…Falling makes the case that it is never too late to move beyond the hurt and chart a new course. It's a passionate, heartfelt debut for Mortensen, and a film many will relate to because of how tough the material is to watch.

Travis Hopson
Punch Drunk Critics
24 January 2020




The film does a super solid job of balancing the multiple facets of John’s life. Be it his gay marriage, his Mexican speaking daughter, or his time spent serving his country. Rather than belabor any one point over the other, Mortensen peppers in each of these dynamics to perfection while still delivering the importance and power of each of these attributes. That is to say, it’s not a ‘gay’ movie, it’s not a ‘political’ movie, it’s not an ‘Alzheimer’s’ movie. No, it’s a movie about a complicated, quiet, and modern-day life… Mortensen would tell the audience at the film’s closing night Q&A that “there’s no shame, no matter how hard it is, in forgiving and accepting. No matter how much you might hate them. You’ve only got the 1, or the 2. When they are gone, they are gone.”

“Falling” is both a story about a trying child/parent relationship, and it’s a film that you should watch.

Toni Gonzales
Awards Circuit
11 February 2020




The ending of Falling is ambiguous enough to allow the audience to decide where Willis ends up, and I’m okay with that. Everyone will bring their own experiences, opinions, biases, and baggage into the theater. What they bring out is up to them.

VSA Staff Writer
Vsmoviepodcast
28 January 2020




"We worked really hard. It's been a long road," he said. "You never know how people are going to look at a movie. You just have to make it and be faithful to what you're seeing, and hope other people like it. As William Goldman said, 'nobody knows anything.'"

Viggo Mortensen On ‘Falling’ Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020




You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.


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Last edited: 27 March 2020 09:26:30