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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

So – did you get all the answers to our Annual Quotable Quiz? Take a look at the Quotes below and all will be revealed…







1) As a kid, what did Viggo want to be when he grew up?

"When you were a kid, what'd you want to be when you grew up?"

"A crow was probably what I wanted to be most of all."

"Really? Why is that? What is it about crows?

"They're survivors. They can live anywhere. They're very self-sufficient. They're very resourceful. They're adaptable."

"That sounds like you."

"Yeah!" he laughed.

Viggo Mortensen: Making peace with the camera
CBS, 11 December 2016



2) For what did Viggo win the Drama-Logue Critics Award in Los Angeles in 1987?

Bent: The play's climax depends heavily on the steely autoeroticism Viggo Mortensen injects as a blank-eyed, quietly sadistic Nazi captain (it's a terrifically forceful performance).

On Viggo's performance in Bent
Hard-edged Drama Gets a Little Mushy in Bent
The Orange County Register, 1987



3) What did the Green Book production team buy him to celebrate his Oscar nomination?

When news of his [Oscar] nomination came in this morning, his Toronto production staff brought him a “big, huge box of fried chicken” for lunch, as a way of congratulating him. “A nice joke,” he laughs — one that people who’ve seen the movie will appreciate. “I’m going to tear into that now.”

Viggo Mortensen Reflects On The Twists & Turns Of His ‘Green Book’ Journey As He Preps His Directorial Debut
Deadline.com, 23 January 2019



4) In which film did the director prepare Viggo for his role by making him spend time with a Hell’s Angel? And who was the Director?

The Indian Runner/Sean Penn: Once Mortensen was cast, Penn helped him fully plumb the depths of his character. 'I had always thought of Frank as a barking dog that bites,' Penn says, 'so I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence.'

Sean Penn Bites Back,
Premier, October 1991



5) One of the many jobs Viggo had when he was young was at the Winter Olympics. What was he hired to do and did he do it?

Rove: I know you used to be a translator with, I think, the Swedish Hockey Team in the Winter Olympics?

Viggo: Well, I was meant to be a translator for the Danish Olympic Team but nobody showed up. Literally. And they said "Well, can you understand the Swedes?' I said "I probably can. I'm not sure they can understand me.' But it became...what I really got to do was go to a lot of hockey games with drunken Finns and Swedes...'

Rove Live interview
Melbourne, 28 February 2006



6) Viggo stashes his chocolate like what kind of animal?

…he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial…

A History of Defiance
Men’s Journal, October 2009



7) In which film did Viggo play opposite an actor playing one of Viggo’s distant relatives?

Hidalgo: “I found out a while back that I’m related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother’s mother’s side of the family,” he says. “It’s true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection.” Mortensen finds J.K. Simmons’ performance as Buffalo Bill “terrific” - and it gave him an interesting opportunity to play in scenes with a distant relative.

Viggo Mortensen: The Straight-Shooting Star of the New Western
Cowboys & Indians, April 2004



8) In March 2003 Viggo took part in a anti-war demonstration outside the White House. Which of his poems did he read to the crowds?

After distributing his anti-war teeshirts and protesting against the occupation of Iraq, [Viggo] addresses Congress with a fierce: "God isn't angry, you are." Then he reads one of his poems, written for publication on the poetsagainstwar.org website, Back to Babylon, from which an extract follows:

"Accept and forget difference and desire that separates and leaves us longing or repelled. Why briefly return to playing broken places, to mock the ground, to collect infant shards, coins, fossils, or the familiar empty cannisters and casings that glint from poisoned roots in the blackened dust?"

A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
Studio Magazine, 2003



9) Aside from the duck, when he was a kid what animal did Viggo try to take home to show his family?

"There was one time when I was coming home at the end of the day, going through the paddocks, and you open the gates from horseback, and the last gate I was about to grab the latch and there was this beautiful, beautiful snake wrapped around it..it was orange and black and white stripes. And I thought 'I'm going to take this home and show it to my family'. And I tried to grab it and he tried to get me. And I like whacked it just to stun it and I grabbed it by the neck and opened the gate and got through, closed it and said "Dad, dad, look what I got." And he freaked out, cos it was a Coral snake, which if you get bit I think two minutes, three minutes, you're dead."

Viggo Mortensen
David Letterman Show, 2004



10) According to Exene Cervenka, what did Viggo keep his early poetry in?

'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Viggo Mortensen
US Magazine #23,1997



11) For which film did Viggo take on a corporate giant to persuade them to allow their product to be included in the movie?

The Road: “The Coca-Cola is in the book. I amused myself with the idea that it was a Diet Coke. (laughter). It would have been funny. But they only place their products in family movies. So I called them and told them everything: It's going to look great! Cheaper! Free! If it were Pepsi, it wouldn't be like the book. We filmed it with Pepsi, with Fanta…Things went better with Coke. [laughter]. We sent the scene to them and it made an impression. And they agreed.

Viggo Mortensen - Passage To Hell
On Madrid - El Pais, 5 February 2010



12) What was Viggo filming when he duetted ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ with his co-star?

A Dangerous Method: “We also had a lot of fun singing duets. In Belvedere Gardens where Freud did take his walks, and then you see him in the end, in his morning walk, we were singing at the top of our lungs, which surprised the public and some of the journalists. He has a good singing voice and I did harmony. In Belvedere, we sang that song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," including all the high notes, which Michael hit really well.”

Viggo Mortensen talking about filming with Fassbender
Viggo Mortensen Reveals How He Became Freud in ‘A Dangerous Method’
Yahoo Movies, 16 December 2011



13) Which town in Spain did Viggo take to his heart while filming Alatriste?

...Yanes talks about how Viggo is always looking forward to receiving news and things from León and being told anecdotes from there, and he points out that from the moment they started the shooting in Cádiz, Viggo has had the flag of León next to the San Lorenzo one, both hanging from the trailer window, and the music of that land sounds for many hours from Alatriste's caravan.

León: Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, 26 June 2005



14) What was the very first role that we know Viggo played?

As an 8-year-old, Mortensen played "the ass end of a dragon" in a school play…

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
Variety Life, October 2003



15) Which actor appearing with Viggo said “we’ve all been Viggo-tized” and which film did they appear together in?

“Come on, we’ve all been Viggo-tized before,” Williams says of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ stud and ‘Road’ co-star. “He has that charisma, he has a swagger. He’s a great dude.”

It’s not that Williams takes it as far as some of Viggo’s female fans: “(But) I have my own kind of love affair with him,” says Williams. “I know whenever I see him in God’s green earth I am going to get a hug. And we’re going to get a drink, time-permitting. And we’ll kick it a little bit.”

Michael K Williams
‘Wire’ Hero Michael K. Williams Loved Getting ‘Viggo-tized’ on ‘The Road’
Popeater.com, 19 November 2009



16) In what sport was Viggo beaten by Hobbits?

… 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
Entertainment Weekly, 10 December 2003



17) Which actress called Viggo ‘the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger: "…there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon–covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

The Great Dane
Men’s Vogue, March 2008



18) Viggo has worked twice with screen-writer John Fusco. Once in Hidalgo and once in…?

Young Guns 11: “It’s amazing what he brought to that role,” Fusco says. “I remember I was in my hotel room in Santa Fe, and there’s this knock on the door pretty late at night. I open it, and there was Viggo holding a rifle. He said, ‘I got some ideas about the scope my character would have on his rifle. Do you have a minute?’ He came in, and he sat down dead serious and showed me this conversion he’d done to an historically accurate scope. He said, ‘With all the copper mining in these parts, I think it would be copper.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is serious. He’s really got it.’”

John Fusco
Entertainment Weekly, 6 August 2010



19) In what film did Viggo steal a scene from a much-feted actor while never getting out of a chair?

Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com, October 2005



20) Who did Viggo say were ‘terrible at writing’, but he looked forward to seeing them soon?

His horses: '...they're terrible at writing, but I look forward to seeing them soon.'

'Ordinary guy' role a treat for Mortensen
New Zealand Herald, March 18 2006



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © stella pictures.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

It's nearly 2021 (I think we'll be glad to see the back of 2020) so it's time for the Annual Quotable Quiz. As always, some are easy and some are tricksy but I know what a clever lot you are! This is just for fun so keep your guesses to yourself and I'll post the quotes next week that will give you all the answers.





1) As a kid, what did Viggo want to be when he grew up?


2) For what did Viggo win the Drama-Logue Critics Award in Los Angeles in 1987?


3) What did the Green Book production team buy him to celebrate his Oscar nomination?


4) In which film did the director prepare Viggo for his role by making him spend time with a Hell's Angel? And who was the Director?


5) One of the many jobs Viggo had when he was young was at the Winter Olympics. What was he hired to do and did he do it?


6) Viggo stashes his chocolate like what kind of animal?


7) In which film did Viggo play opposite an actor playing one of Viggo's distant relatives?


8) In March 2003 Viggo took part in a anti-war demonstration outside the White House. Which of his poems did he read to the crowds?


9) Aside from the duck, when he was a kid what animal did Viggo try to take home to show his family?


10) According to Exene Cervenka, what did Viggo keep his early poetry in?


11) For which film did Viggo take on a corporate giant to persuade them to allow their product to be included in the movie?


12) What was Viggo filming when he duetted 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' with his co-star?


13) Which town in Spain did Viggo take to his heart while filming Alatriste?


14) What was the very first role that we know Viggo played?


15) Which actor appearing with Viggo said "we've all been Viggo-tized" and which film did they appear together in?


16) In what sport was Viggo beaten by Hobbits?


17) Which actress called Viggo 'the chocolate crack dealer."


18) Viggo has worked twice with screen-writer John Fusco. Once in Hidalgo and once in…?


19) In what film did Viggo steal a scene from a much-feted actor while 'never getting out of a chair'?


20) Who did Viggo say were 'terrible at writing', but he looked forward to seeing them soon?



You will find all previous Quotables here.


© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Getty Images.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Now Falling is appearing in so many more Festivals, it’s finally possible to put together enough quotes for a Review Round-up. So here are the best of them, going chronologically back from this month to last January when the film made its first appearance!




Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling is a compelling and carefully written addition to LGBTQ+ cinema. Mortensen’s triple-threat debut - he writes, directs and stars in this touching drama - showcases his versatility in the arts, as well as his understanding of dementia and the importance of its representation in film….
Mortensen’s script does well to dissect and explore the tangled duality of personal liberation and family conservatism - and it is Mortensen’s quest for authenticity within these stories that elevates the messages at the core of the film.

Stephanie Brown
Eye for Film
4 December 2020




…it’s a really valuable work, beautifully edited and shot, with a wonderful performance by the veteran actor Lance Henriksen: a sombre, clear-eyed look at the bitter endgame of dementia. Mortensen takes a determined walk across the hot coals of family pain…

…With some self-effacement, Mortensen has conceded the performer’s alpha prerogative to Henriksen. It’s the right decision: Henriksen’s Willis, in all his self-defeating cantankerous arrogance, is so commanding. But I wondered if Mortensen could or should have shown us more about John, more about what he has gone through to arrive at this strenuously calm, diplomatic unresponsiveness. Could he have broken out more, shown more anger? Either way, this is a very substantial achievement.

Peter Bradshaw
The Guardian
3 December 2020




The biggest shock of Falling, Mortensen’s debut as writer and director, is just how careful, wistful and traditionally dramatic it is. There’s no experimentation, no sense that he’s trying to prove himself as an image maker, or peacocking with unnecessary literary flourishes in the script. This is stripped-back, robust, observational filmmaking that dares to allow a scene to be more than just a container for key information. It also allows characters to exist in that liminal space between antagonism and empathy, rather than packing them off on a formulaic journey from one to the other. To put it more bluntly, Falling is a deeply unfashionable film, but it’s unfashionable in the same way that a Clint Eastwood film is unfashionable – i.e., it still manages to exude a sense of hand-tooled quality.

David Jenkins
Little White Lies
3 November 2020




… Mortensen’s aesthetic style, paired with cinematography from Marcel Zyskind creates an impressive visual blend. There’s an almost ethereal quality in the scenes which capture moments of nature from John’s rural American childhood with a dreamlike quality. A scene featuring older Willis lost and lingering on a beach eventually wading through the water, evokes poignant similarities with a young John sifting through a lake to collect a hunted duck. This and many others make up immaculately thought-out details which showcase Mortensen’s emotionally intellectual approach to writing and directing.

Falling’s impressive showcase in the build-up of years worth of hurt and suppressed issues, paired with impressively crafted emotive characterisation allows Mortensen’s debut to shine. Stellar turns from Henriksen and Mortensen, gentle aesthetics, and blending of past and present narrative strands are just a small number of the debut filmmaker’s successes.

Culture Fix
26 November 2020




Two things are remarkable, really: one is Henriksen’s performance, among his very best in a 60-plus-year career. The other is Mortensen’s seemingly instant aptitude as a filmmaker. He has a clear eye for composition and staging; he’s visually economic but sometimes quite daring; and his script is refreshingly non-linear and rarely goes in the direction you expect. This is not A Dementia Film, as the subject matter might imply, and it offers no easy solutions for difficult questions, or obvious resolutions.

The final few minutes of the film seem to emphasise this, culminating in a coda that’s as surreal and confounding as it is poignant. As an actor, Mortensen has always managed to gently surprise, and it looks like he plans to do so as director, too.

John Nugent
Empire Magazine
30 November 2020




It’s a film missing none of the essential elements—a good script full of dramatic tension; excellent acting; and a close and painful look into aspects of human nature, love, and family.

Far Out
12 October 2020




It's an intense film, well-told, thought out and deeply felt, that delves into painful feelings, the weight of memories, and the complexity of feelings. Mortensen's performance, as always, is believable.

Carlos Boyero
El Pais
24 September 2020




While it's true that Falling is so unrelenting in its negative depiction of Willis that it can feel one-note, that's not necessarily a criticism, as Mortensen wants to relay the terror that those around Willis have to live with. The drama also imagines realities to show Willis's warped state of mind. The performances are strong, with even Mortensen staying on top of his game, despite all the work he did behind the scenes in this debut that has a touch of Clint Eastwood about it.

Kaleem Aftab
cineuropa.org
18 September 2020




Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut is an earnest family drama etched in jagged memories and an elegant waltz between past and present. His sensitive handling of the material creates a quietly affecting reflection on the ties that bind and provides an unusually juicy role for Lance Henriksen as the belligerent, bile-spewing patriarch…
…Mortensen’s own performance is as understated as the film, making John a dutiful son of almost saintly patience straining every sinew to avoid confrontation. Scenes in which he finally lets rip are all the more effective for his earlier restraint.

Allan Hunter
Screen Daily
10 September 2020




Mortensen’s heart is in the right place; he wants us to understand these characters, as difficult as it might be to do so. With a more conventional director at the helm, Falling could have been reassuring, polished awards bait; instead, it’s something richer and more discomfiting. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I saw it. So will you.

Norman Wilner
Now Toronto
10 September 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




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




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




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
24 January 2020




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



You will find all previous Quotables here.
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© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Brendan Adam Zwelling/HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.


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Last edited: 19 January 2021 18:42:03