He's Lord Of Low Key

Source: The Record

© Focus Features.
Viggo Mortensen spent some time in Russia, researching his new film Eastern Promises, and he didn't get the star treatment. No limos, no free dinners.

He couldn't have been happier, says the 49-year-old actor, who in most of the world can't escape the spotlight, thanks to his starmaking performance as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.

"I'm the type of guy who just likes to observe and fade into the crowd, Mortensen says. "Russia was perfect. It was very freeing.

"The film really is about the blurry line between right and wrong," Mortensen says. "(My character) isn't exactly what he seems to be at first. And that's great stuff to play as an actor, because you really get the buildup."

Mortensen was happy to be back working with David Cronenberg.

"As most of the critics acknowledge, he's one of only a few directors who are considered master moviemakers. I've been one of the few actors who are fortunate enough to work with the master twice."

Notorious for his extensive preparation for his roles, Mortensen studied Russian for the role.

"I worked with a Russian translator to get the language right," he says, "and because I knew that I would go to Russia to do a little research before cameras rolled. There are also a couple of scenes in the movie where I speak only Russian. We actually went to people from the Russian underworld and made sure that even the slang is what's used today on the streets.

"Just like David, I'm a monster for preparation," Mortensen admits, adding that he spent months reading Russian novels and poetry. "I listened to only Russian music, read the history books and prepared notes."
Last edited: 20 November 2007 15:27:50