Filming The Road

© 2929/Dimension Films.

Filming The Road

You can see immediately why he wanted Viggo Mortensen to play that man. In real life, Mortensen still looks like Aragorn: there's the heroic hair, the far gaze, the repose that suggests an underlying energy. He seems to gravitate towards films that involve wet, cold and physical privation. ''I suppose I must thrive on it,'' he agrees, recalling shooting The Road under heavy cloud, sometimes in snow, always in the cold. ''Sometimes it's tiring or annoying but there is a certain satisfaction, especially when you're going through it with the crew and everyone is wet and cold with you, when you go and have a drink together at the end of the day and say: 'Well, we got that done.'''

Walking at world's end
By Stephanie Bunbury
14 January 2010

...the experience of making The Road reminded him of his time making The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a production that was "exponentially bigger" yet retained a similar vibe. "That's because the crew was really into the story and the book," he says. "Like with The Lord of the Rings, the book was floating around. I had it with me all the time -- I still have it in my bag. It meant something to everyone that this was the day we were doing the scene with the old man or the scene with the thief."

Viggo Mortensen
The Road
Jason Anderson
Eye Weekly
25 November 2009

Because his character has a child to protect, he is always on his guard, suspicious of all the people they meet. Yet when the camera stops rolling, Viggo is nothing like this borderline recluse. He gives, unsparingly, indiscriminately, ceaselessly. What's good for him is good for everyone.

Première Magazine
By Gérard Delorme
June 2008
Translated by Chrissiejane

"...Kodi was unflappable, as usual. I don't even think of him as a kid. There are things he's done on this movie that I've never seen anybody do before. And there are many adult actors who never have a moment like he has every day. I can't say I've ever worked with a better partner."

Viggo Mortensen
At World's End, Honing a Father-Son Dynamic
By Charles McGrath
New York Times
May 27, 2008

The comradeship between you two is obvious on the screen.

It is, isn't it? I think it shows, too, that you feel we have that complicity, that true relationship. Those are things that can't be faked. We became good friends very quickly and I came to love him as much as my own son. The truth is that he didn't just remind me a lot of my son when he was that age; he also made me remember my own childhood, the way I had of seeing things.

Viggo Mortensen: "As an actor, you must have some fear in order to learn"
By Desirée de Fez - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Sage
El Periodico
31 January 2010

One aspect of [Viggo's] performance in 'The Road' that stands out is just how convincingly he cries. It feels genuine, as if he's going a step further than just holding up some shallots to his eyes and trying to picture the family dog being taken around the back of the barn and shot. 'A lot of it was down to Kodi Smit-McPhee,' he admits, namechecking the young Australian actor who co-stars as his eternally optimistic young son. 'The relationship I have with the boy is so intense that I didn't need to visualise anything other than what was in the film itself: it was sad and real enough for me.

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

Smit-McPhee began to cry while shooting one scene because the weather was so biting and cold.

"He didn't say anything. He's such a professional," says Hillcoat. "He just kept saying the words. Viggo kept going. When I called 'cut' and looked at what we got on film it was amazing. Viggo just kept holding Kodi as he stood there crying. That moment captured an incredible bond between these two people."

John Hillcoat
Hard road to TIFF for Viggo Mortensen and kid co-star
By Constance Droganes
14 September 2009

'The first week or so we shot some pretty emotional scenes and that really made us bond. He's such a beautiful boy with such a beautiful presence, and his heart and soul is in this movie. Our combined heart. It sounds really sappy but it's true.'

Viggo Mortensen talks about finding hope in 'The Road' and if he'll do 'The Hobbit'
by Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
25 November 2009

"The waterfall was the coldest thing I've ever swam," said Smit-McPhee, who noted that, luckily, the production had brought in a "portable Jacuzzi" to warm the actors back up. After two takes, though, Smit-McPhee had had enough. "Seriously, that was it. And I said, 'I'm not doing it.' And then Viggo came. He just jumped in the water like it was nothing."

Viggo Mortensen: 'A Grown Man in an Era of Boys'
Jay A. Fernandez
Risky Biz
12 September 2009

How was it to jump in the ocean?

It was very cold. I asked for another take, but they were terrified. They didn't want me to. They had ambulances. The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, "Just tell me when you're rolling. I'm just going to run out and go."

Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
9 November 2009

'It was the very last take, and it was the scene by the campfire, and I knew that Duvall wasn't satisfied. I knew that there was something, that magic little thing hadn't happened yet. He said, "If we could do one more take ... let's just do one for ourselves," and I go, "Yeah, whatever." Then, suddenly, he says, "I had a boy once," and the hair just went up on the back of my neck, and I was like, "Wow, that is so right." I realized that, which happens once in a while, and you are just so happy that it happened. ... It's so simple and beautiful and obvious, and he said it with such feeling that, when we went back to the line from the scene, there was a little pause, so I asked, "What happened to your boy, your son?" And the rest was magic.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Hits The Road
By Roger Durling
Santa Barbara Independent
22 November 2009

So there wasn't a lot of acting for you in this film then?

No, it was a chamber of horrors. But, I was on the journey together with Kodi.

Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
9 November 2009

Last edited: 13 September 2011 04:36:30