Thoughts on the Film and Miscellaneous

© Focus Features.

Thoughts on the Film and Miscellaneous

"Eastern Promises" finds Mortensen playing Nikolai Luzhin, a Russian ex-con tattooed from head to toe with elaborate designs detailing his every misdeed and prison stint. He puts out lit cigarettes on his tongue, can fight to the death while naked and has a knack for snipping the extremities off corpses to make them more portable.

So it's a little underwhelming when Mortensen walks in and starts bustling around, brewing up a pot of herbal tea and assembling a lovely plate of fresh berries.

Viggo's 'Promises'
By Sara Stewart
New York Post
26 Aug 2007

"People will like to say that Eastern Promises is brutal, but the only reason they say that is because the scenes stick with them. They are realistic. They are in-your-face and you see the consequences. It's not a bunch of quick editing cuts. The same is true of A History of Violence."

Viggo Mortensen
My painful decision to fight in the nude
By Will Lawrence, Daily Telegraph
19 October 2007

"The flip-side of Tom Stall," says Cronenberg, Nikolai is also burdened with secrets, though not in the same way according to Mortensen. "I don't think he's deceiving himself. I think he's quite clear on who he is, where he is, what's at risk and what his motives are."

I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007

"To me it's a movie about kindness and compassion and self-sacrifice," he said. "Nikolai is a man who holds hope and compassion next to his despair and fear. In this increasingly complicated and confusing world, there are people even in the darkest realms who will nonetheless do the right thing.

"Just because it is the right thing."

Viggo Mortensen
A Violent Tour De Force
By Robert W Butler
Kansas City Star
15 September 2007

"When you see the character sitting alone, he's like a monk. It's like you've given up things of this world for other purposes, to serve something bigger than you. It just happens to be something scary."

Viggo Mortensen
I've taken on too much...
by James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007

"Intentionally, David put me in the same booth where Armin was sitting before - sort of in the same position, also with a newspaper, also with a bottle of vodka and with a suit, and with a particular color of tie to symbolize his ascension, I guess.

In a way, I think one feeling you get from it - I did - is beware of what you wish for, you know, because I mean, now what?"

Viggo Mortensen
'Eastern Promises' a gripping mob thriller
Bend Weekly
Robert Hawkins
21 December 2007

"Some people looked at A History of Violence and said 'this is about America and it's role in the world... but I wouldn't say Eastern Promises is about Russian violence. I don't think the Russians are any more violent than the English or Americans or anybody else. It's about human violence to some degree but in the end, for me, it's a movie about compassion. It's a movie that shows you that no matter how hard things get and how difficult those choices are to make, there are people who will always do the right thing."

Viggo Mortensen
Matt Mueller,Total Film
October 2007

"What's good about this movie in the same sense as History of Violence was good and satisfying on an artistic level is that at the end of the story you feel it will continue, and if you're particularly impatient, you might feel it's incomplete. Well life is never complete. I think it asks a lot of questions. It doesn't give you answers. You have to think for yourself and I think that's the highest form of respect you can pay an audience member."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Talks Eastern Promises
By Andre Rivas
December 24, 2007

"...This year, we're proud to acknowledge Mr. Mortensen, whose star turn in Eastern Promises is amazingly sensitive, multifaceted, and above all authentic. His character even speaks a specific old-school thief slang, and switches to Ukrainian when comforting a Ukrainian woman."

Russia Magazine awards Viggo with 'Rolling R' award
13 November 2007

Last edited: 15 February 2010 08:45:18