Miscellaneous and Anecdotes

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Miscellaneous and Anecdotes

There is something other-worldly about Mortensen that makes him so suited to playing the dashing Aragorn who, along with Russell Crowe's toga-hero Maximus in Gladiator, has already entered into cinematic folklore as one of the great screen swordsmen of our time.

The Reluctant Hero
by Douglas Andrews
Sunday Express 2002

Eyes ablaze and sword aglint, Mortensen proved a captivating warrior who stirred the hearts, souls and in many cases the loins of the first blockbuster film's audiences. The very first moment he is glimpsed-silently sitting in the shadows inside the Prancing Pony inn, his eyes shielded by the hood of his cloak-signalled the arrival of a New Hollywood Hero, a dynamic man of mystery, action and romance. Tall, graceful, handsome, athletic, charismatic-these are qualities that Mortensen has always possessed, but before this had never projected them with such vigour. The studios responded with a ripple of recognition. Here was the magic formula that represents the holy grail of the movie industry, namely the bankable leading man. Viggo had truly arrived.

The New Hollywood Male
By Charles Gant
Arena Homme Plus #18
December 2002

... Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn seems to be accurately pacing his character's evolution from wary nomad to monarch. A gifted method actor, Mortensen is said to have travelled to the Waikato set in the horse float, with his horse. He also shunned motel comfort and chose to stay in rundown huts nearby, without electricity. The man IS Aragorn.

Gordon Campbell
October 21, 2000

He is [also] an accomplished artist, photographer and poet - in short, not at all the sort of person that you would expect to find represented as a 3-inch high action figure in a Burger King children's meal.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001

"Is it horrible?" he winces. "Does it look like me? As long as it doesn't look like me, then there's no voodoo risk."

Viggo Mortensen on his LOTR action figure
Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent.uk, 2001

You and the LOTR cast all got matching tattoos during filming -- are you still on each other's Christmas card list?

Yeah, it was a real family affair. I'm still in touch with Billy Boyd [Pippin] -- he's a very sweet man. And I've got a card I'm going to put in the mail to Viggo [Mortensen, who played Aragorn, pictured with Bloom above], because I've been thinking about how much of an influence he was on me. He's so dedicated, disciplined and talented. He taught me a lot. And it was only afterwards that I realised it. It's funny: you look back on these things 10 years later and ask yourself, 'Who had a major impact on me?' As an actor, it was Viggo. I was unpacking a load of boxes recently, recounting old memories, and I remembered how lucky I was that he was around me at that time.

Orlando Bloom
April 2011

"He is so kind and playful and funny off set. He's almost like a hippie. We picked him up at the airport one time, and he wasn't wearing shoes. I still have no idea how he got through the airport barefoot."

Fran Walsh
On 'The Road' And Off, Viggo Mortensen Walks The Walk
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
3 December 2009

... 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
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003

...I would say probably 95% of the work that you see as Viggo onscreen is completely computer generated, because he has a wooden leg and he can't run.

IGN Interviews Dominic Monaghan
December 2003

... The next day Jackson gives his 8-year-old son's class a tour. He asks the kids questions and videotapes them as he walks backwards through a field of fake dead horses. The children worship the Aragorn character, and they had hoped to meet Mortensen. Later, when asked if they had got their wish, he nods giddily. 'Oh, yep-yep-yep,' he says. 'Viggo's great with kids. He showed them his sword, and then one of the boys very excitedly pointed to his dagger and said, "That's the dagger he stabbed Lurtz with in 'Fellowship of the Ring'!' So then Viggo whipped out his dagger.' Jackson is giggling now. 'Afterwards, one of the kids said to his friends, "Do you think Aragorn would baby-sit children?''

Peter Jackson
December 1, 2003

The sequence where Pippin was talking about breakfast and it's snowing - that was real snow. And [after] about an hour of that snow coming down, we were in danger of being snowed in, so they canceled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo [Mortensen's] room and drank a bottle of whiskey, and Viggo took some photos of us. And then we went out and had a huge snowball fight around town. We got thrown out of a couple of pubs "cause we were having snowball fights in the pubs.

Dominic Monaghan
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004

Mortensen's humility and generosity turned his Rings co-stars into some of his biggest fans. They tell you of the time when a snowstorm shut down production. The cast was being transported to safety when Mortensen seized a four-wheel drive vehicle and drove back to the set in order to save the hobbits' four-feet-tall scale doubles from getting snowbound.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
January 2003

"I remember one time a cop in New Zealand, where we were filming, stopped me because I was walking out of my apartment in the middle of the night carrying a huge sword. I guess it was an alarming sight, but I was just walking to work. "

Viggo Mortensen
Rings Actor Lives Warrior Role
Chicago Sun Times, 2001

Mortensen downplays the Method-acting mind-meld rumors. "The truth is that we worked six days a week and 17 hours a day, and then rehearsals on Sunday. Basically, I was kind of in costume most of the time. It's not that I had nothing else to do and was running around as Aragorn in town."

It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

Bloom tells a story that occurred when the Rings crew returned to New Zealand in the summer of 2002 for sound dubbing and pickups for The Two Towers. "I flew over just to visit Viggo," says Bloom, who had heard that Mortensen was organising a reunion dinner. He, Mortensen and Henry, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler (who plays Arwen), and members of the crew took a bus to the countryside. After dinner, Bloom and Henry went for a walk and noticed how beautifully the moon was shining on a nearby river.

"We ran back and said, 'Everyone's got to see this.'" Bloom recalls. "I was having a Viggo moment - running out, getting people to come and check out the moon." Some decided to wade into the river, but Mortensen suggested the more perilous task of crossing the river. "I'm like, 'Fuck off,' and he says, 'Come on.' So were barefoot, waist-high in water, walking on these little rocks to get to the other side and I'm doing it because I'm an idiot and I'm following his lead. Because he's an idiot. And because he's amazing," Bloom laughs. "I can't believe how much this is going to make it sound like I'm in love with the guy."

Orlando Bloom
The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

"Watching the dedication of Viggo Mortensen is really inspiring. He is Aragorn. One time I wanted to film the sunrise and sunset for a Fellowship scene. Viggo said, "I'll just camp out," and pretty soon, we had everyone there--the makeup crew, Orlando Bloom and other cast members who weren't in the shot, like Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill. We made a big fire, camped out, filmed our early sunrise shot and went fishing. It was great!"

Barrie Osborne
Source Unknown

Instead of the standard luxury lodging demanded by most stars on set, Viggo and co-star Orlando Bloom shared a converted bus while filming Rings. Viggo stocked the bus with a wine cellar and wallpapered the inside with candid behind-the-scenes photos. A source on the set said the bus was the site of frequent cast parties, with the motto, "Everyone is welcome, but when it's time to go, get out!"

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
23 December 2003

Corey, Triple M, Melbourne: Viggo you're now at the stage where you could get the majority of roles you wanted. You've had love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow and now Liv Tyler. Is there anyone you aspire to have a love scene with, in the world?

Viggo: Gimli? That was cut from the movie - maybe it'll be in the extended version.

Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003
Source: Nazz

On the very last day of shooting Aragorn fighting the orcs, Peter quietly gave Viggo an Uzi, loaded with blanks, for the last take.

Dan Hennah
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of The Lord of the Rings
November 2004
Last edited: 19 July 2012 14:28:50