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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I’m lucky that I have a nice bit of woodland near me. It’s small but somehow feels immense when I walk in it. Trees have that effect on you, and I spend a lot of time there – especially lately - just enjoying the light and the leaves, the rustle of small creatures in the undergrowth and the sound of birds. Viggo is also a man at home in the forest (or occasionally lost in it…) being a woodsman through and through. As he says below, when things are tough “it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better.”

‘I believe that I'm a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea, a somewhat solitary guy …’

Viggo Mortensen in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 2013

He smells of woodsmoke, as though he’s just returned from some manly pursuit like chopping logs in a forest. Again, highly possible. He does have a home in the remote mountains of Idaho, surrounded by woods. In fact the scent is wafting from his cup of tea.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

“We rented a hotel room for him, but he never stayed there. We just knew he was in the forest somewhere. That kind of commitment really shows in his work.”

Captain Fantastic Producer Lynette Howell Taylor
Viggo Mortensen
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016

“I am a happy man when I am not tied down,” he says, taking a sip of maté. “I don’t have a hidden self, I am not prone to depression. If I feel unwell, it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better.”

Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage
Richard Gianorio
Le Figaro
26 September 2008

Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life, as he explains with a deep, quiet voice, between long pauses and a cigarette rolled by himself.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
norama First
July 2008

Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003

‘I also like trees in their own right, to be honest, and photographing them is a way of paying them respect and remembering them.’

Skovbo Exhibition Brochure
May/June 2008

“The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past. I felt that already as a child, back then when I played with swords there outside my uncle's farm, played and felt like a Viking.”

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende
28 November 2001

... I went fishing for the afternoon in the lovely mountains bordering the state of Colorado, in a wonderful river, surrounded by a landscape out of a John Ford movie... I caught a couple of brown trout and a brook trout. Since I wasn´t hungry and had nowhere to keep them until dinner, I let them go. I almost always release what I catch. Tomorrow I will be tired for the shoot, because tonight I will have to drive several hours to reach the next hotel, but I´m happy. The forest, the rivers, being alone in those places, it´s like food to me.

The Past Is In Everything
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 August 2014

“He has a cabin that looks like it’s out of Lord Of The Rings”, says Currie. “It literally has a tree growing up in the middle of the living room. We had a lot of pizza and watched a lot of Argentinian soccer, drank a few rum and Cokes, and saw a pile of grizzly bears.”

The unlikely trio who brought Oscar contender 'Green Book' to life
Charles Gant
Screen Daily
18 January 2019

“Every tree is something special, just like people are. All different, but... I look at them as I look at people. I get along well with most trees. I don't get into arguments with them, and if I do it's probably my own fault. If I don't watch where I'm going when I'm in the forest, it comes back and smacks me in the nose, and I only have myself to blame.”

RUV Interview
Skovbo Exhibition, Iceland
Translated by Mums
30 May 2008

Even Mortensen's memories of early childhood are deeply spiritual. He tells me about the time he crawled into the woods and fell asleep. "I was sleeping under a tree, and it was very peaceful," he says. "And then a dog started barking, and that's how my parents found me."

You are always escaping, I say.

Yeah, he says. He calls his mother - on my cell phone, because he doesn't have one - to double-check his recollection. "Hi, it's Viggo. Sorry to be calling so late," he says. "Oh shit. You're in the middle of it? That's funny. Is it the tape? [She was watching a tape of The Two Towers.] O.K., sorry, it's just a quick question and then I'll let you get back to what you're doing. Remember there were a couple of times I ran away? And the time the dog came and found me in the woods? How old was I then? About one and a half. O.K. But, anyway, the dog came and found me and I was sitting under a tree? Happy? Sleeping, right?"

Big look of consternation.

"I was sitting in the middle of the woods crying? I thought I was sleeping. Are you sure?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

"I can only speak for myself, but I would go crazy if I couldn't get out of the city and go out into the forest for a little while."

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
by Tom Ward
16 May 2014

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Karen McDonald.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Quotable Viggo

Well – we know there is one thing Viggo won’t have been doing much of over the last few months. Wearing a nice sharp suit. It must be a relief really, speaking as someone who has been living in comfy jogging pants since March, with the occasional nice top for the obligatory Zoom catch-ups. If any of you are missing those snazzy red-carpet outfits, here is a little reminder.

As Viggo Mortensen approaches from the wings of a London cinema lobby, we're agog to see he's wearing a suit. Onscreen, Mortensen often sports long mud-matted hair, casual duds (at best) and can often be found atop a horse. When we meet him, his haircut is tight, he's in a handsome grey check suit, and there's nary a nag to be seen.

Viggo Mortensen Talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnell
10 March 2015

'I'm not usually a suit person… You're lucky I'm wearing shoes!'

Viggo Q&A after accepting the Coolidge Award in Boston
Greendragon posting on TORn
6 March 2012

In the flesh, his inscrutability gives off an electric hum. He is soberly dressed - grey suit, sensible shirt - and speaks in hushed, gravelly tones. If you didn't know, and of course you do, you might mistake Mortensen for a visiting academic or a writer.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016

'I particularly liked the white linen suit that you see in the poster that Chester wears, and in a way that's another character in the movie because the journey of that beautiful cream-coloured linen suit, on the Acropolis in the sunshine in the beginning, this immaculate, perfect, fits perfectly, looks great. You see that suit at the very end of the story, and that suit's been through it, it's a bit torn, it's frayed, it's not as clean as it was, it's suffered almost as much as the man wearing the suit, and it's an interesting journey for that suit. It's interesting to see that sometimes there's an object or set of clothes that has a life of its own, and that's the case with that suit.'

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Two Faces Of January
Adam Miller
15 September 2014

‘There was one occasion where I had a fitting with him in Barcelona but Viggo had just come down with a fever and was completely delirious. He was sweating buckets and he confessed to his girlfriend afterwards that he hadn’t a clue what he was trying on, but he remained professional to the core. I wasn’t aware how bad he was until he confessed to me later that he could have been trying on bin bags for all he’d known.’

The Two Faces Of January
Steven Noble
Esquire Magazine

Viggo Mortensen surely wasn't just cast because he's a great actor; it's because no one can rock a 1960s cream linen suit quite like him.

Leigh Singer
19 May 2014

"It comes from a very good tailor in Boedo, in Buenos Aires. San Lorenzo de Almagro".

Viggo on being asked who tailored his Golden Globes suit
Mortensen highlights his Argentinian team at the Golden Globes
By E J Tamara - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
16 January 2012

"In [Eastern Promises]," said Cronenberg, "Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007

Viggo Mortensen asked to have 6 extra copies of the Monday issue of Ekstra Bladet so that he could send them to his relatives in Denmark and they would be able to see him in his nice red suit at the Gala Premiere for Eastern Promises at the Imperial Cinema

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007

Why, it's Aragorn Powers: International Middle-Earth Man of Mystery!

Comment on the Armani Red Suit worn at the Copenhagen
Eastern Promises Premier
Life&style Magazine
October 2007

Viggo Mortensen stacks his case and suit protector neatly in the corner of the room. The precision of the movement is entirely in keeping with an angular formation of razor cheekbones and sharp suit. We probably shouldn't be surprised the Danish-American-Argentine has this travelling thing down.

The Mad Men
Tara Brady
The Irish Times
10 February 2012

You looked sexy in The Lord Of The Rings...what's your favourite costume?

My birthday suit.

Now that is sexy, no wonder women love you...

If you say so.

60 Seconds With...Viggo Mortensen
December 2005

You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

Coline Won the Signed Viggo Book!!

Categories: Books & CD's

Coline has won the signed copy of RAMAS PARA UN NIDO!

Our heartiest congratulations go out to her for winning!


Mount Rushmore

A message from Viggo at Perceval Press . . .

Thanks to ollie for the find.

A little historical perspective to keep in mind about Mount Rushmore, site of Donald Trump’s controversial Independence Day celebration this weekend:

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in the sacred Lakota He Sápa (Black Hills), was created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum nearly 80 years ago.

He had previously been hired by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to carve out of Stone Mountain, Georgia, a "shrine to the South" – an enormous sculpture commemorating military icons of the Confederacy, including generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He became involved in Ku Klux Klan politics, joining them for a torch-light ceremony atop Stone Mountain in 1915. It is notable that for the next 50 years, until 1965, an annual Labor Day KKK cross-burning ceremony was celebrated up on Stone Mountain.

Like Mount Rushmore, Stone Mountain, prior to European occupation and seizure of the property, had been a sacred Native American site. In the case of Stone Mountain, when European first learned of the place in 1567, it was inhabited and venerated by the Creek and, to a lesser extent, Cherokee peoples.

Stone Mountain in 1910:

© Perceval Press.
Mrs. C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy who had been instrumental in advancing the Stone Mountain project, welcomed Borglum at the Atlanta train station and took him to the mountain for an exploratory visit, introucing the sculptor to the owner of the property, Sam Venable, an active member of th KKK. After the release of D. W. Griffith's Klan-glorifying "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915, the revived KKK was riding high. Despite Borglum's Klan connections, Mrs. Plane "would not shake his hand – he was, after all, a Yankee". In a letter to Borglum, she had written: "I feel it is due to the Klan, which saved us from Negro dominations and carpetbag rule, that it be immortalized on Stone Mountain. Why not represent a small group of them in their nightly uniform approaching in the distance?" Borglum, impressed by the vast granite face that would be his enormous canvas, gladly accepted the offer to create the Confederate monument. But things gradually turned sour between Borglum and his employers.

Borglum was dismissed from the Stone Mountain project in 1925, after the project had stalled owing to financial confilcts with his employers and infighting within the Ku Klux Klan itself, the group funding a significant part of the project. An additional reason for Borglum's dismissal was that he had accepted an offer to carve the heads of U.S. presidents in South Dakota – in particular of the Confederate South's mortal enemy President Abraham Lincoln.

After many stops and starts, starting with the hiatus during World War II and then political complications following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement, the work of a series of sculptors that took on the job after Borglum's firing, culminated in Stone Mountain Park, "as a memorial to the Confederacy", which was officially opened to the public on 14 April, 1965 – exactly 100 years to the day after Lincoln's assassination.

Stone Mountain now:

© Perceval Press.
After the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, many people across the country began to call for the removal of Confederate monuments. Georgia State Representative and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams called for the erasure, by sandblasting, of Stone Mountain's carving. She called it "a blight upon our state". As we know, the demand for Confederate monument removals continues to grow today as a result of the assasination of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests across the nation and around the world.

Although numerous tribal groups have insisted that President Trump cancel his Mount Rushmore 4th of July celebration, he will, of course, go ahead as planned, in yet another insensitive effort to sow division in the country and gratify extremist elements of his white nationalist base. Native American groups have long tried to get the monument of presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt removed from the sacred Black Hills of the Oglala Lakota people. Recently, president of the Oglala tribe, Julian Bear Runner, has ordered Trump to cancel today's event. As he said to The Guardian newspaper, ""The lands on which that mountain is carved and the lands he's about to visit belong to the Great Sioux nation under a treaty signed in 1851 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, and I have to tell him he doesn't have permission from its original sovereign owners to enter the territory at this time".

It is fitting that Borglum, a native Idahoan with white supremacist leanings who claimed to be worried about what he termed "mongrel hordes" overrunning the "Nordic" purity of the West, should have been tasked to create the gigantic affront to the Oglala Lakota people and to all indigenous peoples of the U.S. About Native Americans he once said "I would not trust an Indian, off-hand, 9 out of 10, where I would not trust a white man 1 out of 10". That is the legacy that Trump is celebrating today, apart from his egomaniacal desire to be seen as a worthy heir to and member in good standing of the collection of giant heads of previous renowned Christian presidents of the United States of America, a country supposedly created as "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". As Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of the NDN Collective, a national organization dedicated to building Indigenous power recently said, Trump is "pushing these narratives of white supremacy, and he's digging in deeper and deeper, using these symbols of grave injustice, and couching them as part of the great American story". Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, addressed native tribal views on Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills during his recent interview by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now":

"And so, the act of, one, stealing our land, and then carving the faces of four white men, who were colonizers, who committed genocide against Indigenous people, is an egregious act of violence. And then, furthermore, for it to be celebrated as the shrine of democracy, you know, some people just don't know — people talk about Abraham Lincoln as being one of the better presidents in the history of the country. Well, you know, people don't realize that, on one hand, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and then he also ordered the largest mass hanging in the history of the United States, when he ordered the execution of 38 Dakota people after the uprising in Dakota territory in southern Minnesota.

These parts of our history are the truth and the reality. This is an act of violence and aggression against us, and it's also pushing this false narrative about American democracy, when we actually really should be uplifting the truths of what happened throughout history and how those truths are directly connected to the disparities that exist today in society amongst Indigenous people."

Mount Rushmore now:

© Perceval Press.
From Perceval Press we wish all citizens a happy and peaceful Fourth of July weekend, and ask that you bear in mind the words of Oglala Lakota leader and holy man Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) after his visit to New York in 1866, following the devastating Civil War:

"I did not see anything to help my people. I could see that the Wasichus [white man] did not care for each other the way our people did before the nation's hoop was broken. They would take everything from each other if they could, and so there were some who had more of everything than they could use, while crowds of people had nothing at all and maybe were starving. This could not be better than the old ways of my people."

And, after meditating in the Black Hills:

"And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being."

Heȟáka Sápa:

© Perceval Press.



-Viggo Mortensen

© Perceval Press.

Your July Reminders!

Categories: Calendar: Viggo

Click on image to enlarge.

© Images © New Line Productions Inc.

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Last edited: 14 July 2020 00:25:55