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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

In these frightening times when many of us are having to isolate ourselves and fall back on our own resources, it’s good to have some life philosophy to chew on and Viggo can be quite the philosopher. Here are some quotes I’ve gathered over the years to reflect on. No matter what our situation, stay curious, stay interested, stay deep in life and stay well out there in Viggoland!





"Time passes, the world changes, people evolve and it’s nice to stop every now and then and not do anything. I want to imagine things that interest me, to give myself time to get excited about something."

Viggo Mortensen
"I’m a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum
Gala Magazine
30 August 2006




"It’s the endlessly entertaining, often ridiculous, sometimes admirable, sometimes embarrassing attempts that some people make to find some meaning in their lives that make life worth living."

What I’ve learned – Viggo Mortensen
By Kal Fussman
Esquire
22 April 2015




He understands why, in dire times, you'd be tempted to "set your house on fire and never answer the phone again, but it would be better to ask yourself: How can I be most useful to this world? Not that I'm some ****ing genius."

Viggo Mortensen (free radical)
Twenty one reasons to dig Viggo Mortensen
by Allison Glock
GQ Magazine 2003




“...I know I can’t read all the books or watch all the movies in one lifetime.” Does he find that frustrating? Mortensen fixes me with his intense blue gaze. “Mostly no,” he says. “If we could run out of books and movies, then we would be bored.”

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




"When I'm out in nature it can be an inspiration. If I am going through a rough period, if I just go out for a walk, on some level everything is all right because I'm here, do you know what I mean? That's my way of dealing with stress."

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
By covermg.com
10 July 2012




“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master,” he tells me. “He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”

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




“I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else.”

Really? Anything else?

He looks at me, his gaze is quite level. “I like gardening a lot.”

Viggo Mortensen on 'A Dangerous Method'
By John Preston
Seven Magazine
The Telegraph
11 February 2012




‘I feel at home in many places, and with time, I learned that in life it is more important who you are, what you do and how you feel than where you are.’

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine - Translated for V-W by Graciela
March 2009




"To survive in the world, we have to interpret our sense of what is happening and at times, it's important to know. People can separate artists and those that think they aren't [artists], but all of us are artists. It's something that we do all the time, interpreting signs that are given to us and other situations, imagining consequences. It's a way to get involved, to link yourself with the environment, with what surrounds you."

"We are all artists" - Viggo Mortensen
By Susana Parejas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
7 Dias
2 September 2012




"A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens."

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008




"For a long time now, I’ve been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I’ve proved it."

I wouldn’t look the Alatristes of today in the eye
By Oskar L. Belategui, translated for V-W bu Margarita
Hoy Sociedad
3 September 2006




'Mother Nature is the first school. She makes you wise if you watch her. '

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




Q: What makes you happiest in life?

MORTENSEN: There's no one thing. I like a certain amount of solitude at times. I like feeling very free and open to the world. Any time I'm outdoors, whether it's in a desert or a sea or the forest. I like the elements - whatever the weather is, I don't feel that any moment is wasted at all.

Viggo Mortensen: "It's my nature to do a lot"
By covermg.com
10 July 2012




“Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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




"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know. There are periods of time that are gems, but you don't have to go into a blizzard in South Dakota or into the rain forests of New Zealand or the middle of the Sahara. You can find that just walking down the street."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




"My house is the Atlas mountains or the Iceland ice, the forest, the rivers or the sea, the stars, the setting sun. If I stop one day, I die. You must make the difference between loneliness and isolation: between the two, I see a road that can take me farther than I would dare imagine. And wherever this leads me, I still want to take it!"

"You must read Camus if you're plugged in"
By Cécile Lecoultre - translated by Donna Marie
24 Heures
27 January 2015




"We are the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories we tell about others, the stories we read about everyone and every thing."

Viggo Mortensen’s heroes
Ethan Gilsdorf,
Boston Globe
3 March 2012



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Libertad Digital.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

This week we have the third part of our look at Viggo’s work with Actor/Directors. Viggo was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Ben Cash in Matt Ross’s Captain Fantastic, taking the role a little away from Ross’s original concept but delivering a performance full of authenticity which Ross loved. An actor giving another actor space to truly create something remarkable. Not for nothing was Viggo Ross’s first and only choice.




I often ask actors what it's like to work with directors with an acting background but, strangely, so seldom get to ask actor-turned-directors what it's like to work with actors.

[Laughs] I think it makes them comfortable because I'm an actor. I think a lot of directors don't understand the acting process. I think they feel alienated from it. They're either overtly respectful or overtly disdainful of it, you know? It's very hard! Good acting is seamless, right? That's why everyone thinks they can do it. Good acting should look absolutely seamless. It's like ducks: the feet are really moving under the water. I think I understand the process because I've been an actor my whole life. Truthfully, I love acting and I love actors. Not all directors do.

A Conversation with Matt Ross & Viggo Mortensen
Anthem
20 May 2016




"Viggo was an easy first choice, casting him was intuitive."

Matt Ross
Film takes audience on 'Fantastic' journey
Jay Meehan,
The Park Record
21 January 2016




“Viggo was a central collaborator in terms of his ideas about the script. He had wonderful and insightful ideas about everything, including adding his own original music to the film. For me, he exemplifies a very high level of artistry and integrity. That is one of the things that made him my first choice to play Ben, Physically and temperamentally, he was absolutely right.”

Director Matt Ross
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016




‘I've been around long enough to know to know that this was one of the best things I'd read in a long time. But I have to say, when I met Matt Ross, I said, "This is a great script, a near perfect blueprint for a story, but I don't know how you can make a movie as good as the script unless you find six genius kids." He said, "Well, we will try!" I was nervous. Fortunately, he included me in the process of the final auditions for each of the kids' roles and they were all so talented.’

Viggo Mortensen on Captain Fantastic, Being Typecast, and the Long-term Benefit of Being in Lord of the Rings
Vulture
7 December 2016




…almost as soon as they began talking about the movie, Mr. Mortensen sent Mr. Ross a 10-page list of factual questions. "He was very interested in the family compound," Mr. Ross said. "He wanted to know all about the sanitation, the water source, the food supply — things like that."

Viggo Mortensen Goes Off the Grid With 'Captain Fantastic'
By Charles McGrath
The New York Times.
28 June 2016




What are the distinct differences you see in being directed by someone who is also an actor? Are there things Matt did as a director that made your job easier?

You don't have to be a great actor to be a good director of actors. But I haven't seen anybody do a better job of than Matt did of going the extra mile every day to make sure everybody was comfortable, and not just the kids. This was only his second full-length film. It was very ambitious. We're talking about an indie movie where we are changing locations almost every day, you have a lot of child actors who have limited working hours legally, and you are shooting outdoors a lot of the time. That would be challenging for any director, even a seasoned one. But he was great at creating the illusion. That's how good an actor he is: Inside, he was probably ready to curl up and die. [Laughs.]

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen on Captain Fantastic, Being Typecast, and the Long-term Benefit of Being in Lord of the Rings
Vulture
7 December 2016




The director sent Mortensen a huge box of books of recommended reading, including texts by Tom Brown, the renowned naturalist and author of ‘Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival; linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky; and Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and writer Jared Diamond, all of which he felt Ben would be intimately familiar with. “I thought that was a great way to frame some of the knowledge that this family would have,” Ross says. “It turned out Viggo had read all the books already.”

Cannes Press Kit
May 2016




How different was the character from the page to what Viggo Mortensen brought to it?

Ross: I think the character as originally conceived was a little bit more… he had a bit more of a twinkle in his eye, a little more of a trickster. Not a jokester because that implies a broad comedic performance. What [the character’s] doing is so extreme and rigid, I thought one of the ways he would counter balance that is with a real ‘joie de vivre’ – a real playful, fun father. So he was constantly mocking his children and playing with them and poking at them. It was different kind of energy. More like Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. A guy that you love and want to be around. Not obnoxious but playful. But that’s just not Viggo’s energy and I never really talked to him about it. I just let him reflect and interpret [the part] as he would. I liked what he did because what he does is bring credibility and an authenticity. I thought that was just as valid of an interpretation.

Matt Ross Reveals How ‘Captain Fantastic’ Changed from the Page to the Screen
by Tommy Cook
Collider.com
7 September 2016




“...what was surprising to me about working with him is that I could never catch him acting. He doesn't have any false moments."

Matt Ross
Dr. No: Viggo Mortensen Has Made Turning Down Roles Into an Art Form
By Oliver Jones
The Observer
6 July 2016




‘…for me, I can have no better faith than in Viggo Mortensen.’

Matt Ross
Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross Interview
Jason Gorber
Dorkshelf.com
14 July 2016




“I’m thrilled that CAPTAIN FANTASTIC has been included among this year’s Academy nominees! Our movie has heart and brains. It entertains, inspires, and encourages honest communication in equal measures. I’m extremely proud to represent Matt Ross’ extraordinary story. It is one of the finest collective efforts I’ve ever been a part of. YES WE CAN! I wish my mother, who loved movies and taught me about them, was still here to enjoy this moment.”

Viggo’s reaction to his Oscar Nomination
Entertainment Weekly
25 January 2017




How much of Viggo Mortensen is there in the movie, since you also have a farm, make cheese...?

Viggo Mortensen: I don´t make cheese, that comes from a lie told by Karl Urban three years ago, he said I had a farm in Segovia, something I would love.

Matt Ross: He makes all his clothes and shoes. I´m going to continue making myths about you.

More on Viggo’s goat farm...
Hablamos con Viggo Mortensen y Matt Ross por el estreno de 'Captain Fantastic'
By Mikel Zorrilla
Blog de Cine
19 September 2016




Viggo Mortensen’s dedication to his craft and to the world of the story he’s telling have been an inspiration to me for years,” said Ross. “There is a depth to his art that I greatly admire. Any film he’s in is a film I want to see. He’s one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that’s happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her.”

Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen To Star In Electric City’s ‘Captain Fantastic’
By Mike Fleming Jnr
Deadline.com
20 February 2014



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Eric Simkins/Bleecker Street.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

This week is the second part of my look at Viggo’s work with Actor/Directors and we are revisiting The Indian Runner. It was directed by the rather volatile Sean Penn and Viggo gives one of my favourite performances of all time in the film. There was an interesting dynamic between Sean and Viggo throughout filming, stemming in part from the fact that Sean was an actor and Frank was a part that was right up his acting street. Sparks definitely flew but the result was – as we all know – completely mesmerising.




Taking his cue from Bruce Springsteen's song "Highway Patrolman", Penn spins a morose tale of two brothers in late Sixties' Nebraska: one good (local cop, family man) and one bad (Vietnam veteran, petty criminal). It is easy to see Penn's furrowed brows behind Frank, the hell-raising brother who fights shy of responsibility and spits out half-chewed peas at his pregnant child bride.

Geoff Brown
The Times
November 28, 1991




“I was over at Robin [Wright]'s little house in Santa Monica Canyon, waiting for her to get dressed for a date. The television was on, sound off, and I saw a face: he was only a cameo in a movie, but I saw the face that I'd had in my head when I wrote Indian Runner. He had something, an angularity, a severity to his handsomeness that I perceived as being 'like Frank'. So I watched the movie through, and I called Don and said, 'Find out who he is.'”

Sean Penn
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T Kelly




'One day, during the filming of I can't remember which film, I went back to my hotel and found a message: "Sean Penn called you," with a telephone number. I asked myself which of my friends was playing a trick. And there was a spelling mistake in Sean. I call: "Sean Penn?" "Yeah," replies Sean Penn, grumpily. "It's Viggo Mortensen. What do you want?" I didn't even realise I could have been friendlier. (Laughs.) And then, he told me about "Indian Runner'. He saw me in "Fresh Horses', a TV film which I had made for HBO. I had a little scene at the end. He sent me the script and I was instantly hooked. At the start, I preferred the character which was finally played by David Morse. Mine was just described as "the baddy'. But I said to myself that, behind the slightly too obvious behaviour of Frank Roberts, there had to be a really complex reason. The filming was extremely interesting ... The more so because Sean was very involved. It was there I became friends with Dennis Hopper. After that, the offers arrived.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002




"He was dazzlingly committed all the time. He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character," says Penn, who delighted in seeing Mortensen arrive on set each day with a "Santa Claus sack" full of various props he'd chosen. "He's an often solitary, very poetic creature, Viggo, and all of that worked [for the movie]."

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005




"Viggo's inherent kindness as a guy showed in a sort of languid movement. And that was a lesson for me about what parts of people express themselves without trying."

Sean Penn
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly




“I had always thought of Frank as a barking dog that bites,' Penn says, 'so I asked Viggo to spend some time with a friend of mine who's a Hell's Angel who knows the world and also is a fighter - not that there's a lot of fighting in the movie, but I felt that he should know it and be able to feel that physical confidence.”

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991




“Sean had decided that Viggo and I were going to rehearse for two weeks, but we were only going to rehearse our big scene in the bar. So he had a bar set up in a gymnasium where we could shoot baskets but also really do our work. And during those two weeks, I have a feeling it was harder for Viggo, because Sean identified more with the role of Frank, and he would really try to push him to do certain things. But Viggo just kept holding back. He never really did the scene in those two weeks.... I think Sean was still a little nervous going into the bar scene. Then I remember a real struggle for what was going to happen, what the moments were going to be between the two of them. And something happened, it crystallized, and suddenly Viggo was on fire.”

David Morse
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly




As moody and volatile as the problematic Frankie, "The Indian Runner" starts off with a killing and sustains a threat of possible violence throughout even its gentlest episodes. That threat is especially evident in the presence of Mr. Mortensen, a magnetic actor capable of both scary outbursts and eerie, reptilian calm. (Mr. Penn's own acting style is strongly echoed in this performance.) It is some measure of Mr. Mortensen's savage, mocking ferocity that in a final confrontation with Dennis Hopper, who plays a bartender given to in-your-face philosophizing, Mr. Hopper seems easily the tamer of the two.

Janet Maslin
New York Times
20 September 1991




“I think I stimulated Viggo's temper. And, as I remember, I think I got a little bit personal. But I think he was professionally responsive, he knew where to go for what I was looking for. When you're abusive to an actor, it's one thing-when you're abusive to a character, it's another. And I think I found it was helpful to both of us to raise my own tempo a little bit, get in the same place as him, share the vibe…”

Sean Penn
When Viggo Met Sean
filminfocus.com
7 Sept 2007
Excerpted from Sean Penn: His Life and Times by Richard T. Kelly




“I was praying for such a wonderful actor. I wasn't disappointed.”

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
by Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
8 January 2004




Facially, Mortensen looks like a cross between Sam Shepard and echt movie villain Lance Henriksen, a suggestion enhanced by his character's myriad jailhouse tattoos (applied in hours-long makeup sessions) and the unperiodlike leather brace on his right hand and wrist, which he wears constantly and removes only immediately before shooting. Word on the set is that Mortensen busted a knuckle and sprained his wrist during rehearsals for a fight scene, but when asked about the injury, his eyes take on a demonic glint.

'Sean Penn,' he says, 'bit me.'

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premiere
October 1991




"I remember Sean saying to me on about the sixth week of shooting," Indian producer Phillips recalls, "'Don, Viggo's going to be a humongous star.'"

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston,
Premiere 2003



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Westmount.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

While we wait (and wait) for more Falling to fall into our laps, I’ve been thinking of the many films Viggo has made which have been directed by fellow actors. Captain Fantastic with Matt Ross, The Indian Runner with Sean Penn, Albino Alligator with Kevin Spacey (remember that one?) and, of course, Appaloosa, one of my favourite Viggo films with another of my favourite actors, Ed Harris.




In 2000, Ed Harris made his directorial debut with the fantastic Pollock. Hollywood pundits fawned over the film and the actor-turned-director ad nauseum. Strangely, his follow-up, the wonderful western, Appaloosa got largely lost in the shuffle. Even more irking, the always-strong Viggo Mortensen got little recognition for a nuanced supporting turn. With the moustache of the year (that should be an award), Mortensen turned a rather standard best-friend part into a quiet tour de force.

Oscar nominations 2009
Scott Taverner
martiniboys.com
January 2009




Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, two of my favorite actors today, had the on-screen chemistry that every filmmaker dreams of. Rugged, badass and tough lawman who just flat out kicked ass through the whole film. Viggo played Everett Hitch, the faithful deputy/ sidekick and even the sometimes needed vocab checker to the infamous lawman Virgil Cole, played by Ed Harris. They were brilliant. There just isn’t much more I can say to communicate how well they were in Appaloosa.

Troy
Moviewiseguys.com
6 September 2008




Harris's first and only choice for the role of Everett Hitch was Viggo Mortensen, with whom he'd shared the screen in "A History of Violence."

"I had just finished reading Appaloosa when we shot 'A History of Violence,' and I gave it to Viggo and told him that I really wanted to make it into a film with him in it," recalls Harris. "One of the greatest things about Viggo is his sense of loyalty. He's a man of his word. Once he committed to the project, he was completely on board."

"We see eye to eye," says Mortensen of his experience working with Harris.

Appaloosa: New Western by Ed Harris
Emmanuellevy.com
August 2008




"He's got kind of a weird sense of humor I like."

Ed Harris
Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008




“Not only do I have a great respect for him as an actor but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These were two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it ... If Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would've made the movie”

Ed Harris
Viggo is one straight shooter
By Kevin Williamson
Toronto Sun
6th September 2008




“I figured if he wanted to do it - if he responded to the material - then he would immediately understand what this was between these guys without us having to talk about for hours on end,"

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




“ ….I like this one because it’s told in a leisurely pace. I enjoyed being in it because Ed didn’t try to reinvent the genre or appeal to younger audiences. He said, ‘This is how these stories are told, and I’m going to respect the genre.’”

Viggo Mortensen
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
Filmink
April 2009




"Viggo is very detailed and he really got into the fact that Hitch had been at West Point - so he was particular about all of his gear, the saddlebags and his haircut. In the book, his character is probably a little more of a hick. But Viggo's thing was I don't want to say 'ain't.' Viggo wanted to refine Hitch a bit, to clean him up. It made sense and was a nice choice."

Ed Harris
Globe and Mail
22 September 2008




"When I first had [the 8-gauge shotgun], I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed? It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance. I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically.'"

Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 2008




One area the actor always takes seriously, whether in The Lord of the Rings or Eastern Promises, is hair. For Appaloosa, Mortensen grew a thick goatee and bushy mustache while keeping his haircut military short, a reflection of Hitch's training at West Point.

"I showed up with it that way and just kind of maintained it," he says. "I based it on pictures."

As Mortensen discusses his versatile hair options, Harris, 57, chuckles. "I wish I had some versatile hair options," he says. "I actually had a (hair) piece made, and we screen-tested it. It was pretty interesting looking."

Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris gab about garb, camaraderie in Appaloosa
By Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today
2 October 2008
USA Today




“… the love of my life in the film … the beautiful Renée Zellweger.” and finally… “The REAL love of my life in the film, Viggo Mortensen”.

Ed Harris’s introductions
Appaloosa Premier at TIFF – reported by Topaz
5 September 2008




Mortensen said he was hooked by the dynamics between the two men. They love each other, said Harris, even if they might never say those exact words. It's a deep, complex friendship, though don't expect it to unravel like the one between the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain.

Said Mortensen: "They cut those scenes."

Appaloosa: TIFF press conference diaries
by Mark Medley
National Post
5 September 2008




"I'm really honoured and privileged to introduce to you a man of conviction, of compassion, intelligence, artistic integrity, a great actor and a fine citizen of the world, a man I'm proud to call my friend : Viggo Mortensen."

Ed Harris introducing Viggo at Deauville
With thanks to Dom and Ellie
13 September 2008



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.

Your March Reminders!


Categories: Calendar: Viggo


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© viggo-works.com. Images © Rob Greig.


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Last edited: 4 April 2020 15:00:21