A Vital Viggo

Source: 24 Hours

Viggo Mortensen made Oscar history, but not in a celebratory way.

© New Line Productions Inc.
The third Lord of the Rings picture racked up 11 nominations, tops in 2004, but it didn't get one acting nod.

That's an Academy first, a dubious one for sure. So what does the mild-mannered Mortensen have to say about the rejection?

"I never really pay much attention to the awards thing," suggested the 45-year-old actor at the Four Seasons Hotel yesterday promoting his new film Hidalgo.

Opening March 5 in Toronto, the movie showcases Mortensen, who plays a Pony Express rider competing in an Arabian desert horse race.

Like the Lord of the Rings series, Mortensen was allowed to do his own horseback riding. Unlike the LOTR shoot in New Zealand, he didn't suffer as many injuries filming Hidalgo in the Sahara Desert. No broken toes or dislocated shoulders.

And apparently, Mortensen has no hurt feelings either - about being Oscar shunned for his worthy LOTR portrayal of Aragorn.

"I don't think the Lord of the Rings series was put together in that kind of way," he says, referring to director Peter Jackson's intentions. "Peter was more interested in the action than the actors."

Which is fine with Mortensen, who is also an accomplished painter, poet and photographer (his photo book, The Horse Is Good, will hit stores next week.)

Anyway, don't look for Mortensen at the Oscars on Feb.29. "I've never been, and I've never been inclined to go," reports Mortensen. "I've received more attention than I've ever wanted."

He's an actor, not a movie star. And he wants to keep it that way. "If you take the fame side of things seriously, you can be trapped by it," he adds.

Mortensen does acknowledge and appreciate the business side of the industry, and the fact that the third in the LOTR trilogy just hit $341.7 million, making it the highest grossing of any film released in 2003.

"Yes, we got bonuses for each of the movies," he says smiling. "That was nice."
Last edited: 8 August 2010 10:51:26