Viggo by Interviewers and Journalists

© New Line Productions Inc.
...the very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man - Richard Horgan, Filmstew

Viggo by Interviewers and Journalists

..constitutionally incapable of creative blockage.

True Colors
By Margot Dougherty
Los Angeles Magazine

Most actors will agree on the value of appearing enigmatic. But there is enigmatic and then there is Viggo Mortensen...

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

...the very definition of a 21st century Renaissance Man.

Validation for Viggo
Richard Horgan
22 January 2008

The Empire Icon award this year went to the disgustingly multitalented Viggo Mortensen, who speaks more languages than God, paints, writes poetry and still finds time to do a bit of acting.

Jameson Empire Award Winners Announced!
Helen O'Hara
Empire Online
30 March 2009

Actor, poet, photographer, musician and always exquisitely provocative.

Mortensen Code
By Sol Alonso - translated by Remolina
November 2008
Source: Vanity Fair (Spain)

If fame came with a report card, Viggo's would say can do better.

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
December 2001
Black & White magazine, #58

Viggo Mortensen isn't just a celebrity, as you're probably aware. He isn't even just a fine actor. He's also a painter, a poet and a photographer, and he makes records, too, often in collaboration with Buckethead, the masked wizard guitarist. In addition, he's also conversant in half a dozen languages -- yet another body blow to an interviewer's self-esteem. But I soldiered on.

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road,'
By Kurt Loder
25 November 2009

"Now, Viggo, you speak seven languages, you write poetry in three languages, Danish, Spanish and English, you ride horses superbly and you're a great swordsman and all our womenfolk are in love with you... do you understand how annoying you are?"

Radio interview with Richard Glover
ABC Sydney
24 March 2009

The Argentinian. The cuervo. The Lord of the Rings. The one who teaches people to drink mate on million dollar sets.

The Habit Of Giving It All
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
20 June 2010

Mortensen's body-and-soul of commitment to his roles makes him the closest thing American cinema has to a warrior poet. And you know what? He actually is a poet.

The Art House Powerhouse 100
Paste Magazine
10 January 2008

Viggo Mortensen is no flake. He's a pretty intense guy -- with a mellow sort of presence.

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009

Viggo Mortensen rolls his own cigarettes, totes his own teapot, does his own driving, opts for his own bedroll over hotels when travelling in New Zealand, performs his own stunts and cultivates his own casual take on fashion that precludes the wearing of shoes and socks.

But one thing the soft-spoken "Lord of the Rings" star won't do is beat his own drum.

By Hugh Hart
San Francisco Chronicle, 2003

... the artist who can tame a stallion and then adopt him, an outspoken political liberal who can cook from scratch and sword fight with a vengeance. A movie star who backpacks in remote, unlovely places. A beautiful man who will sleep in the dirt on a mountain in New Zealand. A rich guy who uses his money to publish books that will never sell because they are lovely.

If you could design the perfect man, Mortensen might just be close to it.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009

Celebrities generally come in two sizes: large and small. Either they suck up all the oxygen in the room or you can't imagine how they take up so much space on the screen.

Viggo Mortensen somehow occupies a middle ground.

Things are getting 'Good' for Mortensen
By John Clark
SF Gate-San Francisco Chronicle
23 January 2009

Ostensibly, Mortensen is in town to promote his role as a conflicted, compromised German professor in Good, a small-scale drama that - in his words - "needs all the support it can get". He could have got away with delivering the sales spiel. Instead, he's content to go lolloping off after his own train of thought and in the end, the best option is to give up and drift along for the ride. In Mortensen's view, the journey is always more entertaining than the destination anyway.

The happy trails of Viggo Mortensen
Xan Brooks
The Guardian
18 April 2009

Viggo Mortensen doesn't talk with his hands so much as he batters the air.

On 'The Road' and off, Viggo Mortensen walks the walk
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
3 December 2009

He is sporting silky shoulder-length hair (an effeminate touch that is duly balanced by the hyper-masculinity of his granite-like jawline), wears a blue T-shirt and jeans, and speaks quietly and thoughtfully, and often at length, on every question, hammering his subject from all sides until it submits to the truth.

Viggo Mortensen v the apocalypse
By Kevin Maher
The Times
3 October 2009

Mortensen is nothing if not precise. A conversation with him tends to lead wherever he wants it to go. Try to ask a follow-up question or change the subject, and he'll gently, politely raise his voice and continue talking over you.

Rocky Road
By Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago
13 November 2009

...he's a soft spoken guy who can fill a digital recorder with wall-to-wall perspective.

Kris Tapley
In Contention
10 September 2009

Viggo Mortensen is a study in contradictions: rugged and undeniably virile, and yet thoroughly and irresistibly sensitive.

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
26 November 2009

Mr. Mortensen has bladelike, Slavic cheekbones, the most jutting movie chin since Kirk Douglas's and icy blue eyes that can seem soulful one minute and menacing the next. He also has a compact, chiseled physique that looks great adorned with Russian mob tattoos.

Big Gun Takes on the Apocalypse
Charles McGrath
New York Times
10 September 2009

With so many of Hollywood's movie stars seeming like overgrown kids, Viggo Mortensen is the rare American actor who is both muscular and humane, tough and sensitive, fighter and lover. He seduces us with a thread of danger, his chiselled Nordic physique and stunning blue eyes.

36th Telluride Film Festival Program Guide
September 2009

[Eastern Promises] thrilling nude bathhouse punch-up epitomises the modern Mortensen -- the fearlessness of a character actor combined with a leading man's physique.

Viggo Mortensen: first Good - and then goodbye?
The Times
2 April 2009

Viggo Mortensen is a smolderer. He opens those intense, I-know-how-to-build-my-own-kitchen eyes, and he wins my girlfriend over every time. Obviously, I want to hate him because anyone that ruggedly handsome has to be despised on principal alone, but like Paul Newman and his absurdly delicious salad dressing, there comes a day when you just have to admit a dude's alright.

20 Actors Who Deserve Your Support
By Josh
Cinema Blend
22 August 2010

His face is granite, and built on the most imposing jawline in the business since Kirk Douglas....

Viggo Mortensen: first Good - and then goodbye?
By Kevin Maher
The Times
2 April 2009

.... it's easy to imagine him wielding a sword (the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy), a lethally hot pot of coffee ("A History of Violence") or a pair of sinister sunglasses ("Eastern Promises").

Things are getting 'Good' for Mortensen
By John Clark
SF Gate-San Francisco Chronicle
23 January 2009

The first thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he doesn't like talking about himself. The second thing you need to know about Viggo Mortensen is that he hasn't stopped talking about himself for the past six months.

On promoting 'Hidalgo'and 'ROTK'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register
7 March 2004

No matter how outstanding his work, or how successful his films, it's impossible to imagine Mortensen without that customary reticence that makes him such a fine actor and such a reluctant star. Long may he stay off the radar.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

Viggo Mortensen turns 50 next year, and he's one of those movie actors whom you want to see age.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007

He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

Viggo Mortensen is, besides a great actor, an inexhaustible conversationalist, so full of curiosity that he doesn't hesitate to occasionally take the role of the interviewer.

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009

...he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial...

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

He... presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

Viggo Mortensen is a character actor at heart, he's a method, no-restraint genius who looks like a mechanic, crossed with zoo keeper, crossed with a brooding former model turned emotionally-tortured bad boy. I need to stop holding that against him. If not for my own credibility, so he won't steal my girlfriend and kill me with his bare hands in my sleep on his way to winning at least three Oscars before he's done.

20 Actors Who Deserve Your Support
By Josh
Cinema Blend
22 August 2010

Mortensen, who writes poetry, enjoys photography and paints, is that rare and interesting combination, a heroic screen action man possessed of obvious intelligence and sophistication.

Comes A Horseman
By John Millar
Film Review, 2004

There are very few actors that you can truly call an artiste. Someone with a level of talent in other forms aside from putting their face up on the screen to look pretty or handsome. It takes a very special and unique individual to offer up more than just a nice face for the camera, and one of those people would be Viggo Mortensen.

Interview with Viggo Mortensen
by JimmyO
14 December 2007

Those who know him well insist that he's a simple man. Whether or not that's true, what's certain is that after repeatedly getting under the skin of assassins and other individuals tortured by life, Viggo Mortensen is the spitting image of a hero.

"I'm permanently dissatisfied."
by Amelia Enríquez
Lecturas Magazine
30 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

Barefoot, carrying a coffee plunger of water and sporting a United Nations badge on his jacket, Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen wandered into his own press conference as though he were planning to sit on the back lawn.

A Barefoot Viggo Lords It Over The Fans
By James Gardiner
29 November 2003
Source: New Zealand Heral

After playing Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, Viggo ceased being a mere mortal: he demonstrated that he is made of the most pure talent that a human being can aspire to.

An Old-Fashioned Hero
Cinemania (Mexico)
By Daniel Ritz - translated by Margarita
April 2007

Indeed Mortensen, one of the few Danes who can get away with a cowboy hat (in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Hidalgo), looks so much like a man from the Golden West, it's a wonder he isn't attached to remakes of everything from High Noon to Carry On Cowboy.

A History of Violence is David Cronenberg's Western
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine
March 2006

The years have written their history on him with traces of lines that turn beauty into wisdom, while the harsh trace of life, which clouds yesterday's glowing eyes, has given them in exchange a deep and warm expression where we find the courage to meet our own fears.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
By María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

Could this guy be sweeter? Um, no. He's like a heaping serving of a triple blueberry hazelnut frangipane smørrebrød sweet!

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04

Viggo is afraid of nothing, not on the screen and not in life.

Viggo Mortensen: The magician of The Lord of the Rings
By Aurelie Raya
Paris Match
Jan 8, 2004

Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson calls him 'no ego Viggo', and everyone who knows him says that a key part of his character is a complete absence of vanity. He certainly seems modest in person. Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

My first impressions of Viggo are a little hard to explain. He has an elusive reputation but I found him very down to earth. At the same time, however, he came off as quite mysterious. He spoke in a hushed, thoughtful tone and sounded very poetic in his speech patterns. Even when he wasn't saying much of anything I felt compelled to listen.

John Makarewicz
CHUD magazine 2004

Mortensen speaks slowly and in each one of his answers it seems there are endless concepts that could need an extra explanation. This man, who in addition to being a famous actor is a well known lover of poetry, music and photography, has the humility of the great. Doesn't stop complimenting his colleagues, analyses words and does his utmost to give each thing a place...

Viggo Mortensen tiene un plan
By Justina Berard
Vos/La Voz
25 May 2011

This is one helluva guy folks. Gentle - very soft spoken - and yet completely intense. He speaks with you, not at you. His obvious respect for life was refreshing. Viva le Viggo. Oops I guess that should be Danish...

Singin' in the Reigns
by Emily Blunt
The Blunt Review, Mar '04

He speaks with a softness and strength at the same time. The depth of his tenor and the thoughtful, unhurried way in which he expresses himself makes his words a visual, spoken poetry.

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
By Lise Balk King
Pine Ridge Reservation
South Dakota, December 2003

VM is not one of that kind of actors where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001

Mortensen is not what Tolkien's Treebeard would call "hasty."

After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004

The surprising thing about Viggo Mortensen is how talkative the guy is. Seriously: The smolderingly still presence of "Eastern Promises," "A History of Violence," and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy turns out to be a regular Chatty Cathy in person.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008

...the actor tends toward abstractions and diversions in conversation. Entire paragraphs can pass by without a concrete noun, but you don't mind because he's friendly and easygoing - a man with the attitude of a surfer, the eyes of a killer, and the brain of a slacker bookworm.

An actor lured by western promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2008

Viggo Mortensen loves rituals. He never changes his habits, no matter where he goes. For example, he enters the villa in Deauville - made available by the French top jeweler Cartier - in bare feet, as if he is in his own living room.

In his right hand, he is holding a cup with his favorite beverage: maté - an herbal drink from Argentina, the country where he spent the majority of his childhood. He also remembered to bring a silver straw, the bombilla.

The actor explains why he always behaves the same way, no matter where he is in the world. "In this business you're travelling half the time. Sometimes I feel like a world traveller who doesn't know where he'll sleep the next day. I am exaggerating a little, but I do value my habits, so I can quickly feel at home. If I don't, it takes me too long to adapt to strange surroundings. That's very important for an actor. That way he can more quickly concentrate on his role."

Viggo Mortensen Goes To Bed With A Shotgun
By - translated by Airwin
Algemeen Dagblad
27 April 2009

....despite his serene composure, you sense an invisible thread of unrest hanging off him, just waiting to be pulled. That unrest may be why he paints, writes and takes pictures, and a similar unrest drives his movie counterpart, Aragorn.

A Man Apart
By Ingrid Randoja
Famous, 2003

...there are reasons some people are stars, and those reasons sometimes have nothing to do with anything other than the way light banks off the angles of their faces or pools in their cold cerulean eyes. Brad Pitt is that handsome, there is reason to suspect Viggo Mortensen was born on a dying planet light years away, and no one should be surprised if Alicia Keys is one day elected president. There is more than talent at play (talent is common as money; most of us have at least a little ), some overweening yet ineffable glamour that draws our eyes and empathy to them. Most people who succeed don't have this charge. The few who do need little else. That's the way of the world.

Philip Martin at TIFF
Arkansas Democratic Gazette
September 16, 2008

It has always helped that he looks like a Round Table knight; parts abound for the handsome hero-rescuer waving a literal or metaphorical sword. In the business, he's that worldly poetic soul who can do credible justice to gangland Russian, Sioux, or Elvish dialects. That guy who looks great on a horse. That guy who never kills anyone who doesn't need killing.

The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

He is the lonely cavalier of the cinema. ...He survives everything serenely, whatever might happen in his career, he remains the same person - an idealist, but not a naive one - he has just perfected the art of doing his own thing.

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009

This man must know something, a man who walks round the forbidden forests of the human nature with impunity, stirring up the bowels of everyday life with his curious eyes and his restless hands; who transforms everything he experiences, everything he sees, into a complex art, neither bad nor good, just different and universal at the same time.

He lives his way and gets entangled in whatever he finds in his path. Then, he gives it back transformed into a sort of abstract personal experience that he quietly shares with those who want to get closer.

Viggo's Other Look
Diario de León
by María Dolores García - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

Last edited: 14 September 2011 10:54:08