Quotable Viggo 2015


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Quotable Viggo: 24 December 2015

'Tis the season to be Jolly, so here is a little Christmas Quiz for you. I've put together a selection of some of the reviews Viggo has received over the years but I've left out the date and the film so you can try and guess them. No prize, just a bit of fun. And it's pretty tricksy! I'll post the answers for you next week. Hope you all have a very Merry Quotable Christmas!

Image Guadalupe Gaona.
© 4L Productions

Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style.

Film H....

...the perpetual shape-shifter Viggo Mortensen, slinks around like a silent old Zen master.

Matthew D'Abate
Your Beautiful New York

Mortensen's performance is flawless – so real that the film seems more like a look into the past, rather than a fictional slice of entertainment. You can see his power, his strength, and his intelligence as easy as you can see the all-prevalent dusty wind.

Monika Bartyzel
Early Films

...graced with Mortensen, who seizes the imagination even when he's sniffing horse manure.

Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post

Mortensen effortlessly mixes glamour with masculinity and swiftness, and excels in several performances of secret or open insecurity and jealousy - it is almost impossible for the audience to empathize with him.

Liao Fangzhou
Global Times

The visceral and gritty performance of Viggo Mortensen is like a tornado. It knocks us off our feet, and swallows us whole. His accent is pitch perfect and absolutely never falters. This was not just a role he could sink his teeth into. Mortensen clamps down and never lets go...

Chad Webb

Viggo Mortensen... highly intelligent and completely smoky.

Norbert Creutz
Le Temps

The gradual moral corruption is wonderfully and convincingly portrayed and the entire film would fail in the hands of a less capable thespian. Mortensen is truly a master of his art.

Sebastian Cordoba

He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done. It's kinda perfect.

Ain't it Cool News

Mortensen oscillates between drowsy menace and raucous mania, making you unsure of the scene's intended tone, and of him; it recalls Jack Nicholson's infamous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces, only without the comforting hint of showmanship.

Ryan Gilbey

Mortensen is predictably fantastic. That dude can say 5 different things with his face in one ten second take. He's raw, nervous, slightly crazed, but still has a working moral compass.

Ain't it Cool News

It's interesting to watch him here as he channels a James Dean vibe, with his wedge-cut hair and sulky, almost shy delivery.

David Maine

The character is a quiet, introspective man who has spent his life suppressing his emotions. And they are painful emotions, indeed. Mortensen does an exquisite job of revealing just enough of the bottled-up angst to make us aware of the internal turmoil his character battles.

Jeff Strickler
Star Tribune

Viggo Mortensen... sporting a profoundly ridiculous blond weave, though still giving the film's best performance by miles...

Shaun Munro
BluRay review
Obsessed with Film

Viggo shows up well into the film, and we see an early example of his willingness to be both vulnerable and venomous.

Jason Gorber

In the end, the actor who makes the biggest impression is Viggo Mortensen, whose gentle presence seems to be masking some diabolical undercurrents. He's the only character who keeps us guessing throughout, and he manages to steal every scene he appears in by slyly underplaying the role.

Judge Clark Douglas
DVD Verdict

...the erstwhile Aragorn masters the tricky art of being a figure in the landscape. When it comes to traipsing either purposefully or desperately across the widescreen frame, he's several lengths ahead of the competition...

Adam Nayman
AV Club

The film sheds the romanticism of costume dramas. Battle scenes are brutal and bloody. Regular life is dirty and desperate. Heroism is found in intimate human gestures — and in Mortensen's soulful eyes.

Bruce Kirkland DVD review
Toronto Sun

...you really do feel like Mortensen was doing his level best to channel evil in a way we haven't seen for quite some time.

Box Office Prophets
Scott Lumley

Quotable Viggo: 13 December 2015

Having done a recent Quotable about Perceval Press, the time now seems ripe to complement it with one on Perceval Pictures which now has its own webpage. As Producer, Viggo brings the same commitment to the director's vision that he has always brought to the authors, poets and artists he's worked with. With Viggo interested in every aspect of the film making process, and his dedication to publicising and promoting films he believes in, it makes sense to be in a position where he can officially 'butt in'.

Image Guadalupe Gaona.
© 4L Productions.

'The three movies I've produced were just projects where I wanted to be able to in every way help protect the vision of the director. From the way it's allowed to be shot or cast, where it's shot, what the schedule is, how it's presented, who it's sold too, what the poster looks like... all those decisions are what an actor doesn't necessarily have any say about but a producer does. And in that way I can be helpful in protecting the director—having their vision be respected right 'til the end. So that's the main reason to do that.'

Viggo Mortensen Tells Us Why He Hasn't Done Blockbusters Since 'Lord Of The Rings'
By Carman Tse
19 March 2015

'As an actor I can give my opinion, but the producer might say: "O.K., but don't butt in."'

Viggo Mortensen on 'Jauja,' Producing, Protecting Directors' Visions
25 November 2014

'Like a lot of unique movies, [Todos Tenemos Un Plan] took years to get together. Two or three years, probably. I kept working on her and said, "I want to be a producer. I've never done it before, but I want to do it."

Viggo talking about Todos Tenemos Un Plan
Viggo Mortensen: Lay off the pope
By Andrew O'Hehir
20 March 2013

'If you are professionally responsible, then you work very hard preparing the movie because you're only going to get one chance to shoot it. You just turn over every stone, even if there are things you don't end up using. Just burn as much as you can, work as hard as you can during the shoot, then you go out and promote the movie.'

Viggo Mortensen on 'Jauja,' Producing, Protecting Directors' Visions
25 November 2014

What's Viggo like to work with, honestly?

He's a little obsessed. He's a little bit of a perfectionist, but then so am I so that's ok!

Ana Piterbarg
Still Waters Run Deep
by Shelley Marsden
Film Juice
27 October 2012

The preparation for films like Far From Men and Jauja can take up to two or three years, and during this time I received proposals for big films that I preferred to decline. Because I have the habit of staying until the end of a project even if it causes me to miss opportunities. I understand very well that there are consequences and viewers may forget me if I don't make a blockbuster movie after four or five years. But I gain many more things than I lose in the end. For example, I know that I will be able to watch Far From Men in twenty years, knowing that it's a good movie that deserved to be made, and of which I can be proud.

Viggo Mortensen: "I know that I will be able to watch Far From Men again in 20 years and still be proud of it."
By Daniel Leblanc - translated by Donna Marie
Premiere (France
13 January 2015

"Viggo is incredible. He has the triple role of actor, producer and musician and along with that, he was thinking about how to improve the film 24 hours a day. In addition he rigorously corrected every French, English and Danish subtitle."

Lisandro Alonso
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe

JB: [Jauja] isn't the first film you've produced. What draws you to the producer's role?

VM: The reason is always the same: to do what I do anyway but with a little more legal authority, rather than just being a meddling actor.

Jauja: An Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Jo Blair
26 April 2015

I went with Lisandro to the private event for the possible purchasers of our film, there in the huge cinematic bazaar of the festival. It's the fourth time that I've come to Cannes... but I've never seen the insanity of the great market for all kinds of cinema at such close range. Since I am the producer responsible for the North American rights for Jauja, I wanted to see which of the potential gringo distributors had come to see the movie.

Something Material
By Viggo Mortensen, Fabián Casas and Lisandro Alonso - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
31 May 2014

"When we went up on the stage for the presentation, for a moment I thought like a producer and told myself, "I'm going to try to explain, to orient [the audience]. But then, I reconsidered - no, we're going to continue doing silly stuff and have fun. If you have to explain it, it's not worth it. It has to reach you or it doesn't."

Viggo Mortensen on receiving the International Critics prize for Jauja
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
August 2014

Despite his exhaustion, Mortensen's tongue did not call a truce. The actor refused to stop talking about his movie. "It's unique. It brings together aspects of mythology, history, fairy tales...It's a very special combination of Scandinavian and South American storytelling. It's as Argentine as it is Danish," he concluded as he fought off the charms of Morpheus as well as he could.

During Viggo's marathon promotion of Jauja
Viggo Mortensen firma en valenciano
Translated by Ollie and Zoe
7 February 2015

'I think he is one of the best producers I've ever had in my entire film history. Hopefully there will be more actors who want to produce, because we need them.'

Lisandro Alonso, a well-known face at Cannes
by Pablo O. Scholz
17 April 2014

'...it's difficult for things to go wrong when you work with Viggo Mortensen.'

David Oelhoffen
Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Sulcas
New York Times
26 August 2014

Quotable Viggo: 6 December 2015

This week we have a rather random Quotable ramble. I've picked out quotes that just popped out at me while wandering through the Quotable Archive (located in a secret underground bunker somewhere in Middle England). Enjoy!

© Film4

In "Far From Men," Viggo Mortensen, his sharply planed face weathered and solemn, plays a man who looks as if he were quarried right out of the hard red-rock earth.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
30 April 2015

Few stars of his stature would consider such a low-budget arthouse film in a foreign language - let alone co-produce it, be able to act in both Spanish and Danish, and be prepared to sport such spectacularly awful whiskers.

Viggo Mortensen shows his independent side
by Demetrios Matheou
Herald Scotland
4 March 2015

Mortensen has the kind of face — both chiseled and mobile, with eyes that hold as many secrets as they spill — that's made for close-ups

Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
17 March 2015

...no man other than Viggo Mortensen could carry the moniker 'Blouse Man' and retain the sort of paint-peeling smoldering sexuality that he wields throughout this film (to say nothing of his nuanced, stunning performance, which I guess I'm saying next to nothing about. But don't we all assume such a performance from Viggo?).

Liz W Garcia
13 July 2015

His features were as clean and untrammelled as a new field of wheat and his eyes were so wide apart you could have driven an Amish buggy between them.

Man Power
By Katherine Mitchell
September 2002

...one of the great little pleasures of cinema in our day - seeing Mortensen tilt his head and sketch a knowing half smile with the corner of his mouth.

Manu Yáñez
13 August 2014

'I believe that I'm a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea, a somewhat solitary guy but sometimes I miss what it's like to soak up metropolitan poisons. I love and am terrified by the great cities of the world, sometimes simultaneously.'

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

You have been described as the Robert De Niro of your generation, what are your views on that? And how much are you looking forward to becoming a Lego figure?

I already am a Lego figure! Very proud to be a part of Danish industry in that way. I'm not sure that Robert De Niro is a Lego figure yet, so he's got some catching up to do.

Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012

...his almost ludicrous list of talents includes poetry, painting and a prolific discography which boasts more album releases than your average full-time musician.

An Unconventional Method: Viggo Mortensen
8 March 2015

...he's a disconcerting interviewee. The conversation goes like this. I ask question A, expecting answer B. He listens carefully, considers, and gives me answer E, and then we find ourselves on point K, V, or Z.

'If I think a film's beyond me – that's a good sign'
Imogen Tilden
The Guardian
28 May 2013

'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
22 April 2015

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

What would you like as your epitaph?

"He was curious," which you can take more than one way.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Tim Wilson
December 2003

Quotable Viggo: 29 November 2015

We all like to sit and watch Viggo's films, but which films does Viggo like to watch? We know how great an admirer he is of Maria Falconetti's amazing performance as Joan of Arc. We know that going to the cinema as a young man nudged him towards acting because he wanted to discover just how cinema magic was woven. But it's not all Dreyer, Bergman and Pasolini...

Image Macall Polay.
© 2929/Dimension Films.

'….I went to see films with my mother when I was a child. Towards twenty, I lived for a year close to London, and I went to a cinema which only showed classics. I discovered Bergman, Ozu, Pasolini, Dreyer ... It was a revelation.'

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

"I started thinking about acting about a year before I actually tried it," he says. "I just started watching movies in a different way, not just as entertainment. I started to really think about the ones that got to me, the ones that transported me so that, when I walked out of the theater, I'd be surprised. I'm really not in the desert? Or the 18th century? And I started to wonder what's the trick, how does a movie do that to you, technically? I wanted to try and figure that out."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Two Faces of January,' LOTR and what his movies teach him
By Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
21 September 2014

'I discovered [The Passion of Joan of Arc] when I was 20. I didn't know very much about movies, I wasn't even an actor: I wasn't yet measuring all of Dreyer's esthetic innovation and radicalism, but it still had a crazy effect on me. The story, the way it's told, but especially her, Falconetti: her modern way of acting, her immediacy. Whatever moment you're watching the film, she's there.'

Viggo talking about Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc
"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014

He opens a large cardboard box at his feet. There are about a dozen books... all are published by Perceval, a small press he runs with a partner. Then he pulls out a DVD of The Passion of Joan of Arc, a 1928 silent movie. He informs me that the original negative was destroyed in a fire, and that the filmmaker died believing his masterwork had been obliterated. But a complete version was found in a closet in a Norwegian mental institution in the early 1980s and was restored.

"You published this too?" I ask.

"Nah," he says. "You should just see it."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

"The real trigger for me was the film that everyone was talking about when I was twenty: The Deer Hunter, particularly Meryl Streep. What an inspiration! All the actors in that movie are amazing, no doubt; but there's something about Meryl Streep in that movie that makes me identify with her. I don't know why, something mysterious that you can't put your finger on, but which haunts you deeply, and for a long time..."

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

'Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Jessica Lange in Frances, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata, Anna Magnani... All of these roles have something indiscreet, indecent. You don't necessarily need to go through a series of tearful or hysterical scenes, it can be very sober and minimal, but this impression of seeing "inside" the person remains. This exposing of emotions touched me and inspired me very much.'

"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014

"When I saw Death in Venice, by Visconti, I had a big shock. It is one of the movies that has really inspired me. I saw it again recently, it's a little dated, especially the flashbacks, but still ... That mixture of beauty and sadness ... And also the performance of Dirk Bogarde is so extraordinary! Its impact on me has been enormous."

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

It should come as no surprise to learn that Mortensen is an admirer of Greta Garbo, the "I vant to be alone" diva, and also John "The Duke" Wayne, star of Howard Hawks' Red River, a classic western and one of Mortensen's favourites.

"I just think John Wayne was wonderful, and I'm not looking at him as just this icon," said the chisel-jawed actor, a study in seriousness behind innocent blue eyes.

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004

"I like Missouri Breaks. And Red River, a case, as in this movie, where most of the main actors are not known as "western" actors. Montgomery Clift had basically never done a movie, much less a western, and he's an urban easterner. He comes out stepping smack in the middle of John Wayne's turf, and working for Howard Hawks, he must have been a little nervous, I'm sure. But he did a great job. I think he pushed Wayne into giving my favorite Wayne performance."

An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008

'I think I insulted [Warren Robertson] one time, unintentionally, but he knew what I meant. The teacher had talked about a certain movie, I think it was a movie with Montgomery Clift... I can't remember. But anyway, I went to see it, and I remember saying, you know, "I learned as much from that movie as probably a month of going to class..."'

Viggo talking about his time at the Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop
Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995

'I'd call my mom, and she'd say, "How are you doing?" "Oh, fine." "What have you guys been doing?" "Well, Henry and I watched all three Godfather films. He didn't care for the third one, but he liked the first two." And she'd say, "Isn't he a little young for that?" "No, he can handle it.'

Viggo Mortensen: Grilled
By Steve Pond
The Wrap
25 November 2009

"I am an old romantic, and I love costume movies. Elizabeth is my favourite."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy)
May 2007

Are there special actors or movies that influenced you as a lad/young man?

(to do interview via email is a classic horror scenario because of the often very short answers, for example to a question like this. But Viggo Mortensen begins his answer with "Among others" and then mentions 88 movies and 63 actors. Very kindly he points out that nothing must be edited away. All mentioned, nobody forgot. )

Euroman Interview
11 August 2015

He tries... never to watch the same film twice. "You can spend your whole life looking at movies made outside the United States [alone] and never see them all," he marvels. There is at least one exception to this rule, however: Adam Sandler's 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, which he will watch any day, any time. The very mention of it makes him launch into his own Sandler imitation, which isn't half bad. "It's just one of those charmed movies," he says.

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005

Quotable Viggo: 14 November 2015

With the recent blu-ray release of a restored The Reflecting Skin gaining the film new fans and sparking a new interest in Philip Ridley's work, time to look at Viggo's collaboration with this visionary director. Working together on both Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon, both Viggo and Ridley have spoken of their mutual respect and trust in bringing Ridley's 'unique vision' to the screen.

© Miramax / Zenith.

'Viggo is one of the few people I've worked with who, I feel, is a true kindred spirit. From the moment we first met - when I was casting The Reflecting Skin in Los Angeles - it was as if we'd known each other all our lives. He understands my work totally. By the time we were doing Darkly Noon I hardly had to give him a word of direction. He knew instinctively what I wanted.

Philip Ridley at the Tokyo International Film Festival
From "The American Dreams: Two Screenplays by Philip Ridley'
Methuen 1997

All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph

What has caused him to race down from his suite, probably giving several PR assistants heart attacks in the process, is the urge to impress upon me that one director has inspired him more than any other he has worked with - Philip Ridley, the British film-maker who cast Mortensen in his Lynchian adult fairy-tales, The Reflecting Skin (1990) and The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995).

"That man will never sell out," he enthuses, "because his vision is unique."

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
by Ryan Gilbey
The Independent

'Many actors tend to think of their work in terms of career - this strange sort of concept that acting is like climbing up a mountain, that they get bigger with each job - and art doesn't move like that. Viggo knows that instinctively.'

Philip Ridley
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002

The Reflecting Skin

This independent feature was the directorial debut of Philip Ridley, a British painter-illustrator-novelist who had supplied the script to Peter Medek's mesmerizing 1990 gangster film The Krays. The Reflecting Skin was celebrated as one of the unique films of its year and received a good deal of favorable reviews.

Fantasia 2015: 'The Reflecting Skin' a gothic masterpiece that is criminally overlooked
Sound on Sight
25 July 2015

His voice is such a growl that you find yourself leaning toward the screen to catch the words. His features are well defined but suggest a curious amalgam of Kirk Douglas' and Burt Lancaster's. His credits include Swing Shift, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Young Guns II, but his onscreen time is so limited that you still may not know who Viggo Mortensen is. In his latest film, The Reflecting Skin, British writer-director Philip Ridley's disturbing tale of repression and decay in the American heartland, Mortensen doesn't appear until an hour has passed - but when he does he immediately marks himself as one of those actors who doesn't need fancy lighting to be incandescent. Cast as a young man returning from the Pacific (where he dropped bombs on sleepy atolls), he displays surly, distant passion that's at odds, yet perfectly in step, with a small town that is seething beneath its bucolic veneer. Word is that he fires up the screen in Sean Penn's directorial debut, The Indian Runner, a film about a good brother and a bad brother that is due for release in September. It's not hard to figure out which brother Mortensen plays.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
by Martha Frankel
June 1991

Mortensen also gets to shine in a smaller than expected role but one which is typically interesting of the actor. This is an early role for the actor but one which really begins to show the brilliant talent that would emerge post Lord of the Rings.

David Bishop
Suite 101
16 June 2010

Viggo shows up well into the film, and we see an early example of his willingness to be both vulnerable and venomous. Naturally, too, we see his buttocks, surely at least part of the appeal for some audience members. It's a beautifully realized scene of vulnerability (echoing perhaps the famous photo of Lennon/Ono by Leibovitz) and it's one of the film's most striking moments.

Jason Gorber
23 July 2015

The Reflecting Skin is a strange, at times wonderful film, one that leaves more questions open than answers. Its palate and performances collide in ways that seem unique decades on.

Jason Gorber
23 July 2015

The Passion of Darkly Noon

The Passion of Darkly Noon is cinema as opera - huge, iconic, occasionally ridiculous, sometimes moving, undisputedly spectacular. Understatement is not Ridley's middle name: "Either people are going to get it big, or they're not going to get it". It will baffle and astound audiences in (unequal) measure, but the sheer drive and ambition he displays are undeniable.

"The Passion of Darkly Noon"
By Gerald Houghton
The Edge

By the time you get to the giant glittering silver shoe floating in the river, you'll know whether The Passion of Darkly Noon is your kind of insanity.

The Passion of Darkly Noon Review
By Rob Gonsalves
eFilm Critic
30 April 2009

"We were on location in what used to be East Germany, on the Czech border. I was there on my own, I didn't have anybody that I needed to talk to on the phone, so I thought I'd try to warm up because I didn't have a rehearsal period. I literally worked the day after I got there. When I stepped off the plane I decided not to say anything. I thought 'I'll just do this today' and then I just kept doing it. I did it the whole month I was there, which was really interesting because I did hear more what was being said, and I did watch people's reactions more closely."

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995

"I only heard him speak after the shoot was over, and then only to say, 'Thanks everybody, so long.' He'd make clicking noises in the back of his throat to communicate," recalls costar Brendan Fraser. Mortensen refused to break character even to settle his hotel bill. "The concierge probably didn't speak English, and here's Viggo gesturing with his hands and pointing, scribbling on a pad. And I think Viggo eventually got 50% off the bill. If you know Viggo, it makes perfect sense. In a way, he transcends the acting."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002

The strength of Ridley's debut helped him attract a top-tier cast, and they all perform to the level and tone of the script. David Lynch regular Grace Zabriskie gives good crazy as an old woman who uses Lee as part of her own vengeance against Callie, while Mortensen does his usual fine work here, getting across the depth and intensity of his feelings without the use of speech.

Issue 295
September 2010

Fraser isn't the only person who shines here. Mortensen is quite the revelation as well. Although he has no dialogue throughout as Clay is a mute, his silent actions are evidence that this actor is not one who doesn't need lines to act the role of his career. To a lesser-talented actor, this restriction might have resulted in a poor performance but does not.

"The Passion of Darkly Noon" Review
By Russell Hill

The forest itself is almost an extra character, paralleling the tone of events with a transformation from sun-dappled boughs to shadow-casting skeletal fingers. In many ways Callie is the Beauty, fair of heart and body, Darkly the beast of the woods and Clay the valiant but dumb (literally) knight.

Review: The Passion of Darkly Noon
By Damian Cannon
Movie Reviews UK

Quotable Viggo: 8 November 2015

With Viggo's recent and hard hitting interview with Democracy Now, his defence of free speech, and the Twilight of Empire event at McNally Jackson Books, what better time to take a look at Viggo's publishing house, Perceval Press, and its dedication to presenting the work of little known authors, artists and poets in 'the way that they wanted to be published, without compromising'.

Promotion and reading of The Anthology of New Argentine Poetry
Image Javier Gomez.
© La Vanguardia.

I told myself that one day, if I could, I would be a publisher to publish the books and authors that I like. The Lord of the Rings was my chance. The success of the trilogy has allowed me to work with other directors and to make some money, which I've invested in Perceval Press. In the beginning, about five or six books appeared each year, now on an average three, plus reprints. Since the beginning of this adventure, I've been living in Madrid. Surrounded by a graphic designer and a person in charge of sales, I supervise every stage of the editing process.

Viggo Mortensen: "You must live your contradictions"
By Olivier Cariguel - translated by Donna Marie
Le Magazine Littéraire
February 2015

How do you select what to publish?

We publish books that I too am interested in. When you follow your curiosity there is a chance to meet a photographer, a poet, a historical time that interests you and you hope that this might interest other people too. I decide basically on personal criteria.

Inside Viggo Mortensen's Mind
By V Vergou - translated by Iraeth
5 April 2007

"...I don't see us being crusaders, other than in the role of defending the right of people to express themselves."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003

"Perceval Press makes an enormous commitment to its books," said curator Kevin Power - who collaborated in the selection of poems [for the Anthology of New Argentine Poetry], "when the United States did not want to publish anything from that country" - and added that this book "has an impact because it brings together the most radical changes in Argentine poetry."

Kevin Power
The Generation of the 90's in an Anthology Published by Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Remolina and Sage
Diario Uno
12 August 2009

Everything began when Kevin Power, the art critic, found the recipe Gustavo López needed: "I've got someone who can value that poetry and the Argentinian character," he commented to him. "He phoned me, Viggo," explains López "and we talked about poetry for a while, about Williams Carlos Williams, about T.S. Eliot... about the anthology I was proposing... He was a guy with a background. But it didn´t come to me who he was till later on."

Everything He Touches Is Poetry
By Maricel Chavarria - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
La Vanguardia
28 October 2010

"I just wanted to have a company that would publish writers and artists and poets," he says, "people I wouldn't have heard of - the way that they wanted to be published, without compromising."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
Little Press Shines With Star Power
Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times, 2004

'Viggo himself is a man possessed of both great creative integrity and strong, lucid political conviction. That he has used the fruits of his success as an actor to found Perceval is an extremely rare sort of endeavor but absolutely true to the man himself. There's a paradoxical quality to Viggo - he's a fiercely individual entity with an enviable creative output, but he simultaneously possesses a strong sense of community responsibility. I think Perceval is just one manifestation of that drive to illuminate work by others that might go unnoticed. It's a very, very positive quality, in my opinion.'

David Newsom, Author of "Skip'
Mark Thwaite, March 10 2006

One can see that you have a very deep friendship with Talo Kejner. How did you meet this solitary poet?

"Camilo Kejner, Talo's son, worked in the public relations team of the production company for The Lord of the Rings. When they found out that we both spoke Spanish, they sent us on a tour through South America.

During the trip, we became very good friends and, knowing about my interest in poetry, he timidly showed me some of his father's poems. They were very good! I asked if he had more. (He bursts out laughing). Eventually, when I got in touch with Talo by mail, he sent me more than a thousand poems - it was insane! He asked me, as the editor, to choose the poems, because he couldn't. It was very difficult, and at the same time, an honor. I truly devoted a lot of time to these books."

Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion.
23 December 2010

'With each of our books, we've taken care to satisfy the author first and foremost, while marrying that with our own design aesthetics as unobtrusively as possible.'

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right": An Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Scott Thill
6 April 2004

I tell them, "You're not likely to get rich -- to be honest, your book may not make a profit for quite a while. But I can promise it'll be a book made as close to the way you have envisioned it as possible, well designed and produced." It's satisfying to be able to provide that service to artists whose efforts might not otherwise be presented in quite the manner they would like, if at all.

Books That Made A Difference
By Viggo Mortensen
O Magazine
September 2007

ST: Where did you come up with the name?

VM: Well, the legend of Perceval involves, in part - I'm sure you know about this - the notion of choosing and making your own way. A group of knights comes to the edge of a forest and each one makes his individual path. They consciously choose not to take a path that's already there, but instead create their own. Symbolically, that was the idea behind the press, and that is what we have tried to do with each book.

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003

"We take care with each book," he says, slouched against a doorway and looking down. "We try to keep the prices low. We're not operating with a goal in mind. We're not beholden to other people or to large companies. We don't have a plan. We just put out the books we want to. It's a kind of," he pauses searching for the word, "thoughtful anarchy."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
Little Press Shines With Star Power
Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times, 2004

The [original photographs] on glass plates on which Schmidt "meticulously captured the soul, the culture" of these peoples, were taken to the United States by Mortensen himself to submit them to a restoration process before returning them to the museum, which, by the way, has the poorest of budgets, he explained.

Mortensen himself related a pretty hilarious anecdote about the move to California: "I was very nervous," he said while dragging his "r's" in a perfect Porteño accent. "I took the hand luggage packed with these glass plates. I wrapped them in San Lorenzo t-shirts, partly from superstition and also for protection. I was afraid something would happen to them. I felt like [I did] the first time I put my son on a plane."

Viggo talking about Hijos de la selva [Sons of the Forest]
Rescued at the hands of Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Zoe
17 September 2013

... 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

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Last edited: 24 December 2015 06:18:34