Quotable Viggo 2019

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Quotable Viggo: 14 September 2019

While filming Alatriste Viggo immersed himself in all things Spanish to the point where Arturo Pérez Reverte said he had transformed himself into a 'Spaniard down to the bone'. In all he has made five films either completely in Spanish, or which have some Spanish dialogue, he has done a play in Spanish, he now writes all of his poetry in Spanish and has given poetry readings in Spain. Of course, a lot of this love-affair with the language has come from his upbringing in Argentina, but he has also fallen completely for Spain, for Spanish Actress Ariadna Gil, for Madrid where they have been living together for many years now and for León where he found the roots of his Captain Alatriste.



"Ramas para un nido" poetry reading
© Silvia Susana Flores.



"Most of the time Viggo lives in Spain. And in airplanes."

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
Gente
April 2010




"…Viggo filled himself with Spain; with our history, with the light and the shadow that made us who we are. And, in that way, in an astonishing process of assimilation, he finished transforming himself into a Spaniard, down to the bone. '

Arturo Pérez Reverte
El Semanal,
Translated by Elessars Queen
July 2005




The most curious thing about this charismatic actor's personality is that he not only shows his pride of "being" from León in León, something very usual among those who want to boast about this title over here but seem to be ashamed of it in other places, but also in Asturias, Madrid, Salamanca, El Álamo or Tarifa he was seen signing autographs and wearing a black T-shirt in which you could read the name of León in big letters. Not even Fitur (important tourist industry exhibition) has done so much for this land... his presence over here has been a great help for the name of León to appear at every website in the five continents, thanks to pictures such as this one. Not even the UPL (regionalist party of León) ever dreamt of a better ambassador!

With León In His Heart
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León - translated by Paddy
18 April 2005




In order to thank him, the people of Valdeteja, the village that, in his own words, had had a deeper effect on this American bohemian, will give him the title of Honorary Citizen and in a time to come, he will be given such distinction in a ceremony that the inhabitants will hold at the village. A small gesture for the one who also was kind to them.

Viggo Mortensen finds Alatriste in Curueño
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 March 2005




'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Top Men - Viggo Mortensen
Glamour Magazine,
Translated for V-W by Graciela
August 2006




"Sometimes, I can express my feelings and access my emotions much better in Spanish than I can in English."

Viggo in Tokyo for the Alatriste premier
Chris Betros
Japantoday.com
5 December 2008




"I learned Spanish and English at the same time as a child, growing up in Buenos Aires. My brothers have told me that when I speak Spanish I'm slightly more relaxed. When I speak English I'm a little more careful. It has to do with the sound, with the language...."

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of Simplicity
By Ernesto Garratt Vines - translated by Margarita
Wikén - El Mercurio
30 March 2007




"I always kept writing in Spanish. But I realized that my language was out of date. It was my parent's language. Then, with the long trips to Argentina and Spain, close contact with the language allowed me to enter a new stage, more up to date and rich."

Viggo Mortensen, The Poet
By Valeria Melon - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
La Nacion
19 December 2010




"I sometimes gravitate toward one language or another or a certain structure for a poem or short story. In the past year or so, I've been writing mostly in Spanish for some reason. Whatever I was feeling, I felt like I've got to express it in Spanish. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's because I've been hanging around Spanish-speaking people or Spanish-speaking countries a lot recently."

Viggo Mortensen - For The Good Of The People
By Elliot V Kotek
Moving Pictures
Winter 2008-2009




'In Denmark, I dine at 6 pm and I'm Danish. In Spain, where I live now, I dine at 10 pm and I'm Latin.'

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015




Can you be Aragorn again for a few days and bash the Spanish politicians like the orcs that they are?

I think that among the Spanish citizenry there already are a whole lot of Aragorns.

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
20 Minutos
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
6 September 2012




"My heart is Spanish and I'm experiencing a very pleasurable stage of my life, with much joy," said Mortensen in the interview… I feel fulfilled and I´m living to the fullest. I´m serious, I already feel Spanish, although I will never abandon my roots, or my maté or my Danish pastry, or my New Yorker hustle and bustle."

My Heart is Spanish: Viggo Mortensen
By Juan Carlos García - translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Golfo
12 September 2014




"There's a saying in Spanish: Without risk there's no glory," Mortensen explained. "You can live a safe little life, but if you don't take a chance once in a while you'll imprison yourself."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen's New Plan
By Constance Droganes
WWD.com
26 March 2013


Quotable Viggo: 7 September 2019

This has been 'The Many Faces of Viggo' week, so I just had to do a Quotable about how he morphs from one unlikely role (Lucifer, Aragorn, Freud, Tony Lip… really?) to another, while giving the impression he was somehow born to play it because he never appears to 'act'. The man really is awesome and the quotes below say it all…



New Line/Warner Brothers/Hanway/2929/Dimension Films/Good Films/Focus Features/
Estudios Picasso/Origen Producctiones



He's like a Stateside version of Alec Guinness – a chameleon who never plays the same role twice.

There's a special pleasure in giving in to being a fan
by Tony Earnshaw
The Yorkshire Post
16 May 2014




Terrific as a Tolkien hero, a Russian gangster, or a dying father in a post-apocalyptic science-fiction universe, there's nothing he can't do.

Viggo Mortensen's Charm Is as Big as His Belly in One of the Best Films of the Decade
Rex Reed
Observer
17 November 2018




The thing about Mortensen is that, no matter what the background or nationality of his characters, he always comes off as authentic. Not showy authentic, either. Without making a big to-do about it, he manages to be so convincing that you find it hard to believe his real background or nationality isn't similar to that of his character.

Ed Johnson-Ott
Nuvo
26 Sept 2007




...Mortensen, who looks like he'd be perfectly at home playing Jesus Christ or Charles Manson....

Owen Gleiberman
Variety
13 July 2016




As impressed as I've been with his ability to disappear into roles, he's never delivered such a fully realized character as this. There isn't a moment in the entire film where you remember it's an actor playing a part. He IS Tony Lip.

Green Book – One of the Best Films of the Year and a Career High for the Shape Shifter that is Viggo Mortensen
By Sasha Stone
Awards Daily
20 September 2018




When he appears, caked in mud, looking like a kind of eco-Rambo, splashing barefoot through a river and cutting the heart out of a deer, you'll be thinking: Well, that's just Viggo Mortensen's life, isn't it?

Wild man Viggo Mortensen lets it all hang out in Captain Fantastic
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 September 2016




Viggo Mortensen is the champ. Hands down. Of all the "say what?" performances some of us first heard about at last fall's Toronto International Film Festival — and which characterized 2011 as a hugely surprising year for film — none of them surprised me more than Mortensen playing Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."

In other words, not even the bracing successes of Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover or Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe shocked me the way Mortensen did playing Freud in Cronenberg's elegant, altogether surprising film.

Freud, for most of us, is a wild guess in speech and manner. Which is why Mortensen's cool, slow, contemplative version of Freud is — for the purpose of a movie anyway — brilliantly credible.

A Dangerous Method
Jeff Simon
Buffalo News
26 January 2012




Mortensen's performance is astounding. Looking a lot more like Gollum than Aragorn, he's shaggily bearded, smeared in grime and shockingly thin, with cheekbones like lemon juicers and teeth like the visual aids in a school anti-smoking lecture…Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

The Road
Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010




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




Mortensen is nothing less than a revelation in the role of Nikolai, the Siberian bruiser, thanks to his physical performance that captures the full swagger and subtle deference of the mobster's reality.

Eastern Promises
Katherine Monk
The Ottawa Citizen
21 Sept 2007




I had always thought he had a very Russian, Slavic look. And when I read the script I thought, "This is a role made in heaven for Viggo."'

Eastern Promises
David Cronenberg
Q+A : David Cronenberg, Film Festival Preview
nowtoronto.com
30 Aug 2007




Mortensen, best known for playing forces of nature ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises"), is here all mild manners, spectacles and fawning body language. His Halder is a character who lacks character, and Mortensen subtly turns him into a pitiful, pitiable villain.

Good
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
31 December 2008




Mortensen… chose a performance that is far from the usual portrayal of how one imagines the Prince of Lies should be. Mortensen, with long hair and full beard - his outward appearance reminding one more of Jesus Christ - played Lucifer with an impressiveness that was burnt into the audience's mind forever.

The Prophecy
Portrait: Viggo Mortensen - The Actor As Artist
Translated by Sally
DVD Special (Germany)
June 2008




'It's like he had always been Alatriste! And the truth is that I think that Alatriste has made Viggo a Spaniard."

Pérez-Reverte
A Look of His Own
By Juan Cruz, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy




Viggo Mortensen has one of the most incredible faces in the world, striking and amazingly versatile. His rough-hewn, chiseled visage allows him to inhabit any character he wants to, regardless of background or ethnicity, and we buy into it unconditionally.

Andrew Smith
Charleston Gazette
29 Sept 2007


Quotable Viggo: 31 August 2019

Emmanuel Levy said back in 2009 that “When the elements, the weather and the terrain get tough, Viggo gets going”. It’s certainly true that he’s struggled through more extreme weather conditions while filming than most. He’s crossed searing deserts on horseback, fought battles in the crushing heat of Spain, filmed The Road in the kind of miserable conditions that would have had most of us running for our padded waterproofs and a large hot coffee. In LOTR they shot for fourteen weeks at night in the cold and pouring rain. But, do you know what? He seems to thrive on hard conditions and the way the elements can bring focus to his character. As he said about the whole Helm’s Deep experience: “I felt like it was true.”



© New Line Productions Inc.


'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




"When we needed more wind, and after a long dead calm, Viggo sniffed and said: "This afternoon it's going to rain.' And so it was.'

Agustín Díaz Yanes
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005



'The sequence where Pippin was talking about breakfast and it's snowing - that was real snow. And [after] about an hour of that snow coming down, we were in danger of being snowed in, so they canceled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo's room and drank a bottle of whiskey, and Viggo took some photos of us. And then we went out and had a huge snowball fight around town. We got thrown out of a couple of pubs "cause we were having snowball fights in the pubs.'

Dominic Monaghan
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004




During the filming of the pivotal Battle of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers, he said, "We shot for three and half months straight of night shoots in the cold, wet weather. And that was pretty tough for everybody concerned.

"But it kind of drew everyone together at the same time. It created kind of a special bond with people who went through that together."

Viggo talking about The Two Towers
Ready for Round 2
By David P DeMar, Jr
Watertown Daily Times
15 December 2002




'We were dirty, freezing cold or dying of heat. We were really uncomfortable. That was the beauty of the project. I felt like it was true.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire
December 2004




As the film crew of The Road prepared to shoot on one of the production's final days, the weather turned unexpectedly foul. It was early spring in Oregon, but the air was unseasonably bitter. The blue sky had been replaced by a blanket of gray haze. A light mist hung in the air. Miserable. In other words, perfect. While other productions pray for nice weather, the folks walking were busy praying for hell. Overcast skies were a must. Cold rain was a bonus. Snow was worth slapping fives over.

"We needed it to look grim and do a lot of [the atmosphere] in camera, as opposed to a lot of other movies that rely on special effects for that kind of thing," says Viggo Mortensen, who plays the unnamed father character. "We had to count on the sky and everything looking right. We had mostly miserable, freezing, snowy weather, so we were lucky."

'The Road' To Hellville
By Reed Tucker
New York Post
22 November 2009




"Different actors have different processes that they use. What I’ve seen with Viggo is that he is able to use the environment more so than any other actor I’ve worked with before to put him where he needs to be emotionally….And maybe it’s pouring down rain, and he’ll walk away from umbrellas, raincoats. He’ll walk away from any tent that’s being offered or any blanket to be intentionally cold and wet, and it seems to take him to a place that’s quite remarkable. I’ve seen it happen over and over again in the snow, the rain, cold, the fog – anything that he is able to use that puts him in the world of the character. He’s a very physical actor as well, and it’s been a remarkable process to watch that. I would imagine it takes an enormous amount of concentration to be able to not let the cold ground or the rocks on the road or whatever it may be break your concentration, but it’s taken him to a place that is pretty amazing over and over and over again."

Rudd Simmons (Producer - The Road)
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




How was it to jump in the ocean?

It was very cold. I asked for another take, but they were terrified. They didn’t want me to. They had ambulances. The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, “Just tell me when you’re rolling. I’m just going to run out and go.”

Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
IESB.net
9 November 2009




Among clouds of dust and in the middle of a group of officers I see the Captain's gallant figure, leant on the musket fork, without the hat on his head, while smoking with pleasure his umpteenth cigarette of the morning. He doesn't speak. He looks at the crowd with half-closed eyes, and stays imperturbable exhaling puffs of smoke. Heat is crushing.

Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León
by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005




You made some pretty radical climate shifts during the filming [of Hidalgo], from midwinter South Dakota to the sand-blown heat of the Sahara Desert, and all while sitting on top of a whole lot of unpredictable horseflesh. Was the shooting of Hidalgo as gruelling as it looks?

I wasn't suffering as much as an endurance rider is going to. But you're in the saddle a lot of days, all day long. And you've got your hat and that's about it. And there's dust storms and the elements and just the tiredness, but it's also really interesting.

'King' Star Returns To The Screen, Riding High
By Todd Camp
Star Telegram
6 March 2004




'The crew was a little surpised by the climatic conditions. I remember one time when we were trying to shoot in the Sahara, where you get these atrocious winds; it was hot, there was sand in the cameras. I heard everywhere: 'this is hell!' and, deep down in my heart, I thought 'this is a giggle compared to Lord...'."

Viggo Mortensen on Hidalgo
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine, 200
3



[Chester’s] very dapper. Was it tough spending all day in smart suits when you were filming in serious heat?

The stuff we started filming at first was the stuff where Chester was starting to unravel – he was starting to drink more, he was sweaty and kind of all over the place. So it was helpful, because it was still hot in Crete at that time – it worked well for that crumpled, dishevelled look.

Viggo talks about The Two Faces of January
ShortList.
7 May 2014




“One of the first things we did, where it still had to be kind of neat and tidy, we were filming in a bus that travels around Crete,” he said. “It was a vintage bus, a 1959 Mercedes bus, and the seats were red leather, beautiful seats. But it was so hot, and we were sweating so much that when I stood up, all the dye from the seats got on it, so I had this big red ass.”

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst Experienced the Downside of Wearing Vintage Costumes in The Two Faces of January
By Bennett Marcus
Vanity Fair
17 September 2014




Myself, I love the rain, especially falling asleep to its music, ideally sounding on a metal roof, and I with a book in my hands and/or an old movie on TV, but I´m actually seduced by the rain´s melody on any surface. The sound of cars and buses passing by on half-flooded streets quiets me; it´s something that makes me remember with absolute clarity my childhood in Buenos Aires and long afternoons in the countryside. Muddy paths, the grey rampart that advances relentlessly and swallows the sky, the threat of something big, powerful, unstoppable. Rain is the universal music - along with the contribution of the wind through a forest or punishing an open window, the roar of the rivers, the sea.

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
9 October 2014




He seems to gravitate towards films that involve wet, cold and physical privation. ''I suppose I must thrive on it,'' he agrees, recalling shooting The Road under heavy cloud, sometimes in snow, always in the cold. ''Sometimes it's tiring or annoying but there is a certain satisfaction, especially when you're going through it with the crew and everyone is wet and cold with you, when you go and have a drink together at the end of the day and say: 'Well, we got that done.'''

Walking at world’s end
By Stephanie Bunbury
TheAge.com
14 January 2010

Quotable Viggo: 24 August 2019

This week’s look back at A Dangerous Method on 25YE contained high praise for Viggo and Michael Fassbender ‘two of the finest actors of this generation’. Not only was it great for the audience to see two such accomplished actors together, but, hey, they are both very good-looking men. So here is a Mortensen/Fassbender Quotable for you all. All that Freud/Jung psychology, it’s pretty serious stuff… er… isn’t it?



© Liam Daniel.


A Dangerous Method is blessed with two of the finest actors of this generation (who also happen to be two of my top three favorite actors ever, currently) as Jung and Freud. If you went into this movie blind, knowing nothing about it, but I told you the leading actors would be Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, I guarantee you’d have bought a ticket, sight unseen.

Cronenberg’s Psychoanalytical Menage a Trois: A Dangerous Method
Will Johnson
25YE
19 August 2019




If Hampton's literate script provides the essential language, Mortensen and Fassbender do such a splendid job of turning iconic figures such as Freud and Jung into compelling people that it is a shock to hear that others (Christoph Waltz for Freud, Christian Bale for Jung) almost got the parts.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
23 November 2011




'Viggo Mortensen -- he is the most beautiful man in the world! He is! He's just like, wow! He's such a special dude. And Cronenberg is so funny, and obviously brilliant. That was a special experience.’

Michael Fassbender, future superstar
By Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
8 March 2011



'First of all, I was nervous. I’m about to meet Viggo Mortensen. Then, very quickly we just got along. It was just like that. He’s very supportive and generous. Obviously, he’s very well prepared. Nobody knows when Viggo is going to arrive, that’s the thing [laughs]. It was like, “Viggo will be here one of these days.” They started filming with Keira and I first. He arrives, there’s nobody at the airport to meet him because nobody knows when he’s going to be there [laughs]. He gets a rental car and turns up on the set. And slowly his trailer starts to get all this character. It was the World Cup at the time, so he’s a massive football fan, so all these flags started going in his trailer. He had a picture of the Queen of Denmark up. I was watching him from my trailer, “What’s he doing today?” [Laughs] He’s a very interesting guy. He writes poetry. He takes photographs. He’s very artistically rich. I just tried to watch him and learn as much as I could.'

Michael Fassbender on meeting Viggo
Michael Fassbender Explores A Dangerous Method with Movie Fanatic
by Joel D Amos
Moviefanatic.com
25 November 2011




"I think it's the same with every film… That's his process. These things add texture to his characters. I was never overwhelmed, because there was a real lightness and easiness to it. Viggo is a very independent soul, and a very gentle one."

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




“Michael likes to have a good time. He likes to sing and play around, but it's all about staying relaxed and staying loose and I'm all for that. Otherwise, he's quite well prepared. His approach is different to mine. He's script-based and he likes to read the script again and again, just to be at home with the words. I also try to do that but I tend to go off the beaten path a little bit and read things I don't have to read.”

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
GQ
17 May 2014




“Well, you know the scenes between Freud and Jung in Freud’s home office? That space was amazing, full of all these set details which tried to approximate Freud’s actual office. It’s all wood and cigars, you know? While we were shooting this one scene, where Freud’s sitting behind his desk and I’m sitting right in front of him, and we’re having this really deep conversation which turns out to last like 13 hours or something.

And in between takes—at first I don’t notice—Viggo keeps pushing these penises, no, what do you call them? Phalluses? Freud’s desk had all of these little statutes and things, and some of them were phallus sculptures from different cultures around the world. And Viggo kept pushing them towards my end of the desk. I didn’t notice at first until I looked down and saw them all, inching ever-forward, with Viggo smirking, really a prankster, dressed up as Freud. It was surreal!”

Michael Fassbender
Jung and the Restless: On Michael Fassbender's Role as Carl Jung in 'A Dangerous Method'
By Christopher Sweetapple
Pop Matters
23 November 2011




“We also had a lot of fun singing duets. In Belvedere Gardens where Freud did take his walks, and then you see him in the end, in his morning walk, we were singing at the top of our lungs, which surprised the public and some of the journalists. He has a good singing voice and I did harmony. In Belvedere, we sang that song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," including all the high notes, which Michael hit really well.”

Viggo Mortensen talking about filming with Fassbender
Viggo Mortensen Reveals How He Became Freud in ‘A Dangerous Method’
by Thelma Adams
Yahoo Movies
16 December 2011




What [other] songs did he and Viggo sing? “Anything really,” said Michael, “like ‘Young Girl’” (by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap). He was told that the song’s refrain, “Young girl, get out of my mind,” was a fitting one for his characters in both “Shame” and “A Dangerous…”

“I remember Viggo and I came bursting into the makeup room and singing. Keira (Knightley) was getting her hair done. We made her and the makeup artist jump out of their skin,” said Michael.

Michael Fassbender
No ‘Shame’ in Michael Fassbender’s sex-addict role
By: Ruben V. Nepales
The Inquirer
5 January 2012




Viggo said that on the set Michael would hop around on one leg with a large red eyepatch to prepare for his scenes. What the hell was that about?

Yes, yes, I don’t know what that was about. You’ll have to talk to Michael about it to get the story. You have to understand that Viggo, being as playful as he is, could totally be making that up.

David Cronenberg
'A Dangerous Method' director David Cronenberg talks white-hot leading man, Michael Fassbender
by Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
23 November 2011




'Viggo and I tried to find the comedy in it, as much as possible. That was fun. I’ve always been a massive fan of him. He’s an impressive human being.'

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender Explores A Dangerous Method with Movie Fanatic
by Joel D Amos
Moviefanatic.com
25 November 2011




'Viggo Mortensen is an absolute joy really, he has his work very methodically put together, he’s very precise. But he’s also got a great sense of humour, we had a lot of fun, a lot of fun doing our scene’s together. The more we did the more fun we had (laughs). It’s important as well I think when you’re dealing with very heavy material and serious material, that you keep a lightness in-between takes. So when you come to the scene a bit more loose and a bit more relaxed. That helps you find the little nuances within it.'

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender Interview For David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’
Flicks and Bits
21 November 2011




The richly gifted Fassbender is steely, restrained, and flat-out magnificent as the ambitious Jung who places science and family before love. And as the cigar-smoking Freud, Mortensen -- sporting a nose prosthesis -- all but steals the picture with his knowing gaze and wry insights. In fact, his character injects an unexpected and delicious humor. This duo will surely be mentioned come Oscar time.

Erica Abeel
Huffington Post
11 September 2011




Mortensen and Fassbender are topnotch in their less showy but more nuanced, controlled parts and the crackling dialogue they spout at each other (courtesy of screenwriter Christopher Hampton) is convincing and compelling.

Chris Alexander
Fangoria
13 September 2010




Mortensen is so silkily persuasive an argumentative foil for Fassbender in the scenes they share that the narrative seems more a head-to-head than it structurally is.

Guy Lodge
In Contention
2 September 2011




‘Working with Viggo was really special, he’s an amazing human being, and obviously a brilliant actor…’

Michael Fassbender
Sam Adams
AVClub.com
8 March 2011

Quotable Viggo: 18 August 2019

In last week’s Quotable I had a quote from Lisandro Alonso where he called Viggo ‘a worker, you know, a machine, all the time thinking good things for the project.’ Viggo always seems to have boundless energy, nothing is too much for him if it will improve his performance, the film, or the experience of his fellow actors. Even his energy must have its limits, and yet if there is more that he feels he can give, he will give it. No wonder so many actors and directors are in awe of his work ethic!



© 2929/Dimension Films/MGM.


“He's a horse. I feel like he could go all day, work all day and he's polite and creative and generous. That made it easy. Not only is he physically gifted, he’s graceful and tough.”

Garret Dillahunt
Fred Topel
CraveOnline
20 March 2009




In a world of paste reproductions Viggo Mortensen is a rare gem of creative energy. His work as an actor goes far beyond the normal level of effort exerted by a conventional leading man which results in his performances being elevated into works of art as unique as his poems and pictures.

Viggo Mortensen: An Artist For All Seasons
by Richard Marcus
BNN Blogger News Networ
6 May 2005




"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all. He's a massive work-horse, like a massive multiplex."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




Viggo Mortensen is an actor who doesn’t do things by half measures. I have never seen anyone who surrenders himself to his character with such passion. I can assure you that his only limits are those of his own life. His physical ability as well as the world of his emotions. Viggo emptied himself out, always. He’d be exhausted at the end of a hard day. He gives everything.

Javier Aguirresarobe
Diary of The Road's Shooting
Translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio, Sage and Zooey
Esquire (Spain)
January 2010




'…you know, I've had a few leads in indies since I worked on "The Road," and it's become an adjective when you do something: to "Viggo up." The guy is a mule -- he seems tireless. But he's kind and focused too.'

Garett Dillahunt
By Paul Gaita
The Envelope
17 December 2009




“He’s very intense. He’s very Method. There’s no stopping him.”

John Hillcoat
John Hillcoat Hits The Road
By Edward Douglas
Comingsoon.net
19 November 2009




We get into a long, boozy discussion about why he does so much stuff, why he is so bursting with creative energy that he can't just be an actor.

"People who are creators create," he says. "People say to me all the time, 'Why don't you just focus on one thing?' And I say, 'Why? Why just one thing? Why can't I do more? Who makes up these rules?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair
January 2004




"[The Battle of Helm's Deep] takes place mostly at night, and it was so complex that we filmed for about four months of nights," Jackson continues, "Viggo was fantastic. He just threw himself into it tirelessly. Every night he'd come along and just fight some more."

Michael Helms
"Awesome Towers"
Fangora Magazine #217
October, 2002




"He is methodical, exacting in his work, he carries out meticulous labors to do something that looks true, and projects it. He is like Robert Mitchum or William Holden, the class of actors whose work seems effortless."

Ray Loriga
Chiaroscuro: Viggo, Light And Dark
By Rocio Garcia - translated by Graciela, Remolina, Sage and Zooey
El Pais
26 June 2009




Filmmaker: What did you learn working with Viggo Mortensen?

Oelhoffen: I like to give space to the actors. I learned a lot because I had the opportunity to see how he worked. Viggo is amazing. He’s a very hard worker. He prepares himself a lot and for me it was a chance, a gift, because we really prepared the character together.

“I Don’t Know If Camus Would Have Approved”: Five Questions for Far From Men Director David Oelhoffen
By Ariston Anderson
Filmmaker Magazine
23 December 2014




“Viggo's energy is endless. He knows no limit."

Orlando Bloom
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




He gives, unsparingly, indiscriminately, ceaselessly. What's good for him is good for everyone.

Premier Magazine
By Gérard Delorme
June 2008
Translated by Chrissiejane




'...and yet, in his many careers, ego has no place...and if ego has no place in his career, apathy has no place in his life. Viggo Mortensen has earned a reputation for having endless energy, for being consummately curious. He drives himself hard in all aspects of his life... He is a connector, the agent who brings people and ideas and feelings together in ways that transcend customary forms of expression and measures of success. We have known Viggo Mortensen through his work on film, and we have been privileged in recent weeks to know him more fully through his photography and poetry. St. Lawrence University is honored to welcome home from the class of 1980, to share some of his poetry with us, Viggo Mortensen.'

Daniel F. Sullivan
St. Lawrence University Honorary Doctorate Address
March 1, 2003




"He is a very multifaceted and slightly compulsive individual, constantly creating in every medium. His creative energy is boundless; I assume acting is another extension of that."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001

Quotable Viggo: 10 August 2019

This week I thought we'd take a retrospective look at Jauja – a film that for ages and ages had no name, just the tantalising promise of something new and strange. Viggo relished working with Lisandro Alonso on this low budget adventure in the Patagonian Desert and the end result was so mesmerising it took Cannes by storm. And Viggo gave an outstanding performance as Dineson, melting, as one critic described it, 'into the environment, the boundaries of Dineson's self slowly eroding into the Patagonian dirt'.



© 4L Productions


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




'Jauja is not a place, it's more than that, it's an idea. It's an impossible idea or feeling of contentment, satisfaction, tranquillity. It could be anything...'

Viggo Mortensen
Jauja: Interview with Viggo Mortensen
by Pamela Jahn
Electric Sheep
16 October 2014




"My character is in the same position of the audience -- trying to figure out what is happening."

Viggo Mortensen
A Conversation with Viggo Mortensen at Cannes
Karin Luisa
Huffington Post
21 May 2014




What past did you invent for this Captain Dinesen?

I took things from another Dinesen. A writer and adventurer who also went to the New World at the end of the 19th century. A hunter, he was the father of Isak Dinesen whose real name was Karen Blixen. I took things from my grandfather, my father's accent and since I know something about the history of Denmark and Argentina, I could link them.

Viggo Mortensen: Film and Soccer Activist
By Horacio Bilbao - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Clarín.com
27 November 2014




'Sometimes it was quite awkward and tiring to tramp around in that heavy greatcoat, wearing those slippery-soled riding boots, tripping over that saber. But I found that all of that helped me construct a sort of Danish Don Quixote, a man who has no idea how clumsy he seems in those landscapes, once he is off his horse.'

Mortensen plays a Danish engineer in Patagonia
by Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
14 May 2015




"[Dinesen's] so obtuse, even when he doesn't know where he's going or why he's going or who he is, he still keeps moving forward. It's his stubbornness which I find both pathetic and endearing and, as I say, admirable."

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
Tobias Grey
The Financial Times
27 March 2015




'He's a great actor and I'm a new guy, in terms of actor's stuff, so I think I had to sit down and learn from him. I didn't speak that much, and I think Viggo knows 100 percent how to interpret this guy.'

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On "Jauja," Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015




'We didn't have much film. We were shooting it on real film and we had a limited amount, so in the latter stages of the shoot we were down to short ends and that was clear. I'd ask, "Well, how much [film] do you have left?" And [Alonso] would say, "Well I have a piece about a minute or less, and one that's about 39 seconds." And I'd tell him, "Well, at a quick trot to cross that piece of ground, 39 seconds would be cutting it a little close so save that longer bit for the next scene."'

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




The actor acknowledges that working with a director known for his off-the-grid methods – such as using primarily with non-professional actors – was a bit of an adjustment. "It took a little getting used to," he says. "For one scene I asked Lisandro who was doing the continuity on the set, and he asked me, 'What's that?' The way he works, he's never had to worry about things like that before."

Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
9 September 2014




[Viggo's] a worker, you know, a machine, all the time thinking good things for the project. Sometimes he was too much for me, because I was not used to that. I was used to working with people who don't know how to read or write, you just organized a little bit of the frame, and that was it. But with Viggo, you have to talk about why you wanna do that, in terms of where to put the camera and the lights, you know.'

Lisandro Alonso
Lisandro Alonso On "Jauja," Viggo Mortensen, and Narrative Mysteries
By Luke Goodsell
Movie Mezzanine
17 March 2015




We didn't have any money in the budget to buy music, but I told him, "I know a brilliant guitar player and we've recorded together." I sent him 10 tracks to see what he's interested in, and he picked "Moonset". He was right—it was perfect.'

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




[Lisandro] had intended to have a more panoramic look, and when he got the first footage back from the lab and wanted to start editing, he was just like 'send it to me raw, I just wanna look at the whole thing so I can decide where to start and end this sequence.' And then they sent that back and when he saw that format he said, that's the movie. He was smart enough and open-minded enough to realise that even though that wasn't his idea originally, that was perfect, that's the way that the movie should look.

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
Charlotte Pick
The National Student
6 April 2015




"What I think is special about Lisandro is that he's able to make a truly original movie, remarkably original, without referencing other filmmakers or other movies, without drawing attention to what he's doing, without showing off. My feeling is that the film is not in any way pretentious, and yet it stands out from all other movies. That's a hard thing to do."

Viggo Mortensen talks Jauja
By Philip Bagnal
Scannia
11 March 2015




...finding myself with a small team in the middle of nowhere, in the superb landscape I knew because I spent my childhood there, it made me happy. And it was liberating.

Viggo Mortensen: "If The Lord of the Rings can win 12 Oscars, I don't see why Avatar wouldn't win the Oscar for best film."
By Eric Vernay - translated by Donna Marie
Premiere (France
21 May 2014




"It was a crew of about ten people walking over the rocks. We were all tired but we had a lot of fun. By nightfall, since we were 150 km from the internet and telephones, we made a little fire, an asado [grilled meat], we talked... It was a family experience."

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Roles
By Pamela Biénzobas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
In-LAN
August 2014


Quotable Viggo: 28 July 2019

With The Reflecting Skin being released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US soon, it's time to look back over the two films Viggo made with Philip Ridley, Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon. From the start Viggo and Ridley found they were kindred spirits – creative and highly imaginative – the perfect partnership for Ridley's complex 'adult fairy-tales'. Ridley knew he was looking at a superstar before anyone else did and felt he'd found an actor who understood his unique work perfectly. And where else can you find a review that eulogises Viggo's butt?



© Miramax/Zenith.


The Reflecting Skin


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




The Reflecting Skin is one of Viggo Mortensen's first films. Talk about casting and working with him.

"My memory of this is probably wrong, but the way that I remember it is I'd known [casting director] Vicky Thomas for a while so she knew what I was after. Viggo came in initially as someone that I should meet: 'He's an interesting actor, he's your kind of actor. You should meet him.'

"We sent him some of the scenes, and my memory of it was 'this guy is fantastic.' I knew we were going to get on because I do other things – write poetry and take photographs - and Viggo does the same thing. I was staying in a hotel in Los Angeles, and Viggo came around to see me. And we got on like a house on fire from the moment he walked in the door. We couldn't stop talking, we had so much in common. Luckily that's happened to me three or four times: someone has walked through my door and I know I'm looking at a superstar. It hasn't happened for them yet, but you know they've got something very, very special. The star charisma was just overwhelming. By the time we finished talking, he had to play Cameron."

Philip Ridley
hmv.com talks to Reflecting Skin director Philip Ridley
HMV.com
10 March 2016




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
Twitchfilm
23 July 2015




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




For some, the early lead performance by Viggo Mortensen (who also shows up in Darkly Noon) will be a draw; the then-31-year-old weighs in with a cloaked, edgy turn later elaborated on in Sean Penn's essential The Indian Runner.

Mortensen fits right into the curdled nostalgia of the piece.

Rob Gonsalves
E Film
27 July 2019



The Passion of Darkly Noon


....his reputation for dwelling deep within his characters was established long before Rings. For his role as a mute in 1995's The Passion of Darkly Noon, Mortensen remained silent throughout filming. "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




"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




'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. Just as well really. Because Viggo - being Viggo - decided that, as he was playing a mute, he wouldn't speak at all for the duration of making the film.'

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




…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
WILDsound



…Mortensen does his usual fine work here, getting across the depth and intensity of his feelings without the use of speech.

Fangoria
Issue 295
September 2010




'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




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.uk
2001


Quotable Viggo: 20 July 2019

As this is Aragorn week (like every week in our hearts, of course) I thought we'd stay in Middle-earth a wee while longer. We have become used, over the years, to reading stunning reviews of Viggo's performances. Critics get very excited when a new film with Viggo comes out. But when Fellowship of the Ring premiered, he had been mostly under-the-radar for some time. Then suddenly his performance as Aragorn burst onto the screens like a supernova and the critics saw the light. So, here is a round-up of his reviews across the whole Trilogy. Yup - Return of the King indeed.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Fellowship of the Ring

Mortensen, in the film's best performance, brings heroic stature to Aragorn, befitting a man descended from kings. Aragorn's conflict with Boromir, given haunting complexity by Bean, strikes at the essence of brotherhood and roots the film in emotion. It's emotion that makes Fellowship stick hard in the memory.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Jan. 17, 2002




…Billy Boyd and Sean Astin nearly steal the picture as the accident prone comic relief. Nearly, but not quite. That is left to Viggo Mortensen as mysterious warrior Aragorn. Brooding, intense, and handy with a blade, Mortensen is the film's greatest strength - Han Solo to Wood's Luke Skywalker.

Nev Pierce
11 December 2001
BBC. co.uk




Viggo Mortensen, I predict, will become a heart-throb after his romantic and brooding turn as heroic warrior Aragorn.

Henry Fitzherbert
The Express on Sunday
December 16, 2001




Viggo Mortensen stuns as the tormented, destiny-shucking warrior Aragorn, exuding a bravery that will make men admire him and an intensity that will make women want to hop into his leather jerkin. (Let's just hope he doesn't inspire a resurgence in Renaissance Faire fashion.)

Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001




The real champ of the film, even over Sir Ian... is Viggo Mortensen… Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn. The only thing keeping him from becoming the next HUGE leading man is if he decides he doesn't want to be. Women will love him and men will too. To top it off, he has a terrific (but brief) scene of incredible romance.

Nick Nunziata
CHUD
December 2001




The Two Towers

As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did; his threadbare regality is more eloquent than any exposition.

Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
December 20-26 2002




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn carries himself with the perfect air of strength, compassion, and quiet nobility that you expect from someone who you would be willing to follow into battle.

efilmcritic.com
Brian McKay
22 December 2002




Towers belongs to Mortensen, an actor of considerable range who makes Aragorn's moral and romantic dilemmas seems amazingly plausible and immediate.

Louise B. Hobson
Calgary Sun
December 18th, 2002




Mortensen as much mobilizes this cast of thousands externally as he does within the narrative, and plays the true-hearted hero with enough gravity to make Aragon believable without slipping into parody Prince Valiant clichés.

Todd Gilchrist
FilmStew.com
18 December 2002




It's crucial that the film, like the journeys it narrates, is straggly. I spent the duller sections thinking about how flaxen-haired Legolas looks like a Milky Bar hippy as he pings his egg-slicer-strong arrows at the barbarous monsters. I also drifted off looking at Viggo Mortensen: has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002




Viggo Mortensen finds an astonishing stillness and poise at the heart of Aragorn.

Suzi Feay
The Independent on Sunday
December 15, 2002



Return of the King

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren. Fortunately Mr. Mortensen also has a touch of modesty as an actor, which allows him to take up space as if he belongs in the center of the frame rather than battling the other performers for it.

The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003




This is Return of the King though, and Viggo is that king… Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003




The dashing Mortensen never lets his audience down…

Diana Saenger
Reeltalkreviews.com
December 2003




Subtly, Mortensen suggests that gradually Aragorn is growing into the stature of a king. The scene in which he walks into a cave filled with evil spirits, all of them transparent and angry, is dramatically and technically brilliant, a metaphor made real.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 16, 2003




As the capstone to one of the single greatest achievements of modern motion-picture history, The Return of the King is generally peerless - Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, the King of the title, is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...

Marc Savlov
The Austin Chronicle
19 December 2003




...Viggo Mortensen takes his final step towards stardom…

Scott Weinberg
Efilmcritic.com
17 December 2003


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