Quotable Viggo 2020


Quotable Viggo: 15 February 2020

Viggo's Directorial and Scriptwriting debut, Falling has finally premiered at Sundance and, of course, we are hoping that this will be the start of many Festival showings and a good run out there in Cinemaland. I've gathered together a mixture of reviews and comments (I was really hoping for more reviews!) for a Falling Quotable round-up, hopefully the first of many!



© HanWay Films/Perceval Pictures.


Mortensen says that even though his father, mother, grandparents and uncle all suffered from dementia, and that the film is dedicated to his two other brothers, this is not an autobiographical story but one that sprung out of many places and it just suddenly all came to him, like a dream, on that plane. It finally became a story of a fictional family that shares traits of his own. "A few days after I got home I said I'm just going to look at this thing because I ended up writing a short story sort of. On the plane I couldn't sleep so I just kept writing and then it just became something that had nothing to do with my family but this story."

Viggo Mortensen On 'Falling' Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020




He started sculpting a story about finding common ground with someone you disagree with.

"As I was writing the screenplay, I was thinking about what's actually happening in the country," he said. "How do you deal with hate speech or with someone who just doesn't accept, won't even listen to you, doesn't want to know anything about what you perhaps stand for, what you identify as — all those kinds of things."

'Falling': Lance Henriksen Says Viggo Mortensen's Feature Debut Made Him Realize The World Is Changing – Sundance Studio
ByDino-Ray Ramos
Deadline.com
28 January 2020




"I would've preferred not to be in the movie, I have to say that, but to get it made one of the conditions was I had to act in it. I've been around for a long time as an actor, but if you haven't directed a movie you haven't directed a movie – I'm unproven and I'm lucky to get a chance."

Viggo Mortensen talks directing debut 'Falling'; first look at family drama
Tom Grater
Screen Daily
15 May 2019




[Falling] gives erstwhile action star Henriksen (Bishop in "Aliens") an unprecedented opportunity to actually act…It took long enough for someone to entrust a part as tricky as this to Henriksen, whose plunge pays off in Mortensen's sensitive hands.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




As a director, Mortensen doesn't make things easy for himself: We figure that a film like this is headed for some kind of redemption, but Willis seems completely irredeemable for much of the film. But Mortensen is too smart to go for an easy reconciliation, instead exploring shades of resignation and acceptance, particularly in the wake of an argument that can stand as a father/son version of the one in "Marriage Story" — primal and fearsome, it goes to places so dark that all the characters can do afterwards it attempt to crawl out of the wreckage.

"Falling" is a finely drawn character drama, as you might expect from much of Mortensen's acting career, and a film that pays attention to small details that bring these people to life.

Steve Pond
The Wrap
24 January 2020




Having quietly spent years augmenting his acting work with prodigious output in music, poetry and visual arts (not to mention founding a publishing house that champions other artists' work), Viggo Mortensen finally takes the director's chair in Falling, a masterful family drama taking a compassionate view of a father whose faults are impossible to ignore…

…Falling doesn't transform its emotional landscape into a simple question of rejection or forgiveness. It's comfortable knowing that meanness and affection can exist in the same person, and that tolerance, even when it only flows in one direction, benefits both giver and recipient.

John DeFour
Hollywood Reporter
24 January 2020




"Falling" is unpretentious and perfectly accessible to mainstream audiences. Mortensen's patience, his way with actors and his trust in our intelligence are not unlike late-career Eastwood, which isn't a bad place to be so early in one's directing career.

Peter DeBruge
Variety
24 January 2020




Since discovering his sexuality, his father Willis has questioned the truthfulness of John's reality in such insensitive ways that it's hard to picture why any son would stick around to help – blood or not. But in that regard, Mortensen delivers such a defining performance that is so capable of impacting many whose experience is similar. His character's reservations is matched with a nuanced delivery of emotion that feels as passionate as it is affecting.

Part of what makes Falling work for me is its dedication to not hide the ugly truth in what could've been a story that settled for stereotypical character growth and a happy ending. But if truth be told, it's also what makes Mortensen's Falling a difficult watch.

Brittany Witherspoon
Popculture Reviews
24 January 2020




Viggo gives a beautifully understated performance here, letting Henriksen (whom it's nice to see in a really meaty role, again) carry the load and dive into Willis' damaged psyche, giving a riveting performance, which allows the supporting cast to do just that: support a pair of great actors doing what they do.

Vsmoviepodcast
28 January 2020




In Mortensen's most notable directorial flare, Falling flashes back and forth between John's childhood on the farm and his present-day life in California as a well-to-do suburban husband to his Chinese-American partner, Eric, and father to their daughter, Monica (Gabby Velis). There's nothing novel about interwoven timelines, but Mortensen's vision of how the two interact is poignant and meditative.

Luke Hicks
Film School Rejects



In many ways Falling is a tough film to watch, as we're essentially voyeurs, watching horrible family dysfunction without it ever really amounting to much, other than the fact that there's some grace to forgiveness even if its undeserved. One can't fault the craft or the acting, with Mortensen low-key as the kindly son forced to keep in his simmering rage… One thing FALLING does that's terrific is that it gives Lance Henriksen a showcase role. One of the best in the biz, Henriksen's been perennially underrated ever since the eighties, and approaching eighty he's as good as he ever was, sinking his teeth into the role with vigor…

…It's a passionate debut for Mortensen but it's not an easy watch.

Chris Bumbray
JoBlo.com
24 January 2020




It's a confident, assured directorial effort by Mortensen, who breezes through the various time periods (with Borg/McEnroe star Sverrir Gudnason as young Willis) with ease…

…Falling makes the case that it is never too late to move beyond the hurt and chart a new course. It's a passionate, heartfelt debut for Mortensen, and a film many will relate to because of how tough the material is to watch.

Travis Hopson
Punch Drunk Critics
24 January 2020




The film does a super solid job of balancing the multiple facets of John's life. Be it his gay marriage, his Mexican speaking daughter, or his time spent serving his country. Rather than belabor any one point over the other, Mortensen peppers in each of these dynamics to perfection while still delivering the importance and power of each of these attributes. That is to say, it's not a 'gay' movie, it's not a 'political' movie, it's not an 'Alzheimer's' movie. No, it's a movie about a complicated, quiet, and modern-day life… Mortensen would tell the audience at the film's closing night Q&A that "there's no shame, no matter how hard it is, in forgiving and accepting. No matter how much you might hate them. You've only got the 1, or the 2. When they are gone, they are gone."

"Falling" is both a story about a trying child/parent relationship, and it's a film that you should watch.

Toni Gonzales
Awards Circuit
11 February 2020




The ending of Falling is ambiguous enough to allow the audience to decide where Willis ends up, and I'm okay with that. Everyone will bring their own experiences, opinions, biases, and baggage into the theater. What they bring out is up to them.

VSA Staff Writer
Vsmoviepodcast
28 January 2020




"We worked really hard. It's been a long road," he said. "You never know how people are going to look at a movie. You just have to make it and be faithful to what you're seeing, and hope other people like it. As William Goldman said, 'nobody knows anything.'"

Viggo Mortensen On 'Falling' Into A New Phase Of His Career With Directing Debut Set To World Premiere At Sundance
By Pete Hammond
Deadline.com
23 January 2020

Quotable Viggo: 9 February 2020

Viggo, we all know, is a man with an amazing array of different abilities. And now he’s showing the world his Directorial talents. He can do almost everything can’t he? Well – not quite and thank God otherwise we’d wonder if he was human! There are still a few areas where he’s challenged, though his motto mostly seems to be ‘just do it anyway’ because you never know what might come of it. As he says, below ‘What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.’



© Bleecker Street


Do you feel like a Renaissance man?

No, because even at 500 years old, I still wouldn't be able to get anything right.

Encounters - Direct Response from Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Mundo
21 April 2015




The Lord of the Rings star shows a full complement of skills including driving the family's bus, lighting a fire, playing guitar and rock-climbing.

"To be honest about the climbing scenes, I have a little vertigo," says Mortensen. "It gets me. I’m glad I look like I’m comfortable."

Viggo Mortensen is a marvel in 'Captain Fantastic'
Bryan Alexander
USA Today
19 May 2016




“When everyone climbed down for lunch, I was still standing up there,” he said, laughing. “The kids were like ‘Viggo come down to lunch!’ and I said ‘No, just send a sandwich up!’ I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t look down.”

Viggo Mortensen on His Idealistic New Film "Captain Fantastic"
by Gillian Sagansky
W Magazine
8 July 2016




… you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go?

Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.

Chairman Of The Sword
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003




“I don’t play soccer well… I sing just like I play soccer! But I like it, so I do it anyway, it’s just a matter of starting, fear is useless…”

Viggo Mortensen
A Hollywood star in RSM
Argentinean TV interview with Mariana Fabbiani
11 October 2008




'...I'm surprised they let me do [the paintings in A Perfect Murder], actually. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself? I showed them a couple of small samples and they said sure if I made this bigger and I said OK. So it was one of those things where you're at a job interview and they say can you speak Chinese? Because if you can speak Chinese you've got the job. And, of course, you go, "Yeah sure. You'll water ski or whatever. Then, you just figure you'll figure out how to speak Chinese between now and next Wednesday. Well maybe it's not that extreme... I like to draw and stuff but the reason they used photography in it was because that was something that I did know and I had a certain stock pile of images I could play with. That helped!'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell,
Carpe Noctem magazine #15
1999




“I usually use the excuse that everything is abstract. That way, I can do whatever I want. And if you don’t like it, it’s because you don’t get it,” he joked.

Viggo joking about his art
Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
La Butaca
20 November 2008




You’re a painter, a musician, a photographer, an actor, a poet and you’re a natural at swordplay. Is there anything you won’t try at least once?

You know what? I’m not so interested in skydiving. I’m not sure why anyone wants to jump out of a plane that’s working perfectly well.

The Last Word : Viggo Mortensen
Canadiens Magazine
8 December 2009




I don't read music and I've never had lessons but it's fun and I find it very relaxing. I'm okay with mistakes and people not liking what I play. I just do it.

Viggo Mortensen on Good
By Angus Fontaine
Time Out, Sydney
9 April 2009




‘When I'm awake, I dream of perfection. It's not about reaching it, I'm aware that it is not possible. My concern is to seek it, to try very hard to shoot the perfect movie, to have the perfect marriage, to paint the perfect painting – above all to know that it will never work out. What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.’

Viggo Mortensen
I Have A Dream
By Viggo Mortensen - translated by CoCo and Techadmin
Zeit magazine
23 July 2015




“I think I've learned more from my mistakes than from things that turned out well.”

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




What are you still determined to learn to do?

What I haven’t.

ForWord magazine
17 January 2007

Quotable Viggo: 1 February 2020

We know Viggo is a one-off original but it's surprising how often he's compared to the great actors of Hollywood's heyday. Most often to one of my favourite silver screen actors, Gary Cooper. I think it's a tribute to the huge range of his acting skills that he's been compared to everyone from James Dean to Robert Mitchum. Just for fun – because we know he's not really like any of them - I've pulled some of them together. It makes for rather a long Quotable and a few are quite surprising!



Two Faces of January image © StudioCanal


John Wayne and Harrison Ford

With his aqua blue eyes and chiseled jaw, he is every bit the American film hero - a Harrison Ford or a John Wayne, but with a darkness lurking beneath.....

Sasha Stone
Santa Monica Mirror
28 September 2005




Hands down, this is the best performance that Viggo Mortensen has given in a film yet. He is just breath-taking in the film......Viggo's acting here reminds me of vintage Harrison Ford, before... whatever happened to him. Think WITNESS or maybe even THE FUGITIVE. He's just very very good.

A History of Violence review
Harry
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005




A wonderful reflection on the evocative power of cinema. And, incidentally, the umpteenth confirmation of Viggo Mortensen´s great talent. Mustachioed , astride his horse in a cavalry uniform, sword in sheath and a splendid hat on his head, he is reminiscent of John Wayne in the early John Ford films.

Jauja review
Franck Nouchi - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Le Monde
19 May 2014



Gary Cooper

There's a scene in that film, Eastern Promises, where his character, Nikolai, stubs a cigarette out on his own tongue. At that moment, all was made clear: Mortensen was an old-fashioned star, as confident and as taciturn as Gary Cooper.

Viggo Mortensen
By David Thomson
The Guardian
10 April 2009




Mortensen, who became a hunky heartthrob as the warrior Aragorn in the "Lord of the Rings" series, carries himself like Gary Cooper here, radiating earthy charm and easy humor, as well as a quiet determination.

James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
2004




Mortensen again proves to be one of today's few actors who can evoke quiet self-sufficiency and absolute resolution, à la Gary Cooper. The odd fragility of his features—he truly looks here like a man who has been reduced by solitude and ascetic living to the barest necessary husk of self—convinces us totally that Daru is a modern anchorite as well as an ex-soldier who has known terrible times.

Loin des Hommes review
Jonathan Romney
Film Comment
1 May 2015




Mortensen has a heroic presence but he is also unafraid of conveying an almost feline grace. There are moments in this film when he reminded me of the young Gary Cooper, and of Steve McQueen, two other actors who convincingly integrated sensuality and masculinity. These are qualities he shares with Kateb, and when they are together on screen their interaction is absolutely riveting.

Loin des Hommes review
Christos Tsiolkas
The Saturday Paper
31 July 2015



De Niro and Brando


Fantastic performance from Viggo Mortensen.....he is absolutely a brilliant actor, he is the Robert de Niro of his generation, the Marlon Brando of his generation, the man is a genius.

Mark Kermode
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




Mortensen's interpretation, in Penn's film "The Indian Runner', of Frank, a Vietnam veteran who cannot adapt to civilian life, an habitual rebel, mutinous, violent, alcoholic, but at the same time vulnerable and touching, is perfect. His presence is both incandescent and dignified, recalling that of Robert de Niro in Scorcese's "Mean Streets'.

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




Even acting-wise, comparisons will be made between Viggo Mortensen's quietly menacing Mafioso to that of the young Robert De Niro in "The Godfather Part II," who morphs into Marlon Brando's Don Vitto Corleone in the first chapter of the epic saga, "The Godfather" (1972)

History of Violence review
Emanuel Levy
emanuellevy.com
1 Sept 2007




'To me, there's a lack of self-consciousness to the great actors. I think the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises is brilliant: he's living the guy's life on screen and you can't take your eyes off him. It's the same with Marlon Brando. You might not know why you're drawn to him, but you are.'

Actor Richard Jenkins commenting on Viggo
Metrolife film
29 June 2008



Clint Eastwood


He's just somebody I spotted as having a kind of appeal that I don't see a lot of actors having anymore. It's just mainly from when I grew up that I'm always on the prowl for guys who could kind of play the roles Clint Eastwood played 30 years ago. And he sort of seems to be that kind - with some real serious acting chops.

Josh Olson on Viggo Mortensen
Interview with Jock Olson
by Rebecca Murray
About.com
August 2005




Viggo, speaking vintage Castillian Spanish with his own voice, dominates the film as a kind of Medieval Clint Eastwood, short on words, long on deadly action when required…

Viggo Mortensen - Heroic On And Off Screen
By Alex Deleon
Fest21
16 October 2006




He's got the cowboy drawl down pat; shoots a Colt .45 with confidence; delivers sharp one-liners like a kinder, gentler Clint Eastwood; and has a great seat on a horse. Even when the movie gets a little slow--and it does, a 3000-mile desert race will do that to a movie--Mortensen's onscreen appeal saves the day.

Hidalgo
Leigh Johnson
Hollywood.com



James Dean


I was looking for a young James Dean. Then, Viggo Mortensen walked into the room. I knew almost instantly that he was the one. There was such a charisma about him.

Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A With "Prison" Director Renny Harlin
Patrick Hickey Jr.
Review Fix
14 February 2013




If Jack Kerouac looked like a matinee idol - who in fact turned out to be a really good actor - he'd be a lot like Viggo Mortensen. But if James Dean wrote poetry and took pictures, he'd be closer.

Vim and Viggo
By Merle Ginsberg
W
September 1997




Great things have been predicted for Mortensen: his good friend Michael Blake, who wrote Dances With Wolves, has called him 'the new James Dean'.

Sean Penn Bites Back
By Christopher Connelly
Premier
October 1991



Robert Mitchum and William Holden


"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




Mortensen tends to play listeners – whether the laconic adventurer-king Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, or Nikolai, his Russian mobster in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.

It's part of what makes the 55-year-old Danish-American star an old-fashioned sort of movie idol. He's cut from the same chiselled, masculine material as Robert Mitchum, with whom he shares a dimpled chin and a taste for complex heroes.

The Two Faces of January
By Tim Robey
The Telegraph
15 May 2014



And what does Viggo think?


HP: Does it mean anything to you when large movie magazines compare you with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and James Stewart? And say that you have the same "uugrundelige", under the surface madness?

VM: That's something, but you need to be lucky. If it happens you say "thank you", but you can never count on it.

Go'Aften Danmark Interview
TV2
By - transcribed/translated by Rosen
23 September 2007




"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




Joe Johnson said that you reminded him of a matinee idol of a bygone era, such as Gary Cooper, how does that make you feel?

Very flattered, because they are very good actors. What they were good at, beyond what they looked like, or whatever their presence, is the same thing that I admire in Omar Sharif, which is a kind of acting that is often under-rated and under-valued.

Hidalgo - Viggo Mortensen Q&A
Indie London
By Jack Foley
2004


Quotable Viggo: 25 January 2020

As I’ve had a very music-orientated few weeks I thought another music Quotable was in order. We all know how important it is in Viggo’s life. As well as releasing many albums, often with a mix of collaborators including Buckethead, music has featured in Captain Fantastic as the creative glue that bonded the Cash family together and in Good where it acted as a metaphor for Halder’s increasingly guilty conscience. In Jauja, Viggo’s musical creativity bonded with his acting when his own work with Buckethead, ‘Moonset’, became the only music featuring in a largely silent film, arriving near the end when Dinesen’s journey is becoming increasingly surreal and inward. Music frames our lives and intensifies our emotions and I love Viggo’s comment, below, that ‘rain is the universal music’.



Image Wilson Webb.
© Bleecker Street.



He's a musician, but not in the way many actors dabble in music—he's released 17 albums, including some collaborations with some outstanding musicians.

Viggo Mortensen and the Art of Deliberate Living
By Michael Dunaway
Paste Magazine
3 August 2016




…a prolific discography which boasts more album releases than your average full-time musician.

An Unconventional Method: Viggo Mortensen
Clash
8 March 2015




‘...music is when we all would get together. That was at least once a day we'd get together, all of us. We really were jamming and laughing and talking. We'd have something to eat. Okay, let's go! And then we'd start playing. The feeling there was, There's no such thing as making a mistake. We're just playing together. We got better and better and more comfortable with each other...I thought the music was important as an initial bonding thing.’

Viggo Mortensen
'Captain Fantastic': Matt Ross, Viggo Mortensen and the perils of off-the-grid fatherhood
by Michelle Lanz
The Frame
7 July 2016




“...[Lisandro] said that we didn’t have any budget at all to go find what he was thinking about, so he needed somebody to propose something. And I said there is a guitar player named Buckethead whom I’ve known for years, I’ve done lots of records with him. A lot of the music is kinda strange, but some of it is pretty lyrical. It has a sort of circular quality that would suit the story. I sent Lisandro ten songs, and he picked the one you hear and I thought “great choice.” I wouldn’t have thought of it, but he could see that. It was one of those things that happen.”

Viggo discussing the music in Jauja
Viggo Mortensen on ‘Jauja,’ Producing, Protecting Directors’ Visions
John Hopewell
Variety
25 November 2014




It's the opening night of Viggo's photo exhibition and the room is packed with his friends and associates. They're all here to see the debut of his haunting, abstract images, the ones shot during the making of "Hidalgo", Disney's upcoming $90 million epic in which Mortensen stars as the first American to race across the Sahara Desert on horseback.

More to the point, everyone's also here to see the man himself, yet no one seems to know where he is.

As it turns out, the reluctant "The Lord of the Rings" star is out back with six or seven spiky-haired youths in the parking lot. He's the tall one in the center looking uncharacteristically polished in a charcoal suit and black leather shoes. At the moment, everyone's huddled around his dirty blue Toyota Prius, listening to some loud, swampy, guitar noise pumping out of his dashboard.

"Is that Buckethead?" asks the guy in baggy jeans, the one standing next to Elijah Wood.

"Yeah, that's him," says Mortensen, referring to a certain guitar wail. "I'm not sure about the mix, though. What do you think? Should it be brighter?"

This is vintage Viggo. While crowds of people are anxiously waiting inside to talk to him about one thing, he's already on to the next, in this case his next album with the Japanese [sic] experimental guitar legend known simply as Buckethead.


The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003




One listen to The Other Parade, his rereleased 1998 album with Buckethead, ex-wife Exene Cervenka, and a host of others, reveals total artistic fearlessness...

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003




"....for Good.....I play a professor who has music as his refuge. I also placed myself in the situation of having Mahler's music in my head. I felt the need to play the piano. Each night after filming, I played a bit, a way of leaving myself inspired for the scene the next day. Each time, something different came from my imagination. When I returned home I recorded what I had composed to save a trace, and it became an album!"

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
by Sophie Benamon, Studio Magazine
November 2007




'I like to play with music. But I would not define myself as a musician, but as a sound modulator. I love to be with musicians and play, to see what comes out from the mess that we do together.’

Viggo Mortensen
The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
CIAK
March 2002




As an oblivious world walked by - including hordes of media types attending TIFF - actor Viggo Mortensen sat openly in the lobby of the Sutton Place, gently tickling the ivories of a baby grand piano…. Following his impromptu recital, the soft-spoken taciturn actor said, "I just made it up."

Asked to comment on whether the piano was properly tuned, he replied: "More or less."

His response to the question, "I didn't know you played:"

"I didn't either," followed by a loud, horsy laugh.

Viggo Mortensen plays piano at Sutton Place
Bruce Demara
TheStar.com
8 September 2008




Listening to Viggo Mortensen and Buckethead's renditions of Viggo's works on ‘This That And The Other’ is to be brought back to the direct immediacy of art and to be given the opportunity to experience a creation firsthand from its creator.

Review: This That And The Other
By Richard Marcus
blogcritics.org
March 20, 2007




And in music, what are your essentials?

I don't know if I have essentials; the selection depends on the moment. This morning I've been listening to Ray Barretto, The Ramones, Andrés Calamaro and Janis Joplin.

Viggo Mortensen: "If I'm lost, it's because that's how I want it."
By Juan Luis Álvarez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
La Vanguardia
9 September 2012




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



Is there anything you regret not having even attempted?

Yes, many things. But it’s never too late. I wish I had learned music at a younger age, but I did many things and I was very lucky about the people and places that I got to know in my travels, the experiences I had, the people I loved and the ones that loved me. I cannot complain.
Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela

Quotable Viggo: 18 January 2020

The Oscar nominations are out and – as often the case – I read them and think ‘Viggo really should have got an Oscar for The Road’. How on earth did he not even get nominated? It is, IMHO, one of the great oversights in the Academy’s history. It was a very demanding role and the film took a huge toll on him and Kodi Smit-McPhee, both physically and emotionally. And no one else could have brought to The Man the depth of sensitivity and courage that Viggo did. OK… getting down off my soap box now!



Image Macall Polay. © 2929/Dimension Films.


"Viggo has the perfect qualities as a man and as an actor to do this part. He’s got incredible depth of soul.”

Nick Wechsler
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




Before accepting the role, he was coming out of two solid years of non-stop intense work and had sworn to take a rest. He had arranged a series of exhibitions of his photography, but as soon as Hillcoat got him to read the script of The Road, he understood that he could not refuse the role.

Premier Magazine
By Gérard Delorme - Translated by Chrissiejane
June 2008




Mortensen felt drained after reading both the book and script in the same day. “Yeah, I was worthless that day,” admitted Mortensen. “I was at my mother’s house, actually, visiting her and she said, ‘So, what do you want to do for dinner?’ ‘Dinner?’ I said, ‘How can I eat now?’”

Viggo Mortensen Talks About ‘The Road’
Rebecca Murray
About.com
23 November 2009




“I was trying to think of an everyman, yet someone you could really buy as credible in making that journey,” Hillcoat said. “Actors come with baggage, as well. Sometimes that baggage can help, like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. His baggage was part of the performance. With Viggo, there’s something slightly elusive about him, and he has quite a wide range, and yet, also, there’s this real physicality about him. And there’s this tenderness.

”And his face also reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, the Dorothea Lange photos of the Great Depression, Midwest people struggling with the collapse of the environment and the economy.”

On The Road with Viggo and Kodi:
By Jay Stone
Canada.com
18 November 2009




“A lot of times I take on roles because they scare me.” That, he explained, was what brought him to The Road. Viggo had read the book and was afraid. Afraid of a role he thought might be the most physically and emotionally demanding performance of his career.

Viggo Mortensen
AFI Fest: Viggo and The Road
The Bloggomist: The Local Boy
Evil Monito Magazine
17 November 2009




…the role requires not only physical verisimilitude, but the ability to show tenderness and inner strength. "For some actors it might be a stretch that they’re so tender and sensitive to a child and yet be able to physically do what he has to do. Viggo’s very intense and very wound up, and that is what the father is all about."

John Hillcoat
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009




"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
By Javier Aguirresarobe - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio, Sage and Zooey
Esquire (Spain)
January 2010




"It was a hell of a thing for him to undertake, because there’s nowhere to hide. He’s in every single frame almost, throughout every scene, and every emotion he has to delve into, every emotion. The journey is very extreme, so it’s a lot to ask of someone.”

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




“…the book was my constant companion. It’s pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to. But this movie is about man’s humanity, this flower that blooms in a desert between two people.”

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




Luckily for Smit-McPhee, one of our greatest actors shares every scene with him. Viggo Mortensen is perfectly cast. Was anyone even surprised when he was announced as The Man? It’s a challenging role for any actor, but one can’t help but see it as something as a culmination of the excellent work he’s been doing since appearing in that little fantasy film a few years ago.

Brian Kinsley
Incontention.com
September 2nd, 2008




"It’s true that when you’re traveling through these suffering landscapes, these devastating landscapes, it’s so real, and it was definitely cold, and we were definitely wet. Everything was so real visually and physically for us that we could not be anywhere else other than at that level. We had to reach that somehow in terms of our emotions and our relationship. It had to be credible, and I think it was a great help to us."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Hits The Road
By Roger Durling
Santa Barbara Independent
22 November 2009




...when an actor like Viggo Mortensen is in front of the camera, it's best to just let the camera run and let him be. Mortensen gives a brilliant, genius performance. His character's every breath is not just his own, but a breath for his son, a breath for hope, and Mortensen conveys that with harrowing accuracy.

Brandon Lee Tenney
FirstShowing.net
25 November 2009




Mortensen captures the wounded man’s pain in his wonderfully expressive eyes, and despite being faced with death all around him, he is a life force for whom survival is paramount.

John Foote
Screenrant
14 September 2009




“When I looked at the movie for the first time, [Kodi and I] were sitting next to each other in Venice, I was shocked sometimes. It’s beyond the makeup; there’s something in our faces that’s more lean, more suffering, beyond what I thought was happening. And I think that has to do with committing mentally and emotionally to the material.”

Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, ‘The Road’ and ‘The Hobbit’
By Carla Hay
Examiner.com
25 November 2009




‘My favourite line of the film happens to be in voiceover, where [my character] says that by the end, the boy has helped him accept his fate and accept the way things are and appreciate life. He says, “If I were God, I would make the world just so, and no different.”’

Viggo Mortensen
Against all odds
Melora Koepke
Hour.ca
12 November 2009

Quotable Viggo: 11 January 2020

A while back we looked at Viggo’s strong connections with Spain. This week I thought we’d take a look at his Danish heritage and the deep affection he has for Denmark. In their 2008 interview with him, Men’s Vogue titled him the’ Great Dane’ (something that still makes me giggle). In the past, Viggo has described Denmark as a ‘fixed-point’ for him, his inner ‘home. With strong family ties there I’m sure, as he says below, that his heart will always ‘beat heavily for Denmark’.



Jauja Magical Mystery Tour - Samso
Image Jens Oster-Mortensen.
© SN.dk.



He has a Danish passport and is a Danish citizen… Viggo Mortensen lives most of the time in Madrid, but he has often Denmark or Argentina in mind.

"I think of the family. The landscape. Just as I think of Argentina. If, for example, in December, and I am in Madrid, I will call my aunt Tulle and ask if there is snow in Denmark. So she says maybe it is raining, as it often is, and then I can see it for myself. The forests, I see very clearly. "

Viggo Danish Interview
Translation by Colette Hera
Berlingske Media
11 May 2015




“There is no doubt that my heart beats heavily for Denmark and, during my current visit to Denmark, the first thing I did was visit my aunt Tulle in Ringsted to have 'Biksemad'," says Viggo Mortensen.

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007




What do you think of when you think of Denmark?

'I think about a beautiful landscape, I think of a country where I can be myself and meet my family, where my cousin's think of me as Viggo from Ringsted and tease me as they tease everybody else - and teasing is obviously a Danish way to express friendship. In that way Denmark means incredible much to me.'

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001




'In Denmark, I discovered the sense of family and a certain work ethic. I am very close to my uncles, aunts, cousins and I am emotionally very open with them. I am a strange mixture of very methodical North and more chaotic South.'

Viggo Mortensen - The Anti-star
translated by Kaijamin
Paris Match
2 October 2008




"...I met someone last night who showed me a picture of a baby, and they had named the kid Viggo. You know, Viggo is a pretty dorky name in Denmark. It's like Oswald or something. It's a very old Scandinavian name, at least 1,000 years old."

Q&A Viggo Mortensen
By Sora Song
People
10 October 2005




‘...the Danish that I spoke with my daughter in [Jauja], being quite a simple man, a man from the countryside of Denmark, I chose to speak it like my Danish grandfather who was a guy from the country, intelligent, but who had quite a simple and formal way of speaking, in a very correct way.’

Viggo Mortensen
We speak in Cannes with Viggo Mortensen about Jauja, his second Argentinian experience
By I. J. - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Noticine.com
21 May 2014




"I very strongly feel that I share a common past with my family in Denmark. And feel connected to the Scandinavian mythology, when I walk in the forest at Jystrup, where there are many tales told of what has happened. The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past. I felt that already as a child, back then when I played with swords there outside my uncle's farm, played and felt like a Viking.”

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken
Berlingske Tidende
28 November 2001




Could you ever consider settling down here in Denmark to live?

"Yes, I might but it would be on Samsø. There you are still allowed to walk around in peace, especially in winter. If they don't build that dreadful bridge to Samsø, that they might build. I am very much opposed to that bridge," says Viggo Mortensen.

"[Denmark] is a country where I feel at home. I have lots of family here and I feel safe here in Mid-Zealand.”

Viggo Wants To Live On Samsø
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Estel
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008




“…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.”

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




A Danish journalist once asked me what I would do if Denmark and Argentina were facing each other in a World Cup. I said I would make a shirt, half and half, from the two teams' colors. The following year a gentleman gave me one like that. I'll use it someday, and amuse myself by rooting for both teams. Although I wish the U.S. National Team luck when they play, I would never be able to support them against Argentina or Denmark. Absurd things from my upbringing and the personal ties that I have with these countries, although I was born in New York.

Sobrevuelos
People And Field
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro
30 July 2011




The poetry works because Mortensen is Scandinavian (Danish father, American mother), says Manhire, "and there is this Scandinavian myth about how poetry is a mixture of blood and honey - his poetry has that mixture."

Bill Manhire, Victoria University, NZ
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times
2003




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




'I have travelled a lot my entire life. As a child I lived in five-six different countries - from Denmark to USA, from Argentine to Egypt - and as a grown up I have travelled half around the globe myself. The movie business is a very vagrant business. The last two years I've spent in NewZealand filming 'Lord of the Rings' and sometimes I'm in five cities in a week. Someplace, in the back of your mind, you need to have a fix point, a place you call home, and Denmark is that to me'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S
2001


Quotable Viggo 4 January 2020

Viggo’s interaction with journalists is always fascinating. Years of magazine and newspaper articles have given us a motley picture of interviews taking place in greasy spoon cafés and coffee shops, spilling over into hotel lobbies, car parks... traffic light stops... phone calls... In fact journalists discover that an interview with Viggo is hardly ever over when they think it is. Along the way there are gifts and a glimpse that the artist in him is clearly never switched off.



© Benoit Sauvage.


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




The voice on the phone is husky, familiar, and just a little menacing. “I was told to call this number,” the speaker says. I give a little shudder before realising it’s Viggo Mortensen, calling as planned to talk about his new film, The Two Faces of January. Phew.

The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 1014




In conversation, Mortensen doesn’t indulge in niceties. Doesn’t do small talk. But get him going on football, or his about-to-be published Spanish-language poetry collection, or indeed Green Book, and you can easily lose 10 minutes to his enthusiastic observations and tangential musings. Attempts to redirect his thoughts are about as effective as trying to stem the flow of a raging river using an ironing board.

These verbal deluges don’t derive from a feeling of self-importance, or of high-mindedness, but of generosity. He is trying to answer my questions as fully and considerately as he can – to a fault.

Viggo Mortensen: intellectual nourishment in a world of artery-clogging culture
By Dan Masoliver
Shortlist.com
20 December 2018




Viggo Mortensen is pressing me to eat a croissant from a large basket sitting on a table in front of him. It is certainly the right hour for them – most actors would draw the line at 8.30am interviews – but whoever imagined that arthouse cinema's most visibly rugged outdoors man would start his day with effete French pastries? This is the man whose chosen set souvenir from Lord of the Rings was his horse! He looks relieved when I take one; nobody need now be embarrassed.

Viggo Mortensen gets dirty to play a 'wolf dad' in Captain Fantastic
By Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
2 September 2016




He might have trouble receiving praise, or dishing it out to himself. He's proud of having worked on Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake of Psycho, but when I tell him I adored the film, he seems unsure.

"You did?" he says suspiciously.

It becomes clear precisely how much Mortensen values his work when I leave - or rather, after I have left. I'm crossing the hotel lobby when he appears out of nowhere, still barefoot, still nursing his pot of maté on its tiny saucer.

"I was looking for you," he says intently, drawing me to one side. 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
14 December 2001
The Independent




Out in the parking lot, he stops at his truck - a black pickup he's borrowed from one of his brothers - to retrieve a final present: a red rubber bracelet memorialising fallen firefighters. He hands it to me, then says goodbye.

I'm right behind him, waiting to pull into traffic, when he jumps out and motions for me to roll down my window. There's something interesting on the radio, he says, urging me to turn it on. I can hear it coming from his speakers. It's AM talk, and it's playing loud.

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006




It was a relaxed, almost flower-powered, Viggo Mortensen, complete with bare feet and decorated wrist bands, that strolled into his top-floor apartment at a high up Melbourne hotel.

Put it down to his personality - though softly-spoken, it's immediately obvious, since he makes a point to check your tape recorder is recording properly before speaking, that he's one heck of a nice guy...

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Clint Morris
Moviehole
8 March 2006




When I called him in July to interview him for The Progressive, he had returned from four months' shooting the forthcoming Spanish historical epic, Alatriste. He sounded exhausted, as though he could barely hold the phone, but when we started talking about the war in Iraq, the Bush Administration, and the role of actors and artists in mainstream political discourse, he didn't feel like sleeping. Eventually, I had to tell him I was tired.

Two days later, he called back. He wanted to clarify a few things he'd said and to answer more questions. And he tried me a few times after that. We spoke one final time in the wake of Katrina. I might have flattered myself to think one of the best-looking Hollywood leading men liked the sound of my voice. But that clearly wasn't the case, since he did most of the talking.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005




...we met at Callahan's - a small greasy spoon perfectly suited to the artist's genuine unpretentiousness - on a sunny day in Santa Monica....During our conversation, oblivious to the flustered waitress tripping over herself, Mortensen makes obvious his obsession with the ordinary as he breaks to explain, for example, why the green countertop reflecting fluorescent light onto the cherry-red Coke machine in the background would make the perfect picture. "I'd take it right now if I had my camera," he lamented.

Things Are Weird Enough
By Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19
1999




It somehow seems ironic that Viggo Mortensen, virtuoso bad boy, wants to meet at the Snow White Coffee Shop, and now sits beneath a looming portrait of Prince Charming.

The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
By Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine
1997




We meet at a coffee house in Santa Monica, where he's already upstairs with a glass of iced coffee and a notebook. Beside him rests a box, overflowing with sheets of rumpled paper and picture frames, much like one would find in an attic, or on the neglected shelves of Christmas decorations (his manager had asked me if he could make a contribution to the magazine, to which I gave an unqualified 'yes').

'I don't know what you're looking for,' he says, 'but I brought a few things to show you.'

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




The first thing Viggo Mortensen does after shaking my hand is to press a CD into it. Time Waits for Everyone, it's called; 18 tracks of Mortensen's moody compositions for solo piano.

In addition to acting in back-to-back films by David Cronenberg, Mortensen is a published poet, a painter and photographer with exhibitions next year in Iceland and Denmark, the founder of a small publishing house, Perceval Press, and (after listening to the disc, I find) a decent musician.

When I ask how he keeps all these interests going along with his acting career, he answers: "Sometimes it's tricky; I just barely meet deadlines."

No wonder the press loves this guy.

Multi-talented Mortensen Prepares For Worst, Hopes For Best
By Chris Knight
9 September 2007
CanWest News Service




In the diner, he asks for the time. (He doesn't wear a watch he says. Ninety minutes later, we pull up to the departure gates at the airport. I begin to say goodbye. But no, Mortensen is coming in with me. Way earlier in the day, in our first ten minutes together, I mentioned that I forgot my driver's license and that some drama ensued at LaGuardia Airport. He's coming in with me to make sure I get on my flight.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016



Last edited: 15 February 2020 08:53:50