Interviews 2007

My Heart Beats For Denmark

Source: Ekstra Bladet

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My heart beats for Denmark

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.

The last couple of days he has been visiting Denmark to promote his new movie Eastern Promises, which is having its premiere in Danish cinemas on Friday. And even if Viggo Mortensen lives in Los Angeles, he closely follows what happens in the small Kingdom of Denmark, the place where his entire family on his father's side lives.

In love on Samsø

At the fashionable hotel Sankt Petri in Copenhagen, Viggo Mortensen tells us that his grandma and grandpa were born and raised on Samsø.

"They fell in love on Samsø and then my grandpa moved to the Landbohøjskolen (Farmers Academy) in Copenhagen to get his education. After that he married my grandma and they bought a farm in the Ringsted area where my own dad was born," says Viggo who has often visited Samsø.

How do you feel regarding the plans to connect Kalundborg and Aarhus with a bridge and using Samsø as a middle station?

"I am very much against it. It is not necessary to have a bridge. And there is nothing more beautiful than arriving at Samsø by ferry, while looking at both heaven and sea. A bridge would destroy the beautiful nature," says Viggo Mortensen.

Besides his star status as an actor, Viggo Mortensen is known as a photographer, poet and painter. That is why he was also very interested in the Muhammed Crisis in Denmark.

Shut up and listen

"On one hand I fully believe in artistic freedom and freedom of speech, but at the same time I feel that you should react wisely and show your respect for other people," says Viggo and he continues: "As an artist I express my opinion about everything, but I never talk about a subject I have no knowledge of. And I always think about how other people would interpret my expressions. Once in a while it is smarter to shut up. Think and listen to what other people say. Both Muslims and people from the Western world yell and scream too much. They do not listen to each other. What we need now is some silence."

Through his aunt Tulle, who is a member of the city council in Ringsted, Viggo Mortensen is also "spot on" with Danish domestic politics.

During the Gala Premiere of Eastern Promises, he spoke directly to the leader of "Ny Alliance" (new political party) Naser Khader from the stage.

Good advice to Khader

"I have a small greeting to Naser Khader who I know is present here tonight. It is from my aunt Tulle who is a member of the city council in Ringsted: Naser, you have started well as a party leader, but there are a few things she would like to talk to you about. She would like to tell you a few words of wisdom," Viggo Mortensen joked.

Danish movies in Danish

Despite his long passion and love for Denmark, the Danish actor has never participated in a Danish movie. And he can not give a clear Yes to a part in the Danish movie Between the Lines by the Danish producer Laurits Munch-Petersen, in which Connie Nielsen is to play the female lead.

"I am fully engaged with shooting movies and exhibitions of my art into spring 2009. Between the Lines is an exciting project and Connie Nielsen is an extremely good actress, but I really do not have any time available so far," Viggo says.

What do you think about the Danish producer Bille August? Would you like to work together with him?

"It could be fun, but if I was to work with Bille August, it would be in a Danish language movie. For instance, I am convinced that Smillas Sense of Snow would have been better in Danish. It was a bit stupid in English," says Viggo Mortensen who has received a lot of offers to participate in various Danish movies.

"I really would like to participate in a Danish movie. But to me it is essential that my first Danish movie is shot in Danish. To me it is a big challenge to shoot and talk Danish in an entire movie, so that it is believable."

Viggo Mortensen asked to have 6 extra copies of the Monday issue of Ekstra Bladet so that he could send them to his relatives in Denmark and they would be able to see him in his nice red suit at the Gala Premiere for Eastern Promises at the Imperial Cinema
Last edited: 28 September 2007 14:52:42
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