ForePlay: Viggo Mortensen
17 January 2007
The enigmatic actor/artist/publisher Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence) took time out from filming to answer our questions. In 2002 Mortensen created the indie Perceval Press to publish books of artwork, photography, and poetry - including his own. The press now publishes about eight titles per year. Mortensen's book, Linger (0977486958), is a collection of his photography and his latest, I Forget You For Ever (9780976300939), will be released soon.
Why you know the name: Movies, maybe books, maybe pictures, maybe poems
What book are you reading, and where is your favorite place to read?
The Complete Critical Prose of Osip Mandelshtam, edited and translated by Jane Gary Harris (Ardis Russian Literature Series). In the bathtub.
What qualities do you value most professionally?
A good memory and sense of fairness.
What are you still determined to learn to do?
What I haven't.
If you were a member of a tribe, what would be your special role in it, and why?
I am a member of a tribe, and am happy with my role, which is to mind the fire.
What is your favorite hometown library and/or bookstore?
Hard to pick just one of each, but can certainly recommend Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, Washington, and the Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, New York for starters.
What kind of music do you enjoy while you are reading?
It depends what I'm reading, where, and when - and what music is on hand. No music is good sometimes, too. At moment I am listening to selected opera arias sung by Mark Reisen, the great bass voice of Russia, recorded in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Before that I was listening to Buckethead's Colma.
What would you save from your home if it were burning?
Probably some books, photo negatives, San Lorenzo team shirt, lucky bits of this and that - after saving any people and other animals I could, of course.
What question has never been answered for you?
Why do we live and die, and is there more after that.
What would surprise most people to learn about you?
Not sure. It might surprise me, too, I suppose.
If you could have any five people over for dinner, who would they be?
I wouldn't want to decide that.
What is your prediction for independent publishing in 2007?
It will continue to exist.
Last edited: 12 March 2008 06:44:17