Quotable Viggo 2007-2009

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Quotable Viggo: 11 November 2007

It's time for our weekend quotes again, lifted from our Quotes Pages. We start with a reminder of a couple of early roles, including his stage role in Bent which won him the Dramalogue Critics award in '87:



© Overseas Film Group



The play's climax depends heavily on the steely autoeroticism Viggo Mortensen injects as a blank-eyed, quietly sadistic Nazi captain (it's a terrifically forceful performance).

On Viggo's performance in Bent
Hard-edged Drama Gets a Little Mushy in Bent
The Orange County Register, 1987




I especially enjoyed working with our cast, particularly Viggo and Ryo, both of whom I hope to someday get a chance to work with again if the Fates should allow it. I didn't need Lord of the Rings to know Viggo was a prince.

Richard Clabaugh
Cinematographer for American Yakuza
www.rclabaugh.com




Trying to describe his movie career is like finding your way in a Middle-eastern medina.

Soon you think you're on the right way - only to end up in a dead end of spices and camel-mongers. The Danish-American has had his breakthrough in a - for an actor - mature age. As Los Angeles Times found out with a shake on the head: 'He was not less than 40 years old, before he got his own website'.

Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine), 2001




"If you are both really talented and, deep down, a very core artist like Viggo, in the end you cannot swallow the bile, the bad scripts, the rest of it," says Rhys-Davies. "Eventually you just have to say, I could make this dross work, but I don't have enough time left in my life to do it. And Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip, by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




Viggo is wearing a green jacket on which he has stitched with light blue thread a vintage United Nations patch. "I just like both the words," he says to the audience, explaining this clothing choice. "United and Nations. I think they go well together. A lot better than separately."

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




'You know, they have nice beds in this hotel. It's a nice change once in a while. Just like TV. I don't watch TV at home, but when I come to the hotel, it's like, all these pillows and TV! And it's like, this is great! God, why didn't I do this before, but every time, it lasts about 15 minutes before I get bored and switch off the TV.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality, by Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 4 November 2007

Time for a few more quotes by and about Viggo, starting with one that sums up why I (and many more of us here, I think ) started liking him in the first place and another by Sean Penn that confirms that when it comes to creating a character, nothing changes...



© New Line Cinema


The fiery passion that blazes in his eyes can do what no extra-large popcorn can: sustain a grown woman through six-plus hours of viewing pleasure for the past two years. It has been a torrid, if one-sided, affair, though I suspect many others have fallen for his unwashed charms.

On Viggo as Aragorn
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003




"He was dazzlingly committed all the time. He literally brings the kitchen sink for a character," says Penn, who delighted in seeing Mortensen arrive on set each day with a "Santa Claus sack" full of various props he'd chosen. "He's an often solitary, very poetic creature, Viggo, and all of that worked [for the movie]."

Penn talking about the Indian Runner
History Teacher
by Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly, August 19, 2005




"...if one can decide to become an actor, it's not the same for art - there is no starting point, it's there, in you, that's all."

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




Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003




He's shy, but a bit of a motormouth (and can run on in at least six different languages).

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




"For a long time now, I've been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I've proved it."

I wouldn't look the Alatristes of today in the eye
By Oskar L. Belategui
translated for V-W bu Margarita
Hoy Sociedad
3 September 2006

Quotable Viggo: 20 October 2007

It's the weekend so it's time for a few more gems from our Quotes Pages. Starting with a review from Viggo's last collaboration with Cronenberg - a 'promise' of things to come - and a look at one of those might have beens.....Greystoke anyone?





© New Line Productions Inc.



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 on A Hiatory of Violence
BBC Radio Five Live
30 September 2005




"If there's something in a story that might be good for me to explore and learn about, that pricks my conscience or even scares me on some level, then that's where I try to go.

Viggo Mortensen
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right"
By Scott Thill, Morphizm.com
6 April 2004




"Right out of the gate, I was auditioning for leads in studio movies. It would get down to the last two people," says Mortensen, who recalls the whirlwind of being flown first class to England for the lead in 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. "The next thing I know, I'm training with monkeys."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns, by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




VM is not one of that kind of actor where you insert a dime and then they jabber on for half an hour. Everything he says is well-considered, well-founded. No smart pop-quotes fly from his mouth.

The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson
Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 13 October 2007

Here's this week's selection of Viggo quotes and quotes about Viggo from our Quotes Pages. Now Viggo's filming a Western there is a very appropriate one to start us off . Enjoy!



© Touchstone / Buena Vista Pictures


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




It would seem from even a cursory reading of world history that there is no new horror under the sun, that we will perhaps always have to contend with destructive impulses in ourselves and others. That does not prevent us from making an effort to change, from working to find a better way.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion




Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), in a small role, manages to steal a scene from Pacino without ever getting out of his chair.

Carlito's Way
Ken Dubois Ultimate Edition DVD Review
Reel.com
October 2005




I went to the Prado Museum, which I had visited many times, but now I saw the paintings in a different light, searching for the character, so I'd call Tano (the director) at 2 am and tell him, 'listen, I found this painting by Góngora". Viggo makes a face and changes his voice to imitate Díaz Yanes: "Okay, let me explain it to you. You're an idiot.' But nothing. I saw the characters in those paintings.'

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





Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo in the films, says that Mortensen is one of the strangest and most charismatic people he has ever encountered. "When I first met him, we sat down in this real crusty place, the Green Parrot, and I remember not being able to hold a conversation, because I was so intimidated," Wood says. "There is something beautiful and quiet about Viggo, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized how insanely brilliant and crazy he is - how he has this insane wild side." Like when Mortensen's tooth was knocked out during a scene and he asked to have it put back in with Super Glue. Or when his car hit a rabbit in the road and he decided to roast it and eat it. Or when he slept in his costume for weeks at a time?

"Yeah, he's mental," Wood says. "But in a good way."

Elijah Wood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004

Quotable Viggo: 7 October 2007

While going about 'tarting up' our Quotes Pages I was astonished all over again by how truly amazing this man is - the remarkable, challenging and humorous things he says and the extraordinary compliments he gets from friends and colleagues, interviewers and reviewers.

This is the first of a weekly week-end post with a selection from the Quotes Pages. A sort of verbal reminder why we love Viggo (as if we needed one ). So....this week's selection from our Quotes Pages:




© Empire pictures.


"After this movie wraps, I'm thinking of going into goatherding, like my mother and her mother before her."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Prison'
Prison Press Kit Biography, 1988




"I had days where I was only speaking Russian, and David was like, 'Jesus I didn't realize I was making a foreign film!'

Viggo Mortensen
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007




"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that. And I love the fact that, as far as I have been able to see, he has not given away any of his mystery. People want to figure you out so they can move on. But he's the one who moves on." His muse, Lane says, is the tramp. "He can be as debonair as he wants. For that afternoon. But then the tramp will call him again."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo, by Alex Kuczynski,
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004




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

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




Mortensen is a matinee idol with a philosopher's soul - Jean-Jacques Rousseau trapped in the body of Rudolph Valentino.

Viggo Mortenson is complicated
By Micjelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007

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Last edited: 15 February 2010 09:13:03