Viggo as Frank Hopkins

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Viggo as Frank Hopkins

I saw this picture with Diane Lane called A Walk on the Moon. And there was something about his performance in that film that told me that this guy could be Frank Hopkins. I hadn't seen the first Lord of the Rings before we cast him, but I figured anybody that could sell blouses to Diane Lane out of a truck could do anything.

Joe Johnston
Staci Layne Wilson
American Western Magazine
March 2004




'He went home in his wardrobe, you know, he camped in the desert with the horses and the wranglers, and I was amazed when I did see the Lord of the Rings films that not only did it seem like... I mean, it was obviously a different character, but it seemed like a different person playing the different characters. He made a complete transformation. Now I know I him as Viggo Mortensen playing Frank T. Hopkins. When he takes on his next role, whatever that is, he'll probably become unrecognizable to me. He'll make another transformation. But yeah, he really got into it. He's also completely devoted to the project. He was always there. We worked him a lot more than we should have. He never complained, and he was there dawn to dusk and beyond. He's largely responsible for making that whole aspect of this really work. He's really amazing."

Joe Johnston
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004




'It was one of those things that, once it's done, no matter how much you try, you can't recast it in your mind. He really became the character. People say that all the time, but with Viggo, it's really true. And all that stuff they say about him - "No-Ego Viggo,' "he's not a star, he's an actor,' - that is so true. He's such a class act.'

John Fusco
Viggo, Ego and Hidalgo, By Brett Buckalew, FilmStew.com, 2004




I worked with him 12 years ago on horses, we rode together down by the Mexico border in Arizona while working on Young Guns 2. He played a small role [in which] he rides along with Billy Peterson, who played Pat Garret. He plays John W. Poe, a historical bounty hunter who pursued Billy the Kid. We had all these young actors playing historical figures and I had all this research available. But it was Viggo who had this tiny little role, who just kept coming to me and saying [things like], 'You know, I was doing some research and copper was really big at that time and they were making copper rifle scopes. I think that Poe would've made his own scope, you know, as a bounty hunter to personalize his tool of the trade.' Then he would come back and say, 'What was Poe's relationship with John Chisum? Did he have any cattle interests...?' So when I heard that he was interested in the role [of Hopkins] I anticipated that kind of commitment to research and sure enough, days after he was cast he called me and said, 'Who do you know on Pine Ridge reservation and can I go there?' Within a week he was out with these Lakota horsemen and riding with them, and on a long ride to Wounded Knee."

John Fusco
IGN gets the behind-the-action goods from the director, writer and star of Hidalgo.
By Jeff Otto, IGN
March 04, 2004




Mortensen was clearly chosen for the role in Hidalgo for more than just his acting skills. He is genuinely concerned with things being done correctly, respectfully, and honestly---and it shows. People know when they are being told the truth; it resonates a feeling that cannot be faked. It is a tribute to the creators of Hidalgo that they chose Viggo Mortensen.

Native Voice Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King,
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
December 2003




There's a great deal to like about "Hidalgo," Disney's horse adventure film set in 1890. Besides an exciting story beautifully shot, there's the charming Viggo Mortensen, the inimitable Omar Sharif and Hidalgo himself, one of the most engaging animal characters outside a Disney cartoon.

And did I mention Viggo Mortensen?

Finding the History in "Hidalgo's" tall tale
by Cathy Schultz, Ph.D.


Last edited: 16 February 2010 11:12:41