Viggo on 'Hidalgo'

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Viggo on 'Hidalgo'

'Big fat-head poster notwithstanding, this is a pretty good movie,' he says with a sheepish grin of embarrassment, turning back around quickly so that he doesn't have to look at the poster for one more agonizing second.

Clearly, Mortensen is not your typical ego-driven Hollywood actor.

On promoting 'Hidalgo'
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004




"It's rather unusual for a Hollywood movie to address the Indian question, and in particular the Sioux culture, with this much respect. That made me realise this would be a rather unique film. And I have tried to 'capture' this 'ghost dance' as a nebulous memory, an ephemeral dream. It came to me like that, I took my camera and I only shot one roll of film."

Viggo Mortensen
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine, 2003




'... you get the feeling that Buffalo Bill probably was a really good shot and a good horseman, but he was perverting certain aspects of history of the West.

It's the creation of an icon. What we're witnessing in 'Hidalgo' is the creation of the future icon. This film will help shape what people will think about the Old West, the Ghost Dance and Massacre at Wounded Knee, etc., into the future. You've got to be careful. Ten years from now this movie will say more about how we looked at things than it will about the historical things that are touched on in the story of Frank T. Hopkins and Hidalgo.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice, January 2004




"I found out a while back that I'm related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother's mother's side of the family," he says. "It's true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection." Mortensen finds J.K. Simmons' performance as Buffalo Bill "terrific" - and it gave him an interesting opportunity to play in scenes with a distant relative.

Viggo Mortensen: The Straight-Shooting Star of the New Western
By Joe Leydon
Cowboys & Indians
April 2004




'This is really very subversive coming out of Hollywood,' says Mortensen, pointing out how rare it is to see an active effort made to fairly portray Arab culture in mainstream films. 'We made a movie that's entertaining, it moves along, it's beautiful, it looks right, it's well cast - yet it contains so many more things in it, and it's done in a subtle way.'

Viggo Mortensen
Hidalgo: A Filmmaking Journey to the Middle East
By Zaki Hasan
Q-NEWS Magazine (www.q-news.com) April 2004




'I wasn't going to make an Islamophobic movie,' says Mortensen. 'If you know me, you know I'm not someone who has anything against Arabs or anyone else.'
Viggo Mortensen
Hidalgo: A Filmmaking Journey to the Middle East
By Zaki Hasan
Q-NEWS Magazine (www.q-news.com) April 2004




It is clear that for Viggo Mortensen, his experience in the Middle East while filming Hidalgo holds a special place in his heart. 'There's so much violence happening in the world right now, it's harder for people to reach out and understand...I personally think common ground exists between all of us all the time. It's there.' The actor pauses, 'You're not obligated to find out what you have in common with others, but it's worth it!'

Viggo Mortensen
Hidalgo: A Filmmaking Journey to the Middle East
By Zaki Hasan
Q-NEWS Magazine (www.q-news.com), April 2004




'The story does show in a lot of subtle ways, in the framework of an old-fashioned drama, different relationships. The cowboy 'ethic' has as much in common ideally with the Medieval Knight or Lakota warrior or Samurai warrior in that you can be an individual, be independent minded and allow other people to have their individual experience too! It can be that way.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Interview with Viggo
by Lise Balk King and Frank J King
Native Voice, January 2004




Mortensen finds himself irresistibly drawn to the power of myth. "It's the same sort of story that has been told as long as there have been people, and that will be told as long as there are people: a challenge is presented to an individual, big or small, who is obligated in most cases to accept it. You have to take that step to say 'Yes,' and once you do, you're in for a pretty hard time of it in a lot of ways ... in big and small ways. It can be a test of your honor or your ability to keep your composure in difficult situations."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Hidalgo
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004




"I like the big stories, the big landscapes, the big sweep. But I also find that in little stories. I'm interested in tests and ordeals. That can happen in the Sahara Desert... but it can also happen in a room, in a kitchen sink drama. It happens in people's lives."

Viggo Mortensen
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstrete
ChristianityToday, 2004

Last edited: 21 February 2010 14:31:10