Cast and crew comments

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Cast and crew comments

Mortensen's facility with the sword became immediately apparent. "The people who were teaching him said that he was insanely talented," says Miranda Otto, who plays the Lady Eowyn, who falls for Aragorn. "There's one scene [at the end of] the first film where a knife is thrown at Aragorn, who clocks it with his sword. One of the stunt guys who was meant to be his double said, 'I've been practicing that and I've never been able to [hit the knife] once, and Viggo hits it on the first take. I hate him."

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"From the moment that I saw him onscreen," says Otto, "I thought, 'Shit, he looks incredible. Here's a character I don't have to pretend to be in love with.'"

Miranda Otto
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




Viggo is the perfect actor to play a man who is struggling to redeem himself from his ancestry and his heritage. He's incredibly dedicated. He's the kind of actor who one day had his tooth knocked out by a sword and actually asked if they could superglue it back on so he could finish the scene. He became Aragorn, and he brings a real power to the role.

Barrie Osborne
Cannes Booklet (Official Site)




Viggo has a non-Hollywood heroic aspect to him, much like Russell Crowe. There are Hollywood heroes and there are non-Hollywood heroes, and the latter are a lot more interesting to me. They aren't as classically good-looking but can play troubled, flawed heroes. Aragorn thinks as much as he fights. Viggo has that dark, mysterious, quiet-man quality. He's also very intelligent and private. A lot of people have said these movies are going to make Viggo a big star. I nod and smile, knowing that being a big star is the last thing in the world that Viggo wants. He's completely unimpressed and disinterested in that world. I think he'd prefer to stay home and paint, write his poetry, and enjoy himself rather than play the Hollywood game. That's an aspect of him that I respect a lot.

Peter Jackson
Movieline Magazine




"People are motivated by different things," Mr. Jackson said in a telephone interview. "But Viggo literally seems motivated by personal interest in what he's doing, the character that he's playing and the integrity of the finished result."

"One of the things that appeals to Viggo about Aragorn is that he's not just an action hero," Mr. Jackson continued. "In his own way, Aragorn is just as thoughtful as Viggo. There's a reluctance on his part to become the king he was meant to be. In a sense, that mirrors Viggo's reluctance to become a movie star."

Peter Jackson
The Man Who Would Just As Soon Not Be King
By Sarah Lyall
New York Times, 2003




"For me, Viggo is one of the heroes of the film and a personal hero, in that he's a great friend and someone I admire in his approach to making the film."

Barrie Osborne (Producer)
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




'Viggo came late to the project, but he brought a dedication and an understanding of the role that became an example, particularly to the younger cast members. You have to remember that this was Orlando Bloom's first movie. Not only was Viggo valuable in his performance, but he was valuable as a leader of the cast.'

Barrie Osborne
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan
Empire
December 2004




'Viggo was working on this battle sequence,' recalls Elijah Wood of the film's ostensible action hero. 'He got hit in the mouth and broke his front tooth. It was literally gone, and he found it on the floor. He was like, 'Get me some superglue, we've got to keep going.' That clearly describes Viggo. Everyone was like, 'No, no, we have to get you to a dentist.' And he was actually angry that they stopped filming to take him to a dentist.'

Ringleader - Viggo Mortensen
By Ian Nathan
Empire
January 2002




"Viggo came with a level of intensity and commitment," says Sean Astin, who portrays hobbit Samwise Gamgee. "He got this reputation as an eccentric because he would carry his sword around, but I found it quite inspiring. There was a glimmer in his eye - he was aware of how other people were perceiving him - but he really reawakened in me a sense of the possibilities of what it can be as an actor enjoying a role."

Sean Astin
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




"We got on very well together, and spent a lot of time together as friends. But as an actor you can't wish to work with anyone more truthful and more honest than him. He brings an incredible pathos to the role, and I was so pleased to be doing scenes with him."

Sean Bean
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001




'It was great doing [the death scene] with Viggo because he is such a generous, truthful actor and I'm glad he was there with me at the end, as it were, and he brought a sort of peacefulness to it and a spirituality to it, which I think he naturally has as a person. So that was a great help to me.'

Sean Bean (Boromir)
Toronto Sun, Dec. 17, 2002




"At the end of shooting one day, we went out and had a drink and Viggo was just so encouraging of everybody he'd worked with, including the extras. He always had a kind word to say to everyone. And I don't know anyone who has a bad word to say about him. He bought flowers for all the extras on one incredibly rainy day. He was just really generous with his time but he never talked himself up. He's quite shy about talking about his own achievements. They were really lucky they got him for this. He kind of makes the film for me."

Jed Brophy
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




Elijah Wood......describes how, in New Zealand, Viggo "became Aragorn before our eyes" and captivated them all with his approach and manner. "It's interesting, because Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Wood praises Viggo for quite some time, in these and other ways. Then he interrupts himself, concerned that he is not doing justice to the full complexities of his colleague's character. "We're talking about how much integrity he has and how brilliant he is," says Wood. "He's also completely insane."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




Says Bernard Hill, better known as King Theoden, "I read an article that said, 'Finally, someone's found the niche for Viggo Mortensen: the rugged hero who has a deep intellect and a great humanity. That's what Aragorn is, because Viggo has brought that to it. He's very like that as a human being."

It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003




Viggo and Bernard are at heart similar despite their differences of style and looks and nationality etc. Professionally they are both mavericks. Their prime aim is to work well on worthwhile projects. They do not suffer fools, even though they are themselves brilliant fools, clowns. Bernard in particular makes me laugh from the diaphragm, with his stories and his grin. Viggo wears his beauty so carelessly and deflects flattery with a wry head-on-the-side smile of modesty. These two acting kings are both terrific once more in The Return of the King.

Ian McKellen
"The White book", Mckellen.com
July 15, 2003




"He is so brilliant he makes me sick."

Elijah Wood
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004




[The Battle of Helm's Deep] takes place mostly at night, and it was so complex that we filmed for about four months of nights," Jackson continues, "Viggo [Mortensen, who plays Aragorn] was fantastic. He just threw himself into it tirelessly. Every night he'd come along and just fight some more.

Michael Helms
"Awesome Towers"
Fangora Magazine #217
October, 2002




"He had no knuckles," laughs make-up man Perez. "He'd been virtually slaughtered by everyone because he would not let anyone do his rehearsals. All his knuckles were completely bruised and cut and God knows what else. Every time that he had a scene, I said, 'Okay, now where did they hit you?'"

Jose Perez
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"Viggo is one of the most seriously committed actors I have ever met. He's got so much passion that it is almost extreme. It can be a little daunting at times."

Sean Astin
Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine, 2004




"He is the most committed, most devoted, the most...He transforms his entire life into the character," says Sean Astin. "I've never seen an actor go there the way this guy does."

Sean Astin
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premier 2003




'Viggo just became so synonymous with Aragorn that it was hard to see him as Viggo again and not Aragorn. I have never witnessed an actor enter the spirit of a role as he did.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire, December 2004
Last edited: 17 February 2010 04:54:50