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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Categories: Quotable Viggo
As this is Aragorn week (like every week in our hearts, of course) I thought we'd stay in Middle-earth a wee while longer. We have become used, over the years, to reading stunning reviews of Viggo's performances. Critics get very excited when a new film with Viggo comes out. But when Fellowship of the Ring premiered, he had been mostly under-the-radar for some time. Then suddenly his performance as Aragorn burst onto the screens like a supernova and the critics saw the light. So, here is a round-up of his reviews across the whole Trilogy. Yup - Return of the King indeed.



© New Line Productions Inc.


Fellowship of the Ring

Mortensen, in the film's best performance, brings heroic stature to Aragorn, befitting a man descended from kings. Aragorn's conflict with Boromir, given haunting complexity by Bean, strikes at the essence of brotherhood and roots the film in emotion. It's emotion that makes Fellowship stick hard in the memory.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Jan. 17, 2002




-Billy Boyd and Sean Astin nearly steal the picture as the accident prone comic relief. Nearly, but not quite. That is left to Viggo Mortensen as mysterious warrior Aragorn. Brooding, intense, and handy with a blade, Mortensen is the film's greatest strength - Han Solo to Wood's Luke Skywalker.

Nev Pierce
11 December 2001
BBC. co.uk




Viggo Mortensen, I predict, will become a heart-throb after his romantic and brooding turn as heroic warrior Aragorn.

Henry Fitzherbert
The Express on Sunday
December 16, 2001




Viggo Mortensen stuns as the tormented, destiny-shucking warrior Aragorn, exuding a bravery that will make men admire him and an intensity that will make women want to hop into his leather jerkin. (Let's just hope he doesn't inspire a resurgence in Renaissance Faire fashion.)

Tor Thorsen
Reel.com 2001




The real champ of the film, even over Sir Ian... is Viggo Mortensen… Picture Han Solo without the wisecracks mixed with and Indian scout mixed with Sir Lancelot stirred together with the leadership and loyalty of a leader we all wish we had. In the dictionary under the term "Star making performance" there should be a photo of Viggo as Aragorn. The only thing keeping him from becoming the next HUGE leading man is if he decides he doesn't want to be. Women will love him and men will too. To top it off, he has a terrific (but brief) scene of incredible romance.

Nick Nunziata
CHUD
December 2001




The Two Towers

As Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen's weathered face brings his character an intensity and life that the book's extensive backgrounding never did; his threadbare regality is more eloquent than any exposition.

Russel Swensen
LA Weekly
December 20-26 2002




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn carries himself with the perfect air of strength, compassion, and quiet nobility that you expect from someone who you would be willing to follow into battle.

efilmcritic.com
Brian McKay
22 December 2002




Towers belongs to Mortensen, an actor of considerable range who makes Aragorn's moral and romantic dilemmas seems amazingly plausible and immediate.

Louise B. Hobson
Calgary Sun
December 18th, 2002




Mortensen as much mobilizes this cast of thousands externally as he does within the narrative, and plays the true-hearted hero with enough gravity to make Aragon believable without slipping into parody Prince Valiant clichés.

Todd Gilchrist
FilmStew.com
18 December 2002




It's crucial that the film, like the journeys it narrates, is straggly. I spent the duller sections thinking about how flaxen-haired Legolas looks like a Milky Bar hippy as he pings his egg-slicer-strong arrows at the barbarous monsters. I also drifted off looking at Viggo Mortensen: has a more virile, dynamic actor ever appeared on the silver screen?

Sukhdev Sandhu
The Daily Telegraph
December 18, 2002




Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn easily dons the mantle of epic hero that used to be worn by Charlton Heston, and he's a lot sexier.

Christopher Tookey
The Daily Mail
December 20, 2002




Viggo Mortensen finds an astonishing stillness and poise at the heart of Aragorn.

Suzi Feay
The Independent on Sunday
December 15, 2002



Return of the King

Aragorn has the slinky swagger and dreamy stubble that make him look like a legend created by Tolkien, Sam Shepard and Ralph Lauren. Fortunately Mr. Mortensen also has a touch of modesty as an actor, which allows him to take up space as if he belongs in the center of the frame rather than battling the other performers for it.

The New York Times
Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth
Elvis Mitchell
December 16, 2003




This is Return of the King though, and Viggo is that king… Viggo is noble, Viggo is powerful, Viggo is resplendent. He's a young Sean Connery but with a grittier style. More than anyone else, this is Aragorn's film.

Film Hobbit
Cinemablend.com
16 December 3003




The dashing Mortensen never lets his audience down…

Diana Saenger
Reeltalkreviews.com
December 2003




Subtly, Mortensen suggests that gradually Aragorn is growing into the stature of a king. The scene in which he walks into a cave filled with evil spirits, all of them transparent and angry, is dramatically and technically brilliant, a metaphor made real.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 16, 2003




As the capstone to one of the single greatest achievements of modern motion-picture history, The Return of the King is generally peerless - Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, the King of the title, is inescapably Shakespearean in the meaty thrust and parry of his role...

Marc Savlov
The Austin Chronicle
19 December 2003




...Viggo Mortensen takes his final step towards stardom'

Scott Weinberg
Efilmcritic.com
17 December 2003

© viggo-works.com. Images © New Line Productions Inc..

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Categories: Quotable Viggo
It's a long time since we had a Lord of the Rings Quotable and I was thinking what would the films have been without Viggo? A bit like the book without Aragorn, I imagine. Ignoring the fact that no one else could have embodied Aragorn the way Viggo did, can you imagine the shoot without Viggo’s extraordinary work ethic, his friendship and care for all those around him, his deep research into all things Tolkien? In the same way that Aragon did his best to look after and inspire the Fellowship, Viggo became the natural leader of the cast, his energy, thoughtfulness and sheer grit taking them all gracefully through very difficult shooting conditions.





'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




"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."

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




"Viggo's a leader, just by sheer dint of his personality. He's an example to us all."

Bernard Hill
Viggo Mortensen
by Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, 2003




'Viggo is just the coolest guy, it's hard to say too much about how cool he is. If you spend enough time with people they will do something to piss you off, or that shows them to be just a normal human being, but I think Viggo does like to push himself to be just the best person he can, and that comes across. If you believe in reincarnation, he does seem to be quite far along his line. He does seem to have learned a lot of lessons, and seems quite old and wise. But he's not a serious fuddy-duddy. He'll go surfing with us, and he likes to go out at night and have some drinks.'

Billy Boyd
Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004




Instead of the standard luxury lodging demanded by most stars on set, Viggo and co-star Orlando Bloom shared a converted bus while filming Rings. Viggo stocked the bus with a wine cellar and wallpapered the inside with candid behind-the-scenes photos. A source on the set said the bus was the site of frequent cast parties, with the motto, "Everyone is welcome, but when it's time to go, get out!"

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
Star
23 December 2003




"Watching the dedication of Viggo Mortensen is really inspiring. He is Aragorn. One time I wanted to film the sunrise and sunset for a Fellowship scene. Viggo said, "I'll just camp out," and pretty soon, we had everyone there--the makeup crew, Orlando Bloom and other cast members who weren't in the shot, like Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill. We made a big fire, camped out, filmed our early sunrise shot and went fishing. It was great!"

Barrie Osborne
Source Unknown
2003




Mortensen's humility and generosity turned his Rings co-stars into some of his biggest fans. They tell you of the time when a snowstorm shut down production. The cast was being transported to safety when Mortensen seized a four-wheel drive vehicle and drove back to the set in order to save the hobbits' four-feet-tall scale doubles from getting snowbound.

The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere
January 2003




"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




"It's funny: you look back on these things 10 years later and ask yourself, "Who had a major impact on me?" As an actor, it was Viggo. I was unpacking a load of boxes recently, recounting old memories, and I remembered how lucky I was that he was around me at that time."

Orlando Bloom
April 2011
Shortlist.com




"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."

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




"After the end of a long day's shooting, when all the other cast would be either in bed or in the bar, [partner and co-screenwriter Fran Walsh] and I would be home grappling with the script for the next week's shooting. At midnight, a nine-page handwritten memo would come rattling through the fax from Viggo, outlining his thoughts about that day's work and the next few days to come. He would suggest passages from the book we should look at. This wasn't an exception - over 15 months it became the rule. In the small hours, it was actually comforting to know there was somebody else out there grappling with the same nightmare that we were."

Peter Jackson
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




He hadn't read 'Lord of the Rings' at all when he came to the project. By the end of it all I think Viggo knew more about Tolkien and his context than anybody else on the whole production. He read absolutely everything there was - every critical book there was to lay hands on. He doesn't do things by halves!

Jude Fisher
Q&A at Book Signing
The Science Museum, London
November 8, 2003
Published with permission from Ian Smith




'In many ways I realized no matter how much I researched and drew from that, in the end my best resource and closest thing to what we were going through as characters was what we were going through as people."

Viggo Mortensen
Good Fellow
by Jamie Painter Young
Backstage West
5 January 2004




'Ultimately, you create your own luck. Fate does step in. When we ended up with Viggo, fate was dealing us a very kind hand. Viggo, in hindsight, was the one person who was perfect for this film.'

Peter Jackson
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire
December 2004




"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




"In a story like Lord of the Rings, whether the Ring and Sauron are evil is incidental to me. Even if we were not to get the Ring anywhere near Mount Doom. Even if we all died. It doesn't really matter," Mortensen says. "It's the fact that everybody got together and decided to go on this trip. That's the thing. That's the miracle."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




"I felt I had to do other things than just act,' he says. 'That's why The Lord of The Rings answered my desires. There was art, poetry and acting all in one role. Even if I live to be 100, I'll never forget the thrill and the memory."

Viggo Mortensen
I've Loved All My Leading Ladies
by Garth Pearce,
Now magazine, 2002



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© viggo-works.com. Images © New Line Productions Inc.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Viggo is now deep into editing Falling. Finally he has complete control of the finished look and performances of a film he is in after years of submitting unfinished pictures, as he described the actor's lot in 2002. So I was thinking - which films and performances does Viggo like to watch? We know that going to the cinema as a young man nudged him towards acting because he wanted to discover just how cinema magic was woven. But it's not all Dreyer, Bergman and Pasolini...





I went to see films with my mother when I was a child. Towards twenty, I lived for a year close to London, and I went to a cinema which only showed classics. I discovered Bergman, Ozu, Pasolini, Dreyer ... It was a revelation.'

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




"I started thinking about acting about a year before I actually tried it," he says. "I just started watching movies in a different way, not just as entertainment. I started to really think about the ones that got to me, the ones that transported me so that, when I walked out of the theater, I'd be surprised. I'm really not in the desert? Or the 18th century? And I started to wonder what's the trick, how does a movie do that to you, technically? I wanted to try and figure that out."

Viggo Mortensen on 'Two Faces of January,' LOTR and what his movies teach him
By Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger
21 September 2014




'I discovered [The Passion of Joan of Arc] when I was 20. I didn't know very much about movies, I wasn't even an actor: I wasn't yet measuring all of Dreyer's esthetic innovation and radicalism, but it still had a crazy effect on me. The story, the way it's told, but especially her, Falconetti: her modern way of acting, her immediacy. Whatever moment you're watching the film, she's there.'

Viggo talking about Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc
"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014




He opens a large cardboard box at his feet. There are about a dozen books... all are published by Perceval, a small press he runs with a partner. Then he pulls out a DVD of The Passion of Joan of Arc, a 1928 silent movie. He informs me that the original negative was destroyed in a fire, and that the filmmaker died believing his masterwork had been obliterated. But a complete version was found in a closet in a Norwegian mental institution in the early 1980s and was restored.

"You published this too?" I ask.

"Nah," he says. "You should just see it."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




"The real trigger for me was the film that everyone was talking about when I was twenty: The Deer Hunter, particularly Meryl Streep. What an inspiration! All the actors in that movie are amazing, no doubt; but there's something about Meryl Streep in that movie that makes me identify with her. I don't know why, something mysterious that you can't put your finger on, but which haunts you deeply, and for a long time..."

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




'Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Jessica Lange in Frances, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata, Anna Magnani... All of these roles have something indiscreet, indecent. You don't necessarily need to go through a series of tearful or hysterical scenes, it can be very sober and minimal, but this impression of seeing "inside" the person remains. This exposing of emotions touched me and inspired me very much.'

"It's women who made me want to be an actor."
By Clélia Cohen - translated by Donna Marie
Vanity Fair (France)
June 2014




"When I saw Death in Venice, by Visconti, I had a big shock. It is one of the movies that has really inspired me. I saw it again recently, it's a little dated, especially the flashbacks, but still ... That mixture of beauty and sadness ... And also the performance of Dirk Bogarde is so extraordinary! Its impact on me has been enormous."

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




It should come as no surprise to learn that Mortensen is an admirer of Greta Garbo, the "I vant to be alone" diva, and also John "The Duke" Wayne, star of Howard Hawks' Red River, a classic western and one of Mortensen's favourites.

"I just think John Wayne was wonderful, and I'm not looking at him as just this icon," said the chisel-jawed actor, a study in seriousness behind innocent blue eyes.

A New John Wayne: Viggo Mortensen Saddles Up for Hidalgo
By Peter Howell
Toronto Star
5 March 2004




"I like Missouri Breaks. And Red River, a case, as in this movie, where most of the main actors are not known as "western" actors. Montgomery Clift had basically never done a movie, much less a western, and he's an urban easterner. He comes out stepping smack in the middle of John Wayne's turf, and working for Howard Hawks, he must have been a little nervous, I'm sure. But he did a great job. I think he pushed Wayne into giving my favorite Wayne performance."

An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008




'I think I insulted [Warren Robertson] one time, unintentionally, but he knew what I meant. The teacher had talked about a certain movie, I think it was a movie with Montgomery Clift... I can't remember. But anyway, I went to see it, and I remember saying, you know, "I learned as much from that movie as probably a month of going to class..."'

Viggo talking about his time at the Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop
Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5
Winter Thaw 1995




'I'd call my mom, and she'd say, "How are you doing?" "Oh, fine." "What have you guys been doing?" "Well, Henry and I watched all three Godfather films. He didn't care for the third one, but he liked the first two." And she'd say, "Isn't he a little young for that?" "No, he can handle it.'

Viggo Mortensen: Grilled
By Steve Pond
The Wrap
25 November 2009




"I am an old romantic, and I love costume movies. Elizabeth is my favourite."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy)
May 2007




Are there special actors or movies that influenced you as a lad/young man?

(to do interview via email is a classic horror scenario because of the often very short answers, for example to a question like this. But Viggo Mortensen begins his answer with "Among others" and then mentions 88 movies and 63 actors. Very kindly he points out that nothing must be edited away. All mentioned, nobody forgot. )

Euroman Interview
11 August 2015




He tries... never to watch the same film twice. "You can spend your whole life looking at movies made outside the United States [alone] and never see them all," he marvels. There is at least one exception to this rule, however: Adam Sandler's 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore, which he will watch any day, any time. The very mention of it makes him launch into his own Sandler imitation, which isn't half bad. "It's just one of those charmed movies," he says.

History Teacher
By Missy Schwartz
Entertainment Weekly
19 August 2005



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.

We Have Our First Book Winner!


Categories: Viggo-Works



Our heartiest congratulations to Fuyuko Fujino on winning a copy of SKOVBO, signed by Viggo! Our thanks to everyone who has contributed to our server fundraiser so far. You (and anyone else who still contributes) are still in the running to win signed copies of SKOVBO and RAMAS PARA UN NIDO in September. Stay tuned!!



Again … congratulations to Fuyuko!

© viggo-works.com.

Your July Reminders


Categories: Calendar: Viggo


Click on image to enlarge.[/b]



© viggo-works.com. Images © Getty.


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Last edited: 21 July 2019 23:10:29