Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

As this is still Sword Week (Sword Fortnight?) I thought we’d stay with the swash and buckle and go into battle with Aragorn. Helm’s Deep, Pelennor Fields, The Black Gate – shooting was often grim but Viggo gave it his all, doing everything the stunt guys did and losing a tooth along the way. When The Two Towers hit the movie screens I don’t think I breathed during the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Audiences had never seen anything like it. The stunt work was incredible and Viggo’s convincing performance was the magic that made it all so real. And who could ever forget him, single-handed, turning a rearing horse at the Black Gate while holding up a five foot sword?





'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




Is it physically and emotionally draining doing such grand and elaborate battle sequences?

You kind of get withered, but you're doing it with a team so everyone's going for it. If everyone was sitting on their ass in the background, that would be one thing. But the way this movie was made, every button, every bit of embroidery, sword, knife, shoe, horse, and every bit of choreography appear 100 per cent. I've never seen that and I'm not sure I ever will again, to that degree. If you do get really tired, somebody will come lend you a hand. It was definitely a team job.

The One King
By Bryan Cairns
Film Review Yearbook (Special #49)
2004




“…when we did the charge of the Elves at Helm's Deep… it reminded me a lot of Kurosawa. In fact, I wanted to use Elvish commands. Using that language, and some of those fighting styles, made it feel a little like a Samurai movie. It was a hodgepodge of different fighting styles, and total mayhem.”

Hail To The King
By Lawrence French
Starburst #305
December 2003




[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 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




“I wanted to do as many stunts as possible myself. Luckily, over time, I became very friendly with the stuntmen. By knowing each other well, we could go faster and faster without hurting ourselves.”

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



“…the amazing stunt team played the enemy at all times. The battle scenes are very elaborate, people going berserk night and day. Even in the background, thousands of people going completely nuts.”

Viggo Mortensen
By Simon Braund
Australian Empire magazine
January 2002




"We shot for three and half months straight of night shoots in the cold, wet weather. And that was pretty tough for everybody concerned. But it kind of drew everyone together at the same time. It created kind of a special bond with people who went through that together."

Viggo talking about The Two Towers
Ready for Round 2
By David P DeMar, Jr
Watertown Daily Times
15 December 2002




Were those battle sequences [for The Return Of The King] harder to shoot?

Yes, because I had to wear armour and chain skirts and the horse made it harder, too. The sword is heavy when you're riding a horse holding it. But it shouldn't be like Errol Flynn, it should be hard and look hard.

Viggo Mortensen
Total Film magazine
January 2004




In Return of the King, the sword Mortensen uses is different from what we've seen before. "It's a different kind of sword, since some of the fighting is different," explains Mortensen of the switch in weapons. "It's heavier. It's bigger, so it's a little harder to handle. It's mostly a two-handed sword and fighting one-handed is a little different than fighting with the other one, which is lighter, and moves through the air a little bit faster. But the advantage when you're going for broke with that slightly more massive sword is that once you get going with it, it does a lot of damage."

King Of The Ring
By Melissa J Perenson
Sci Fi magazine
February 2004




“As big a battle as the Black Gate is, or coming in with those reinforcements at the Pelennor Fields, is the conclusion of his psychological battle, when he confronts the dead. That is, in a way, his biggest struggle.”

Viggo Mortensen
By Jeffrey Overstreet, Steven D Greydanus, Bob Smithouser & Jeremy Landes
Looking Closer
5 December 2003




'I don't think Aragorn is naturally prone to fighting in the same sense that maybe Boromir was in the first story or Eomer is in this. He isn't, by nature, warlike.

The Elvish name his mother gives him at birth is Estel, which means hope. I think he basically has a sunny disposition, but it has been dampened over the years by what he has seen in the world. He is a skilled fighter who has taken on the fighting styles of the different places he has lived and fought in, but it's by virtue of necessity that he does it.'

Aragorn Explains the Whole Good-Evil Thing
By A. J.
E! Features
15 December 2002




On the very last day of shooting Aragorn fighting the orcs, Peter quietly gave Viggo an Uzi, loaded with blanks, for the last take.

Dan Hennah
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere
November 2004



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © New Line Productions, Inc.