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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I’m lucky that I have a nice bit of woodland near me. It’s small but somehow feels immense when I walk in it. Trees have that effect on you, and I spend a lot of time there – especially lately - just enjoying the light and the leaves, the rustle of small creatures in the undergrowth and the sound of birds. Viggo is also a man at home in the forest (or occasionally lost in it…) being a woodsman through and through. As he says below, when things are tough “it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better.”





‘I believe that I'm a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea, a somewhat solitary guy …’

Viggo Mortensen in Algiers
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 October 2013




He smells of woodsmoke, as though he’s just returned from some manly pursuit like chopping logs in a forest. Again, highly possible. He does have a home in the remote mountains of Idaho, surrounded by woods. In fact the scent is wafting from his cup of tea.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013




“We rented a hotel room for him, but he never stayed there. We just knew he was in the forest somewhere. That kind of commitment really shows in his work.”

Captain Fantastic Producer Lynette Howell Taylor
Viggo Mortensen
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016




“I am a happy man when I am not tied down,” he says, taking a sip of maté. “I don’t have a hidden self, I am not prone to depression. If I feel unwell, it is enough to walk in the forest to immediately feel better.”

Viggo Mortensen, Beautiful Savage
Richard Gianorio
Le Figaro
26 September 2008




Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life, as he explains with a deep, quiet voice, between long pauses and a cigarette rolled by himself.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
norama First
July 2008




Wandering around the gallery in bare feet sporting a Lord of the Rings shirt, Mortensen describes how one series of photographs on show were a bit of a fluke. Lost 1,2,3 and 4, he jokingly calls them, were taken when he was geographically challenged in the bush on the West Coast one night. The photographs were snapped so that the flash might give him light to get his bearings.

"I eventually had to lie down under a tree for a while till the moon came over me and I could figure out where I was."

Viggo Mortensen at the Massey exhibition, NZ.
Viggo Says Thanks in Pictures
by Bess Mason
Dominion Post, 2003




‘I also like trees in their own right, to be honest, and photographing them is a way of paying them respect and remembering them.’

Skovbo Exhibition Brochure
May/June 2008




“The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past. I felt that already as a child, back then when I played with swords there outside my uncle's farm, played and felt like a Viking.”

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende
28 November 2001




... I went fishing for the afternoon in the lovely mountains bordering the state of Colorado, in a wonderful river, surrounded by a landscape out of a John Ford movie... I caught a couple of brown trout and a brook trout. Since I wasn´t hungry and had nowhere to keep them until dinner, I let them go. I almost always release what I catch. Tomorrow I will be tired for the shoot, because tonight I will have to drive several hours to reach the next hotel, but I´m happy. The forest, the rivers, being alone in those places, it´s like food to me.

The Past Is In Everything
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
19 August 2014




“He has a cabin that looks like it’s out of Lord Of The Rings”, says Currie. “It literally has a tree growing up in the middle of the living room. We had a lot of pizza and watched a lot of Argentinian soccer, drank a few rum and Cokes, and saw a pile of grizzly bears.”

The unlikely trio who brought Oscar contender 'Green Book' to life
Charles Gant
Screen Daily
18 January 2019




“Every tree is something special, just like people are. All different, but... I look at them as I look at people. I get along well with most trees. I don't get into arguments with them, and if I do it's probably my own fault. If I don't watch where I'm going when I'm in the forest, it comes back and smacks me in the nose, and I only have myself to blame.”

RUV Interview
Skovbo Exhibition, Iceland
Translated by Mums
30 May 2008




Even Mortensen's memories of early childhood are deeply spiritual. He tells me about the time he crawled into the woods and fell asleep. "I was sleeping under a tree, and it was very peaceful," he says. "And then a dog started barking, and that's how my parents found me."

You are always escaping, I say.

Yeah, he says. He calls his mother - on my cell phone, because he doesn't have one - to double-check his recollection. "Hi, it's Viggo. Sorry to be calling so late," he says. "Oh shit. You're in the middle of it? That's funny. Is it the tape? [She was watching a tape of The Two Towers.] O.K., sorry, it's just a quick question and then I'll let you get back to what you're doing. Remember there were a couple of times I ran away? And the time the dog came and found me in the woods? How old was I then? About one and a half. O.K. But, anyway, the dog came and found me and I was sitting under a tree? Happy? Sleeping, right?"

Big look of consternation.

"I was sitting in the middle of the woods crying? I thought I was sleeping. Are you sure?"

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




"I can only speak for myself, but I would go crazy if I couldn't get out of the city and go out into the forest for a little while."

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
by Tom Ward
GQ
16 May 2014



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Karen McDonald.