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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

A while back we looked at Viggo’s strong connections with Spain. This week I thought we’d take a look at his Danish heritage and the deep affection he has for Denmark. In their 2008 interview with him, Men’s Vogue titled him the’ Great Dane’ (something that still makes me giggle). In the past, Viggo has described Denmark as a ‘fixed-point’ for him, his inner ‘home. With strong family ties there I’m sure, as he says below, that his heart will always ‘beat heavily for Denmark’.





He has a Danish passport and is a Danish citizen… Viggo Mortensen lives most of the time in Madrid, but he has often Denmark or Argentina in mind.

"I think of the family. The landscape. Just as I think of Argentina. If, for example, in December, and I am in Madrid, I will call my aunt Tulle and ask if there is snow in Denmark. So she says maybe it is raining, as it often is, and then I can see it for myself. The forests, I see very clearly. "

Viggo Danish Interview
Translation by Colette Hera
Berlingske Media
11 May 2015




“There is no doubt that my heart beats heavily for Denmark and, during my current visit to Denmark, the first thing I did was visit my aunt Tulle in Ringsted to have 'Biksemad'," says Viggo Mortensen.

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007




What do you think of when you think of Denmark?

'I think about a beautiful landscape, I think of a country where I can be myself and meet my family, where my cousin's think of me as Viggo from Ringsted and tease me as they tease everybody else - and teasing is obviously a Danish way to express friendship. In that way Denmark means incredible much to me.'

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)
August 2001




'In Denmark, I discovered the sense of family and a certain work ethic. I am very close to my uncles, aunts, cousins and I am emotionally very open with them. I am a strange mixture of very methodical North and more chaotic South.'

Viggo Mortensen - The Anti-star
translated by Kaijamin
Paris Match
2 October 2008




"...I met someone last night who showed me a picture of a baby, and they had named the kid Viggo. You know, Viggo is a pretty dorky name in Denmark. It's like Oswald or something. It's a very old Scandinavian name, at least 1,000 years old."

Q&A Viggo Mortensen
By Sora Song
People
10 October 2005




‘...the Danish that I spoke with my daughter in [Jauja], being quite a simple man, a man from the countryside of Denmark, I chose to speak it like my Danish grandfather who was a guy from the country, intelligent, but who had quite a simple and formal way of speaking, in a very correct way.’

Viggo Mortensen
We speak in Cannes with Viggo Mortensen about Jauja, his second Argentinian experience
By I. J. - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Noticine.com
21 May 2014




"I very strongly feel that I share a common past with my family in Denmark. And feel connected to the Scandinavian mythology, when I walk in the forest at Jystrup, where there are many tales told of what has happened. 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
Berlingske Tidende
28 November 2001




Could you ever consider settling down here in Denmark to live?

"Yes, I might but it would be on Samsø. There you are still allowed to walk around in peace, especially in winter. If they don't build that dreadful bridge to Samsø, that they might build. I am very much opposed to that bridge," says Viggo Mortensen.

"[Denmark] is a country where I feel at home. I have lots of family here and I feel safe here in Mid-Zealand.”

Viggo Wants To Live On Samsø
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Estel
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008




“…slowly his trailer starts to get all this character. It was the World Cup at the time, so he’s a massive football fan, so all these flags started going in his trailer. He had a picture of the Queen of Denmark up.”

Michael Fassbender on meeting Viggo
Michael Fassbender Explores A Dangerous Method with Movie Fanatic
by Joel D Amos
Moviefanatic.com
25 November 2011




A Danish journalist once asked me what I would do if Denmark and Argentina were facing each other in a World Cup. I said I would make a shirt, half and half, from the two teams' colors. The following year a gentleman gave me one like that. I'll use it someday, and amuse myself by rooting for both teams. Although I wish the U.S. National Team luck when they play, I would never be able to support them against Argentina or Denmark. Absurd things from my upbringing and the personal ties that I have with these countries, although I was born in New York.

Sobrevuelos
People And Field
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zoe
Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro
30 July 2011




The poetry works because Mortensen is Scandinavian (Danish father, American mother), says Manhire, "and there is this Scandinavian myth about how poetry is a mixture of blood and honey - his poetry has that mixture."

Bill Manhire, Victoria University, NZ
"I'm a poet" - Rings star Mortensen
by Josie McNaught
Sunday Star-Times
2003




You have been described as the Robert De Niro of your generation, what are your views on that? And how much are you looking forward to becoming a Lego figure?

I already am a Lego figure! Very proud to be a part of Danish industry in that way. I'm not sure that Robert De Niro is a Lego figure yet, so he's got some catching up to do.

Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012




'I have travelled a lot my entire life. As a child I lived in five-six different countries - from Denmark to USA, from Argentine to Egypt - and as a grown up I have travelled half around the globe myself. The movie business is a very vagrant business. The last two years I've spent in NewZealand filming 'Lord of the Rings' and sometimes I'm in five cities in a week. Someplace, in the back of your mind, you need to have a fix point, a place you call home, and Denmark is that to me'.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Hoi
M/S
2001



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Jens Oster-Mortensen/SN.dk.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe

Viggo’s interaction with journalists is always fascinating. Years of magazine and newspaper articles have given us a motley picture of interviews taking place in greasy spoon cafés and coffee shops, spilling over into hotel lobbies, car parks... traffic light stops... phone calls... In fact journalists discover that an interview with Viggo is hardly ever over when they think it is. Along the way there are gifts and a glimpse that the artist in him is clearly never switched off.



Viggo Mortensen is, besides a great actor, an inexhaustible conversationalist, so full of curiosity that he doesn’t hesitate to occasionally take the role of the interviewer.

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009




The voice on the phone is husky, familiar, and just a little menacing. “I was told to call this number,” the speaker says. I give a little shudder before realising it’s Viggo Mortensen, calling as planned to talk about his new film, The Two Faces of January. Phew.

The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 1014




In conversation, Mortensen doesn’t indulge in niceties. Doesn’t do small talk. But get him going on football, or his about-to-be published Spanish-language poetry collection, or indeed Green Book, and you can easily lose 10 minutes to his enthusiastic observations and tangential musings. Attempts to redirect his thoughts are about as effective as trying to stem the flow of a raging river using an ironing board.

These verbal deluges don’t derive from a feeling of self-importance, or of high-mindedness, but of generosity. He is trying to answer my questions as fully and considerately as he can – to a fault.

Viggo Mortensen: intellectual nourishment in a world of artery-clogging culture
By Dan Masoliver
Shortlist.com
20 December 2018




Viggo Mortensen is pressing me to eat a croissant from a large basket sitting on a table in front of him. It is certainly the right hour for them – most actors would draw the line at 8.30am interviews – but whoever imagined that arthouse cinema's most visibly rugged outdoors man would start his day with effete French pastries? This is the man whose chosen set souvenir from Lord of the Rings was his horse! He looks relieved when I take one; nobody need now be embarrassed.

Viggo Mortensen gets dirty to play a 'wolf dad' in Captain Fantastic
By Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
2 September 2016




He might have trouble receiving praise, or dishing it out to himself. He's proud of having worked on Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake of Psycho, but when I tell him I adored the film, he seems unsure.

"You did?" he says suspiciously.

It becomes clear precisely how much Mortensen values his work when I leave - or rather, after I have left. I'm crossing the hotel lobby when he appears out of nowhere, still barefoot, still nursing his pot of maté on its tiny saucer.

"I was looking for you," he says intently, drawing me to one side. What has caused him to race down from his suite, probably giving several PR assistants heart attacks in the process, is the urge to impress upon me that one director has inspired him more than any other he has worked with - Philip Ridley, the British film-maker who cast Mortensen in his Lynchian adult fairy-tales, The Reflecting Skin (1990) and The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995).

"That man will never sell out," he enthuses, "because his vision is unique."

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
14 December 2001
The Independent




Out in the parking lot, he stops at his truck - a black pickup he's borrowed from one of his brothers - to retrieve a final present: a red rubber bracelet memorialising fallen firefighters. He hands it to me, then says goodbye.

I'm right behind him, waiting to pull into traffic, when he jumps out and motions for me to roll down my window. There's something interesting on the radio, he says, urging me to turn it on. I can hear it coming from his speakers. It's AM talk, and it's playing loud.

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006




It was a relaxed, almost flower-powered, Viggo Mortensen, complete with bare feet and decorated wrist bands, that strolled into his top-floor apartment at a high up Melbourne hotel.

Put it down to his personality - though softly-spoken, it's immediately obvious, since he makes a point to check your tape recorder is recording properly before speaking, that he's one heck of a nice guy...

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Clint Morris
Moviehole
8 March 2006




When I called him in July to interview him for The Progressive, he had returned from four months' shooting the forthcoming Spanish historical epic, Alatriste. He sounded exhausted, as though he could barely hold the phone, but when we started talking about the war in Iraq, the Bush Administration, and the role of actors and artists in mainstream political discourse, he didn't feel like sleeping. Eventually, I had to tell him I was tired.

Two days later, he called back. He wanted to clarify a few things he'd said and to answer more questions. And he tried me a few times after that. We spoke one final time in the wake of Katrina. I might have flattered myself to think one of the best-looking Hollywood leading men liked the sound of my voice. But that clearly wasn't the case, since he did most of the talking.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005




...we met at Callahan's - a small greasy spoon perfectly suited to the artist's genuine unpretentiousness - on a sunny day in Santa Monica....During our conversation, oblivious to the flustered waitress tripping over herself, Mortensen makes obvious his obsession with the ordinary as he breaks to explain, for example, why the green countertop reflecting fluorescent light onto the cherry-red Coke machine in the background would make the perfect picture. "I'd take it right now if I had my camera," he lamented.

Things Are Weird Enough
By Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19
1999




It somehow seems ironic that Viggo Mortensen, virtuoso bad boy, wants to meet at the Snow White Coffee Shop, and now sits beneath a looming portrait of Prince Charming.

The Virtuoso Bad Boy Takes a Gentlemanly Turn in The Portrait of a Lady
By Jodie Burke
UK Premiere Magazine
1997




We meet at a coffee house in Santa Monica, where he's already upstairs with a glass of iced coffee and a notebook. Beside him rests a box, overflowing with sheets of rumpled paper and picture frames, much like one would find in an attic, or on the neglected shelves of Christmas decorations (his manager had asked me if he could make a contribution to the magazine, to which I gave an unqualified 'yes').

'I don't know what you're looking for,' he says, 'but I brought a few things to show you.'

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995




The first thing Viggo Mortensen does after shaking my hand is to press a CD into it. Time Waits for Everyone, it's called; 18 tracks of Mortensen's moody compositions for solo piano.

In addition to acting in back-to-back films by David Cronenberg, Mortensen is a published poet, a painter and photographer with exhibitions next year in Iceland and Denmark, the founder of a small publishing house, Perceval Press, and (after listening to the disc, I find) a decent musician.

When I ask how he keeps all these interests going along with his acting career, he answers: "Sometimes it's tricky; I just barely meet deadlines."

No wonder the press loves this guy.

Multi-talented Mortensen Prepares For Worst, Hopes For Best
By Chris Knight
9 September 2007
CanWest News Service




In the diner, he asks for the time. (He doesn't wear a watch he says. Ninety minutes later, we pull up to the departure gates at the airport. I begin to say goodbye. But no, Mortensen is coming in with me. Way earlier in the day, in our first ten minutes together, I mentioned that I forgot my driver's license and that some drama ensued at LaGuardia Airport. He's coming in with me to make sure I get on my flight.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016




You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Benoit Sauvage.

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Your January Reminders!


Categories: Calendar: Viggo


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© viggo-works.com. Images © Getty.

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Merry Christmas from Viggo-Works


Categories: Viggo-Works


From all of us at Viggo-Works:


© viggo-works.com.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

Merry Christmas Viggodom - time for our Festive Quotable (where did the year go?). I'm sure many of us have been traipsing around the shops trying to find lovely Christmas presents for our nearest and dearest. Viggo, a year-round one-man Father Christmas, doesn't need any excuse. He is an incurable gift-giver.




Viggo Mortensen has come bearing pancake mix. We are curbside at the tiny airport in Syracuse, New York, on a truly dreary day (even by Syracuse standards), and within seconds of hopping into his rented Ford Fusion, I learn two things about him: He's the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport, and he's the kind of guy who brings presents. Pancake mix is a delicacy in upstate New York. "Do you like maple syrup?" Because he brought me some of that, too. He's prepared a gift bag.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016




"There's rarely a day he doesn't show up bearing gifts of some sort from his different weekend jaunts," says his Appaloosa costar Renée Zellweger, "where he'll go find some really obscure village behind Taos somewhere and visit an artists' colony and bring back some wares to share. And there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon–covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008




"A favorite moment was seeing Green Book star Viggo Mortensen pulling out a copy of a vintage Don Shirley LP that he had found. "This record is for Mahershala. You can't get it anywhere. It is so rare," he enthused about his gift for Ali, who plays the concert pianist in the film. Well, we know at least one Governors Awards guest got a really cool parting gift last night."

Lovely Moment from The Governor's Awards
Pete Hammond
Deadline
20 November 2018




"Viggo is such an amazing guy. He's the gentlest, kindest person you'll ever meet. All the 'family' members got along but I think the strongest bonds that were made were between the kids and Viggo. He would come on set every day with different books for all the kids to read. I ended up having about 10 books that I've never gotten around to reading. He really is a generous, amazingly kind man."

Nicholas Hamilton
Captain Fantastic and the Sundance Kid
By Matthew Lowe
Filmink.com
20 January 2015




Viggo Mortensen is waiting for me in a parking lot on the Pacific Coast Highway near Topanga Canyon.

He thought it would be nice to walk along the beach, watch the sunset and the deepening pink clouds and the dolphins at play in the surf, and talk, you know, maybe have a drink or two. He is barefoot on the asphalt, in jeans. His hair is sandy-red, floppy-perfect, the provocatively dimpled chin brushed with stubble. He kisses me hello on the cheek. My vision goes blurry for a second, then--steady, steady--rights itself.

"I brought you some things," he says, sitting down on a bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

He opens a large cardboard box at his feet. There are about a dozen books: one of pictures by a Cuban Santeria practitioner turned photographer; one of poetry that comes with an owl-shaped pewter trinket; one containing sketches by Lola Schnabel, an ex-girlfriend; and then several by Mortensen himself - of paintings, poetry, and photographs. 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




He gave presents every day.....An example of what Viggo Mortensen's participation in this Spanish project has been like is explained by Unax Ugalde: "When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

Unax Ugalde
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García - Translated for V-W by Paddy

El País Semanal, 6 August 2006



Before we part, Mortensen insists on buying me Blake's "The Complete Poems," marking the passage he read. A moment later, he's back with Pablo Neruda's "The Book of Questions" and Perceval Press' "Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation." I protest mildly, accepting his presents but telling him, "Please, no mink coat.''

King of the big screen a champion of poetry: Blake's poetry makes an impression on Mortensen
By Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
20 February 2004




Looking tanned and lean and sporting an impressive 'stache, he was soft-spoken and friendly. It didn't hurt that he came bearing gifts -- before I even sat down, he placed a shrink-wrapped copy of Exene Cervenka's book of collage, 666, on the table in front of me.

You Go, I Go, We All Go For Viggo
By Michelle Devereaux
San Francisco Bay Guardian
12 September 2007




To Viggo [Cindy] Sheehan sounded like the kind of person he admires: sincere, courageous, willing to question authority. But on the AM dial, she was getting flayed. Sean Hannity cast her as a nut job, an outcast from her own family, a bad mother. Bill O'Reilly called her 'a radical who does not like her country.'

Viggo has a credo he lies by: Go see for yourself if you can. So he packed a bag, flew from Los Angeles to Dallas, rented a car, and drove ninety miles to Crawford. He came alone and without warning and - as he almost always does when meeting strangers - bearing gifts: fresh vegetables, some bottled water, and a copy of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006




He… presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009




MJ: What's up with you and chocolate?

VM: I love it!

MJ: You also tend to come bearing gifts. Is that a product of the cultures you were raised in?

VM: Maybe. Maybe it's just a product of the way my family is.

Viggo Mortensen, King of The Road
Mother Jones
23 November 2009




A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © ITV.


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Last edited: 15 January 2020 22:15:25