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The court of Alatriste

Source: Diario EL PAÍS.
Found By: Translation by Paddy
Image César Urrutia.
© Diario EL PAÍS S.L. | Prisacom S.A..
Many, many thanks to Paddy who has once again come through with the goodies and delivered the first part of a translation of the Rocío García article that was in El País Semanal:
More than 10.000 costumes and extras, 97 locations, a budget of 24 million Euros. And Viggo Mortensen. Pérez-Reverte's character will take to the theatres in September. It's Alatriste, one of the Spanish films of the year. A fresco of the Golden Century painted with passion by the director Agustín Díaz Yanes.

"I liked the script a lot, and if you really want me to play this character, and it turns out that this can be done, it would be an honour for me, I'd like it." That was the simple and firm answer that the New York actor Viggo Mortensen gave the director Agustín Díaz Yanes when the latter offered him the part of Alatriste, the wicked soldier of the convulsed Spanish XVII century, created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. They met at a luxury hotel room in Berlin, in December 2003. Viggo Mortensen was there promoting the third instalment of The Lord of the Rings. Díaz Yanes travelled accompanied by the writer and film maker Ray Loriga, a friend of both (Viggo and Yanes) and who was present at the beginning of this magical meeting, so beneficial for the great adventure of Alatriste, the film that will be released on September 1st. "The first time I saw him he was barefoot, coming out of a room in whose door he had put a towel to prevent it from closing. We came in and I could see the room was a mess. Viggo opened a bottle of wine, we started to talk, he took us to the première of The Lord of the Rings, we went out to have dinner and then went back to the room. And we stayed until six in the morning. He treated us wonderfully, we laughed our heads off, and from then on everything went easily", remembers the now director Agustín Díaz Yanes at another hotel room, also luxurious, but this time in Madrid.

The journey already began with possibilities. Part of the way was cleared. The director of Nobody Will Speak Of Us When We're Dead and No News From God arrived in Berlin knowing that Mortensen had read the script (sent to him by Loriga), that he had liked it and wanted to do it, but also being aware of the big pressures that a world film star was going to have to accept a role in a Spanish movie. "A man who has just finished The Lord of the Rings, who probably is the most famous face worldwide, is he going to come to Spain to work with a Spanish director about a swordsman of the Spanish Golden Century? His agents, his friends would talk him out of that madcap idea. I returned to Madrid being confident that he was going to do it, but with the doubt that as soon as he arrived back in the United States they would tell him he was crazy. Two months later he called and told me he would do it. I know they put pressure on him to not accept (the role); he won't want to tell you that, but that's the way it is", adds Díaz Yanes.

Mortensen does tell it, but without giving too many clues or going too deep. Barefoot, drinking maté, smoking self-rolled cigarettes on the little balcony of the hotel and with a soft and hoarse Spanish, the New York actor, who lived for nine years of his childhood in Argentina, clarifies: "Some people in Spain thought it was strange that I came to do this story. In the United States, some people asked me why I was going to do this. I answered them that the script was very good, that it was the best thing I had ever read; that not only did I like the story of Alatriste, but also the period. It's a valuable project, an interesting character, a historical period that is very unknown outside the academic world. I was very interested in the parallels with the present worldwide empire of the United States. The current decline of the American empire is very similar to the one that the Spanish empire went through in the XVII century. The international debt we are in, the waste of lives and resources; we have troops, and strongholds, and impossible military expenses, we are in strange lands inhabited by strange people, where they fear us and hate us and will never give us a respite, as Alatriste says in the film in response to the Count-Duke of Olivares. If this story was contemporary Alatriste would easily be a veteran American sergeant who was in Iraq in 1991, who was also in Panama and in the Central American dirty war, and that, even though he knows that invading the Iraqi city of Fallujah is a bit useless, he just does it. There is not a fixed aim, but loss of lives, and gold, and reputation".

The film, with a script by Agustín Díaz Yanes himself (Madrid, 1950) is built on Arturo Pérez-Reverte's five novels and shows an Alatriste of beautiful blue eyes who hides a dark heart, a wicked soldier and a mercenary killer of the Spanish Golden Century, a man with a challenging and at the same time tender look. "The exact image of a weary hero," as Pérez-Reverte has described him. The film delves into the story of this courageous soldier who, after fighting in the imperial Spain of the XVII century in a war in the cold lands of Flanders, returns to Madrid and finds a dying empire. The same Spain in which Quevedo and Góngora write their verses, Velázquez paints his paintings and Lope de Vega gets his plays performed is collapsing under the impassivity of King Felipe IV, in a court dominated by intrigues and corruption, handled by the Count-Duke of Olivares as he pleases, with the support of the Holy Inquisition.

Glory and decadence. Grandeur and intimacy. Alatriste is a beautiful film full of contrasts. Along with the great battles, thousands of extras, scenes with swords, sea landings...there is the intimacy of love, of friendship, of the smallest things, and the suffering of the most miserable people. Alatriste, with a production worthy of the biggest studios in Hollywood, not only lingers over adventure, it also inquires into the poverty of the people of the XVII century in Spain; it goes into the life of a soldier and, through him, it tells the glory and the decadence of Spain, of the power, but also of the people. Produced by Antonio Cardenal (Origen) together with Telecinco and Universal Estudios, Alatriste is one of the biggest Spanish cinematographic productions to date - a budget of 24 million Euros of Spanish capital - in which 50 actors and more than 10.,000 extras have worked. Herds of horses, galleons in the sea, artillery discharges, blastings... Alatriste has a spectacular cast, in which we can find the best of Spanish cinematography. Except Mortensen and the Italian Enrico Lo Verso, who plays the role of Gualterio Malatesta, all the actors are Spanish. Eduard Fernández (in the role of Copons, Alatriste's loyal friend), Ariadna Gil (the beautiful María de Castro, Alatriste's great love), Javier Cámara (Count-Duke of Olivares), Eduardo Noriega (Duke of Guadalmedina), Unax Ugalde (Íñigo Balboa), Elena Anaya (Angélica de Alquézar), Blanca Portillo (Bocanegra) or Juen Echanove (Francisco de Quevedo) are some of the important faces that accompany the courageous Alatriste.

From the beginning Díaz Yanes was very clear about something, which is that the film he was entrusted with three years ago had to be shot in Spanish and with a big film star. Otherwise he wouldn't have accepted the project. It took him one second to say yes to the job. Because of a lot of things. Because of his education as a historian, Díaz Yanes found himself with the biggest opportunity of his life. Cinema and History together, the director had also the chance of looking at the century he likes the most, the XVII c., and making a period film, which he's truly passionate about. "It was an opportunity that you can only turn down if the working conditions are not adequate, if you don't have enough money or you cannot get the actors you want. Otherwise it's impossible to say no," explains the director, who doesn't deny the extent of thoughtlessness that making movies has. "It's as if suddenly someone tells you that you are going to be the number 9 (centre forward) of the Spanish team in a football World Cup or it is announced you are to bullfight at Madrid's Feria de San Isidro. You cannot say no. Besides, I'm one of those who think that it seems that in Spain we don't get on very well with our history. The French have done some magnificent period films, and so have the English. I hope that Alatriste, whether people like it or not, can clear the way in this shortage of period films we have in Spain".

And those two circumstances (the Spanish language and the big star) joined together in an almost sole name: Viggo Mortensen, the performer of films like A Perfect Murder, Crimson Tide, Psycho, Hidalgo and A History of Violence, besides The Lord of the Rings. "Viggo fulfilled the perfect conditions. I always thought that the character of Alatriste had to be played by a big star. That's how it works in cinema. I love all actors, but I don't think that The Godfather can be done without Marlon Brando or The Deer Hunter without Robert de Niro. They are stars because they carry the weight of gigantic projects on their backs. I knew we needed a great actor, but at the same time he had to be a star. Nobody changed my mind." But Viggo turned out to be much more than a star who speaks Spanish perfectly. Everyone in the crew, and especially the actors who have accompanied him in this adventure, speak wonderfully (of him). He has been the perfect mate. He was the one who read the most about the Golden Century's history. He sent books and CDs for all his casting colleagues to savour that time - "not to seduce or control what the others did, but to share what I had found out," Mortensen informs. He gave presents every day. He arrived at the shooting with bags full of sweets, chewing gum and so on to share out amongst the crew. Also flowers, and maté, and Argentinean cakes. He also designed some T-shirts. 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."

Another fact that speaks not of the actor, but of the human being, is the reception that Mortensen gave one day to Cristina, a sick girl whose wish was to meet the New York actor. The NGO "Fundación Pequeño Deseo" (Little Wish Foundation) was in charge of getting Cristina to celebrate her 11th birthday, the 31st of May 2005, in Talamanca del Jarama (Madrid), together with Mortensen. The actor took her to his trailer, stayed with her for nearly two hours, and showered her with gifts and surprises. Cristina's mother assures us that her daughter will never forget that day.

Poets, painters, writers. Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Velázquez's paintings. The XVII c. is the great Spanish cultural century, the only time in which Spain was the great world power. It's the century of Baroque. A century of wars and confrontations. One people, the Spanish, religious and mad, with lots of contrasts in thought, with geniuses who did things that nobody did anywhere in the world, but at the same time isolated. "It's a moving century," says Agustín Díaz Yanes. "From a cinematographic point of view it's fantastic; it only has one defect, which I think we have solved, that it's quite ugly. It is not the French XVIII c. or the Italian XIX c. . The XVII c. in Spain was dark and poor," adds the director.
To be continued...

© Diario EL PAÍS S.L. Prisacom S.A.

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Some New Viggo Mentions

Categories: Movie Promotions
Argentina 2005
Argentina 2005
Image Marcos Brindicci.
© Reuters/LFI.
Just a couple of new Viggo tidbits.


Growing up on camera can have extreme consequences for young actors, but Jason Isaacs insists that his "Harry Potter" co-stars are keeping their egos in check across the pond...

...Currently being seen on Showtime's "Brotherhood," Isaacs will be joining the filming of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" next month. He's also hoping to get the movie "Good" off the ground with Viggo Mortensen. "We've been trying to make it for years. We've had the money and no actors, or actors and no money, and now we have both," he tells us. "It's based on a play about how these good men become Nazis. How reasonable, sophisticated people became Nazis, and they did. It wasn't a nation of evil people. It was a nation of people just like you and me, who read papers and listened to music and were ordinary human beings."


Ed Harris jumps on "Appaloosa'

Four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris will write, act, and direct, with actors Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen, in the big screen adaptation of Robert B. Parker's ``Appaloosa." The Cambridge author said yesterday that ``Ed's working on financing now and has every intention of making the film. . . . He's a fine filmmaker." But Parker, whose novels have been the basis for more than a dozen TV movies and the popular ``Spenser: For Hire," the past two decades, is cautious. ``I know that sometimes pictures don't get made," Parker said. Writing on his blog on, Parker recently broke the news to his fans, who had other questions for him. Will Oscar-winner Helen Hunt play Sunny Randall? ``I have no information . . . which suggests nothing is percolating." And ``Sea Change?" It's being filmed this fall as a CBS-TV movie, starring Tom Selleck. Back to Harris, Parker caught up with him recently for dinner at Grill 23 & Bar in the Back Bay when the actor was in town to work on Ben Affleck's directorial debut ``Gone, Baby, Gone," based on local author Dennis Lehane's bestseller. "I've seen the script, and it's top notch," Parker said of the screenplay Harris co-wrote with writer/actor Robert Knott. Parker said he's in touch with Harris and would like to see the project get made with Harris, Lane, and Mortensen. "They're perfect," he said.

© 2004-2006 All Rights Reserved The National Ledger, LLC - and - 20 The New York Times Company. Images © Reuters/LFI, Image: Marcos Brindici.

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Source: GLAMOUR.
Found By: Cathy Lynn and Many Others
Categories: Movie Promotions
There are many people to thank for these scans and the content of this article in the latest copy of the Spanish GLAMOUR magazine. Cathy Lynn brought it to us via kumru at viggoville, and it originated with Freya, Lady Arwen and Romarie at El Alma de Viggo. Many, many thanks to all.

Como Diego Alatriste, encarna a la perfección al épico capitán castizo creado por Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Un héroe con el que, sin duda, Viggo dejará huella en nel cine español.

Si algo lo caracteriza es su carisma y cercanía. Ni siquiera nos habíamos encontrado con él, cuando los comentarios de sus compañeros de reparto ya nos habían dejado muy clara la radiografia de Viggo: un hombre profundo, seductor y, sobre todo, generoso. Con todas estas expectativas llegamos a la entrevista con el protagonista de Alatriste, la nueva superproduccíon española. Y, lo cierto, es que la primera sensación que te transmite el actor neoyorquino de raices cosmopolitas (su padre es danés y su madre argentina (??)), dista mucho de la del héroe vigoroso y fuerte que siempre hemos visto en la pantalla grande. Mortensen es más bien un hombre pausado, sereno y muy reflexivo. Sus ojos azules reflejan la paz interior que ha logrado conservar a pesar de la velocidad y los arrebatos del mundo hollywoodense y su aspecto es más bien desenfadado: vaqueros, camiseta, pulseras brasileñas en la muñeca y zapatillas. Por si fuera poco, es una persona que de immediato te hace sentir como en casa y te prepara para entrar en su mundo. De hecho, es él quién tomas las riendas y comienza la entrevista que, muy pronto, desemboca en un solo punto: su carrera.

Enamorado y sensible
Además de la actuación, a Viggo le apasiona la poesia y la pintura. Hasta el momento ha escrito tres libros; su sensibilidad y lejanía con el mundo del glamour es bien conocida, 'yo simplemente me ocupo de mi trabajo, de la gente que quiero, de los buenos compañeros y de mi familia. Procuro mantenerme lejos de las ceremonias que no son necesarias, de los eventos glamourosos y de todo que no tenga una relación directa con lo que estoy haciendo en ese momento. Huyo de los focos, de los cotilleos y de cualquier cosa que me ponga en el objetivo de los paparazzi. Ni siquiera leo los periódicos o las revistas que hablan de mí, creo que es peligroso hacerlo porque te empezas a creer lo bueno y lo malo que dicen de ti y pierdes la habilidad de saber qué es lo que piensas tú y lo que quieres lograr', nos dices contundente. Otra cosa que el actor ha sabido defender a capa y espada es su vida privada. Tras su divorcio de Exene Cervenka (la mitica vocalista de X, la banda americana punk de los años 80 y con quién tiene un hijo de dieciocho años, Henry Mortensen), no se ha vuelto a saber nada de su intimidad, 'claro que el amor es algo fundamental en mi vida, soy un hombre que vive enamorado de lo que hace, de la famiglia y de los amigos, en ese sentido me siento igual que el Capitán Alatriste, que está enamorado de su causa e de su tierra', nos comenta volviendo a centrar su atención en la cinta de Diaz Yanes.

En búsqueda del Capitán
Para este actor no hay personaje sin raices, por eso, cuando dijo que sí a este proyecto, decidió recorrer toda la zona de Castilla y León para encontrar el lugar exacto en el que Diego Alatriste nació, 'para mí era basico saber qué es lo que le ocurre a Diego desde que nace hasta que llega al momento en el que se ubica el guión. Así que mucho tempo antes de empezar a rodar, cogí el coche y me lancé a recorrer todos los pueblos de esa parte de España. Cuando llegué a las montañas de León descubrí algo en la forma de ser de la gente que me hizo sentir en la tierra de Alatriste', nos cuenta Mortensen, y, tras una breve pausa, continúa en tono de complicidad, 'otra cosa que hice par asegurarme de estar en lo cierto fue llamar a Reverte desde el hotel, 'vamos a ver Arturo, he estado viajando durante días por España y me parece que he encontrado a Alatriste en las montañas de León, ¿que te parece?', le pregunté muy serio. Pero el me respondió casi de immediato que sí. Así que comencé a trabajar en conseguir un acento castizo y en darle un pasado al Capitán. Estoy convencido de que hay muchas cosas que no se dicen en la película, pero que se reflejan en la pantalla y esta búsqueda es una de ellas, al igual que el compañerismo que hubo durante el rodaje y que nos convirtió a todos en una gran famiglia'.

Superproducción a la española
Ésta es la tercera vez que Viggo trabaja con un director español, la primera fue bajo la batuta de José Luis Acosta y la secunda con Ray Loriga, 'cuando estás acostumbrado a los rodajes americanos, la forma de trabajar en España te parece un gran caos, porque tienen un ambiente más relajado, Pero enseguida te das cuenta de que es una forma de rodar que tiene que ver con la cultura y que a mí me ha encantado! A la larga, esta dinámica hace que te relajes y genere una convivencia y compañerismo unico. Tano (Díaz Yanes) es un director que fomenta el trabajo en equipo, que te transmite paz y que te deja proponer y aportar tu visión al personaje', nos dice convencido.

Un héroe postmoderno
'Sempre me da miedo empezar algo nuevo, aunque esté convencido de que la historia y el personaje son buenos. Pero creo que tener miedo es necesario, porque cuando crees que lo sabes todo y te sientes seguro, poco puedes aportar y aprender. Sin embargo, algo fundamental es visualizarte haciendo las cosas y creer que podrás con todo, eso te garantira el éxito', nos comenta el actor, que cada vez se identifica más con los papeles heroicos y, paradójicamente, realistas, 'algo que me encantó de Alatriste es que se sitúa en una época de la que se ha estudiado muy poco en el cine. Y es que los americanos, los franceses y los italianos han desarrollado muchas historias basadas en su pasado épico y los españoles no!Ésta es una cinta que habla de amor y del orgullo, pues se cometen muchos errores en nombre de estos sentimientos. Yo también he tomado muchos caminos equivocados por orgullo, por pensar con el estómago y no con la cabeza. En eso sí que me identifico con Alatriste, porque él, por orgullo, no puede admitir que está enamorado de Maria de Castro'. El personaje al que Viggo referencia, es el de Ariadna Gil, de la cual nos comparte, 'es una mujer hermosa, inteligente y excéntrica, posee todo lo que un hombre puede querer! Mi personaje se refiere a ella como la mujer más deseada de España y puedo decir que, es verdad!.

© 2006 Condenet Ibérica, S.L· Pº Castellana. Images © 2006 Condenet Ibérica, S.L· Pº Castellana.

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La corte de Alatriste

Source: El Pais.
Found By: Sachie
© Diario EL PAÍS S.L. | Prisacom S.A..


Más de 10.000 trajes y extras, 97 localizaciones, 24 millones de presupuesto. Y Viggo Mortensen. El personaje de Pérez-Reverte tomará los cines en septiembre. Es "Alatriste', una de las películas españolas del año. Un fresco del Siglo de Oro pintado con pasión por el director Agustín Díaz Yanes
Me ha gustado mucho el guión, y si de verdad quieres que haga yo este personaje, y resulta que se puede, sería un honor para mí, me gustaría'. Así de sencilla y contundente fue la respuesta que le dio el actor neoyorquino Viggo Mortensen al director Agustín Díaz Yanes cuando éste le propuso encarnar a Alatriste, el perverso soldado del convulso siglo XVII español, creado por Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Se conocieron en la habitación de un hotel de lujo en Berlín, en diciembre de 2003. Viggo Mortensen estaba allí promocionando la tercera parte de El señor de los anillos. Díaz Yanes viajó acompañado del escritor y cineasta Ray Loriga, amigo de ambos y el que está en el inicio de este encuentro mágico y provechoso para la gran aventura de Alatriste, el filme que se estrena el próximo 1 de septiembre. 'La primera vez que le vi salía descalzo de una habitación en la que había puesto una toalla en la puerta para que no se cerrara. Entramos y vi la habitación hecha un desastre. Viggo abrió una botella de vino, empezamos a hablar, nos llevó al estreno de El señor de los anillos, salimos a cenar y volvimos de nuevo a la habitación. Así hasta las seis de la mañana. Nos trató como Dios, nos reimos como Dios, y a partir de ahí fueron todo facilidades', recuerda ahora el realizador Agustín Díaz Yanes en otra habitación de hotel, también de lujo, pero esta vez en Madrid.
Our thanks to Sachie for surfacing this wonderful new article on Alatriste from El Pais.

To read the entire piece visit El Pais.

Also check out the El Pais Fotogaleria.

© Diario EL PAÍS S.L. | Prisacom S.A.. Images © Diario EL PAÍS S.L. | Prisacom S.A..

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Source: Marie Claire.
Found By: Romarie
Categories: Scans
Marie Claire 9.2006 Nuevos Heroes Marie Claire 9.2006 Vuevos Heroes Marie Claire 9.2006 Nuevos Heroes Marie Claire 9.2006 Nuevos Heroes Marie Claire 9.2006 Nuevos Heroes Marie Claire 9.2006 Nuevos Heroes
Many, many thanks to Romarie for these scans from the latest edition of Marie Claire magazine which highlights the heroes of Alatriste. They are posted here with her permission,

Click on scan to enlarge.

© Marie Claire.

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Last edited: 16 February 2020 15:23:20