Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

One thing I admire about Viggo (amongst several hundred others) is that he really does try to live in the moment. Maybe it’'s his insatiable curiosity, maybe it’'s the fact that he’'s always been aware that life it short, but paying attention to the moment, enjoying it or learning from it, maybe recording it, has always been his way. It’s the springboard of his creativity but it'’s also why he is such a present and powerful force, influencing and drawing in everyone who meets him.





“We may not know why we’'re here, or where we’'re going after we die, but if you’'re here, you might as well be here. And being here means paying attention, I think.”

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
Sara Stewart
New York Post
December 2008




Mortensen likes sotto voce details; he gives his attention to instants that would otherwise have passed by unobserved, or more significantly, unregistered - things that in a literal sense were simply there for him because he was there for them - things that would have easily passed by as all else passes by, as we ourselves finally do.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002




"I think five minutes can be an eternity if it's well used, you know."

Viggo Mortensen
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004




Where are you from?

At the moment I’'m from here.

Viggo Mortensen - Man of the Week
By Einar Falur - translated by Ragga
Morgunblaðið
30 May 2008




Viggo extracts a big moleskin notebook from his backpack, like a naturalist's notebook, a logbook, in which he notes down his thoughts and everything that passes through his mind with a big, tangled handwriting like the rigging of a schooner.

River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




‘In October, I got caught in a snowstorm in Lapland. I lost the trail and had to find some place to hide. I was out there on my own for a couple of days. I was worried but managed to find shelter and make a fire. It’s really not about where you are, but how you are. I can get annoyed or say, “OK, this is where I am. I don’'t have any choice at the moment. Let’'s make the most of it.”’

Viggo Mortensen’s Travelling Life
By Nick McGrath
The Telegraph
10 April 2015




“People today are much less present in spite of being hyper-connected. You see people in the street absorbed in their cell-phone; there’'s plenty of time for that message. What’'s more important than now?”

Viggo Mortensen: "The feeling of the absurd is something that's constant with me"
By Ima Sanchis - translated by Ollie and Zoe
La Vanguardia
8 October 2015




“Life is so short! I tell myself frequently to “Go slow to go fast”, to remind me to take my time in order to sample as many things as possible.”

Viggo Mortensen, Charming Free-spirit
by Manon Chevalier
ELLE Quebec
Translated for V-W by Chrissiejane
December 2008




“A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.”

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
visir-is
Translated by Ragga
June 2008




“Even though many people seem to be not interested in art or in things like nature or life itself, we must force ourselves to remember, we must force ourselves to be deep in life."

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




What keeps you awake at night?

Yesterday and tomorrow, but I eventually fall asleep because neither exists.

Q&A: Viggo Mortensen
by Rosanna Greenstreet
The Guardian
2 January 2010



"Great artists," writes critic Kevin Powers, "tell us the task is to train and polish the attention within the brilliance of our small shipwrecks. Viggo does that both insistently and obsessively."

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life, 2003




How long would he like to live?

"Forever." Without hesitation.

Really? Wouldn't you get bored?

"There's no excuse to be bored," Mortensen says. "Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine, January 2004



You will find all previous Quotables here.

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

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo


Last week's Captain Fantastic Quotable got me thinking about Viggo's own childhood, which was also unusual and adventurous in its own way. And despite all the roving around and the rootlessness we can say, along with Viggo, that 'the end result hasn't been so bad'.





One of my first memories as a boy was realizing that animals die and therefore people do. It seemed very unfair to me and I'm sure that I traumatized my parents with these questions.

Viggo Mortensen: Film and Soccer Activist
By Horacio Bilbao - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Clarín.com
27 November 2014




As a child he was a loner, which is unsurprising considering his peripatetic lifestyle. "I wrote stories and did a lot of drawing," he says. "It's why I'm comfortable being by myself and why I yearn for it at times.

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




When Viggo was 7, his parents sent him to boarding school in Argentina. "It was a strict school, isolated in the foothills of the mountains," he said. "Other than holidays, I really didn't see my parents. The other kids were miserable, always crying or wetting their beds. But I was pretty self-sufficient. So I guess it must have suited me."

Back in the saddle 'Rings' hero Mortensen is riding high with 'Hidalgo'
By Nancy Mills
Daily News
25 February 2004




"…I was always running away. I did that a lot. [Another time] when I was a child, about two-and-a-half, I crawled out of bed and across the road and crawled into someone's house on a Sunday morning. I was in the kitchen playing with all the pots and pans, and they called my parents, who had been calling the police. I think they said: 'You are missing someone, and he is here playing with our kitchen knives.'"

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




'According to my mother I never went anywhere as a child without a pencil, and I drew all the time. Recently she gave me a notebook with some of my old drawings. I especially noticed one I drew when I was 7 - it was rather wild. On the top it said: 'Little Red Riding Hood', and then there were a lot of oil colours mixed together, almost abstract. I really liked it. But across the drawing it said with a red pen - and underlined: VERY BAD! Some teachers still think that is motivating...'

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




'One day when I was about 6 years old, I read my first comic without help. I was in sick in bed one stormy Buenos Aires afternoon. There alone, while the rain ticked against the window, I browsed my little treasure, admiring the drawings thoroughly, when suddenly I realized that I understood, more or less, what those "little balloons" were saying. I went back to the first page and began to read. It took a tremendous amount of effort and I don't know how much time - an hour or more, I suppose - but I read and understood the whole comic. When I got to the end, I was surprised and proud. And then I got angry because I knew that it wasn't the end of the story. It never is the end with comics. Like the story of this world; things never end. That comic was a copy of Batman from 1964 in which "The Green Lantern" appeared.'

Viggo Mortensen
Sobrevuelos Column
CASLA
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
5 January 2013




The sound of cars and buses passing by on half-flooded streets quiets me; it´s something that makes me remember with absolute clarity my childhood in Buenos Aires and long afternoons in the countryside. Muddy paths, the grey rampart that advances relentlessly and swallows the sky, the threat of something big, powerful, unstoppable. Rain is the universal music - along with the contribution of the wind through a forest or punishing an open window, the roar of the rivers, the sea.

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Sobrevueloscuervos.com
9 October 2014




"I climbed this sort of cliff—I am sure it wasn't really very high, I was just clambering up. I thought it was really fun. Then I got to the top and I realized how high I was. I freaked out and I was, like, screaming and crying for my dad. He woke up and had to come and get me down. It was probably not very high but it seemed very big to me then."

Dr. No: Viggo Mortensen Has Made Turning Down Roles Into an Art Form
By Oliver Jones
The Observer
6 July 2016



"Every once in a while you do something really dumb when you're a kid and you realize when you're an adult that that's dangerous, but.. you know.. There was one time when I was coming home at the end of the day, going through the paddocks, and you open the gates from horseback, and the last gate I was about to grab the latch and there was this beautiful, beautiful snake wrapped around it..it was orange and black and white stripes. And I thought 'I'm going to take this home and show it to my family'. And I tried to grab it and he tried to get me. And I like whacked it just to stun it and I grabbed it by the neck and opened the gate and got through, closed it and said "Dad, dad, look what I got." And he freaked out, cos it was a Coral snake, which if you get bit I think two minutes, three minutes, you're dead."

Viggo Mortensen
David Letterman Show
2004




When he was 11 his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother and two younger brothers to upstate New York, near the border with Canada.... "my brothers and I spoke only Spanish. But you quickly adapt. I somewhat replaced it with French. We were not that far from Quebec, so I [replaced] my football team with the Montreal Canadians hockey team, which has the same colours".

Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men's Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013




"We arrived in Northern New York near the Canadian border, and there were no Spanish-speaking people at all, one black person in the whole county, some French-Canadians, and no tradition of football. It was just completely different. But when you're kids, you adapt very quickly. Within a month or two, I knew all the swear words."

Viggo Mortensen on leaving South America
I've taken on too much...
By James Mottram, The Independent / UK.
23 October 2007




…as an adolescent, he felt comfortable behind the lens of a camera. Mortensen says he started taking pictures as a teenager, although he wasn't "really serious about it." For him, the camera not only offered a sense of control over his surroundings but a kind of veil to help him feel invisible from a world he found both intimidating and inspiring.

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003




"I was 12 or 13 when a friend of mine encouraged me to be an actor, something that had never crossed my mind. I was then living in New York and didn't know anybody. I went up on stage and read the first paragraph from David Copperfield. The only thing I heard before closing the book and fleeing from that inconceivable torture was 'Louder, louder.' And here I am!"

Viggo Mortensen: "The older I get, the more tired I get of Hollywood."
By Rocío Ayuso
El Pais
8 October 2016




"I didn't have friends when I was little that I know now - there wasn't any sense of continuity like that," Mortensen says. "But I got to see a lot of things and learn a lot of things. And I learned to rely on my imagination, and on myself."

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




'Now I see things in hindsight and what I learned in those years is what has made me who I am today. And, even though I recognize that I'm a rather strange guy, I don't think the end result has been so bad.'

Viggo Mortensen on growing up in Argentina
"I'm permanently dissatisfied"
By Amelia Enríquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
30 August 2006


You will find all previous Quotables here.


© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © unknown.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe


Captain Fantastic is being broadcast on BBC 2 in the UK tomorrow night and although I have it on Blu-ray, I won't be able to resist watching. Which is just the excuse I need for some my favourite Fantastic quotes!



The clan's father isn't a superhero, but because he's played by Viggo Mortensen he's the next best thing.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
7 July 2016




‘Viggo demonstrates the aspirations of the movie, what kind of movie are you hoping to make, and for me, I can have no better faith than in Viggo Mortensen.’

Matt Ross
Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross Interview
Jason Gorber
Dorkshelf.com
14 July 2016




“Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that's happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her.”

Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen To Star In Electric City's Captain Fantastic’
By Mike Fleming Jnr
Deadline.com
20 February 2014




Viggo Mortensen gets the role he may well have been born to play, not as a superhero, but as a super-dad determined to raise his kids on his own terms.... The inspired choice of casting Mortensen, a natural Papa Bear, who taps into both his physical strength and spiritual gentleness.

Peter Debruge
Variety
23 January 2016




Mortensen, looking his most mountain-man handsome, is winning and charismatic, walking on the knife's edge between principled and unhinged.

Brian Moylan
The Guardian
31 January 2016




The director sent Mortensen a huge box of books of recommended reading, including texts by Tom Brown, the renowned naturalist and author of Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival; linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky; and Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and writer Jared Diamond, all of which he felt Ben would be intimately familiar with. “I thought that was a great way to frame some of the knowledge that this family would have, Ross says. “It turned out Viggo had read all the books already.”

Cannes Press Kit
May 2016




“...we had this two-day, one-night wilderness survival camp, with just the six of us kids and a guide, she said. “We each were given a knife and had to figure out how to survive. We had to track down our food, purify water, build a shelter. I love being outdoors, but this was pretty extreme.”

“We were building fires because in the forest it was so incredibly dark, Isler said. “All of a sudden, we heard these sounds and saw this shape coming toward us through the forest. It was Viggo, who said he wanted to bring us beef jerky and dried cherries. And we were all like, How in the world did you find us?’ ”

Tulsa teen actress Samantha Isler talks about her role in 'Captain Fantastic'
By James D Watts Jnr
Tulsa World
29 July 2016




‘I like gardening and I grow my own vegetables... I could say to Matt, If it's this time of year, this is how big the vegetables would be. This is what would grow in such a small clearing.” All those things you only see in passing, but it was important to him and to me that the way this family lives be completely credible.’

Viggo Mortensen goes 'extreme' in 'Captain Fantastic'
Josh Rottenberg
LA Times
30 June 2016




‘For Ben, you can alternate between what a great father and this guy's a maniac.’

Viggo Mortensen Goes Green: ‘I Trust Hillary About as Much as I Trust Donald Trump’
Marlo Stern
The Daily Beast
16 July 2016




He looks like the kind of guy who, yes, would worship Noam Chomsky, but he also looks like the kind of guy who would eat him for breakfast. It’s the ruggedly paradoxical, gentle-but-brute presence of Viggo Mortensen, more than anything else, that makes Captain Fantastic a twisting Rubik's Cube of blue and red.

Owen Gleiberman
Variety
13 July 2016




Making it endlessly watchable is Viggo Mortensen, here in his fully bearded, hippie-Viking mode.

Stephen Whitty
NJ.com
8 July 2016




“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.”

Producer Lynette Howell Taylor
Viggo Mortensen
Cannes Press Kit
May 2016




When he appears, caked in mud, looking like a kind of eco-Rambo, splashing barefoot through a river and cutting the heart out of a deer, you'll be thinking: Well, that's just Viggo Mortensen's life, isn't it?

Wild man Viggo Mortensen lets it all hang out in Captain Fantastic
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 September 2016




“Just because it's not possible to be a perfect dad or to be Captain Fantastic, that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.”

In Captain Fantstic, Viggo Mortensen found more than a modern-day Mr. Mom’
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
15 July 2016




…the movie truly belongs to Mortensen; fierce and tender and tremendously flawed, he's fantastic.

Leah Greenblatt
Entertainment Weekly
7 July 2016




You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo


Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

As a little Easter Treat, this week is Anecdote Week. Nothing short or pithy (or new) here! All of these are stories about encounters with Viggo and they are all longstanding favourites of mine.





In the diner, he asks for the time. (He doesn't wear a watch 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. He thinks maybe he'll know one of the TSA agents, but when we get to security, he knows no one. Nor do they know him.

The TSA cop wants to know what I was doing in Syracuse for just eight hours. She thinks I'm a drug dealer. At this, Viggo starts to laugh. I tell her I'm a writer and had to interview someone. "Huh." She looks Mortensen up and down. "Are you famous or something?"

On the other side of the security rope, Mortensen couldn't be happier
Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016




A really nice box-office clerk (I’m not naming names) at a downtown Madrid theater discovers that Viggo Mortensen, whose girlfriend, a famous Spanish film star, was acting in a version (very poor, to be sure) of a famous play which was playing right there, has come to buy a ticket.

Quite possibly, Mortensen could have asked his partner for an invitation and that would have been that. Instead, he insisted on paying like any regular guy. The box-office clerk recognised him, and smiling, gave him a guest ticket. “How much do I owe you?” said Mortensen in his cheerful Argentinian accent. “No, no, nothing, you are invited,” answered the box-office clerk. The Hollywood star thanks her cordially, goes, and ten minutes later returns with an ice cream for the box-office clerk! He insisted that she should take it, although she said she was on a diet, so he sweetened her afternoon. Anyway, when I grow up, I want to be Viggo Mortensen.

Where I said Viggo (Mortensen), I say Diego (Alatriste)
By Juan Luis Sánchez - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Decine21.com
25 November 2011




An interesting photo made by Viggo Mortensen. We were shooting a very rarely photographed "Ghost Dance" by our amazing tribe members who participated in the film. Viggo, a renowned still photographer, had forgotten his camera that day and asked our unit stills photographer, Richard Cartwright, if he might borrow a camera and some color neg film. The unit photographer gave Viggo his Hasselblad panoramic camera... the 15 perf 35mm version. Viggo snaked around the set with the shutter open and he was amazing to watch. His movements were very similar to that of the Native American Ghost Dancers and he captured these incredible handheld abstract time exposures. Absolutely amazing. Fast-forward about 6 months and my phone rings. Viggo is on the other end and invites me to a gallery show featuring some Native American photos, music and poetry that he has authored during the making of "Hidalgo". When I arrive at the gallery, I see the show is entirely composed of marvelously printed images from the ghost dance... amazingly saturated and 8 feet wide. Stunning! At the show, I run into Richard, who loaned Viggo his camera to shoot these same stills. I ask him; "Did Viggo borrow only one roll of film?" Yes... only a single roll. Well, the show was comprised of 16 photographs that were double wide (15 perfs instead of 7) which meant that the collection represented nearly every photo that Viggo shot that day. 16 of the 18 total exposures from the single film roll. Mind blowing.

Shelly Johnson, Hidalgo cinematographer
Instagram
23 March 2017




Viggo Mortensen's temporary headquarters during the Toronto Film Festival were bare except for one corner, where there was a sculpture assembled from a plastic grocery-store bag draped over a tripod.....While Mortensen used the restroom, I tried to decide if the bag-on-tripod sculpture was a comment on our throwaway culture or a meditation on the relationship between art and reality. Turns out it was his luggage.

"Want to see my luggage?" Mortensen asked, emerging from his hand-washing and following my gaze to the "sculpture." "Let's see what's in here," he added, removing underwear, several T-shirts - one with fishing records on it, another emblazoned with "Bring Our Troops Home" - and a United Nations flag from the bag. "I travel light."

Renaissance man jousts with career-changing role
By Chris Hewitt,
Twin Cities
28 September 2005




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




Bloom tells a story that occurred when the Rings crew returned to New Zealand in the summer of 2002 for sound dubbing and pickups for The Two Towers. "I flew over just to visit Viggo," says Bloom, who had heard that Mortensen was organising a reunion dinner. He, Mortensen and Henry, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler (who plays Arwen), and members of the crew took a bus to the countryside. After dinner, Bloom and Henry went for a walk and noticed how beautifully the moon was shining on a nearby river.

"We ran back and said, 'Everyone's got to see this.'" Bloom recalls. "I was having a Viggo moment - running out, getting people to come and check out the moon." Some decided to wade into the river, but Mortensen suggested the more perilous task of crossing the river. "I'm like, 'F*** off,' and he says, 'Come on.' So were barefoot, waist-high in water, walking on these little rocks to get to the other side and I'm doing it because I'm an idiot and I'm following his lead. Because he's an idiot. And because he's amazing," Bloom laughs. "I can't believe how much this is going to make it sound like I'm in love with the guy."

Orlando Bloom
The Hero Returns
by Tom Roston
Premiere 2003




One last thing that I wish to report is a small anecdote concerning someone. One of my charming girlfriends, attached to the press core assisting all of the DVDrama personel, yesterday was herself helped by a hero and not the least of which since it was Mr. Viggo Mortensen, alias the sensual Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, about whom we are still having numerous fantasies since the first showing of Peter Jackson's trilogy. Present in Cannes to support David Cronenberg's film, A History of Violence, in which he proves once again his immensity talent, he went to the private evening gathering that followed the premiere screening, which was exactly where my girlfriend was, whose dress suddenly caught fire as she walked down the centre of an avenue edged with small candles. An accident which could have transformed itself very quickly into a catastrophe if the courageous Viggo hadn't intervened immediately, gently throwing himself on her to help extinguish the first flames that could have become a conflagration. Reassuring and concerned he next took lengthy care of her. After this summer the King of Tolkien, Viggo, is today the King of Cannes…

Viggo the Hero
DVDrama, Cannes Film Festival Report
17 May 2005




I order a margarita. He orders a whiskey and a beer. The waiter sees a notepad on the table and his celebrity antennae pop up like Ray Walston’s extraterrestrial ones in My Favorite Martian.

”So just who is interviewing who?” the waiter asks us. This is a formality. He’s pretty sure that this is the guy from The Lord of the Rings. I start to reply, but Mortensen holds up his hand. “She has just set the world record for the longest distance windsurfed by a human being,” he says, tilting his head in my direction.

”No!” the waiter gasps.

”She windsurfed from Hawaii to the mainland,” he continues. “Sure, there was a boat that followed her, and she slept at night, but still. That’s what, how many miles?” He looks at me.

”Um, thirty-seven hundred?” I say. I have no idea.

”And not even a man has done that yet,” Mortensen tells the waiter. “Isn’t that cool?”

The waiter asks me to sign a menu.

Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004




We wander our way to the Japanese garden, where the cherry blossoms bloom and sit on a steep grass bank. As is his wont wherever and whenever possible, Viggo wears no shoes. He spots an oval-headed balding man, with wisps of gray hair, walking with two younger women.

"Is that Arthur Miller?" he whispers. "Wait till we see his face."

We watch, and even before we see his face, we agree that there is something about the way this man walks that is not the way we somehow know Arthur Miller would walk. And the women are somehow not the women Arthur Miller would walk with in a Japanese garden.

"Let's just say it was," Viggo says, and by this I don't think for a moment he is suggesting that we should conspire to lie about it. Just that, with some willpower and a creative refusal to join the dots and draw a line we will no longer be able to cross, we can delay even this small disappointment and keep alive our moment in the park with Arthur Miller a little while longer.

The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004



You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Cinematografo.

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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.


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Last edited: 21 May 2019 14:45:30