Viggo Talks About His Role In The Road

Source: Estereo Fonica

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Viggo Mortensen speaks perfect Spanish. Although he was born in New York 51 years ago, he spent part of his childhood in Venezuela and Argentina.

In his twenty-six year career, which began in 1984 with a TV miniseries, he has travelled through fantasy and drama and was once nominated for the Oscar - for the film Eastern Promises.

El Tiempo spoke with him about The Road, a film in which he stars and which opens in Colombia this weekend. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men), which describes the relationship between a father and his son in a post-apocalyptic world.

There's a pessimistic atmosphere to this story. Do you feel hopeful about the future?

Yes, I agree with what my character says toward the end of the film: "If I were God, I would make the world just as it is now and no different." It's not that I could change the world in a radical way or that by changing my life I could gain the acceptance of others. We all share this planet and nothing more remains for us than to do things the best we can. I don't believe humanity is so inherently evil or stupid as to repeat the errors that have been committed. I believe that there is an evolution of the spirit and that is seen in the film's story.

As an actor, what challenge did this film present for you?

It was more of an emotional than a physical challenge. In other films, I´ve already played roles that demanded tolerating extreme temperatures or physical activity. I´ve played psychologically deep roles, but not in the sense of having to keep up a constant pressure as in this one. There were two things that worried me: one was how to get this feeling of grief, guilt and sadness to connect with the environment, and second, how to make my part interesting. I never want to bore people or be like a hammer beating on the head of the audience.

The film reflects on the struggle not to lose the sense of humanity. Are there things that remind you of that in your everyday life?

Of course, and almost always they are the most simple things, like some gestures from people, a smile. What matters in the end are the compassionate details. It doesn´t matter how many things you have in life or how long you are going to live; what matters is how you live and how we share with others. In the film, we can see what a difficult road must be travelled to reach that conclusion.

What has this character meant to you with respect to the relationship with your father and with your son?

A feeling, in general, of understanding and tolerance. Something I remember from my past is judging my father about everything. He is still living and it seems sacred to me to be able to share what little time we have together and to try to learn from him. I also appreciate a lot what I've learned from my son. That's something that I like about this story, that it reminds us that we should be noble with the people we love, without expecting to be repaid.
Last edited: 29 September 2010 08:01:53
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