Quotable Viggo

Quotable Viggo 2011

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Quotable Viggo: 6 February 2011

When Viggo first shot into the limelight with The Fellowship of the Ring, much was made of his arriving at interviews barefoot, his idiosyncrasy, stories of his disappearing into the wild on days off, his energy, his crazy humour and the profound effect he had on cast and crew. I don't think the journalists had ever come across anyone like him. Of course there is no one like him because, in a world where many pretend to be what they are not, Viggo is never anybody but himself.

© New Line Productions Inc.

Mortensen definitely marches to the beat of his own drum.

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
23 December 2003

Barefoot, carrying a coffee plunger of water and sporting a United Nations badge on his jacket, Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen wandered into his own press conference as though he were planning to sit on the back lawn.

A Barefoot Viggo Lords It Over The Fans
By James Gardiner
29 November 2003
Source: New Zealand Herald

"He's being true to himself. And people here are not really used to that or comfortable with that."

Diane Lane on Viggo and Hollywood
Finding Viggo
by Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

What some might see as LOTR affectation - such as rocking up to interviews barefoot - is actually the real deal. "No, I'm not doing a hobbit thing or a Peter Jackson thing," he told a reporter who queried his lack of footwear. "I'm doing a Viggo Mortensen thing."

The King and I
by Julie Hosking
Sunday Telegraph, 2003

'He'll show up at your door barefoot. It's real with him - it's not an affectation. He is very much of the earth. He's relaxed and in the moment and he brings real emotions to the table. He's very human with great artistic sensibilities.'

Dennis Hopper
Super Natural
by Anna David
Daily Telegraph 2002

All great artists reveal themselves more in their work than in interviews. Every time Viggo's in front of the camera or picks up a pen or a canvas or a camera, he's opening the door to his heart. This is where he's telling you the secrets of his life . . . Viggo cannot strike a fake note. I say with absolute experience that if he doesn't believe it, he won't do it.

Philip Ridley, Director
The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon
The Telegraph

"He's circumspect around people," says director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon). "He has high standards, so he's not Mr. Friendly to everybody. But I think he just tries to be careful, because once he opens up, there's none of the artifice or barriers you find with most people."

Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002

"I think he has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets - perhaps unwittingly. But the electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy."

Diane Lane
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

"...I think that having the courage to be oneself is the most difficult thing in the world. The most essential and also the most magnificent."

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

'...the legend of Perceval involves, in part - I'm sure you know about this - the notion of choosing and making your own way. A group of knights comes to the edge of a forest and each one makes his individual path. They consciously choose not to take a path that's already there, but instead create their own. Symbolically, that was the idea behind the press, and that is what we have tried to do with each book.'

Viggo talking about Perceval Press
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
24 October 2003

He is the lonely cavalier of the cinema. ...He survives everything serenely, whatever might happen in his career, he remains the same person - an idealist, but not a naive one - he has just perfected the art of doing his own thing.

Nobody Is Perfect
By Paola Jaccobi - translated by Ewa
Vanity Fair (Italy)
14 January 2009

"I am what I am and there is nothing I can do. But I have never changed a bit of myself because of my work or, worse, because of the success I have reached."

A Latin Man Comes From The North
By Riccardo Romani - translated by Cindalea
GQ (Italy), May 2007

What is your biggest fear?

Not being honest with myself and not getting the most out of life. This is one of the reasons I stay very active, always doing things that interest me in the field of art, by editing books, writing, drawing, painting, photography...

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Interview: "This film has made me feel closer to my father"
By Laura Sacksville - translated by Ollie, Rio and Sage
13 February 2010

Quotable Viggo: 29 January 2011

A quote that I've posted many times here tells us that 'dreams about telling stories' is what got Viggo into acting. Over the last few weeks we've seen his name endlessly popping up in the casting rumours of more than one epic and mythic tale, so I thought it would be apt to take a look at what storytelling means to Viggo. It's clear that in most cases where he's had the luxury to pick and choose, the story is everything. More than that, like Sam, he knows that we are all part of a big story where we choose our own roles, and there are other mighty weapons than a sword.

© New Line Productions Inc.

Dreams about becoming famous wasn't what got me into acting to begin with, but the dream about telling stories.

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

I think, any good story, the dramatic part of the story, what makes it interesting, why you'd want to go see it, why you'd want to talk about it afterwards--comes from those moments or periods of time, whether it suddenly happens or it's a gradual realization, that things are not what they seem.

Viggo Mortensen
Capone has a GOOD chat with Viggo Mortensen about politics, THE ROAD, APPALOOSA, and THE HOBBIT!!!
Ain't it Cool News
3 December 2008

"I like the big stories, the big landscapes, the big sweep. But I also find that in little stories. I'm interested in tests and ordeals. That can happen in the Sahara Desert... but it can also happen in a room, in a kitchen sink drama. It happens in people's lives."

Viggo Mortensen
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstrete
ChristianityToday, 2004

"Just the story itself attracted me to The Lord of the Rings," he says. "I liked all the connections with myth, ritual and archetypes. All those things that fed Tolkien as he wrote his book fed us as we made the movies.

For Viggo Mortensen, the War of the Rings Gets Serious
By Ian Spelling
New York Times
15 December 2002

'Lord of the Rings is the same basic story that has been told thousands of times before. And not just in Europe. The same story has been told in Asia, Japan and by Native Americans. I don't think there isn't a place in the world that doesn't understand this story.'

Viggo Mortensen
Hail To The King
by Lawrence French
Starburst #305, 2003

"It's the same sort of story that has been told as long as there have been people, and that will be told as long as there are people: a challenge is presented to an individual, big or small, who is obligated in most cases to accept it. You have to take that step to say 'Yes,' and once you do, you're in for a pretty hard time of it in a lot of ways ... in big and small ways. It can be a test of your honor or your ability to keep your composure in difficult situations."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Hidalgo
After Aragorn
By Jeffrey Overstreet
ChristianityToday, 2004

Much of the film is based on myth and conjecture. Are you comfortable with that?

To be honest, I would have been happy to go with 100 per cent myth, just because it's such a good, old-fashioned adventure story. That said, the fact that it is about someone that really existed and events that actually happened is very important to me, especially when it comes out of such a long-standing oral tradition.

Here Viggo Again
Total DVD magazine #64
July 2004

'A concern that I had, initially, was, "How does it keep from being flat? Enough with the suffering already." But, you trust the story and there's so many things that are learned along the way, in the interactions with other people, the environment and each other. You just have to trust what Cormac McCarthy wrote. Because the script was a very faithful adaptation, you just had to trust that book and that story.'

Viggo Mortensen
Interview: Viggo Mortensen Travels THE ROAD
Christina Radish
9 November 2009

"....what I love about him as a storyteller is that he doesn't tell you everything. What's going to happen to them now? I really think about that. I gotta see that again. That's a good story. And you don't really feel that way - I don't anyway - with most movies, even by good directors. I just don't get that feeling afterwards."

Viggo Mortensen
A History of Their Collaboration
By Pam Grady, Filmstew.com
11 Sept 2007

"This film is different. It's not over when it's over, which is the mark of a good story."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs Address Good and Wax Philosophical about the Nazis
by Brad Balfour
Huffinton Post
13 January 2009

"I liked the plot as a tale, as a story. And it captivated me. So I decided to do it, against everyone and against everything."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Alatriste
The filming of Alatriste, by Jesús Martin
Acción Magazine July, 2006
Translated by Paddy for V-W

''..if you asked my agent or somebody about why I'm doing these sort of movies, or going off to do a play or something, they'd say 'Well, I dunno, I think he has a death wish or something'.

''Career suicide,'' he says with a laugh.

''I don't really know. I think life is short and while I have the chance to do good stories, I'm gonna do 'em.''

Viggo on doing Good and Alatriste
Viggo Mortensen on his new film Good
Neala Johnson
Herald Sun
8 April 2009

"My best movies, I look at them years later and think, 'I was kind of another person then.' At certain points, it's beyond you. It transports you. That's the magical thing about telling stories in movies, and even going to movies - there's something else that happens. You hope. Because you want to be transported. You want to come out feeling different."

Viggo Mortensen
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009

Seeing a film is not something to be looked down on in comparison with reading a book. There can be millions of identical copies of any book, and yet the copy you hold and read is your personal doorway. It is the same when you go to the movie theater: you and the movie have a secret. It might even be a god-awful movie and you could still walk out with this little secret -- or a big secret -- inside you: a discovery that might stay with you for a day, for a month or two, even years. In those secrets we touch myth and confront universal issues, perhaps even draw new strength for our own lives.

Viggo Mortensen
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

Storytellers and stories change, but the opportunity to do well or ill by others and ourselves will always be present. The right to choose how we coexist is ours unless we willingly surrender it. There can be no quick fix, no easy or permanent answer to the troubles of today or tomorrow. A sword is a sword, nothing more. Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are, for Middle-earth as for our world, the mightiest weapons at hand.

Viggo Mortensen
Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion

'...it's all about telling stories for me: taking pictures, painting, poems. It's all about telling stories, or parts of stories.'

Viggo Mortensen
An Actor Lured By Western Promise
By Ty Burr
Boston Globe
28 September 2008

...there's a sense that pieces of Aragorn always will cling to the actor. As he says, "Aragorn is a work in progress, as we all are in an endless tale." The same could be said of Mortensen. And his story is destined to continue.

It's Good to be "King"
By Susan Wloszczyna
16 December 2003
USA Today

Quotable Viggo: 22 January 2011

I think we all have our fingers crossed that A Dangerous Method will have its first showing at Cannes, accompanied by a merry-go-round of interviews and photo shoots. While it will be a much longer wait until we actually all get to see the film, what I'm looking forward to in the meantime is much more from that irrepressible comedy double act: Cronenberg and Mortensen. So here are some reminders of their repartee, new and not so new, but all huge fun.

© Focus Features.

First [introduced] was Ashton Holmes....."Next is fabulous, luscious.... William Hurt. Then the amazing, always surprising... Ed Harris... The startling and scintillating..... Maria Bello. And finally, the really not too bad..... Viggo Mortensen!"

David Cronenberg introducing his A History of Violence cast at TIFF
From Topaz's account

Olson said he pictured Mortensen in the role of Stall, something the actor found "flattering and disturbing at the same time." Just to keep the star in line, Cronenberg told him Olson hadn't really written the role for him. "You were second to Brad Pitt."

A History of Violoence Cannes Press Conference
National Post Cannes Review, by Chris Knight
17 May 2005

"Viggo's cheap, he's available and he's obedient!" laughs Cronenberg. "And he's got a great chin."

David Cronenberg
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007

When I read interviews about History of Violence, the interviews really emphasized the degree to which you two collaborate. Tell me, how do you two work together?

DC: It's a total lie. I do everything, Viggo does nothing. I do all the work. But he pays me to say that he does a lot of stuff.

VM: Also to say that I'm thoughtful and considerate.

Talking Eastern Promises with David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen
By Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Rotten Tomatoes
12 September 2007

"I just followed orders," deadpans Mr. Mortensen, 48. "And I just told him to do whatever he wanted," says Mr. Cronenberg, 64.

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

Cronenberg added that he often found Mortensen comforting cast-mates who weren't used to the director's style. "I'd see them sobbing in corners, and Viggo saying, 'It's okay. It's okay. He's always like that.'"

Cronenberg And Viggo Together Again
By Gayle MacDonald
Globe and Mail
18 July 2007

DC: I don't think of you as an American. As I said when we did History Of
Violence, I could tell that you were actually Russian-it's obvious from your
cheekbones. I doubt that you'll be able to play any other kind of role now.
They'll say, "You can't cast Mortensen as an American - he's so foreign.....

......I thought it was incredibly bold of me to cast you as an American in
History Of Violence.

VM: Well, yeah, but it was a twisted view of America.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

On the stillness in Nikolai's character:

Mr. Mortensen: "They had to freeze-frame me." Mr. Cronenberg: "It was stop-motion. I worked him like a puppet."

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

"In the movie," said Cronenberg, "Viggo was wearing Armani. We don't allow him on the street like that, because he can't carry off the class when he's being himself."

Mortensen, director discuss their noirish
Eastern Promises
By Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee,
12 September 2007

Asked about his preparation for the [fight] scene, Mortensen said, "I was paid a great deal of money."

Added Cronenberg: "When we started to shoot the scene we were surprised to discover that Viggo has no genitals so we had to CG [computer-generate] them in."

"I had to give some of the money back," said Mortensen.

"It was very expensive CG," Cronenberg explained.

Viggo and Cronenberg's double act
Tiff Press Conference
By Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
8 Sept 2007

"We both have such bad memories that neither of us could remember we had worked together," says Mr. Cronenberg. "It was only when I saw photographs that I realized."

Behind the banter, 'Eastern Promises' actor and director offer serious insights
By Chris Vognar, Dallas News
12 Sept 2007

Q: So what's going to be the next Cronenberg-Mortensen movie?

CRONENBERG: We really don't know. I mean, (Viggo) works a lot, and I get very jealous. He works with other directors, but I'll only work with him. So he's the **** in the relationship.

David Cronenberg
Blood Brothers
By Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
9 Sept 2007

VM: Well, is there anything else? It's onerous to talk to me, I know.

DC: It's torment. I actually had to take some codeine pills before we

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg And Viggo Mortensen: The Interview
Transcribed by Patches
28 Sept 2007

Quotable Viggo: 16 January 2011

I've been thinking a lot about painting this week (mainly because I've hardly done any over the holidays). I've also been thinking a lot about process and inspiration. After discovering a passion for slapping stuff on canvas while preparing for the filming of A Perfect Murder, Viggo produced an extraordinary body of powerful mixed-media work, chronicling his life and interests. One of his most powerful pieces is Mother Memory. It appears on the cover of Recent Forgeries and has been in the news over the last few weeks as part of Dennis Hopper's auctioned collection. This was the start of an extraordinary creative period for Viggo where art almost swallowed his entire house and where, as Robert Mann observes, he needed to paint to live. I think the last quote I've chosen is a maxim for any artist, to make things that are 'honestly yours'. Finally, the Chicago Sun Times quote from 2007 makes me hope that somewhere there are still 'collages, brushings of materials, and words' waiting to see the light of day.

© Warner Brothers

'My house has gradually, over the past year and half, turned into this work shed almost. I have moved the furniture aside and there's drop cloths [everywhere]. I just have boxes of these paint sticks and paint stuff so that, if I think of something, I can make it.'

Viggo Mortensen on painting at home
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

The house is like a giant compost pile that provides an inexhaustible supply of mulch, and when you see how Mortensen lives, you begin to understand how he produces so much art; it's as if he resides in a paintbox.

Treasure Island: A visit with Viggo Mortensen
Recent Forgeries
Kristine McKenna 1998

"He doesn't need to paint for a living. But in order to live, he needs to paint."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
The American Dane
by Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
Berlingske Tidende, 2001

'...if one can decide to become an actor, it's not the same for art - there is no starting point, it's there, in you, that's all."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine, December 2002

Mortensen's paintings relate to his photography in the sense that they also teem with lived incidents. They are collages, brushings of materials, and words, all used, felt, and constantly touched. Redefined and restated, there is always something beneath, rubbed out, obliterated, nuanced; there is always more happening. Words from his poems, found phrases, or overheard whispers both succumb and survive as they enter the field of the work.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

"I like to paint and I like glue. I like gel, you know? Acrylic gel. It's fun to play with that and see what that does. I mean, some of the things are things you're not supposed to mix; oil, acrylics, or water. I just like to get dirty and play with it and see what happens. It's just fun. Sometimes you get something interesting by accident by coating something with some thing you haven't tried coating with before. You just have a hunch that will do something to It will change the texture or alter it some how chemically in an interesting way and change the tone of it. I don't know. I don't have a reason really..."

Viggo Mortensen
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell, Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

"In the canvases on which I have been working a while, there are phrases, maxims, extracts from personal diaries or newspapers ... I even use these as the material for my paintings, like the paint. These days I've stopped copying them, so as not to lose them, in notebooks or on the kitchen wall. However they are still there, in my paintings, like so many indications of my past points of view and my experiences ..."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine, December 2002

"What I find with poetry or painting or even acting is that mistakes can often be helpful. In the brief time I've been making paintings, I've ruined a lot of them by not knowing when to stop. But you just put it aside, and later when you come back to it maybe you remove one thing, or add something else, and all of a sudden it works, where before you were ready to burn it. Or maybe you look at it and realize it doesn't need anything at all."

Viggo From 5 to 7
by Dennis Hopper
Flaunt magazine 1999

The paintings and drawings in this book suck you in with their beauty and vague sense of menace.

Best books: Recent Forgeries ... chosen by Neil LaBute
The Week
3 April 2009

"I usually use the excuse that everything is abstract. That way, I can do whatever I want. And if you don't like it, it's because you don't get it," he joked.

Viggo joking about his art
Viggo Mortensen Brings The Law Of Appaloosa To Madrid
By Jose Arce - translated by Graciela
20 November 2008
Source: La Butaca

"If I have a day off, I'm not at a Hollywood party. I'm not the type of actor who lives in the press. I'd rather be home in shorts and a T-shirt surrounded by paint brushes, a blank canvas and have a few candles burning as the day fades into the night."

Viggo Mortensen
Superstar Viggo's a serious soul at heart
by Cindy Pearlman,
Chicago Sun Times
9 Sept 2007

'Make it [art] purely to please yourself and then there's a chance to please someone else -- that's what it means to me. Everyone has a few friends that they can listen to. You don't have to agree with them, but their opinion is worthwhile. If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002

Quotable Viggo: 08 January 2011

We heard the news this week that Elijah Wood is likely to have a cameo role in the opening of The Hobbit, and the film's cast now seems to be finally coming together. Some are confirmed like Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage, and some are still unconfirmed although it's inconceivable that they won't be in it, like Ian McKellen. If they are very lucky, they will have the same experience of fellowship that made The Lord of the Rings such a special journey for everyone in it. Through interviews and DVD extras we were privileged to share that experience and see the closeness of the cast, the trials they overcame and the sheer fun they had. So this week is a little nostalgic walk down Memory Lane.

© New Line Productions Inc.

Instead of the standard luxury lodging demanded by most stars on set, Viggo and co-star Orlando Bloom shared a converted bus while filming Rings. Viggo stocked the bus with a wine cellar and wallpapered the inside with candid behind-the-scenes photos. A source on the set said the bus was the site of frequent cast parties, with the motto, "Everyone is welcome, but when it's time to go, get out!"

Could Viggo Mortensen Be The Perfect Man?
By Nathan Cooper & Mike Glynn
23 December 2003

"One time I wanted to film the sunrise and sunset for a Fellowship scene. Viggo said, "I'll just camp out," and pretty soon, we had everyone there--the makeup crew, Orlando Bloom and other cast members who weren't in the shot, like Miranda Otto and Bernard Hill. We made a big fire, camped out, filmed our early sunrise shot and went fishing. It was great!"

Barrie Osborne
Source Unknown

"We got on very well together, and spent a lot of time together as friends. But as an actor you can't wish to work with anyone more truthful and more honest than him. He brings an incredible pathos to the role, and I was so pleased to be doing scenes with him."

Sean Bean
A Fantastic Leap of Faith
by Brent Simon
Entertainment Today, 2001

"The sequence where Pippin was talking about breakfast and it's snowing - that was real snow. And [after] about an hour of that snow coming down, we were in danger of being snowed in, so they cancelled the shoot, and we drove back in a blizzard, the cars skidding all over. We got back and sat in Viggo's room and drank a bottle of whiskey, and Viggo took some photos of us. And then we went out and had a huge snowball fight around town. We got thrown out of a couple of pubs 'cause we were having snowball fights in the pubs."

Dominic Monaghan
Unsung Moments & Unseen Heroes of
The Lord of the Rings
Premiere, November 2004

"I always have a camera with me. To capture the moment. I am not someone to put people into impossible poses. I made photos during the filming of Lord, and I am just happy to have caught Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and the others at that moment in their lives."

A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
December 2003

... you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go?

Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.

Viggo Mortensen
Chairman Of The Sword
By Liane Bonin
Entertainment Weekly
10 December 2003

Note: Viggo went surfing with the Hobbit actors, and his surfboard came up and hit his face. The right side of his face was swollen and he had a black eye. For about a week, the filming crew was only able to shoot his profile.

"...we all decided how [the tattoo] should be and each individual decided where they wanted it, and if they wanted it. It was a voluntary thing. No one was forced to do it but everybody wanted to do it. So you know, it's an outward symbol. In a way, we didn't really need to do that because what's important is what we have inside and in our head as far as the memory of doing it and the feeling that we have of each other now as a result of going through the experience together in a good way."

Viggo talking about the Fellowship tattoo
Interview With Viggo Mortensen
Cinema Voice
February 2004

"Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

"Those bonds of friendship will last forever," he says. "We spent a lot of time in New Zealand. It was tough. We got sick, we were tired. But we had each other to lean on. That's what it's all about. Tolkien realized that, and so did Peter Jackson. It's universal. That's why people all over the world love the Lord of the Rings films."

Talkin' To Me?
By Gunnar Rehlin
Scanorama magazine
1 March 2004

"It was sad and happy at the same time. Terrible and confusing. The end of such an adventure. Each of the end-of-shoot parties - all of the actors had one - was an occasion for looking back one more time. I was equally careful to talk to all the stuntmen who doubled for me. When I was leaving, Peter Jackson gave me my sword and a tape with my best scenes and also.... the worst!."

Viggo Mortensen on the last day of filming LOTR
Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen,
by Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine, 2003

"In a story like Lord of the Rings, whether the Ring and Sauron are evil is incidental to me. Even if we were not to get the Ring anywhere near Mount Doom. Even if we all died. It doesn't really matter," Mortensen says. "It's the fact that everybody got together and decided to go on this trip. That's the thing. That's the miracle."

Viggo Mortensen
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston
Premiere 2003

"I think [the films'] so powerful because aside from the great special effects, it's also very human. You can sense the values of the people involved, the group ethic, their imperfections, the emotions, exhaustion and commitment. In 20 or 30 years from now, some of the special effects will still hold up but what will always hold up is the intention, feel, emotion, commitment and that palpable intensity."

Viggo Mortensen
By Desmond Sampson
Pavement #62, Summer 2003-2004
New York City, NY

"We walked on a red carpet about four football fields long. All of a sudden, the sound of the crowd all blurred together. It was a perfect sunny day. It wasn't windy in a town that usually is windy. I looked up and saw people in every window in every house. Just the faces, how happy they were. I heard in my head a voice, my voice, saying, 'Remember this.' "

Viggo Mortensen on the ROTK Premier in NZ
It's Good to be "King"
by Susan Wloszczyna
USA Today, 2003

Quotable Viggo: 2 January 2011

As we head into 2011, now seems like a good time to take a look back over 2010. I've compiled all my favourite quotes of the year. It's been slim pickings because while Viggo has worked on two films, they haven't reached the stage where we have a cornucopia of wonderful interviews to enjoy, and there have been no new releases in 2010. There was still some talk about The Road and still the occasional review coming out. The Alatriste DVD also gathered some comments as it finally reached new markets, one of which I've included below. With the publication of Canciones de Invierno we also had new insights into what poetry really means to him. A quiet year, but one in which we have a whole book of Winter Songs to treasure and the anticipation of a new Cronenberg to enjoy. Whatever 2011 brings, we wish Viggo a very happy and quotable New Year!

©Alen/Images Fotobaires/Universal Pictures InternationalDimension Films

Viggo Back "On The Road," But With an Upgrade on the Shopping Cart

Headline announcing Viggo's participation in 'On the Road'
Bryan Alexander
5 August 2010

...Viggo would sleep in his outfit. When he went into a local shop one day, security was called to remove him from the premises, thinking he was a homeless bum.

John Hillcoat
No Country for Any man
Telegraph Magazine
January 2010

"These characters, the father and his son, in spite of seeming to be very cold, in fact, beneath the rags they wear, happen to have San Lorenzo t-shirts," says the actor, and laughs.

Viggo talking about The Road
In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010

It's a testament to Hillcoat's obvious belief in the strength of unadorned screen acting that he, like McCarthy before him, refuses even to explain the global cataclysm that has brought his protagonists to this state. Instead he asks us to read it, mostly, in the depths of Mortensen's wide, pellucid eyes. The actor, whose often underrated intensity has been overshadowed by his heroic role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is here unleashed to mesmerising effect. His body is skeletal (the result of severe and deliberate weight loss), and his skin ingrained with dirt, but his eyes are filled with the kind of tremulous compassion that can carry the emotional weight of an entire movie.

Kevin Maher
The Times Online
8 January 2010

Viggo Mortensen gives a three-dimensional performance in 'The Road' that needs no 3D glasses.

Nicholas Barber
The Independent
10 January 2010

If Viggo Mortensen has given a better performance, I haven't seen it

Paul Byrne
Brisbane Times
26 January 2010

The film sheds the romanticism of costume dramas. Battle scenes are brutal and bloody. Regular life is dirty and desperate. Heroism is found in intimate human gestures -- and in Mortensen's soulful eyes.

Bruce Kirkland Alatriste DVD review
Toronto Sun
10 June 2010

I never got to talk to Freud but I got to talk to Viggo playing Freud.

David Cronenberg on Freud, Keira and pressing the flesh
Brian D. Johnson
25 August 2010

'The "Blood Red" auditions at the Actors Studio were notable for one other reason: Viggo Mortensen came by every day--barefoot, with long, dirty blond hair--wanting to audition in the worst way for one of my Italian immigrants. His dirty feet and hair scared me just as much as his blue-eyed blondness wasn't right for the cast I was building. After days of just being rude to him, I finally threw him out of the studio and told him never to darken my casting door again. I have since apologized to him for my lack of artistic vision and behavior. It's the one truly bad casting mistake I ever made. He's such a talented actor; he could have played Italian or anything else he made up his mind to do. I often use him as an example of how one-pointed, dedicated, and willing to be rejected an actor has to be.'

Pamela Guess
July 2010

Mortensen is long overdue for an Oscar win and if this film doesn't earn him that honor, there really is little justice (or sense) in the Academy voting system. Hearing the cast and crew talk about the actor's strict dedication to the part is downright inspiring.

Kofi Outlaw
24 November 2009

The Argentinian. The cuervo. The Lord of the Rings. The one who teaches people to drink mate on million dollar sets.

The Habit Of Giving It All
By Juan Manuel Dominguez - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
20 June 2010

Viggo Mortensen is a smolderer. He opens those intense, I-know-how-to-build-my-own-kitchen eyes, and he wins my girlfriend over every time. Obviously, I want to hate him because anyone that ruggedly handsome has to be despised on principal alone, but like Paul Newman and his absurdly delicious salad dressing, there comes a day when you just have to admit a dude's alright.

20 Actors Who Deserve Your Support
By Josh
Cinema Blend
22 August 2010

I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but Viggo Mortensen is not a movie star. A poet? Yes. Photographer? Yep. Guitarist? Sure. Author? Uh-huh. Painter? Yessir. Actor? Most definitely. But celebrity? No way.

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

To Viggo, poetry is a way to leave reality behind in order to reach another, purer reality, away from those commonplace moments and the difficult situations for which there's no apparent relief. Poetry, to him, is a way to put the world into perspective.

About Them... "I like a brave woman"
By Salvador Llopart - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
La Vanguardia
14 March 2010

"....if you´ve written a poem and you read it, you don´t know what will happen. Something changes between my mouth and the eyes and ears of those who are there reading or listening to my words, my little story. Something changes between writing it and pronouncing the words. I don´t know what the reader receives. There´s no net. For that reason, I'm responsible for what I´ve written and for how I read it."

Viggo Mortensen - All of Us are Mestizos
by Carlos Shilling - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Zoe
November 2010

'It's great if someone who never would've gone to a poetry reading goes to one because they're thinking, "Oh, that actor guy's doing it - it'll probably be shit, but we should go and see it anyway!"'

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

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

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Last edited: 10 December 2011 14:27:54