In Brief 1991-2003

Ring Leader

Source: Newsweek

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Caught on the hop from his role as the heroic Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen laughs, "I don't think I'm back in the real world yet.

"I was worried about leaving my 13-year-old son for so long," the actor explains, "but he insisted that I go to New Zealand, even though I was given only one day's notice to travel to the other side of the world.

"I would've regretted not doing the trilogy, so I listened to the voice inside of me that agreed with my son, Henry, who constantly draws swords and monsters. This was right up his alley, and he ended up visiting me in New Zealand a couple of times."

Born in New York to a Danish father and an American mother, Viggo, 43, has starred in movies such as A Perfect Murder and Crimson Tide. He's also a painter, poet and jazz musician, having released three CDs.

Not currently in a relationship, he's notoriously free-spirited and walks everywhere - including posh New York hotel lobbies - barefoot. His former wife, and the mother of Henry, is Exene Cervenka, lead singer of punk band X.

For his part in The Lord of the Rings, Viggo had many stunts to do, which proved to be the biggest challenge.

"The first thing I had to learn was swordfighting. And they pushed me really hard," he grins. "It was kind of like being a boy again, so it was good for me - like going to boot camp. I'm sure it wasn't like what the actors had to endure in Saving Private Ryan, but then they didn't have to study Elvish!"

In keeping with his hippie-like regime, Viggo says he refused to stay in hotels during filming, opting to camp in forests instead. "I like natural environments, and New Zealand's beautiful. Although I lived and slept in my costume to make it feel more comfortable, I did take it off once a week to bathe," he jokes.

So it's not surprising that Viggo wasn't expected to sashay down the red carpet in a Gucci suit for the world premiere. "It's not my scene," he says. "I'll be somewhere fairly quiet - fishing."
Last edited: 8 August 2011 08:39:41