The actor reveals his personal taste and presents his new film Todos tenemos un plan to us.
Image John Harris.
© 20th Century Fox/Haddock Films.
A New Yorker of Danish descent, at 53, Viggo Mortensen walks around the world with eyes wide open thanks to his work that has allowed him to travel it widely and from north to south, and his curiosity that never rests. One of his last stops has brought him back to Argentina, where he grew up, to star in a drama with touches of a thriller entitled Todos tenemos un plan, in which he plays two twins who exchange their lives.
If we all have a plan, what is yours?
I don´t want to anticipate myself because I´ve learned that it´s not worth it. Things change, and what you desire does too. As the poet Robert Burns wrote, "The best-laid schemes of mice and men/ often go awry/ and leave us nought but grief and pain..."
If, as in the film, you had an identical brother, how would you like him to be?
I´d like him to be my friend.
If you could begin again as if you were another person, as in the film, what would that new beginning be like?
Swimming leisurely under an autumn sun, without paying much attention to either the temperature of the water or the air.
Where do you find the scents and colors you prefer?
Every place, as ugly and battered as it might be, contains the seeds of happiness. I like woods, rivers, mountains, deserts, the sea; every natural setting not destroyed by man. But I can learn and have fun anywhere. I don't know or understand boredom.
If you got lost, where would we look for you?
If I got lost, it's likely that I want it that way. I have a good sense of direction and generally enough patience to find a good path.
What do you hate wasting time with?
Watching most of what they put on television anywhere in the world. Also sharing it with anyone who insists too much on showing that he's especially intelligent, strong, tough, fair, handsome, legendary, shrewd, worthy of either praise or hatred, or that he's in this life for some exceptional reason.
And what angers you?
Cruelty, avarice and uncontrolled selfishness.
What's made you laugh out loud recently?
On the street, I saw a female German Shepherd dog running away from a small cat. It tickled me that she didn't realize she could turn around and terrify it.
And what's made you cry?
Something my mother said to me on the phone.
What are you reading these days?
Sudeste, by Harold Conti. It's a clear-sighted reflection on Man in nature, about the caprices of life and death. I can also recommend The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, by Roberto Calasso. It's a novel based on Greek mythology that links classical legends with the present day.
And in music, what are your essentials?
I don't know if I have essentials; the selection depends on the moment. This morning I've been listening to Ray Barretto, The Ramones, Andrés Calamaro and Janis Joplin.
Do you work out at the gym?
I'm lazy about keeping in shape. Sometimes I've made myself go to the gym, but I'd rather exercise without realizing it, walking around or doing some sport.
Do you count calories or are you naturally thin?
As I get older, it's gotten harder for me not to put on a little weight. Recently, I pay more attention.
Do you like a good meal?
I appreciate a good Argentinian steak, a filet cut and prepared as it should be over the embers of a good grill. Not long ago I had a delicious steak at Buen Ayre, a fantastic Argentinian restaurant in London.
And to drink?
Water or bitter mate, sometimes strong coffee. If we're talking about alcohol, I like a good red wine, preferably a Malbec or a Ribera del Duero, depending on the food, the time of day and the temperature. I also like Irish whiskey.
Your perfect evening?
With friends, celebrating the successes and efforts of one of them.