In Brief 2004-2005

Pop Quiz with Viggo Mortensen

Source: People

In the Lord of the Rings films, Viggo Mortensen plays Aragorn, a somber and reflective warrior with a poet's soul. Turns out in real life Mortensen has a touch of the bard in him as well. An avid painter and photographer, Mortensen, 44, has also published several poetry collections, including last year's Coincidence of Memory. Scoop caught up with the writerly actor.

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Some people think beret, bongo drums and cigarettes when they think poetry. Fair?

People think poetry is a guy in a basement smoking French cigarettes, and that it doesn't have a place in our modern, high-paced world of computers and TV. I don't agree. I don't have a beret.

When you were filming the Rings trilogy, ever climb a mountain to write poems?

We were often in mountains, so I would write there. But you can write anywhere. I've written poems in airplanes, in subways, taxis, even in the bathtub.

Okay, we must ask: Ever use poetry to land chicks?

I've tried, but I don't think it actually works.

One of your works is posted on a Poets Against the War web site. Are you against it?

I do feel it was ill-advised to ignore so many countries and so many millions of people around the world and in our own country who had very strong feelings about diplomacy. I don't think our government really tried that at all. The agenda seemed to be set, and I think that's dangerous.

Is the war you're waging in the Rings trilogy justified?

That's about how a person - even a small person like a Hobbit - can make a difference, and how it's essential to work together and look past differences.

You write, paint and photograph. You're a jazz musician and an equestrian. Do you bowl?

I'm a decent bowler.

Anything you can't do?

I don't know. I'm just trying to get the most out of the ride.
Last edited: 7 January 2013 16:37:15
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