Quotable Viggo

Quotable Viggo 2014

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Quotable Viggo: 28 December 2014

2015 is on the near horizon – time for a bumper look back at all the best quotes of 2014. Most are film related in a year which saw Viggo appear in three new movies, visit more film festivals than he had hot dinners and stun critics with some linguistic fireworks. Along the way we have had Sobrevueloscuervos, covering every topic under the sun and giving us laughter and tears, and always something to think about when the reading is done.

© Viggo Mortensen/One World Films/4L Productions/StudioCanal

'I think that you have to be able to speak without fear, that one can, and at times must, name things, facts, freely speak your mind. Free discussion without fear of anyone or anything.'

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
9 October 2014

Mortensen, who radically rejects any clichés and stereotypes, has become one of the most interesting and idiosyncratic actors of his generation. And incidentally, so to speak, a world star of cinema.

Venniale Tribute publicity
August 2014

'...it's difficult for things to go wrong when you work with Viggo Mortensen.'

David Oelhoffen
Q&A: Viggo Mortensen and David Oelhoffen on 'Loin Des Hommes'
By Roslyn Sulcas
New York Times
26 August 2014

Viggo Mortensen is one of the most fascinating stars in contemporary cinema. The image of his penetrating gaze and wide jaw seems to have traversed all the corners of the globe and of Planet Cinema.

Manu Yáñez
13 August 2014

"Any film he's in is a film I want to see. He's one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that's happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her."

Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen To Star In Electric City's 'Captain Fantastic'
By Mike Fleming Jnr
20 February 2014

'Suddenly, there's foreign sales and they can sell the idea. It suddenly went from "this is too dark," "the characters are [too] unlikable and complicated,"- it was suddenly, "Well it's Viggo."'

Hossein Amini
Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
By Robyn Candyce
24 September 2014

There's been a lot of good-looking men at this year's 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, but none of them can compare to the sexy beast that is Viggo Mortensen.

The Huffington Post
9 September 2014

Is there a language Viggo Mortensen doesn't speak?

Jill Lawless
Associated Press
2 September 2014

Viggo Mortensen can do anything. Until recently, that wasn't true. We could all look at him and think, "Yeah sure, but can he speak French?" The answer was no, and our world had a modicum of balance. Now it turns out that answer was yes, and we are all ****ed.

Evan Saathoff
25 August 2014

A wonderful reflection on the evocative power of cinema. And, incidentally, the umpteenth confirmation of Viggo Mortensen´s great talent. Mustachioed , astride his horse in a cavalry uniform, sword in sheath and a splendid hat on his head, he is reminiscent of John Wayne in the early John Ford films.

Jauja review
Franck Nouchi - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Le Monde
19 May 2014

Sweating in layers of bulky long johns, and sporting a droopy, weeping mustache, Mortensen carries the film, his human grumbling and surprised, rageful violence conveying the sense of a nervous, basically average man caught on a journey into his own heart of darkness. Increasingly, as the other characters drop away, Mortensen has nothing to play against but nature and himself.

Jauja review
Mark Asch
Brooklyn Magazine
7 October 2014

Anchored by a rumpled, naturalistic performance by the great Viggo Mortensen...

Jauja review
Angelo Muredda
5 September 2014

The voice on the phone is husky, familiar, and just a little menacing. "I was told to call this number," the speaker says. I give a little shudder before realising it's Viggo Mortensen, calling as planned to talk about his new film, The Two Faces of January. Phew.

The many faces of Viggo Mortensen
By Karl Quinn
Sydney Morning Herald
5 June 2014

'I liked the psychological acuteness, the darkness, the immorality that was in the script and all of this immersed in a dream setting. Just like something left rotting away in the sun.'

Viggo Mortensen: "I love the darkness and immorality of The Two Faces of January"
By Thomas Agnelli – translated by Celine
Premiere (France
June 2014

Viggo Mortensen surely wasn't just cast because he's a great actor; it's because no one can rock a 1960s cream linen suit quite like him.

Leigh Singer
19 May 2014

'I wasn't aware how bad he was until he confessed to me later that he could have been trying on bin bags for all he'd known.'

Steven Noble on Viggo being ill with fever through his costume fitting
ESQ&A: The Hollywood Costume Designer
By Tom Ward
Esquire Magazine
6 December 2014

"Viggo really embraces the ugly side of characters… not a lot of stars do."

Two Faces of January review
Dave McNary
22 June 2014

...one of the great little pleasures of cinema in our day - seeing Mortensen tilt his head and sketch a knowing half smile with the corner of his mouth.

Manu Yáñez
13 August 2014

Mortensen is terrific. His post-'Lord of the Rings' films have been an idiosyncratic mix. His my-way-or-the-highway approach doesn't always pay off, but it does here with this engrossing drama.

Loin des Hommes
Cath Clarke
Time Out
2 September 2014

"It takes me a long time to say yes to something. But once I do, I'm there."

Viggo talking about choosing his films
Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
9 September 2014

...he packs all the qualities of the archetypal strong and silent man as he has been constructed in the mythology of classic American westerns.

Loin des Hommes review
2 September 2014

...a face that paints a thousand unknown memories...

Loin des Hommes review
1 September 2014

Viggo Mortensen:
We went through a lot of actors.

David Cronenberg:
This is not the original Viggo.

Viggo and Cronenberg talking about the dangers of filming the fight scenes
Listening in: Cronenberg and Mortensen introduce AHOV at Tiff 2104
Next Projection.com
14 January 2014

Muddy paths, the grey rampart that advances relentlessly and swallows the sky, the threat of something big, powerful, unstoppable. Rain is the universal music - along with the contribution of the wind through a forest or punishing an open window, the roar of the rivers, the sea.

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
9 October 2014

Now the thunder and lightning are multiplying and it's starting to rain. I'm tired, but I think we've shot some good scenes today. I put the Cuervo flag in my backpack, next to that of Real Madrid and the Montreal Canadiens, others that I usually hang wherever I travel for work. An old habit, superstitious things.

The Past Is In Everything
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 August 2014

'Ridley Scott's filming George Orwell's Animal Farm and I'm playing the goat...'

Viggo on being asked if he's grown his beard for a new role
BBC Breakfast Television
13 May 2014

Quotable Viggo: 20 December 2014

Nikolai had a horrible feeling that he'd been given a false address for
the Staff Christmas Dinner and everyone else was at Nando's.

© Focus Features

It's Christmas time and what better seasonal subject than home cooked food and lots and lots of chocolate? In fact when it comes to the chocolate, Viggo definitely has a bit of the Santa Claus about him...

I managed to catch some nice trout in the states of Washington and New Mexico, where the movie was shot. Only kept one, a badly hooked brown trout taken from the Chama, in Northern New Mexico. Had my fishing license, by the way, which I recommend to all anglers, be they beginners or veterans, fishing on public or private land. I ate the trout, fried with some onions and apple slices. Delicious. Thank you, Universe.

Viggo-Works Christmas Interview With Viggo
By Viggo-Works and Viggo Mortensen
14 December 2014

This myth of the poor lonesome cowboy, the guy who has no need of others to be happy, is it really a trick to attract women?

On the contrary! Each time I have tried to charm them with my poetic cowboy side, it's ended in total failure. To seduce a woman, food is more effective than poetry. I love to make complex dishes. That always works!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009

When we speak, Mortensen is in the kitchen of his home in Venice, California, drinking strong, green Argentinean maté tea, brewed from twigs, and cooking himself dinner (Korean dumplings).

Hot Actor - Viggo Mortensen
By G. E.
Rolling Stone
September 2003

"My kitchen is my studio. I don't have a real working studio. But it's nice to paint in the kitchen: while the canvas dries, I can take a break and eat something. I like cooking, especially for my son. I'm not sure that you'd like my cooking. It's not at all conventional ..."

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

"I like to live dangerously. Last night I was quietly at home, cooking a meal of chicken, onions and garlic, Cuban style, and then here I am today facing a pack of journalists."

Viggo Mortensen Talks About "Jauja" and "Far from Men"
By Martin Dale
7 December 2014

...when it came his turn to enjoy an executive producer's morale-buffing dinner invitation for cast members, the producer, Mark Ordesky, never got a chance to reach for his wallet.

"When I called Viggo, he said, 'Pick me up at 8,' " New Line Cinema's Ordesky recalls. "I get there and he cooks. He's a Renaissance man. He paints, he acts, he writes poetry, you could bounce a quarter off of him and he cooks the way our mothers cook -- from scratch."

Valiant Effort: A Late Substitution, Viggo Mortensen Dived into Rings.
By Irene Lacher
LA Times
21 December 2002

"I love to cook," he admits. "When we did Lord of the Rings, I'd help cook these big Thanksgiving feasts on the set."

The Renaissance Man adds, "I do all the trimmings plus even make pies."

Viggo Starring In Different Sort Of Psychological Thriller
By Cindy Pearlman
Chicago Sun-Times
8 December 2011

…he stashes chocolate on his person like a marsupial…

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

"He's an unbelievable man. He brings chocolates to the set, expensive haute cuisine chocolates, and he hands it out in plastic bags."

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs Loved Working With Chocolate Man Mortensen
1 March 2012

He… presents me with two large chocolate squares, one wrapped in pink paper that has a handwritten "Venezuela" on it, and another in orange paper that has a handwritten "Indonesia".

I am not sure whether he handwrapped them himself or whether they came from a hand-wrapped chocolate shop. I imagine him travelling the world with a suitcase of wrapped chocolates.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

He gave presents every day.....An example of what Viggo Mortensen's participation in this Spanish project has been like is explained by Unax Ugalde: "When he knew about my big childhood fondness for Sugus sweets, one day I found on the floor of my dressing room the shape of my name all made out with sugus."

Unax Ugalde
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

There was only one thing that I was irritated with: he was on a diet of chocolate, really dark chocolate and red meat. That's it. He brought all of these great chocolates from everywhere in the world and shared them with the crew. I'm still addicted to dark chocolate. I can't get away from it."

Hitting 'The Road' with Director John Hillcoat
Matt Mazur
22 November 2009

...there was never a day that he wasn't plying us with dark chocolate. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon–covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer."

Renée Zellweger
The Great Dane
Men's Vogue
By Phoebe Eaton
March 2008

A few days later, as evening fell, he returned to Valdeteja bringing with him an enormous bag of goodies for the town's kids who by now know that Viggo never arrives empty-handed. There, in Anabel's bar, he resembled Jesus among the children. Scores of kids cavorted around him, watching eagerly as Viggo pulled out shirts from his bag, then candies, chocolates and caramels that he distributed like Santa Claus to each child, all under the astonished and pleased gazes of the customers who by now consider the 'American friend' as one of their own.

Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de León
20 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Margarita

Name six historical figures you would like to invite to a dinner party.

Again, far too many to choose from, but I can give you the first ones that come to mind at this moment: Albert Camus, Minerva Chapman, Buffalo Bill Cody, Karen Blixen, Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman, Clara Barton, Bertrand Russell, Alfredo Alcón, Padre Lorenzo Massa, Rosa Luxemburg, Noam Chomsky, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Alfonsina Storni, Rolf Krake, Ada Falcón, William Shakespeare, Wangari Maathai, Crazy Horse, Hannah Arendt, Gautama Buddah, Hypatia, Heidegger, Schopenhauer, Santa Teresa de Avila, Oscar Wilde, the Prophet Muhammad, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Jorge Luis Borges, R. M. Rilke, Marguerite Duras, Leonardo da Vinci, Jesus Christ, Carl T. Dreyer, Maria Falconetti, Stefan Schweig, Sigmund Freud, Ludvig Holberg, Mohandas Gandhi, Howard Zinn, Saxo Grammaticus, Artemisia Genitleschi, Leo Messi and Allan Simonsen seated together... that's probably enough for a long table.

And what would you cook for them?

I would make a giant salad from my own garden, provide good home-baked bread, and, to be safe and not offend anyone, a big rice dish with options of meat and vegetarian, with lots of hand-picked forest mushrooms in both. Also oven-baked potatoes, carrots, garlic, turnips, onions. For those interested, I'd provide fresh-caught wild rainbow trout and salmon, grilled with a bit of lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, blueberries, huckleberries, apples, plums, wild grapes, and whatever else I could find in my ideal orchards and surrounding forest. Lots of good water from a spring, and plenty of red and white wine from Spain, Argentina, Italy, France, and New Zealand.

Viggo-Works 10th Anniversary Interview With Viggo
By Viggo-Works and Viggo Mortensen
30 May 2014

Quotable Viggo: 6 December 2014

In the October 9th Sobrevuelos column (just translated by our intrepid duo Ollie and Zoe,)
Viggo quite rightly defends the right to speak freely and voice opinions on controversial issues, and to have those opinions respected and presented in context. The freedom to speak is something that he has returned to again and again over the years. Only when all sides and arguments have been expressed can truth and balance emerge.

Voices of a People's History of the United States
Image Frazer Hamilton.
© Frazer Hamilton.

'activism is not a dirty word.'

Viggo Mortensen
SLU Commencement Address
May 21, 2006

'Not speaking something that you know or think is the truth is complicity.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Other Mortensen, by Mariana Enriquez - translated for V-W by Margarita
Página 12,
20 November 2005

Mortensen has got himself onto the subject of politics and personal responsibility and he is quietly rapping away. It has rhythm, it has blues: you almost feel like tapping your feet. Not a grandiose oration, nor a preachy lecture (or one you can actually stop or interrupt) but his audience nevertheless starts to feel a creeping sense of guilty moral turpitude.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009

'I think that you have to be able to speak without fear, that one can, and at times must, name things, facts, freely speak your mind. Free discussion without fear of anyone or anything. We can disagree, but we need to try to learn what's going on, what others think - everyone - in order to maintain a more or less sensible conversation, a healthy dialogue.'

Viggo Mortensen
If The Rain Gets Here
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
9 October 2014

'If we don't talk about these things - with respect and good manners, and informing ourselves as well as possible - they get worse and worse, darker. There are more misunderstandings and problems. As in any relationship, the things that aren't talked about come out later in another way.'

Viggo talking about the ETA and forgiveness controversy
The World of Viggo Mortensen
By Manuel Martínez Torres - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire Latinoamerica
March 2012

'I consider myself very fortunate to have a platform. I don't take it lightly, and I don't abuse it. I don't speak up about something unless I feel strongly about it and until I've researched a subject extensively and have an informed decision about it. But I think if you don't say something it's lying by omission. I personally think it's immoral. Yeah, it might cost you a few fans, but you have to say something.'

Viggo Mortensen on speaking up for his beliefs
By Nina Siegal
The Progressive
November 2005

"There's a well-promoted notion: "Why are you speaking about things you don't know anything about? You're not in politics, you're not a senator or a congressman. You have no right to speak about these things. You are an actor, or a teacher, a cab driver, a nurse, and therefore you have no right to worry about or express concern over the moral decision-making of the government you have elected to represent you." Which is absurd, of course."

Viggo Mortensen
The Man Who Would be King
By Scott Thill
Salon.com, 2003

"On one hand I fully believe in artistic freedom and freedom of speech, but at the same time I feel that you should react wisely and show your respect for other people," says Viggo and he continues: "As an artist I express my opinion about everything, but I never talk about a subject I have no knowledge of. And I always think about how other people would interpret my expressions. Once in a while it is smarter to shut up. Think and listen to what other people say.

My Heart Beats For Denmark
By Kim Kastrup - translated by Rosen
Ekstra Bladet
25 September 2007

'Every kind of government, however democratic it might be, is naturally against freedom, because its number one objective is to remain in power. So, for government to work well, people have to get involved, to insist on freedom of speech, on gender equality, on all that. Because they aren't things that are a done deal, that we won them and that's it. They have to be renewed every day.'

The World of Viggo Mortensen
By Manuel Martínez Torres - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire Latinoamerica
March 2012

'I believe in this nation and I think that, you know, as Howard Zinn, paraphrasing him, being patriotic is not supporting your government, being patriotic is supporting your country, your nation.'

Charlie Rose Show Interview,
transcription for V-W by Chrissie
22 September 2005

People say I'm negative – not true. I'm aware. The spread of the internet leads us to think that people are more informed than ever. They're not. People are tired of scandals and corruption and want to know less than ever."

Viggo Mortensen
A Most Beautiful Mind
L'Uomo Vogue
September 2011

'A couple of days ago, a man wrote a letter to the Watertown Daily Times saying, in effect, that he would not vote for Bob Johnson just because Viggo Mortensen thought he ought to. He was absolutely right.'

Viggo Mortensen's Watertown Speech in support of Dr. Bob Johnson,
Democratic party candidate for congress
Watertown, NY
9 September 2006

Quotable Viggo: 30 November 2014

In the recent Variety interview we learned a little more about the music in Jauja, which got me thinking about Viggo's long term collaboration with Buckethead on a whole string of albums including Pandemoniumfromamerica, Intelligence Failure, Reunion, and, most recently Acá. First getting together in 1997 for One Less Thing to Worry About, it's become an enduring partnership between an actor who insists he's not a musician but likes messing around, and one of the world's most innovative and shyest guitarists.

Album covers ©Perceval Press/TDRS. ©Photo Unknown

'I like to play with music. But I would not define myself as a musician, but as a sound modulator. I love to be with musicians and play, to see what comes out from the mess that we do together.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
March 2002

It's the opening night of Viggo's photo exhibition and the room is packed with his friends and associates. They're all here to see the debut of his haunting, abstract images, the ones shot during the making of "Hidalgo", Disney's upcoming $90 million epic in which Mortensen stars as the first American to race across the Sahara Desert on horseback.

More to the point, everyone's also here to see the man himself, yet no one seems to know where he is.

As it turns out, the reluctant "The Lord of the Rings" star is out back with six or seven spiky-haired youths in the parking lot. He's the tall one in the center looking uncharacteristically polished in a charcoal suit and black leather shoes. At the moment, everyone's huddled around his dirty blue Toyota Prius, listening to some loud, swampy, guitar noise pumping out of his dashboard.

"Is that Buckethead?" asks the guy in baggy jeans, the one standing next to Elijah Wood.

"Yeah, that's him," says Mortensen, referring to a certain guitar wail. "I'm not sure about the mix, though. What do you think? Should it be brighter?"

This is vintage Viggo. While crowds of people are anxiously waiting inside to talk to him about one thing, he's already on to the next, in this case his next album with the Japanese [sic] experimental guitar legend known simply as Buckethead.

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life
October 2003

'...[Lisandro] said that we didn't have any budget at all to go find what he was thinking about, so he needed somebody to propose something. And I said there is a guitar player named Buckethead whom I've known for years, I've done lots of records with him. A lot of the music is kinda strange, but some of it is pretty lyrical. It has a sort of circular quality that would suit the story. I sent Lisandro ten songs, and he picked the one you hear and I thought "great choice." I wouldn't have thought of it, but he could see that. It was one of those things that happen.'

Viggo discussing the music in Jauja
Viggo Mortensen on 'Jauja,' Producing, Protecting Directors' Visions
John Hopewell
25 November 2014

"I think for him, to work with me, I'm obviously not, you know, a professional musician or a professional music producer or anything like that, so I don't work in a conventional way and I don't have set rules for how we are going to do each take or how long it's going to be or what approach we are going to take, so I think it's probably refreshing for Buckethead to just go ahead and play. And be safe, he can be safe in making mistakes, doing whatever. I'm never going to make him do something and I would never use something he didn't like so I think it's a safe atmosphere for him to be really creative."

Viggo Mortensen on working with Buckethead
CHUD magazine
by John Makarewicz

A number of years ago I reviewed a collection of Mortensen's photographs and poems and commented on how with either media he seemed to have the innate ability to capture specific moments in time with both his words and his camera.

Maybe it's through his work as an actor, where you have to be in the moment at all times when you're portraying a character in order for it to be believable to your audience, that he has gained this ability.

However he does it, this recording shows he's equally capable of bringing an audience into a specific moment in time with his music. Acà is a beautiful and evocative collection of music which will allow you to travel into your own memories of time and place like few others I've heard.

DanVTMuzrzr reviewing Acà
Music Blogs
22 February 2014

"I met him like seven or eight years ago when I'd made a recording of...I'd participated in a poetry recording for children and each poet or writer had to invent something about a theme, well, from Greek mythology. I did something about Poseidon and he put it to music. I listened to the music afterward, when the recording was ready and I asked, "Who's the guitar player?" Then I called him and we began to work [together]."

Viggo talking about working with Buckethead
"La Ventana" with Viggo and Carme
By - transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Cadena SER
23 November 2011

"I'm so glad that in my life that I've gotten to know him a little and work with him. He's one of the most original, genuine, most sincere, and most gifted individuals I've met in my life. He's incredible."

Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead: The man who portrayed Aragorn talks about recording with the king of horror guitar.
By Spence D.
FilmForceIGN. com
3 March 2004

'He's never different,' the guitarist says. There's a long silence. 'He doesn't seem like he belongs in this time.'

Buckethead on Viggo
Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish, by Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

Taking lyrical cues from William Blake, Rumi, and Jonathan Swift (whose "Holyhead" gets murky, standout treatment), the album could almost be called the dissonant but similarly adventurous Sgt. Pepper of its age, or, more rationally, the My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

On Pandemoniumfromamerica
Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003

One listen to The Other Parade, his rereleased 1998 album with Buckethead, ex-wife Exene Cervenka, and a host of others, reveals total artistic fearlessness...

Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003

Now if he just changes his handle to something catchy like "V-Go," the fellow might prove quite the pop star.

On Pandemoniumfromamerica
Holding Court with the King: Viggo Mortensen heralds the return of the renaissance man
by Gregory Weinkauf
East Bay Express, 2003

Being in the studio with him and just spending a day at work, I walk out of there always feeling a little lighter, all my problems and responsibilities just feel a little less daunting somehow. It's like going for a nice walk in the woods. You just feel a little more able to deal with thing 'cause you know that you've used your time well and gotten something special out of the day. I feel that working in the studio and in particular working with him."

Viggo Mortensen & Buckethead: The man who portrayed Aragorn talks about recording with the king of horror guitar.
By Spence D.
FilmForceIGN. com
3 March 2004

Writing or acting or playing music, I need to feel like I'm connecting with something. And although acting brings me many moments like that I'm probably most relaxed sitting down at a piano. I don't read music and I've never had lessons but it's fun and I find it very relaxing. I'm okay with mistakes and people not liking what I play. I just do it.

Viggo Mortensen on Good
By Angus Fontaine
Time Out, Sydney
9 April 2009

Quotable Viggo: 23 November 2014

Reading through old interviews last week, I came across one where Viggo summed himself up as 'curious', pointing out that it could be read in two ways – a curious guy who is curious about the world. It didn't surprise me as the word 'curious' is one Viggo uses again and again to describe the way he approaches life. Being curious is what drives him. He wants to know about pretty much everything.

© 20th Century Fox/Haddock Film

What would you like as your epitaph?

"He was curious," which you can take more than one way.

Viggo Mortensen Interview
By Tim Wilson
December 2003

Honor? Power? Glory? Don't even bother him with this!

The noble warrior Aragorn from "The Lord of the Rings" fights for only one treasure: to stay curious llike a child.

Viggo Mortensen
By Bernd Volland Translated by JoannaP
Stern Speziel Biografie
April 2003

...and yet, in his many careers, ego has no place...and if ego has no place in his career, apathy has no place in his life. Viggo Mortensen has earned a reputation for having endless energy, for being consummately curious. He drives himself hard in all aspects of his life.

Daniel F. Sullivan
St. Lawrence University
March 1, 2003

'I'm a very curious guy and I stick my nose in everything. I travel a lot because I'm interested in knowing how the rest of the world lives. I love to learn about other cultures, to submerge myself in them, to learn of points of view that are different from mine.'

Viggo Mortensen
"I'm a guy who sticks his nose in everything"
By Stuart Gollum, Gala Magazine
30 August 2006

'Deep down I'm curious, so it doesn't matter what I do, if only my curiosity is satisfied. I would never had imagined that I would become an actor in so many years. And I've thought about quitting many times, cause it can be frustrating again and again to see your work being made in such way, that the final result is bad; when the thing, you've put in the movie, can't be viewed on screen. But I have learned many years ago, to enjoy the things you are doing, while you're doing it.'

The Star Is Named Viggo
By Rolf Pedersen
M! magazine
November 2001

MT:Is there a common denominator to all your various artistic endeavors?

VM: Curiosity, I suppose. I've been aware for as long as I can remember of the fact that I was going to die. I don't remember not being aware of that. And that, therefore, life is limited. And no matter how many movies you see or how many conversations you have or how many people you listen to or how many books you read or how many travel experiences you have, how many times you return to the same street or the same tree, you can never do it enough. So why not make the effort? You can't put everything off until tomorrow.

A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003

His work is a trace of his own adventure, lived openly and exploratively, with curiosity and a constant sense of surprise.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

Viggo Mortensen is, besides a great actor, an inexhaustible conversationalist, so full of curiosity that he doesn't hesitate to occasionally take the role of the interviewer.

The Dark Side Of The Hero
By Walder & Castro - translated by Graciela, Remolina and Zooey
Marie Claire (Spain)
June 2009

Are you a politically-motivated person?

I don't know that I'm more politically motivated than anyone else. I'm curious about the world and I have a resistance to just assuming that what I see on TV is the gospel truth.

The Horse Whisperer
Daily Mirror, by Honie Stevens
16 April 2004

How are you with your artistic side nowadays? (He is known as a musician, poet, photographer and painter.)

I think I´m alright. I continue wanting to learn new things, and to do better the things I already know [how to do]. Whether you have a profession that's considered artistic or not, curiosity is indispensable if a person is to grow in life. As has been the case for so many years, this year I am acting, writing, publishing, taking photographs, and I keep looking all I can at other people´s art. I still travel a lot, and that's always inspiring for me.

Viggo Mortensen demonstrates to this newspaper that the great never lose their humility.
3 July 2013

What was it that inspired you to start making photos?

Nothing in particular. Perhaps it has something to do with a sort of incurable, persistent nosiness.

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen
by Natalie Dodecker
American Photo magazine 2000

Quotable Viggo: 15 November 2014

I was thrilled to see the video again of Viggo talking about his Track 16 Recent Forgeries Exhibit, which Philipa posted a few days ago. It filled me with nostalgia for Viggo's paintings. Each painting was like a multi-media journal of his life, full of scraps of writing and bits of photos. They emerged from the paint like half-hidden secrets which we loved to try and unravel on our art threads. So I couldn't resist doing another painting quotable, combing the archives to try and find some fresh insights. I would love to see new Viggo paintings and perhaps his comment in the exclusive interview he did for V-W last April gives us grounds for some hope!

Mortensen is an artist and he is a trifle obsessed. Every inch of his house is given over to artworks... ...The place is so layered with art that when Mortensen offers a guest a soda, he has to liberate the refrigerator from behind several large paintings in order to get to it.

Kristine McKenna
Recent Forgeries
Smart Art Press

Viggo Mortensen's friend, the actor Dennis Hopper, was once asked to define Viggo's art, and he summed it up this way: "It comes from the subconscious. You take it back into your subconscious and have your own conscious reaction."

That's about as good an explanation as any for the art of a man as complex and enigmatic as Viggo Mortensen.

Celebrity Artist - Viggo Mortensen
By Ken Hall
Art & Frame Review
May 2002

Written words, printed words, often drowned in paint, fragments of paper, images, photographs, the shape of a tree, scratched on to the canvas.

The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
March 2002

Here he puts some paint, there he adds a verse from his poetry, a piece of cloth, sponge, some sand then he paints the half over again, attaches a piece of wire...

One Man Band
By Beata Sadowska (translated by JoannaP)
VIVA Magazine
December 2003

[He] doesn't pay attention to critics' voices: "Many of them would send me to a basic painting workshop, but what is most important to me is that I have fun doing this. Everybody should do what he likes".

One Man Band
By Beata Sadowska (translated by JoannaP)
VIVA Magazine
December 2003

"I operate on instinct and intuition rather than an intellectualized approach to art-making," he said. "Every so often, somebody will tell me about a rule, but eventually I always end up asking myself, 'Why does it have to be this way?'"

Celebrity Artist - Viggo Mortensen
By Ken Hall
Art & Frame Review
May 2002

"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

For Mortensen the canvases are like 'a diary, a representation of my memory, of the way my mind works. They reflect precise experiences and moments, even if I don't necessarily remember them.'

The Painter Hero
By Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
March 2002

"I have a tendency to always leave things for another day. Before I make the first mark on a canvas, it always ends up seeming much more urgent for me to have another cup of tea [laughter]. And then I only have 45 minutes left before some other appointment, so I've already made myself late to begin with..."

Viggo Mortensen
"Freud was a great public relations person"
By Alex Vicente
Público.es – translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
4 September 2011

"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."

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

"I'm aware that some people came to see the actor and not the painter. But once they are here, maybe they will like my pictures".

Viggo talking about his art exhibitions
One Man Band
By Beata Sadowska (translated by JoannaP)
VIVA Magazine
December 2003

Do you still create any visual arts like paintings or drawings?

Drawings, and hope to get back to painting when I move to a bit larger home later in the year.

Viggo-Works Exclusive Interview with Viggo
12 April 2014

Drawings from childhood, computer experiments, canvas, cloth, photographs, rub, scratch, splash, dash. Go for it, Viggo.

Dennis Hopper
Introduction to Recent Forgeries
Smart Art Press

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Last edited: 3 January 2015 13:11:06