Quotable Viggo 2018

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Quotable Viggo: 29 December 2018

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas! Here are the answers to last week’s Quotable Quiz and I’m betting all of you did amazingly well.


© New Line Productions Inc.


While filming which movie, did Viggo…

Singe his co-star?

Two Faces of January – Kirsten Dunst: ‘Viggo had to illuminate that scene with a lighter, and he was holding it and he burnt me and he was wailing and being emotional, and I couldn’t say anything. The light was out was out but it was still so hot. I think I still have a scar. I didn’t want to mess with Viggo. ‘
Black Book 2014


Send down for a sandwich?

Captain Fantastic - “When everyone climbed down for lunch, I was still standing up there,” he said, laughing. “The kids were like ‘Viggo come down to lunch!’ and I said ‘No, just send a sandwich up!’ I was absolutely terrified. I couldn’t look down.”
W Magazine 2016


Break a rib during filming?

TCM: Leatherface – ‘...the production itself had a few hiccups; the originally cast actor for the role of Tex didn't work out, and had to be replaced (however he was replaced with Viggo Mortensen, so it's not exactly the worst thing that could happen)... The screening was boosted by a fun Q&A with Foree, who revealed that he accidentally broke Viggo's ribs during their fight scene - the shot is seemingly in the movie (watch Viggo suddenly clutch his side after being thrown to the ground)...’
baddassdigest.com 2014


Borrow a camera and end up with a book?

Hidalgo – ‘[Miyelo] came from a scene in the movie called "Hidalgo" [about long-distance horse rider Frank T. Hopkins, forthcoming in 2004] where the character I play, who's at the end of his energies and in the middle of nowhere without any water or hope left, begins to hallucinate. In a delirious state, he starts to hear these voices and see these fragments of people. I wondered how one would use a still camera to represent images of the ephemeral dancers in wide-open, empty landscape - how the ghosts of Ghost Dancers might look. So I really approached it as an exercise. In the end, I didn't actually use my own camera. I wanted to include more of the landscape, and Richard Cartwright, a very fine photographer who was shooting the official stills for the movie, was kind enough to lend me his panoramic Hasselblad camera.
Viggo Mortensen
Salon.com 2003



Turn street sweeper?

Appaloosa – ‘Each time the tracks in the street were swept away rapidly by the crew including Dennis 'the horseman'. All of a sudden Viggo Mortensen apppeared, grabbed a big broom and started sweeping vigorously alongside the crew Now that was different. Viggo Mortensen is definitely not afraid of hard work and dirt…’
Blogengeezer 2007


Give away one of his own poetry books?

GI Jane - 'I… suggested to Ridley Scott the use of a poem by D.H. Lawrence for the introduction scene in "GI Jane'. This reference gave my military character another dimension. It made him a lot more original, it was also my way of making him less misogynist! And the book which I give to Demi Moore, in which there is that poem, it was mine, all battered, really old ...'
Viggo Mortensen
Studio Magazine 2002



Save the music budget by sending the director one of his own CDs?

Jauja – ‘We didn't have any money in the budget to buy music, but I told him, "I know a brilliant guitar player and we've recorded together." I sent him 10 tracks to see what he's interested in, and he picked "Moonset". He was right—it was perfect.’
LAist.com 2015


Do a stunt with ambulances standing by?

The Road – ‘How was it to jump in the ocean? “It was very cold. I asked for another take, but they were terrified. They didn’t want me to. They had ambulances. The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, “Just tell me when you’re rolling. I’m just going to run out and go.”’
IESB.net 2009


Buy posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle for the set?

A History of Violence – ‘Mortensen's commitment translated to a collection of artifacts he purchased in the Midwest on his travels, which included ducks and a bank in the shape of a fish head that says 'fishin' money' on it and is set on the diner's cash register, posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle and other animal sculptures for his daughter's room which he thought Tom's character would have in his home."
Cannes Film Festival Press Kit 2005


Shoot a scene with an actor playing one of Viggo’s own ancestors?

Hidalgo – ‘“I found out a while back that I’m related to Buffalo Bill - distantly, on my mother’s mother’s side of the family,” he says. “It’s true: I went to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and saw the records that prove the connection.” Mortensen finds J.K. Simmons’ performance as Buffalo Bill “terrific” - and it gave him an interesting opportunity to play in scenes with a distant relative.’
Cowboys & Indians 2004


Make his own honey?

Todos Tenemos Un Plan – ‘One of the skills he had to learn for the film was beekeeping. “We got to make honey,” he says, smiling. 'I have one jar left.”’
Telegraph Men’s Style Magazine 2013


Sing his co-star Argentinian love songs?

A Perfect Murder – ‘Interviewer: Is it true that you sang serenades to calm Gwyneth Paltrow before the love scenes in 'A Perfect Murder'? Viggo: That is correct. To calm her and create a certain atmosphere of intimacy I did sing a couple of love songs that I learned in Argentina when I was young. I don't know if that ended up scaring her instead’.
M/S Magazine 2001


Have a suit fitting while delirious with flu?

Two Faces of January – ‘There was one occasion where I had a fitting with him in Barcelona but Viggo had just come down with a fever and was completely delirious. He was sweating buckets and he confessed to his girlfriend afterwards that he hadn’t a clue what he was trying on, but he remained professional to the core. 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
Esquire Magazine 2014



Eat a flower?

The Prophecy – ‘Mortensen is out of this world. Watching him pluck the petals off a yellow rose and devour its crunchy interior is something you won’t soon forget.’
Scene Stealers 2011


Lose his hat as the final scene was being filmed?

Appaloosa – ‘…as the scene unfolded, Mortensen stood rock solid, waiting to draw his Colt .45. And then his hat went flying away, a Frisbee on steroids. Harris reset the scene, and then cinematographer Dean ran out of film. "That's why I like to shoot digitally," he muttered to Harris.’
Los Angeles Times 2008


Rescue fellow performers from being snowbound?

The Lord of the Rings – ‘Mortensen's humility and generosity turned his Rings co-stars into some of his biggest fans. They tell you of the time when a snowstorm shut down production. The cast was being transported to safety when Mortensen seized a four-wheel drive vehicle and drove back to the set in order to save the hobbits' four-feet-tall scale doubles from getting snowbound.’
Premiere 2003


Terrify the customers of a local restaurant?

Eastern Promises – ‘Mortensen's in-character tattoos for Nikolai were so authentic-looking that when the actor visited a Russian restaurant diners fell silent, thinking that a top Vory had entered. However, once he spoke English, many visibly relaxed...’
Eastern Promises Production Notes 2007


Play the piano every night after filming?

Good – “…I would be playing the piano and thinking about tomorrow's work and I ended up playing musically what the scene was for me, which I had never done before. I liked it so much I just did it all time. When I watched the movie last night there was a certain rhythm in the body language and speech-wise that has to do with the piano."
Sydney Morning Herald 2009


Sing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ with his co-star?

A Dangerous Method – ‘“We also had a lot of fun singing duets. In Belvedere Gardens where Freud did take his walks, and then you see him in the end, in his morning walk, we were singing at the top of our lungs, which surprised the public and some of the journalists. He has a good singing voice and I did harmony. In Belvedere, we sang that song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," including all the high notes, which Michael hit really well.”
Yahoo Movies 2011


Wear one of his own shirts, bought in the 1980’s?

Captain Fantastic – ‘“I looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving in my pickup truck,” he remembered, “with bicycles and fishing poles and tools and pots and pans and clothes and sleeping bags, and I don’t know what else.” At least one of the items made it to the screen: a red-print Western shirt that Mortensen said he bought sometime in the 1980s, worn by Ben in a funeral scene.’
Seattle Times 2016


Change the scope of his rifle so that it was more historically accurate?

Young Guns 11 – ‘I was in my hotel room in Santa Fe, and there’s this knock on the door pretty late at night. I open it, and there was Viggo holding a rifle. He said, ‘I got some ideas about the scope my character would have on his rifle. Do you have a minute?’ He came in, and he sat down dead serious and showed me this conversion he’d done to an historically accurate scope. He said, ‘With all the copper mining in these parts, I think it would be copper.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is serious. He’s really got it.’”
John Fusco
Entertainment Weekly 2010



Approach a major corporation about using their product as a prop?

The Road - “The Coca-Cola is in the book. I amused myself with the idea that it was a Diet Coke. (laughter). It would have been funny. But they only place their products in family movies. So I called them and told them everything: It's going to look great! Cheaper! Free! If it were Pepsi, it wouldn't be like the book. We filmed it with Pepsi, with Fanta…Things went better with Coke. [laughter]. We sent the scene to them and it made an impression. And they agreed.
On Madrid - El Pais 2010


Tease his co-star by moving items around on his desk between takes?

A Dangerous Method – ‘And in between takes—at first I don’t notice—Viggo keeps pushing these penises, no, what do you call them? Phalluses? Freud’s desk had all of these little statutes and things, and some of them were phallus sculptures from different cultures around the world. And Viggo kept pushing them towards my end of the desk. I didn’t notice at first until I looked down and saw them all, inching ever-forward, with Viggo smirking, really a prankster, dressed up as Freud. It was surreal!”’
Michael Fassbender
Pop Matters 2011



Get a black eye so he could only be filmed from one side?

The Lord of the Rings – ‘… you took up surfing for the first time in New Zealand. How did that go? Viggo: Let's just say I'm not as good as the hobbits.
Entertainment Weekly 2003


Get removed from his own set by the security team?

The Road – ‘…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
Telegraph Magazine 2010


Quotable Viggo: 22 December 2018

Let's celebrate the end of another Viggo filled year with the usual Festive Quotable Quiz. Here are 25 brain-teasers all based around Viggo's filming experiences and they all start with the question 'While filming which movie, did Viggo…?', and while some are easy, others might involve a bit of research. As in previous years, see how many you can get but keep the answers to yourselves so others can guess too. I'll reveal all next week!

And here's a clue. The picture below is no help at all. Or is it…?



© Focus Features


While filming which movie, did Viggo…

...singe his co-star?

...send down for a sandwich?

...break a rib during filming?

...borrow a camera and end up with a book?

...turn street sweeper?

...give away one of his own poetry books?

...save the music budget by sending the director one of his own CDs?

...do a stunt with ambulances standing by?

...buy posters of Birds of North America, some landscapes, a small ceramic eagle for the set?

...shoot a scene with an actor playing one of Viggo's own ancestors?

...make his own honey?

...sing his co-star Argentinian love songs?

...have a suit fitting while delirious with flu?

...eat a flower?

...lose his hat as the final scene was being filmed?

...rescue fellow performers from being snowbound?

...terrify the customers of a local restaurant?

...play the piano every night after filming?

...sing 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' with his co-star?

...wear one of his own shirts, bought in the 1980's?

...change the scope of his rifle so that it was more historically accurate?

...tease his co-star by moving items around on his desk between takes?

...get a black eye so he could only be filmed from one side?

...approach a major corporation about using their product as a prop?


...get removed from his own set by the security team?


Good luck!


Quotable Viggo: 8 December 2018

Crows – we know how much Viggo loves them (I do to!) and I was thrilled to get another crow anecdote to add to my collection from all the Green Book promotions. Crows are the totem animal for his beloved San Lorenzo, of course, but he also loves them because they are survivors. And he has a massive tattoo of one proudly inked onto his arm so that he can always carry a crow around with him.



© Stella Pictures.


Here, on this flowering slope, moments after reaching higher ground to better witness carmine-lipped clouds begin to pale and shy away, I was surprised to find you, and nearly stepped on your dislocated wing. Your feathers still shine like running ink, and your eyes see through me in the fading rose light.

On finding a dead crow
From 'Moravia' by Viggo Mortensen
Skovbo
2008




That morning, Ali says, Mortensen had decided to walk to set. "I see this little black thing wrapped in his jacket. He walks in the trailer, I'm sitting in the makeup chair, and I'm like, 'Oh, you got a cat.' And he's like, 'No, it's a crow.' And so everyone's looking, like, 'What the heck is Viggo doing with a crow?' And he's like, 'Yeah, the crow is not well.' Shortly thereafter, he goes back to his trailer. He gets out of his regular shirt, because he needs to be in a tank top to get his makeup done, and he walks back in with the crow, and I see he's got a tattoo on his arm. And I go, 'Viggo, what kind of bird is that on your arm?' And he goes, 'Oh, it's a crow.'" Ali let out a warm laugh. "I turned to his makeup artist, who says, 'Oh he does this all the time, he's always finding crows.' But, like, they just sort of come to him. This crow was on the ground, and it wasn't well. It literally died the next day. He tried to get it to some kind of vet — it didn't make it — but he's got this thing about him that is a little otherworldly. He's this guy with a crow tattoo who attracts crows."

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018




For the part [of Nikolai], Mortensen studied with a voice coach, traveled to Russia, and read up on Russian jails. Fascinated by prison tattoos, he sent pictures of them to Cronenberg, who told him to run with it. In the film, he strips down repeatedly (attention, swooning Middle-earth fans) to reveal a ripped body covered in ink. Mortensen… says he realized that "there was a literate bent to some of these--phrases from Russian poems." His favorite is a picture of a black crow and "these words from a really old Russian song: 'Black crow, I'm not ready for you to take me yet.' This film is about survival. And Nikolai, he's not ready to die."

Tattooed Love Thug
New York Magazine
24 August 2007




"I really wanted to ask him about his movies, especially his performance as a Russian mobster in Eastern Promises, which I thought was remarkable," says Casas. "But we started to talk and we always ended up with San Lorenzo. 'Did you see the tattoo I had in that movie? It is a huge crow,' he told us.

The Lord Of The Books
El Argentino -Translation by Graciela
23 June 2009




Canuck the crow, the East Van bird who rides SkyTrains when he's not meddling in crime scenes, now finds himself flying in Hollywood circles. Canuck and I, a 2017 documentary that details the special bond between the crow and Vancouver resident Shawn Bergman, will be screened at the Snowtown Film Festival on Jan. 27 in Watertown, New York. The movie is being included in the festival as a loving nod to Viggo Mortensen, the Academy Award-nominated actor best known for playing the hero Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings franchise, who is native of Watertown and lover of crows.

Vancouver's Canuck the crow now a sought-after film star
Canuck the crow documentary will screen at New York film festival at the request of Viggo Mortensen
Scott Brown
Vancouver Sun
17 January 2018




Thursday, after the speech for the opening of the [San Lorenzo] chapel, he presented his relic: a bronze crow, a unique piece, life-sized, that he'd acquired in New Mexico a couple of years ago. He saw it while filming a modern western with his friend Ed Harris. He bought it, put a plaque on it with the Ciclón logo and presented it before fans and admirers. Those who adore him and see him as a kind of Chosen One, the Aragorn who will free the people (San Lorenzo) from their numerous sorrows, who will fulfill utopias and dreams and who will not be stopped by Sauron himself in all his dark power. Until the world championship is achieved, Viggo, brandishing his invincible sword, will not cease his quest.

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
Gente
April 2010




It was getting late when the Snowtown Film Festival organizers stepped onstage to say they had a couple of surprises in store. First up was a plaque honoring Mortensen with something called the North Country Inspiration to Artists Award. "Does that certificate mean I can go to Watertown Wolves games for free? No, I'm kidding," Mortensen quipped. "I'm kidding. I'm glad to have it". Then, local artist William Salisbury walked onstage holding an original sculpture of a crow. That's Mortensen's favorite animal and it just happens to be one of Watertown's most notorious pests — so, in other words, a little piece of home.

Days after Oscar nod, Viggo Mortensen comes home to Snowtown Film Festival
by Lauren Rosenthal
North Country Public Radio
31 January 2017




"When you were a kid, what'd you want to be when you grew up?"

"A crow was probably what I wanted to be most of all."

"Really? Why is that? What is it about crows?

"They're survivors. They can live anywhere. They're very self-sufficient. They're very resourceful. They're adaptable."

"That sounds like you."

"Yeah!" he laughed.

Viggo Mortensen: Making peace with the camera
By Tracy Smith
CBS
11 December 2016




"… and they are kind of treacherous; they'll steal from you," he said. "They are opportunists and they can handle anything. It seems like they are invincible … and they are beautiful."

Vancouver's Canuck the crow now a sought-after film star
Canuck the crow documentary will screen at New York film festival at the request of Viggo Mortensen
Scott Brown
Vancouver Sun
17 January 2018

Quotable Viggo: 1 November 2018

For what seems like forever Viggo has only been offered deeply serious dramatic roles, despite being a very funny guy and definitely up for playing in a comedy. But finally his moment has come in Green Book – a film which isn't strictly a comedy but where he and Ali have injected a huge amount of humour. But, of course, there was also some wry humour sneaked into Captain Fantastic and Appaloosa, and he managed to find even more of it in A Dangerous Method where he portrayed Freud with a sophisticated wit. It's great to see him finally given license to let loose those 'silly genes' that Aunt Tulle talked about.



© Universal.


'I've never been offered comedy and don't know why. But sometimes I subtly slip ironic touches into my roles.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006




"Good luck talking someone into that: 'History of Violence, The Road – that guy? Forget it.'"

Viggo after the interviewer suggests a comedy
On the Road, signs of the apocalypse hit home
Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
27 November 2009




The role is a game-changer for an actor, whose dramatic chops are a given (see his Academy nods for Eastern Promises and Captain Fantastic) but proves he's got a real flair for comedy that feels revelatory. He and Ali could take their own double act on the road.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
12 November 2018




'This story was good on paper, but it's way better on screen. It was nuanced stuff that they came up with, that they tried, that I was like 'Oh my God, this is hilarious.' This is not a funny script, but it's a hilarious movie, and it's because of their performances.'

Green Book' Director Says Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali Turned Serious Story Into "Hilarious" Movie
by Alex Cramer
The Hollywood Reporter
11 November 2018




They're two supremely talented dramatic actors, and their performances here scream out, "Oh we got jokes too!"

Victor Stiff
The Playlist
12 September 2018




We seldom get to see Mortensen in comic roles, but his goofy, sideways smile seems perfectly suited to this one, making it hard — even when he's saying things that are nowhere near politically correct — to dislike the guy for long.

Peter Debruge
Variety
11 September 2018




"He's surprisingly hilarious. The first time I met him, he was reserved. It was in an elevator. I was like, 'Hi.' He was like, 'Oh, hi.' I learned later he was very shy. So I was nervous, even a little scared, to work with him. I thought, 'This is going to be intense.' Then I got the whole other side, which I don't think many people know. He should do comedy, I've told him that... I'm sure he wouldn't be happy with people knowing how funny he is."

Kirsten Dunst
By Ajesh Patalay
Harper's Bazaar
May 2014




Viggo and I tried to find the comedy in [A Dangerous Method], as much as possible. That was fun. I've always been a massive fan of him. He's an impressive human being.

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender Explores A Dangerous Method with Movie Fanatic
by Joel D Amos
Moviefanatic.com
25 November 2011




I realized from the research is that [Freud] was very funny. He doesn't crack jokes in an obvious way, but he found a way to slip that wit and that irony into things, and in some sense, I guess that character is the comic relief in the movie. The humor helped make Freud feel like not such an impossible task to play…

Viggo Mortensen Wants the Oscars to Start Noticing David Cronenbe
By Kyle Buchanan
New York Magazine
22 November 2011




Mortensen gives a wonderfully subtle comic performance [as Freud]. He wears a complacent look under his mustache and goatee, and he waves his inevitable cigar like a scepter. He smiles benevolently at his young colleague but you can see tiny lines of tension around his mouth whenever Jung strays beyond the lines of his dogma…

Steve Vineberg
Critics at Large
27 February 2012




As always Mortensen – in his third film with Cronenberg after A History of Violence and Eastern Promises – dominates the film and brings a much needed sly humour to the proceedings.

Mark Adams
Screen Daily
3 September 2011




He's quite funny too, in a droll and sarcastic sort of way, savoring Freud's many witticisms. This is a Viggo you don't think of when you think of Viggo.

Joshua Miller
Chud.com
21 October 2011




Magnetic, charming and funny [in Captain Fantastic], as well as tenacious and kind, Mortensen easily leads this cast to greatness.

Brogen Hayes
Movies.ie
17 May 2016




….a perfect, dryly comic Viggo Mortensen.

Appaloosa review
Tom Hall
The Back Row Manifesto
6 September 2008

Quotable Viggo: 24 November 2018

No film part Viggo accepts is ever a walk in the park – in Green Book Viggo had to eat his way into the role to play Tony Lip. So here is an occasionally slightly tongue-in-cheek look at some of the prodigious lengths he is prepared to go to for the sake of a good movie.



© Bleecker Street


Green Book – bulking up

"I became as fat as a tick."

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018



Captain Fantastic – rock climbing

"When everyone climbed down for lunch, I was still standing up there," he said, laughing. "The kids were like 'Viggo come down to lunch!' and I said 'No, just send a sandwich up!' I was absolutely terrified. I couldn't look down."

Viggo Mortensen on His Idealistic New Film "Captain Fantastic"
by Gillian Sagansky
W Magazine
8 July 2016



Loin des Hommes – learning Arabic

I worked for months and in Spain, where I live, I found someone who was from North Africa, and he helped me a lot. I looked at the whole script, and I made sure I could say it all in Arabic and made sure it was Arabic from that region.

Venice: Viggo Mortensen Talks Mastering New Languages
by Ariston Anderson
Hollywood Reporter
2 September 2014



Jauja – conquering wild Patagonia while inappropriately dressed

'Sometimes it was quite awkward and tiring to tramp around in that heavy greatcoat, wearing those slippery-soled riding boots, tripping over that saber. But I found that all of that helped me construct a sort of Danish Don Quixote, a man who has no idea how clumsy he seems in those landscapes, once he is off his horse.'

Mortensen plays a Danish engineer in Patagonia
by Pam Grady
San Francisco Chronicle
14 May 2015



Two Faces of January – coping with the crushing heat of Crete

"It was a vintage bus, a 1959 Mercedes bus, and the seats were red leather, beautiful seats. But it was so hot, and we were sweating so much that when I stood up, all the dye from the seats got on it, so I had this big red ass."

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst Experienced the Downside of Wearing Vintage Costumes in The Two Faces of January
By Bennett Marcus
Vanity Fair
17 September 2014



Todos Tenemos Un Plan - playing twins one of whom becomes the other one half-way through the film

"You're playing a guy who doesn't play the other guy well. You're trying to do it in a way where you're not being overtly comical or exaggerating too much."

Viggo Mortensen: Why Don't Spanish-Language Films Get Any Respect?
By Lucas Shaw
Yahoo Movies
23 March 2013



A Dangerous Method – slipping into Sigmund Freud

"If I hadn't known that David was kind of crazy already I would have felt he was definitely insane…"

Viggo on being asked to play Freud
TIFF video interview
11 September 2011



The Road – surviving a watery Apocolypse


The water was 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was just really blowing. The air temperature was the same, but because there was howling wind, I was practically frozen. I think the air was probably freezing. It was so extreme. They had an ambulance and they had all these heaters on, and I just sat in there with a bathrobe and said, "Just tell me when you're rolling. I'm just going to run out and go."

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



Appaloosa – taming a big honking gun


"When I first had it, I said, `Do you really need it to be an eight-gauge, Ed?' It's not that manageable, it's not going to be accurate at much distance. I said, `I'm not going to shoot that thing off a horse, because I'd get blown off the horse, realistically.'"

Mortensen Packs a Big Gun
By David Germain
Associated Press
17 September 200
8


Good – wearing THAT uniform

'I did not like it, I felt uncomfortable. The first time I tried it on, I told the costume designer: "Is the hat that tight, are the boots that stiff?" I realized I felt bad because of the meaning I assigned to that uniform.'

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



Eastern Promises – running around naked in a bathhouse full of assassins

"I knew it would be relatively painful, and it was. There's no pads. But the two guys playing my attackers were good - one guy was a Georgian who had been in the Russian military, and the other guy was a Turkish professional boxer. They were perfect, and perfectly painful."

Viggo Mortensen on the Bathhouse scene
Ties that bind
by Melora Koepke, Hour CA
13 Sept 2007



Alatriste – bye bye Hollywood, hola España

"Some people in Spain thought it was strange that I came to do this story. In the United States, some people asked me why I was going to do this. I answered them that the script was very good, that it was the best thing I had ever read; that not only did I like the story of Alatriste, but also the period. It's a valuable project, an interesting character, a historical period that is very unknown outside the academic world. '

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



A History of Violence – going over to the Dark Side


"I dunno, maybe I'm channeling some barbaric ancestor or something."

Viggo Mortensen on his convincing performance
E online
22 Sept 2005



Hidalgo – hold your horses

"I've always liked to ride, and it sort of reminds me of when I was a little boy. When you're a kid, you're kind of fearless. You can get afraid of things, but you're not as conscious of your mortality or of getting hurt as when you're an older guy and you're kind of like, 'Well, you know, if I come off goin' full tilt...this is gonna hurt.'"

Viggo on riding bareback in Hidalgo
'King' Star Returns To The Screen, Riding High
By Todd Camp
Star Telegram
6 March 2004



Lord of the Rings – the show must go on…

"On the fifth take, Viggo kicked the helmet, screamed, clenched his fists and dropped to his knees. I thought he was just doing some powerful acting. But then I noticed after I said 'cut' that he wasn't saying anything. Finally, he did the next scene limping."

Once they had finished filming, Jackson made the actor take off his boot.

"His toes were broken. Normally, an actor would yell 'ow!' if they hurt themselves, and stop the scene. Viggo turned a broken toe into a performance that's a great moment in the film."

Two Towers 'bloodier, more compelling'
New Zealand Herald
7 December 2002

Quotable Viggo: 17 November 2018

There has been so much Green Book publicity, so many articles, reviews, interviews, I expect we are all feeling dizzy (I definitely am!). So here is a little quotes round up, continuing on from the one I did when the film first came out. It's mixture of comments and reviews, and one thing is clear – Viggo and Ali are a comedy and acting match made in heaven.



© Patti Perret/Universal


"It is one of the finest original screenplays I've ever read," he states. "Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Pete Farrelly managed to balance sparkling dialogue, often very funny scenes, a road movie and a sociopolitical cautionary tale in an inspired, dramatically satisfying true story about an unexpected friendship. They made a very difficult writing task look easy. I feel fortunate to be part of this movie."

Viggo Mortensen
The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018




Mortensen said he had loved the script but at first had been reluctant to take the role, because he wasn't sure he could pull off an Italian-American character. "I wasn't sure I was the right guy, I thought it was a bit of a stretch." But in the same way David Cronenberg had convinced him he could take a risk playing Freud in A Dangerous Method, he believed in Farrelly's faith in him. "Sometimes it's good to get over yourself and realise it's not all about me and what I'm afraid of, this guy [Farrelly] has a vision and he doesn't want to make a bad movie. I had to trust that."

Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen talk 'Green Book' at Zurich opening
By Wendy Mitchell
Screen Daily
28 September 2018




"He's Viggo Mortensen…it didn't even occur to me that he couldn't pull it off. I wasn't hoping he could do it, I knew he could do it."

Director Peter Farrelly
Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen talk 'Green Book' at Zurich opening
By Wendy Mitchell
Screen Daily
28 September 2018




…once we had Viggo we had the pick of the litter because anyone wants to work with him. So we said, "Who do we want? How about that guy Mahershala Ali? He was good in Moonlight." Boom.

Director Peter Farrelly
Green Book: Peter Farrelly brings powerful story of an unlikely friendship to the big screen
By Sean Kelly
31 October 2018




"It honestly was just like having an extraordinary dance partner," Ali told me of his experience filming "Green Book" with Mortensen.

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018




'This story was good on paper, but it's way better on screen. It was nuanced stuff that they came up with, that they tried, that I was like 'Oh my God, this is hilarious.' This is not a funny script, but it's a hilarious movie, and it's because of their performances.'

Peter Farrelly
Green Book' Director Says Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali Turned Serious Story Into "Hilarious" Movie
by Alex Cramer
The Hollywood Reporter
11 November 2018




[Viggo] spent time with the family of the real Tony Lip, especially with Lip's son, Nick Vallelonga, who co-wrote the script with Farrelly and Brian Hayes Currie. "I was like, 'What were his favorite things to do?'" Mortensen says. "Nick was like, 'He loved everything! He could dance with two women at the same time; he'd swim in the Hudson River; he never lost when he was playing cards. There was nothing he could do that he wasn't good at!' So then I asked, 'What was his favorite?' 'Eating and smoking.' 'Eating and smoking. At the same time?' 'Sometimes!'"

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018




Peter Farrelly: "He gained 25 initially for the role because Tony Lip is supposed to be a bouncer, a burly guy. Plus, Viggo was pounding weights. You bulked up. He was up 25 when we started, but he kept eating and eating."

Blame the cuisine of New Orleans, where most of the film was shot. As Mortensen says, "It was a lot of fun putting it on, but less fun taking it off."


3 things to know before road-trip flick 'Green Book' pulls into town
By Susan Wloszczyna
Gold Derby
7 November 2018




"I became as fat as a tick."

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018




"Maybe people who are a little bit racist will watch it and enjoy it and laugh and get the entertainment value, and maybe just a little tiny light bulb will come on…I think there will be people who will walk out of this movie who have prejudices that might change."

Viggo Mortensen
Director Peter Farrelly
Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortensen talk 'Green Book' at Zurich opening
By Wendy Mitchell
Screen Daily
28 September 2018




"The movie says to me we all have similar needs. We all have a desire, a need to be respected for who we are, wherever we're from, whatever we look like, whatever our education level is," Mortensen said. "Everybody deserves a hearing."

Mortensen thought twice about bouncer role in 'Green Book'
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
Reuters
28 September 2018




Mortensen, plump as a mortadella, doesn't so much transcend the ethnic clichés of the role as chew through them, emerging into a zone of vaudevillian poetry.

A O Scott
New York Times
15 November 2018




Mortensen is terrific, having beefed up by 30 pounds to play this bruiser with a Bronx honk and the dazed realization that his fists can't change a damn thing. Sure, Tony roughs up white hypocrites who applaud the musician onstage and then bar him from their restaurants. But don't mistake him for another white savior. The role is a game-changer for an actor, whose dramatic chops are a given (see his Academy nods for Eastern Promises and Captain Fantastic) but proves he's got a real flair for comedy that feels revelatory. He and Ali could take their own double act on the road.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
12 November 2018




While Farrelly provides the vehicle, the engine is the star power and talent of the Oscar-winning Ali and Oscar-nominated Mortensen. Together, they combust!

…Tony Lip is not Mortensen by another name. This is a committed actor giving the character his all — as usual. Whether he's playing fantasy hero Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, a Russian mobster in Eastern Promises or Sigmund Freud in A Dangerous Method, this hard-researching actor always strives for authenticity. He's funny. He's charming. He's passionate.

Why Racial Inequality in "Green Book" Resonates So Deeply Today
By Thelma Adams
Realclearlife.com
7 November 2018




Ali and Mortensen are comedic revelations. Their chemistry is fantastic and both of them get a goldmine of great lines. Mortensen, in particular, is absolutely incredible here, completely disappearing into the role and making a very, very strong play for the Lead Actor prizes come awards season. It's the best he's been since probably Eastern Promises, bringing Tony to nuanced, three-dimensional life.

Jack Blackwell
One Room With A View
15 October 2018




And here's Viggo and we have Mahershala. What a pairing. You can't get better than that.

Peter Farrelly: There is no better pairing in the country, in the world. No matter what you think of the movie, no movie has two better actors than this.

I agree. Absolutely.

Middleburg Film Festival: Interview – Peter Farrelly and Viggo Mortensen On Green Book's Casting
Jazz Tangcay
Awards Daily
25 October 2018

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Last edited: 29 December 2018 09:13:21