Quotable Viggo 2018

Print View

Goto page: Previous 1 2 3 ... 6 Next


Quotable Viggo: 10 November 2018

I loved Peter Farrelly's comment his week about Viggo being picky, saying that he wanted 'the picky guy'. It reminded me of a quote from the Playlist which said that Viggo was 'pickier than a five year-old at a salad bar'. Picky is good, it means that every film Viggo chooses to be in is going to be good because the only thing that can really seduce him is an interesting story, a new challenge and a great script.



© Shane Partlow.

Viggo Mortensen -- who is pickier than a five year-old at a salad bar…

The Playlist commenting on how selective Viggo is choosing films.
Kevin Jagernauth
The Playlist
29 June 2012




"As an actor, whether you're well-known or not, the only real power you have is to say no, thank you. There are more things to say no, thank you to if you're in a movie that does as well as Lord of the Rings."

Viggo Mortensen, Actor, poet, photographer
Philip Matthews
New Zealand Listener
March 18-24 2006




"He reminds me of De Niro in his early career when he'd do a movie every three years or so. You couldn't wait and it was going to be an event. We were worried he was not going to do this movie. Our agents and everyone said we were going down a dead end. They said, "He's a picky guy?" and I didn't care. Did I want to go to someone who wasn't picky? I want the picky guy. The only reason the film got made was because we got him."

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




...he did something truly bizarre by Hollywood standards. He had the world by the balls, with his pick of roles—big studio stuff, Clooney kind of stuff, paycheck stuff. He turned all of it down, choosing instead to do what he wanted to do, little of which was lucrative. "I mean, how much ****ing money do you need?" he asks.

Why Viggo Mortensen Is Off the Grid
By Lisa DePaulo
Esquire
25 May 2016




Viggo is highly selective and his dedication to storytelling is unparalleled. He's a rare artist..

Matt Ross
Matt Ross may play a greedy tech titan in 'Silicon Valley,' but in Berkeley he's just a regular guy
Frances Dinkelspiel
15 April 2015




"Sure, we thought he was going to make it after The Indian Runner," [Don] Phillips says. "Viggo's turned down quite a few things that might have made a difference in his life because he just didn't connect with them creatively. Viggo is his own man. He's not dictated by the Hollywood horseshit machine."

Don Phillips
The Hero Returns
By Tom Roston,
Premiere 2003




How did you get Viggo onboard?

In my seduction of Viggo, who's very picky about his films, I flew to LA and one of the elements of the seduction was to discuss the political undertones of the movie. If you work with an actor like Viggo, the discussions go very deep and the anticipations of people's reactions to what you're doing is very deep.

David Cronenberg – A History of Violence
Chris in Cannes
Cannes Film Festival Report
15 may 2005
empireonline.co.uk




"Viggo was very deliberate and thoughtful before he chose to do this movie," points out producer Chris Bender. "He met with David a number of times. He really wanted to understand the script and the transformation his character undergoes, it was really about him falling in love with this character before he decided to do it."

A History of Violence - Cannes Film Festival 2005 Press Kit




Is it true that you almost turned down The Road?

Yes, I was very tired, and I did not want to accept the role unless I felt I was capable of giving it my best. But then I changed my mind because the story was really good and the topic is one everybody can relate to. Besides, my being exhausted fit the role perfectly. It is about a man who, in some sense, is dying of exhaustion, so the result was very interesting.

Viggo Mortensen Under The Spotlight
Selecciones Magazine
March 2009
Translated for V-W by Graciela




"We got a [Lord of the Rings] script to Viggo and his reaction was to say no! It took three more days to convince him. At the eleventh hour, Viggo Mortensen arrived in Wellington, joined the already bonded cast and stepped into filming almost as unexpectedly as his character, the mysterious and unknown Strider, appears in the story."

Executive Producer Mark Ordesky
LOTR - The Making of the Movie Trilogy
By Brian Sibley
Harper Collins
2002




"If you are both really talented and, deep down, a very core artist like Viggo, in the end you cannot swallow the bile, the bad scripts, the rest of it," says Rhys-Davies. "Eventually you just have to say, I could make this dross work, but I don't have enough time left in my life to do it. And Viggo could earn his crust with his art, so he doesn't have to stay. How long this industry will be able to keep him is up to the quality of the material. We are very lucky to have him now."

John Rhys-Davies
Viggo Trip
by Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39, 2002




"For me, there was no doubt that Mortensen was going to have great career after the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. But he didn't wait for this saga to be excellent, he always made very good career choices, he always took very interesting options. Personally, I find him excellent in The Indian Runner. He is very fastidious in his choices and it is totally apparent in his roles, in a way that I admire… I wish only one thing for Viggo: that he continues to cut a path in this medium, because the medium needs actors of his caliber, who make films of course, for the public, but also for themselves, their own personal enlightening."

Elijah Wood on Viggo Mortensen
By Clément Cuyer, Allocine
14 novembre 2007




His contempt for actors who engage in superfluous acts of self-promotion… extends to actors who appear in dopey blockbuster movies, just for the paycheck. "Sometimes you look at a movie and you can see that the actor or actress said, 'I'm taking this onboard because I'm making a ton of money, and not because it's going to be something special,' " he said, sounding scandalized.

Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011




"I'm not in this to be famous, or to make lots and lots of money; I want every film I make to be a learning experience, something that makes me wiser and mentally healthier afterwards. If I'd signed up for the scripts I was being sent, I'd merely be wealthier, but I certainly wouldn't be healthier."

Viggo Mortensen
Long Live the King
by Paul Byrne
Wow.ie, 2004

Quotable Viggo: 3 November 2018

On November 10th Viggo will be given the Alexander Garrett Award for Service to Beyond Baroque, celebrating his long association with this literary and arts centre, which was established in 1968. Not only does Viggo have a long history of live poetry readings – his own and other poets' work - and exhibitions there (One Man's Meat in 1999), but he has given unstinting support when needed. I loved director Richard Modiano's comment that, to him, Viggo is 'a poet foremost'. I think it's a great way to sum up Viggo's artistic output because poetry doesn't just have to be about words. His acting, his art, his music, his photography all has the poetic about it – a sensitive narrative of life gracefully and sensitively interpreted.



Midnight Special Benefit Poetry Reading - Beyond Baroque 2003
© HB Carlos.



"Many funding sources had dried up and I reached out to Viggo for help — which came immediately. To me Viggo is a poet foremost — I know his work from the days of Cafe Iguana and the Onyx Cafe; and of course he polished his poetry chops in the Wednesday Night Poetry Workshops."

Beyond Baroque director Richard Modiano
The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018




Most of you out there are more than likely familiar with Viggo the actor, star of films like The Indian Runner, Crimson Tide, G.I. Jane, The Reflecting Skin, and Carlito's Way among others... but we here in Bumville know him as poet and angel. Viggo has been very actively involved in the reclamation of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, Ca. for a few years now and has been an active voice on the L.A. poetry scene as well. When The Carma Bums kicked off their Twisted Tour of Words in '96 at Luna Park in West L.A., Viggo came to see the show and wish us all bon voyage and ultimately helped us with artistic assist of our video/film The Luxurious Tigers Of Obnoxious Agreement.

For The Carma Bums
Carma Bums
1997




'A lot of people that were here tonight said something about their writing, but were too embarrassed by it. And I'd ask them about what they write and encourage them to pursue it. People sometimes seem to feel that poetry is just this little thing you do privately, like your diary. But in reality it's something that you can work at in many ways, that you can share, that you can take as far as you like.'

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002




The author of two published books of poetry, Mortensen crafts spare, fine-tuned verses that end with the sharp report of a metaphor hitting its target. Most paint a languid picture of West Coast suburban life a milieu of cars, swimming pools and lovers' conversations; some ruminate on the life of the movie actor with surprising acuity.

The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White Magazine
2001




'A teacher gave me the taste for poetry. I like the discipline it imposes, I like the reign of precision and the perfect word.'

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015




'To write a good poem requires discipline, discretion and precision.'

Viggo Mortensen: "You must live your contradictions"
by Olivier Cariguel
Le Magazine Litteraire
March 2015




"For me, it's like taking apart an engine. You take all the pieces, you put them on a table and when you finish putting it together, you leave some of them aside."

Viggo on writing poetry
"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine – translated by Zooey
September 2009




"For me, music and poetry together mean something. When I feel something, I write. When I write, I think of a melody,"…

..he reads poems by Fabián Casas, like, for instance, "Sin llaves y a oscuras" [Without Keys and in the Dark], one by Bosnian poet Izet Sarajilic, or "Elogi de la discreció "[In Praise of Discretion], by Catalan poet Anna Rossell. With this last poem, the audience surrenders completely to the actor and applauds with great enthusiasm.

Romea Theatre poetry reading with pianist Rafel Plana
Viggo Mortensen Seduces at the Romea
By Griselda Oliver - translated by Ollie
Núvol
26 February 2015




…in my performance [at the Romea Theatre] I read recent poems or some that I wrote years ago. Every time I read them, they come out in a different way. But I always remember where and how the poem in question came to be.

"Poetry is an art that will never disappear."
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016




'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




To Viggo, poetry is a way to leave reality behind in order to reach another, purer reality, away from those commonplace moments and the difficult situations for which there's no apparent relief. Poetry, to him, is a way to put the world into perspective.

About Them... "I like a brave woman"
By Salvador Llopart - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
La Vanguardia
14 March 2010




His poetry and prose are taut and gripping - the outpourings of a genuine talent, not a bored dilettante.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016




'I don't have to wait on other people as to whether I'm allowed to work, and it's up to me if I want to ruin it in the editing.'

Viggo Mortensen on writing poetry
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997




"Poetry is an art that will never disappear; it will always exist."

Poetry is an art that will never disappear
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016

Quotable Viggo: 27 October 2018

I loved the comment from Thessaly La Force of the New York Times that Viggo was able to 'transmit a feeling of soul' in his films. This is the nub of it, isn't it? The reason he is so compelling on screen. A deeply aware and soulful man, he is able to bring all of that to bear on every role he plays. You can look into his character's eyes and the depths are always there, no matter who he is playing because he brings himself completely into the part. Yet somehow, he can transmute that into someone entirely other. It's kinda magic.



Image Javier Aquirresarobe.
© Dimension Films/2929 Productions.



He is, in such a superficial medium, able to transmit the feeling of a soul.

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




...while he's clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self. It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor.

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 2016




Mortensen can get into his characters' skins, but also their souls, and he knows how to project a character's inner life onto the screen.

Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald
24 November 2009




Few actors can do stillness on screen with as much conviction as Viggo Mortensen. That chiselled face, turned towards a landscape or held in concentration as someone else speaks, can stand in for any amount of narrative exposition: look at any of Mortensen's characters and you know, without having to be told about it, that man's had a hell of a past.

Far From Men: Viggo Mortensen saddles up in Albert Camus' short story
by Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
23 July 2015




"He's very sweet and soulful and thoughtful, but in terms of working with him as an actor, I've never seen anyone so three-dimensionally aware or involved with a production."

Interview: George MacKay
The Scotsman
7 July 2018




Mortensen is such a delicately sentient actor that nothing he does reads as pure caricature. When Ben realizes that in trying to prepare his children for everything he may have prepared them for nothing, it's as if we can see right into his crushed soul. It's also the moment he becomes most human: at some point, all kids have to learn that parents are people too.

Stephanie Zacharek: Captain Fantastic
Time
4 July 2016




Viggo steals the picture. His always fresh and relaxed expressions, with dark subtexts dancing just below the surface, never cease to astound me.

Rex Reed - Appaloosa
The New York Observer
17 September 2008




Mortensen – an intriguing man, serene and philosophical – spoke during our interview with such tender sincerity about the two characters and their unremitting and inexpressibly vital bond that it seems clear that he has invested a large but vulnerable part of his soul into his performance. I don't care that this sounds indulgent because there is something about this film, this novel, something so pure, so intrinsically human that forces one to shove aside smart-arsed scepticism and just marvel – humbled – at so crucial and compelling a message.

Dan Hollis – The Road
PureMovies.co.uk
May 2010




It's a testament to Hillcoat's obvious belief in the strength of unadorned screen acting that he, like McCarthy before him, refuses even to explain the global cataclysm that has brought his protagonists to this state. Instead he asks us to read it, mostly, in the depths of Mortensen's wide, pellucid eyes… his eyes are filled with the kind of tremulous compassion that can carry the emotional weight of an entire movie.

Kevin Maher
The Times Online
8 January 2010




Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

Christopher Childs – A History of Violence
Twitchfilm.net
May 31, 2005




The beating pulse of the movie comes from Bello and Mortensen, both of whom are award worthy. Viggo might have had a haircut since his middle-earth days, but he's lost none of his power. Look into his eyes, you'll see his soul.

Paul Greenwood – A History of Violence
Future Movies
29 September 2005




As with History of Violence, [Cronenberg] elicits another tour-de-force performance by Mortensen, who completely envelops his Russian low-level mobster, Nikolai. A lot is going on in this remarkable actor's body and soul, resulting in one of the year's most stunning performance.

Paul Fisher – Eastern Promises
Moviehole
9 Sept 2007




...Mortensen plays this role as if he had different blood chemistry than the rest of us. Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul.

Ty Burr – Eastern Promises
Boston Globe
14 Sept 2007




"Viggo has the perfect qualities as a man and as an actor to do this part. He's got incredible depth of soul."

Nick Wechsler – The Road
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
Emmanuellevy.com
3 September 2009

Quotable Viggo: 21 October 2018

This week I thought we'd take a look back to On The Road and Viggo's memorable cameo as Old Bull Lee, based on writer William Burroughs. Although a small part, Viggo brought all his usual thorough research to the role, channeling Burroughs crazy energy and 'sepulchral growl', much to the delight of the film critics.



© MK2 Productions.


Viggo Back "On The Road," But With an Upgrade on the Shopping Cart.

Headline announcing Viggo's participation in 'On the Road'
Bryan Alexander
NBCWashington.com
5 August 2010




Mortensen's performance has the genuine, and ferocious, frisson of inhabitation that the biopic demands: alternately gun-crazy, butt naked and sharply observant.

Sophie Mayer
BFI
12 October 2012




When Walter Salles offered me the role of Old Bull Lee, I was finishing shooting A Dangerous Method with David Cronenberg, and I told him, "I don't think I can prepare myself for the role in time." But I had also gained weight for the other film and Walter told me, "I think you can. It's one version; you can look any way you want. I want you in the film for your ideas and for the way you approach your work." And I'm glad I did it.

Viggo Mortensen: "I think I've learned from my mistakes"
By Gloria Scola - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Tiempo
30 April 2013




"Burroughs was admired by other writers for his unique learning, knowledge of drugs and anarchist thinking. I remain fascinated by his sensitivity and the new forms of syntax and grammar that he experimented with. To get closer to the character, I studied the way he pronounced certain words, the rhythm, the voice affected by drugs and age."

Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




In a brilliant cameo, Mortensen gets Burroughs's flat, wry voice exactly right as he denounces Moriarty as psychotic, exposes how the English translation of Voyage au bout de la nuit bowdlerises Céline's original, and hilariously demonstrates his version of Wilhelm Reich's ludicrous, once fashionable orgone boxes for the control of psychic energy.

Philip French
The Observer
14 October 2012




What did you think of the Beat Generation before the film? Had you already read the book?

"Yes, in the '70s, when I was 17-18 years old and living in America, on the border with Canada. On the Road was an initiation book for many adolescents of my generation, even for me.

Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




"Salles could have made the classic iconographic film, a harmless postcard. Instead, he chose to represent even the darkest side of the journey, the drugs, car racing at full speed, the smoking, the sleepless nights. The director brings to the screen the desire to break the mold and the rules, to go beyond the limit that has inspired generations of young rebels, but also highlights the painful consequences."

Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia
9 October 2012




For many people, this novel was deemed unfit for filming. Did you ever have similar qualms?

I never thought this novel unfit for filming, yet it was obviously no easy task. But after reading the script, my concerns were easily resolved. The movie takes over the novel's best elements, stays true to the characters and besides focuses on the women, which for me is a true improvement compared to the original.

"Nostalgia strikes me as being dangerous"
By Dieter Oßwald - translated by Athelin
Frankfurter Neue Presse
1 October 2012




Viggo Mortensen, priceless in Old Bull Lee / William Burroughs, highly intelligent and completely smoky.

Norbert Creutz
Le Temps
26 May 2012




It was such a crazy experience. There were things that were not in the script and you were asked to do on the day, like improvising with Viggo Mortensen, which is quite crazy. He's a very cerebral man. He turned up with these beautiful old antique books from the time, like Baudelaire, and things that his character would have had. He had a bag of goodies that he brought with him and a hat, a tie and a shoulder holster. I thought, 'this guy is f**king cool.' I was quite intimidated.

Sam Riley
Sullivan on Cinema: Sam Riley
By Chris Sullivan
Redbull.com
9 June 2011




…I would love to see a whole movie about Old Bull Lee, played by Viggo Mortensen….

Drew McWeeny
HitFix
23 May 2012




"I re-read the book for the film and became aware of how very relevant it is for today's world. Today too you can sense a sort of rejection of the economic crisis and the authorities on the part of young people. It was thus a very opportune moment to release the film."

Viggo Mortensen, Cannes Press Conference
23 May 2012




"The movie is disturbing at times. It's very pretty, and the more you get into it and let it carry you away, the more you enjoy it. When I saw it, I was just caught up in it. I let it carry me away as if it were a song."

Viggo Mortensen: "I think I've learned from my mistakes"
By Gloria Scola - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Tiempo
30 April 2013

Goto page: Previous 1 2 3 ... 6 Next

Last edited: 29 December 2018 09:13:21