The Players - Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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All hail the King. Aragorn, introduced to the hobbits as a mysterious ranger named Strider, fulfils his royal destiny by trilogy's end - combining warrior and monarch into one orc butt-kicking package.

Age: 45

On Tolkien's work: 'Since I hadn't read the book, I didn't realize what Tolkien's source material had been. [When I found out], it was almost like a reward for having said yes. It was a sign I had made the right choice. Just knowing that I was dealing with something that had its roots in nearly forgotten material - things that are just sort of part of us as humans, whether we realize it or not - I thought was a unique opportunity.'

Life on set: 'The cast and crew were very supportive, more so than I've ever experienced. All kinds of people who probably wouldn't have spent time together [otherwise] ended up being very close and understanding of each other. To me, it mirrored what the Fellowship was a microcosm of; the hope for Middle-earth is not isolationism. The more you came to understand about yourself and how you would get through the challenges of the day, the more you learned about others.'

On the Elvish language: '[Speaking Elvish] was a pure connection I felt to Tolkien himself. It was like he had his hand on your shoulder or was holding your hand.'

Favorite souvenirs: 'The two horses I rode. I was given, too, by Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh], the ring I wear in the movies. It was a pristine copy that wasn't all beat up from the journey.'

Life-changing experience? 'It was. To not have been moved by New Zealand as a country, especially having been there that long, you'd really have to be absent emotionally.'

What about the trilogy's legacy? 'It's the overall process of making the movies, not so much the end result of each film, that sticks in my mind. It honestly was a group effort from beginning to end; that is the way movies ought to be made. That's the thing I value most, and I realize that it's rare.'
Last edited: 7 December 2005 14:02:58
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