A Graduate of the Crazy Castle School of Acting

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Print View


There are many women of a certain age who'd give their right tuckshop arm to pad around a hotel room with Viggo Mortensen in his socks, drinking green tea and talking poetry.

Oh well. Yesterday it was film correspondent Garry Maddox's turn, before the Sydney premiere of A History of Violence.

Since he played the noble Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which he likens to going to "mythology-slash-history-slash-film-making university", things have changed for Mortensen. He's made People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People list and been given the chance to star in his own movies.

"I'd been working for going on 20 years before I was allowed to play Aragorn but, certainly, the overwhelming success of those movies changed things for me and for everyone else involved."

As many of the aforementioned women would know, Mortensen's got more than one trick in his bag. Outside acting, he's a poet, painter, photographer, jazz musician and publisher.

"I see them as all being united really ... painting, writing, photography, even going to see a movie," he told the Herald.

"It's how you do it. To me, it's all an effort at some level to be present, and to take in what's going on, and to be somewhat thoughtful about it."

His new flick, directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch), is up for two Oscars next week. Mortensen describes it as "an anti-violence movie" that will be taught in film schools for years.

"Cronenberg is a great student of human behaviour ... He's like Dracula, who says, 'Come in of your own free will' - and you do, and you're in his crazy castle until you leave."
Last edited: 1 March 2006 04:26:04
© Sydney Morning Herald.