The Inner Viggo
By Jenny Ewart
10 November 2003
New Zealand's Woman's Weekly
Viggo Mortensen talks about life, love, poetry and playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.
Has your life changed since The Lord of the Rings?
I haven't noticed. I don't get out that much. A few more people maybe say something about the movie or recognise me but it's pretty much the same.
So what other events in your life have changed you profoundly?
Having a son. Nothing else comes even close.
How does your family cope with you being more and more recognised?
They seem okay. They treat me with as much respect and disrespect as they did before. [Laughs]
Do you believe the message of these films - that the good in man can change the world for the better?
Yeah. It doesn't matter how small or insignificant you feel, you can have an effect on other people's lives. Good or bad.
What kinds of loving deeds do you do on a daily basis to make life better?
I try to be open to people who have advice or criticism for me. I'm not always happy to hear it but I try to be open to it. And I try to be fair and helpful and considerate to my son.
Do you believe in everlasting love?
We have to define "love". Does it mean making sacrifices or going through bad times and still seeing something good in a person? I think in a sense it does. I try to do that but I am not always able to.
What do you think love has to be based on in order for it to last?
Respect. I think you have to actually respect the person by allowing them to have their choice in things, their free will. If you don't respect someone's free will, then you have a problem.
What is the best medicine for a broken heart?
Initially you should acknowledge it and not deny it's happened. There are people whose first reaction is to find someone else. But then you are not really allowing yourself to feel what it was that happened.
You act, write poetry and paint. Do you still struggle to achieve everything you want to do?
Yeah, I wish life was longer. I wish that I didn't have to sleep. I like sleeping, and dreaming especially. But I wish sleep was a luxury, that I could just lie under the covers, listen to the rain but that I didn't have to if I didn't want to.
Do you use your dreams as material for your art?
Yeah, in a way what we are dreaming is possibly more real than what we think we are experiencing when we are awake.
Are your poems born from happiness or from pain?
I've probably written more poems about moments that have some kind of complication. But I think there are elements of both.
What do you do to stay in shape?
I like things that are connected with something else, being tired if you do something outdoors, planting trees, horseback riding, making a trail in the woods. I like to play soccer.
How do you keep balance in life and recharge your batteries?
By spending time by myself, if possible, in a natural setting, when I can just sit and look at something and not think of anything.
You were a kind of spiritual leader to the other cast. Is that something you were conscious of?
I certainly enjoyed working with them and I did feel like we were a big family. Maybe I did, hopefully, serve as an older brother in some sense. If that's the case then I'm glad. There was an unspoken sense among all of us, cast and crew, that this was not business as usual, it was something important.
Last edited: 19 February 2005 15:34:37