Archive for the ‘News & Rumors’ Category


Viggo Mortensen on ‘Jauja,’ Producing, Protecting Directors’ Visions

Posted by Staff in Nov 25,2014 with No Comments

In “Lord of the Rings,” he protected the Shire and the Fellowship of the Ring. These days, he’s more likely protecting the original visions of some of the world’s most exciting – and challenging – young moviemakers, and bringing them to larger audiences.

Doing so, Viggo Mortensen, U.S. born, Argentina raised, New York-bred, of Danish descent, has leveraged wisely his star status and fanboy suzerainties, dazzled with his dominance of not only English and Spanish, but Danish, Amish and Lakota, and played some not exactly super-hero roles, characters who are ineffectual (Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja,” a Cannes winner), conflicted (David Oelhoffen’s “Far From Men,“ a Venice prize winner) or plain seedy (“Drive” screenwriter Hossein Amini’s directorial deb, “The Two Faces of January”); to all of whom Mortensen has brought not so much his good looks but a large humanity.

One case in point: Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja,” which brought Mortensen to the summer resort of Mar del Plata last weekend, where he was its unquestionable star at the opening ceremony of Latin America’s only “A”-grade festival.

For an actor who has been the lead in one of the world’s biggest movie franchises, Mortensen hardly acts off-screen like a Hollywood super-star. He has a problem in Morocco, for instance, he confesses at Mar del Plata. Like Pope Francis, he supports Argentina’s San Lorenzo de Almagro. He’s also a fan of Real Madrid. The two will face off in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup, which takes place in Morocco Dec. 10-20. For the first time, he says in interview, he’s wishing that Real Madrid will lose.

A quick discussion of the improved defensive abilities of Spain’s Isco Alarcon and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, two world-class attacking mid-fielders, follows.

In “Jauja,” which is set in 1882, Mortensen plays Captain Denisen, a Dutch surveyor brought in at the end of the Argentina’s Conquest of the Desert, a euphemism for its army’s wholesale slaughter of its native inhabitants.

On “Jauja,” Mortensen took a production credit – as on “Far From Men,” in a practice begun on Ana Piterberg’s 2012 “Everybody Has a Plan” – and arranged the (spare but important) score. He is also highly articulate – in this case in English – about what he wanted to achieve with both. Read the rest of this entry »

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Viggo Mortensen Talks About Taking Risks in Hollywood Filmmaking

Posted by Staff in Nov 25,2014 with No Comments

“All around the world it’s getting harder to make films,” said the star of ‘Jauja’

One of the most talked-about films in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard this year, Argentinean auteur Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja, had its local premiere Sunday at the 29th Mar del Plata Film Festival, presented by the director alongside star Viggo Mortensen and writer Fabian Casas.

The film, winner of the FIPRESCI award at Cannes, features a Danish-speaking Mortensen as a 19th army captain who sets out on a hypnotic and somewhat magical journey through the Argentine Patagonia to find his kidnapped young daughter.

Mortensen, who grew up in Argentina and speaks perfect Castellano, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about how the film didn’t get support from Denmark, the hardships of making personal films in Hollywood and how Jauja managed to do what Interstellar did — with no money.

The son of a Danish man and an American woman, the actor, who just won the Best Actor category at the Fenix Awards, had been asked to make a film in Danish for a long time. Surprisingly enough, this Denmark-Argentina co-production didn’t get any support from that country, and still hasn’t been picked up for distribution there, unlike in the U.S. and the U.K. where it will be released in the winter.

The star of David Cronenberg’s edgy Eastern Promises, A History of Violence and A Dangerous Method claims the problem with backing and supporting films such as Jauja is simple: “they don’t see a lot of money there,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Viggo Mortensen Will Return From The Woods In New Drama ‘Captain Fantastic’

Posted by Staff in Feb 23,2014 with No Comments

At some point, I’d love to be able to report on a story involving Viggo Mortensen joining a screwball comedy in which he plays the funniest man on Earth, but his career has just featured a string of characters that are either caught up in the aftermath of some devastating event, or they’re actually going through said devastating event. To be expected, the Oscar-nominated actor won’t be changing things up with Captain Fantastic, the Electric City Entertainment drama in which Mortensen is in talks to take the lead. If only this were a superhero film, or a big screen version of the interstitial character from Do Not Adjust Your Set. Oh well.

The film’s description, via Deadline, doesn’t go into much detail, but it paints a somewhat solemn picture of adaptation in the modern world. Mortensen will play a man whose idealism led him to live in complete isolation with his six children in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. After a decade of this amenity-free lifestyle, he and his family have to return to the modern world, which will of course be quite a jarring adjustment. It’s an interesting concept, and one that will no doubt include a scene where someone in the family is blown away by smartphone technology.

This will be the second film from director Matt Ross, who also penned the screenplay, and it’s quite a step away from his first film, the one night stand romantic drama 28 Hotel Room. [Source]

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Line-up For Canadian Screen Awards Is Star-Studded

Posted by Staff in Feb 20,2014 with No Comments

Presenters include Viggo Mortensen, Arisa Cox, Dave Foley, Lauren Holly, and Mia Kirshner.

The line-up of presenters for the Canadian Screen Awards were announced yesterday, and home-grown stars like Arisa Cox (“Big Brother Canada”), Dave Foley (“Spun Out”), Lauren Holly (“Motive”), Amanda Brugel (“Seed”), and Mia Kirshner (“I Think I Do”) are all on the bill.

Director David Cronenberg will be honoured with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala event, which will be presented by his friend and long-time collaborator, actor Viggo Mortensen.

Other star presenters include Adam Korson (“Seed”), Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black,” “Cas & Dylan”), Shay Mitchell (“Pretty Little Liars”), Jon Montgomery (“The Amazing Race Canada”), Missy Peregrym (“Rookie Blue”), Jason Priestley (“Call Me Fitz”), and Anna Silk (“Lost Girl”).

For a fill list of Canadian Screen Award nominees, click here.

The Awards will be hosted by Martin Short on March 9th at 8pm and will be broadcast live on CBC Television. [Source]

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Watch: 37-Minute Interview With Viggo Mortensen On Creativity, Working With David Cronenberg & More

Posted by Staff in Jan 17,2014 with No Comments

Viggo Mortensen was at the height of his popularity when the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy came out over ten years ago. Instead of capitalizing on that fame by starring in more high profile projects, he has since become incredibly selective, having appeared in only ten films since 2004 with many of them being outside typical studio fare. His collaborations with David Cronenberg include three of those ten films: “A History of Violence”, “Eastern Promises,” and “A Dangerous Method.” Which begs the question: why does he love working with Cronenberg so much? Well, he talks about that in a half hour-long interview with Jian Ghomeshi on the Canadian radio show, “Q.”

The interview, overall, is fairly loose and Viggo is able to really get into it about his working process with David Cronenberg. He talks about how Cronenberg’s convinced him to do things he otherwise would not have done, such as playing Sigmund Freud in “A Dangerous Method.” He even remarks about how apprehensive he was about starring in “A History of Violence,” but meeting with the director helped ease him into the part. It’s really interesting to hear Viggo Mortensen’s opinion on the director and when the host suggests that the two of them are like brothers, Mortensen does not hesitate to agree with him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Viggo Mortensen’s five tips for success

Posted by Staff in Jan 13,2014 with No Comments

Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg worked together for the first time in 2005 on A History of Violence. Since then the revered Canadian director and the multifaceted Lord of the Rings star have formed a consistent collaborative relationship reconnecting again in 2007 for Eastern Promises and in 2011 for A Dangerous Method. This week Mortensen will join his friend and mentor at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto to discuss their creative connection and what makes a great movie. Here, Mortensen shares some of his secrets for success, including why the most natural actors can’t get served at the Beer Store.

Communication over chemistry

I first met David when we were making A History of Violence. We didn’t know each other at the start, but we developed a rapport very quickly and naturally. Before we started shooting we discussed my role, and he made it very clear what kind of movie he wanted to shoot. I understood exactly what he was trying to do. People talk about chemistry, but I would say it’s more about communication – is this someone who you can communicate with? David and I were definitely on the same wavelength, which is why I’ve come back so many times.

Channel your inner six-year-old

If you want to see really great acting look at children playing make-believe. No one ever has to ask a kid, “Can we do another take because I didn’t believe that you believed what you were doing?” Children are totally committed to their fantasy life – they are the thing they are pretending to be. I try to be the same way. When I’m playing Sigmund Freud, I’m really trying to dive into that role. I’m certainly not the kind of actor who is asking everyone on set to call me Sigmund, but I try to give myself over to the process as much as possible. Of course, as an adult I am concerned with the more technical aspects getting things right, but I think when actors start to overthink things is often where they run into trouble. Kids are just able to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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