Archive for the ‘Interviews’ 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 »

Post to Twitter

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 »

Post to Twitter

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 »

Post to Twitter

Viggo Mortensen: ‘I’ve been wanting for some time to be in an Argentine movie’

Posted by Staff in Oct 22,2012 with No Comments

Saturday saw Viggo Mortensen deliver a Screen Talk at the BFI London Film Festival, talking about his career-to-date and his latest film Everybody Has A Plan.

Award-winning actor Viggo Mortensen delivered a Screen Talk at the BFI London Film Festival on Saturday in which he discussed his latest role in Ana Piterbarg’s Everybody Has A Plan (Todos Tenemos Un Plan) as well as highlights of his film career.

Mortensen – who spent the first ten years of his life in Argentina – plays identical twins in Piterbarg’s film, which was screened at the festival. He said he was attracted to the project because although he had worked on three Spanish-language films before, this was the first one in which the dialect was easy and familiar. Read the rest of this entry »

Post to Twitter

Actor Viggo Mortensen honored at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

Posted by Staff in Mar 07,2012 with No Comments

Actor Viggo Mortensen took the stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline Monday afternoon to accept the theater’s ninth annual Coolidge Award, given to artists who advance “the spirt of original and challenging cinema.”

Prior Coolidge Award winners include Jonathan Demme, Meryl Streep, and film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has collaborated with director Martin Scorsese for decades.

Dressed as if he might be preparing for a role as a sailor — in black pea coat, striped nautical shirt, and boat shoes — Mortensen faced a throng of cameras and journalists, thanking everyone “for showing up.”

With that the extent of his acceptance speech, Mortensen alternately joked with reporters and fielded questions — most of them, inevitably, about his role as Aragorn in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Mortensen has also starred in “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises,” “A Walk on the Moon,” and will appear this year in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Read the rest of this entry »

Post to Twitter

Interview: Viggo Mortensen

Posted by Staff in Feb 11,2012 with No Comments

Viggo Mortensen is not the sort of actor you expect to be riddled with doubts.

He comes with a reputation as a serious method actor type, but the confidence he exudes on screen was rattled when he was first approached to play Sigmund Freud.

The 53-year-old admits he had major doubts about playing the father of psychoanalysis in A Dangerous Method, but director David Cronenberg’s, who he worked with on Eastern Promises and A History Of Violence, talked him round.

“I had some reservations that I wasn’t the best actor for the part, I thought it would be a bit of a leap,” he says, in his softly-spoken drawl. “If another director had asked me to play the part, I might not have, but I’m glad I did, I learned a lot about Freud and early 20th-century Vienna.” Read the rest of this entry »

Post to Twitter