Viggo Mortensen (born 20.10.1958)
Viggo Mortensen is an American actor, as well as a musician, painter and photographer.
Viggo Mortensen: Childhood
Viggo Mortensen was born to Grace Gamble and Viggo Mortensen Sr. in New York City. The family later moved to Venezuela, Denmark, and Argentina, where he learned to speak Spanish. When he was 11, his parents divorced and his mother returned to New York, eventually followed by Viggos Jr. and Sr.
When he graduated from high school, Viggo Mortensen returned to Denmark and worked as a truck driver for some time, until he returned to New York to train as an actor. He also attended St. Lawrence University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish.
Viggo Mortensen: Career
Viggo Mortensen's film debut came with an appearance in Peter Weir's Witness, which also featured Harrison Ford and Danny Glover. In 1985, he was cast as Bragg in Search For Tomorrow, a soap opera which, in its time, has also seen appearances from Olympia Dukakis, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Kline.
The 1990s saw Viggo Mortensen being cast in a number of supporting roles, in films such as Young Guns II with Emilio Estevez and Keifer Sutherland, Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, Crimson Tide with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and G.I. Jane with Demi Moore (possibly one of his best-known film roles of the 1990s).
At the end of the decade, Mortensen had his mainstream breakthrough, when he was cast in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this big-budget adaptation of JRR Tolkein's novels, Viggo Mortensen was cast in the role of Aragon, alongside Liv Tyler, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom. Mortensen performed all of his own stunts and the film's sword-master, Bob Anderson stated that Mortensen was one of the best swordsmen that he had ever trained.
In 2004, Viggo Mortensen landed the role of Frank Hopkins in Hidalgo, which also starred Omar Sharif. The following year, he starred in the David Cronenberg-directed A History of Violence. The film also starred Ed Harris, William Hurt and Maria Bello. Mortensen's performance was highly acclaimed and earned him a Satellite Award for Best Actor.
2006 saw Viggo Mortensen star as Captain Diego Alatriste in the film version of The Adventures of Captain Alatriste.
Mortensen worked with David Cronenberg again in 2007's Eastern Promises. This time, he was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award and won the Best Performance by an Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. Eastern Promises also starred Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel.
In 2009, Viggo Mortensen starred in The Road, an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel. The film also stars Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce and features a soundtrack from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
Viggo Mortensen: Other Works
Using some of the money that he earned from Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen set up an independent publishing house, Perceval Press. Perceval Press was set up with the intention of being an outlet for alternative works that would not find an outlet in a mainstream publishing house. Perceval Press has also served as an outlet for some of Mortensen's own artistic projects, including poetry and photography.
Viggo Mortensen has collaborated with the Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead on a number of albums.
Viggo Mortensen: Personal Life
Viggo Mortensen was previously married to Exene Cervenka, lead singer of the band X. They have a son together, Henry, born in 1988.