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.
Viggo Mortensen and Henry Mortens at the 89th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars 2017) held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 27th February 2017
An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some very deep topics without flinching. It's essentially an impassioned plea to snap out of the way people in the West have been sleepwalking into consumerism and complacency. Viewers who believe that things are just fine will probably be troubled (or angered) by this movie, but those willing to think and have their beliefs challenged will find it entertaining and invigorating.
It opens in the American northwest, where Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six kids in the middle of a forest, teaching them to use their minds and bodies to think and survive. His wife is ill in hospital, and when she dies the kids insist on attending her funeral, even though her parents (Frank Langella and Ann Dowd) ask Ben not to come. So they pile into the family bus and head across country, stopping to visit Ben's sister and brother-in-law (Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn). This encounter and others along the road demonstrate just how far advanced Ben's children are, although they're not terribly well equipped to interact with general society. Eldest son Bodevan (George MacKay) has been accepted into all of the top universities, but hasn't a clue how to talk to a girl. And middle son Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton) is beginning to question the Bohemian lifestyle.
This is a fascinating exploration of a group of children whose upbringing has given them razor-sharp minds, leading them to political beliefs that are far outside the mainstream. The unsubtle connection is that the majority of the public are manipulated by corporate interests that put money ahead of everything else. Actor-turned-filmmaker Matt Ross smartly explores this theme from every angle, which makes the film easy to engage with. And it helps that the driving force of the plot is the emotional desire to say goodbye to a wife and mother.
Continue reading: Captain Fantastic Review
'The Two Faces of January' is another successful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's work.
American-born but Europe-based, the novelist Patricia Highsmith wrote 22 novels and eight collections of short stories, most of which deal with characters who are badly compromised morally. So it's natural that her work has been widely adapted by filmmakers looking for more complex characters and storylines.
It's also hardly surprising that novelist Patricia Highsmith has long been associated with master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, who gave her career a huge boost when he made a movie based on her first novel Strangers on a Train a year after it was first published in 1950. Her most famous character, the anti-hero Tom Ripley, appears in five novels and has been immortalised several times on film: Alain Delon in the classic Plein Soleil (1960), Dennis Hopper in The American Friend (1977), Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), John Malkovich in Ripley's Game (2002), Barry Pepper in Ripley Under Ground (2005).
This sun-drenched thriller is much more than a pretty picture: it's also a slow-burning story about moral compromises that worms its way under the skin. Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, there are clear parallels to The Talented Mr. Ripley as three characters circle around each other and all kinds of Hitchcockian subtext gurgles around them.
Set in 1962, the plot opens with Chester and Colette (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) on a romantic holiday in Athens, where they meet slightly too-helpful American tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac). He's already wooing one rich young tourist (Daisy Bevan) and soon locks eyes on Colette. But it's Chester he becomes entangled with, when a private eye (David Warshofsky) turns up trying to reclaim cash Chester stole from a client. So Rydal helps Chester and Colette flee to Crete and, while they wait for a plan to develop, Chester becomes convinced that Rydal and Colette are having an affair.
Writer-director Hossein Amini has already proven himself as a skilled writer of innuendo-filled dialogue (see Drive or The Wings of the Dove), and here he shows a remarkable eye for setting. It helps to have ace cinematographer Marcel Zyskind and composer Alberto Iglesias adding their considerable skills to the mix. The film looks utterly gorgeous, providing plenty of glaring sunlight and murky shadows in which Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac can bring their characters to vivid life. Every scene bursts with suggestiveness, as the inter-relationships between these three people shift unnervingly.
Continue reading: The Two Faces Of January Review
Chester MacFarland is a wealthy businessman whose business ventures are often far from lawful. During a vacation to Athens, Greece with his wife Colette, the pair meet a handsome young man named Rydal who works as a tour guide and earns extra cash through elaborate scams. After dining with the couple, Rydal returns to their hotel, but Chester is thrust into disaster when he is forced to defend himself from an armed man who had been on the end of one of his dodgy dealings. Chester persuades Rydal to move the unconscious body, but he soon finds himself trapped in Chester's criminal world with no escape. To make matters worse, he is becoming increasingly enchanted by the highly fragile Colette and, with her accepting his offers of comfort as the trio go on the run, there's only so much jealously Chester can take.
Set in the early sixties, crime thriller 'The Two Faces Of January' sees a tense story of entrapment, jealousy and suspicion. Directed and written by Hossein Amini (writer of '47 Ronin', 'Snow White and the Huntsman', 'Drive, 'Killshot), the movie is based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It is due for UK release on May 16th 2014.
While it's fascinating to see Viggo Mortensen starring in an Argentine thriller, the film itself is disappointing and dull, keeping all the compelling emotions so internalised that we find it difficult to care what happens. It's skilfully shot and edited, and Mortensen's dual performance is excellent, but the central relationships are so vague that the film never draws us in.
Mortensen plays Agustin, a successful Buenos Aires doctor whose marriage to Claudia (Villamil) is strained by her persistent desire to adopt an orphan. Just as he's about to snap at her, his twin brother Pedro (also Mortensen) arrives to tell him that he's in the final stages of cancer. When he dies, Agustin sees a route of escape: he assumes Pedro's identity and returns to their family home deep in an isolated wooded river system. There he discovers that Pedro had been involved in a reckless kidnapping with childhood friend Adrian (Ganego). And as Agustin tries to clean up Pedro's mess, he begins to fall for bee-keeping assistant Rosa (Gala).
Mortensen is essentially playing three characters here: the sharp but frazzled city doctor, the wheezy country bumpkin and a combination of the two as Agustin pretends to be Pedro, although only Adrian seems to fall for this ruse. What's intriguing is the way Mortensen so thoroughly internalises his performance, revealing his thoughts and feelings through his eyes. This holds our interest more than anything else in the film, and gives his interaction with the other characters a jolt of raw honesty. Otherwise, we never really believe the romance between Agustin and Rosa, and Adrian is evil for evil's sake, which makes him a cartoon villain.
Continue reading: Everybody Has A Plan [Todos Tenemos Un Plan] Review
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is riding high in the US box office charts (way higher than its nearest competitor, Rise of the Guardians) this week and it’s unlikely that will change, though there are at least two releases this weekend that have been causing a stir. Tom Cruise stars in Jack Reacher – the adaptation of the Lee Child novel and This Is 40, the new comedy from Judd Apatow; a sequel to the popular comedy Knocked Up.
Some fans of Lee Child’s novels questioned the decision to cast Tom Cruise in the title role of Jack Reacher. He was, after all, originally on board as a producer only but after reading the script, it seems, he decided he’d like to have a go at starring in the movie too. It looks as though the gamble has just about paid off, as long as you enter the movie theatre with the understanding that what you are about to see is very much A Tom Cruise Movie, with Tom Cruise in standard Tom Cruise “cool and calculating” mode, as described by Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times.
So far, the reviews are just about erring on the side of positive, with an aggregate of 63% on Rotten Tomatoes. Let’s face it, Tom Cruise’s rep has hardly had an easy ride this year and this is hardly challenging new ground for the Mission Impossible star, who has frequented many a steely action thriller of late. However, many reviewers have surmised that really, it’s Cruise that makes this movie. “This is Cruise’s show. And he nails it,” says Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. One for the Cruise fans, then. Wherever you are.
Despite the skill behind and in front of the camera, a badly constructed script flattens this film version of Jack Kerouac's iconic 1957 novel. It's beautifully shot and sharply played by the starry ensemble cast, but the repetitive structure leaves the film with no forward momentum. Instead of a voyage of discovery, it feels like a lot of random, pointless wandering.
Thinly autobiographical, the story centres on the young New York writer Sal (Riley). He's drawn to the charismatic Dean (Moriarty), a charming rogue who's married to 16-year-old Marylou (Stewart) but is having an affair with Camille (Dunst) while seducing every other woman he meets. And quite a few men as well, including Sal's friend Carlo (Sturridge). All of them are writers and artists, hanging out in clouds of hash smoke as they drive back and forth across America in search of something to write about.
Of course, Sal finds this in Dean as their friendship ebbs and flows over several years. Since this is essentially Sal's story, it's rather odd that the film abandons him from time to time to follow someone else, leaping jarringly into another situation, often marked by Dean's sudden reappearance after yet another bit of roaming. So while we understand how everyone is held in Dean's magnetic orbit, we can't quite see the point of it all. Sal may be obsessed with his thoughts of Dean, but he seems strangely willing to abandon him time and time again. There isn't nearly enough of the scene-stealing costars like Mortensen, Adams and Buscemi. And frankly, it should be a crime to waste Moss (of Mad Men fame) in such a fragmented role.
Continue reading: On The Road Review
In 1904 Zurich, Jung (Fassbender) tests Freud's theoretical "talking cure" on manic patient Sabina (Knightley). And it works, revealing Sabina's own skills as a potential shrink. Two years later, Jung travels to Vienna to meet Freud (Mortensen), and they start a working friendship. But when Freud refers an outspoken patient (Cassel), Jung starts to question his morality. As a result, he starts an affair with Sabina, which is much hotter than his comfortable marriage to Emma (Gadon). But this causes him to question Freud's theories, leading to a clash of the titans.
Continue reading: A Dangerous Method Review
Set in Vienna before the start of World War One, Carl Jung, a student of Sigmund Freud, is employing some of Freud's techniques on psychoanalysis to treat a patient at the Burgh"lzli Mental Hospital, a beautiful Russian woman called Sabina Spielrein, who has repressed paternal issues.
Continue: A Dangerous Method Trailer
A master at the ancient art of phantom punching, Cronenberg's examination of the Russian mafia's sex trade, currently flourishing in London, doesn't hit you till you're a good quarter mile out of the theater, as you're still contemplating Viggo Mortensen's slicked-back hairdo. Like a cccwolf right before the hunt, Mortensen snarls and calmly stalks as Nikolai, the driver for a sect of the elusive crime syndicate Vory V Zakone, a specter that arose from the ashes of Stalin's work camps. Nikolai works for Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and Semyon's volatile son Kirill (Vincent Cassel), taking care of their transportation and their criminal refuse. When Nikolai snaps off the fingers of a corpse, he asks Kirill and his business associate Azim (Mina E. Mina) to leave... but the audience is allowed to stay.
Continue reading: Eastern Promises Review
Date of birth
20th October, 1958
An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...
Devoted father Ben (Viggo Mortensen) has been raising his six children in the forests of...
This sun-drenched thriller is much more than a pretty picture: it's also a slow-burning story...
Chester MacFarland is a wealthy businessman whose business ventures are often far from lawful. During...
While it's fascinating to see Viggo Mortensen starring in an Argentine thriller, the film itself...
Despite the skill behind and in front of the camera, a badly constructed script flattens...
Sal Paradise is an ambitious young writer trying to find his place in the world....
Cronenberg's brainy approach makes this film fascinating but demanding as it traces the birth of...
Set in Vienna before the start of World War One, Carl Jung, a student of...
Watch the trailer for The Road When an unexplained cataclysm destroys most of the developed...
Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range),...
Eastern PromisesTrailerEastern Promises is the new thriller from the Director David Cronenburg re-teams him with...