Viggo Mortensen

Born: October 20, 1958

Occupation: Actor

Quotes of Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen

There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever.

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Viggo Mortensen

If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.

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Viggo Mortensen

It's hard not to get depressed when you pay attention to the world and how strangely and corrupt the people in it sometimes behave.

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Viggo Mortensen

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day...

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm not afraid of death, but I resent it. I think it's unfair and irritating.

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm not afraid of death, but I resent it. I think it's unfair and irritating. Every time I see something beautiful, I not only want to return to it, but it makes me want to see other beautiful things....

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Viggo Mortensen

I have a multicultural background, so I tend to have an open mind about things, and I find other cultures interesting.

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Viggo Mortensen

When you're under stress as a human being, you behave oddly and your relationships with people become strained.

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Viggo Mortensen

If you don't find some way to discuss what's going on inside you, it can come out in other ways that are self-destructive.

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Viggo Mortensen

Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is.

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Viggo Mortensen

Photography, painting or poetry - those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things; they are my way of communicating.

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Viggo Mortensen

I think every family is dysfunctional, and some manage to control it better than others.

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Viggo Mortensen

Some people who like dogs don't like cats, but I'm not like that.

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Viggo Mortensen

I have never been in a natural place and felt that it was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.

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Viggo Mortensen

Be kind. It's worthwhile to make an effort to learn about other people and figure out what you might have in common with them.

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Viggo Mortensen

I have a roof over my head. I had a breakfast, and a lot of people in the world can't say that. I'm not going to complain about being interviewed.

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Viggo Mortensen

To be honest, I don't really care about any pope. It's not something I think about much, to be quite honest with you.

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Viggo Mortensen

You know, 'Viggo' is a pretty dorky name in Denmark. It's like 'Oswald' or something. It's a very old Scandinavian name, at least 1,000 years old.

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Viggo Mortensen

Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the...

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Viggo Mortensen

You know, real life doesn't just suddenly resolve itself. You have to keep working at it. Democracy, marriage, friendship. You can't just say, 'She's my best friend.' That's not a given, it's a process.

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Viggo Mortensen

Any nominations a movie gets helps to raise the level of curiosity in the public, so in that sense awards and nominations are important.

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Viggo Mortensen

As a kid I read Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and a few others. As an adult have admired Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and notebooks.

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Viggo Mortensen

Awards for arts, where you make comparisons, don't make much sense.

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Viggo Mortensen

Each time I make a movie, it's like a paid scholarship to a different university course.

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Viggo Mortensen

For 'Hidalgo,' I just spent as much time around horses as I could, which made sense.

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Viggo Mortensen

I don't like people who get into fights about football - or anything else.

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Viggo Mortensen

I don't like the 'must', the 'always', and the 'never' words. I don't like 'no' either.

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Viggo Mortensen

I don't think Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell fear competition from me in their arena.

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Viggo Mortensen

I don't think you get to be pope without making some enemies, like you do when you're president.

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Viggo Mortensen

I have a work ethic. If I say I'm going to do something, I do it.

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Viggo Mortensen

I have no idea what 'method actor' means.

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Viggo Mortensen

I like a twisted sense of humour. On 'A History of Violence,' David Cronenberg and I would be doing the grimmest scenes and laugh a lot.

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Viggo Mortensen

I like movies that leave you with something to think about, to discuss, to debate, you know?

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Viggo Mortensen

I like naturally occurring film grain, and what happens to film when it's under- and over-exposed.

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Viggo Mortensen

I like stories that leave you wanting more, leave you wondering, but don't tell you everything.

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Viggo Mortensen

I love rehearsing, but a lot of directors don't, and some actors don't.

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Viggo Mortensen

I prefer the smaller acting than big histrionics. It's about reacting and looks, which is often underestimated.

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Viggo Mortensen

I think, on a surface level, people are surprised to see me playing such a passive role in 'Good.'

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm an optimist; I always hope that each new script is going to be a great story.

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm not a great fan of monarchy in general, but I have to say the Danish monarchy is closer to the people; it's not as stuffy as the English one.

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm not that involved in personal grooming. But I try not to be offensive to people.

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm optimistic about people and about the planet and about nature. I think it's resilient, like people are.

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Viggo Mortensen

In a lot of ways, I envy someone like Omar Sharif who lived in a hotel for decades.

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Viggo Mortensen

In a movie, you're raw material, just a hue of some color and the director makes the painting.

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Viggo Mortensen

In terms of the movie business, being in a 'Lord of the Rings' has given me more interesting options as work.

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Viggo Mortensen

It doesn't take that many years for a kid to realise that they're going to die. It's always there in the back of their mind the rest of their lives.

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Viggo Mortensen

It's very rare you get a great script just handed to you, or sent to you, by someone you don't know.

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Viggo Mortensen

Jung viewed Freud as a mentor, but he never wanted to be anybody's disciple.

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Viggo Mortensen

Most movies are lucky to have one moment, one shot that you look at and you always remember that moment and that scene.

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Viggo Mortensen

Pinochet and Barack Obama both have the same primary goal, and that's to be president and stay president as long as allowed.

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Viggo Mortensen

Saying you are a patriot does not make you one; wearing a flag pin does not in itself mean anything at all.

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Viggo Mortensen

The best thing an actor can be is flexible, because all directors are different and all actors are different.

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Viggo Mortensen

The first decade of your life is really important; it's formative.

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Viggo Mortensen

The Holocaust movie is almost a genre in itself these days.

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Viggo Mortensen

'The Road' was a movie that has a good reputation, even though it wasn't released very well, but that's a movie I'm very proud of.

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Viggo Mortensen

When I have a day off, I won't spend it at a Hollywood party. I'd rather be at home with paints and a blank canvas.

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Viggo Mortensen

When I land in a country and they ask for 'occupation,' I always just put 'artist.' I think that covers all of it.

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Viggo Mortensen

When I was a little boy, I rode, but I didn't own horses.

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Viggo Mortensen

With few exceptions, one ought always do what one is afraid of.

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Viggo Mortensen

You do need to get lucky, no matter how talented you are.

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Viggo Mortensen

You know, real life doesn't just suddenly resolve itself. You have to keep working at it.

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Viggo Mortensen

You see people on the street yelling and think they're crazy, but maybe they're just happy and expressing what they feel at all times.

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Viggo Mortensen

As far as money goes, there's a saying in Denmark: 'Your last suit doesn't have any pockets.' You can't take it with you. You can make all the money you want, but who cares?

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Viggo Mortensen

Like most people I can be lazy, so it's nice to have a goal or deadline or reason to work out. I feel better when I get to exercise, or when I'm outdoors. I like to hike, swim and run, and I love to play...

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Viggo Mortensen

To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering...

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Viggo Mortensen

Be kind. It's worthwhile to make an effort to learn about other people and figure out what you might have in common with them. If you allow yourself to be somewhat curious - and if you get into the habit...

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm just looking as always for something that's stimulating and I hope to find a good story that's a challenge, whether it's big or small. Or that it finds me. I don't have like a career plan. Maybe I...

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Viggo Mortensen

It's true that I have a wide range of interests. I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else.

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Viggo Mortensen

'The Road' is about that fear that all parents can have. What's going to happen to your child if you're not around? It takes those concerns to an extreme. In the film, without me the boy has no food, no...

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Viggo Mortensen

A little recognition is not a bad thing because it means people appreciate your work. The only problem is when you can't walk down the street or have a meal without people looking at you. I want to be...

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Viggo Mortensen

A lot of times, movies that are in the top 10 lists or maybe even win Baftas or Oscars, you then watch them a year later and you go, 'Maybe it wasn't so great.'

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Viggo Mortensen

Adult characters are all the things they've encountered over time. But kids haven't accumulated all the life experience, all the regrets. They tend to be more in the moment, more willing to play, to be...

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Viggo Mortensen

Anyone can identify with those moments in life where circumstances or people inform us that we've strayed from the path of our better nature and intentions. We know what that's like, and we resist it -...

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Viggo Mortensen

At the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century in Austria, there was a lot of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism in Austria was much more pervasive than in Germany. And Austrians took...

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Viggo Mortensen

Being an actor, imitating to the point of inhabiting the lives of others, may simply be a way of continuing to do what I learned to do as a boy - to travel, mentally and physically.

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Viggo Mortensen

Every year I hear people complain that the quality of screenplays and movies is declining. In my opinion, the vast majority of scripts written - as well as most movies that are released - are not very...

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Viggo Mortensen

Freud was the son of a Jewish merchant who had to move his whole family to Vienna because he couldn't get work. He, as a boy, had to watch his father be mocked and abused on the street for being Jewish......

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Viggo Mortensen

Further devastation of the air, land and sea is obviously a very real possibility, unless the attitudes of politicians and all who irresponsibly exploit our natural resources change significantly in the...

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Viggo Mortensen

I don't have a BlackBerry or whatever you call it. And there is something to be said for being isolated and out of phone range, because you can fall into a habit to such a degree that you don't even realise...

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Viggo Mortensen

I grew up with horses when I was a kid in Argentina. I like them. I respect them. I'm careful around them. You never know what they're going to do. They're endlessly interesting. I've had some good acting...

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Viggo Mortensen

I hate divers, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who might be the greatest athlete in the sport, but he's a big baby. If things are going well he's great, but when things are going badly it's the ref's fault, it's...

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Viggo Mortensen

I have a publishing company of books by me and books of others. It drew people to poetry readings and photo exhibitions and painting exhibitions that I've been doing for years before that.

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Viggo Mortensen

I know I said I wanted to live forever and I would never be bored, but the reality is, it's probably kind of sad to live forever if you're the only one sticking around.

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Viggo Mortensen

I know people who prepare their roles in such a way that they technically look ahead and memorize their gestures, and then they stick to it. Those that are technically proficient enough can make it seem...

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Viggo Mortensen

I like the detail work of telling a story in small pieces, as is done in movie-making, and also the long leap of faith needed to see a theatre performance through each night. Both require focus and self-discipline.

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Viggo Mortensen

I realise how important it is to use the time I have. I respect people who want to do that by watching television. I happen to want to read books. But I know I can't read all the books or watch all the...

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Viggo Mortensen

I really enjoyed working with New Zealanders as crew members, as teammates. They're great, and it's a beautiful country. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and I've traveled quite a...

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Viggo Mortensen

I suppose a good director is like a teacher. I think that someone like David Cronenberg was very much like a teacher, because there's an openness, but a certain set of rules of behavior, and a certain...

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Viggo Mortensen

I think maybe because I do other things and they mean as much to me as movie acting, it takes the onus off me. It's not the end of the world if I can't get a film job, or if a movie doesn't turn out well...

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Viggo Mortensen

I think that every person has many, many people inside of them. We change our personality depending on who we are talking to or what situation we are in.

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Viggo Mortensen

I was raised in Argentina until I was 11 and now I go back there a lot, at least twice a year. It's a country where I feel very comfortable and it represents an important period in my life.

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Viggo Mortensen

I was raised speaking English and Spanish. And I also speak Danish. And I can get by in French and Italian. I've acted in Spanish and English, but when something has to do with emotions, sometimes I feel...

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Viggo Mortensen

I would literally climb out of the cradle while my parents slept, go and crawl off. I did this a couple of times apparently. I'd cross the road and into someone's house, wake them up banging pots and pans...

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm certainly curious about people. As a kid, I moved around a lot. I was raised in a lot of different places, and thanks to working in the movies, I've gotten to keep traveling. I've always been interested...

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Viggo Mortensen

I'm very comfortable in Argentina. I was raised there as a baby and stayed there until I was 11 years old, so the first decade of my life or my formative years were spent in Argentina. I stayed in tune...

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Viggo Mortensen

I've been lucky to learn by playing all kinds of roles and watching all kinds of really good cinematographers, actors, and directors for many years before people were even aware of me in terms of audience.

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Viggo Mortensen

I've never been conscious of having any real career plan, and I do not have a wish-list of actors, directors, screenwriters, or cameramen I'm hoping to work with. Life, I feel, has a way of leading us...

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Viggo Mortensen

I've never played a Dane in a movie. I've had offers to be in Danish movies, including for some good directors, but I either had a job at the time or, when I was available, the movie just didn't happen....

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Viggo Mortensen

If in my twenties I'd gotten one of the two-dozen roles that I did screen tests for and almost got, I think I would have become bored with the awards circuit, the whole hype machine.

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Viggo Mortensen

If there's one thing I've learned from traveling, it's that it is definitely more important how you are than where you are. You can say, 'Oh, I hate X city, I hate that country, or I prefer this city,'...

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Viggo Mortensen

Ignorance breeds antipathy. Until I got to know how computers worked, I didn't want anything to do with them. I said, 'Well, why do I need them? I write letters.' Which I still do.

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Viggo Mortensen

In a lot of places in the United States and certainly even more places around the world, the image of the cowboy has become, for some people, a negative one. The word 'cowboy' implies a strong, stubborn...

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Viggo Mortensen

In a way, editing is not unlike the movies. The best books, just like the best movies, are a collaboration. They're only as good as the compromise made between the artists involved.

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Viggo Mortensen

In principle, I think the idea of rewarding a good effort is interesting, but movies are generally different from each other as are performances and the conditions on how the performances are given and...

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Viggo Mortensen

It's amazing to me that Glenn Beck can be on the cover of 'Time,' and there can be a whole article about him basically saying, 'Well, you know, he's controversial.' It's like, 'No, he's a dangerous idiot...

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Viggo Mortensen

Like most people - unless they're very practised at it or have no warm blood at all in their veins - I feel a little apprehensive about the red carpet. It's always a bit bewildering when people are taking...

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Viggo Mortensen

Looking at acting, in the movies or the theater, and the way I like to look at it, it's just an extension of childhood play... Kids play and imagine in a very intense fashion and they don't need any director...

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Viggo Mortensen

More often than not, the experience of shooting the movie has been disappointing and the end product has been a mere shadow of what I hoped it would be. But immersing myself in the story - that's what...

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Viggo Mortensen

One of the main ways that leadership stays in power is by, in various ways, convincing people that they should just let those who are in government govern: 'Trust us. Trust me. Just let us take care of...

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Viggo Mortensen

People will like to say that 'Eastern Promises' is brutal, but the only reason they say that is because the scenes stick with them. They are realistic. They are in-your-face and you see the consequences....

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Viggo Mortensen

Some actors learn the habit of promoting themselves as a brand - by dressing in a certain way, by going out with a certain person - it gives them what they obviously want, which is to keep a level of fame....

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Viggo Mortensen

Sometimes a scene works and acting is the easiest thing in the world and you don't have to do much of anything - just enjoy yourself and listen to the other actor. When it doesn't work, then every actor...

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Viggo Mortensen

Toronto Film Festival is one of those festivals where there are 400 movies, and unless you have a distributor who is super confident and puts a lot of money into it, sometimes movies can go unwatched or...

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Viggo Mortensen

Travel is one of the best anti-war weapons that there are. I've been to Iran, and if you're there you see little kids, cops, old people, cemeteries. Once you see that, you can't say, 'Oh, Iran, let's bomb...

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Viggo Mortensen

Walking down the street in any town or city in the world and having people look at you and start talking to you, convinced that they know you as well or better than they do members of their own family,...

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Viggo Mortensen

When I heard Puerto Ricans in New York City, it sounded very strange. And the first time I heard someone from Spain, I thought they had a speech impediment!

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Viggo Mortensen

When I make a movie, I don't break it down and analyze it. I could but it would get in the way of doing a job - on instinct based on all the research we did going in. you want to trust yourself and your...

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Viggo Mortensen

When we shot 'The Lord of the Rings,' we had special permission to film in wild areas of New Zealand that could be accessed only by helicopter. They would drop us off and we would work all day, and they'd...

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Viggo Mortensen

With any character I have played, there's infinite possibilities for how they might behave, depending on who they are talking to or how they react to things.

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Viggo Mortensen

Yes, I would agree that America, just like Spain was in the 17th Century, is the main empire of the world and they are the ones who, on the surface, are the most pushy: pushing their language, pushing...

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Viggo Mortensen

You know, Freud accepted his lot very stoically and very well and with a sense of humor. He aged and died gracefully, and there's a lot to be said for that.

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Viggo Mortensen

You don't have to make something that people call art. Living is an artistic activity, there is an art to getting through the day.

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Viggo Mortensen

I have friends who I get along with who I know get very uncomfortable being alone, unless they're with people, talking all the time. Whether it's on the phone, or in person, they're never by themselves....

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Viggo Mortensen

You can't really divorce yourself and your life from the world you live in.

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Viggo Mortensen

Can you join, ask sincerely for affection without sweaty hand of expectation, understanding and accepting if it never is given?

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Viggo Mortensen

In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his administration.

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Viggo Mortensen

I think that people who get to a certain position, and then try to ferociously defend it or build on it, it's kind of a dead-end street. You see people becoming miserable that way.

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Viggo Mortensen

Joseph Campbell said the privilege of a lifetime is being yourself. That's his feeling. And I guess it's mine too.

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Viggo Mortensen

We all experience many freakish and unexpected events - you have to be open to suffering a little. The philosopher Schopenhauer talked about how out of the randomness, there is an apparent intention in...

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Viggo Mortensen

You have a moral obligation to finish the job you said you would do.

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Viggo Mortensen

To find a good story, you're generally going to find it in independent or lower budget movies... I wouldn't mind doing a big budget movie if it had a great story.

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Viggo Mortensen

If you daren't enter the forest, or cannot find it, then perhaps you might find one tree, or a place where a tree could be, and just stop for a quiet moment to see what happens.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss