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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Dangerous Method starts filming in May

The Talking Cure David Cronenberg's upcoming film based on Christopher Hampton's play, The Talking Cure, has been renamed "A Dangerous Method." According to Production Weekly, filming starts next month at locations in Berlin, Vienna and Zurich. No release date has been set, but the film is expected to be released in 2011.

The story explores the relationship between psychiatry revolutionaries Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and his student, Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender).'s synopsis of The Talking Cure:

Overshadowed by portents of the coming wars, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for this tale of emotional vicissitude and intellectual debate. The Talking Cure is an intimate picture of the birth of psychoanalysis and of two intense and inextricably interwoven relationships. Carl Jung uses Sigmund Freud's "talking cure" on Sabina, a young Russian hysteric with whom he will fall in love. Impressed with Jung's results, Freud anoints him his successor, but when Jung develops his own theories they part ways. Sensitive and intelligent, The Talking Cure illuminates the origins of one of the twentieth century's most influential schools of thought.

Keira Knightley will play Jung's patient Sabina Spielrein. Vincent Cassel ("Kirill" in Eastern Promises) also has a not-yet specified part. Christoph Waltz was originally signed to play Freud, but backed out in March to accept a leading role in Water for Elephants. We're delighted that Cronenberg was able to replace Waltz with Viggo Mortensen.

More information and opinions at The Playlist, Gordon and the Whale, /Film and IMDb.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Viggo Mortensen Knighted by Danish Queen

Ridder af Dannebrog medalFrom Frederik at, we learned that as part of Queen Margrethe II's 70th birthday celebration, Viggo Mortensen was one of several notables who were named Ridder af Dannebrog, which translates to "Knight of the Danish banner." (Viggo's father was Danish.)

Thanks to Viggo-Works for pointing us to this article about the occasion (in Danish), and to the photograph of the medal.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Viggo Mortensen praises Dennis Hopper

Elizabeth Snead shot this video of Viggo Mortensen honoring Dennis Hopper at his Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame ceremony on Friday, March 26. it was a touching moment since Hopper is terminally ill with prostate cancer.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Reviews coming in for The Road at Toronto

Marshall Fine writes that The Road has "drawn mixed reviews coming out of the Venice Film Festival."

Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in 'The Road'

The chief knock on it? That it's downbeat and depressing.

How shocking — given that it's based on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a father and son trying to survive a world-killing nuclear winter. I guess those critics were looking for a more cheerful post-apocalyptic tale.

In fact, Hillcoat's film is both faithful to and expands upon McCarthy’s novel. But as the book did, it always returns to the father, played with fierce tenderness by Viggo Mortensen, and his efforts to keep his boy alive and get him to some safe place — if such a place still exists. It's a performance that alternately smolders and flares, as Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee (as the boy) trudge through a gray, desolate landscape, trying to maintain their humanity and stay alive, while dodging others who have succumbed to the Darwinian imperative.

It's an important and a genuinely moving film, one that deserves a wide audience. Here's hoping that it finds one in the crowded award season of November, when it will be released.

I must confess that I am dreading the film as much as I look forward to it. I'm depressed enough already! McCarthy's The Road has been sitting on my shelf for over a year, waiting for me to build up the courage to read it. But with Viggo in the film, I'll be in the theater as soon as it reaches my hometown, and I have no doubt I'll be glad I saw it.

You can read the rest of Marshall Fine's Toronto reviews at his site, Hollywood & Fine.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Viggo Mortensen's hairdo troubles some folks

Viggo Mortensen at the Venice Film FestivalThe Huffington Post has posted a poll asking readers their opinion of Viggo's latest look.

Viggo Mortensen is at the Venice Film Festival to premiere his long-awaited cinematic version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road Thursday night.

Thursday at a photo call Viggo, 50, arrived by boat in a "Make Art, Not War" t-short and a middle-parted, shoulder-length bob.

Your choices in the poll are "Love it!"; "Love HIM, but not the hair"; or "Lose It". Unfortunately there is no option for "Love Viggo and whatever he wants to do with his hair is fine with me." Thankfully, most of the comments express this latter opinion! Vote and/or comment here.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Viggo's Nikolai named top 10 screen mobster

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern PromisesMichael Ordoña of the San Francisco Chronicle named his picks for The top 10 best screen mobsters yesterday. Making his appearance as #6 on the list was Nikolai Luzhin, Viggo Mortensen's character in Eastern Promises:

If you had never seen Mortensen before this film, you'd think he was that guy, that the filmmakers had just pulled some Russian dude out of a high-end London nightclub. Equal parts preening macho narcissist and cold-blooded hatchet man, he tops even Borat for best naked fight.

Our only question: why wasn't he ranked #1? :)

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Road official trailer is out

The official theatrical trailer for The Road was released yesterday. The film, which stars Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Garret Dillahunt, is now scheduled for an October 16th, 2009, release.

Click on the "HD" button to watch a nice big shiny version.

Based on Cormac McCarthy's best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Road is the epic post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son across a barren landscape that was blasted by an unnamed cataclysm that destroyed civilization and most life on earth. I've been worried that it would be just quietly depressing but it looks as though there is a lot of action adventure to balance the quiet. I'm expecting this to be another incredible Viggo performance. Is it October yet?

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Viggo Mortensen taking a break from acting

Viggo Mortensen in GoodIn an interview with Kevin Maher published April 2, 2009, in the London Times, Viggo Mortensen talked about the grueling schedule of travel associated with film promotion and stated that he is taking an indefinite break from movie acting:

"In the past week I've been from LA to Japan to Korea to Poland to here," he hisses, describing in near disbelief the travel itinerary for his current promotional tour. "It's ridiculous! It's not a healthy way to be. But, as it happens, I'm taking measures to change that." Which are? "No more movies. I haven't said yes to one in over a year. I've been in all these well-received movies and it seems like I should be doing some more, but there's other things I want to do. It's not the right time."

When asked when it might be the right time to come back to film-making, he could only answer that he didn't know. This doesn't mean that Viggo will be idle.

He says that, of course, life goes on, and that he’s a busy man. As well as a new collection of published poems, called Songs of Winter, there is also a Spanish language production of Ariel Dorfman's play Purgatorio that he plans to perform in Madrid this winter. "I haven’t done theatre in 20 years," he says. "And that terrifies me more than death."

Viggo Mortensen also talks about the just-released Good, which he is currently promoting.

"Everywhere I've seen this movie play, it ends, the lights go on, and people are completely unsure," he says, beaming with pride. "They don't know what to think. And I'm like: 'That's OK. This movie doesn't give you that tragic finale so common in the Holocaust genre. That's because it’s as much about us, the viewers, as it is about Germany or the Germans.'"

Mortensen gets a kick out of this. He likes the way the movie tricks us, and asks us what we would have done, and at what point we would have said no to the Nazi war machine. He also likes the tricks that the movie plays with his image, how people expect a square-jawed hero on screen, and how shocked they are to find Middle Earth's unswerving Aragorn as a dithering Nazi puppet. "People have expectations of me, I suspect," he says. "And here those expectations are, um, subverted."

We suspect that anyone who has seen Viggo Mortensen in his wide range of roles, from the whiny Lalin in Carlito's Way to the seductive hippie Walker in Walk on the Moon to the tough, disciplined and even brutal Master Chief Urgayle in G.I. Jane, would not be at all surprised at his ability to play this character—or any character, for that matter.

For more on the film, visit our Good page. For the full interview (well worth reading), visit the Times Online.

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Good is playing in limited theaters

We're disappointed that Good will not be distributed widely, but it is showing in "select" theaters. Find the theater list at the official Good website.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cronenberg working on Eastern Promises sequel

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern PromisesIn an exclusive interview with MTV News, David Cronenberg indicated that he is exploring the possibilities of a sequel to Eastern Promises. Said Cronenberg,

It's the first time I've ever been in a situation where I actually want to do a sequel to something. I've never had the desire to do that before. But in this case, I thought we had unfinished business with those characters. I didn't feel that we had finished with Nikolai and we had done a lot of research that was more than we could stuff into that one movie.

Cronenberg indicated that Viggo Mortensen's character, Nikolai, will be the focus of the new movie but that it is too early to tell whether other central characters from Eastern Promises would be included.

According to MTV News,

Cronenberg is simply intrigued by the opportunity to reunite with Mortensen for a third film. "Viggo is a very special guy," said Cronenberg. "I consider him a personal friend and we communicate all the time. That doesn't always happen with actors. He's very serious about his acting. But he's really a funny guy. We laugh a lot. We giggle a lot."

Hope this pans out as we also want to know what happens next with Nikolai!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Viggo Mortensen on the Early Show

Viggo Mortensen seemed a bit sleepy in his appearance on the CBS Early Show on Wednesday, Sept. 10. I really enjoyed his comments about carrying around the 8 gauge shotgun.

The first day I said to Ed, "Look, I know it's in the book; it's an important part of the character. But it's a big gun, and it's going to be a long couple of months if I've got to do this every day." But by the second day I kinda liked it. And I said I want to have it everywhere. I want to have it when I'm in bed, when I'm having dinner, when I'm walking down the street. And it is kind of intimidating. It was like my scary friend, you know. It had a psychological effect. It's like that thing that you fight sometimes—the obstacle becomes your friend. So it was all right.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Ed Harris & Viggo Mortensen on the Early Show

Appaloosa director and co-star Ed Harris is scheduled to be on the Early Show on CBS tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Sept. 9). Viggo Mortensen is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10. The show starts at 7 a.m.; we're not sure of the order of appearance. See TV Guide for the other guests. For more on the film, see our Appaloosa page.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gospel According to Harry now on DVD!

Gospel According to Harry DVD coverThe Gospel According to Harry is one of the most unusual films Viggo Mortensen has made — and that's saying something! Called "A highly visual, beautifully shot striking film ... where the director's maverick vision creates a metaphor for our times against a barren landscape," by Piers Handling of the Toronto International Film Festival, the film is dreamlike and surreal.

Polish director Lech Majewski shot the film in English in the California desert, but it was released in Europe in 1993 as Ewangelia wedlug Harry'ego, with Polish subtitles. Some determined folks taped it off of European broadcast television, making low-quality copies available in the U.S., but the film was not released on video tape or DVD. As of August 18, 2008, this has changed, with a Region 1 DVD release. Read more about The Gospel According to Harry, or just rush off and order it from Amazon.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More Appaloosa photos

Viggo Mortensen & Ed Harris in AppaloosaThe publicity for Appaloosa, starring Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris, is building fast. According to Rope of Silicon, "Warner Bros. just sent in their preview kit for their Fall/Holiday 2008 season and it includes new pics and information for seven of their upcoming films including Appaloosa." The same article gives the release dates as "In theatres on September 17 (NY/LA/Toronto) and October 3 (wide)," which is earlier than previous reports.

We've added several new stills to our Appaloosa photo gallery, along with links to more.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Appaloosa Trailer, Photos and More!

Appaloosa, starring Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons and Reneé Zellweger, is coming soon! This western is based on the novel by Robert B. Parker. The trailer was released earlier this week. You can watch the YouTube version below, or go to our Appaloosa page to find a link to trailer downloads and lots more information on the film. We've gathered photographs, screencapped two dozen scenes from the high definition (1080p) trailer, and dug up links to the best resources we can find.

Appaloosa is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, with the theater release starting October 3rd.

Sounds terrific to me! What do you think? Is Appaloosa going to get you to the theaters?

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Honorary Russian: Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern PromisesIn the Chirayliq blog, Tinet, a student of Russia and the Russian language, among other things, dissects Viggo Mortensen's performance in Eastern Promises. She says that "almost none of the Russians in the film are real Russians, and most of them are not all that convincing, but Viggo Mortensen (half Danish, half US American) alone is a reason to watch this film over and over again."

.... The way he moves and the facial expressions he wears as Nikolai are really spot-on.

While his Russian could be even better (some of the "hard" consonants, not least ф, б and ш, as well as the vowel ы, can be very difficult), his accent holds a rarely high standard for any non-Russian actor pretending to be Russian.

Tinet's article is generously annotated with photographs and audio from the film, and is both scholarly and funny. I liked the comments about Nikolai's "Russian Male Pride." Recommended reading!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eastern Promises Interview

No, it's not new, but I hadn't seen it before. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune is interviewing Viggo Mortensen about the nature of the violence in Eastern Promises. He makes the case that director David Cronenberg "deals with violence responsibly."

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Signed copy of SKOVBO in fundraiser auction

SKOVBO by Viggo MortensenViggo Mortensen has graciously signed a copy of his latest book, SKOVBO, in support of fundraising efforts for 1,2,3...Hi Baby! at Pine Ridge South Dakota. The book is being auctioned on eBay, with a closing time of 11 a.m. PDT, Saturday, July 12.

This book functions as a partial companion to the upcoming photo exhibit, also titled Skovbo (which roughly translates from Danish as "home in the forest"), by Viggo Mortensen at the Reykjavik Museum of Photography (Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavikur), opening on 31st May, 2008 and running until 31st August, 2008. In this new collection of images and poems are trees and the memory of trees, ghosts, words, nights, days, lives, deaths, and safe haven for them all in the place where "...the twigs become branches, / And the mist becomes make-believe..." (Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam). 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.

Bidding is active! Go to the eBay auction page for more photos and details, and to bid for the book and to support 1,2,3,...Hi Baby!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Top 10 Films in Favor of Gun Control

Viggo Mortensen in A History of ViolenceTruthdig caught my attention with a shot of Viggo Mortensen in A History of Violence. They were referring to Wendy Cohen's post on the TakePart blog.

The Supreme Court opened fire on gun control laws declaring that a sweeping ban on handguns in the nation’s capital violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms. In a 5-4 ruling, this landmark decision states that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to have a gun.

Wow. Is it just me or does this seem like an awful idea? Here are 10 films that make a strong case for gun control.

She goes on to list A History of Violence, in which "a mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core," and nine other films to illustrate the point: using a gun to solve a problem may just create more problems than it solves. We think Viggo would approve.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Rare Miyelo in Auction for 1,2,3 Hi Baby

Miyelo book & photoAs part of the 1,2,3...Hi Baby! Wheels Project, a member of the Viggo-Works community has donated a signed first edition copy of Viggo Mortensen's Miyelo, along with a print from the book. The auction is in full swing on eBay, with a closing time of 10 a.m. PDT tomorrow, June 21, 2008, so don't delay if you want a chance to own this rare and beautiful book and print. Description:

On September 11, 2003, Viggo Mortensen held a private opening at the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles for his new Miyelo Exhibit. As part of that opening there was a special offering of his new Miyelo book, hardbound, signed, and numbered by Viggo himself. Accompanying this book was a 9 x 16 extraordinary print of Miyelo 4 (2003), also signed and numbered by Viggo himself. Only 150 of these signed and numbered sets were offered and they are now a coveted collector’s treasure. We now offer one of these irreplaceable sets in support of 1, 2, 3 … Hi Baby! in Pine Ridge, SD.

The set, bound in the original red ribbon contains the hardbound Miyelo book, plus the print in acid free envelope.

Go to the eBay auction page for more photos and details, and to bid on this treasure.

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Viggo Mortensen's Top 10

Viggo Mortensen in Entertainment WeeklyThe June 27/July 4 special double issue of Entertainment Weekly features Viggo Mortensen on page 32, offering his top 10 "Pieces of Advice I've Heard on Movie Sets." They start with "One job at a time, and each job a success," and "Whatever you are feeling at this moment can be useful, no matter how far removed or even distracting it may seem from the scene you are playing. That is as close to 'real' as you will ever get." The last is a concise "I love you." My favorite is #6: "All you really need to play the moment is air and water."

See the entire list at

Credit: Photo by Kurt Iswarienko.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Viggo Mortensen or Gerard Butler?

Gerard Butler & Viggo MortensenAfter naming Viggo Mortensen as their readers' Favorite Actor or Actress, CanMag got some pushback from fans of Gerard Butler, who came in a close second. So they are having a run-off election. Here's your chance to vote for your favorite. Right now Viggo is slightly ahead with 52% of the 585,943 votes cast.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Image of Viggo Mortensen in The Road

Viggo Mortensen in The RoadFrom Row Three, one of the first images of Viggo Mortensen in the upcoming movie, The Road. Viggo plays "Father" in this film version of Cormac McCarthy's novel. With Mortensen is Kodi Smit-McPhee, who plays "Son."

The film is scheduled to be released in the USA in November of 2008.

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Added: This image also appears, along with another shot, in the May 30, 2008, issue of Entertainment Weekly. See details and scans on our The Road page.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Viggo in Dancing with Wolves sequel?

Dances with Wolves DVD reported May 8 that Viggo Mortensen is the directors' pick to replace Kevin Costner in The Holy Road, sequel to Dances with Wolves.

Director Simon Wincer (The Man From Snowy River, Free Willy) is on the search for a new "Dances with Wolves" and the name we've heard that's the favourite to play the role right now is Viggo Mortensen. If Mortensen can stand pulling himself away from David Cronenberg for a couple of months, the role might do him so good. I think he'd be rather super in it, too. ...

The Holy Road, which is on target to film sometime in 2009, picks up eleven years later, with Dances with Wolves married to Stands With Fist — they have kiddies, too — and the white man encroaching further on the lives of the Sioux as they build a railway, the titular "Holy Road."

Visit for the complete article by Ramius.

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Viggo reading in Portland

Viggo Mortensen readingI'm finally going to see Viggo Mortensen in person! He has been filming The Road in the Portland, Oregon, area, and will be reading this Friday evening, May 16, as part of the Voices of a People's History tour.

(I'm driving up Friday afternoon from Corvallis. If you are interested in car-pooling, please contact me!)

In addition to Mortensen, the evening features readings by performance poet Staceyann Chin, poet and musician Tevino Brings Plenty, singer Shontina Vernon, Portland student activist Sarah Levy, actor Michael Ealy, teacher, actor, and musician Eric Levine, editor and author Anthony Arnove, and other fine actors and activists.

They will be reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. Voices is the primary-source companion to Howard Zinn's best-selling A People's History of the United States. It features the words of rebels, dissenters and visionaries from our past — and present. Here is a video excerpt, read by Viggo Mortensen:

The performance is sponsored by the Illahee Lecture Series and is a benefit for Voices of a People's History of the United States, a 501c3 created to encourage civic engagement and to further history education by bringing the rich stories of dissent and activism in the United States to life through public readings.

For more information, visit Tickets are available online through the Illahee Institute. As of Monday morning, May 12, they have about 50 tickets left.

If you can't make it to Portland, consider visiting Democracy Now! for video and audio of one of a May, 2007, show. An audio CD, Readings from Voices of a People's History of the United States, is also available. And see Wikipedia: A People's History of the United States for in-depth discussion and analysis of the books.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Viggo on the cover of Men's Vogue

Viggo Mortensen on Vogue coverViggo Mortensen is featured on the cover of the March 2008 issue of Men's Vogue. It's out in New York and LA this week and nationwide next week.

Written by Phoebe Eaton, the article includes an extensive interview. Synopsis:

Viggo Mortensen can swing a broadsword as Aragorn or neatly fillet a Russian mobster. But off-screen, the Oscar contender is a life-giving force, playing big brother to a band of poets, painters, and searchers like him.

Read the feature article online.

Photo ©copyright 2088 by Norman Jean Roy for Men's Vogue.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ten Last Night manuscript

An individual recently bought out the stock of Illuminati Press, the publisher of Viggo Mortensen's first book Ten Last Night. He is offering for sale on eBay the original manuscript, the proof/galley (loosely bound), alternate covers, and correspondences between Viggo Mortensen and his publisher. Many items are personally signed, annotated or decorated by Viggo. The sale ends October 30.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eastern Promises screencaps & more

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern PromisesWe've posted 43 captures of Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises, taken from the super high-resolution trailer (1920px x 1056px), to our new Eastern Promises page. You'll also find other high-resolution stills from Eastern Promises on this page. We'll continue to add more links to reviews and other resources over the next weeks.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Passion of Clay and Callie

Viggo Mortensen & Ashley Judd in the Passion of Darkly NoonI recently discovered that The Passion of Darkly Noon has now been released on a region-free DVD. I finally found some time to watch it. I was once again amazed at Viggo Mortensen's virtuosity in his portrayal of the mute Clay, and the sensuality of his scenes with Ashley Judd as Callie are off the scale. I added over twenty screencaps and seven video clips to our Passion of Darkly Noon page. Also dug up more film reviews and posted summaries and links.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fresh Air: Cronenberg & Mortensen, Making 'Eastern Promises'

David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel on the set of Eastern PromisesViggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg appeared on NPR's Fresh Air from WHYY today. Host Terry Gross had a great time asking them about the making of their new film Eastern Promises. Topics included Viggo's Russian accent, the tattoos, how to best photograph blood, and of course the steam bath scene in which a naked Mortensen fights several assailants. Listen to the show online or subscribe to the Fresh Air podcast. More about the film on our Eastern Promises page.

Photograph by Peter Mountain for Focus Features.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Updates to Vanishing Point page

Viggo Mortensen in Vanishing PointThanks to Christopher for pointing out ways to clarify the difference between the original 1971 movie, Vanishing Point, and the 1997 remake starring Viggo Mortensen. See our Vanishing Point page for the updated information.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Uraeus (Brego) had surgery

Viggo Mortensen with Uraeus in Lord of the RingsThe New Zealand Herald reported on May 24 that Uraeus, the horse who played "Brego" in Lord of the Rings, suffered a severe colic. Viggo Mortensen paid for emergency surgery, and the 22-year-old stallion is doing well. See Equine movie star almost loses plot for details. Mortensen evidently said in an email to the horse's caretakers that he looked forward to seeing Brego again this year after completing a project in Hungary (Good).

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