"He rallied.") It took a while to find nurses he could trust, but he has hired one for today. He said it reminded him of Denmark; Mortensen knows it had more to do with torturing his mother. ' "On the road, his phone rings again, this time with a call from his girlfriend in Spain. He made this place to hang out with his friends." He takes me into a small red barn on the property and opens the squeaky door. "I mean, when I was a little kid, some of my first memories are waking up and going, 'Ugh, I'm gonna die.' " As a kid?
She tells him there's a medical supply they've run out of that he needs to pick up. Mortensen was married once, to the punk-rock singer Exene Cervenka, the mother of his twenty-eight-year-old son, Henry Blake Mortensen, an actor and musician. "I guess living in the countryside, I might've learned about it earlier. Once I realized that animals are gonna die, hence I'm going to die.
Every man has one."Today is only the second time since he flew back to the States from Europe several weeks ago—"when it seemed like only a matter of days" that his father had left to live—that he has left the house for more than a few hours. We are driving down a gorgeous country road with farms on both sides. I said, 'You have all this land, sell it if you think you're broke.' And he did." Lots of farmland. We decide to grab a late lunch, pulling into a diner by Lake Ontario, where he orders a tuna-fish sandwich.
("He's a tough son of a bitch," he says of his old man. Viggo is terrified that he will also get dementia one day. Some of this land until recently belonged to his dad. "Then he calls me up one night and says, 'Someone's on my property, I'm gonna shoot them.' I said, 'You can't fucking shoot them, you don't own it anymore! On the way, he walks me through his "obsession" (his word) with death."I think about death all the time," he tells me as we both fire up another cigarette, him leaning over to light mine.
But he just doesn't scream "I'm famous." Plus, he's dressed like everyone around him, in a plaid flannel shirt, generic jeans (they're not even Levi's), and old black sneakers he got in Denmark a couple decades ago. Then he did something truly bizarre by Hollywood standards.
I ask Robin what Mortensen was like in high school. "He was a blond, beautiful, that's what he was."Mortensen has never been like the other boys and girls.
take were mostly in indie films or David Cronenberg movies—dark, complicated, intellectual affairs that aren't on heavy rotation at the local multiplex.
He is a very solidly build man and used to play football as a young kid.
This summer, the quintessentially un-Hollywood Viggo Mortensen stars in a film about a father of six who rejects the world to raise his kids completely off the grid. We are curbside at the tiny airport in Syracuse, New York, on a truly dreary day (even by Syracuse standards), and within seconds of hopping into his rented Ford Fusion, I learn two things about him: He's the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport, and he's the kind of guy who brings presents. ("It was there.") About how much he loves the militant Chomskyite he plays in , a father of six who decides to raise his kids in the isolated wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. with Harrison Ford, and the public got to lay its eyes on him for the first time. It would be another sixteen years and at least as many (mostly obscure) roles before he would acquire true fame.
How much does this character resemble the actor himself? We could've gone straight to Watertown and stayed there, and we could've gotten there a hell of a lot faster, but Mortensen, his two hands resting gently on the bottom of the steering wheel, doesn't like to drive too fast. Two and a half hours into our journey, Mortensen and I stop for coffee at a joint he likes because his mother used to go there as a teenager. We sit at the bar, and no one seems to recognize him, not even the pretty bartendress he chats up about Syracuse basketball. He was offered the role only when another actor, Stuart Townsend, was dropped at the last minute, and he took it only because his then-eleven-year-old son, Henry, had read (and loved) the Tolkien trilogy and convinced him to do it.
He then traveled around to Europe and loved across Denmark, Spain, and England taking various jobs, big and small all.
He also sold his paintings for food along with flowers and also drove vehicles Couple of years later, he returned to the states to make a living out of acting. Viggo is not a very tall man, but he has an average height of about an 180 cm.
When Mortensen was eleven, his parents divorced and things got ugly. He seems to do a lot for women, and his poetry, raw and intense, is filled with heartache. "Many, many times," he says, taking a long drag of his cigarette.)We head down a gravel driveway to his dad's farmhouse. He is happy that the daffodils he planted are already blooming.