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Viggo Mortensen: “Diego Alatriste is very different from Aragorn”

April 1, 2007 at 9:59 am by xoanon  - 

Translated by Nimthiriel: SANTIAGO.- Viggo Mortensen´s biography and passport may say he’s American, but the years spent living in Argentina left a deep print on him.

Two examples: before starting this interview, he receives a gift box with “alfajores” (a type of argentinian biscuit filled with milk caramel) and a mug with the name of his favorite argentinean soccer team San Lorenzo de Almagro, which transforms itself into an improvised “mate” (a leaf that is made into tea, and is very popular in Argentina) that will accompany him during the long list of interviews he has to give.

There’s also his perfect Spanish. He doesn’t hesitate or stops to look for a certain word in order to express himself, something that helped him interpret Captain Diego Alatriste, the lead role in this production inspired by Arturo Perez Reverte’s books, the reason of his visit to Chile.

Mortensen says he doesn’t feel always inclined to do this type of characters, like Lord of the Rings’ Aragorn: epic, lonely, man of few words. “I don’t know, one thing is what you’re interested in playing, and another the things you get offered. Besides, I think Diego Alatriste apart from being a guy that uses a sword, is very different, they don’t have much in common”.

This actor combines his passion for drama with literature (he owns an editorial in the US) and painting, that’s why he already knew the works of Perez Reverte before they offered him the leading role. “But I had not read Captain Alatriste novels, so I read all five available at the time right away, and that’s when I realized that Agustin Diaz Yanes, the director, had done a great work in the adaptation”.

Now he has something that Alatriste’s fans will envy: “I have the honor of having my Alatriste novels signed by Reverte”.

Harsh Words

The artistic side of this actor is not the only field in which he stands out from the rest, he has spoken his opinion clearly when talking about Bush or the war or things that to him are unjust. Like the time he visited the mother of a soldier who died in Irak camping outside the American President’s ranch.

But he says the social or political elements that the adventures of the Spanish captain have did not influence his acceptance when taking the job: “I pay attention and sometimes I say things, it may be better just to shut up and do your work, but once in a while you see things that are obvious and don’t get published, or you hear lies from the people that govern, as do all governments, because it’s their way of survival. But that was not my motivation to do this movie”.

“I accepted the script because I liked it and thought it was a historical time not very well known outside the academic world or the Spanish speaking countries.”

In the press conference he gave yesterday, a few hours after arriving, he spoke of the amount of bad scripts and texts he’s offered, and that he has resigned.

“It’s always the same, and also purely subjective. I can read a script and find it quite good, but then you read it and don’t like it at all, it’s subjective. I think that people who work in movies, reading scripts and stories would tell you that the majority of what it’s being done today, even though it’s well intended, it’s not well written. There are very few good stories, and it’s always been that way”.”

“Writing a good movie script is art, not everyone can do it, because when it’s well done it seems easy, but in reality, it is not that way” he adds.

Mortensen’s Mob

His next projects he’s got them very clear: “I just finished working with David Cronenberg, in a movie that comes out in Autumn (Spring in the Northern hemisphere) (“Eastern Promises”), with Naomi Watts, about the London Russian mob. I will also work as a lead actor in a western movie directed by Ed Harris”.

He doesn’t reject the possibility of trying new styles and work in a comedy or a romantic story: “If there’s the opportunity, I choose according to what is offered, according to what I can find out there. If there’s any luck, you’ll see me working in one sometime”.

Posted in Old Special Reports on April 1, 2007 by

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