Sunday 12th February the British Academy of Film and Television Arts held their annual film awards. Our favourite citizen of Lake-town Luke Evans was there as a presenter; and even more excitingly for Middle-earth fans, Viggo Mortensen was nominated in the Leading Actor category, for Captain Fantastic. (The award went to Casey Affleck, for Manchester by the Sea.)
Mortensen was of course on the red carpet, where he was interviewed by Zoe Ball. Many of you will have seen the fabulous picture (right) of Mortensen hanging out with an elf and some hobbits, the day after the Screen Actors Guild awards. In the Bafta interview, he explained how that came about. Take a look:
It’s heartwarming to know that the bonds forged amongst the cast of The Lord of the Rings are still as strong today – just as the friendships and connections we fans have made are unbreakable. I’m told that in Finland they celebrate friendships on Valentine’s Day – seems a good time to raise a glass to Fellowship! Cheers!
On December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews – “A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.
Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.
A number of other sites around the internet are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring this week, and/or The Lord of the Rings movie franchise in general. For the convenience of our readers, we put together this one-stop shop for a stroll down memory lane. We’ll bring more to you during the week as we find them. Enjoy!
PARK CITY, UTAH — Viggo Mortensen is back to his ranging ways, living off the land and keeping an eye on trouble in his new film “Captain Fantastic.” TORn spoke with him on the red carpet at the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Mortensen plays a father who, along with his wife, decided to raise his children off the grid — way off. He wants to raise his six children to be self reliant in a way that LOTR character Aragorn would be proud of. His offspring can stalk and kill deer with knives, they climb mountains, harvest edible food, learn to make their own clothes and are self reliant in every way. And along the way read the best books.
They are, in short, philosopher kings.
So the actor did look back at that character and filming experience on “Lord of the Rings,” with Peter Jackson?
“I thought of it,” he said. “But I also thought of my time as a father in Idaho.”
He spent time with his son there and in the film he has more, but in both he said he was teaching to be aware of nature.
Viggo Mortensen in new film Captain Fantastic
“You are only as good as the team you are working with,” said Mortensen. “It is about a family. And made by a family.”
He said the cast spent time before filming getting to know each other and learning the skills needed to be authentic on screen. They camped and learned how to grow food and skin a deer and learned to play music together, all of which were important to the film.
The children’s performances are all excellent, as is Mortensen’s. The film captivated Sundance audiences and good news for Mortensen and film fans, it was also picked up for distribution by Bleeker Street. It specializing in specialty cinema and has this year’s “Trumbo” (Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame as lead actor) and should hit audiences in July. UPDATE: The film is slowly rolling out in theaters across the U.S. in July.
The audience at its premiere at the Eccles Theater, the largest venue Sundance offers with over 1,300 seats, responded mightily the film’s opening night. Director and writer Matt Ross, who you might know as Alby Grant from HBO’s “Big Love,” received a standing ovation, as did the children. But it was Moretensen who received the hottest reception. He is a pillar of the film. His character is sympathetic and yet outside societal norms.
Mortensen is perfect for the part and it is difficult to imagine the film working as well without him.
“Good movies ask a lot of questions but don’t necessarily answer them,” Ross told TORn just before the premiere.
In “Captain Fantastic,” Mortensen’s family must leave its forest paradise and journey into the highly-populated world with all its social expectations and demands. They all must face traditional society and family bonds and the children’s unconventional education are tested — to the limit.
“I am a dad and there is no such thing as a perfect father and mother. This character is doing the best he can,” Mortensen said.
The film wasn’t rated at Sundance but the unconventional cast isn’t afraid to use unconventional language that may earn it an R rating. And, Mortensen having a cup of coffee in his birthday suit probably erases any chance of it being anything else. Yes, Mortensen gives the film everything he has to offer.
“Captain Fantastic” is full of ideas, exploring family and fatherhood. Some parents will leaving feeling horribly inadequate but audiences will be fulfilled by the intelligent ideas and questions the film asks.
Fans of Mortensen will not want to miss yet another fascinating role in a fascinating film.
Viggo Mortensen has been doing a bunch of press at the Venice Film Festival for a new film called Far From Men — a story about two men, a schoolteacher and a murderer, caught up in Algeria’s 1954 war for independence — that opens in France in January next year.
In another tangential link to Wellywood, the score is composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who also did the soundtrack for the Peter Jackson-produced documentary film West of Memphis. Read below for an early review from Indiewire, but if the idea of Mortensen speaking French appeals, this is one you probably won’t want to miss. Thanks to Ringer Davidsenex for the heads-up. (more…)
Viggo Mortensen chats with The Age newspaper about his latest movie effort, The Two Faces of January.
The voice on the phone is husky, familiar, and just a little menacing. “I was told to call this number,” the speaker says. I give a little shudder before realising it’s Viggo Mortensen, calling as planned to talk about his new film, The Two Faces of January. Phew. (more…)
Ringer Emma has sent us this interview by The Telegraph newspaper with Viggo Mortensen, where he talks about his latest movie The Two Faces of January. He also talks about filming The Lord of the Rings films saying that he felt that Fellowship of the Rings script was the “better organised” of the three films and discusses the use of CGI in the Middle-earth blockbusters.
Aragorn is an elusive man, who can avoid being seen if he wishes… For those of you who can’t get enough of actor Viggo Mortensen, you can at least hear him this weekend! This coming Sunday, Mortensen will be a guest on the show ‘Culture Club’ on Classic FM radio. According to Classic FM’s website, you can hear him talking about ‘his varied film roles – from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to his acclaimed new crime movie The Two Faces of January.’
The show airs 3-5pm BST (British Summer Time), and Mortensen joins fellow guest, composer Karl Jenkins. You can also listen to the show on the internet, with past shows available as podcasts.
Strider, Aragorn, Longshanks, Telcontar, Elessar, and several other names come to mind for this particular character. But the first impression a non-Tolkien outsider would get from a man who has a dozen aliases is that he was probably a criminal. Maybe they’d think he was constantly moving from place to place, switching names because he was the equivalent of a modern-day “identity thief” who was on the lam! Funny how things in our modern world don’t always reflect clearly on mythology.
Aragorn is the kind of character that demands a closer look. You must remember the speech that Shrek gives to Donkey about ogres being a lot like onions: “We have layers!” I would also like to use the onion metaphor for Strider. But wait — that’s just one layer. Peel away a bit and you’ll find the outcast orphan-lad who was taken in by the Elves; his mother desperate for some protection. Peel away more layers to find within a skillful fighter, a passionate lover, a delicate negotiator with a voice of great wisdom, a healer and master of herb-lore, and yes… in the very center of his heart, underneath it all, is a King.
The Fellowship of the Ring is now complete. As you may know from following our news and reviews of this set, Weta Workshop created a three piece set of The Fellowship as they crest the hill from that memorable scene in The Fellowship of the Ring. You can still order Set 1 and Set 2 from Weta’s website. Tonight, we get to complete the trio of pieces with Set 3 going up for Pre-Order with this piece of the trio containing Samwise, Aragorn, and of course Bill the Pony. This set comes in at $200 like the other two sets and will be shipping in September/October of this year. Make sure to get your order in now to get yours in the Fall.
Reports are everywhere today that Viggo Mortensen turned down a role in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit.’ The headline implication being he was specifically asked to reprise the role and turned it down. The reports are wrong (in fact, most are removing a critical word in the quote). Here’s the exact excerpt from The Guardian’s interview with Viggo Mortensen:
In Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film, several of the Rings cast reprised their roles. Was he asked to take part? “No. Before they started shooting, back in 2008, one of the producers did ask if I would be interested. I said, ‘You do know, don’t you, that Aragorn isn’t in The Hobbit? That there is a 60-year gap between the books?'”
Viggo’s immediate answer to the question is ‘No.’ He was NOT asked to take part. Secondly, he was asked in 2008, when The Hobbit screenplay and pre-production was in its most early stages. The producer who asked the question probably asked the same to every single LOTR cast member to gage the writing team’s options for the script.
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