Viggo Mortensen’s choice of roles demonstrates his broad range, eclectic point of view, and love of complex characters. In David Cronenberg films alone, he has played a hardened Russian gangster in London (2007’s “Eastern Promises”), Sigmund Freud (2011’s “A Dangerous Method”), and a quiet family man thrust into an unusual situation (2005’s “A History of Violence”). But perhaps Mortensen’s most famous role is that of the reluctant king, Aragorn, in “The Lord of the Rings.”
Now, he’s getting the best reviews of his career in “Captain Fantastic,” as a father raising six children off the grid who realizes that holding on too tightly to principles doesn’t always work.
Mortensen got his first mention — his name is misspelled in the credits! — in Variety on April 6, 1984, in a review of the CBS miniseries “George Washington.”
You arrived at acting later than most, as an adult.
I was 22, 23, 24, living in New York, taking acting classes. It was just something I wanted to try. “George Washington” was one of the first things I auditioned for. I only had a couple of lines. I was a French officer. I had to be on a horse the next morning to shoot my scenes.
How did that feel, landing a role in a big network show?
I think at the time I liked the idea. I figured I’d do it until I was 30 and then get a grown-up job. Read More