THE Lord Of The Rings star Viggo Mortensen — who is an actor, painter and publisher — returns to the wild as an unconventional father in a new hard-hitting indie movie.
Your character Ben in Captain Fantastic raises six kids in the woods. Is he a good father?
I think he’s a committed, loving father. Does he make mistakes? Yes. That makes him even more human. And what ultimately makes him a good father is the ability to finally recognise when he’s wrong and make an effort to make amends and change course. He encourages dialogue, he encourages people to think for themselves and, in the end, he makes an effort to strike a new balance within himself and his family.
What was your own attitude to parenting [his son, Henry, 28]?
We had very adult conversations when he was little — because he had an aptitude for it and an interest in it. But [it’s about] caring enough and making time, even when there doesn’t seem to be time. That’s the trick. You know, do I need to read my book right now or could I wrestle with him on the floor? If anything, I look back and go, “I should always have said yes to wrestling on the floor.” Now he’s too big!
There’s a scene where you’re rock climbing. How was that?
I had to do it for one other movie and I didn’t like it then either. A bit of vertigo, fear of heights, is something I have. I’m not terrified, but it comes and goes. I never know when it’s going to hit me, but I’m always reticent.
The film’s director, Matt Ross, dissuaded everyone from using their mobiles. Did you appreciate that?
Very much. It’s such a given in society now. It used to be that [on set] people would read a book or talk to each other. There’s less talking now. People are in their own bubble. I was joking the other day, but I said they should have a lane for people [texting] on the sidewalk. Let them bump into each other! Read More