Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen


10/20/1958, New York, New York

Birth Name

Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr.



Also Known As

Viggo Mortensen, Viggo Mortense
out of 10
User Rating
98 votes


Viggo is the oldest son of Grace and Viggo Mortensen. His Danish father met his mother in Norway. They wed and moved to New York where Viggo Jr. was born, before heading to South America where Viggo Sr. managed farms in Venezuela and Argentina. Two more sons were…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Viggo bares a scar on his upper lip as a result of cutting himself on barbed wire at a Halloween party one year.

    • Viggo celebrated his 50'th birthday in Denmark with his Aunt Tulle. While in DK he opened a gallery with pictures taken by him and signed autographs to for the fans that showed up.

    • In 2008 Viggo won a Career Achievement award at the Chicago Film Festival.

    • Viggo prefers to be barefoot.

    • Viggo's fellow actors from "The Lord of the Rings" gave him the nickname "No-Ego Viggo" because of his quiet and self-effacing qualities.

    • During 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, Viggo worked as a translator for the Swedish hockey team.

    • Viggo founded Perceval Press publishing company in 2002 with Pilar Perez.

    • Viggo was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Nikolai, an ambitious Russian Driver and henchman of a Russian mobster in London in David Cronenberg's violent thriller Eastern Promises.

    • Viggo broke two of his toes while filming a scene that involved kicking a helmet and screaming due to the loss of two friends for the "Lord of the Rings". Because the take was very convincing, the moment Viggo broke his toes is actually in the final cut of the movie.

    • Every year, if possible, Viggo returns to Denmark to visit family. He makes a special effort to visit his Faster Tulle (Aunt Tulle), who he has a very special relationship with.

    • Every day Viggo drinks a special kind of tea called Maté, without sugar.

    • The women that Viggo finds most irresistible and sexy are those who are able to form their own opinions, who know who they are and who are independent.

    • After the filming of Hidalgo Viggo Mortensen bought one of the horses who starred in the movie as Hidalgo; Viggo felt so close to the horse that he just had to own it.

    • Viggo is dedicated to helping the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign to stop American Wild horses being slaughtered for food, and to free up grazing land for cattle.

    • Viggo has a tattoo which he got when he was 17. He describes the tattoo as the combination of a fist and a barbed wire fence.

    • Viggo was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.

    • Viggo got so into his LOTR character of Aragorn that director Peter Jackson once addressed him as Aragorn for over half an hour, and Mortensen didn't even realise it.

    • Viggo worked as a truck driver and a waiter while living in Denmark.

    • Viggo is also an accomplished jazz musician; he has released three CDs so far.

    • Viggo had a book of poetry printed before he was known to the world as Aragorn; the title was Ten Last Night.

    • Viggo enjoys watching soccer and follows the Argentinian team San Lorenzo de Almagro.

    • Viggo is a big hockey fan and supports the Montreal Canadiens.

    • Viggo's performance in the play Bent won him a Dramalogue Critics' Award.

    • Viggo got his start in the entertainment biz by acting in stage plays.

    • Viggo has two brothers, Charles and Walter. They are both geologists.

    • Viggo has a son, Henry Blake, with his ex-wife Christine "Exene" Cervenka of the band X.

    • Viggo is quite soft-spoken in person. He's shy.

    • Viggo is an accomplished photographer and artist. He has released a book of some of his photos and paintings.

    • Viggo once co-owned a Montana ranch with actress Maria Lopez.

    • Viggo attended St. Lawrence University in 1980 and he holds a B.A. degrees in Government and Spanish.

    • Viggo made his feature-film debut playing Alexander Godunov's Amish brother in 1985's Witness.

    • Viggo is trilingual. He speaks English, Danish, and Spanish. He also knows French, Italian, Swedish and Norwegian to a lesser degree.

  • Quotes

    • Viggo Mortensen: (about the movie "The Road") I've done a lot of movies where there's a certain amount of physical effort and commitment involved, but I've never worked on a movie that was as much of a marathon emotionally.

    • Viggo Mortensen: I like being outdoors, I like landscapes, and I like riding horses. I get along with them and like them as creatures.

    • Viggo Mortensen: (on getting older) I'm starting to notice I'm slowing down a bit. (In the past) there were a lot of times when I would say: 'I'm only going to get three hours' sleep, so I might as well stay up the rest of the night.' Now I tend to sleep those three hours.

    • Viggo Mortensen: (on his naked fight scene for "Eastern Promises") That scene was slippery, painful and embarrassing. I always knew the scene should be as realistic as the rest of the movie, so I couldn't feasibly keep the towel on. Plus, we shouldn't be trying to hide things or pretty it up in any way. I knew at times it would be awkward and vulnerable. It was also painful because I couldn't wear any pads to protect me. All I was wearing was a bunch of tattoos!

    • Dominic Monoghan (Viggo's co-star in "Lord of the Rings"): Most times you're with Viggo, something amazing is not far behind. He's like an old-fashioned movie star in my eyes. Very gentlemanly and very polite and very, very concentrated in his Art. In a word I would describe Viggo as being very inspiring.

    • Viggo Mortensen: I think violence is a part of any human society. Not just physical violence, but psychological violence. Not even overt violence, just the potential for it. In relationships, even good ones, we have the potential to unravel or for someone to say something and you to hate that person for it. Whether that person reacts or not is another thing. Society offers stability from all this and allows us to get along and track with the flow for things to get done, for a world not to go up in flames. It's a sort of unspoken agreement that generally we're not going to say and do whatever comes into our heads at any given time. It exercises restraint and censorship and when you do that you are keeping secrets. It makes it less complicated so there's no use peeling away a layer of stability. People are very unpredictable and surprising. It's just the way it is.

    • Viggo Mortensen (When asked if his life has changed since becoming a big star): I make an effort to keep my personal life to myself. When you make movies you are out with the audience and a lot of people, but when I'm home, I'm home - with my son and my family and friends, I have it good at home, and that hasn't changed all that much. When I come to denmark I try to visit family as I have always done.

    • Viggo Mortensen (When asked if he is anti-Bush): No, I'm not anti-Bush; I'm anti-Bush behavior. In other words, I'm against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his Administration.

    • Viggo Mortensen (Interview with a Danish magazine): Whatever you are - a Republican, Democrat, Communist or a Fascist - it's all about getting rid of George Bush, because he is a deadly, dangerous fool.

    • Viggo Mortensen: I prefer the smaller acting than big histrionics. It's about reacting and looks, which is often underestimated.

    • Viggo Mortensen (On injuries gained whilst filming Lord of the Rings): I got a tooth knocked out, broken toes, lots of cuts and sprains, pulled muscles.

    • Viggo Mortensen: I'm not consciously picking any type of role, even so-called hero roles. And if some character seems very certain or very courageous, I always try to find the other side of that. When are they not courageous and when are they not certain?

    • Viggo Mortensen: There might be people out there who wouldn't hire me because they thought I should keep my mouth shut, but I'm not aware of that. Even if I saw evidence of that, it wouldn't really concern me. Bertrand Russell said one of the first symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. I take my work seriously, but it's not the only thing that exists in the world.

    • Viggo Mortensen: Like most people I can be lazy, so it's nice to have a goal or deadline or reason to work out. I feel better when I get to exercise, or when I'm outdoors. I like to hike, swim and run, and I love to play soccer.

    • Viggo Mortensen: If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.

    • Viggo Mortensen: I have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.

    • Viggo Mortensen: There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever.

    • Viggo Mortensen (joking): I definitely need to sleep more. But as they say, you can sleep when you're dead.

    • Viggo Mortensen: Any ordeal that you can survive as a human being is an improvement in your character, and usually an improvement in your life.

    • Maria Bello (Viggo's co-star in "A History of Violence"): He's a different sort of person. He truly lives his life with art. You can't separate Viggo from his art. Everything he does is art.

    • Viggo Mortensen (On his movie "Alatriste") : It's a movie like "Elizabeth"- lots of intrigue, lots of complicated relationships.

  • rating would be a 9.3, but can't with new rating system...

    Anyways, I love Viggo Mortensen. I've seen him in several movies and he's great in each one. My favorite role he played was in Lord of the Rings. I loved his character and he played Aragorn so well! He was also great in Hidalgo and A History of Violence. I didn't really like A History of Violence, but Viggo played a completely different character and was great in the movie. I'm glad that Viggo has been getting more and more roles since he played in Lord of the Rings because he deserves it. He's a great actor and play many different roles well. I hope his career continues to grow because he is talented and deserves it.moreless
  • What a great actor.

    What a great actor. Love is sence of style when playing Aragon in The Lord of the Rings. That was so awsome. Can't believe how well he made the character come to life. It was like the character was an actual person from our time. Like someone we all just met for the first time when stepping out the front door of somewhere where we are coming out of. He's also really good in History of Violence but he's so much better in The Lord of the Rings. I can't believe he's got this much perfect tallent. I have never really seen such awsome talent until now.moreless