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Posted 1 year ago

(“Helm’s Deep,” 2000) Viggo Mortensen, from Flaunt Magazine

“These are some of the photographs taken in New Zealand while we were working on Peter Jackson’s film trilogy of Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” It was a long haul for all concerned, but I have never been part of a team as resilient and supportive as the one that was forged during that shoot. We visited many extraordinary places, met countless challenges together, and openly shared our excitement over each hard-won step made on the way to bringing “Middle Earth” to life. These and other images will be shown at Track-16 gallery, Santa Monica, in February and March. Hope you enjoy the ride as much as we did.


Posted 1 year ago

Happy Birthday to Cate Blanchett!

Posted 1 year ago
  1. Premiere [Magazine]: Dom, weren't you telling me that there was a real boys club during the making of the movie?
  2. Monaghan: Yeah, how there were no women there.
  3. Wood: Well, Cate Blanchett came over.
  4. Boyd: And Orlando, who's quite feminine, was there.
  5. Wood: Yeah, he was kind of the girl of the group, wasn't he?
  6. Boyd: He was a bit of the bitch.
  7. Monaghan: He would tidy up for us.
  8. Boyd: We had parties, and we'd dress him up in apron.
  9. Monaghan: And he would have to clean up afterwards. Otherwise, he wouldn't be invited to the party.
Posted 1 year ago

Viggo Mortensen & Karl Urban - Visiting Japanese culture

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003:

2:00 p.m. Viggo came down with Karl Urban (Eomer) who Viggo invited to come with him. I was surprised to see their appearance. Viggo was wearing a jacket but his T-shirt beneath it had the message “Sekiyu no tame ni chi wa iranai (No Blood for Oil.)”. On the back of his jacket, there was a cloth with a slogan, which is the same with Karl. Although he said he would write a script, I guess he had been writing on T-shirts and sewing messages on the back of their jackets in his room alone. Since his hand-stitches were so rough, I offered to sew it properly. But he answered, “I did it intentionally.” We got into a van and went to the Meiji Shrine. Until we had arrived there, Viggo kept insisting that he wanted to spend more time at a toy shop. However, once we arrived there, he felt strong inspiration from the quiet space in the middle of the urban city and asked us to explain everything. And he remembered his memories from his former visits to Japan and explained them to Karl and others. After having washed his hands with clear water, he wrote enthusiastically wishes on Ema. Did he wish the peace in the world? Then we left for the long-awaited Harajuku Kiddy Land, while eating just-steamed Sakamanju (100 yen).

The highlight of the day was Harajuku Kiddy Land. He went straight to the floor that he wanted, and started searching various Kitty goods. But he didn’t buy anything at that corner. Then he went to the Licca-chan doll corner and he liked a Jenny doll in a sailor uniform, and wanted to buy it. “One of my friends loves Barbie. Of course, I love it, too. She is pretty, isn’t she?” But that Jenny doll was a sample, and there was only something similar. So he bought dolls in different costumes. Meanwhile, Karl was at a corner of ’ Thomas the Tank Engine’ and bought some. Maybe for his son who was waiting for him at home? Then they went to the Gundam corner. There they were really serious and wearing aura which prevented us disturbing them. They didn’t move from there for nearly 20 minutes, staring goods almost touching glass cases. When they finally moved, both of them bought several Gundam goods. Never would have thought that, but Viggo knows extremely well about Japanese heros. After having bought Gundam characters, Viggo asked where was the Ultraman corner. Again, they were in. This time, he came back after 5 minutes, but his arms were full of goods which he bought. He bought a figure set of Baltan Alien as a present to one-and-a-half-year-old son of Karl. Viggo bought it after having confirmed, “He is a bad guy, isn’t he?” I wondered what was his intention. At that point, both of them already bought toys, enough for them not to be able to carry by themselves, but Viggo still didn’t want to leave. Therefore, Karl and other staff moved to the Oriental Bazar, which is a famous souvenir shop having a lot of Asian craftworks including Japanese. Finally Viggo went out of the toy shop after having bought a figure of Masked Rider Ryuki which we told him very popular in Japan now and came to the Oriental Bazar. There at first he bought a lot of Japanese style letter sets and postcards. Maybe he needs them as gifts for friends. He spent a lot of time to choose them and came to cashier. Ladies at cashier stirred him and asked us who he was. “Wow, a Hollywood star? A handsome guy.” That convinced them. On the other hand, Karl had said at press conference it was his dream to come to Japan, and he seems to really have meant it. He definitely wanted to buy Maccha, Chatate and macchachawan [These are for tea-ceremony.-Misa] in Japan and was enthusiastically seeking them. Then he went downstairs to buy incense. What he chose was ‘Mainichi-koh’. It is incense but not for room. We told him that is incense, but for praying dead people. Karl turned back and rushed to change other ones.

Meanwhile Viggo was holding a black T-shirts with a letter “WA” and thinking something. Then he bought it and cut the T-shirt with scissors without hesitation and wound it around his hat. It took only a few minutes. Of course that is because he discovered that “WA” means peace. His job was quick and neat and well-done. He is D.I.Y. person.

This time Karl was stuck in the shop. While we were waiting for him, Viggo stared at a Dava statue and told us he had seen similar statues in Nara which he had visited together with his son some years ago.

It was half past four and starting to get dark. We asked Viggo, who said he was a bit hungry, which he preferred, sushi or sandwich. He answered instantly, “Sushi!”. However, Karl, who finally came out from the shop, had some problem in his belly and didn’t want to eat anything raw. Therefore, we went to a tea room next to the Kiddy Land to eat sandwich. Just before his visit to Japan, Karl ate chicken which they cooked the day before because he thought it should be OK, and it hit him. Viggo and Karl ordered toasted sandwich with ham, cheese and fried eggs and Cafe au lait. It was quite a big one and they enjoyed.

Posted 1 year ago


Nick Magazine, April 2004

Posted 1 year ago
Posted 1 year ago


Sean Astin and Billy Boyd were interviewed by the German magazine Bravo. See an English translation here!

Posted 1 year ago

The Wizard

Posted 1 year ago

"We had to keep the Hobbits down. Like wild animals…"

Posted 2 years ago

Miranda Otto by Viggo Mortensen, as seen in Premiere Magazine

Posted 2 years ago
The movie is not the book. They’re different mediums. It’s not been possible in the movie to emphasize language and poetry, for example, as Tolkien did. Nor do we get the attention to detail regarding various characters’ backgrounds and interrelationships. It’s not possible unless it’s three 12-hour movies, I suppose. And, you know, as authors, Tolkien and Peter Jackson have different sensibilities. While Peter obviously cares a great deal for Tolkien’s writing—otherwise he wouldn’t have given so much of his life to it—what seems to have drawn him most as a filmmaker was the pure adventure aspect of the tale. The heroic sacrifice of individuals for the common good. All the breathtaking sequences—he really poured himself into those. The more I explored Tolkien, the more I felt I had two bosses: Tolkien and Peter Jackson. I tried my best to be loyal to both of them.
Viggo Mortensen, as quoted in the Newsweek article Viggo Mortensen: ‘We Were All on an Epic Journey’
Posted 2 years ago
Premiere: Dom, weren’t you telling me that there was a real ‘boys club’ during the filming of the movie?
Dom: Yeah, how there were no women there.
Lij: Well, Cate Blanchett came over.
Billy: And Orlando, who’s quite feminine, was there.
Lij: Yeah, he was kind of the girl of the group, wasn’t he?
Billy: He was a bit of the bitch.
Dom: He would tidy up for us.
Billy: We had parties, and we’d dress him up in a apron.
Dom: And he would have to clean up afterward. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be invited to the party.
~Elijah, Dominic & Billy being interviewed by ‘Premiere’ mag (via whataboutelevensies)
Posted 2 years ago

From ‘Movie Magic: Return of the Rings’

Who’s who in The Lord of the Rings?

Bigger sizes: x x x x x x

Posted 2 years ago

Ringing down the curtain — By Paul Lieberman


We see pictures from this October 2003 photo shoot in Central Park for the L.A. Times posted on Tumblr sometimes (I’ve posted them myself), so I thought I’d post a copy of the article that went with them.

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Posted 2 years ago

MOVIES at IGN: An Interview with Elijah Wood (December 17, 2002)

  1. http: //
  2. Q: Were you aware when you saw the movie of what you contributed towards that film, and how hard that's been, delivering the type of performance that you were required, as opposed to the first one?
  3. WOOD: Well, we were skipping around quite a lot, but I certainly realized the weight of that journey, and what happens to Frodo, and how profound it is. And what was required of me as an actor, in terms of how to manifest that, how to show that. Not only show the negative side of what the Ring's doing to him, but also make it a progression. That was a real effort on my part, and Peter and Fran as well, we'd sort of sit down and talk about the moments, and really make sure that there was an obvious progression in what the ring was doing to him. But that was a lot of fun, you know, I loved working on that stuff. The third movie is actually my favorite film.
  4. Q: You and Peter obviously share the same passion.
  5. WOOD: Yeah, the third movie is my favorite – we bonded over that. He was like, "Man, I can't wait until the third." I was like, "Me, neither." I love it.
  6. Q: Why?
  7. WOOD: As opposed to this movie, the third movie is the most complete. This movie was complicated, very difficult to iron out. Not in a scary, it's-in-trouble way – it's just a complicated story. How do you make a movie with these three cut-up stories, and make them blend in such a way that it keeps the momentum and has a through line, and has a message, and at the same time it has emotion with all this darkness; so it was just difficult. The third movie is a conclusion. It's a very mapped-out, ironed-out thing. It was always very clear what the third movie was going to be about and how it was going to be filmed and how it was going to end up. And the third movie is the most emotional – it's the saddest, it's the darkest, everything is at stake, everyone loses a little bit. The great thing about Tolkien, is even when there's great triumph, there's also great loss. And everybody loses, to a certain degree, in this story. I think I love that, and I loved working on it – I loved taking my character to that extreme. I'm very excited for people to see that movie, because I think it's going to freak people out. It's scary, and sad, so sad, tragic – especially when you've been with these characters for so long. Three years down the line, you finally see what happens to these characters at the end of all things.
  8. .......
  9. Q: You have a lot of screen time in this one with Sam – can you talk about Sean?
  10. WOOD: Good old Sean Astin. Yeah, we became like brothers in this movie. That relationship you see onscreen is very much the relationship that we had. He would help me, I would help him – I don't think I've ever become so close with someone and had to spend so much time with someone over such a long period of time. It was amazing. Literally half the movie experience was spent with Sean. The relationship you see and our performances are informed by that.
  11. ........
  12. Q: And what are you doing for the holidays, and next year?
  13. WOOD: The holidays, going to be home for Christmas, and then I'll be up in England for the New Year, on a farm, which will be great.
  14. Q: In England?
  15. WOOD: Yeah, in the north of England.
  16. Q: Why in the north?
  17. WOOD: A friend of mine has a farm in the north of England, so a bunch of friends are gathering from around the world, and gathering up there.
  18. Q: Any of the Lord of the Rings cast?
  19. WOOD: Yeah, yes. Billy [Boyd] and Dom [Monaghan] will be there.
  20. Q: You three obviously have a very close relationship.
  21. WOOD: Oh, massively close, yeah ... I love those guys, they're wonderful. They make this whole thing a lot easier, too. Because this can be kind of exhausting, the whole press junket, but they make it great.
  22. Q: They're very funny.
  23. WOOD: Aren't they hilarious? They're so funny, man.
  24. Q: Is it strange for you coming off the first film, where you guys were always together, doing this movie where you and Sean and Andy are kind of...
  25. WOOD: What's really interesting about that – that's actually a good question, because everybody knows that the films were filmed at one time, and completely out of order. But there was a time in which we finished the first movie. Somewhere along the line, about halfway through, the first movie was essentially done, and that breakup did happen. Dom and Billy went off, and then Sean and I went off, and we didn't see them as much anymore. So, reality in terms of the Lord of the Rings world stepped into our world, and suddenly we were experiencing very much the same atmosphere that the characters in the book were. There were a lot of parallels – odd strange parallels. Just things that were meant to happen, a lot of weird things that were meant to happen. Like Viggo [Mortensen], how that worked out was unbelievable. He got a call, he got a flight two days later, came to New Zealand, suddenly he was working a week later as Aragorn – like, "What?" And it was perfect. It wasn't like it took him ages to prepare, he was there. There he was, he was Aragorn, just as everybody had ever imagined him to be.