Our celebration of Actors this month continues with Lynn Lee on Viggo
Is Viggo Mortensen the most interesting man in the world? Based on his peripatetic history and eclectic interests, he’s certainly a contender. In addition to acting, he’s a prolific painter, photographer, composer, and poet who founded his own publishing house. A dual American and Danish citizen who spent his early childhood in South America and Denmark before returning to his native New York, he speaks multiple languages, with greatest fluency in English, Spanish, and Danish. Oh, and his ex-wife is punk singer Exene Cervenko, with whom he has a son.
As my husband put it, “Viggo Mortensen is who James Franco wishes he was.”
I can’t speak to the artistic merits of Viggo’s off-screen pursuits, but I do see him as a kind of anti-Franco in keeping them largely off the public radar. And while he’s clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self. It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor. (Well, that plus the rugged Scandinavian good looks and dimpled chin don't hurt, either.) More...