Tribute: Viggo Mortensen

A Dangerous Method
A Tribute to Viggo Mortensen

The American-Danish actor Viggo Mortensen is probably what one could call a classical Hollywood maverick – both cult star and outsider, unpredictable and wayward, and celebrated for his memorable work. Reduced to a common, albeit simplified, denominator, Mortensen’s enormous versatility and acting talent lies between his role as the mystic swordsman Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and his three-time collaboration with David Cronenberg in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005), EASTERN PROMISES (2007) and A DANGEROUS METHOD (2011). Yet, Viggo Mortensen is much more than a master of transformation; he basically reinvents himself with every role, from THE INDIAN RUNNER (1991) to THE ROAD (2009) and, most recently, through his superb performance at the physical boundaries of acting in Lisandro Alonso’s emigrant epos JAUJA, celebrated at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Within a few years, Mortensen, who radically rejects any clichés and stereotypes, has become one of the most interesting and idiosyncratic actors of his generation. And incidentally, so to speak, a world star of cinema. Presenting about half a dozen of his films as well as the premiere of his most recent work, JAUJA, the Viennale is the first festival to pay tribute to the actor Viggo Mortensen.