Viggo Mortensen reflects on how his experience in Middle Earth helped develop his own filmmaking aspirations.
Last year, Viggo Mortensen released his first film as director, Falling, in which he also starred opposite Lance Henrikson. We chatted to him about it in our magazine, too.
Collider has published a really interesting interview with Mortensen, where he chats about moving into the director’s chair. Throughout the chat, Mortensen touches on how making Lord Of The Rings, perhaps his most recognisable role, developed his ambitions as a filmmaker.
First though, he addresses whether he’d be up for reprising the role of Aragorn if the new Amazon TV production invited him. “Yeah, why not? Tolkien, that’s a universe. There are so many influences. The foundation of his stories is Celtic mythology and history, and Nordic mythology and history, and languages. That’s fascinating. There are endless amounts of things you can learn and have fun adapting to the big screen or the little screen”.
“I don’t know much about what they’re doing. I know there’s shooting in New Zealand, so I assume they’re taking advantage of the people there that have gone through it, especially Peter Jackson and his team. I know that it’s [J A] Bayona who’s shooting it, and he’s a very good director. That’s all I know”.
As for learning about filmmaking, you can imagine just what an enriching experience, Lord Of The Rings would have been. Mortensen talked about how inspirational it was to work with Peter Jackson and lauded his ability to hold the gargantuan production together, despite New Zealand not being as equipped for that level of filmmaking as it has since become.
Says Mortensen, “some of the longer shoots, like The Lord Of The Rings, which was a long, long shoot, that was a huge film school. In that case, at that time in New Zealand, they had never made a movie like that. There had a history of filmmaking and some good directors, but nothing on that scale. The hundreds of people in that crew, who were mostly New Zealanders, had little or practically no experience, in some cases, making movies. They’d maybe done a little TV, or the odd student movie or small budget movie, so they were learning as they went along”.
“Peter Jackson, who is a brilliant mind that’s able to multitask, on a daily basis, was solving so many small and large problems, overcoming obstacles all the time, and inventing new ways to shoot things and to use equipment to get around logistical, technical and creative problems, it was fantastic to watch that. That was a really long, big semester of film school, that one”.
It’s a really great interview that also focuses on Mortensen’s experiences making Falling, and one we’d urge you to have a look at. Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings show is set to premiere sometime this year with a second season already in the works.
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