“It’s very nice to visit Norway because Norwegians are really keen on “Lord of the Rings,” Mortensen said. “Just think about the line they made last time.”
Mortensen is coming to the Norwegian premiere along with Bernhard “Théoden” Hill and Andy “Gollum” Serkis.
TV 2 Nettavisen met all three of them a dark winter day in Berlin. They will be in Oslo for the extraordinary premiere of “The Return of the King” at Oslo Spektrum December 15. The surplus from the event will be donated to Amnesty International, something Hill and Mortensen said was a wonderful idea.
Impressed by the ticket line
Hill and Mortensen said they are particularly pleased to visit Norway because Norwegians have gone crazy in order to support their work in Peter Jackson’s films. And Aragorn himself is well informed of what the Norwegian die hard fans have done to show their enthusiasm for the trilogy. Mortensen said he was particularly impressed by the early and long ticked line.
“Norway is the country where most people have seen “Lord of the Rings” except for Denmark,” Mortensen said. “To come there is a nice ting for us to do. As in Wellington, it is not only a party of us, but also for the fans.”
The world premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, was a special event for everyone involved.
“People in Wellington used their tax money and gave us moral support long before anyone knew that “Lord of the Rings” would be come this popular,” Mortensen said. “Even now at the party, the inhabitants donated their own money, but they rather not talk about that.”
Hurray for Denmark
Viggo Mortensen was born in Denmark, spent his childhood in Manhattan, and in Venezuela, but went back to Denmark when he was about 17 years old. He speaks fluent Spanish and Danish, and he has no problems with either Swedish or Norwegian.
He arrived at the interview with TV 2 Nettavisen barefooted and wearing a Danish soccer shirt and with typical Argentine mate tea on a thermos.
“I’m really not anti other countries,” he said smiling, and he shows his support of the United Nations by wearing a large UN button on his jacket. On his right collar he wears a button with the inscription “I’m an American – and I’m against war.”
Helped by Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer
Mortensen was thrown into the role as Aragon after the filming had already started as it became obvious that Stuart Townsend was too young for the part.
“I sat on the plane with that huge book,” said Mortensen and rolled his eyes. “But as I was reading, I saw the clear connection with the Old Norse legends, and particularly the legend about Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer. Several of the names are spelled exactly the same, and there are quotes in the book that is almost directly taken from the legends. My knowledge of Norse mythology was useful, but not vital. What we learned from living in New Zealand and acting in the movies were more important.”
Consequences of your actions
Mortensen said he does not agree on the comparisons between “The Lord of the Rings” and today’s situation with terror threats, but he is not entirely disagreeing either.
“I just think it’s so limiting,” Mortensen explained. “The story is first and foremost about hope, that you must find a joint platform and stand together. Aragorn, Elrond and other powerful characters in Tolkien’s trilogy have their moments of doubt and when they are afraid because they take the consequences of their actions into consideration. That is an important message today as well, and it’s a theme everyone can relate to.”
Bush the Ringwraith
Viggo Mortensen said that many Americans do not even ask because they are convinced that the brotherhood is “the good guys”, in other words, the Americans, who are fighting against “the faceless, heathen mass.”
“In such instances, you should state your opinion, or it’s assumed that you agree,” said Mortensen.
A journalist wanted to know if there was a George W. Bush in the movie.
“I don’t want to make him that important,” Mortensen said. “I believe Bush in many ways is ruled by others. He could possible by a Saruman, one who thinks he has the power, but does not. But he could be a Boromir. But at the same time, in the end Boromir raises above his own desire for power. No, I think he is most similar to a Ringwraith.”