Born: October 20, 1958 in Manhattan
Quote: "In the beginning, everyone was obsessed with getting my name changed. My name is Viggo Mortensen. I am Viggo Mortensen, and Hollywood will have to deal with that."
-- His father, who named him, is Danish.
-- He grew up in Argentina and has lived in Venezuela and Denmark.
-- He did almost all his own stunts in "Lord of the Rings."
If Ashton Kutcher is cute and Colin Farrell is the hottie of the moment, then what is Viggo Mortensen? "Sexy" doesn't begin to explain the chiseled, rugged and almost poetic appeal that is the virile Viggo. While the enormous success of the "Lord of the Rings" films has made him one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, there remains an intriguing air of mystery about him.
Mortensen does have a lot to be mysterious about: In addition to being a breathtaking leading man, he's an accomplished poet, photographer and painter. His work has shown at some of the most respected galleries in the country, and he has written several books of poetry. And for the record, Viggo was a well-known and much-respected artist long before he hit it big with "Rings," -- in other words, he's legit.
Another interesting tidbit that doesn't make it into the "Rings" publicity machine is that Viggo was married to punk goddess Exene Cervenka, singer/songwriter of the legendary band X. The two met and fell in love in 1987 on the set of the film "Salvation," and were married shortly thereafter. Now divorced, they remain best friends and share custody of their teenaged son, Henry. The three are such a tight unit that, despite their divorce, they continue to take their family vacations together. (Can you imagine running into Viggo and Exene at a family campground?)
So back to our original topic -- what is it exactly that makes Viggo Mortensen so sexy? According to Diane Lane, his "A Walk on the Moon" co-star, his appeal lies in what she refers to as the "unspoken Viggo experience."
"He has a quality of self-knowing that challenges everyone that he meets. The electrical charge of that challenge of 'How well do you know yourself? 'Cause I know myself real well.' You know, that's kind of the unspoken Viggo experience. He's also fascinated by other people. And when you combine those elements, it's very charismatic. It can definitely be interpreted as sexy." She may be right, but Viggo's piercing Nordic-blue eyes and high, chiseled cheekbones certainly don't hurt.
So what's next for Viggo? He and Brad Pitt would be perfect together playing two gay cowboys in love in the film "Brokeback Mountain," the achingly passionate short story by Annie Proulx. Don't laugh: Viggo seemed happily open to the prospect of doing something gay with Pitt. When asked by Premiere magazine if he and Pitt would play lovers, he fired back, "You think people would pay to see that?"
Just name the price, Viggo, and we'll be there.
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