While discussing the third and final film of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Viggo Mortensen reflected on his newfound heartthrob status and how Tolkiens world parallels our own.
What does your son think of all this, especially now that youve become a huge heartthrob and a hero/mythic character?
My son has a healthy disrespect for me, which is as it should be. You know hes 15, and if you dont have a healthy disrespect for your dad, then theres something wrong with you. No, we have a good friendship, and hes actually been helpful. Hes got lots of good ideas, and you know, this has been a 4-year on and off process, so Ive returned again and again. Hes seen the first two. Hes seen the extended versions of the first two, and he made some interesting comments. He was there a lot as well, and it was fun to watch him get into it. He really likes martial arts, and when he gets into something, he just really digs in and studies.
He knows more about elves and dwarves then I probably ever will - and their fighting styles. Because hes so big now and so adept, the last two years there, he was used by the stunt team several times in battles. I mean, the two battles that you see in the first one, he fought. I fought him, and he was one of the orcs, one of the big, bad orcs. The last battle, he played a Gondorian, the guys with the metal, pointy helmets. So he was kind of a double agent in the third movie. He really liked it.
Thats the way Peter [Jackson] made these movies. He made it like a family experience for everyone. Every crew member felt like it was, and anyone who was available at any time played an extra in this movie, so its like a big photo album for us. When you watch the movie, Oh theres Zooey. Theres Bob. Theres Jimmy. Obviously Petes kids were in the movies a few times. Sean Astins daughter, my son several times, and crew members kids and parents. I mean, theres not that many people who live in New Zealand, so we had to make use of everyone.
Can you give me an update on your singing career, especially the new album?
Ive recorded other things with Buckethead, and my sons been along and played a lot of things over the years. But that the hobbits, the 3 of the hobbits, were involved was just unexpected. I may have told you, we were almost done with the record and they asked me what I was doing the next day on a Sunday. I said, Well, I have to go finish mixing this record. And they said, Oh what are you making? Who are you making [it with]? I said, Buckethead, and they went, Buckethead! We have to go. We have to go. I said okay and then I called Buckethead and I said, I dont think were going to finish mixing the record today, but we might have some fun. Then when I told him who was coming, he was even more excited than they were. Hes completely into these movies. He showed up on time, actually early, and was waiting.
We had a really good time. We spent a few hours jamming, 3 or 4 hours I dont know, which made our job mixing harder. We had to take all that and try to find some gems, but one of them was "Halfling." That was pretty fun.
Women just love you in these movies. Are you aware of that and that sort of hunk status?
Ive been made aware of that.
What does it mean to you?
Its not unflattering but its not something I can What do I do in response to that? I dont know. I guess give it ten years and then theyll, in a few years theyll move on to someone else. I mean, its not something that enters into my regular daily life. You know what I mean? Its an unexpected, flattering result of being in these popular movies, I guess, is what I would say to that.
You dont get hounded by women like The Beatles?
Sometimes. It depends where were at. I mean, airports and premiere kinds of things, but as long as I have a couple hobbits or Orlando [Bloom] around, I can sort of sneak away. Theyll go for them every time.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Premiere Coverage:
Orlando Bloom/Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood/Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, David Wenham/John Noble, John Rhys Davies/Bernard Hill, and Peter Jackson/Richard Taylor