×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viggo Mortensen on a Kudos Roll With ‘Captain Fantastic’

The versatile Viggo Mortensen has played a Ranger of the North, an undercover agent in the Russian mafia, and a small-town father with a secret past in the Irish mob. But it’s his role in “Captain Fantastic” that is earning him some of the best reviews of his career, along with Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his performance. And now the actor is being honored with the Variety Creative Impact in Acting Award at the Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival.

In the film, Mortensen plays Ben Cash, a father of six who chooses to live off the grid in the wilderness of Washington, learning survival skills and studying philosophy. When his wife passes away, he embarks with his offbeat family on a road trip in the family bus to her funeral.

Written and directed by Matt Ross, the film is a seamless blend of humor and drama, heartfelt and intelligent without ever feeling esoteric. It’s a part that seems tailormade for the actor, who is also a poet and musician. In fact, when Ross first sent his star books to prepare for the role, he learned that Mortensen already owned most of them. The actor even journeyed to the set weeks in advance to live on the land and plant the garden seen in the movie.

Mortensen admits he admired the script and character a great deal. “I always look at the story first, and it was a great blueprint. Along with that, it was a character I liked,” he says. “I also have to ask myself if I’m honestly the best actor for it. There have been cases where I didn’t think I was the best choice, and I’ve said so.”

Which is not to say he is always on the same page as the character. “There are aspects of Ben I don’t’ see eye to eye with. But I like looking at the world through his point of view.” But he adds that part of the appeal of the script was the questions is raises and how “it doesn’t look for an easy way out.”

Though the indie film was made on a small budget, the response from audiences and word-of-mouth have been strong. “The reactions have been amazing. The hype that gets generated is usually in a more mechanical way, where you have to try and convince people to see it. This has happened in a natural way. Which is great; we don’t have the kind of PR budget to try and brainwash people into loving it.”

More Film

  • The Grove Introduces Drive-In Rooftop Movie

    The Grove Introduces Drive-In Rooftop Movie Theater Level 8

    The Grove is ringing in summer with a new rooftop movie theater. The popular Los Angeles shopping mall, located between Fairfax and La Brea, announced today the launch of their new cinema experience titled Level 8 Drive-in, which will kick off with a screening of “Grease” on June 26 and will run through September. Inspired [...]

  • China, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Soviet-style Facade

    Shanghai: China Market 'Has Always Been a Turbulent One,' Says Infotainment Chief (EXCLUSIVE)

    Movie sales and distribution company Infotainment China comes to the Shanghai International Film Festival optimistic about Chinese audience trends, but gloomy about current business conditions. “The market is bad and industry players are very pessimistic. I just hope it doesn’t get worse,” said Infotainment CEO Cindy Lin, though she noted that such periods of trouble [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on the Homophobia He Still Sees in Comedy and Hollywood

    On “Billy on the Street,” Billy Eichner has made a name for himself running up and down Manhattan’s sidewalks, ambushing clueless New Yorkers and interrogating them about pop culture. A brash physical comedian, Eichner has no qualms about asking perfect strangers embarrassing questions, hectoring pedestrians about their willingness to have a threesome with Jon Hamm [...]

  • State of Pride Full

    How Hollywood Is (and Isn't) Getting Better at LGBTQ Inclusion

    Brandon Flynn, one of the breakout actors from Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” has spent the last two years fielding questions about his personal life. In 2017, he wrote a passionate post on Instagram, advocating for an Australian vote that allowed for same-sex marriage. Soon enough, news sites such as HuffPost and E! News were reporting [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

  • Midsommar

    Film Review: 'Midsommar'

    Whatever you think of the end result, there’s always something thrilling about watching a young director who’s earned a long line of Hollywood credit decide to spend every last cent of it on a single film. And writer-director Ari Aster has certainly done that with his “Hereditary” follow-up, “Midsommar.” Following a group of American grad [...]

  • South Mountain

    Film Review: 'South Mountain'

    “South Mountain” joins the company of “Gloria Bell” and “Diane” as yet another 2019 drama intimately attuned to the literal and emotional plight of a middle-aged woman. In the case of Hilary Brougher’s incisive feature, the female in question is Lila (Talia Balsam), whose quiet life in upstate New York is destabilized by a continuing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content