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Viggo Mortensen to Receive Santa Barbara Film Festival Honor

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has selected Viggo Mortenson as the recipient of its American Riviera Award.

Mortensen will be presented with the award at the 34th iteration of the festival, which runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 9. He will be recognized for his work in film, which includes Academy Award nominations for “Eastern Promises” and “Captain Fantastic,” and in his recently released comedic drama “Green Book.”

“Viggo is one of the steadiest acting forces in cinema and one of its greatest chameleons,” said Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director. “As Tony Lip in ‘Green Book,’ he delivers the capstone to his remarkable career. He encapsulates the American Riviera Award. We greatly admire and love him.”

Directed by Peter Farrelly, “Green Book” is inspired by a friendship that transcended race, class, and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line. Mortensen portrays a New York City bouncer from the Bronx who is hired to drive and protect world-class black pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. The duo must rely on the Green Book — a travel guide to safe lodging, dining and business options for African Americans during the era of segregation.

Previous recipients of the Riviera award include Sam Rockwell, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Patricia Arquette.

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