There's lots of hunting and gore and kumbaya, and there's even a long, lingering scene of Mortensen once again in the altogether. On the way, he walks me through his "obsession" (his word) with death."I think about death all the time," he tells me as we both fire up another cigarette, him leaning over to light mine. He has never had a problem with letting it all hang out; like his ability to speak eight languages, he doesn't really get why people make such a big deal out of it. "I mean, when I was a little kid, some of my first memories are waking up and going, 'Ugh, I'm gonna die.' " As a kid? "There's an ashtray." It's a cardboard cup from the airport Best Western, where he got his coffee this morning, that he has filled with an inch of water. To see him to the end, same as he did for his mother, Grace, who passed away a year ago. His father, also named Viggo Peter Mortensen, not so much. The old man is in Watertown, an hour and a half from the Syracuse airport, where Mortensen went to high school and where we are headed now. At times, he spontaneously pulls over to the side of the road for a good five or ten minutes to finish a train of thought—about life or death or demons or fears or his favorite soccer team in Argentina, San Lorenzo. Veira was a soccer player in Argentina.) He lives in Madrid, and he works when he wants to work, doing whatever he feels like doing. He's prepared a gift bag."You can smoke in the car," Mortensen says, gesturing with his own smoldering American Spirit. here, in upstate New York, because Mortensen has taken some time off from his life in Madrid to care for his dying father. For the next eight hours, for about 250 miles, up to and around Watertown, through the Adirondacks and not quite to Canada—though he does ask if I brought my passport—with periodic stops at diners and waterfalls, lakes and trout ponds, his mother's grave and finally his father's farmhouse. Sometimes he drives cross-country, just for the hell of it. "They always do this thing where they try to upgrade me to some fancy fucking car." But he doesn't want a fancy fucking car. He is not in leaving Starbucks with his hand over his face. When he must go on the red carpet, you will not find him in a Dior tuxedo. Once, when asked whom he was wearing, Mortensen provided a name—Bambino Veira—and watched in bemusement as members of the Hollywood press dutifully wrote it down.According to random gossip, Viggo is a homewrecker – Ariadna was married (with a kid too) when she met Viggo, and they had some kind of affair.Ariadna allegedly left her husband for Viggo and never looked back, although…
My take on this situation is that Ariadna is his “official” girlfriend but in his mind, they aren’t exclusive.
As his character says in the movie: "It's just a penis. We are driving down a gorgeous country road with farms on both sides. I said, 'You have all this land, sell it if you think you're broke.' And he did." Lots of farmland. "I guess living in the countryside, I might've learned about it earlier. Once I realized that animals are gonna die, hence I'm going to die.
Every man has one." Today is only the second time since he flew back to the States from Europe several weeks ago—"when it seemed like only a matter of days" that his father had left to live—that he has left the house for more than a few hours. Viggo is terrified that he will also get dementia one day. Some of this land until recently belonged to his dad. "Then he calls me up one night and says, 'Someone's on my property, I'm gonna shoot them.' I said, 'You can't fucking shoot them, you don't own it anymore!
We could've gone straight to Watertown and stayed there, and we could've gotten there a hell of a lot faster, but Mortensen, his two hands resting gently on the bottom of the steering wheel, doesn't like to drive too fast. Two and a half hours into our journey, Mortensen and I stop for coffee at a joint he likes because his mother used to go there as a teenager. We sit at the bar, and no one seems to recognize him, not even the pretty bartendress he chats up about Syracuse basketball. He was offered the role only when another actor, Stuart Townsend, was dropped at the last minute, and he took it only because his then-eleven-year-old son, Henry, had read (and loved) the Tolkien trilogy and convinced him to do it.
This is a remarkable feat for someone who looks like he does. Box-office smashes, all three of them, and they made him hugely famous (for a time) and rich. It goes ." That helps explain the well-worn leather-bound journal he carries with him everywhere.