Last week when I picked up the John Doe cd, I noticed that he gave thanks in the liner notes to only 7 people, one of whom was Viggo Mortensen. I thought it was a little odd, but I knew that Viggo was a pretty progressive guy and figured maybe they hung out in LA back in the X days. And then I got my March 06 issue of Esquire in the mail today and Ol Viggonomics is the featured interview. Intriguing. Sure enough, the interview gave me my answer: he was actually married to Exene Cervenka, also of X fame, and they have a son together. They've since divorced but remain friendly, as she apparently does (or did 10 years ago) with John Doe. (Hey Exene, "why don't you ask your ex-husband how come he's so good at killing people") Viggo seems like one of those cool Hollywood people who's beyond the pollution of celebrity, which can easily turn people into idiots like Tom Cruise or reclusive psychos like Sean Penn (photo notwithstanding). He's on the short list of actors/resses that I'd like to meet. From the interview:
"Before becoming an actor, he was a published poet ... He also paints and takes photographs, many of which have been exhibited around Los Angeles. And then there are the music and spoken-word CDs that the actor creates in collaboration with the young man he describes as his best friend - his 18 year old son, Henry - and Buckethead ...Viggo has moved furniture, sold flowers on the street, even worked in a lead-smelting plant. And he's lived all over the world. He was born in Manhattan, but his American mother and Danish father moved the family to South America when he was still in diapers. Since then, he's lived in Venezuela, Argentina, Denmark, Los Angeles, and upstate New York ... In 1992, in a poem called "Edit", he described the powerlessness that comes, at times, with being an actor. Acting, he wrote, is a 'job completed for you by others in windowless rooms ... The man you were for one short season has been pruned, removed, to a well-groomed graveyard that smells like popcorn.' ... His approach to acting seems borderline pathological. On the set of Lord of the Rings, he slept for weeks in his costume, often outdoors. When he broke a tooth in a battle scene, he asked for superglue. When his car hit a rabbit, he scooped it up, roasted it, and ate it."
He's even more bohemian than the Dandy Warhols.
On an unrelated note, please enjoy this clip of osama bin laden on Family Guy.
24 hours from now, the Steelers could be in possession of the Vince Lombardi trophy...