ABOVE: Watch Viggo Mortensen on Global’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO —; Viggo Mortensen surely feels at home in Toronto.
A regular guest of the city’s annual film festival, the actor has made three movies with homegrown director David Cronenberg: A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method.
The 55-year-old actor is back at the Toronto International Film Festival this year with Jauga and Far From Men.
Mortensen has long felt a connection to Canada. His maternal grandfather was from Nova Scotia and he spent most of his early life in Watertown, NY —; about an hour south of the Ontario border. He also has a passion for the Montreal Canadiens.
Born in New York City, Mortensen lived in Venezuela, Denmark and Argentina as a child —; enabling him to learn Spanish and Danish.
“Once you have an extra language it’s easier to pick up other ones,” he explained.
“French, I learned thanks to the Montreal Canadiens.”
Mortensen said he can’t explain his eclectic filmography, which includes blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings trilogy (“I was a little nervous about saying yes to that but I am certainly glad I did,” he said) and films like Far From Men, which is in French.
“I don’t really have a career plan,” Mortensen said during an interview on Global’s The Morning Show. “Maybe my agent would like me to have one.”
The actor conceded he’s been lucky to work with talented directors.
“I just look for stories that I’m not going to be embarrassed to see later on,” explained Mortensen. “You never know but if the blueprint is promising… ”
Mortensen can also be described as a Renaissance man —; though he prefers to call himself “a restless person.” He’s a poet, a painter and owns a publishing company that supports other writers and artists.
What would he be doing if he wasn’t acting?
“I’d be telling stories one way or another,” he replied, “either through visual arts or music or what I do most of the time which is acting or producing movies.”