When Viggo Mortensen Prepares for a Role, He Asks Himself a “Simple Question”
Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen knows a thing or two about bringing complicated roles to the screen. He’s appeared in dramas like The Road, Lord of the Rings, and A Dangerous Method. In his new movie, Everybody Has a Plan, Mortensen had to portray a character that carries the movie without a lot of dialogue.
“I think part of it is just how you prepare roles,” he said in an interview with Vulture. “When I prepare, I ask a simple question: ‘What happened between the character’s birth and page one of the script?’ And right there you can find most of the answers, even before you start shooting. I find that process really enjoyable. Just like a kid does when he pretends: It doesn’t matter how little they look like a princess or an Indian or a Viking or a sports star, whatever they’re pretending to be, they really believe it. They enjoy playing, basically. So the goal is always—in a very serious, methodical, detailed, much more layered way, I suppose, intellectually, than kids use for make-believe—to get to the same place where it’s just fun and play. But you have to do your homework first, and that’s what I try to do.”
Everybody Has a Plan opens in limited release Friday, March 22.