Coffee & Flowers: Viggo Mortensen, Awareness

Viggo Mortensen is one of my favorite actors–or artists, in general. He’s also one of the only actors who I think can call himself an artist. He is the kind of artist that I want to be.I’ve been following Viggo since I was 10. That seems very young for me (especially because he’s a pretty old guy–if I’m not mistaken he’s in his mid to late fifties) but my parents (and siblings) are all pretty old so PG13 was almost non-existent for me. I grew up watching adult films, reading adult books. And so, yeah. When I was 10 I watched A Perfect Murder where he plays an artist who has an affair with Gwyneth Paltrow. I later found out via the internet (which I also discovered around that time, in the age of dial-up) that he wrote poetry and that all of the art they used in A Perfect Murder was his. Of course because he’s the best at picking roles (and obviously because he has the talent to be offered the said roles), he also ended up playing Aragorn and Sigmund Freud, to name a few. So yeah. I’ve been following his career for almost 13 years now and it always amazes me how on his toes he is about acting and learning and life in general, even now.

In the interview which I’m currently listening to (embedded above, if the code works), he talks about how good art is always part spontaneity, part science. He talks about being prepared but also always being prepared to throw all of that out the window if your art calls for it. I definitely agree with that. We grow both by teaching ourselves and by opening ourselves to the possibility of failing or not knowing what to do.

I would like to grow up the way that Viggo has–as I get older I’d like to learn more things and to never forget how important it is to be aware of your actions and the things you do and how you do those things. One of the things that I’ve noticed about people who I can no longer stand or who I’ve fallen out of touch with is that they seem to have lost all awareness as to how they’re living their lives: they seem to have abandoned all thought or care and left it somewhere else. Now, more than ever I get what they mean when they say “he/she isn’t all there, anymore”. That is my biggest fear: to wake up one day and be 65 then suddenly realizeyou haven’t been yourself i more than forty years. It is important to always keep on keeping on and to keep on remembering and re-evaluating everything, continuously–because that is all that it means to be alive.


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