"I try."Clooney, I tell him, probably never picks anyone up at airports. "He's probably a lot busier than I am." 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.
In 2005, Mortensen won critical acclaim for David Cronenberg's crime thriller A History of Violence.Two years later, another Cronenberg film Eastern Promises (2007) earned him further critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.A third teaming with Cronenberg in A Dangerous Method (2011) resulted in a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture.This summer, the quintessentially un-Hollywood Viggo Mortensen stars in a film about a father of six who rejects the world to raise his kids completely off the grid. We are curbside at the tiny airport in Syracuse, New York, on a truly dreary day (even by Syracuse standards), and within seconds of hopping into his rented Ford Fusion, I learn two things about him: He's the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport, and he's the kind of guy who brings presents. ("It was there.") About how much he loves the militant Chomskyite he plays in , a father of six who decides to raise his kids in the isolated wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. with Harrison Ford, and the public got to lay its eyes on him for the first time. It would be another sixteen years and at least as many (mostly obscure) roles before he would acquire true fame.How much does this character resemble the actor himself? 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.