Viggo Mortensen is a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor who has been in everything from last year’s Best Picture winner Green Book to The Lord of the Rings films.
Along with his huge hits, Mortensen has also worked on many other projects including Captain Fantastic and Witness. From where he was born and raised to how he got his role in Lord of the Rings, here are five fast facts about the actor.
Who Is Viggo Mortensen?
Mortensen was born on October 20 in New York City. His family moved to Venezuela and later Denmark while he was growing up, before settling in Argentina for a while. When he was 11, his parents divorced and he relocated to New York with his mother. He attended St. Lawrence University and later lived in England, Spain, and Denmark following graduation before returning to the States to pursue acting.
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After moving to New York to follow his acting dreams, the jobs started coming in for Mortensen. One of the first was when he was cast as Bragg, a smuggler, on Search for Tomorrow in 1985.
Mortensen’s star truly skyrocketed when he got the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he wasn’t always supposed to be in those movies. In fact, Mortensen replaced Stuart Townsend at the very last minute after filming had already begun. At first, he turned it down — until his son convinced him to do it.
Making Dreams Come True
Following the success of The Lord of the Rings movies, Mortensen used part of his earnings to found the Perceval Press publishing house in order to help struggling artists who are trying to get their work published. Mortensen himself is a poet and has published art, photography, songs, and even literature himself.
Getting Personal With Viggo Mortensen
Mortensen began dating actress and singer Exene Cervenka in 1986 and the pair tied the knot on July 8, 1987. They welcomed son Henry Blake on January 28, 1988. However, the couple separated in 1992 before officially divorcing in 1997. He is now currently in a relationship with Spanish actress Ariadna Gil, whom he has been dating since 2009.