He’s not just Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings series or Sigmund Freud from A Dangerous Method. Viggo Mortensen has acted in over 50 movies in the last three decades, and even produced three films, delivering superb and well-rounded performances in all. He’s not your average celeb – neither does he dominate headlines, nor is his personal life known to many. The actor prefers to lay low, and enjoy a quiet life, while continuing to deliver blockbuster after blockbuster.
Today, Viggo turns 58. To celebrate his birthday, we bring you more facts about your should-be-favorite actor, which are bound to surprise you. Take a look:
He’s a multi-linguist!
The actor can speak seven languages! Being half-Danish, half-American, he can speak English, Spanish, Danish, and French fluently, as well as Swedish and Norwegian. Can you guess which constructed language he learnt for a film? It was Elvish, and it was for – you guessed it – Lord of the Rings.
He was almost not cast for LOTR.
Can you imagine anyone else playing Aragorn? The role was originally given to Stuart Townsend, but due to certain issues with director Peter Jackson, he was cut out from the film, and Viggo was cast instead. Even Viggo only agreed to the role because his son insisted.
He has matching tattoos with his LOTR co-stars.
After the first movie in the LOTR series, Viggo got the whole cast to get matching tattoos of the number nine in Elvish. Why nine, you ask? Because the Fellowship comprised nine people. Still confused? Watch the movie already!
Injury would not hold him down.
The actor was injured multiple times during the shooting of the series. He broke two toes, chipped a tooth, and even nearly drowned. But the actor did not complain even once. When his tooth came off, he superglued it back, and finished the scene. Now that’s dedication.
He is multi-talented.
The actor is proficient in photography, poetry, music, and even stuntmanship. While everyone else on set had to learn sword fighting from a professional trainer, Viggo required very little coaching. He would even wash and repair his own costume, in case of damage.
He has souvenirs from most of his movies.
An animal lover and an avid horseman, Viggo purchased the horses he rode on the sets of LOTR and the 2004 western film Hidalgo. He even painted the large murals, which are seen in his artist's studio, in the 1998 crime thriller, A Perfect Murder.
He is a hockey fan.
The actor supports the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team from Canada. He is such a huge fan, that he wore their T-shirt under his armor throughout the filming of the LOTR series. He also supports the New York Mets, Fulham FC, and Beşiktaş football club.
He shares a birthday with many celebrities.
October 20th is the birth anniversary of several A-listers. Singer Tom Petty, rapper Snoop Dogg, actor Bela Lugosi, and poet Arthur Rimbaud were also born on this day. Viggo also shares his birthday with Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. Now you can go ahead and wish them, too.
Happy Birthday, Viggo Mortensen. You will always be our knight in shining armor!