->''"I'm just looking as always for something that's stimulating and I hope to find a good story that's a challenge, whether it's big or small. Or that it finds me. I don't have like a career plan. Maybe I should, but I don't."''

Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr. (October 20, 1958-) is a Danish-American actor ([[RenaissanceMan and poet, painter, musician, and photographer]]) born in New York City.

He has been acting in movies since 1985, but is probably best known for his role as Aragorn in Creator/PeterJackson's film version of ''[[Film.TheLordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings]]'' trilogy, a role in which he was cast at the last minute and accepted without having read the books, at the insistence of his son.

Mortensen grew up in Argentina as well as in New York and lived in his father's native Denmark for several years; he speaks Spanish and Danish fluently. (He majored in Spanish at St. Lawrence University in New York because he wanted to be an actor, and figured as a Spanish major he could get good grades without having to study much, which would allow him to be in lots of plays.)

!Notable films:
* ''Film/{{Witness}}'' (1985)
* ''Film/{{Prison}}'' (1988)
* ''Film/LeatherfaceTheTexasChainsawMassacreIII'' (1990)
* ''Film/TheIndianRunner'' (1991)
* ''Film/AmericanYakuza'' (1993)
* ''Film/CarlitosWay'' (1993)
* ''Film/CrimsonTide'' (1995)
* ''Film/ThePortraitOfALady'' (1996)
* ''Film/GIJane'' (1997)
* ''Film/APerfectMurder'' (1998)
* ''Film/{{Psycho|1998}}'' (1998)
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy (2000-2003)
* ''Film/{{Hidalgo}}'' (2004)
* ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'' (2005)
* ''Film/{{Alatriste}}'' (2006)
* ''Film/EasternPromises'' (2007)
* ''Film/{{Good}}'' (2008)
* ''Film/TheRoad'' (2009)
* ''Film/ADangerousMethod'' (2011)
* ''Literature/OnTheRoad'' (2012)
* ''Film/CaptainFantastic'' (2016)


* BadassLongcoat: Wore one for most of his role as Aragorn.
* BigNo / DeathWail / ThrowItIn: While filming a scene in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', he broke his toe when kicking a helmet. The kick was meant to be followed by a wail out of sorrow/despair, but the one used in the movie is actually Mortensen howling in pain. It was kept because it was the best of the takes.
* BilingualBonus: Speaks Danish and Spanish fluently, he has frequently given interviews in both, as well as done shout-outs during events and in English-language interviews.
** Doubles as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when he performs for Howard Zinn's ''ThePeopleSpeak'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nxRvt5Rjx8 citing a diary entry by Bartolome de Las Casas on the horrendous treatment of American Indians by Christian settlers.]] In English ''and'' in the diary entry's original Spanish!
** Of all the actors who had lines in the Elven languages (the two used in the film being very complete constructed languages with detailed grammatical rules and thousands of known words) when filming ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', Mortensen made the strongest effort to ensure his dialog and pronunciation was correct. If you're trying to learn Quenya or Sindarin and have any doubts how something should sound, queue up the film and check to see if Mortensen says it.
* CloudCuckoolander: According to a lot of his co-stars. Creator/ElijahWood said that while filming ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'', Mortensen called him and left him a five minute rambling voice-mail in a fake German accent. Wood went on to say, "Everyone talks about how much integrity he has and how brilliant he is. And itís true. Heís also completely insane."
** His ex-wife (who he's still friends with) has said that what first endeared him to her was the fact that he keeps most of his poetry in his refrigerator.
** He's also the guy who started the "tradition" of [=LotR=] stuntmen greeting each other with headbutts.
** During the credits for ''Fellowship of the Ring'''s extended edition, in the actor commentaries, the hobbit actors read the names and then give a succinct one-line description.
--->'''Billy Boyd:''' "Viggo Mortensen": mad as a fish.
** In between filming the love scenes for ''Film/APerfectMurder'', he sang Argentinian love songs to calm Gwyneth Paltrow and create an air of intimacy. However, he's fairly sure he just weirded her out.
* DashingHispanic: His role as Captain Alatriste.
* FakeNationality: Fake German (with a British accent) in ''Good'', Russian in ''Film/EasternPromises'' (with a Russian accent) and fake Spaniard (speaking Spanish) in ''Alatriste''.
* FatalMethodActing: Fortunately averted in ''[[Film.TheLordOfTheRings The Lord Of The Rings]]'', in which he was at one point pulled under while filming the river scene in ''The Two Towers''.
* TheOtherMarty: Mortensen was cast as Aragorn when ''Lord of the Rings'' had already started filming; Stuart Townsend was originally cast in the role but was deemed too young, while Jackson wanted to keep from having to work with Creator/DanielDayLewis at all, if possible.
* MrFanservice: Even his co-star Creator/MirandaOtto admitted it was going to be easy to portray falling in love with his character for her role.
* RenaissanceMan: Aside from acting, he's a poet, painter, songwriter and photographer. Oh, and he owns a printing press, [[http://www.percevalpress.com Perceval Press]].
** He's also an accomplished equestrian, riding horses in a number of movies as well as in real life. He purchased the two horses he rode in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy and one of the ones from ''{{Film/Hidalgo}}''. He also released a photography book about horses and riders.
* SoMyKidsCanWatch: One of the reasons why he agreed to play Aragorn is because his son is a Tolkien fan.
* StarMakingRole: Aragorn is who he is best remembered for.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: As Aragorn. In real life, he used to have a more medium blond sort of hair color, although it's mostly gray these days.