Viggo Mortensen is an acclaimed actor known for his roles in Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence, and Green Book, among others. He has received Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his powerful and transformative performances.
However, despite his talent and critical acclaim, Mortensen has faced some backlash and hatred from certain groups over the years. In this article, we’ll explore the main reasons why some people dislike the actor Viggo Mortensen.
His Political Views and Activism
One of the main reasons why Viggo Mortensen draws ire from some groups is his outspoken progressive political views and activism. Mortensen has campaigned for Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders andspoken out against injustices like racism, sexism and homophobia.
He has also criticized US foreign policy and military interventions. This rubs some conservative groups the wrong way.
His criticism of US wars and foreign policy
Mortensen has been an vocal critic of US invasions of countries like Iraq and American imperialism overall. He has condemned bombings and civilian deaths in war zones.
His stance against militarism and US exceptionalism angers pro-war groups who see it as unpatriotic. They accuse him of being anti-American and not supporting the troops.
His progressive views and Democratic support
The actor is known to espouse progressive and liberal values like racial justice, feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights and economic equality. He has campaigned for left-leaning candidates like Bernie Sanders.
His uncompromising progressivism makes him a target of hatred for right-wing groups. They see his views as too radical and scathingly dismiss him as a limousine liberal.
His outspokenness against injustice
Mortensen frequently speaks out against injustices in society like racism, police brutality, misogyny and homophobia. He uses his platform and celebrity status to highlight important issues and call for change.
However, some find his outspokenness off-putting and wish he would avoid being so political. They accuse him of virtue signaling and see his activism as annoying and unnecessary.
His Unconventional Personality and Lifestyle
Another source of animosity towards Viggo Mortensen stems from his unconventional personality and unusual lifestyle choices. The actor has embraced an unorthodox way of living that rubs traditionalists the wrong way.
His bohemian and avant-garde interests
Mortensen has diverse bohemian interests like modern art, photography, jazz music and poetry. He founded the Perceval Press publishing house to promote avant-garde authors and artists.
His eclectic tastes are seen as pretentious, elitist and out-of-touch with the mainstream by some critics. They see his artsy pursuits as vain indulgences.
His reputation as a recluse
Despite his fame, Mortensen has shunned the Hollywood lifestyle. He prefers living an intensely private life away from the spotlight in remote ranches. His reputation as a reclusive loner makes him an object of suspicion and scorn for some audiences who see this detachment as snobbish.
His unconventional parenting style
As a father, Mortensen has also embraced an alternative parenting philosophy of letting his child make her own choices. This includes allowing her to be home-schooled and not imposing rules. While some see it as progressive, others criticize this unconventional permissive style and accuse him of being negligent.
His Characters and Film Choices
The roles Viggo Mortensen has chosen and the way he has portrayed certain controversial characters on screen also account for some of the animosity towards him.
His use of full-frontal nudity
Mortensen has appeared fully nude in several films like Indian Runner and Captain Fantastic. He has also done nude photo shoots. While he sees nudity as natural and beautiful, others consider it lewd and inappropriate. Conservative audiences especially take offense at his willingness to bare it all on camera.
His trend of playing villains and anti-heroes
The actor has often gravitated towards darker, morally ambiguous characters in films like The Prophecy, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Some equate these roles with the actor himself and point to it as evidence that he is twisted. The disturbing violence of some such characters also upsets more sensitive viewers.
His method acting extremes
Mortensen is a method actor known for his intense commitment to roles. For films like The Indian Runner he reportedly lived homeless and isolated to internalize his character. Some see his extreme method acting as pretentious and self-indulgent. Stories of him going to extremes turn off people who prefer understated acting.
His arrogance and ingratitude
Finally, Viggo Mortensen has gained detractors due to perceptions that he is arrogant, ungrateful and difficult to work with. Despite his talents, some see him as vain and convinced of his own genius.
Perceived ingratitude towards Lord of the Rings
There is a feeling among some Lord of the Rings fans that Mortensen has been unappreciative towards the trilogy that launched him to stardom. They accuse him of dismissing the films as just a paycheck gig. His lack of regard for the beloved franchise angers fans who feel he owes his entire career to LOTR.
Reputation for being difficult on sets
Rumors of the actor’s demands, eccentricities and arguments on sets have fueled a reputation of him being difficult to work with. Stories of him fighting with directors and requiring peculiar accommodations make him seem high-maintenance and entitled in the eyes of critics.
His cocky attitude
Mortensen has been known to make boastful statements like claiming to be a better actor than Denzel Washington. He comes across as arrogant when he over-emphasizes his artistic integrity and creative process. Detractors see this as signs of a massive ego and find his swagger off-putting.
Criticisms of Viggo Mortensen – FAQ
Why do people say Viggo Mortensen is anti-American?
Some people believe Viggo Mortensen is anti-American because he has criticized US foreign policy and military operations like the invasion of Iraq. He is perceived as unpatriotic by conservative groups for his dissent regarding issues like imperialism and exceptionalism.
What makes him a controversial actor?
Factors like his full-frontal nudity, morally ambiguous characters, extreme method acting, outspoken progressivism, and unconventional lifestyle contribute to his image as a controversial actor who elicits strong reactions from audiences.
Why don’t Lord of the Rings fans like him?
Some LOTR fans dislike that Mortensen has seemingly distanced himself from the trilogy and spoken dismissively about it just being a job to him. They see it as ungrateful to the films that made him famous.
What evidence is there that he is difficult to work with?
Rumors of on-set feuds, peculiar demands, fighting with directors, and high maintenance behavior fuel a perception that Viggo Mortensen can be difficult and entitled when working on films.
What makes him seem arrogant as an actor?
Bold statements boasting of his talents, emphasizing his artistic integrity over mainstream success, and proclaiming his superiority over other acclaimed actors contribute to a cocky and arrogant image.
In summary, there are several complex reasons why Viggo Mortensen elicits strongly negative sentiment from some demographics despite his acclaimed body of work as an actor.
His unfiltered political outspokenness, avant-garde persona, choice of provocative roles, and alleged arrogance have proved controversial. However, the hatred also arguably stems from conservative intolerance of his progressive values and rigid ideas of how celebrities should conduct themselves.
The actor continues to inspire intense reactions from both fans and critics through his uncompromising commitment to his unusual principles and progressive ideals. His individualism and boldness ensure he remains a compelling lightning rod in polarized times.