Now this may seem like another April Fool’s joke, but as the date of this article will tell you, it’s not. It appears that Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen may have been watching what Joaquin Phoenix has been up to, and perhaps following in his footsteps – only taking things a bit more seriously: He might actually give up acting.
According to Africa’s News24, Mortensen has been left exhausted by his acting workload and has decided to take a break described as “indefinite.” Here’s what he had to say:
“In the past week I’ve been from Los Angeles to Japan to Korea to Poland to the UK. It’s ridiculous and it’s not a healthy way to be. But, as it happens, I’m taking measures to change that. No more movies…”
“I haven’t said yes to one in over a year. I’ve been in all these well-received movies and it seems like I should be doing some more, but there are other things I want to do. It’s not the right time.”
Adding to that, he also revealed he has turned down many-a-major blockbuster film because he doesn’t believe in doing movies just for the money:
“They were often complete crap, all about product placement and marketing. I don’t need the money.”
And News24 reminds us that this isn’t the first time he has spoken about it, as he did so just last year:
“I’ve made a lot of interesting movies and I’ve worked with some really good people. Not in a disrespectful way, but now I could kind of take it or leave it to be honest. I’ve felt that way for a while.”
This doesn’t sound like just an off-hand remark by an actor tired after a long period of hard work – evidenced by his thoughts in the above quote from 2008, he clearly has had this one his mind for a while now. It sounds like he works very hard at what he does, particularly because of the types of physically and mentally challenging roles he takes; Eastern Promises, Lord of the Rings and A History of Violence, to name but a few.
I’m all for actors taking breaks every now and then when the job may be affecting their personal life (as should be the case with any profession), but I always hope that they would return after a few months (maybe even a couple of years, if it’s warranted). Although I’m not a huge fan of Mortensen as an actor (except for his exceptional, Oscar-nominated performance in Eastern Promises (which begs the question of how this break of his will effect the sequel which is in the works…), I do hope this isn’t him calling it quits for good.
The guy, believe or not, will be 51 years old this year, which may be one of the primary reasons why his job has been getting the better of him as of late. However, here’s hoping this “indefinite break” changes to “temporary” once he has some time to lift the pressure off his shoulders.
What do you make of Mortensen’s decision to take an indefinite break? Do you think he’ll really stay away from acting?