Or does he just really, [italic]really[/italic] like lists?
[italic]Who are Viggo Mortensenâs heroes? Ask him, and he doesnât hold back. Thatâs what we learned when, after a recent interview, we sent the actor some follow-up questions via e-mail. Here are his responses.
[italic]1) Who were your heroes growing up as a child, and who are they today?[/italic]
Okay, you asked for it...
As a child â say, before age eleven â I suppose they were my father, my mother, various horses and dogs, soccer players for San Lorenzo de Almagro (a club founded in Boedo, Argentina, in 1908 by Salesian priest Lorenzo Massa) like âLoboâ Fischer, âLocoâ Doval, âBambinoâ Veira, âSapoâ Villar and too many other legendary players from that club to mention â Viking Leif Eriksson, fictional gaucho cowboy Martin Fierro, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Odin, Thor, Jesus of Nazareth, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, the character Don Quijote, his horse Rosinante and his trusty servant Sancho Panza, Achilles, Odysseus, Theseus, Joan of Arc, explorer Roald Amundsen, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl, Roger Bannister (the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier), marathon champion Abebe Bikila, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (PelÃ©), long jumper Bob Beamon, Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes, Emil ZÃ¡topek, Wilt Chamberlain, Cassius Clay, swimmers Don Schollander and Dawn Fraser, Peter OâTooleâs impersonation of T. E. Lawrence, the crew of Apollo 11, the recently-deceased rock legend Luis Alberto âEl Flacoâ Spinetta, Carlos Gardel, Bela Lugosi, Greta Garbo, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, Beethoven, Mozart ... I could probably name more, but surely that gives an idea of how and where I dreamed back then.
Although as an adult I have come to see that no human being is perfect, I now would place at the top of the list the many unheralded people whose small acts of selfless kindness and courtesy, of grace under pressure that we come across every single day are there to be noticed and emulated if we simply pay attention. In terms of individuals who are relatively well-known, I would single out Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Helen Caldicott, Dennis Kucinich, Baltasar GarzÃ³n, Aung San Suu Kyi, Julian Assange and anyone who speaks truth to power, stands up against injustice and cruelty regardless of any consequential risk of ostracism or personal physical danger. Of course, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mark Twain, my father, my mother, and some of the others previously mentioned, are still heroes to me. I can also add, among other diverse sorts of heroes, my son Henry, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Sabina Spielrein, Heraclitus, Kierkegaard, Lao Tzu, Epictetus, writers Marguerite Duras, Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), Albert Camus, Jonathan Swift, E. E. Cummings, Julio CortÃ¡zar, Mario Benedetti, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Juan Carlos Onetti, Sor Juana InÃ©s de la Cruz, Francisco Quevedo, CalderÃ³n de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Haroldo Conti, Oscar Wilde, Knut Hamsun, Saxo Grammaticus, Schopenhauer, Ludvig Holberg, Anton Chekhov, Anna Akhmatova, Johannes Ewald, Euripides, Stanley Kunitz, Theodore Roethke, Lewis Carroll, Joseph Conrad, Osip Mandelstam, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Seamus Heaney, Oscar Wilde, Cormac McCarthy, Edgar Allan Poe, Rainer Maria Rilke, Heinrich Heine, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, William Burroughs, Walt Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Campbell, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, directors Carl Dreyer, Robert Bresson, David Cronenberg, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Luis BuÃ±uel and YasujirÅ Ozu, actors Richard Jenkins, Sandy Dennis, Geraldine Page, Meryl Streep, Maria Falconetti, Ghita NÃ¸rby, Ariadna Gil, Jessica Lange, Paco Rabal, Fernando FernÃ¡n GÃ³mez, Dirk Bogarde, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Federico Luppi, Montgomery Clift, and Robert Duvall, stuntman Mike Watson, sculptors Bertel Thorvaldsen, Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, painters Giotto, da Vinci, Juan Gris, Picasso, Matisse,[italic](continued)[/italic]