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Viggo Mortensen: 'Death consumes me'

Published 25/05/2016

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen remembers how aggravated he got when he realised he'd die one day.

Viggo Mortensen thinks about death "all the time".

The Danish-American actor was catapulted to global fame when he landed the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings movies, but keeps a relatively low profile when away from the camera. While his life has changed in many ways since becoming a star, Viggo still dwells on the same thoughts as he used to as a youngster - especially the idea of dying.

"I think about death all the time," he told U.S. Esquire. "I mean, when I was a little kid, some of my first memories are waking up and going, 'Ugh, I'm gonna die.'

"I guess living in the countryside, I might've learned about it earlier. That idea of mortality, you know? Once I realised that animals are gonna die, hence I'm going to die..."

When quizzed by the interviewer whether he found it a depressing mindset to be in, Viggo reveals it was in fact the complete opposite: "No, not getting depressed, getting p**sed off! Like, that's really bulls***t. Like, whose idea was (dying)?"

Even now when he wakes up in the morning the first thought that springs to mind is passing away, but he's managed to use it to his advantage. Viggo, 57, is keen to live his life to the fullest and try new things, like writing or painting to record memorable events.

Another reason why he may do this is because dementia runs in his family, with his father suffering from the degenerative brain disorder and his mother being diagnosed before she died too. The film star, who has son Henry with ex wife Exene Cervenka, is terrified he might be struck one day, and is considering getting tested for the gene, especially given his dad's recent behaviour.

"(A few months ago) he decided he was broke. He's not," Viggo sighed. "I said, 'You have all this land, sell it if you think you're broke.' And he did. Lots of farmland. Then he calls me up one night and says, 'Someone's on my property, I'm gonna shoot them.' I said, 'You can't f**king shoot them, you don't own it anymore!'"

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