Staying Sober with Viggo

The star of “The Road” talks about “sadness and dread,” fatherhood, and finding the right voice for Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic prose.

Last Updated: November 25, 2009 @ 7:10 PM

The last time I interviewed Viggo Mortensen, we got thrown out of a bar.

That was more than a decade ago, when he was promoting a mediocre movie and I was writing for a mediocre magazine. Viggo got on the wrong side of an aging bartender (the only other person in the Sunset Boulevard joint) by asking if he could turn down the volume on the soap opera blaring from a TV in the corner.

The guy flipped out, told us to leave, and threatened to call the cops. Since I lived a block away from the bar, we got a couple of beers from my refrigerator and finished the interview on my front porch.

Now he’s promoting a good movie, “The Road,” an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s devastating novel about a father and son trudging through the remains of a world that has been almost destroyed by an unnamed cataclysm …

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