Viggo Mortensen’s Close Call: Almost Missing out on Iconic Lord of the Rings Role
Viggo Mortensen almost missed out on iconic role in Lord of the Rings
Viggo Mortensen, famous for his portrayal of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, almost didn’t get the chance to play the iconic character. Originally, director Peter Jackson had chosen Stuart Townsend for the role. However, Townsend’s lack of dedication and commitment, including skipping sword fighting training, led Jackson to make the difficult decision to replace him. Mortensen, who hadn’t even read JRR Tolkien’s books, was on the verge of turning down the role until his son, a fan of the saga, convinced him otherwise.
Mortensen admitted feeling guilty about taking over from Townsend. “When I was told I would be replacing someone, I felt uneasy. I wondered if I would meet the actor to talk to him about it, but he was no longer there when I arrived,” he shared in an interview with The Irish Times.
Hollywood superstar turns down role
In addition to Mortensen’s close call, several other actors turned down roles in the Lord of the Rings saga due to the challenging filming process. One notable example is Nicolas Cage, who decided against playing Aragorn because the extensive shooting schedule would have kept him away from home for three years. “There were different things going on in my life at that time that kept me from traveling and being away from home for three years,” Cage explained. It’s worth noting that the films were shot in New Zealand from October 1999 to December 2000. Cage was initially the top choice for Peter Jackson, who believed he would perfectly embody the role. Along with Cage, other actors like Uma Thurman and Sean Connery also declined roles in the film adaptation of JRR Tolkien.