Viggo Mortensen Says Shooting The “LOTR” Trilogy Was Messy

May 18, 20140 Comments

Actor Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, chatted with The Telegraph and expressed his true feelings towards Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. According to him, shooting the trilogy was a mess and relied too much on CGI.

Mortensen says Jackson and producers “were in a lot of trouble” before the first film proved to be a massive hit with both critics and moviegoers. “Officially, [Jackson] could say that he was finished in December 2000 — he’d shot all three films in the trilogy — but really the second and third ones were a mess,” Mortensen says. “It was very sloppy — it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.”

Mortensen revealed that he believes The Fellowship of the Ring is the best movie in the franchise because Jackson relied less on special effects.

“Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, and the evolution of the technology really took off, he never looked back,” Mortensen says. “In the first movie, yes, there’s Rivendell, and Mordor, but there’s sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it’s grittier.”

Mortensen says Jackson’s growing reliance on CGI began with the second film, The Two Towers, and has increased with each installment. “It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit, one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10,” Mortensen says.

Mortensen has deliberately chosen more character-driven projects since LOTR and hopes that Jackson will return to his small-film roots.

“I was sure he would do another intimately scaled film like Heavenly Creatures, maybe with this project about New Zealanders in the First World War he wanted to make,” Mortensen says. “But then he did King Kong. And then he did The Lovely Bones — and I thought that would be his smaller movie. But the problem is, he did it on a $90 million budget. That should have been a $15 million movie. The special effects thing, the genie, was out of the bottle, and it has him.”

Peter Jackson is one of my favorite directors, but is he relying too much on CGI? Is he becoming the next George Lucas? I don’t know if it’s that bad, but I do wish he’d scale it back a bit. I’ve enjoyed The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit films so far, but honestly, I’d rather watch Dead Alive (aka Braindead) any day of the week. I’m definitely looking forward to see what project Jackson will work on after the third Hobbit film hits theaters on December 14th.

What do you guys think?

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