Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. (born October 20, 1958) is a Danish-American actor, poet, musician, photographer and painter. He is best known for his roles as Aragorn in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Tom Stall in David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, and his Academy Award-nominated role as Nikolai Luzhin in Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. He also starred in the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, as "The Man".
With part of his earnings from The Lord of the Rings, Mortensen founded the Perceval Press publishing house — named for the knight from the legend of King Arthur — to help other artists by publishing works that might not find a home in more traditional publishing venues.
Perceval Press is also the home of Viggo's many personal artistic projects in the area of fine arts, photography, poetry, song, and literature.
Mortensen is a painter and photographer. His paintings are frequently abstract and often contain fragments of his poetry in them. His paintings have been featured in galleries worldwide, and the paintings of the artist he portrayed in A Perfect Murder are all his own.
Mortensen experiments with his poetry and music by mixing the two art forms. He has collaborated with guitarist Buckethead (ex Guns N' Roses) on several albums, mostly released on his own label (Perceval Press) or TDRS Music. Viggo was first introduced to Buckethead's work while working on sounds for an educational CD on Greek mythology. The finished product included a guitar part by Buckethead, which caught Viggo's ear and led him to initiate contact with the guitarist. The collaboration grew from there.
While often playing tattooed characters in his films he actually has a few of his own. Viggo's real tattoos are as follows: Left bicep: A stylized V-E-H in a bleeding heart. V for Viggo, E for Exene, H for their son Henry. Shoulder: Viggo got an Elvish “nine” tattoo along with the rest of the LOTR film fellowship. Right wrist: A small capital “H”. The story goes that when Viggo’s son Henry was a small boy, learning to write his own name, he would write the initial “H” all over the place, including on his father. Viggo chose to preserve one of them on his wrist. Left hip: A black crescent moon. Left shoulder: a combination of a barbed wire fence and a fist.