Most people would recognize him from his role as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, but I saw him first in A Perfect Murder playing the sexy 'other man' to Gwyneth Paltrow's unhappy wife character. He was contemptible yet utterly compelling to the point where I could easily - easily - understand how a woman confronted with someone like him could fall hard. He was exactly the sort of guy you should run from, but don't. He had the fascinating charm of the serpent, of the rebel, the dropout, the nonconformist. He radiated sex and danger. He was irresistible. I asked back then: Who is this guy? Who is he?
Then I saw G.I. Jane and didn't even recognize him in the role of hardass Master Chief John James Urgayle. When the credits rolled I did a double take. He's that good! Hidalgo followed, and that cowboy was the stuff of dreams. **sigh**
So what exactly do I like about him? What's there not to like? I particularly love the intensity in his eyes, the aura of self-possession. To put it in local parlance, he's 'mucho hombre'.
Mr. Mortensen's offscreen persona is no less fascinating. Born in New York in October 1958 to a Danish father and American mother, Mortensen spent the early part of his childhood in Manhattan. He speaks fluent English, Spanish, Danish, and French, and also speaks Swedish and Norwegian reasonably well. This man has:
- worked as a truck driver while living in Denmark.
- been photographing for years and debuted with an exhibition at the Robert Mann Gallery in NYC.
- is a poet, and published a book of poetry before he became well known.
- owns a publishing company, Perceval Press.
- has been named one of the sexiest men by a number of magazines, and ranked number ten on VH1's Hottest Hotties.
- is a jazz musician (has released three CDs so far).
- is a painter - he actually painted the large murals in his artist's studio in the film A Perfect Murder (1998)