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Is Viggo De Niro?

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Mark Kermode | 15:32 UK time, Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Viggo Mortensen is coming on the Kermode and Mayo's Films Review show this week to talk about his new film A Dangerous Method.

A while back I said that he was the natural successor to Robert De Niro - do you agree with me?

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  • Comment number 1.

    The Robert De Niro of old who only made great films? Oh, you mean like The Deer Hunter, Awakenings and Cape Fear? I'm just humouring you.

  • Comment number 2.

    "You talking to Frodo?"

  • Comment number 3.

    In terms of portfolio, less is more, especially if much of it is album filler quality. Robert De Nero has sullied his previous work by paying the rent so many times. Viggo Mortensen on the other hand is the Renaissance man. Aside from acting, he speaks several languages, has jazz albums, is a decent photographer, painter, the list goes on. He always comes across very well in interviews, and is firmly outside the Hollywood clique. He does so many other things that Hollywood types tend to reject him. Though, he has so much else going on that he could care less for any accolades Hollywood might bestow. Which is just as well, as they will never see him as any De Nero? There’s the shame of it.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well, I see where you're going, I understand what you're saying, and the answer is: humm! The thing is I would say that Viggo Mortensen is, at least, as good of an actor as De Niro, but I wouldn't say he is "the new old Robert De Niro" just because I think that would be insulting... Viggo is something else... he is Viggo! And if he wasn't an original, we wouldn't even care about him. Don't put him in a box, Doc. He's something else entirelly. He is Viggo Mortensen! De Niro has no "The Road", and Viggo has no "Taxi Driver". And thank the heavens for that, 'cause there are enough unoriginal ideas running around Hollywood already!
    Listen to you friday... as usual! Have a good one!

  • Comment number 5.

    No I don't think so. However I'd say Michael Fassbender is on the way to becoming the new old Robert De Niro.

  • Comment number 6.

    may seem an obvious comment but found it bizarre you left out viggo's biggest set of films: the lord of the rings trilogy - one of the best performances in it.

    Dont think hes the new de niro (not fan of the 'new' tag generally) simply because he dosnt have the iconic status de niro had, in terms of acting ability yeah just as great.

  • Comment number 7.

    The trouble I have with answering that question is that the more I've watched De Niro's performances and the more I've thought about them critically the more I think he is overrated. Yes, he starred in some good films but were the films good because of his presence or was it their memorable dialogue and would they have worked just as well without him?

    On the other hand, I'm not yet decided on whether Viggo is a really great actor but I can believe that he's on his way to attaining that accolade. I think he's shown far greater range and acting ability than De Niro ever has. De Niro is always recognisable as De Niro in the roles he plays, a truly great actor manages to convince you that he is someone else for two hours.

    So, in summary, do I think Viggo is the new (old) De Niro? Only in so far as both men were careful to chose their early roles, in all other respects I think Viggo might at the end of his career be regarded as a far better actor.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm glad you added the proviso "the new 'old' Robert DeNiro". There is a shudder, not unlike one produced by 'old' David Cronenberg, if one imagines Viggo's career trajectory plumeting to the likes of Meet The ..... I think we can be hopeful by virtue of how Bob and Viggo's careers have differed so far.

    First of all, Viggo, by being in the Tolkien "franchise" has probably secured himself financially to be able to be choosy about his projects for some time to come. De Niro never really had that kind of success, and perhaps we're all paying for it now with his work in "comedy".

    Bob has been in many more great movies (arguably by the same point in his career), where Viggo has mostly given great performances in good movies. If you put aside the Tolkien behemoth, you might nominate the 1st two Cronenberg's as great (although I'd only plumb for A History of Violence, Viggo's Bela Lugosi accent in Eastern Promises throws me out of the movie), I've not seen Indian Runner and that leaves the sadly obscure Philip Ridley offerings. Also, The Road is not a great movie although Viggo is heartbreaking in it.
    Whereas Bob had Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Godfather II, Raging Bull, King of Comedy and Goodfellas. Perhaps you really need the perfect storm of role actor film director to create the "iconic" as De Niro has experienced.

    So far Viggo hasn't gone into the furrow of movie/scene stealing cameos that Bob has ploughed. I've not seen Viggo's turn in The Prophecy as Lucifer (which was mentioned on your podcast's facebook page by a commenter), but I hope to God he doesn't pop an egg in his mouth.

  • Comment number 9.

    For me, Viggo is similar to De Niro in the way that they are both easy to appreciate but difficult to enjoy. They both have great films under their belts and they can both act their brains out. And they've both been guilty of boring me to tears in the cinema.

    For every The Road, there's an Eastern Promises to snooze through. For every Casino there's a Godsend.

    But even when they have a decent script, their style of internalized acting, especially in the hands of inexperienced directors, often leaves me feeling ignored as an audience member.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think he's a brilliant actor who I have a lot of respect for, but I don't think the de Niro comparison really works, other then a way of saying you really like him. He's already much older then Robert de Niro when he did the performances for which he is most remembered, and he has yet to do anything that has captured the public's attention in the way that Taxi Driver, Mean Streets and Raging Bull did. Personally, Eastern Promises is one of my favourite films of all time, so I'm slightly biased, but most people my age (17) know him almost exclusively as that guy from Lord of the Rings.

    As someone else has said above, Michael Fassbender is way closer to the type of actor Robert de Niro was in the 70s and 80's, in the riveting performances he's been giving in the past few years.

  • Comment number 11.

    I love Viggo Mortensen, ever since LOTR I was captivated by him, I also love Robert de Niro, an iconic figure with an endless list of mesmerising performances in spectacular films.

    But is Viggo Mortensen the new Bobby de Niro? No - he's better.

    He hasn't got the iconic figure yet, but I hope he will, I think he'll be an actor, much like de Niro, everyone will remember in years to come, and therefore, won't win an Oscar until he's in his 50s or 60s and they give him one for not giving him one earlier on his career...*cough* Gary Oldman *cough* Scorcese.

    But I think he's more than de Niro, a better actor with a fascinating career and future...

  • Comment number 12.

    Maybe it's a generational thing (following on from #10 Devon Shaddick) - for me it's fairer to say that Robert de Niro is the old Viggo Mortensen!

    Another great film that was off the list was "Hidalgo", a relatively unknown story about the self-aggrandised adventures of the inveterate liar and long-distance rider Frank Hopkins. It may not be the best film ever - in fact far from it - but Mortensen's performance in the starring role is spellbinding and, for me, makes the movie. If that's your criterion for making the new Robert de Niro then yeah, he's the new Robert de Niro.

  • Comment number 13.

    "A bird will fall frozen dead from a bow, without ever having felt sorry for itself."

    "This is this."

    As the great Cazale said: "Nobody ever knows what the **** you're talking about."

  • Comment number 14.

    Viggo's always been solid, no matter the film. But I think the comparison to make is that Viggo's quality choices in his later years, while maybe not quite as mind blowing as early De Niro, definitely share that vibe of someone savvy making intelligent choices.
    So up to a point - "Old" Viggo=Young De Niro.

  • Comment number 15.

    "Now I don't think A Dangerous Method is great"...

    "You know, the Robert De Niro who only made really great movies"...

    Are Hidalgo and Appaloosa really great movies? I think there's a distinction between actors who are always entertaining to watch and those who consciously chose to appear only in great films, and Viggo Mortensen definitely falls into the former. Surely a better example of a modern Robert De Niro would be Daniel Day Lewis (one year older than Viggo) - more selective and for my money, barring the unfortunate mess that was Nine, far more consistent.

  • Comment number 16.

    Not to say that Viggo is bad in any way, But I think Fassbender and Gosling are the De Niro and Pacino of today.

  • Comment number 17.

    Someone above lists The Road ahead of Eastern Promises?!? No accounting for taste I guess. I remember seeing Viggo in Witness, where he played on of the young Amish men. He's blessed with a face that, like De Nero, doesn't have to move a lot to express feeling and emotion. Viggo doesn't seem to do a whole lot at times, but I still imagine I can read his face and eyes. He may well be thinking about the Times crossword puzzle at the time, but it works.
    Let's not forget Daniel Day Lewis. NO one comes close when living a character from the inside out. Fasbender too is in that list. Ryan Gosling may not be far off. He's great in Half Nelson. He can certainly do enigmatic from the inside out. He's not done enough yet for us to make a fair assumption on his over all range.

  • Comment number 18.

    He played Lucifer in Christopher Walken's favourite angel film.

    M'lud I rest my case.

  • Comment number 19.

    Viggo is definitely the new DeNiro. But let's be serious, Daniel Day-Lewis will always be the Daniel Day-Lewis of acting.

  • Comment number 20.

    I suppose its because I am only 22, but I'm not very aware of De Niro's good films.
    I think I haven't seen most of them, so I guess I can't really say, but I don't think that Viggo is the new De Niro mainly because I've never thought that any actor is "the new" version of another.
    I think its a rather unfair comparission also because De Niro is old (by hollywood standards) and once actors get past a certain age, most simply are not offered amazing roles in great films, and so the sad truth is that if they want to keep earning money, they will have to star in crummy films.
    Perhaps when Viggo is 50+ he will be starring in Fockers; The Next Generation (hollywood, if you use that, i want payment). It is hard to tell because even if you earn millions and spend it wisely, prices will still rise, recessions occure, your currency can still plummet in value, and you are trying to maintain having an expensive lifestyle. Ultimately actors are still humans who need to pay their bills.
    As for Viggos films, my favourite was the Rings triology, and I think that will probably end up being his defining role.
    Time will ultimately tell, but I think that Viggo will always be held in high regard, as he is a very good actor.

  • Comment number 21.

    Time to uncork the Grecian 2000, methinks.

  • Comment number 22.

    "..Robert de Niro's waiting, talikin' italian…(takin' italian!) Robert de Niro's waiting… tal-kin' it-alian."

    Really? I'd say it's us that have been waiting, for Bobby to get his groove back! Am I wrong?

    Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Deer Hunter, The Godfather: Part II, Ragging Bull, King Of Comedy, Goodfellas, Mad Dog and Glory, This Boys Life, Casino and Heat. All terrific, with Bobby on fine Oscar baiting form. But then, well, it all kind of went off the boil, big time.

    It's just not possible to overlook/forget the 40+ other dreck-a-thons that pad out his IMDB listing. I'd say "...Robert de Niro waited.. far, far, far… far too long."

    So lets be kind, lets not send poor Viggo down that path of constantly being judged against any iconic role from his past. That, my friends, has be the ruin of Robert, the bane of Bobby or, if you will, the death of de Niro.

    Lets not burden Viggo, a fine actor, with a de Niro shaped monkey for his back.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm glad you brought this back up Dr. K cos when you first said it I was up in arms due to the fact that you could not be more wrong!

    Okay so yeah he has those intense eyes and that broad jaw that rips through celluloid but I can't tell you how much I hate it when critics like yourself who should know better make these comments that serve only to limit the projected prospects of an actor's career yet to come.

    There's only ONE De Niro and the idea that there's a new one is rubbish just as it would be rubbish to say that Brando was the OLD De Niro.

    The main difference between Viggo and Bob is that Viggo is an actor with range and Bob is not. The reason De Niro struggles so much for roles is that he has such a limited range and the old 'classic angry young New York Male' roles have now dried up. They've been done to death and there's nothing to add to them.

    De Niro has proved he is incapable of playing anyone that does not come from New York. His few attempts to explore range as an actor have fallen flat on their faces, look at: The Mission, Great Expectations and so on.

    Now Viggo has amazing range. He can walk into LOTR and play Aragon and then into Eastern Promises to play a Russian gangster without even breaking a sweat and he actually becomes a different person in doing so.

    Ask yourself this Dr. K: could Viggo play any of De Niro's roles convincingly?

    Yes of course he could now; could De Niro at his best play any of Viggo's great roles?

    The answer is a resounding NO!

    De Niro could only play them if they came from New York and even then he'd be recycling his usual quirks.

    De Niro has done some great roles but by making such a comment you are serving only to limit people's expectations of what Viggo may go on to do if you keep pushing in the distraction of De Niro's career into the equation. By doing this you are telling people to view Viggo's career in retrospect of De Niro's who I might add has all his best work contained in ONE decade.

    Viggo's career so far could not be more different from De Niro's cos he's a completely different fish and can expect a career that more closely resembles a true character actor's like a Gary Oldman perhaps?

    I think Viggo's range will make him so much more employable than Bob so that he can age into continuously interesting and relevant roles like Eastwood and Freeman have.

    Would Viggo ever be in a movie like New Year's Eve? No of course not, we know that already without a shadow of a doubt.

    What gets me annoyed is that voices in the film industry tried this idiotic game with other great talents like: Daniel Day Lewis and Vincent Cassell (after Mesrine).

    Why must critics continue to try and limit the prospective careers of some of the great talents we have at work to day by trying to aline such promising and INDIVIDUAL careers to one that has long outdone it's range?

    I hope Day Lewis, Cassell and Viggo all steer clear of De Niro's footsteps.

    And I ask myself why do people keep doing this?

    I think it's because we all miss the old De Niro that we fell in love with during the 70s. We want him back so much that we try to see other newer actors in his image.

    While nostalgia is all fine we should realize that Viggo, Day Lewis et al deserve to be seen in their own light and NOT within the shadow of De Niro

    ... After all they have earned the right to do so many times over!

  • Comment number 24.

    Michael Shannon is the new Robert De Niro

  • Comment number 25.

    Why does Viggo Mortensen need to be the new Robert De Niro. He is, after all, Viggo Mortensen.

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm glad a couple of people have mentioned Gary Oldman, since if we were discussing who was the greatest actor of the recent memory then it would be him. Greater even than Daniel Day Lewis (in my opinion). He simply outclasses the likes of De Niro. Viggo might over his career come close, but even he would have to double his efforts.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'd rather hear about the next Charles Bronson. Any actor come to mind...? Anyone...?

    Yeah, didn't think so.

  • Comment number 28.

    Careful Dr K. The last time someone was widely touted as the 'new' De Niro it was about Micky Rourke at the time of Angel Heart. And then look what happened!

    Otherwise, yeah, let's compare chalk with cheese...

  • Comment number 29.

    By the way, I think it's always a mistake to proclaim to the world this actor is the next De Niro or Brando, this band is the next Beatles, etc., etc.

    You threaten to place them squarely in the role of the "next big thing," creating an equally large amount of expectations, which almost always ends as a disappointment.

    Viggo is the best thing since... Viggo.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think given that Mortensen has made some terrific movies over the past 20 years or so, he does have the charisma of the old Robert De Niro, but to say whether he's the new old De Niro, you would really have to compare all the movies both of them have done

    Mortensen even though he's one of the very few actors who always puts in a great performance, I don't think he can be completely compared to someone of De Niro's calibre, as De Niro in his early career played out with some solid cult classics such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Godfather Part II, etc. Mortensen on the other hand tends to go for very different characters when he selects his movies.

    De Niro has gone past his prime with all his film choices over the past decade or so, but I think with Mortensen, although he is a brilliant and amazing actor I think it's impossible to say that he could be "the new old Robert De Niro" as both have done very different sort of work and both bring different acting methods when it comes to the movie choices they make

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't think you have exaggerated Mark, but it would be a better comparison if Viggo Mortensen played more Italian Americans. :P

    I first noticed how great Viggo Mortensen was when I watched 'A History of Violence.' So nuanced, and yet, so breathtaking. That film left me blown away and heart broken, and it's probably one of my favourite films of the last 10 years.

    P.S. Is 'Man on a Ledge' as good as 'Snakes on a plane?' :D

  • Comment number 32.

    Viggo is more than Robert De Niro. A talented, soulful artist, poet, musician, actor and humanitarian. He stuns and amazes me more every time I see him in a role. He is a true chameleon onscreen.

    Unfortunately for me, De Niro has always played "De Niro" and has made a career from it. More so than in the early days of his career.

    I hope that Viggo continues to amaze and enthrall those who see him in movies. As many have said, he has that Gary Oldman quality to him.

    Now that would be a great pairing to see onscreen.

  • Comment number 33.

    Why make comparisons, Dr K? Why not just appreciate them for the work they do as individuals? It would be unfair to compare anyone to De Niro's career, because you're going have to then compare the quality of directors they've worked with. Actors have an impact on the film's success, but whether their performance succeeds within a film is usually at the feet of the director (and editors).
    Viggo's career path is drastically different than De Niro's. Whereas De Niro was a lead actor almost from the beginning of his career, Viggo had primarily played supporting roles even in the films that made him a 'star' (The Lord Of The Rings trilogy).
    And frankly, Viggo has been in some very good films. De Niro has starred in CLASSIC films. It's just an unfair comparison to make. To put it another way, it would be like asking is Mark Kermode the new Roger Ebert?

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm a big Viggo fan... he broods well on film but he can be quite versatile... in Carlitos Way he has a small part totally out of keeping with his normal roles, you almost don't notice its him.

    I would agree with other posters that De Niro has been in more classic movies but his turkey to masterpiece ratio is balancing out...

    That said, Viggo has a few stinkers to his name, as anyone who managed to stay awake though the spanish movie Alatriste will surely agree.

  • Comment number 35.

    Absolutely, Viggo is the classic mould of De Niro, but if Viggo is the new De Niro - who is the new Viggo?

  • Comment number 36.

    I think it's interesting you're bringing this up again when A Dangerous Method is coming out, considering Mortensen shares the screen with Michael Fassbender who is perhaps a more appropriate contender for the "new Robert De Niro".

    The old De Niro we're referring to is someone who gave us iconic performances Bickle, LaMotta, Pupkin, etc. altering his body and mannerisms and giving away so much with a glacial stare to create truly iconic characters. Of course that trio of great performances mentioned all come under the watch of Scorsese, and between Steve McQueen and Fassbender there is a similar relationship building.

    Shame and Hunger are all about the body, much in the way of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull were and how obsession can destroy the body and ultimately the soul. Fassbender uses not just his voice but his body to create a character, much like De Niro. Look at Brandon, or Bobby Sands these are the kinds of roles De Niro would have undertaken when he was Fassbender's age. McQueen and Fassbender have now pretty much said that they have almost a silent relationship they know each other so well that they barely need to communicate to get what the other wants. This is something much reported between De Niro and Scorsese, that they don't have to talk that much and yet these great performances and movies are created.

    Mortensen is a fine actor indeed but you didn't get the heavy weight dramatic roles until much later on his career, while De Niro had something special from a very young age. You want to look for the new De Niro, look past the stick-on rubber nose of Mortensen's Freud and look straight at Fassbender, he is the man we should be trumpeting as the actor for this generation.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think Michael Fassbender is becoming the new De Niro. He puts the same arduous method into his performances but also knows when to just have a laugh (like in Inglourious Basterds or X-Men First Class). He also has the same cruel good looks that De Niro displayed in his prime. Although I do think Mortenson is a great actor, but perhaps slightly different to De Niro. He's come into his own I think. In twenty years we'll be discussing who's the modern Viggo Mortenson!

  • Comment number 38.

    Dear Dr K, please do not label people unnecessarily.

    He doesn't deserve the title of "The New (Old) Robert de Niro". I do believe that he is the best actor working in cinema at the moment, and he is much better than De Niro ever was.

    Has de Niro ever played anything but variations on a mumbling Italian American tough guy in varying states of sanity? No. Meanwhile, Mortensen has through many performances caused me to believe that he can portray almost any type of man absolutely convincingly. He has faultlessly inhabited characters ranging from an American family man with identity issues (*SPOILER IN THE TITLE ALERT* and a history of violence), a Russian mobster, and an Austrian psychoanalyst, to a Númenórean Ranger who becomes *SPOILER IN THE TITLE ALERT* a King, Lucifer, and a 17th Century Spanish literary hero (speaking Spanish, my mother-tongue, with a perfect accent).

    Viggo Mortensen also happens to be fluent in Danish in addition to Spanish and English, writes poetry, and paints. He might not have the cult status or fame that Robert de Niro achieved, but don't call Mortensen "The New de Niro" or even "The New Old de Niro" ever again... it is an insult to his talent.

  • Comment number 39.

    As much as I'm sure you mean the comparison to be a compliment, to my mind Viggo is incomparable.

    Not being the age where I was around for the early De Niro films when first released, can anyone recall if De Niro was ever the 'new' Some One? Is this part of the initiation stage for a new actor on the verge of achieving greatness - or a modern pass time?

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm trying to think of women that could enter this list. I'm having trouble. Please, do not attempt to try and convince any one that Meryl Streep is that actress. An impression of Maggie Thatcher that was out done years ago on spitting Image does not count!

  • Comment number 41.

    Viggo is alot of things but charismatic is not one of them. Old Deniro as it's been penned had real screen presence, a real powerhouse performer. Viggo is a bad comparison I think because he's an actor who is pretty giving in his performances, he gives people room, he blurs into the background. Comparing his current catalogue alongside powerhouse performances like Godfather II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter is getting ahead of ourselves really, those are performances for the ages.

    I like Viggo alot and Deniro has been washed up for years, but I see neither much similarity or potential to exceed reputation as of yet.

    He was good as Freud tho.

  • Comment number 42.

    Oh yeah totally agree that Fassbender is where the focus should lie for potential. The guy has it all.

  • Comment number 43.

    I agree with Mark, I think Viggo is the new old De Niro, he rarely slips since Lord of the Rings, "The Road" and "A History of Violence" are 2 of the best films of the last decade, The Road was my favourite film of 2010 (came out over here in 10). I think his brilliance can be traced back to his work with Philip Ridley, I haven't seen The Indian Runner so can't comment but plan too soon. He also set to play William Burroughs (well... Old Bull Lee) in the possibly horrible "On The Road" adaptation. I also once saw him in the street as well, I soon passed John Turturro as well.

  • Comment number 44.

    Viggo Mortensen COULD have been the new De Niro if he had found fame when he was quite a bit younger. De Niro was an Oscar winner by age 31; Mortensen's career has only just started to hit the big time, and he's already in his 50s. Without wanting to sound ageist, the days of him winning the big lead roles of the kind that made De Niro are coming to an end. Because as we all know in Hollywood, once you hit middle-age, you essentially become a supporting player.

  • Comment number 45.

    The way I see it is, could you imagine Robert de Niro as a good guy? Not in a million years. At least, not without squinting and suspending disbelief more than normal. Viggo Mortensen? Easily. But he's so talented and versatile he can also play the bad guy equally well. Robert de Niro was and is a vastly over-rated actor (he was annoying in GOODFELLAS - far from being a scary gangster he just looked like he was trying to pass a sea urchin through his urethra). Viggo, on the other hand, is a versatile actor with many depths and impossible to dislike. There's no contest.

  • Comment number 46.

    De Niro overrated? Whaaaa? The only performance of his that I would say is perhaps overrated is in Godfather II, he is brilliant in Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, King Of Comedy, Goodfellas, Casino, and I think hes brilliant in Awakenings and tremendously scary in Cape Fear. But Viggo isn't the new De Niro because hes too old but he is a fantastic actor, love him particularly in The Road.

  • Comment number 47.

    The answer is no, simply no. He is not the new deniro jut like deniro wasnt' the new brando. They are all individual actors with their own unique sytles and ways of working. Deniro clearly stands atop that pile. Those who say deniro dosen't have range are baffling and nonsensical. Yes his most recent work has been characterised by nothing parts and easy money (he has a company to support you know) but in films where his contribution has been larger, excellent or at least noble intentioned results have been achieved. Just look at the good shephard (a project he initiated) for an example of the considered quality he has produced in the last ten years. Men of honour, what just happened and stone are also recent notable works (if not flawed). For range look at a bronx tale, the mission, true confessions and jacknife. None fall into this arbitrary 'good guy' and 'bad guy' denomination. All are varied characters with complex personalities and conflicting emotions. That description also fits his finest work and just because he hasn't hit the heights of mean streets, godfather 2, taxi driver, deer hunter and raging bull, who ever could.

    Viggo mortensen is a great actor in his own right for sure but comparisons to deniro's body of work, and contribution as a whole to cinema are flattering.

  • Comment number 48.

    How about -- Shia LeBoeuf is the "new" Topher Grace?

  • Comment number 49.

    I think comparison through the generations thing, in any sphere, is aways slightly unfair on the modern generation. That being said it is fun and interesting conversation.

    In this case i get the comparison, both strong male performers, with an element of edge. However i think that Viggo Mortensen, and by the way i think he is fantastic, is different from De Niro in that he doesn't posses that presence of combustible threatening tension in quite the same quantity.

    One man who can more accurately be described 'the new De Niro' in my humble opinion is Vincent Cassel. Take one look at De Niro in Mean streets then turn your eyes to Cassel in Irreversible. And i think that energy it is echoed in many of Cassel's performances.

  • Comment number 50.

    Is Viggo the new "old Robert De Niro"? No. Much like everyone else I think they cannot be compared. There are too many differences.

    But something can certainly be said for the Director/Actor close working relationship that both have enjoyed.

    Honestly though I would call Viggo a better actor, I feel his roles are more varied. 'The Road' was an good film but he was incredible in it, capitvating from beginning to end. A few people have complained about his performance in 'Eastern Promises', which is frankly completely unfounded, I thought he was outstanding in that film along with the always brilliant Vincent Cassel.

    Basically I don't think you can compare the 2, but I do think that Viggo is a better actor and seems to challenge himself and select the more 'interesting' roles.

  • Comment number 51.

    It's an interesting comparison made between De Niro and Mortensen. Nevertheless, given the range of different roles that both men have played over their careers, I think that by default Mortensen is not the new De Niro.

    Certainly, his significant acting prowess is proof that he deserves to be held in the same regard as the "old" De Niro. However, as I mull over this whole listening to 'A Real Hero' by College (from Drive), I can only conclude that he is "the first Viggo Mortensen."

  • Comment number 52.

    "... mull over this while listening to 'A Real Hero:'" wretched typos! I rest my case in the previous comment!

  • Comment number 53.

    Personally I don't like comparing actors to others actors. But its true Viggo Mortensen film choices of last 10 years have put him in the classic DeNiro class. But in maybe 20 years time we will be talking about some other actor, saying this is the new Mortensen. Remember DeNiro was compared unfairly for DeNiro to truly overrated (unless you count Godfather and On the Waterfront) Marlon Brando.

  • Comment number 54.

    Viggio is an excellent actor, but i dont think the camera loves him.The camera loves Paul Bettany.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well they've both played the Devil, Viggo in The Prophecy, and De Niro in Angel Heart. That's all the evidence I need.

  • Comment number 56.

    Is Viggo the new (old) De Niro? Emphatically no!

    His performances are always measured, he avoids parodies of real characters, resists the temptation to overact and SHOUT A LOT and, with so much of his career still ahead of him, is already showing greater versatility than old Bob.

    Why be the new Di Niro when he can stake his claim as the original Viggo Mortenson?


  • Comment number 57.

    De Niro seems to be a **** off camera, which seeps into all of his performances. Viggo seems approachable and warm-hearted off camera which makes his performances playing similar roles as De Niro more convincing. As for stature, they're worlds apart. De Niro has starred in 5 or so of the 20 greatest films ever made. Viggo, only LOTR ROTK.

  • Comment number 58.

    What's the point of being someone else and not yourself, in your own right? Viggo isn't de Niro, he's Viggo. And surely that's good enough for anyone.

  • Comment number 59.

    @ FuzzyIan (24)

    Yes, Michael Shannon is the new DeNiro!! That guy is intense to the nth degree. Excellent in Boardwalk Empire. Shame he isn't better known. I would love to see him open a big movie, perhaps with Scorsese?

    As to Viggo, I think his career is completely different as others have stated. His roles have always been superbly acted - from AHOV to LOTR (best thing in it), from A Perfect Murder to GI Jane, from Good to The Road. He has never been less than 100% convincing, giving natural, nuanced, sincere performances that are far above just delivering lines.

    For Bob - well, his early films will go down in Hollywood legend: Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Heat, Taxi Driver et al. However, with every Fockers or Rocky & Bullwinkle, my heart dies just a little more.

    Come on, Bob. Vacation's over, how about a little work, now?

  • Comment number 60.

    is this not a consequence of giving/choosing the correct roles to the actor. is it possible to take any good actor, give them the right role(s) and you will end up with a great actor? Is greatness defined by the actor or the role? Consider "Boiling Point".

  • Comment number 61.

    In a slight defence of Robert De Niro: it may be that he does the easy money movies because he wants to. He's 68 years old, he's done the hard work and if he wants to kick back and have some fun in what many of us would consider our retirement years, why not? It's not as if Taxi Driver or Mean Streets disappears because he's made Godsend or Hide And Seek.

    As for Viggo Mortensen, this may be a question that needs the perspective of time. Will we be talking about his movies in forty years the way we talk of De Niro's early films today? To be honest I can't get that excited about them now. Some of them have been okay, though I really feel that A History Of Violence and all three of the LOTR trilogy are hugely overrated.

  • Comment number 62.

    As many have said so far, why try to 'tag' current, principal actors with comparisons to those who have achieved some prior degree of greatness in their craft? I could understand if we were asked to consider similarities in specific performances (James Woods likened to Cagney in 'The Onion Field'), or how 'newer' stars stack up to their predecessors in a remake (e.g. True Grit), but this is pointless and lazy.
    So is Colin Farrell the new/old Lee Marvin? Is DiCaprio slowly morphing into Jack Nicholson? What about (Old) Jim Carrey vs. (old) Jerry Lewis. Is Keanu Reeves made from the same wood as Roger Moore?
    Mortensen is a fine actor, as are Day-Lewis, Edward Norton, DiCaprio to name a few others, but do they really need to be pigeon holed with some utterly forgettable link to actors of old?

  • Comment number 63.

    Not yet, I think he needs to get an iconic role under his belt first. Hold on?!?!?... was Viggo the dude from Lord of the Rings? In that case...

    Get him a starring role in 'Yogi Bear 2: It's Time for a Picker-nic' and then yes, he will truly be the new De Niro.

  • Comment number 64.

    Robert de Niro is very much a screen presence where as Viggo Mortenson becomes part of the ensemble. David Cronenberg said in an interview with Mark a few years back that Viggo's performances are about subtlety and nuance therefore comparisons with Gary Oldman would be more accurate.

  • Comment number 65.

    I think Viggo Mortensen is terrific and possibly my favourite modern actor.
    But for me a crucial difference between him and De Niro is that Mortensen never had a Scorsese figure to put him over.
    His work with Cronenberg has helped that to a degree, but he is a much older actor than the young De Nire that Scorsese made a star

  • Comment number 66.

    No, but he deserves praise for what he does rather than to be compared with others and he deserves a lot of praise because he is very very good.
    With reference to Robert De Niro, yes he has appeared in some tripe as of late, but were his performances good? I only saw him recently in "Limitless" he was good in that.
    So what if the movie stinks? You get paid to review rubbish movies and many of your audience enjoy to listen as you "go off on one" when a turkey comes along. Why bash De Niro for taking the money?
    What would I not do for the sort of money he makes? In truth, anything that was legal and did not scare the horses.

  • Comment number 67.

    somefellacalledlime -I think Viggo has real screen presence, and I think you need to think again about Oldman.
    For every Tinkor Tailor, or Batman, he's done a scenery chewing Leon or Fifth Element

  • Comment number 68.

    just watched the trailer for a dangerous method and the film looks very interesting...however every time kiera knightley appears on screen the film loses all credibility this blog an attempt to save vm's blushes lol

  • Comment number 69.

    Nope. ;-)

  • Comment number 70.

    I think calling Viggo Mortensen the new anything is an insult to him - Actors just like directors are all different - We may see similarities between their work but it does a disservice to all artists to claim they are "the new" anything -

  • Comment number 71.

    You skim over the legacy of De Niro but the legacy is everything. For me, De Niro will always be the face of the multidimensional American gangster or career criminal. Whilst his older movies with Scorcese may have been his best, audiences know and love him. Whilst popularity is not a direct measure of greatness, for Viggo to be "the new De Niro", he would have to be better recognised. Whilst Viggo may be a fine actor, De Niro has been in many more fantastic films which have resonated with a large audience. De Niro is able to give a blockbuster an edge (much like Christoph Waltz). If you hadn't suggested it, I would have never connected the two.

  • Comment number 72.

    After Christian Bale lost all that weight for The Machinist I was worried they'd try and tar him with the De Niro brush.

    Luckily Bale has that stand alone cult status like Christopher Lee, Charles Bronson et al and I think that will ultimately save his career from looking like a wannabe.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi Mark. There is no way Viggo Mortesen is the new ‘old’ Robert De Niro! It just simply isn’t a valid comparison! Whereas I agree with you that he doesn’t have the popular, iconographical status of De Niro, I also don’t think he comes near to mastering the subtleties of the confidence and hubris that nuance De Niro’s performances – and that incidentally an actor like Pacino can only hammer out in a decidedly brash and immature fashion. There is a commanding honesty and self-sufficiency that imbues De Niro’s onscreen personae with a certain humanity that is simultaneously terrifying and beautiful - a talent that, in my opinion, Mortensen is yet to discover.
    Finally, I don’t think your comments regarding Mortensen’s choices of films is a convincing perspective from which to approach such a comparison, nor does it justify it. Based solely on performances – and in the same vein as my view that George Clooney is the new Cary Grant - Mortensen is perhaps more suited as the new Paul Newman (although I hesitate to say this as Newman is one of my all time favourites and has an inimitable charm).
    All best,

  • Comment number 74.

    Viggo is a fine actor, there's no doubt about that; perhaps his best quality is that he is able to make forgettable films stick in the mind and seem much better than they are. A Perfect Murder is no great shakes, but is memorable because of his presence and much as I liked A History of Violence, it's hard to watch its third act without thinking that a good premise has been lost somewhere along the way; again, it's Viggo that keeps you watching.

    But - the new De Niro? Please! All right, so a lot of people know "Bobby" best from the Meet The Whatever atrocities and (God help us!) The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, but let's not forget the sheer intensity of his performances from the seventies and eighties. Films like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull would not be made now because they could not be made now - those deep evocations of character and motivation based on exploration and improvisation simply do not fit current film grammar (which tends to favour plot and mise en scene over characterisation). In that respect, it is not Viggo's fault that he is not the new De Niro, but until he can come up with an equivalent of the "you talkin' to me" scene or Jake Lamotta's impotent jail cell rant, he will only ever be the best Viggo Mortensen working today...

  • Comment number 75.

    I agree with you, I however to a degree hold hopes that Viggo will not achieve the very same status that De Niro has achieved with such great roles in Taxi Driver, The Godfather, Casino and much more. Now that De Niro is known for these roles hollywood has gone to cast him in everything, the only argument being "It's De Niro, he's classic, he's cult, he's great." This of course has led us to appearances by De Niro in films such as New Year's Eve, Righteous Kill or the Focker trilogy. When I look at De Niro's recent roles and draw the comparison to Viggo Mortensen, I hope that Viggo stays something of a "rough diamond" among the acting community before he is cast in something absolutely atrocious.
    As a finishing comment, I must add that among Viggo Mortensen's finest achievements in film is his role in American Yakuza. Many have said that after seeing him in this film they wondered why his talent hadn't been recognised earlier. Surely many will disagree when I say American Yakuza is a flawless movie, but Viggo's perfomance in it is stunning.

  • Comment number 76.

    Dr K,
    I have to say these sort of comparisons never sit well with me.Robert Di Niro has always been right up there as one of my favourite actors, so many performances that are as memorable as they are well crafted, bordering on genius in fact (Thinks Deer Hunter to name but one). And even though he's made some 'questionable' choices over the last decade, I still look forward to watching him.
    Viggo is a force of nature, an enegmatic, talented actor who's prescence on screen just draws you in. His performance in The Road touched me greatly, it's a film that lived with me for weeks after I watched it, due in no small part to the sheer humanity that Viggo brought to the role. He also dominated some of the scenes in LOTR, as you never know quite what to expect from him, which I relish.
    So to sum it all up each actor should be allowed to stand on their own and hopefully bring us some more of the same.:-)

  • Comment number 77.

    I don't think it's worthwhiloe discussing any artistic talent as the "new something-or-other" (unless they are clearly aping someone already famous). Theyshould just be seen as talents in their own right.
    Viggo is a superb actor as is Fassbender and, of a slightly different generation, Daniel Day-Lewis.
    But for me the most consistent and compelling stand-out performances of recent years from a male actor have come from Philip Seymour Hoffman. I know people always focus on Capote or Doubt (and he was superb in both) but it was Before The Devil Knows You're Dead which really blew me away.

  • Comment number 78.

    Mad's Mikkelson is the new De Niro - a great back catalogue of films with a great onscreen charisma. De Niro has sold out too many times nowadays, from Taxi Driver to The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi Dr. K,

    I certainly think he can stake a claim for being comparable to De Niro. However, the question of his current age probably does come against him in the end. He is actually a year older than De Niro was when he made the double whammy of Heat and Casino, by which time De Niro had worked with Scorsese eight times, as well as making films like The Godfather Part 2, The Mission, Angel Heart and Midnight Run (arguably his finest comedic performance).

    Through no fault of his own, Mortensen does not have the same body of work behind him, as it wasn't until the success of Lord Of The Rings that some people realised his greatness. Perhaps if he had played the lead role in Dances With Wolves, as was originally intended, he may have been given more roles to match his stunning work in A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises.

    Also, on a side note, on the day that this blog was posted, a caught of glimpse of him in A Perfect Murder. Seeing him with his long, flowing hair reminded me that I used to think he was the spitting image of Crispin Glover.

  • Comment number 80.

    Dr K

    I think you might have been on the right lines with his roles in Eastern Promises and A History Of Violence where he played antihero's in the same way De Niro did early in his career. He has demonstrated himself as an extremely watchable screen presence who had equal amounts of danger and pathos in his make up.

    The difference between him and De Niro is vastly different though. De Niro played some extremely sharp and funny characters in The King Of Comedy and Brazil. Mortensen is a far more "indie" type of perfomer and seems to be interested in the body of work in which he is working rather than just purely the performance. therefore he gives a series of brilliantly understated performances. It would be interesting seeing him performing comedically (one of the most underrated type of roles for an actor to take)

    The age thing is hard to escape as well.

    He isn't De Niro. Mortensen still a great actor. But De Niro is a one off it seems. Even the great man himself has struggled to be him for the last 15 years.

  • Comment number 81.

    Is Fassbender's bum the new Mortensen bum?

  • Comment number 82.

    @RussianEatBambi66 and any others with similar points. Robert De Niro does not lack range. Rupert Pupkin in the King of Comedy is pretty different from his more famous roles as New York Gangsters and he nails that wonderfully. He can only do men from New York? I take it, then, that you have chosen to ignore The Deer Hunter (Pennsylvania) and 1900 (Italy) and those are just two excellent films I can think of off the top of my head. Don't get me wrong, Big Bob has had some absolute howlers in his time - especially of late - but after all the classics he's given us, can't he do things for himself now?

    But, back on point, Viggo is an excellent actor but he needs a Raging Bull or a Goodfellas-style iconic role before we you can start saying he's the new De Niro. Based on previous/current form I expect the Oscars to get round to bestowing a statuette on Viggo in about 10 years. If at all. But since they're a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be first up against the wall when the revolution comes, who cares?!

  • Comment number 83.

    Seriously, Doc, you can't and shouldn't compare the two. They are radically different actors, with completley different career histories and different styles. It is unfair on Viggo and De Niro to even draw a comparison.

    And while we're on the subject of De Niro, I do tire of people bashing his film choices of late. Yeah, they haven't been the best, but you know what, he probably doesn't care much any more. He's a legend, and rightly so, and spent the best part of the 70s and 80s making genuine classic films. As has been pointed out by RussiansEatBambi66, the types of roles De Niro excels at have all but dried up, no one is making films like that any more, not even his old pal Scorsese. And the same criticism can be laid at the feet of his contemporaries Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, neither of whom have made a particularly great film for years. But they probably feel like they have paid their dues.

    De Niro never really ever pushed himself, or tested his range - I do think he has a genuine comedic touch (he is the funniest thing in Meet the Parents, which is otherwise pure botty water). Viggo is an actor who's range is clearly very large.

    It's irrelevant to suggest that one of better than the other, or that X is the new Y. Judge actors on the performances they give and on the legacy they leave. And in that regard, Viggo is a very fine actor, and so is Robert De Niro.

    They're just different. Being different is allowed.

  • Comment number 84.

    De Niro's been in plenty of good films, but the only film that was good because he was in it is Midnight Run - not the case with Viggo.

  • Comment number 85.

    Both have found great success when paired with a particular director.
    Both approach roles with a method acting instinct.
    Both have no problems altering their appearances/weight for film.

    De Niro has all but sold out now. Only time will tell if Viggo does as well.
    Viggo has not shown any comedic flair, De Niro has and probably should stop doing so.
    Viggo has more range, De Niro created iconic moments.

  • Comment number 86.

    Dear Dr K (& HTJI)
    A true actor inhabits his latest role in a convincing and researched way. We forget their star image status if they draw us into their character. How well he achieves this is down to the director and the actor's personal film choice....So far VM has not sold out unlike RDN. Will you be hand flapping this Friday as I'll be watching on the webcam?

  • Comment number 87.

    I know I'm just about alone in this opinion, but I think Robert De Niro is one of the most overrated actors working today. Yes he's been in some iconic films, but his range is incredibly limited and his acting style consists mainly of doing very little and allowing the audience to read whatever they want into his character. This can work very well, often less is more, but when he has tried to branch out into roles that require more obvious emotion, or when he has tried to do comedy, his limits have been laid bare. This is why his more recent performances have been so poor, you can say it's because he has chosen bad films, but as Dr K's recent blog posts will testify, great actors can still be great in poor films. The fact that De Niro can't elevate himself above the quality of the film he is in just goes to prove that he isn't the great actor everybody thought he was.
    Viggo Mortensen on the other hand, has shown that he can still be great in below par films, G.I. Jane is a perfect example. His acting style is generally similar to De Niro's, in that he often appears to do very little on screen, but he can do action films and he can be a bit more OTT if the role requires it.
    I other words, calling him the new De Niro is doing him a disservice, he's a great actor, far better than De Niro ever was.

  • Comment number 88.

    Again, after all these comments I'm asking myself the same question over and over:

    Why must ANY actor need to be the new De Niro?

    Apart from the bloodbath at the end of A History of Violence (that no doubt started the comparisons to the end of Taxi Driver) Viggo is clearly NOT looking to follow the De Niro curve.

    I mean De Niro was younger when he was doing his best work whereas Viggo is a more mature actor now that he's at the peak of his profession.

    Same with Daniel Day Lewis - I mean his ultimate portrayal is no doubt Daniel Plainview (a role that he played in is fifties). I think the maturity shows in this performance and aside from Heat and Casino De Niro never really made such a mark in his 50s.

    I really hoped that Nolan was going to cast De Niro as Carmine Falcone (when Batman Begins was announced) such a role would be the way to go for someone like De Niro. Although Wilkinson was fine, De Niro would have brought the gravitas that Freeman and Caine brought to their respective roles.

    You have to ask why does De Niro miss tricks like this?

    I mean there would even have been space for De Niro in a film like Drive but Brooks gets the role and De Niro ends up in the pointless Killer Elite - why?

    The initial question just provokes more questions about De Niro and Viggo gets away clean!

  • Comment number 89.

    Well... Fassbender probably does have a bigger....

  • Comment number 90.

    You sure did skirt around his most popular role there Dr K. Can't believe you didn't mention Aragorn from LOTR. So what if it isn't a meaty, dramatic, De Niro type of role, Viggo brings a real depth and weight to the reluncatant King of Middle Earth.
    But back to your point... Yes, you could say that Viggo has taken up the baton from De Niro in the way that he picks and shines in the types of roles De Niro would have chosen, back in the day when he was a bit more discerning.
    That is about as far as you can take the comparison. Both are fine actors indeed, De Niro has just lost his way somewhat. Let's hope that Viggo doesn't stray down that path but continues to make brave and challenging choices that both stretch him as an actor and entertain his fans.

  • Comment number 91.

    Mark, you make a good case, but I'd argue that this generation was robbed of its new De Niro with the untimely death of Heath Ledger. Able to demonstrate range and intensity, and only surpassed in recognition factor by Viggo due to Lord of the Rings. Viggo's great, but with the Joker, Ledger was both great and iconic.

  • Comment number 92.

    I think Mark Is slightly wrong
    i think Johnny Depp is the new Robert DeNero
    Sweeney Todd being his Taxi Driver
    Edward Scissorhands is his Raging Bull

    Or maybe Leonardo DiCaprio
    The departed being his good fellas
    and Catch me if you can being his untouchables

    others could be Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt,or Matt Dameon

  • Comment number 93.

    The difficulty with the question is it assumes, without argument, that the apogee of American -or world – acting has been De Niro back in his early to mid career.

    OK – Was De Niro the new Steiger? Arguably Steiger had greater range and depth.

    Was De Niro the new (Paul) Newman, Cain, Hoffman or Hackman – all deeply impressive performers at their best, and arguably keeping their integrity for longer, even if it meant slipping into supporting roles. (And all arguably 'better' than De Niro.)

    Was De Niro the new Brando? (Brando I've always considered vastly over-rated. His contemporary James Dean demonstrated much greater potential than Brando. However, the early Brando performances had a greater impact than many actors before or since – not least because of shock-of-the new mix of 'method' acting, gritty realism plus Tennessee Williams's approach to sexuality in 'Streetcar...'. )

    If looking at De Niro's contemporaries. Why not ask if 'actor X' is the new Pacino - or the always marginalised, but much appreciated Jeff Bridges. (A subject of a previous blog.)

    If looking at all time great screen actors – who will be the next Michael Cain? Surely a contender for one of the finest actors of the past five decades, if not of all time (and the finest British actor ever).

    Mortensen, Fassbender, Gosling, Day Lewis, Cassell, Ledger, Shannon, Oldman, Hurt, Bale and dozens of others from dozens of other countries are all fine actors. Many great actors of the 30s, 40's, 50's and 60's have now been all been mostly forgotten. (In 50 years time the people we discuss now will face the same fate.)

    Trying to compare like with like is a futile exercise. Let's appreciate all of them for their individual qualities and contributions.

  • Comment number 94.

    As I understand your point in the context of what you've said in the past Mark, you make the comparison partly because of an implied parallel between the Scorsese/De Niro relationship and the Cronenberg/Mortensen one.

    There are obvious similarities, not least in that both Eastern Promises and A History of Violence deal especially with violent male lead characters and to what extent they can exist in non-violent situations, rather as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull did.

    But for me De Niro was more convincing than Mortensen in the dark side of roles like these. *SPOILERS ALERT* De Niro in Raging Bull makes a perfectly believable transition from confidence into violent desperation; but Mortensen's gradual progression into acceptance of his underlying gangster in A History of Violence feels forced, especially during the scene of Ed Harris's death, where Mortensen starts moving like an ape and jutting his jaw out like a shovel. Instead it was the family scenes of that film that really held it together, and I think the incredible performance of Maria Bello almost compensated for the weakness of the violence line.

    (Incidentally and unrelated to the acting, I found Howard Shore's music totally inappropriate and overblown for the film and I sometimes wonder why Cronenberg continues to work with him).

    Someone else mentioned the accents in Eastern Promises, and the low standard of both the accents and the Russian speech (Viggo more to blame than Cassel) really affected my enjoyment of that film. It again made Mortensen's otherwise very good performance much less convincing.

    While I liked both of the Cronenberg films I've mentioned, I don't think either of them should be classed as absolutely 'great' films, certainly not on a par with Raging Bull and Taxi Driver.

  • Comment number 95.

    Viggo simply dosent have the screen presence that Robert has.Has viggo bettered Deer Hunter,King of Comedy,Godfather 2,Heat,Casino,Jackie Brown etc etc.To me nowhere near.De Niro is a hasbeen,but his sucessor is Fassbender as already stated.

  • Comment number 96.

    Viggo is always interesting (but PLEASE stop casting Keiran Knightley in anything: she cant act!)

  • Comment number 97.


  • Comment number 98.

    I have been a fan of Viggo's work since seeing him in Sean Penn's Indian Runner. Penn used him after seeing him on tv and thinking he had the right look for the character of Frank - he said Viggo had 'an angularity, a severity to his handsomeness' - a look which does not reflect his poetic and artistic nature, so all respect goes to him for the work he has had to do to acheive the menacing and dangerous personality he has portrayed in several of his roles. As far as comparing him to De Niro though i have to agree with the previous commentator, sky m, and say they are individual, totally different and unique and we are thankful for that.

  • Comment number 99.

    The answer is in your blog...Vigo has not done anything as iconic as De Niro and that's why the answer is no.
    He's probably just as good an actor but that wasn't the whole story with Bob, it was the iconic performances; Taxi driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Godfather 2 etc
    In terms of Viggo, you forgot some of his best roles such as Laline in Carlito's Way, the coolest guy in a wheel chair - or his silent performance in Witness.

  • Comment number 100.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said...iconic.
    Viggo is a great actor with great films and great performances but nothing iconic...yet!?
    De Niro is an icon who has decided to take a slow walk into retirement and good luck to him, after all he doesn't have to watch the stuff he makes he only has to make it!


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