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TIFF 09 – Viggo Mortensen Says We Can All Relate to The Road‘s Survival Story

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee stopped by our TIFF09 studio to talk about The Road, John Hillcoat’s new movie based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mortensen and Smit-McPhee play a father and son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Much of the movie was shot on what director Hillcoat told me were mini post-apocalyptic worlds, like New Orleans post-Katrina, Mount St. Helens and an old Pennsylvania mining town. These locations were picked to give the movie a feeling based in reality and not merely scifi.

According to Mortensen, the movie received an 11-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. I asked Mortensen what it is about The Road that was causing such a response. Watch the video for his answer, and for the rest of our talk.

Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron also star in the movie, an awesome cast for the then 12-year-old Smit-McPhee to learn from. According to Mortensen, the admiration was mutual: He recalls Duvall asking, “Where’d they get the kid?”

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