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VIGGO MORTENSEN / ACTOR

As the Navy SEAL adversary of trainee Demi Moore in “G.I. Jane,” Viggo Mortensen continues his steady rise in Hollywood, with a role opposite Diane Lane in the Dustin Hoffman-produced indie “The Blousemaker” coming next. But the New York native, 38, remains committed to the L.A. underground as a poet and spoken-word performer, working alongside such notables as his ex, ex-X singer Exene Cervenkova.

TREND WATCH: “Last two summers it’s been aliens. I suppose if ‘G.I. Jane’ does well we’ll see women-in-the-

military movies for a year or so. Maybe alien women in the military.”

HOLLYWOOD REVOLUTION: “You know how they have a day of nonsmoking? If they had a year with no entertainment awards shows it would be a wonderful thing. There are so many of them and so much emphasis on it. It distracts people from what really makes a memorable movie, which is a series of moments that touch you.”

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CLASSIC: “There are very few movies I would want to see over and over, but one is the silent film ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc.’ It became known recently when they did a new print and [composer] Robert Einhorn did a new score. Saw it at the Wadsworth Theater. Carl Dreyer was a great director.”

WELL-SPOKEN: “For poetry and spoken word, Beyond Baroque in Venice has series of readings that are unrivaled, and for decades they’ve had free workshops and outreach programs for high school kids. And people who go there actually listen.”

EX-SPOUSAL ESPOUSAL: “ ‘Life Could Be a Dream’ by Exene’s new band, Auntie Christ, is a great punk-rock record. If she were 22 she’d be on the cover of Rolling Stone.”

FOREIGN SERVICE: “I’ve worked in Egypt and done two movies in Spain in Spanish. Got to know actors I’d never know of otherwise, mostly theater actors from Barcelona. It was great. You get exposed to different artists doing what you’re doing, helps you not have such a closed perspective.”

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VIGGO OF THE JUNGLE?: “I’ve done screen tests for the leads in big studio films but never gotten one. . . . One, early on, was ‘Greystoke.’ It would have been fun, playing the [Tarzan] character more animal than human.”

DRIVE: “A lot of people want to get into acting because they want to be famous. I don’t think much of that, but that’s my perspective. It doesn’t mean you’ll be a bad actor if you’re a shallow person--in fact, maybe it helps.”


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