Viggo Mortensen’s most well-known role is Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings series, but he wasn’t originally even supposed to appear in the fantasy film. Peter Jackson started filming the movie with Irish actor Stuart Townsend in the role, but it was determined that he was too young to be believable, and Mortensen got the call to come to New Zealand and play the role that would go on to define his career.
Mortensen has now reflected on replacing Townsend and his first days on set. Speaking to The Ringer, Mortensen had nothing but praise for Townsend, celebrating his capabilities and pointing out that he has gone on to have a successful career. By the time Mortensen got to set, Townsend was already gone, but it was still awkward.
“He was too young. It was a bad casting idea because he was the same age as the actors playing the Hobbits and Aragorn needed to be a little older,” he said. “So I think that was really the only issue there. I felt uncomfortable, to be honest; I hadn’t had that experience of taking the place of another actor.”
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