Viggo MortensenIn these difficult economic times, it may not not be easy for us ordinary citizens to relate to movie stars who make a ton of money and get to travel all over the world. The everyday reality is far different from the fantasy, I'm sure, which may be why Academy Award-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen says he's ready to step off the merry-go-round and stop making movies.

South African web site says that Mortensen described a crazy travel schedule -- Los Angeles to Japan to Korea to Poland to the UK in just one week -- and said that he's "taking measures to change that. No more movies. I haven't said yes to one in over a year ... there are other things I want to do. It's not the right time." He said recent offers for roles in big-budget movies were "complete crap, all about product placement and marketing. I don't need the money."

Of course, talk to anyone when they're exhausted from traveling and they might say anything. Mortensen was very busy throughout the 90s. His output in the last decade has been smaller, but the productions have been bigger and, since The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he's had lead roles that must have been demanding (Hidalgo, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises). It couldn't have been easy to make The Road, either. (See Elisabeth Rappe's article in which he talks more about his recent projects.) Mortensen brings a very unique set of qualities to his acting: strength, with a degree of tenderness, and an undercurrent of menace and erotic appeal. I'm hoping that this rumored time off will only be a break from acting, and not permanent retirement.

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