Viggo Mortensen says The Road is the most faithful book adaptation
Directed by John Hillcoat, the film is based on Cormac McCarthy’s bleak, post-apocalyptic novel and sees The Father (Mortensen) and his son (13-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee) travelling across a barren landscape, fighting for survival among the remaining humans, many of whom have turned to violence and even cannibalism.
Mortensen confesses that until he was sent the script he had never read the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by the writer of No Country For Old Men.
“I’m a fan of Cormac McCarthy and I have read all of his books except The Road”, he said. “I hadn’t got around to reading it, just out of stubbornness – like if someone says, ‘You’ve got to see this movie’, then I don’t.”
But when he was sent Joe Penhall’s script, he was converted.
“I read the script by Joe and I thought it was a great story and I realised it was quite an honour to be offered this role. So then I ran out and got the book, and it’s one of those books you can’t put down – if you’ve read it you know what I mean.
“I read it all and realised [the movie] was a very good adaptation, which only became better and better as we went along. Including Lord Of The Rings, I think it’s probably the most faithful adaptation of any book.”
And the actor insists it wasn’t just him who was so moved. The whole crew, who all had copies of the book on set with them, were brought together by the story.
“That support you get from crew members, when you feel that people are really into the story, it lifts you, it makes you braver.”
Mortensen says he is delighted that The Road seems to be touching audiences. “I’ve seen people at Q&As after screenings, where a lot of people have a sort of a blissed-out look on their face, or even a smile, but at the same time tears in their eyes.
“I think you’d have to be quite obstructed internally somehow if, whether you like the movie or not, you’re not moved by it.
“The journey has to be difficult to learn what happens at the end, which I think is strangely uplifting and quite beautiful, when everything is stripped away.”
source: Coventry Telegraph