Viggo Mortensen Might Have Too Many Heroes

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The Boston Globe's Ethan Gilsdorf interviewed actor Viggo Mortensen, and boy, was Mortensen excited to participate! When asked some follow up questions by email—including "Who were your heroes growing up as a child, and who are they today?" Mortensen provided Gilsdorf with a list so hilariously long, it's worth sharing. Below, an excerpt including his childhood heroes:

As a child — say, before age eleven — I suppose they were my father, my mother, various horses and dogs, soccer players for San Lorenzo de Almagro (a club founded in Boedo, Argentina, in 1908 by Salesian priest Lorenzo Massa) like “Lobo” Fischer, “Loco” Doval, “Bambino” Veira, “Sapo” Villar and too many other legendary players from that club to mention — Viking Leif Eriksson, fictional gaucho cowboy Martin Fierro, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Odin, Thor, Jesus of Nazareth, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, the character Don Quijote, his horse Rosinante and his trusty servant Sancho Panza, Achilles, Odysseus, Theseus, Joan of Arc, explorer Roald Amundsen, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl, Roger Bannister (the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier), marathon champion Abebe Bikila, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé), long jumper Bob Beamon, Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes, Emil Zátopek, Wilt Chamberlain, Cassius Clay, swimmers Don Schollander and Dawn Fraser, Peter O’Toole’s impersonation of T. E. Lawrence, the crew of Apollo 11, the recently-deceased rock legend Luis Alberto “El Flaco” Spinetta, Carlos Gardel, Bela Lugosi, Greta Garbo, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, Beethoven, Mozart ... I could probably name more, but surely that gives an idea of how and where I dreamed back then.

Mortensen then continues to name his heroes into adulthood and the list is, if you can believe it, probably twice as long as the one for childhood. "Sorry to give you such long lists. Could have been even longer..." he says. We're glad you're standing on the shoulders of so many, Mortensen, but...Don Quixote's horse? (Update: We are told the horse is an inspiration to more than Mortensen, so, perhaps a worthy hero.) At least, for the transcriber's sake, this list seems to have arrived via email.

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