View movie page for G.I. Jane.

  1. Viggo’s way to the stars

    Meaty interview with Viggo and Ridley Scott, discussing G.I. Jane and the development of Urgayle's character. A couple of brief excerpts: Scott: "I told [Viggo] that I wanted his first line in the movie to be special; maybe some philosophy, maybe a Zen-quote – but we have seen that so many times now that the audience just think of that as nonsense. Instead I wanted to make something that surprised. In his own copy of D.H. Lawrence's poems Viggo found two short sentences about the lack of self-pity in animal life." Before the filming Viggo visited the training camp in Coronado outside San Diego. Viggo: "The SEAL-chiefs are fascinating men. They're more complex than I thought. The intelligence and mental strength it takes to do their work is already impressive. Those people have been in SEALs for 20 years; maybe they have killed people with their hands, but at the same time you can discuss almost everything with them. So the connection is brutal, but the best of them are very good and focused teachers in the best meaning of the word. And the biggest challenge for me was to find the natural authority they had that was making me capable of leading my crew without I ever had to justify my right to do it."
  2. Jane Man: Viggo Mortensen

    Brief, focused article on Viggo's perception of his role as Master Chief Urgayle in G.I. Jane and his preparations for the filming. Excerpt: "Mortensen didn't want his character to be a full-on maniac. 'The easiest thing would have been to make him a woman-hater and a ball-busting head-stomper,' he affirms. Instead he suggested to Scott that 'poetry might be right for this guy.'"
  3. Vim and Viggo

    Brief, pithy interview with Viggo Mortensen about Urgayle's character in G.I. Jane. "He's not a sexist," Mortensen says. "He tortures everybody. He needs to know Demi's character can handle what she might run into in combat. And, yeah, we do come to blows in one scene, and yeah, it's kind of shocking." Viggo goes on to discuss his preparation for the role.
  4. In the Navy

    Viggo provides a thoughtful look at his role in G.I. Jane: "[The master chief is] a pretty isolated kind of character. He can't afford to let the people he's training know him very well or know what he's thinking. There's always a distance—you have to earn their respect, and also keep it by mentally being careful of how you deal with people." The interview also touches on Viggo's other films, his poetry, and what he wants from life.
  5. Viggo Mortensen

    The interviewer tells how he and Viggo managed to get thrown out of a bar, and then segués into a discussion of Viggo's upcoming role in GI Jane. He quotes GI Jane director Ridley Scott: "The quality that really stood out to me was his quietness. He has a still, modest quality to him that was perfect for these guys. I noticed that in some of the movies I'd seen him in, and he also had it in real life."
  6. No Pain, No Jane

    An well-written review of G.I. Jane with some interesting perspectives. The reviewer seems to feel that the film is accurate with respect to military policies and training, though he does not approve of either: "Some months back, it was reported that SEALs were actually being subjected to some of the torture methods they might face if captured, a practice that raises questions about the trainers' ability to distinguish reality from maneuvers. Try to imagine that approach in other jobs -- say, if cops were shot at to see how they reacted under fire." Quite a few more points in the article. The reviewer also has an unusual take on Mortensen's character. He seems to have confused the rank "Master Chief" with the chief's name, which is actually "John James Urgayle." Quote: "Her fellow recruits ... are certain she hasn't got what it takes, as is her predictably hard-ass drill instructor (Viggo Mortensen). What isn't predictable is that this character has been given a hilariously fetishistic name -- 'Master Chief' (didn't Texaco sell that?) -- and an even more fetishistic look. With his Village People mustache, reflector shades and tight little shorts, he's a Tom of Finland dream date." For those of you as clueless as I was, "Tom of Finland" was an illustrator known for his portraits of macho gay men.
  7. Viggo Mortensen by Cliff Watts photo in Premiere Feb 1997

    Viggo, Vidi, Vici

    Interview with Viggo Mortensen focuses on his very different upcoming roles in The Portrait of a Lady and G.I. Jane (at the time, tentatively titled In Pursuit of Honor). "Surprisingly, Mortensen sees some parallels between the 19th-century romantic he plays in Portrait and the hardcase master chief in Honor. 'I think they're both gentlemen. By the end you get that—the chief has a real old-fashioned code of ethics.'"