Marc Hom Shows Us the Real Viggo Mortensen with Esquire
Viggo Mortensen is not the traditional movie star. Probably best remembered as that guy from the Lord of the Rings movies, his entire career is a long list of challenging and unexpected films. He’s never leapt into the spotlight, instead using his position as a performing artist to explore and present stories and points of view that our culture doesn’t normally watch or listen to. He’s a unique voice in a very loud industry, and that made him the perfect partner for photographer Marc Hom when they shot the June/July cover of Esquire.
The story that Esquire created around the actor is for his new movie, Captain Fantastic, about a man who rejects modern society to raise his children off the grid. What Esquire found is that Mortensen isn’t so different from the character that he’s playing and with Marc Hom they created a visual language that reflects those aspects of his personality. Between thick rugged fabrics, a worn wooden set, and Marc’s signature revealing warmth, we get a taste of that through each of the images. “There’s so much that goes into these intimate moments when you photograph somebody,” Marc says. He’s known for his quieter style, a gravitas that comes through every frame. There’s no one who is better served by that energy than Mortensen who displays it every day.
Marc shoots a ton of celebrities and must always strike a balance between what he needs to get for his assignments and finding a portrait within the work that is honest and revealing. Marc accomplishes that by relating to each and every subject. “I think it really is about comfort, it really is about trusting each other, sometimes it takes longer to build up and sometimes it’s easier,” Marc explains. No matter where he shoots he lets it be their turf, their home base. Marc just visits, makes them comfortable and allows them to reveal themselves to his camera.