Viggo Mortensen: “Green Book” Helps Address Xenophobia in the West

Viggo Mortensen: "Green Book" Helps Address Xenophobia in the West

Viggo Mortensen has shared his auspicious feelings about the theme of his latest movie, “Green Book” directed by Peter Farrelly.

The movie is based on the real events that happened in 1962 when Italian-American Frank Anthony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga worked as a chauffeur and bodyguard of Don Shirley, a famous African-American pianist.

The Bronx-bred driver accompanied the black musician to his concert performances from Manhattan to the Jim Crow Era-Deep South.

Mortensen portrayed the white driver who exuded institutional racism and limited vocabulary. Shirley was portrayed by “Moonlight” actor, Mahershala Ali.

In the film, he is an affluent, educated, snobbish, and loner type of pianist who needed reliable protection as he journeyed the then racially segregated southern portion of the country.

Mortensen cited that it is important for the audience to encounter the racially discriminating words and gestures used in the movie.

These elements would help them better understand racism as a social dilemma during that era.

The “A History of Violence” actor also described his movie as not only entertaining but also inviting for people to think about the social issue.

Mortensen said that “Green Book” helps today’s viewers to comprehend not just a turning point in the American society and but also about addressing xenophobia which is currently sweeping not only the United States but also Europe.

In addition, the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy actor remarked about the positive feature of Vallelonga who may be initially racist as it was common then for men of his generation.

Vallelonga, according to Mortensen, was capable of becoming a listener and a good person, somewhat like acclaimed Indian activist, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, towards the conclusion of the film.

“Green Book” is based on the guidebook’s title “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” first published by Victor Hugo Green in 1936.

Vallelonga used it to look for hotels and lodging establishments that people of color – or the “Negro Motorist” – were allowed to go to.

“Green Book” centered on Vallelonga and Shirley’s unexpected friendship. The American Film Institute honored the movie on January 4 as among the top 10 movies of 2018.

On January 6, the film garnered three accolades at the 76th Golden Globe Awards. Among them are Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Ali.

“Green Book” has also received a Directors Guild of America nomination for its director. Farrelly’s biopic also won the National Board of Review Best Picture award with Mortensen receiving the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of Vallelonga.

Emma is a Sports writer and loves talking and learning about new Sports. She studied journalism at The City College of New York. She loves watching American Sports as well as watching her children play. When she gets some free time she likes to read books by "Jacqueline Wilson".