Watch: Viggo Mortensen on the Glasgow Film Festival red carpet shares Scottish roots

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Viggo Mortensen was presented with the festival’s inaugural Cinema City Honorary Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cinema.

A car slowly approached before stopping in front of the historic facade of the Glasgow Film Theatre. Two figures strode onto the red carpet creating a stir of excitement from an assembled crowd clutching posters and autograph books. "Who is it?" shouted a random passer-by, staring through the scrum.

It was Viggo Mortensen: Director, musician, photographer and the star of 58 feature films, a run that began in 1985 and includes memorable roles in Carlito's Way, Crimson Tide, GI Jane, A Perfect Murder, Green Book and A History of Violence. To many who had waited to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood actor, he will always be Aragorn in Peter Jackson's epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

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Wearing a Ukrainian trident symbol on a black t-shirt beneath his dark suit jacket, Viggo had a brief but deliberate message to send to the people of Ukraine: “We support them against Russian aggression, against people who condone it. In Russia, but especially outside of Russia.” Alongside him was Solly McLeod, the rising star actor of Mortensen's new western film, who grew up in Orkney before moving to London when he was ten years old. He knew Glasgow and felt at home there, he said.

"I've only been to Scotland one other time. Maybe two times I've been to Edinburgh" Viggo said before revealing his Scottish roots. "My mother's side of the family, they're from here, from western Scotland. I've got to look into it more, where they're from and try to find those places." Mortensen, from New York City, was born to an American mother and a Danish father. Asked what his first impressions of Glasgow were, he added softly: "I like it."

The two actors were attending Glasgow Film Festival for the UK premiere of Viggo's western The Dead Don't Hurt, a movie that is the culmination of more than two years of his life: he wrote the script, the score and has a leading role.

He said much of the film was composed before they started shooting: “It helps me find the rhythm and know how long the scene should last in some cases, and what the mood we hope to get across is.”

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He grinned as he discussed a dream sequence featuring a medieval knight holding a sword – the prop used was wielded by Mortensen’s character Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings.

He asked for permission before including the famous sword: “I couldn’t think of a better sword than that one. So I asked Peter Jackson and the film company that made The Lord Of The Rings if I could have permission

“He said ‘What are you doing with it, how important'. I said you’ll be lucky if you even notice it, which is true.”

Solly McLeod discussed being approached for the role and working with his director, who was full of praise for the young actor's performance.

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Before going into the Glasgow Film Theatre, I asked Viggo what drove him to devote so much time to this project, willing it into existence and investing his creative energy into the film. He said: "I believed in the idea and I believed in the script. I think, if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well."

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