No one cares about Green Book anymore. Not even the people who liked Green Book care about Green Book at this point. We’ve all moved on with our lives, which have become increasingly burdened in various ways by a global pandemic, but not Viggo Mortensen. The actor, whom you may remember as the co-star of Green Book, doesn’t want to let the conversation around the film, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in an upset accurately compared to Driving Miss Daisy’s victory in a year when Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing wasn’t even nominated (an egregious crime to this day). Speaking with The Independent, Mortensen mounted a passionate defense of the drama (to what end???) in which he played a racist Italian-American driving a Black musician (Mahershala Ali) across the country in the ’60s. “It’s become a cliché to say, ‘Is this movie going to be the Green Book of this year?’ Green Book has become a pejorative,” says Mortensen.
The actor, whose possession of a thesaurus is heavily implied, goes on to call criticisms of Green Book and its perpetuation of the white savior narrative “hurtful and destructive,” and accuses critics of having “an axe to grind”:
Much of the criticism that was leveled at that movie was not only unreasonable, but it was inaccurate, mendacious, and irresponsible. It’s based on a load of bullshit and an axe to grind and little else.
“Does it affect what I’m doing, or how people perceive me as an actor? Maybe it does. But I can’t really do anything about that,” Mortensen continues, seemingly unaware of his ongoing conversation with a member of the press who will transcribe these quotes for a publication read by millions of people.