Friday, June 3, 2011


We have Viggo Mortensen's costume from the movie Hidalgo! I'm not talking about a replica, I'm talking about the real, genuine, straight-off-his-back costume. Believe me when I say that I don't think they even washed it before sending it to us (that's a grimy show, Hidalgo).

For those who've been in hiding these past few years, Viggo Mortensen is an excellent actor most famously known for being the grungy ranger Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He's continued the showers-are-optional theme with such characters as Everett Hitch in Appaloosa,  Tom Stall in A History of Violence, the Man in The Road (very good acting in that one), and of course, Frank Hopkins of Hidalgo. Hidalgo  tells the story of Mr.Hopkins's entry into an Arabian race with his mustang  Hidalgo, in the year 1890.  It's a fun summer flick, for those wanting a bit of adventure.

The costumes were won in an online auction, and this is the tag it came with. I'm assuming it means scenes 32-34 in chapter four, though I'm not sure how you'd figure out what the chapters are. I know DVDs have chapters, but is that what they mean?

The pants seem to be made out of a really lightweight canvas, and were filthy! Having seen the movie, it's fun knowing that all of the dirt and discoloration came from being worn while riding a horse out in the middle of nowhere. The metal buttons have a very clear, pleasing "ping" to them when struck.
The pants  made me realize that Mr.Mortensen is just your average guy: not too tall, not too short, neither heavy nor skinny. 

The back of his pants had a kind of belt addition. I love it when movies remember little details like that. You'd probably only notice it if you knew what you were looking for, but it still adds that extra something. As an actor, it's the small details that help you get into character.

I've known these costumes were coming, and though part of me thought it was cool to have costumes straight from a movie, I wasn't too fussed about it. But when I finally saw them, I can't deny I got a little excited. I respect Viggo Mortensen as an actor, and from what I've seen and read of him as a person, he seems like a great guy. Hidalgo may not have been Oscar caliber, but it was a big film when it came out, pulling in $67 million at the box office (in comparison, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie has only made $40 million so far).   

It's fun to think that if Viggo came into this little shop right now, he could glance over my shoulder and say something like, "Hey, I wore that! Ha, the pants even have the black on the legs from when Bob put too much oil on my saddle, that crazy guy."
There's a piece of Hollywood hanging behind me. The industry may have its flaws, but there's no denying that movies play a huge part in American life. It's strange to think that with how deeply the movie/TV industry infiltrates our days, we are all very much on the outside looking in. We feel a part of it because like a beloved pet it's always around, but most of us have no true involvement beyond feeding it our hard-earned money via a Saturday night at the movies, a cable bill, or maybe by buying a licensed Halloween costume. But right here, in a little costume shop in Salt Lake City, is an itty bitty cog in that which makes Hollywood. A famous man in a famous movie wore the bandanna sitting on my desk. Here hangs something in real life that literally millions of people from all over the world have seen on film. 
And that's pretty cool. 


1 comment:

  1. I always remember this movie with fondness because even in our impoverished state, the roomies and next-door roomies of Heather Cove 11 went to opening night for love of Viggo. Had you joined us yet back then? Ah. Happy memories.