Written for Aprilkat, who is wise and beautiful and I love her so much that I attempted RPS. It's pretty lame, but that's a reflection on me, not her. Adult.


Five Things Elijah learned from working with Viggo
by Laura Mason


1. The "real thing" exists. Elijah's worked with lots of actors who think they're multi-talented, not just the ones who want to direct, but those who mangle oil paints or sing with some godawful band. So when Stuart was sent home and they started touting Mr. Mortensen the wonderful actor-artist-activist, Elijah wasn't impressed. He was relieved when Viggo seemed down to earth. Pleased when Viggo picked up the swordwork quickly and shooting wasn't delayed. But he was not impressed, not at all. Just surprised that Viggo was everything he'd heard. The real deal.


2. How a father behaves. Elijah's done fine without a father for many years. But every once in a while, he watches Viggo with Henry. Viggo's divorced, but he finds time for his son. Elijah heard he wasn't even going to take this role because he didn't want to be away from Henry. And Viggo's ex-wife is his friend.

Elijah doesn't need a father, but he notices when Viggo shows Henry how to fix his costume and hold his prop sword. He sees the love in Viggo's eyes when the take ends and he ruffles Henry's hair. Elijah stores up those moments, and months later when Peter calls "action," the covetous, angry tears are right there.


3. What the fuck an f-stop is. Elijah's interested in photography before New Zealand and he's got enough money to have all the latest toys, video cameras, the works. But Viggo took him out one Sunday with a 35 mm SLR and taught him about light and film speeds and shutter speeds. Not that Elijah will ever use that, 'cause he's not like Viggo, seeing what's possible instead of what's there, and able to appreciate it even while he figures out how to capture it and probably writes a two-page poem in his head, too, all in about ten seconds flat while everyone else scratches their balls and says "wow."

But it's cool to know, and when he buys the books about Ansel Adams and Harry Callahan, Elijah understands what they're talking about. Even though he only ever uses the tiny digital he buys on the trip to Japan for the Fellowship premiere.


4. Never challenge Bean to a drinking contest. And never stick around when anyone else does.


5. Graciousness. Viggo never dismisses admirers; he gives them his focused attention and honors them in return. He somehow conveys that he understands the magnificence of the complement they're paying him, even as he gently proves he's just like everyone else, though luckier than some.

Elijah sees it when the stuntmen give Viggo his haka; he sees it with fans at the premieres. But he remembers it most from the night he drunkenly propositioned Viggo and was so very gently, graciously refused.