Viggo Mortensen to Direct and Star in Romantic Western The Dead Don’t Hurt

It has been announced that the three-time Academy Award-nominated actor viggo mortensen is set to direct, write and star in the next western love story The dead don’t hurt. The film will be Mortensen’s second directorial effort and will see him co-star with ghost thread star Vicky Krieps as a pair of star-crossed lovers in 1860s America. The movie is scheduled to begin shooting this month in Canada.

The dead don’t hurt will star Mortensen as a Danish immigrant Holger Olsen who crosses paths with an “independent” French-Canadian woman Vivienne Le Coudy (Krieps). The couple agree to travel together and eventually settle in a quiet town to start a life together. However, when the Civil War separates them, Vivienne finds herself surrounded by the corrupt and nefarious men of the town. Holger returns home from the war to find that they have both changed in ways they never could have imagined. The story is described as a “tragic love story and revenge story” and “a portrait of a passionate woman determined to defend herself in an unforgiving world dominated by ruthless men”.


Mortensen made his debut as a film director and screenwriter in 2020 with his drama Falling. The film was a huge success with critics when it premiered at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals. However, audiences most likely know Mortensen for his iconic role as Aragorn in peter jackson‘s The Lord of the rings trilogy. His other roles include movies like captain fantastic, Green BookY eastern promises. Mortensen also recently starred in david chronenbergthe return to the cinema, crimes of the future.

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About making the film, Mortensen said:

said Viggo Mortensen; “My goal is to do justice to the story of an exceptionally resilient woman living in an isolated, lawless part of the American Southwest in the 1860s. Vivienne is a woman for all seasons; courageous, unfailingly honest and direct, but capable of great empathy. The idea is not simply that a woman plays the lead in a western, but that she leads the way in our story by virtue of her fiercely uncompromising nature. Vivienne is a real woman who is alone in her time and place due to her principled behavior, vision of the future and passion for life. We are very fortunate to have the talented Vicky Krieps incarnating this role and, with the help of the great team we have assembled thanks to Talipot Studio, we look forward to doing justice to her exemplary life.”

Mortensen and Krieps will join the cast for Solly McLeod, Danny Huston, Garrett Dillahunt, tom batman, lance henryksenY W. Earl Brown. Mortensen will also produce the film along with Regina Solorzano Y Jeremy Thomas. Solórzano also gave a quote about the film and added:

The dead don’t hurt revolutionizes the codes of the western genre, leaving aside the concept of the war of men to witness a love story free of archetypes, and the struggle and determination of a woman to win the most epic of battles: surviving abuse and extreme violence without ever betraying itself.”

Stay tuned to Collider for any future updates on The dead don’t hurt. Read the full synopsis for the film and watch Collider’s interview with Mortensen on how to make Falling down:

The dead don’t hurt is a Western love story that takes place in the 1860s. Krieps stars as fiercely independent French-Canadian Vivienne Le Coudy, who embarks on a relationship with Danish immigrant Holger Olsen (Mortensen). After meeting Olsen in San Francisco, Vivienne agrees to ride with him to her home near the sleepy town of Elk Flats, where they begin a life together. The Civil War separates them, leaving Vivienne alone in a place controlled by powerful rancher Alfred Jeffries (Dillahunt) and her violent, misguided son Weston Jeffries (McLeod), aided and abetted by corrupt Mayor Rudolph Schiller (Huston). Olsen’s eventual return challenges their relationship as they have to confront and make peace with the person they each have become. A tragic love story and a revenge story, The dead don’t hurt is the portrait of a passionate woman determined to defend herself in an unforgiving world dominated by ruthless men.

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