Interview With Ellen Graham

by David Patrick Columbia, New York Social Diary

March 2008


Viggo Mortensen, New York, NY, 1980

I shot this in the early 80s on the roof of the Ritz Carlton here in New York in either late spring or early autumn when the weather was still warm. It was for the book I was putting together called “Beautiful Men.”

He was totally unknown and I had no idea that he was such a talented actor. He was very attractive, very sexy and perfect for the book. I think he was sent by his agent who knew what I was working on; and he happened to be good looking. That was all that he had going for him at the moment. In fact I told him that he should change his name because no one could pronounce or remember Viggo Mortenson. Little did I know I was shooting a star.

The session lasted an hour at the most. He was very charming, very sweet, and kind of shy. He did all kinds of acrobatics to please me in getting a good picture, and although I shot that, in the end it came down to this – just standing. — Ellen Graham