'Green Book' Stars Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali Detail Meticulous Research Into Real-Life Counterparts

The Hollywood Reporter | 11/24/2018 | Hilary Lewis
Click For Photo: https://cdn1.thr.com/sites/default/files/2018/10/green_book_still_2_-_publicity_-_h_2018.jpg

The actors explain why their characters' friendship evolves the way it does while writers Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie and director Peter Farrelly discuss artistic license and finding "organic" funny moments in the film that tackles racism and tolerance.

Viggo Mortensen says "there's nothing off limits" when he gathers information to prepare for a part.

Research - Driver-turned-actor - Tony - Lip - Vallelonga

The same was true of his research to play the real-life Italian-American driver-turned-actor Tony "Lip" Vallelonga in Universal's Green Book, about the true friendship between Tony Vallelonga and Dr. Don Shirley, the African-American musician he drove through the deep south on a concert tour in 1962.

Mortensen said his meticulous study incorporated "anything that somebody said about Tony Vallelonga, anything they read about him, an image of him or a recording of him talking about Doc Shirley, any word there, any reference to the music he listened to."

Music - Tony - Hollywood - Reporter - Green

"I was just listening constantly to the music that Tony liked," he told The Hollywood Reporter at Green Book's New York City premiere earlier this month. "I immersed myself in documentation of the period with photographs, video, whatever I could find. I was fortunate to have his voice recorded talking about many things, including his trips with Doc Shirley — that was really helpful."

Mortensen also drew on Tony Vallelonga's real-life son, Nick, who wrote the screenplay: "He was there on set and I would check with him: 'Would your dad do this? If he's eating and he's smoking, which you guys told me, he eats and smokes at the same time, in which hand or how does he hold his cigarette? Does he talk?' All these just little things that were helpful. In the end you gotta just jump in the pool and swim and Mahershala had to do the same thing."

Mahershala - Ali - Shirley - Deep

Indeed, Mahershala Ali, who plays Shirley, did his own deep...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Hollywood Reporter
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!