Viggo Mortensen, star of more than 30 films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy in which he played the displaced king Aragorn, is currently in the upper Sky Valley filming “Captain Fantastic.”
The film isn’t about a spandex-clad superhero; rather, Mortensen is starring as the father of six children who is living off the grid in the Pacific Northwest and trying to reassimilate into society.
The film is a project of Electric City Entertainment, a Los Angeles film company created in 2012 by two filmmakers, both of whom have worked for years in independent film.
Landing Mortensen for the lead role of his film was a coup for writer and director Matt Ross, whose debut was the 2012 Sundance Film Festival film “28 Hotel Rooms.”
“Viggo Mortensen’s dedication to his craft and to the world of the story he’s telling have been an inspiration to me for years,” said Ross. “There is a depth to his art that I greatly admire. Any film he’s in is a film I want to see. He’s one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that’s happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her.”
Electric City Entertainment is planning to be in the area for several more weeks, said executive Jess Engel, who said that the Index and Gold Bar area have been welcoming.
“The locals have been great,” she said. “We try not disturb anyone too much as we know that film production can be disruptive and we are really appreciative of everyone’s tolerance.”
The film company discovered the Sky Valley because the company has a local connection.
“We have an amazing location manager, Dave Drummond, who lives in the area, and he scouted all over and discovered it,” said Engel. “We couldn’t have done it without him. The director and producers are from out of town, so we rely heavily on locals who know the hidden gems to find our locations.”
Mortensen is enjoying the region, said Engel.
“Viggo is very happy to be shooting here,” she said. “Making sure we shot in the location where the script was written was of great importance to all of us!”
And, said producer Lynette Howell, it’s also a priority of the company to reflect the area’s natural beauty.
“We would like to give a very special thanks to the town of Index and the surrounding areas for being so hospitable to our production,” she said. “We hope to capture the beauty and the authenticity of this magnificent region and couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful experience here.”