Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen’s friendship is so charming that it’s impossible not to love Green Book
This true story of an unlikely friendship offers the acting match-up we never knew we needed, and two of this year’s best performances.
Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali
November 21st, 2018
The Hollywood Veteran
A film industry staple, Viggo Mortensen has had an eclectic career spanning independent film, blockbuster movies, theatre, writing, photography, painting, poetry and music. In Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, Mortensen tackles the role of Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, a bouncer who takes a job as a driver/bodyguard to the illustrious Don Shirley, an African-American pianist travelling through the American deep south on a concert tour. We’ve seen Mortensen as the heroic Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, as the terrifying Nikolai Luzhin in David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and as the strict, affectionate father Ben Cash, in Captain Fantastic. In Green Book, Mortensen brings elements of each of his best performances, delivering one of the most charming characters of his career.
The charismatic newcomer
Mahershala Ali recently skyrocketed to the top of Hollywood with memorable performances in hit TV shows like Netflix’s House of Cards and Luke Cage. While the majority of his career has been as a supporting cast member, leading to an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2016 for his role in Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, Green Book marks Ali’s first film as a prominent co-lead. Delivering an honest, raw, charismatic performance as Don Shirley, Ali proves that his Oscar win was no fluke, securing his place as a leading man in Hollywood. With upcoming roles in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the James Cameron produced Alita: Battle Angel, we look forward to having a steady dose of Mahershala Ali in the future.
Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen are believable best friends that audiences will want to watch for eternity.
An unexpected match
Although their careers have been vastly different, with Ali a relative newcomer compared to the veteran Mortensen, there’s no doubt that their pairing in Green Book is a special one. Their unparalleled chemistry is the life and soul of the film. With each scene, Ali and Mortensen build on this true friendship, starting from nowhere and developing Tony Lip and Don Shirley into believable best friends that audiences will want to watch for eternity. Whether they’re sharing a laugh, dealing with a tough situation or helping write letters to a loved one, Mortensen and Ali together are so enjoyable to watch, it makes Green Book one of the most memorable films of the year.
Green Book is 2018’s surprise hit.
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall, Green Book instantly became a buzzed-about hit and went on to win TIFF’s People’s Choice Award. For audiences who love awards season or just a feel-good time at the movies, this is a film everyone will enjoy. Don’t forget to SHOW-off your SCENE card while you’re at the theatre for a chance to win instant prizes and a grand prize of 100,000 SCENE points. Click here for details.