Viggo Mortensen reveals hidden Lord of the Rings Easter egg in new film

Viggo Mortensen has revealed there’s a Lord of the Rings Easter egg in his new film The Dead Don’t Hurt.

The actor and director, 65, played Aragon in the fantasy trilogy and has reused a key prop for his new feminist Western, which he stars in alongside Vicky Krieps and Solly McLeod.

Mortensen said he was filming a sequence with a knight on horseback for The Dead Don’t Hurt when he realised the actor was missing one key item.

Speaking to GQ, Mortesen said he asked Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson for permission to reuse Aragon’s sword again, which he had kept after filming wrapped.

“We had everything for this sequence with a knight. We had found this great, spirited horse, the right kind of saddle, and we made a medieval kind of blanket, and we had the costume for the knight,” the actor said.

He added “everything was right” with the scene until he realised the knight should have a sword. Mortensen started browsing for the prop but none he saw matched up to the “really good” Aragon one he had at home.

“I did ask Peter Jackson if he’d be all right with it, and he said, ‘Well, is it very important in the story?’ I said, no, it’s not, actually,” Mortensen continued.

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in ‘The Lord of the Rings' (New Line Cinema)
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in ‘The Lord of the Rings' (New Line Cinema)

“You hardly notice it, but somebody will, probably. He said it was okay with him but that I should ask the movie company. So I contacted them and they were fine with it. They realized it wasn’t essential, it wasn’t going to draw a lot of attention to itself.

“And they were very nice about it, and they gave us permission. That’s why we did it, just because it seemed right. It was kind of a last-minute accident.”

Mortesen’s new film The Dead Don’t Hurt follows a woman called Vivienne (Vicky Krieps) who has been assaulted while her partner (Mortesen) is away fighting for the Union army.

Vivienne initially packs her bags to flee after the assault, but puts them down and resolves to stay.

Krieps told The Independent: “At one point you have to ask yourself: What are you living for? I do believe that something is changing for women and I’m part of this.

“I can tap into my grandmothers and great-grandmothers and also try to connect with who’s coming and who was before.

“I don’t really know why. I just know that’s how it feels. I think the dialogue is broken between men and women because women learned to hide the wound.”