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Two years later, another Cronenberg film, Eastern Promises (2007), earned him further critical acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.A third teaming with Cronenberg in A Dangerous Method (2011) resulted in a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture.His paintings have been featured in galleries worldwide, and many of the paintings of the artist he portrayed in A Perfect Murder are his own.Mortensen experiments with his poetry and music by mixing the two art forms.

In 2005, Mortensen starred in David Cronenberg's movie A History of Violence as a family man revealed to have had an unsavory previous career.His poems are written in English, Danish, and Spanish.He speaks fluent Danish, English, French and Spanish; he is also conversational in Italian, and understands Norwegian and Swedish.In 1987, Mortensen guest starred as a police detective on the hit series Miami Vice. In The Two Towers DVD extras, the film's swordmaster, Bob Anderson, described Mortensen as "the best swordsman I've ever trained." Mortensen often performed his own stunts, and even the injuries he sustained during several of them did not dampen his enthusiasm.During the 1990s, Mortensen appeared in supporting roles in a variety of films, including Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady, Young Guns II, Prison, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Sean Penn's The Indian Runner, Danny Cannon's The Young Americans, Carl Colpaert's The Crew, which won the São Paulo Film Festival Audience Award, Brian de Palma's Carlito's Way, Crimson Tide, G. Jane, Daylight, A Walk on the Moon, American Yakuza, Charles Robert Carner's remake Vanishing Point, Philip Ridley's films The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon, the remake films A Perfect Murder and Gus Van Sant's Psycho (the 1998 remakes of two Alfred Hitchcock's movies Dial M for Murder and Psycho), 28 Days, and The Prophecy, with Christopher Walken. Another major mainstream breakthrough came in 1999, when Peter Jackson cast him as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. At one point during shooting of The Two Towers, Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and Brett Beattie (scale double for John Rhys-Davies) all had painful injuries, and during a shoot of them, running in the mountains, Peter Jackson jokingly referred to the three as "the walking wounded." Also, according to the Special Extended Edition DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mortensen purchased the two horses, Uraeus and Kenny, whom he rode and bonded with over the duration of the films.

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