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Russians mistake Mortensen for mafia man

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Washington (ANI): Actor Viggo Mortensen"s 43 tattoos, which has been flaunted in his latest film Eastern Promises, were so real that Russians really thought he was a Mafia heavyweight. The 48-year-old star, who spent four hours in the make-up chair to get the tattoos on his body, plays a Russian gangster in the new thriller. The Lord of The Rings star realised that it was worth it, when he saw the looks of terror on Soviet youths in a London pub.

"They were looking at my hands and suddenly stopped talking," Contactmusic quoted Mortensen, as saying. "It was right when the (Alexander) Litvinenko (former lieutenant colonel of the Russian Federation's Federal Security Service) poisoning happened in 2006, and I looked very shady. So I got up and left. They were probably freaked out," he said. The actor revealed that he travelled through Russia and met with real gangland bosses to research for his role. He also said that he meticulously studied the Mafia's tattoo art to make sure his latest role was as real as possible.

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