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Arts & Entertainment
Actor goes from Hobbits to half-Lakota in 'Hidalgo'

Actor Viggo Mortensen has gone from helping Hobbits in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy to playing an alleged half-Lakota, half-White former U.S. Army courier in "Hidalgo."

To get into the role of Frank T. Hopkins, Mortensen went to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to learn about Lakota culture. He took part in the annual Big Foot Ride to honor the victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre of December 29, 1890.

"I was very fortunate to be able to participate in a very honorable ride that takes place every year between Christmas and New Year's to commemorate the people who suffered in the massacre at Wounded Knee," he told The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "A lot of people befriended me [at Pine Ridge]. A lot of people invited me into their homes. I wanted to see them again."

According to the paper, Mortensen has written a book of poetry and taken photographs inspired by his visit to the Wounded Knee site. He has previously published a book of poetry.

Reviews of "Hidalgo" doubt its accuracy. According to The Detroit Free Press, Hopkins' claim that he was half-Lakota was "questionable at best." The Arizona Republic says Mortensen is not believable as an Indian.

Hopkins, as an Army courier, delivered the order to attack at Wounded Knee, which he witnessed The film isn't about the massacre, though, it's about Hopkins' participation in a 3,000-mile race across the Arabian desert.

Get the Story:
Viggo Mortensen avoids Hollywood's hype machine (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/5)
'Hidalgo' a test in endurance (The Detroit Free Press 3/5)
Bill Muller: Hidalgo (The Arizona Republic 3/5)
'Hidalgo' stumbles but still wins (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/5)

Relevant Links:
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