Viggo Mortensen. (Courtesy photo)

Viggo Mortensen. (Courtesy photo)

Scoop: Viggo Mortensen joins academy after holding out

Joining the Motion Picture Academy is seen by many as one of the world’s most exclusive and prestigious memberships, an elite recognition in a profession that is admired and envied the world over. For others, not so much.

Membership invitations went out to a list of 774 industry professionals released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday ­— names that include “Get Out” director Jordan Peele and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot —but those invitees still have to actually accept the invitation.

Among the most famous known to decline an academy membership over the years are Oscar winners Woody Allen and George Lucas. And until now, that small list of holdouts has included actor Viggo Mortensen.

He was first invited to join in 2004, after starring in the Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and declined. Mortensen was subsequently nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for “Eastern Promises,” and was nominated again this year for his role in “Captain Fantastic” as a father with unconventional ideas about parenting.

He was once again among the academy invitees on Wednesday morning. A spokesperson for Mortensen said the actor would accept this time but declined to offer any further statement.

In a 2012 article in The Times, a representative for Mortensen explained his previous decision not to accept the membership by saying, “Viggo does not like judging art officially.”

Last year after filmmaker Ryan Coogler was invited to join, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that he did not return his acceptance letter. Coogler’s 2015 film “Creed” was among those that amplified the conversation around diversity, representation and awards after the only Oscar nominee from the movie was
Sylvester Stallone for supporting actor. Coogler, currently finishing Marvel’s much-anticipated “Black Panther,” could not be reached for confirmation as to whether he joined the academy.

Among those known to have declined membership, none stands out quite like four-time Oscar-winner Allen. As previously reported by The Times, over several years, the academy sent Allen numerous invitations to join, but he never responded.

Finally, then-academy President Karl Malden mailed Allen a letter promising that if the filmmaker made a sizable donation to the academy’s fundraising effort for its library, the group would leave him alone. Allen is said to have replied with a check within a week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Actress Olivia Munn is 37 … Singer Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets is 48 … TV chef Sandra Lee is 51 … Actress Yeardley Smith (”The Simpsons”) is 53 … Actor Tom Cruise is 55 … Talk-show host Montel Williams is 61 … Writer Dave Barry is 70

Just Posted

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

Newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu will play a key role in an upcoming legal battle between gig economy companies and The City. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)
City Attorney David Chiu faces immediate test in major gig economy lawsuit

DoorDash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco over price controls

FILE — In-N-Out Burger, the popular California fast-food chain, is resisting San Francisco's public health rules that require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination. (J. Emilio Flores/The New York Times)
When it comes to San Francisco vaccine rules, In-N-Out should heed Biblical advice

Burger chain’s vaccine fight distracts from its tasty burgers and French fries controversy

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five SF stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten city leaders about crime’s effect on business

Lake Hennessey, a reservoir for Napa, looked dry in June. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and asked residents to redouble water conservation efforts. (Mike Kai Chen/New York Times)
Newsom declares drought emergency across California

State closed out its second-driest water year on record

Most Read