HOLLYWOOD star Viggo Mortensen has said he’d love to explore his Scottish heritage following the UK premiere of his new film in Glasgow.

The three-time Oscar nominee, well-known for his portrayal of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, told reporters on the red carpet on Sunday that his mother’s family had links to Scotland.

He took part in a Q&A session following a screening of his new film The Dead Don’t Hurt – which he directed, wrote and starred in alongside Scottish actor Solly McLeod.

Speaking to The National after the premiere, Mortensen (below) said: “I’d been to Edinburgh for the festival. I loved going by train up to Edinburgh from London.”

The National:

However, he admitted that there is more of Scotland that he would love to explore, particularly given his family history.

He adds that he sees many similarities between parts of Scotland and various areas of northern Europe.

“I know all of Scandinavia really well and places like Iceland and the Faroe Islands. I guess the north of Scotland must look like the Faroe Islands,” he says.

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“I like that landscape and I’ve heard the accents of people who are from the north (of Scotland) and the north west and the music sounds a lot more like say Norwegian.

“It’s interesting, even some words that are used are obviously from old Norse.”

Speaking specifically about his family history, he said: “On my mum’s side, her father, that side of the family went from Scotland to Nova Scotia and then eventually he went to the US where my mum was born.”

He’s a little unsure of the specifics though and points out that he believes it was somewhere in “western Scotland” where his family emigrated from.

The actor is, however, keen to find out more. 

“I’m not sure (where they're from) exactly. I want to investigate, I’d like to come back in summer and maybe rent a car and drive around." 

McLeod, who was originally born in Orkney and also spoke with The National, told his co-star the north of Scotland is “very Nordic” in character and encouraged him to visit his home.

“I would definitely do that (visit Orkney). I’ve seen pictures and would love to go,” Mortensen said.

“Let me know when you’re going and I’ll try make it coincide.”