North Stars

Viggo Mortensen dons Canadiens flag at Genie Awards

Clinton Gilders/FilmMagic

A dangerous method indeed! Viggo Mortensen played with fire Thursday night when he wrapped himself in a Montreal Canadiens flag while on the home turf of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 53-year-old actor was posing with his Genie Award for best-supporting actor for "A Dangerous Method" when he wrapped himself in the Habs flag to pledge his support for the Montreal hockey team.

No doubt he was also "teasing" Toronto Maple Leafs fans, the same way he did last year at the Toronto International Film Festival when he gave co-star Keira Knightley a Guy Lafleur jersey during the premiere of the David Cronenberg film, just to irritate the Toronto-born director.

Mortensen first went head-to-head with Cronenberg when he wore his Habs jersey on the set of his 2005 film "A History of Violence" -- the same jersey he hid underneath his armour while filming the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. No doubt he skipped cleaning it when he wore it again on the set of the post-apocalyptic film "The Road" in 2009.

But how did the Montreal hockey team become the favourite of a New York actor who currenly lives in Idaho? Mortensen told Canadiens magazine three years ago that it's all thanks to Radio-Canada.

"When I moved up to northern New York in 1970, we didn't have Internet or cable TV," he said. "I would listen to Canadiens games on Radio-Canada, which is actually how I started learning French; watching Montreal play in the early '70s is when I really started to learn about hockey. My favorite player was always Guy Lafleur. "

Though Mortensen was a big proponent of the "flair" and "great depth" of the legend-filled '70s team, it didn't hurt that Habs fans were also pretty inspiring.

"I guess it's easy to hang on as a fan since Montreal has had so much success," he said. "But there's still this die-hard quality that the fans have where you know that no matter what, that spirit isn't going anywhere."

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