Viggo Mortensen. A 2006 Toyota Prius. A three-day, 450-mile fund-raising tour in New York state.

It was an unusual campaign last week for a North Country doctor in his run for Congress.

Mortensen, a Watertown, N.Y., native, joined Robert Johnson on the campaign swing across 11 counties to speak out against America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

"People are still going to need cars," said Mortensen, star of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "It's not a question of making less cars, it's a question of making more fuel-efficient cars."

Mortensen helped Johnson raise about $16,000, plus $3,900 in two silent auctions that offered signed copies of Mortensen's films and books.

"He has brought our message to the electorate, and that's what we needed," Johnson said.

The Democrat is challenging Rep. John McHugh for the 23rd Congressional District seat.