Known to us for his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter in the series “Hannibal”, in which he gave the reply to Caroline Dhavernas, the Danish Mads Mikkelsen knew how to carve out an enviable place for himself on the big screen. He takes over the role of Gellert Grindelwald, attributed to Johnny Depp, in “Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets”, in theaters on April 15.
After a career as a dancer that lasted 10 years, Mads Mikkelsen went to study drama at the Århus school in 1993. “It was a very ‘rock and roll’ project, with a handheld camera… We found our costumes ourselves, we borrowed a friend’s car,” recalls the actor of his first role. In “Pusher”, the very first feature film by Nicolas Winding Refn (“Cold Blood”), he plays the partner of a drug dealer. The feature film was an immediate success and launched both the career of the filmmaker and that of the actor.
“Casino Royale” (2006)
Mads Mikkelsen continues to land roles and builds a strong reputation in Denmark. He is chosen to dub the voice of Leon in the Danish version of “Monstres, Inc.” and begins to get noticed by Hollywood. Antoine Fuqua gave him a role in his 2004 “King Arthur” and he then became Le Chiffre, the antagonist in “Casino Royale”, the first James Bond to star Daniel Craig in 007. “Yes, I was a bit nervous. First, because I was far from home, then because I didn’t act in my mother tongue, but not because of the scale of the film. I knew it would be big, but I didn’t dwell on it”, he explains before indicating that he had lied during the audition, indicating to the producers that he had seen all the films of James Bond when he hadn’t watched any.
“The Silent Warrior” (2009)
His international career launched – he is Igor Stravinsky in “Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky” in 2009, the closing film of the Cannes Film Festival – he once again finds Nicolas Winding Refn for this feature film shot in Scotland and in English. He embodies One-Eye, a slave of the Vikings in the year 1000. “Nicolas wanted an almost inhuman, mute, neutral character. I then received the script, but I knew that was not what we would shoot. With Nicolas, we never shoot what is written, but what is in his head”, he reveals.
“The Hunt” (2012)
He pursued a discreet career in the United States, appearing in the credits of “Clash of the Titans” in 2010, then in the rereading of “The Three Musketeers” by Paul WS Anderson the following year. But it was his role as a daycare worker falsely accused of sexual assault in Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” that propelled him onto the international scene as he won the Best Actor award at Cannes. “The film tells how the immense love that one feels for a child can be transformed into immense fear and hatred,” he describes. The following year, he was chosen to lend his features to the cult character of Hannibal Reader in the “Hannibal” series. This role, which he will play during the 39 episodes of the NBC series, makes him nervous. “The fun part of playing a villain, and the most complex, is hoping that the storyline will give you the opportunity to explore different aspects of the character,” he says.
“Breathy test” – 2020
After a stint in “Doctor Strange” then in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in 2016, he reappears on the screens as a professor who uses alcohol to change his way of teaching and his relationship to his work in full pandemic. “I had shot “The Hunt” with Thomas Vinterberg and I wanted to do something else with him. The scenario also interested me a lot since it is the story of different lives and there is also the whole aspect of alcohol, ”he said at the time to the QMI Agency. “I always have something in common with my characters, that’s why I can understand the situations in which they find themselves”.