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Used to be a fashion commandment: “No brown in town.” And so businessmen would robotically wear gray or navy every day. Well, that rule, like a lot of rules, has been wadded up and tossed out the office window. Here, Danish badass Mads Mikkelsen shows why a suit in tobacco, copper, or coffee has gone from kinda stuffy to totally cutting-edge.

Have We All Gone Mads?

Mads Mikkelsen has a different take on Hannibal Lecter than the rest of us. Whereas we see a sociopath who, you know, eats people, he just sees a sophisticated dude living his best life. “He’s actually one of the more positive characters I’ve ever played,” says Mikkelsen, the latest actor to portray the iconic killer, this time for NBC’s lush, surprisingly well-done drama series Hannibal. “He’s not haunted by anything. He loves everything that’s beautiful about life—food, wine, fine art.” It’s not that Mikkelsen likes Lecter—he just thinks it’s his actorly duty “to find the good in a bad guy.”

Mikkelsen has had a lot of practice at that. Here in America, his very Scandinavian features—icy gaze, preposterous cheekbones—make “scary guy” job offers fall from the sky. (He was the bloody-teardrop villain in Casino Royale.) But back home in Denmark, Mikkelsen (his first name, a variation on Matthew, is pronounced mahs) tends to get cast as an Everyman, like the kindergarten teacher wrongly accused of pedophilia whom he plays in The Hunt. Over there, women’s magazines have repeatedly crowned him the country’s sexiest man. Why do they see killer looks and we just see a killer? “Let’s attribute it to the funny accent,” he says. Oh yeah, sure, it’s totally the accent.—Taffy Brodesser-Akner

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