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Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal

You could give Mikkelsen points simply for being brave enough to take on the iconic role of cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. But that would be unfair, since the Danish actor does so much more than that. Mikkelsen effortlessly mixes charm with menace and uses a simple smirk or a cutting eye to let viewers see what’s going on in Lecter’s twisted mind. As the wily devil on Will Graham’s (often disturbed) shoulder, Mikkelsen’s understated performance is not only different from Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning turn, but it also makes the latter seem needlessly hammy by comparison. He didn’t just take on the role — he reinvented it.

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