Mads Mikkelsen Source
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Cosmopolitan Interview

Source: Cosmopolitan (Translated by coulditbemagic
Date: September 2013

Let’s be honest.

Mads Mikkelsen.

Every month, Cosmo-Editor Melanie Jassner talks to celebrity men who we’re completely into.

This month: Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen on: Character

A well-lit, picture-perfect apartment in an old building in Copenhagen‘s city. This is where the agency of Mads Mikkelsen resides. Since he’s currently in his home town, we meet up there to talk about his new movie “Michael Kohlhaas” (in the theaters September 12th). In the film adaption of Kleist’s novel, the 47-year-old plays a horse dealer who, after experiencing injustice, takes matters into his own hands. We sit around an old wooden table with a bowl of nuts. “I already ate the good ones”, Mikkelsen says, chewing. He talks fast, with a husky, deep voice. Within 50 minutes, he smokes six non-filter cigarettes. At some point he puts his feet upon the table.

Mr. Mikkelsen, in the movie you’re galloping through the wild on a horse. Are you comfortable around horses?
I thought it would be easy because I could ride horses since “King Arthur”. But it wasn’t. In “Kohlhaas” we had stallions. Strong and beautiful, but a little crazy. They tried to bite me. Sometimes I had all the control, sometimes I didn’t. Just like skateboarding.

You skateboard?
I did as a child. Downhill and then straight into rose bushes. That was our way of braking.

Were you always this fearless?
Yes. I grew up 5 minutes from here (the shopping mile Kronprinsensgade). There used to be factories and cemeteries and we climbed everything. Even at night. I was small and quick, so I only injured myself every now and then but I was always dirty.

Do you still climb walls?
If it’s possible to climb it, I do.

Who was your idol when you were a little boy?
In the 60s and 70s, anyone who wasn’t “left”, was the devil. So I had a poster of Karl Marx in my bedroom. And one of Bruce Lee. From his movie “Game of Death”.

Have you ever tried karate?
Only one class, for one hour. I was a gymnast, so I only jumped and rolled around. I didn’t understand why I should put on my shoes and take a bow. They said I should come back when I’m ready. I never did.

Did you ever just sit still and read?
I loved reading! My first book was “The Brothers Lionheart” by Astrid Lindgren (he pronounces her name: Estrrid Lindgrren). It’s without a doubt the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. In contrast to Pippi Longstocking and Emil from Lönneberga, it’s one of her darker tales.

Your roles are also a little darker…
We’re all fascinated by dramas because they tell a lot about our human ways.

What fascinated you about Michael Kohlhaas?
His radical pursuit of justice. I have the same side in me. In every way. Sometimes I go too far in my search of justice. Luckily, not as far as him.

So you’ve never killed anyone.
No. But I can understand why people would do something like that in the name of justice. The problem is, we all have our own different versions of justice.

Have you ever taken law into your own hands?
Yes. I know that might not be the right thing to do but every now and then civil disobedience is necessary.

What did you do?
I can’t tell you (laughing). But it was nothing dramatic. Thank goodness.

Would you be arrested for it today?
Probably. Definitely a huge fine.

Aha, so the scary image you maintain because of your roles is not made up…
I don’t think I have such a scary image. Internationally, most people know me as the Bond villain or Hannibal Lecter. But I’ve also played a homosexual and a priest. There are movies in which I laugh! Really!

So are you dangerous or harmless?
I ask myself that same question. Up until now, there was never any reason for me to be dangerous. But I feel that deep down inside of me, there’s something that wouldn’t be so nice if it came out.

Luckily, you can act it out.
Yes, it’s great to be able to vent. Not only for the evil side in me but for any emotion.

Do you practice your evil stare in front of a mirror?
I’ve never been a fan of practicing things in front of a mirror. If you don’t feel something, it’s just posing.

You studied Modern Dance. It requires a little bit of posing. Do you still dance?
No. Not even at parties. If I dance, it has to be dramatic. Maybe I’ll learn how to tango with my wife one day. But we’re not old enough for that yet.

Is getting older a problem for you?
At the rate it’s going now, it’s fine. Somehow I have the feeling, there’s also gain in the process. Wrinkles are ok. What annoys me is looking dead tired on days I feel fit. It’s ok today because I’m tan.

What do you like about yourself, besides the tan?
(gives me a sweet but evil smile, without opening his lips) That I give everything my all. In any aspect. Commitment and passion are very important to me. People who disagree with that annoy me.

As a passionate Kohlhaas, you’re completely nude in one scene – your female fans will go wild. Do you receive lots of compliments for your looks?
No, if I ever receive a compliment it’s for my acting, not for my looks.

Are you vain?
Of course I am. But it’s a casual vanity, not a Beckham kind of vanity. I do a lot of sports, so most of the time I’m running around all sweaty in the gym. There’s no time for vanity.

Is it even possible for you to go out alone? After all, you’re Denmark’s most famous actor.
In Copenhagen I haven’t been able to do that for a very long time. I used to be in a Danish crime show on TV, so I was basically present in everyone’s living room.

So what do you do? You live here.
I live a little outside the city and I always go to the same shops. They’ve survived the first shock.

Now, to get back to your roles: We’ve never seen you in a science-fiction movie. Why not?
I’ve never been a big fan of the genre. I’ve found “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” boring. “Blade Runner” was fantastic. Depending on the story, it’s still possible for me to do that someday.

Would you like to play Superman?
No. I’d have to wear my underwear on top of my clothes. Also, he’s the most boring of all superheroes. All the others are struggling with disease or something inside of them. Superman’s only problem is that he’s from another planet. Which isn’t really a problem, right?

No superpowers for you then?
I’d love to be able to fly, that’d be damn cool.