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Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen talks about playing the devil

Source: edmontonsun.com
Date: September 27, 2014

Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is glad that viewers sympathize with his incarnation of the charismatic cannibal.

“I would be worried if they did not,” Mikkelsen said. “On behalf of my job. On behalf of what I do.”

Mikkelsen is at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo that runs from Sept. 27 to 29. The 48-year-old Danish film icon notes that while Hannibal Lecter is capable of very terrible things, there are elements of him that we relate to on a fundamental level.

“If we are spending that much time with a character, we cannot just hate him,” he said. “We have to have something that intrigues us. Even though he is the fallen angel, he is the devil, people have always been fascinated with that. We invented God, if you don’t mind me saying that, then two hours later we invented Satan.”

It is Hannibal’s most human characteristics that Mikkelsen believes viewers are most drawn to. Hannibal takes what he wants and that is what fans pay obeisance to.

“He has a love of everything beautiful, which is beautiful music, beautiful wines, he does not have time for McDonald’s meat,” Mikkelsen explained. “He is worshipping things that the rest of us find horrifying. There is a real love to it, there isn’t an ego. It is a real love. Death is interesting, but life is most precious and interesting on the threshold to death. Something special happens there.”

As for Mikkelsen’s acting style, it seems to mesh perfectly with the needs of Hannibal Lecter.

“I’ve always wanted to take things further and genuine, taking things to the extreme is where the drama lies,” he said. “You cannot do that with everything. If you do a romantic comedy, it has to serve a purpose. You can’t have people breaking down for real. But, if you do a real drama, if people break down they should really break down. They shouldn’t just touch it. They should feel it.”