Mads Mikkelsen Source
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Mads Interview at Monster-Mania

Source: shoesandstarships
Date: August 19, 2014

Amy: Hi, Mads! How is your convention weekend going so far?
Mads Mikkelsen: It’s fantastic. A line of fantastic nice people who love the show, so who can ask for anything else?

Amy: Exactly! So, as I mentioned when I got your autograph, you have a really eclectic body of work. What do you look for when choosing a role?
MM: Well, first of all I have to fall in love with the script somehow. I might not understand it totally, but it has to fascinate me somehow. Secondly, if that’s there, I have to meet and talk to the director. I have to figure out that we can at least discuss stuff. If we’re talking two different languages, it’s not gonna happen. I can definitely disagree with people, as long as we can talk. So, director and script are the most important things for me.

Amy: You’ve done a lot of period work lately. Do you have a preference for that sort of work, or is that just how it happened to shake down?
MM: I’ve done it recently, a couple period things, but I think overall maybe 4 out of 20 things have been period pieces, so I think any period piece needs to tell a contemporary story if I have to be interested in doing it. As it has been so far with the stuff I’ve done.

Amy: The languages and the physicality of the roles have been very different. You have something like Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky that’s very cerebral, and then you have something that’s all on horseback and in chainmail. How do you approach a new character like that, what’s the most challenging?
MM: Obviously doing Igor Stravinsky was a challenge just because I had to speak French and Russian AND play piano AND conduct a 70-man big orchestra and I knew nothing about any of those things. So that was just back to the school table, starting from scratch, learning the languages and picking it up. Then when you start doing something on horseback, you have to go through learning how to ride. Once you sit there – and it’s always the case that my characters are much better horseback riders or pianists than I am – so once you’re there you forget about sitting on the horse. When I’m myself it is always much more difficult.

Amy: I noticed that Hugh Dancy was also in King Arthur. You two had already worked together!
MM: Yes, he was in King Arthur and we had a good six months, sitting on horseback and we become friends already, 10 years ago! So we were just very fortunate that we landed on the same show here. It is a very intense part for both of us and we spend a lot of time together, and I’m just really pleased and so happy that it could be with somebody that I know well.

Amy: You guys definitely have great chemistry together. Which brings us to the finale of Hannibal! I found it to be really brutal. I blog about the show, I recap it generally the week afterward, and then for the finale, I waited. I didn’t blog right away, I needed to process it. It was so brutal, and you know Hannibal is a brutal person, but the way Bryan Fuller shoots things, you see the after effects of the work, not the process of killing as often. How did you feel about that?
MM: Yes, it was brutal, and it was brutal for us as well. I think we were all very pleased it went down that path, and it’s also funny that it’s so radical. And it could be no other way. I have to clean up. I have to cleanse, and I have to walk out in the rain and start all over again. But, if I’m not mistaken, if I wanted to kill them I would have done something else. I wanted to teach them all a lesson.

Amy: Aha! So, do you already know who lives and dies, or is that a secret that Fuller is keeping from the cast?
MM: I have a hunch! If I knew it for sure, I wouldn’t tell. {gives me a sneaky smile. Darn you!}

Amy: My guess is that Jack (Lawrence Fishburne) will no longer be with us and that everyone else will live. Although I don’t know about Abigail. She might die. Her wound was the most fatal, I think.
MM: Yeah but she’s survived it twice! We never know. {INTERESTING.}

Amy: What did you think of Abigail just…appearing like that? As a viewer, I was surprised!
MM: Not a big surprise for me. I knew there was no reason for Hannibal to kill, and I had a hunch that I would keep her as a present for me and Will, so we could go into the future as a happy family. But he didn’t want it, he didn’t embrace it. So, obviously, I had to do what I did.

Amy: Speaking of being on the run, I love Gillian Anderson. I am a huge X-Files fan from way back. So are you guys going to be playing house in the new season?
MM: Right now it seems to me that since I’m on the run and she’s with me, I am expecting at least a few good scenes with her.

Amy: I am so looking forward to that! As for the rest of the women on Hannibal, I blog a lot women in the genre and women in fandom, and many of the women on Hannibal seem to be victims. Some are strong at the same time, but victims nonetheless. Like Bella is a victim of her cancer, and of Hannibal, and Miriam Lass is Hannibal’s victim, and Freddie is a victim of Dr. Gideon. and Alana! Don’t get me started on Alana! I was so mad at her in the finale! Running up the stairs like a horror movie cliche!
MM: Everyone is kind of a victim here, except for Hannibal. I think Bryan has a good eye for the strong individual characters, and that goes for the female characters as well. We have another Verger, as we say, and she might be a victim but she’s also an executioner herself. She’s a Verger, they are not healthy people.

Amy: No, they are not, for sure. So you are on the run – are you in Italy or in France?
MM: I don’t know yet! Not yet.

Amy: The plane was heading to Paris, but Bryan Fuller recently said that all the dishes, the episode titles, will be Italian.
MM: So, sounds like Italy. You know more than I do at this point! {lol oh dear!}

Amy: You are obviously very well-traveled and know several languages, and have done movies in many locations. What are your favorite places to visit?
MM: I’ve shot in numerous places and I love everywhere I go, but one specific place that really caught my attention and I fell in love with was Iceland. Iceland –

Amy: (in which I rudely interrupt) Iceland! I am going there in November with my husband! It is going to be so great!
MM: You’re kidding! Well, November might be a tough one for you because it is going to be pitch dark a lot of the day.

Amy: We’re going to see the northern lights, so I hope so!
MM: Oh, that’s good then. I went in summer and it was like this (gestures to the sunny, 80-degree temps and clear skies) 24/7. Iceland is spectacular. Not only because of the landscape and the country itself, but because of the people. They are amazing. You will see for yourself, I can’t even tell you what it is. There’s something magic about the place.

Amy: Ok, one more Hannibal question. Does Hannibal love Will? Or, should I say, does Hannibal love Will the way the fans want Hannibal to love Will? {oh the fanfic…}
MM: I know that he loves Will. He’s the closest he’s come to anyone he’s ever loved. And that’s not in a sexual way, but in a mental way. He sees a mirror image of himself in Will. Will Graham is obviously a man who is full of empathy, but he can’t control it. I’m a man full of empathy but I’m in total control of it. So I see that mirror image and I’m sure I can help and guide the young man down his path. This beautiful path that I will show him.

Amy: What about Alana? Do you think he felt anything for Alana, or was he just using her?
MM: No, he wasn’t using her. He’s not a liar, he doesn’t have a master plan. He –

Amy: You don’t think he has a master plan?? I think he does!
MM: No, he doesn’t have a master plan. He loves living from one day to the other. He love improvising. For him, it’s life. He wouldn’t even mind going to jail. He will take it as a challenge, and figure out how to survive, and how to get out. So yes, he definitely, definitely cared about Alana.

Amy: Interesting! Especially because he stepped over her, it was so cold.
MM: That chapter was done, and he’s a man who can clean the blackboard.

Amy: Let’s end on a sweet note – what is your favorite dessert?
MM: My favorite dessert must be a very simple thing – vanilla ice cream and strawberries. With a little chocolate on top.

Amy: That sounds good! And thank you so much for sitting down and talking with me.
MM: You are so welcome!