Mads Mikkelsen Source
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TV Serien-Highlights – A star with rough edges

Source : TV Serien-Highlights, translated by Eli.
Date : January 2014

There is 5,4 Million Danes. The most famous of them nowadays is surely Mads Mikkelsen, who became an international star with his outrageous mix of hard masculinity and soulful eyes. First in cinema and now also on TV. For the role of Hanniba he also blow the chance to play the villain Malekith in the new Thor movie.

Mads Dittman Mikkelsen was born on 22 November 1965 in the district Osterbro in Copenhagen. His mother’s name is Bente Christiansen, his father’s Henning Mikkelsen, his brother is named Lars. Nothing could have predict that the son would become an actor. After finishing school, he attended the Arhus theatre school, where he got his formal education.

First success
1996 – Mads Mikkelsen was in three films, most importantly, Pusher, the first film of Nicholas Windig Refn, with whom Mikkelsen will work a few times. The film tells a dirty little story from the drug scene and was internationally successful in festivals. In the second part, but also in Bleeder (1999), the director and the actor worked together again.

Bleeder is a drastically drama, where Mikkelsen played the leading role besides Kim Bodnia. Bodnia is Leo, a good-for-nothing, who hangs out with his buddies from a video store, but now needs a job because his girl friend Louse is pregnant – without asking him. Leo is increasingly aggressive, conjuring a brutal confrontation with Louise’s also violent brother. Just like Pusher, Bleeder is a film that shows the ugliness of life, with characters that seem larger than life – or at least this is the case with Mikkelsen’s part. Mikkelsen was at the right place at the right time. When he began his acting career, the Danish movie scene began to reinvent itself. And Mikkelsen quickly became one of the stars of this new movement in addition to Kim Bodnia and Ulrich Thomsen.

Hollywood calling
With Thomsen he played in the comedy Flickering Lights (2000). For Ole Bornedal he stood in front of the camera for Dina (2002) and with Wilbur Want To Kill Himself he caught international attention. Little later Hollywood called.
Antoine Fuqua directed the historical movie King Arthur (2004) for Jerry Bruckheimer. He casted the knights around Arthur from different nations. And he had noticed Mads Mikkelsen before, so he wanted to have him as Tristan.
Quite different, he showed up in Adams Apples (2005). Here he plays a very quiet, soulful role, a country priest named Ivan, who takes care for offenders during their rehabilitation in his church. This goes well until the character Adam played by Ulrich Thomsen comes. He is an all through evil human, his bible is Hilter’s Mein Kampf and he has only one goal: to tear down the fucking job in the church as soon as possible and return to his comrades. But the very first encounter with the harmony-seeking pastor threatens to escalate.

Here Mikkelsen shows an acting spectrum and frequently emotion darting over his harsh face, associated with a look that reflects the infinite sorrow.

Mikkelsen itself took it very well to the point: “He’s strange, funny, disturbing. And comes from a great director, who has something of a Danish Coen brother. Above all, he is not politically correct. Political correctness promotes so much of what is bad.

In a similar direction was After The Wedding (2006). Mikkelsen is Jacob, who has worked as head of an orphanage in India. When the orphanage is threatened with closure, Jacob receives from Jorgen, a Danish businessman, an unusual offer. He offers the orphanage a generous donation, but it is linked to a strange condition: Jacob himself must travel to Europe and sign the contract. The result is a quiet drama about first love, the mental return to it and discovering that the past often brings surprises.

At the end of 2006, he became the super criminal Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

Preparing for his role Mikkelsen decided quite deliberately, not to read Ian Fleming’s novel before filming Casino Royale, but preferred to develop his character exclusively from the script and after discussions with director Martin Champbell.

For him, Le Chiffre was not the typical Bond villain. Instead of a megalomaniac madman who tried to take over the world, Le Chiffre is an amoral criminal mastermind with an insatiable hunger for hard currency.

His favorite Bond villain is by the way Christopher Walken in A View to Kill. Mikkelsen: “He had what makes a good villain: There was at the same time something good and something bad in him.”

Many other actors would now perhaps move to Los Angeles, but not Mikkelsen. He remained in his native Denmark.

International success
Mikkelsen mixed up furthermore Danish and international productions and played what challenged his acting, such as the fourth collaboration with Nicolas Windig Refn. The result is Valhalla Rising (2009). Mikkelsen plays in the year 1000 after J-C the warrior “One-Eye”, who is held as a slave and forced to brutal exhibition battles, until he manages to escape.

Those who expect a simple action movie has probably never understood what distinguishes the work of Nicolas Windig Refn. He is importing the qualities of his other films also here, whereas he’s putting together contemplative scenes with violence and thereby creates a cinematic world that appears raw and believable.

Besides Valhalla Rising, Mikkelsen played in 2009 in the German film The Door, in which a couple has to overcome a tragic accident. The film was shot in Babelsberg. The cooperation with Mikkelsen was easy for director Anno Saul, because the actor reasonably understands German and speaks also a little.

Only for the paycheck, he acted well in the lame fantasy film Clash of the Titans (2010). Later he was Rochefort in Paul W. A. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers (2011) and since 2013 he featured in an U.S. television series. He plays in Hannibal, not the Punic war lord, but none other than the cannibal Hannibal Lecter. In movies, he was also recently seen in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt who exemplifies how reputation and the life of a man can be destroyed. He plays a kindergarten teacher, who is accused by one of the girls of abusing her. Only a lie, but everyone believes her.

Private Life
Mads Mikkelsen leads a very retired life. He prefers to keep his private life private. But it is known, however, that he is married to Hanne Jacobsen since 1987 and has two children named Viola and Carl.

Mikkelsen is involved as a Goodwill Ambassador for the organization “Refugees United”. Several times he was elected in his home for sexiest man in Denmark. He would rather be the sexiest than the ugliest man in Denmark…