The Role That ‘Shattered’ Acting for Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor that has been in various television and movie roles since 1996. His distinct voice and likable personality have garnered him a dedicated fan base over the years, and he has cemented himself as a talented and versatile actor in a wide variety of roles. Born in Copenhagen and originally a dancer, Mikkelsen is one interesting guy, especially when it comes to his changed perception on acting after one of his early roles. 

Mikkelsen’s role in a Danish police drama ‘shattered’ his perception of acting

Mads Mikkelsen attends the premiere of 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' at the Pantages Theatre on December 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California.
Mads Mikkelsen | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Many actors and celebrities have been candid about how jarring it is to be catapulted into the spotlight, and experiencing overnight recognition in everyday life was a difficult transition for Mikkelsen at first. According to Mental Floss, after acting on the Danish series Unit One, Mikkelsen felt his life change, and not necessarily for the better in his mind. 

He described this phenomenon to The Wall Street Journal, stating, “Once I hit the TV screen, it was a very different story from one day to the other. Everybody recognized you on the street. My romantic idea about being an actor was shattered completely.”

Despite feeling understandably overwhelmed by his widespread fame in Denmark, Mikkelsen didn’t shy away from acting, though he does seem to enjoy keeping a low profile in his personal life. 

Other notable Mikkelsen roles

Mikkelsen’s IMDb credit page is as long as it is impressive, listing a balanced mix of short films, movies, television shows, and even voice acting for a few video games. After starring in the television series mentioned above, Mikkelsen went on to play Le Chiffre in the popular movie Casino Royale in 2006, Draco in the 2010 Clash of the Titans film, and Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016. 

Perhaps his most notable work is his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the television series Hannibal that aired from 2013-2015. Mikkelsen seems drawn to dark roles, and he even told Vulture that he typically prefers darker endings to happy ones in movies and shows. 

Interestingly, Mikkelsen also played a small role as an accountant in the music video for Rihanna‘s song “Bitch Better Have My Money”. His most recent movie role was Mayor Prentiss in the film Chaos Walking

Mikkelsen’s upcoming projects

Mikkelsen has a couple of projects that are set to arrive in theaters in 2022, and one that does not yet have a release date. Perhaps the most anticipated of the three is his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3. The role of Grindelwald was played by Johnny Depp in the first and second movies of the series, and many anxiously await seeing Mikkelsen’s performance in the film. 

His second film set to be released in 2022 is a mysteriously untitled Indiana Jones Project. According to IMDb, this film will also feature Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Toby Jones, and of course, Harrison Ford. There is no word yet on the plot of the movie, though IMDb does report that much of the filming has been done in Ireland. 

Finally, Mikkelsen is set to portray Adolf Tolkachev in The Billion Dollar Spy, based on a book by David E. Hoffman of the same name. The production experienced a bit of drama when Armie Hammer was dropped from the cast following sexual abuse allegations in March of 2021. 

Those who enjoy Mikkelsen’s brilliant acting have plenty of upcoming works to look forward to, and it will be exciting to see what roles he takes on even further in the future. 

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