Mads Mikkelsen: A Celebration of Almost Two Decades of Fantastic Acting

For the last issue of the magazine for the year 2014, I would like to mention a name of which much has been written along these six editions of Cinema Scandinavia. Well, this personality that I want to speak about, has shone in recent years on the big screen, and has elevated the name of the cinema from the corner of Europe to all the corners of the world. This man, this actor, who I’ve not yet mentioned (many may already be guessing who it is) is nothing less than the great Mads Mikkelsen.

Mads Mikkelsen dispenses great presentations for great lovers of the seventh art; this name is undoubtedly synonymous with success. But lets start at the beginning.

On the 22nd of November 1965 in Østerbro, one of the ten districts in Copenhagen, Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen is born. He is the son of Bente Christiansen and Henning Mikkelsen, and the younger brother of actor Lars Mikkelsen, and the two have crossed paths on the set of the film Flame and Citron (2008) and the Danish television series Rejseholdet (2002). He is married to actress and choreographer Hanne Jacobsen, and he has two kids. Mads Mikkelsen has been in the business for 18 years between cinema, television series, or animated films, with several papers and striking characters, the Danish actor is truly a chameleon actor.

I say chameleon, because it seems to be easy for him to wear the skin of Tony, a drug dealer in Pusher (1996) and Pusher II (2004), Allan Fischer, a detective inspector in the television seriesRejseholdet (2000-2004), Lucas, a kindergarten teacher who is accused of pedophilia in Jagten (2012), Ivan a priest in Adams Apples (2005), two villains – Le Chiffre in 007: Casino Royale (2006) and Rochefort in The Three Musketeers (2011), or so to do a forensic psychiatrist at the same time is a serial killer with skills to cannibalism and cooking, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (a character that was immortalised by Anthony Hopkins in the film Silence of the Lambs(1991)), television series Hannibal (2013-present). And besides these there are many more exciting performances that certainly remained in memory of those who saw his films.

Their debut, i.e. its first major appearance in the cinema is made by the hand from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn in Pusher, this was the film together with his great talent which opened doors for a great career that has been building year after year, film after film. A career that has the icing on the cake with his impeccable and monstrous interpretation in the film Jagten, in which he won one of the most prestigious awards an actor can get, the Cannes Festival Award for Best Actor in 2012 – in my opinion this award is to cinema as the FIFA Balloon d’Or is to football. But it was not the fact of having won this award that made him get more movies after that, no no, it just gave recognition for his work and talent over the years as an actor. As we can see in 2006, he entered the 007 club and did a magnificent job next to Daniel Craig to play the main villain, Le Chiffre, a banker who services many of the worlds terrorists, a mathematical genius and expert chess player and uses these skills when playing poker.

Mads Mikkelsen is a remarkable actor, full of great talent with tremendous versatility, or otherwise he could not play so many different characters. I am an avowed admirer of this actor. The feeling that gets us after knowing their job is much like that feeling of someone who is in love and feels a kind of butterflies in their belly, is superb the way how he grabs your character. The first contact I had with Mads was in the film Adams Apples (2005) and I was just fascinated with that priest and the man who gave him life, then the same happened in Valhalla Rising (2009), Flame and Citron, De Grønne slagtere (2003), Efter brylluppet (2006) or inJagten, and the same will happen in any other.

So I leave here strongly expressed for those who have not yet had the privilege of seeing Mads Mikkelsen in action, to do, but to do already, because there is a lot to lose.

It is said that Mads Mikkelsen joined the Århus Theatre School to study drama, but was more interested in being a dancer. I don’t know if the dance world lost a great dancer, but surely the cinema world would be poorer if he continued down this way.

I also take the proximity of the date of this issue with the date of your birthday. I would like to congratulate your forty-ninth birthday and to continue for many more years to delight us on the big screen!

CategoriesFeatures Issue 7

Paulo Antunes studied Art Studies at the University of Algarve in Faro, Portugal. He has worked in many different areas, from picking fruit to being a waiter in a restaurant, but has always had a passion for film and music. He has participated in the organisation of two film culture shows: the 5th Filmic Culture with the theme of the importance of music in the cinema, and the 2nd Filmic Culture with the theme of the theory of Superman. He completed a traineeship in CIAC and was also the manager of a Portuguese punk rock band named Defying Control. Currently he works on various film projects.