Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor with a career well divided in two. The one he has in Hollywood and the one he has in Europe where he usually appears in auteur cinema. In Hollywood he has been pigeonholed as the villain, it is not the role they always give him, but it is the most usual. If we think about it, his most representative role on this side of the pond is that of Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal. And his future as a villain seems to be well established in the near future, we will see it in the fifth part of Indiana Jones and the temple of doom – 84% and also as the new Grindelwald in the third part of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – 73%, thanks to the Johnny Depp scandals.
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The reality is that this is how Hollywood works. An actor works in a certain role and they start to hire him for pure equivalent roles. This is known as typecasting. This is how this industry works and it is a strategy for people to feel a certain familiarity when seeing that a certain actor is going to play a specific character, although this can work against it. Above all, if they take an actor who usually plays villains and put him in the role of a character that at first you do not know what he is going to do. This creates a kind of unintentional spoiler.
The actor recently met with Indiewire and told them that he is ready to do other types of roles in Hollywood. He is grateful when he is given the opportunity to play other types of characters, but he is also aware that it is a privilege as an actor to be able to play villains in iconic franchises such as James Bond, Indiana Jones or the MCU:
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I play misunderstood people. I’ve had some character roles that aren’t villains, but tend to be evil; I made an American movie called Arctic. He’s not a villain so I’m thankful for that. Perhaps times will change and people will start to see more Danish cinema. Maybe they will begin to accept that a character that is a common man can have a funny accent. If that is not the case, I am happy with what I do. I am happy to have been invited to great franchises like Bond, Marvel and Indiana Jones. It’s a luxury, if that’s what is going to keep coming my way, that’s pretty good for me. If you want me to do anything else, I will try.
They also asked him what he thought about not appearing in the remake of Druk (Another Round – 96%). He said he’s glad he doesn’t have to play the same role twice because that’s not something that should be done at the movies:
I’m glad I’m not a part of it. That is what we did. Unlike the theater, in which you can play a role one year and then do it again a couple of years later, the little moments that we do in the cinema are things that happen in the here and now, something interesting that your partner actor brought to the set that day. I would probably want to change the scenes again. It is not something that should ever happen. It’s gruesome to play the same character again. Someone else had better do it.
He also mentioned that something that helps him a lot is interspersing his European dramatic films with those he does in Hollywood and said he is grateful to be able to make films with the United States studios:
I dive deep into making these characters that leave me dry. I don’t think I could do those kinds of movies one after the other. Neither do Hollywood productions. I grew up fascinated by Hollywood movies when I was a kid. Without warning, I am invited into that universe. I’m thankful. I started in complex dramas. I can do both.
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