With mads mikkelsen now firmly part of Harry Potter world, I decided to have a look at some of the Danish actors best performances.
Did you know he’s now in 4 major franchises Harry Potter, Star Wars, James Bond and Marvel (Dr Strange villain Kaecilius )?
Once again these choices are personal and not in order of best to worst, just choices. So not every film or show might be on this list.
HANNIBAL –Hannibal Lector
Let’s star with the small screen and Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal. We all know about Anthony Hopkins as the iconic charming but dangerous forensic psychiatrist is arguably one of the best casting decisions for a television series in the last decade. Magnetic, mysterious, devilish, masterful, like playing chess with Hugh Dancy as the FBI Profiler Will Graham who was like the pawn. Mikkelsen is captivating.
VALHALLA RISING (one eye)
Nicolas Winding Refn’s Viking odyssey is like a love letter to Jodorowsky’s El Topo even Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Mikkelsen plays mute Norse warrior One Eye, who faces Christian Crusaders, and joins on a quest to the Holy land that ends up in the undiscovered country we now known as USA. Visually this is astounding, violent and you could say Ryan Gosling ‘Driver’ might be inspired by One Eye. Mikkelsen seems to have the aura of Toshiro Mifune . A cathartic, ferocious film.
There’s something about Mikkelsen when it comes to characters that say very little, he’s a tour de force. Joe Penna’s 2019 survival thriller with Mikelsen delivering a intense eloquent performance as Overgard who finds himself stranded in the a remote part of the arctic after the plane he was in crashes. He struggles to survive, planning his route of escape and an opportunity arises making him change his plans. The minimal story arc and film overall is a testament to his acting , his physicality carries this film to something profound even existential
MEN AND CHICKEN (Elias)
This choice might surprise some , it’s probably one thats divisive amongst critics even cinephiles. This one is a comedy in the slapstick variety like a homage to Marx Brothers. Darkly deadpan film from Anders Thomas Jensen who directed Riders Of Justice which was released in the UK. It’s a peculiar journey of a family coming together and trying to accept each other as one.
A ROYAL AFFAIR ( Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee )
a historical drama starring alongside soon to be Oscar winner Alica Vikander a film about the Danish Royal family in 18th Century. A tale of forbidden romance Mikkelsen playing the Royal Doctor King Christian VII , well respected who has an affair with the queen. The film gained noinations such as best foreign feature at the Oscars in 2013 and wins in various other awards ceremonies and festivals worldwide. At this time Mikkelsen was known thanks to the next film worldwide, this film helped to propel him even further, it also captulated Vikander internationally too. A tremendous, tragic complex performance that even made him a bit of a sex symbol to certain age groups of women.
CASINO ROYALE (Le Chiffre)
His breakout role internationally playing in Daniel Craig’s debut Bond film Casino Royale. It was a brutal, violent at times James Bond film that changed the franchise in direction. He plays master criminal Le Chiffre , with the trademark Bond villain disfigurement with the scared left eye, immaculately dressed like Bond. He is the stripped down villain, sadastic, cunning, absolutely memorable
THE HUNT (Lucas)
The first of two Thomas Vinteberg films Mads stars in, the director who seems to get the best out of the actor. This is a hard watch, a film that looks at the mass hysteria of a teacher being accused of sexual abuse. He’s wrongly accused and no abuse actually happens within the film. Showcasing the perspective of Lucas and the child nor does it offer straight up answers which gives this film realism. A career highlight that shows off Mads range, and he’s blessed with great acting chops and rightly winning praise including best actor at Cannes Film Festival the year it was released.
ANOTHER ROUND (Lucas)
The Oscar winning film , a dramaedy four schoolteachers looking for change in their daily lives. They experiment with drink to see how it would impact those lives. Mads is intoxicating and electrifying. Carries this film perfectly and even shows off his dance moves too!
Other notable entries are The Pusher Trilogy, Rogue One: Stars Wars Story, After The Wedding , Riders Of Justice, The Salvation