Is Mads Mikkelsen the best actor you’ve never heard of….
Danish Actor Mads Mikkelsen was recently honoured at the European Film Awards with a gong for European Achievement in World Cinema. Mikkelsen is arguably best known for his handsomely creepy bad guy role Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, but is relatively unknown by name apart from this. Movies.ie takes a look at Mikkelsen’s top performances to date, and gives you a little more information on Mikkelsen – possibly the best actor you have never heard of.
Valhalla Rising (2009)
Mads Mikkelsen has an ongoing professional relationship with Nicolas Winding Refn; the actor first saw international success in the director’s films Pusher and Pusher II. Valhalla Rising was his third collaboration with Winding Refn. In Valhalla Rising, Mikkelsen played One Eye; a mute Norse warrior who has been held captive to fight against other men for sport. When he eventually fights for his freedom, and wins, One Eye sets out on a crusade to Jerusalem in search for vengeance and redemption.
Open Hearts (2002)
Open Hearts tells the story of two couples whose lives are devastated by a tragic car accident. Mikkelsen plays Neils – a doctor at the hospital where the victims are taken – it is not long before Neils and the fiancée of one of the victims embark on a passionate affair, resulting in the devastation of their families.
Open Hearts was directed by Danish director Susanne Bier, who is already rumoured to be in the Oscar race for Haevnen (In A Better World). Mikkelsen won Best Actor at the Bodil Awards (Danish Film Awards) for his role in Open Hearts. Mikkelsen collaborated with Susanne Bier again for the 2006 film, After The Wedding.
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale was the reboot of the highly successful franchise and is set at the beginning of Bond’s career, just as he earns his Licence to Kill. Mads Mikkelsen plays Le Chiffre (The Cypher or The Number), private banker to the world’s terrorists and the main antagonist of the film.
During the film, it is implied that Le Chiffre was involved in the 9/11 attacks or at the very least, deliberately made a profit from them. In Casino Royale, Bond makes sure that he loses an investment of over $100 million so that he will be forced to take part in a high stakes poker game to win the money back. When everything goes wrong for Bond, Le Chiffre tortures him by whipping him in the testicles with a knotted rope. Evil indeed.
Adam’s Apples (2005)
Mads Mikkelsen plays Ivan, a priest in a rural church, which is recognised by the apples that grow outside it. In this comedy drama, Ivan is the head of a small religious community that rehabilitates former prisoners. When Ivan meets Adam, the former leader of a neo-Nazi gang, the pair form a bond over an apple tree and Adam’s determination to bake an apple pie. Mads Mikkelsen was nominated for the Robert Award for Best Supporting Actor (a Danish Film Award) for his role in this film.
Flame and Citron (2008)
Flame and Citron is a Danish film based on a true story of two Danish resistance movement fighters during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Mads Mikkelsen plays Jorgen Haagen Schmith (known as Citron) who, along with his colleague Citron, assassinated high ranking members of the Nazi party and their Danish collaborators. Mads Mikkelsen was nominated for several awards for his performance, including Best Actor at the European Film Awards 2008.
Movies.ie now turns it over to you, what are your favourite performances from the incredibly talented Mads Mikkelsen?