‘Charlie Countryman’? A look back at Mads Mikkelsen’s career so far
It’s no secret that Mads Mikkelsen is a favorite over here at Film Daily. The incredible actor has charmed, scared, and entertained in every role he’s landed so far. He’s also set to replace Johnny Depp in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel. In honor of Mads’s brilliant casting, here’s our list of eight of his greatest hits.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
The name is Chiffre, Le Chiffre. Mads played the poker-loving Bond villain in this remake of the classic spy thriller. Mikkelsen is smooth & suave at the roulette table, but the moment Bond decides enough is enough, he buckles fast.
Audiences were thrilled at how Mikkelson’s cutthroat and cocky attitude melts the moment he realizes just how tough the best of MI6 can be. It’s one of many examples of Mikkelsen’s range and how to balance tough and human, especially as a villain.
2. Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky (2009)
Our next favorite is Mikkelsen as Igor Stravinsky, the famous Russian composer who fell for the lovely Coco Chanel in this tragic yet beautiful love story. It’s here we get to see how masterful Mikkelsen is in his subtlety, showcasing huge emotion in the smallest facial expressions. Those intimate moments make for a hypnotically compelling story and left us hanging until the very last note.
3. Clash of the Titans (2010)
From subtle artist to loud and proud badass, out next pick is Greek warrior Draco from godly epic remake Clash of the Titans. Mikkelsen here is a man of few words, but he ends up becoming a good teacher for Perseus, whose lack of military knowledge allows the two to form an organic and fantastic mentor-student dynamic, even as Perseus grows into his role as a demigod.
Draco also enjoys some comedic moments alongside the tragedy, culminating in his sacrifice at Medusa’s lair. The character keeps the stakes high as the age-old fight between Gods and men finally comes to a head (pun intended).
4. The Three Musketeers
It’s all for one in this case, as Mikkelsen’s Rochefort steals the show in this remake. While the Cardinal is the devious puppetmaster, Rochefort not only gives us a villain our protagonists can hit, but a calm, cocky cad we love to see thwarted by our fearsome foursome.
From the impressive swordplay to the hilarious banter, Rochefort steals the show at swordpoint, proving his blade and his wit alike are sharp as anything.
5. Charlie Countryman (2013)
From a sword-wielding soldier to a gangster with a temper, our next favorite is Nigel, the charismatic gangster ghost in Shia LeBouf original Charlie Countryman.
Mikkelsen showcases his physical and verbal range as a powerful, aggressive figure that haunts Gabi throughout the film. His depiction helps add to the graphic novel feel of the film by ramping up the tension in every scene he’s in. All we know is that this is the kinda guy you do not want to meet in this life or the one that comes after.
6. Hannibal (2013 – 2015)
This is perhaps Mikkelsen’s most famous role. His calm and calculating Dr. Hannibal Lector shook the spines and thrilled the minds of many fans over the show’s two-year run.
Mikkelsen lends Dr. Lecter not only a mesmerizingly powerful confidence, but also portrays a journey into the meaning of empathy, a larger theme Hannibal explores. Mikkelsen’s performance is one to be remembered and the show can begin countless friendly debates over any dinner table (animal meat only, please).
7. Rogue One (2016)
From big roles to small, Mikkelsen’s able to take command of the screen. In the case of Galen Erso, his short time creates an impact felt galaxies away. Erso’s intelligence and poise are admirable as well as compelling, which makes his swift fall and death all the more impactful for both the audience and Jyn. All in all, Erso’s plan against the return of the Death Star launches the story that outlives even the stars.
8. Doctor Strange (2016)
The MCU is a monolith of cinema, with heroes and villains so distinct and colorful we can’t help but love them. In this case, Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius, the villain of this magical film, steals the show with not only his incredible moves but his aloof, almost bored attitude.
Whereas other MCU villains are known for their bombastic or cunning nature, Kaecilius’s calmness indicates more danger, matching the unsure Doctor who chooses to take him on.
Alongside this quiet menace, Kaecilius participates in quirky comedic moments to match the colorful palette of the film. In short, this is a villain on whose bad side you do not want to be on. His magic and wit are weapons even Dormamu cannot defeat.
We wish Mads Mikkelsen a happy birthday and raise a glass to the man who’s given us so many soulful heroes and terrifying villains. We cannot wait to see what comes next from this talented actor.