It is surprising, really, that Mads Mikkelsen hasn't played more Vikings. So far, there has just been the one: the lethal, mute, barbaric, half-blind gladiator called One-Eye in Nicolas Winding Refn's low-budget action fantasy Valhalla Rising. Perhaps there just aren't enough Viking films being made. Because Mikkelsen, with his winged cheekbones, a stare that seems fixed on a distant horizon and vague air of menace, was made to wield a broadsword. It is written in his Danish genes.
What is striking about the career of Mads Mikkelsen so far – he is 48 – is its sheer variety. In Denmark he has played a drug pusher, a courageous aid worker and a kindergarten teacher falsely accused of interfering with a little girl in Thomas Vinterburg's The Hunt, which was nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film this year. In the wider world, he is immediately recognisable as the blood-weeping villain Le Chiffre from Casino Royale, speaking English with that indeterminate European accent beloved of Hollywood. He has also worked in languages he doesn't speak at all: his presence is so powerful that directors want him anyway.
Full article at the source but some excerpts:
On scripts: "The problem is that you can't really read a script saying, 'Hmmm, I'll just see what this is'," he says. "You have to go right into it, you have to get engaged with it and once you are engaged, you want to do it! It's really difficult to get uninvolved."
On working with Refn: Mikkelsen did not start acting until he was 30; he was a dancer for eight years before acting school. In his first film Pusher (1996), directed by his friend Winding Refn, he starred as a drug pedlar working a few squalid blocks in Copenhagen. ''We were in love with Mean Streets and Taxi Driver," he says. "We had no idea why nothing remotely like that was done in Denmark."
Pusher marked the start of an ongoing partnership – he and Winding Refn have made five films together – that is both collaborative and combative. "He's from a part of Copenhagen where they don't have the best of manners," Winding Refn told The New York Times. "There's a lot of profanity involved."
On working with Von Trier: Curiously, these two great Danes have never worked together. Would Mikkelsen be prepared to put himself in the hands of the avant garde arch-manipulator? He laughs. "Maybe, it depends what he wants to do," he says. "I don't necessarily want to be naked and f--- somebody. I have great respect for Lars but I also see stuff [of his] that doesn't interest me at all."
On political correctness: He is rather more dismissive of the current surge of must-see Danish crime series on television. Too politically correct, in his opinion, with all those feisty, polymath policewomen pursuing bad guys into dark basements. "That doesn't happen! I don't mind – the girls are great actors and it's great there is a medium where they get work – but there has to be a balance between what is real and not real. I will never be a fan of any kind of political correctness: I think it's instant death to creativity."
Read more about Michael Kohlhaas, Cannes, horse birth, etc. at the SOURCE
I mean, if he's not into feisty policewomen pursuing bad guys into dark basements he might be in the wrong series..