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Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor who has achieved international fame and acclaim for his roles in films and TV shows such as Casino Royale, Hannibal, Doctor Strange, and Another Round. He is known for his versatility, charisma, and intensity, as well as his distinctive facial features. But before he became an actor, he was a professional dancer and gymnast, who had a passion for writing. In this blog post, we will explore the early life and career of Mads Mikkelsen, and how he transitioned from dancer to actor.
The Early Years
Mads Mikkelsen was born on 22 November 1965 in the district of Copenhagen, Denmark. He was the son of Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker. He had an older brother, Lars Mikkelsen, who would also become an actor. Mads grew up in the Nørrebro district, where he attended school and developed an interest in sports and arts.
Mads was a talented gymnast in his youth and wanted to pursue athletics as a career. However, he also had a love for dancing and decided to study ballet at the Balettakademien (ballet academy) in Gothenburg, Sweden. There, he became fluent in Swedish and learned various styles of dance, such as jazz, modern, and classical. He also met his future wife, Hanne Jacobsen, who was a choreographer and dancer.
Mads worked as a professional dancer for almost a decade, performing in various shows and theaters. He also had a dream of becoming a writer, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue it. However, he soon realized that writing was not his forte, and returned to Denmark.
The Acting Breakthrough
Mads decided to try acting as a new challenge, and enrolled at the Århus Theatre School in 1996. He graduated in 1996, and made his film debut in the same year as a drug dealer in Nicolas Winding Refn’s crime thriller Pusher. The film was a success in Denmark and abroad, and launched Mads’ acting career.
Mads continued to play marginalized and often comic roles in popular Danish films, such as Bleeder (1999), Flickering Lights (2000), The Green Butchers (2003), and Adam’s Apples (2005). He also starred in the Emmy-winning police series Unit One (2000-2004), where he played Detective Sergeant Allan Fischer. (Mads name Called Mads Mikkelsen Young Due to) Mads gained critical acclaim for his role as a young doctor who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his patients in Open Hearts (2002), directed by Susanne Bier. He won several awards for his performance, including the Rouen Nordic Film Festival Best Actor Award in 2003. He also received nominations for the Robert Award and the Bodil Award, two of the most prestigious Danish film awards.
The International Recognition
Mads achieved worldwide recognition for playing the main antagonist Le Chiffre in the twenty-first James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). He portrayed the cold-blooded banker and terrorist financier with subtlety and menace, creating one of the most memorable Bond villains ever. He also had a memorable scene where he tortured Bond (played by Daniel Craig) with a rope.
Mads went on to play diverse roles in international films, such as Igor Stravinsky in Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2008), Johann Friedrich Struensee in A Royal Affair (2012), Lucas in The Hunt (2012), Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal (2013-2015), Kaecilius in Doctor Strange (2016), Galen Erso in Rogue One (2016), Duncan Vizla in Polar (2019), Overgård in Arctic (2019), Martin in Another Round (2020), Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), and Jürgen Voller in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
Mads has won numerous awards and accolades for his performances, such as the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for The Hunt in 2012, the European Film Award for Best Actor for The Hunt and A Royal Affair in 2012, the Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television for Hannibal in 2014, the BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actor for Another Round in 2021, and many more.
Mads Mikkelsen is one of the most talented and versatile actors in the world, who has proven his skills and range in various genres and mediums. He is also one of the most successful and influential Danish actors of all time, who has brought attention and recognition to the Danish film industry. He is a star, an artist, and a face of the resurgent Danish cinema.