Friday, February 21, 2014

Mads Mikkelsen Week: Cool Guy

Mads Mikkelsen seems like a cool guy.  You know, like Zoolander, Billy Zane cool guy, the type you should listen to.  It must have been his performance in 2004's King Arthur that first caught my attention where he played the quiet, badass knight, Tristan.  In it, he knows how to throw knives, fights like a samurai, shoots people out of trees with a bow and arrow from a mile away and has an eagle as a friend.  While the movie wasn't great, it was an enjoyable sword swinging, men on a mission action pic that warranted two trips to a dollar theater to view.  That performance led to tracking down his Danish work where he had become a top star after breaking in with Pusher and it's sequel, a franchise based around the gritty and bleak yet fascinating lives of low level drug dealers.

Of course, it wasn't always easy finding his movies in the states but Blockbuster came through as I started to seek out more of Mikkelsen's work.  His roles and appearances varied from a nervous, cannibalistic butcher in the dark comedy The Green Butchers to a simple, in denial priest butting heads with a neo-Nazi in Adam's Apples.  2006's Casino Royale put him in the international spotlight as a poker playing, stock market manipulating, civil war funding James Bond villain who weeps blood.  That same year I got a hold of Susanne Bier's fantastic and shattering melodrama, After the Wedding where Mads plays Jacob, a man living in India running an orphanage who goes back to Copenhagen to ask a rich businessman for a donation.  Turns out the rich businessman is marrying Jacob's former lover/mother of a daughter he never knew he had.  Seriously, if you have Netflix, it's on there and is worth checking out.  If there was ever an award bestowed for best use of Sigur Ros music, After the Wedding would win, hands down.  After watching the flick, I sat down for nearly an hour, writing down my thoughts and feelings in an emotional and existential haze, it's that kind of movie.

In addition to all of his film work, Mikkelsen was also a face for H&M clothing in the late 2000's.  Today, rumors are swirling that Mads is in contention for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange, Marvel Comics' arrogant surgeon turned sorcerer supreme.  Mikkelsen had come close to starring Thor:  The Dark World as villain Malekith but his schedule on Hannibal got in the way.  I'm glad though, Malekith's role wasn't exactly a showy or interesting one so The Mads would have been wasted.

Check out this ultimate Cool Guy interview:

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