In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, acting giant Mads Mikkelsen reflected on his recent takeover of the main villain role of Grindlewald in the Fantastic Beasts film series from Johnny Depp. The Danish actor contrasted the films of his home country, which he described as being more open to “radical” ideas and methods, than the Hollywood system.
“Everybody tries their best not to be a diva, they go the extra mile to be the nicest people – it becomes too much, sometimes,” Mikkelsen explained. “You would probably find more assholes driving buses.” The conversation turned to Mikkelsen’s own approach to taking on roles, and what his thoughts were on method acting. Mikkelsen opted not to hold back in his response.
“It’s bullshit,” Mikkelsen claimed. “But preparation, you can take into insanity. What if it’s a shit film – what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?”
When asked how he would interact with a method actor like Daniel Day-Lewis on set, Mikkelsen seems primed to push buttons. “I would have the time of my life, just breaking down the character constantly,” Mikkelsen says, affecting a mocking voice: “‘I’m having a cigarette? This is from 2020, it’s not from 1870 – can you live with it?’ It’s just pretentious. Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor. But it’s got nothing to do with this.”
“The media goes, ‘Oh my god, he took it so seriously, therefore he must be fantastic; let’s give him an award.’ Then that’s the talk, and everybody knows about it, and it becomes a thing.” Mikkelsen makes it clear that he’s not taking potshots at Day-Lewis or anyone else, especially considering how he declined to comment on Depp or his Fantastic Beasts co-star Ezra Miller’s recent run-ins with the law.
However, Mikkelsen did dip his toe into the controversy that has surrounded Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling’s anti-trans comments. “People treat it a little flippantly, like, ‘Isn’t that a disgrace?’ And every time you ask somebody, you can’t really figure out what she said,” Mikkelsen shared. “But if the reaction is that crazy, we have to be very careful that we know what we’re talking about.” Mikkelsen said that he had not read Rowling’s 5000-word blog that laid out some of her thoughts and beliefs, reiterating that, “I have a habit of not commenting on things that I don’t know anything about, and I actually think that that would suit the entire world.”
Mikkelsen also takes some time to give his blessing to the upcoming American remake of Another Round starring Leonardo DiCaprio and remind the world that Indiana Jones 5 is totally happening, complete with a co-starring role for himself and Phoebe Waller-Bridgers. No updates on that production, but given the series’ love for European villains, Mikkelsen seems to fit the mould fairly well.