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(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Film

Mads Mikkelsen names his favourite movie of all time

@Russellisation

There are few actors in the landscape of contemporary cinema that can match the power and emotional range of Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor who has found international success in such films as Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the recent Wizarding World adventure, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. 

Such films merely scrape the surface of Mikkelsen’s majesty on the world stage of cinema, however, with the actor having collaborated with the likes of Thomas Vinterberg, Nikolaj Arcel, Gareth Edwards and Nicolas Winding Refn throughout his impressive career. Rising to the attention of the film industry in 1996 thanks to the release of Refn’s electric crime film Pusher, Mikkelsen later thrived with an appearance in the James Bond revival Casino Royale as well as the award-winning drama Another Round.

Due to appear in the forthcoming Indiana Jones adventure along with the latest film from British filmmaker Amma Asante, Mikkelsen remains at the very height of his craft, capable of much more from his still-blossoming career.

‘Another Round’: Thomas Vinterberg’s exploration of mental health

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In a conversation with Movie Maker in 2020, the actor revealed his ten essential secrets for success in the industry, encouraging young people to enter the industry by lending his knowledge of every inch of the filmmaking process. Number one on Mikkelsen’s list is the curious suggestion to “raise dilemmas and questions in your work, rather than providing answers,” pointing to one of his favourite films of all time to clarify his position. 

“Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese are masters of that,” Mikkelsen adds, alluding to how the actor and director collaborated throughout the project to make the central character and the subsequent film better. Continuing, the actor added, “Growing up, I lived and breathed kung fu movies, but my favorite film, by far, is Taxi Driver. It changed the way I viewed good guys and bad guys”. 

As not only one of Martin Scorsese’s greatest ever films but up there with the greatest movies of all time, the Palme d’Or winning Taxi Driver elevated the status of its director whilst shooting its star, Robert De Niro, into the limelight of Hollywood cinema. An uncompromising psychoanalysis of a man on the edge of insanity, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader crafted one of the finest New York dramas, riddled with intensity and dense characterisation. 

Drawing inspiration from the likes of Arthur Bremer to Alfred Hitchcock, in films like The Wrong Man, Schrader’s story is a dark and troubled one, influenced by his own dissatisfaction in his youth. Telling the story of a mentally troubled army veteran who works as a cab driver in New York City, the collaboration between Schrader and Scorsese follows the protagonist’s psychology as it quickly descends, engulfed by the urge for violence.

Take a look at the trailer for Taxi Driver, Mads Mikkelsen’s favourite film of all time, below.