Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen (born 22 November 1965) is a Danish actor.
Quite popular back in his home country before he reached international stardom, having been voted Denmark's sexiest man multiple times. Before he became an actor, he was a trained gymnast and later a professional dancer, having done the latter for almost a decade. He turned to acting when he wanted to pursue the more dramatic side of expression. He is the younger brother of Lars Mikkelsen, who has similarly managed to carve out some international fame.
He made his film debut in Nicolas Winding Refn's directorial debut in the Danish crime drama Pusher, and later reprised his role in Pusher 2. His role as Cowboy Cop DI Alan Fischer on the Danish Cop Show, Rejseholdet, significantly raised his star in Denmark. His first Hollywood debut was as Tristan in King Arthur (2004), but internationally he's probably more well known for his role as the villain Le Chiffre from Casino Royale (2006), and his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in the TV Show of the same name. Outside of Denmark, or rather in Hollywood, he also more well known for playing villainous or very anti-heroic characters, but in most of his other films he's played a variety of other characters, from cheerful, low-level gangsters to harrassed, mournful everymen. In November 2020, Warner Bros. announced that he had been cast to take over the role of Big Bad Gellert Grindelwald for the Fantastic Beasts franchise starting with the third film.
Contrary to most English speakers' assumptions, Mads isn't pronounced "Madz", as the d in his name is silent. In interviews, he's clarified that the closest pronunciation is either "mess" or "mas" (as in "Thomas").
- Pusher (1996)
- Bleeder (1999)
- Flickering Lights (2000)
- Rejseholdet (2000 - 2004)
- The Green Butchers (2003)
- King Arthur (2004)
- Pusher 2 (2004)
- Adam's Apples (2005)
- After the Wedding (2006)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Flame & Citron (2008)
- Valhalla Rising (2009)
- Clash of the Titans (2010)
- The Three Musketeers (2011)
- The Hunt (2012)
- A Royal Affair (2012)
- Charlie Countryman (2013)
- Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (2013)
- Hannibal (2013-2015)
- The Salvation (2014)
- Men And Chicken (2015)
- Doctor Strange (2016) as Kaecilius
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
- Arctic (2018, theatrical release in 2019)
- Polar (2019)
- Death Stranding (2019)
- Another Round (2020)
- Riders of Justice (2020)
- Chaos Walking (2021)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)
- Untitled fifth Indiana Jones film (2023)
Tropes appearing on his works:
- Alliterative Name: Mads Mikkelsen.
- Carpet of Virility: Has a hairy upper body that has been put to show on several works.
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: His famous characters tend to be like this, resulting in a joke about his contract require some random eye tropes.
- Guttural Growler: Has a low, husky voice.
- Omniglot: Beyond his native language of Danish, he can speak fluent Swedish, and at least some French.note In an interview for Hannibal, Mikkelsen said he's not quite as fluent in English as he appears to be, and sometimes has to look up certain words from the scripts in a dictionary. Though this might have as much to do with the show's Purple Prose as anything else.
- Production Posse: With Nicolas Winding Refn and Anders Thomas Jensen.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: As Le Chiffre and as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, but in real life he prefers to wear very comfortable and casual clothing.
- So My Kids Can Watch: An unusual variant. He had no idea who Rihanna was before he was asked to appear in her "Bitch Better Have My Money" music video, so he asked his kids (who are a little older than the usual subjects of this trope), who cursed at him and yelled at him that he better accept the role or they would kill him.
- Typecasting: While hes a very versatile actor, if hes in an English speaking and/or franchise role, hes usually playing a villain.
- Villainous Cheekbones: Mikkelsen has high, prominent cheekbones that suit his villainous typecasting in English works.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Film critics and analytics has noted that Mikkelsen often retains a slight hint of a Danish accent in many of his roles, but also that this actually works immensely in his favor, as the Danish accent is relatively obscure and it lends an air of authenticity to many of his "villain of ambiguous, possibly European nationality" roles.