Photo of Mads Mikkelsen by Dorri Olds.
Mads Mikkelsen. Angular. Impeccable. The actor with razor cheekbones and eyes that pull you in closer. Everything he is on screen is multiplied exponentially when you stand beside him.
I met him at a private cocktail party in Manhattan. We didn’t have a scheduled interview but I went over to say, “Hi.” His mouth curled into a sweet smile and he offered me his full attention. I took it from there. The two of us spoke privately for half an hour. It surprised me that we were left alone that long. I felt eyes on us from all corners of the room. I found out later people had mistaken me for a friend of his and didn’t want to bother us. (Fist pump!)
Mikkelsen treated me with openness and respect as if he already knew me. We were interrupted once by a fan that handed Mikkelsen a caricature. I asked if he’d look at my camera while holding the ink drawing that had skillfully caught his likeness. He obliged, thanked the man who’d given it to him, and returned to me and our private conversation.
After a long chat — which he seemed willing to continue — I apologized that I had to leave. “My niece just arrived from Germany,” I said, “and I only get to see her once a year.” He looked disappointed. “You’re not going to see the movie?” Mikkelsen said, referring to the New York City premiere of “The Hunt.” I grinned, told him I’d seen it already and published a 5-star review. He beamed, thanked me, and off I dashed to catch the number 1 train, feeling like my life was richer for having spent the one-on-one time with him.
Here are excerpts from our convo:
Dorri Olds: Was being an actor what you wanted most?
Mads Mikkelsen: No. I never even thought about being an actor. Somebody asked me if I’d like to learn the craft and I said, “Okay.” I was a gymnast in a show at that time and somebody asked me afterwards one night. I performed as a gymnast for nine years and then I did acting after that.
Wow, you lead a charmed life. Have you ever had any dark periods?
Not seriously. Not depressed but you always have some dark periods. Sometimes you’re trying your best and you still can’t find a solution, but I try not to waste my life living in a dark place.
You seem happy. You have great laugh lines when you smile.
I was a happy kid. I smiled a lot.
Do you have siblings?
I have an older brother who is an actor as well.
Is he proud of you?
We’re proud of each other.
How is his career?
He’s very successful. Predominantly he does theater and he’s very good at it. He also does TV.
Do you like theater?
Not as much as making movies. I’m in love with film.
Have you ever experienced the down sides of fame?
Yes, all of it.
Obsessed stalker fans?
Yes, and everything else. You name it and it has happened. [Smiles]
Below is a video clip from a chat with Evan Rachel Woods:
If you’ve never seen the award-winning steamy political drama, “A Royal Affair,” you must rent it. My other suggestions include “Charlie Countryman” and “The Hunt.” If you haven’t seen the Season 3 premiere of ‘Hannibal” head over to NBC On Demand or nbc.com and watch it now. If you have seen it, here’s Mikkelsen discussing the entire season: Watch Now!
Article by Dorri Olds