Mads Mikkelsen's Recent "Body" of Work
09.19.09 by BJSprecher
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen was already a star in Europe when he landed a part as 007's nemesis in Casino Royale, but that role gave him much-needed exposure on this side of the Atlantic. Mikkelsen starred in two movies that were recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival -- Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky and Valhalla Rising -- and recently wrapped filming on the remake of Clash of the Titans.
While Mikkelsen's turn in Stravinsky didn't require much of him physically, his roles in Valhalla and Clash required him to get into fighting shape, slimming down and beefing up. Though Mikkelsen says that he is "normally in shape," he admitted that he "starved" himself to get "that skinny prison look" to play One-Eye, a half-blind, mute man-killer in the Viking saga Valhalla Rising. Filmed mostly outdoors in the mountains of Scotland, Mikkelsen likened the location to "the land of Mordor," a reference to the Dark Lord Sauron's realm in The Lord of the Rings, and said the shoot "took its toll" on him.
As in Valhalla, Mikkelsen plays another hardened fighter in Clash of the Titans. He describes his character, Draco, as a "long-haired, full-blooded guy, a classical Greek warrior." However, his experience on the set of Clash was vastly different than his work on Valhalla because he often had to act against a green-screen backdrop and fight invisible enemies, such as giant scorpions.
It's always easier to have something there, something or someone you can act to, it goes without saying. But after a while, you find a way of doing it. And it's really hard to find those big scorpions these days.