Gentleman Mads


PostED ON 16.10.2015 AT 10:56AM


MASTER CLASS - The Danish actor drew a full house yesterday, speaking of his profession with all the talent of a storyteller. Highlights.


© Institut Lumière / Photo Sandrine Thesillat - Jean-Luc Mège Photographies


Hannibal doesn't bite. We have rarely encountered a nicer "bad guy." Mads Mikkelsen was a prince. A Danish one, of course. A doll of a gentleman who arrived in Lyon to give a little back to audiences who have given to him. It was obvious yesterday afternoon with the Comédie Odéon as a backdrop in the framework of his "master class." He also clarified the rules from the start: "Let's keep it simple, there is no master here. We'll have a good Q&A session and it will be perfect."

We had decided to start off the session with a film clip of Bleeder (1999), his second feature film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The scene is rather atypical because it's funny, showing a young Mads welcoming a client to the video club he manages. "We have everything: Fellini, Buñuel, Scorsese, Tarantino… We also have porn!" The actor smiles upon seeing this piece of singular verbal daring. "At the time, I remember seeing up to five films a day from the choices Nicolas recommended to me. The character I was playing, this compulsive cinephile - that was him in real life. The meeting was a lucky break. After the success of Pusher, it was easy to find work."

He remembers laughingly, that he had to shave his hair and get tattoos to play the role of the perfect little hoodlum. "When I took my children to school, other parents changed sidewalks! "

Son of a nurse and a bank employee, Mads Mikkelsen grew up in an environment where there was little cinema. His first memory of emotion on the big screen? "Tintin and the Seven Crystal  Balls." Not even James Bond? ''When I did test reads for Casino Royale in 2005, I had never seen a single Bond film! So I lied to the casting guy!"

Why do we offer him bad guy roles so often? "Probably because of my accent. A villain has to speak with an accent!" Among actors who have influenced him, he shows versatility, citing "Buster Keaton and Bruce Lee." And Gérard Depardieu? "He played my father-in law in Dina (2002); we were shooting in the dark depths of Norway and he arrived with 2,000 bottles - that changed up our daily life. And he knew his lines, believe me."

There are many young people in the crowd. For them, it's obviously through the Hannibal series that they have become fans. When the session concludes, he takes the time to talk with everyone. Three girlfriends in fetish fashion leave with the bottles of water he drank from on stage. Another girl expresses her admiration via twitter: "I met Mads Mikkelsen. I talked to him, and he even signed my permission slip. Life is good."

Carlos Gomez


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