Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Mads Mikkelsen on fame, Mr. Fantastic, and "neutral Coca-Cola"

Mikkelsen, happy during a brief moment of distraction from his relationship to Coca-Cola
Mikkelsen, happy during a brief moment of distraction from his relationship to Coca-Cola
Photo: Jeff Pachoud (Getty Images)

Mads Mikkelsen is out doing promotion for the excellent, Oscar-nominated Another Round. This is good news for anyone who likes to read tips on how to play pretend-drunk from one of our greatest living actors or those or for those who would enjoy reading, as a wide-ranging new interview with Vulture is here to provide, more of his thoughts on everything from bad superhero movie auditions to reflections on how buying a Coke can be a good gauge of fame.

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This last subject is Mikkelsen’s way of encapsulating what it was like to realize that he’d gone from acting in projects that would allow him to “consider buying the smallest house in the world” to breaking through to the mainstream. He describes the realization that he was now recognized on the street, saying that “Since [those high profile projects], I’ve never bought a normal Coca-Cola.”

“It’s always like, ‘Here’s your cola, Master Mads,’ or ‘Get your fucking Coke, and get out of my shop.’ There’s no neutral Coca-Cola anymore,” Mikkelsen says. “They all serve me in a special way, with hate or with love.” He continues by saying that his celebrity isn’t “about me. It was about the concept of me.” He explains that he was old enough when he became famous that it didn’t make him think differently about himself.

Mikkelsen also discusses his relationship to acting after he gained international recognition for starring in Casino Royale, which he says led him to take a few roles where he “never had the chance to think about whether it was a film I wanted to be in or not.” His Fantastic Four audition, which we’ve covered in the past, is brought up as an example. “This is where I felt you can completely lose your confidence as an actor,” he says of that time. “Standing in an office with a person who looks down at his paper, and you pretend you have long arms and say one line.” Mikkelson goes on: “I find it rude to ask people to come into a room and say one line while pretending you have 80-foot arms like the rubber man. ‘Grab that cup of coffee over there’—it’s like, Are you crazy? There’s not even a scene here.

“It was kind of humiliating,” he adds, managing to sum up the entirety of the Fantastic Four’s cinematic presence to date in the process.

Read the entire interview for more, including Mikkelsen’s thoughts on Hannibal, starring in a Rihanna video, and working out that Casino Royale scene where he annihilates James Bond’s nuts with a length of rope.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.