In December 2011, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen received the special prize for ‘European achievement in world cinema’ at the European Film Awards. His Swedish colleague and friend Stellan Skarsgaard spoke on his behalf.
"I don't admire you for your looks, because you're not good looking. You have an 'interesting' face,” Skarsgaard jokingly remarked.
Considering Mads Mikkelsen has been voted sexiest man in Denmark many times, Skarsgaard´s comments might seem out of touch with reality. Yet Mikkelsen has played many unflattering roles, including the villain in ‘Casino Royal’ and a character called ‘One-Eye’ in the film ‘Valhalla Rising’.
The whole business of looks doesn’t seem to have turned to Mikkelsen´s head. His only comment so far has been: "I'd rather be voted the sexiest man in Denmark, than the ugliest man in Denmark."
Mikkelsen was born in Copenhagen in 1965 and graduated from the Theatre School in Aarhus in 1996. That same year, he was offered his first acting role, in Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Pusher’ film. He then went on to do a range of Danish films, and in 2006 was offered the part of ‘Le Chiffre’ in the James Bond film ‘Casino Royal’.
After this high-profile role, he started pursuing an international career with leading and supporting roles in films, including ‘Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky’, ‘Clash of the Titans’ and the recent ‘The Three Musketeers’ as well as various other productions.
It was for this collection of work that Mikkelsen received his recent award. Summing up, his friend Stellan Skarsgaard concluded: "Mads, everything you do has clarity to it. There's nothing fuzzy about what you do. You're acting is clean, graceful and very poetic."
Mads Mikkelsen was knighted in 2010 by Her Majesty Margrethe 2nd, Queen of Denmark.