Mads Mikkelsen: 5 Awesome Performances & 5 That Sucked

Bleeding eye? Bloody brilliant.


Mads Mikkelsen is the kind of actor who you'd expect to be typecast if you're only aware of his more successful Hollywood roles - as a Bond villain, as a cannibalistic psychopath, as any other type of villain. But that would be to miss the point of his appeal: he's an incredibly nuanced actor and one who probably deserves a lot better than some of the gigs he has been given in Hollywood.

But that's always the way with foreign actors who graduate after successful domestic gigs: Hollywood makes an assumption, reduces them down to one element of their performances and throws the same roles at them without any imagination. His intensity and his presence became his calling card for a certain kind of rugged, usually evil character, and that would miss his capacity for empathy, emotionally explosive roles and subtlety. It should come as no surprise, then, that his most varied and bravest work tends to come in foreign releases.

That can also be said of his latest - the wild, joyously unorthodox Men & Chicken, a Danish comedy taking in the ethics of stem cell research, cross-species genetics experiments and identity politics in adoptive children. Only in Denmark would that be a comedy.

To celebrate his return to more odd-ball, interesting fare - and ahead of his turn in Doctor Strange, this week's Awesome/Sucked column focuses on the enigmatic talent of Mikkelsen.

First, the Awesome picks...


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