Mads Mikkelsen Biography

(Danish Actor Known for His Role in Films: 'Pusher', 'Casino Royale' and the Series 'Hannibal')

Birthday: November 22, 1965 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Østerbro, Denmark

Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor who achieved worldwide recognition after playing the main villain in the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale. However, before this, he was already a well-established actor in Denmark with decade long career. He made his debut with the Danish film Pusher and went on to cement his place in the industry with varied performances in movies like Open Hearts, The Green Butchers, Adam's ApplesAfter the Wedding, A Royal Affair and The Hunt. In Hollywood, he has mostly portrayed villainous and supporting roles in movies like Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Clash of the Titans. On television, he is known for the Danish series Rejseholdet and the critically acclaimed American series Hannibal. Apart from these, the former dancer and gymnast has also appeared in music videos and voiced video game characters. For his work in cinema and television, Mads Mikkelsen has received numerous awards. He was also knighted in 2010 by Denmark and in 2016 by France.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen

Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Hanne Jacobsen

father: Henning Mikkelsen

mother: Bente Christiansen

siblings: Lars Mikkelsen

children: Carl Jacobsen Mikkelsen, Viola Jacobsen Mikkelsen

Born Country: Denmark

Actors Dancers

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

Notable Alumni: Århus Theatre School

More Facts

education: Århus Theatre School

awards: Bodil Award winners
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor winners

Childhood & Early Life

Mads Mikkelsen was born on 22nd November 1965 in Østerbro district, Copenhagen, Denmark. His father, Henning Mikkelsen, was a union man in a bank while his mother Bente Christiansen worked as a nurse. He has an elder brother Lars Mikkelsen who is also an actor.

As a youngster, he trained as gymnast, but then switched to dancing (when he was 17-18 years old). He joined the ballet academy in Gothenburg and also spent around six months at Martha Graham Dance Company in New York.

For around a decade, he pursued dancing and did numerous musicals like La Cage Aux Folles and Chicago and West Side Story. Thereafter, he joined the Århus Theatre School in Denmark to study acting and begin a new career in the world of films and television.

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Mads Mikkelsen made his screen debut with Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 crime thriller film Pusher. In the movie, Mads Mikkelsen played the role of Tonny, a bald drug dealer. The success of the film led to two more sequels with Mikkelsen reprising his role in the second film Pusher II (2004).

In 1999, he played the lead role of Lenny in another of Refn’s crime drama film – Bleeder – and the following year was seen as gangster Arne in Anders Thomas Jensen’s black comedy crime film Flickering Lights.

His other work in the 1990s include short films Blomsterfangen, Café Hector, Viceværten: The Caretaker and Tom Merritt as well as films Vildspor and Nattens engel.

In the year 2000, Mads Mikkelsen made his television debut playing the role of a sensitive policeman Allan Fischer in the Danish crime drama series Rejseholdet (Unit One). The show which ran up till 2004 made him a known face in Denmark and also fetched him awards.

In 2001, two of his films came out – Monas verden and Shake It All About. The latter, a gay comedy drama wherein he played Jacob, brought him further recognition. The same year he also voiced Randall Boggs in the Danish dubbed version of the American computer animated comedy film Monsters, Inc.

His notable performances in 2002 and 2003 were in the movies Open Hearts, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself and The Green Butchers. In the first of these, he played a young doctor Niels while in the second he essayed the role of psychologist Dr Horst. In the third film, he played butcher Svend. All three won him awards.

His other work in the two years include movies I Am Dina and Torremolinos 73 as well as short films Nu and The Boy Below.

In 2004, apart from earning appreciation for his work in the sequel Pusher II, Mads Mikkelsen also achieved recognition at international level playing Tristan in Antoine Fuqua’s commercially successful historical adventure film King Arthur.

In 2005, he once again earned accolades for his performance in the black comedy film Adam's Apples. He also worked a bit on Danish television – in television series Julie (few episodes) and in sitcom Klovn (one episode).

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The year 2006 turned out extremely good for Mads Mikkelsen as his two films Prag (Prague) and After the Wedding were well received by both audience as well as the critics and once again won him awards.

The year also saw him getting recognition in Hollywood with the James Bond movie Casino Royale wherein he played the main antagonist, the wicked Le Chiffre with scarred left eye that literally wept blood.

In 2006, he also worked in the Swedish drama film Exit and lent his voice in another Danish dubbed version of American computer animated comedy film Cars.

He next portrayed the roles of Citronen in the Danish historical action-drama film Flame & Citron (2008); Igor Stravinsky in the French romantic drama Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009); One Eye in the Danish period adventure film Valhalla Rising (2009) and David Andernach in the German science fiction thriller film The Door (2009).

In 2008, he also lent his voice to 007: Quantum of Solace video game and the following year featured in the music video of Danish hiphop artist and rapper Jokeren’s song Sig Ja.

In 2010 and 2011, Mads Mikkelsen appeared in two other big budgeted Hollywood films that went on to become commercial successes. These were the action- adventure fantasy films Clash of the Titans and The Three Musketeers.

In 2010, he provided voice for the English version of the Finnish animation fantasy adventure film Moomins and the Comet Chase and the next year was seen in another music video – this time as a Viking Man in Icelandic metal band Sólstafir’s track Djákninn.

In 2012, Mads Mikkelsen delivered two more fine performances. In the first A Royal Affair, he played the dashing, ambitious and scintillatingly intelligent royal physicist, Dr. Johann Friedrich Struensee while in the latter The Hunt he played Lucas, a schoolteacher falsely accused of molesting a child in his kindergarten class.

In 2013, he was picked up to play the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer cannibal in NBC’s psychological horror thriller television series Hannibal. In the series that ran up till 2015, Mads Mikkelsen gave yet another strong, captivating and award-winning performance.

His next few films include Charlie Countryman, Michael Kohlhaas (both 2013), The Salvation (2014), Men & Chicken (2015) and Doctor Strange (2016). In 2015, he appeared in the music video of popular Barbadian singer Rihanna’s song Bitch Better Have My Money.

In 2016, he was cast as Galen Erso in the American epic space opera film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and in 2018 was roped in to portray Overgård, the downed pilot of a small cargo plane in the survival drama film Arctic.

In 2019, Mads Mikkelsen starred as Clifford Unger in yet another video game Death Stranding.

In 2020, he acted in the Oscar nominated Danish comedy drama film Another Round. In his role as Martin, a man stuck in a midlife crisis, he performed a straight-up dance sequence in the last scene. He danced after three decades.

His other films since 2018 include At Eternity's Gate, Polar, Riders of Justice and Chaos Walking. He is next slated to appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3, The Billion Dollar Spy and an untitled fifth film of Indiana Jones Project in the coming years.

Family & Personal Life

Mads Mikkelsen married choreographer Hanne Jacobsen in the year 2000. The couple have two children – Viola and Carl.

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