Mads Mikkelsen, the starring villain in 007's Casino Royale, is nothing like his character portrays at all in real life. He's a great actor. Warm, casual, courteous, respectful, intelligent and dedicated to his acting craft... he's not at all caught up in his stardom. Mads completely understates his handsome looks, which in itself is appealing. It is my honor to welcome Mads Mikkelsen to The Global Townhall.
Gabrielle Reilly: What is one of your favorite life philosophies that may inspire our readers?
Mads Mikkelsen: My favorite philosophy is to treat everybody in life with dignity and respect. It once was that actors were beggars and thieves, but they now they are idolized. I personally see no difference in anyone. We are all the same and should be treated the same accordingly.
Gabrielle Reilly: I noticed how humble you are with people. That is a quality I really admire as well. What has attributed to you enjoying such a successful career?
Mads Mikkelsen: A million things have contributed to my success. The rise of the Danish film industry filled with extraordinary people attributed towards my success. I work very hard and am very determined. A million things.
Gabrielle Reilly: You were voted by Danish women as the world's sexiest man.
Mads Mikkelsen: Laugh, well that was a few years ago. I am 44 now. I don't think my looks have helped much although I would rather be voted for as being good looking rather than ugly.
Gabrielle Reilly: Well, I think you are one of those guys that get better with age like Harrison Ford.
Mads Mikkelsen: Well thank you. I figure if I do what I am good at and forget about my looks it will all fall into place.
Gabrielle Reilly: Have you done any modeling?
Mads Mikkelsen: I have not done any modeling as such, but have posed for movie promotions etc that look like I am modeling.
Gabrielle Reilly: What fitness routine do you follow to stay in such great shape?
Mads Mikkelsen: I don't actually follow a fitness routine; it depends on what I am doing. I have an extremely high metabolism. I can never gain weight for a movie. Skinny I can do, overweight is impossible for me. When I have time off, like now, I bike for three hours through the week, play tennis etc, things I enjoy. I am not one of those people who workout in a gym. I want to love what I do.
Gabrielle Reilly: How about your diet? Do you have a good diet?
Mads Mikkelsen: Because my metabolism is so high I have never worried about my diet. I have been able to eat hamburgers and fries when I was younger but now I try and eat healthier not to keep weight off, but for healthier living.
Gabrielle Reilly: Did starring in "Casino Royale" have any influence on your day to day dress sense?
Mads Mikkelsen: No, most of the time I am active so I am normally wearing something that has "Adidas" on it.
Gabrielle Reilly: How did you develop your skills for working in front of the camera? Did you do classes?
Mads Mikkelsen: I never went to acting classes to learn that. I learnt by actually working in front of the camera. I experimented with what worked and what didn't work. I believe that you need to be a little shy in front of the camera. Let the camera find you. Let it find what is interesting in what you are portraying.
People can develop and improve their acting skills throughout their life. If perhaps they are not well honed when they are younger, they may be gems when they are older. Then of course there are people who will never really get it... but that really is all personal opinion. Someone may like one thing and others not so much.
Gabrielle Reilly: I love that Europeans are so multi-lingual. What languages do you speak?
Mads Mikkelsen: Yes, I love that about Europeans also. We watch many different movies so learn languages that way also. I speak Danish, English, German and recently Russian and French.
Gabrielle Reilly: What are you dreams for your future?
Mads Mikkelsen: I am a modest person. My dreams are to do exactly what I am doing now. I love my home and my country and have no dreams of moving to America, although my two children would love that. I may consider it for a year or two, but I love my home.
I love all the different projects I work on from big films to the middle of the road films. I love working here in Denmark and travelling around the world to film. I am very happy doing exactly what I am doing now.