Photography by Heiko Richard. Styling by Götz Offergeld.
Whether as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, bald headed Tonny in Pusher, human butcher Svend in The Green Butchers, royalist Johann Friedrich Struensee in A Royal Affair, or accused pedophile Lucas in Jagten his appearances are marvelous! A true genius when it comes to character roles.
Mads Mikkelsen is starring in the cover story Poker Face for the German L'Officiel Hommes.
The title couldn't be more precise. After playing so many different roles - who is Mads Mikkelsen really?
Unforunately for my international readers the interview is in German, but I tried to translate parts of it (so I excuse for any mistakes). Nonetheless I hope you enjoy the great photographies and elegant clothes from the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2013 collection.
Interview by Hendrik Lakeberg.
Translation by Oliver Lips.
In "Hannibal" you play the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter who counts as one of the best dressed men on television. How did it feel to wear the heavy three-piece-suits?
Mads Mikkelsen: Usually I do not feel the difference between my normal clothing and the costumes I am supposed to wear. With Hannibal it was different: I came in my Adidas sneakers and normal street wear to the set and changed for fancy suits and a slick hair style - my appearance changed completely. Hannibals style is so far from mine which helped me to get into this role. To me it is like I'm filming a historic movie or western. Hannibal is someone who doesn't take things for granted. Every single day is special to him and he is celebrating it by dressing up quite fancy.
In a lot of interviews you spoke about Hannibals sophistication in terms of style. Is it also an expression of power?
Mads Mikkelsen: No, I don't think so. When it comes to this he is a simple man. He loves everything that is distinguished. Wheter it's fashion, food or music. And he hates all banality. Why should he wear a cheap suit if he can get the most exclusive one? Life is too short and he wants to make the most out of it.
Do you believe that clothes tell who you are as a person?
Mads Mikkelsen: Sure. Even though I don't care how I dress in private. But in general the style tells a lot about a person, for example about his social rank. In Hannibal's case I think that it is not about status or the like, he doesn't want to signalize anything to the outer world. He dresses the way he does, because he likes it. Not many do that, they always want to express either power, intelligence or even hide themselves from something. Whatever. A lot of them succeed a lot of them don't.
Your heritage was huge, you had to follow the footsteps of Anthony Hopkins. In such cases do you think that there is a rivalry among actors? Did you want to challange Anthony Hopkins with your Hannibal Lecter?
Mads Mikkelsen: There cannot be a rivalry. Hopkins did it perfectly. He even won an Acadamy Award for "The Silence of the Lambs" - I cannot beat that. The positive thing in our case was the fact that Hannibal wasn't imprisonned (yet) and still on the loose. He is working as a psychiatrist and tries to find friends, those are other conditions which is why I do not have to compare myself with Anothy.
Not only Hannibal, but also other roles that you played in the past have a dark, sometimes desperate side. What attracts you to play those characters?
Mads Mikkelsen: I don't know which films you've seen of me, but before Hannibal I played a teacher in "Jagten" who was accused to be a pedophile, this film won at Cannes. Than I played a doctor in "A Royal Affair" - a character of enlightenment. You see it depends on which film you've seen of me. I like playing different characters, not all of them are dark. But if I am drawn to dark characters than because there is a lot of drama in them.
If you finish a movie is there something that stays from your role?
Mads Mikkelsen: Tough question. I try to get into the characters quickly, but also to get rid of him as soon as I finished filming. Of course you are always taking something with you. Roles can be milestones in your life. There will always be this experience: Success or failure. The theme of the movie.
I am not aware of it, but I am sure that a part of the role will also become a part of me.
"Michael Kohlhaas" is currently running in cinemas. It is based on a novel by Heinrich von Kleist and is about a man who executes arbitrary law. Do you know the feeling to skip the law for the sake of justice?
Mads Mikkelsen: Of course. If I wouldn't have had the feeling, I had no interest in doing this movie. Many of us know that feeling I think. I've never been someone who follows the rules blindly. I have always questionned the authorities. I ask myself on a daily basis: How do politicians and enterprised get through with it? It's like stealing in front of peoples eyes and it is true for nearly every government. Being a politician is for sure no easy job, but I think that we as human beings haven't found the ideal system yet. We have to ask ourselves over and over again: How can we change the world for the better? What is fair, what isn't?
-click on the sheets to read the interview in German-