Mads Mikkelsen Discusses His Roles in Rogue One and Dr. Strange


Acting in big budget blockbusters like Rogue One and Dr. Strange has been quite the adjustment for Mads Mikkelsen, but the Danish actor is enjoying his time in the spotlight.

Mads Mikkelsen has been on quite the run lately. From depicting the central villain in Dr. Strange, Kaecillius, to now portraying Galen Erso, father of main character Jyn Erso, in Rogue One, Mikkelsen has been front and center in two of the biggest films of 2016. (Yes, we know Rogue One isn’t out yet, but of course, it will be huge). The Danish actor recently sat down with Birth Movies Death, and lucky for us has not yet tired of answering Star Wars questions. 

"It’s not every day you can be a part of something you actually grew up with, y’know? Not a lot of those around. Maybe the Bond films, I guess. But done that, been there. But something that you grow up with and it’s still around when you’re an adult? That’s rare. And then they ask you to be a part of it? That’s even more rare."

It is indeed. Should I ever become a celebrity, appearing in a Star Wars film would near the top of the list of things I would use my power for (Bringing back Crystal Pepsi would be number one) Mikkelsen admitted that the inner fanboy in him was initially stunned to be working on a Star Wars set, but that feeling wasn’t allowed to last long.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm

"It is surreal! Over there (he points behind me) you can hear Mr. Ben Mendelsohn talking about his first encounter with Darth Vader. That’s completely crazy, y’know? But that fan hat has to come off pretty quickly. You have to dig down and get it done. We are in that environment as an actual thing. We cannot be looking at it. We have to throw it away. Then on your smoking breaks or whatever you have, you can step back and look at it and enjoy it, but while you’re doing it, no."

Mikkelsen strikes as a rather intense kind of guy, so it’s interesting to hear him standing in awe of the set on his smoke breaks. Mikkelsen also revealed that on Rogue One, some of his scenes required motion capture work, which is a bit of a reveal considering his scenes in the trailers look rather basic. Might Mikkelsen being doing some space work?

"Well, I did some motion-capture on Rogue One, and some on Doctor Strange. There were certain things that we had to use that for, that had to be replaced. I mean, you can do a lot stunts, you know? We can fall from four floors. But we can’t do it for one hundred floors. So for that, we did some motion-capture. For those last ninety-six floors (laughs)."

Image Credit: David Harris

And other than the endless amounts of press interviews for the big blockbusters, something we can sympathize with, Mikkelsen reflected upon the toughest aspect of working on more special effects heavy films as of late.

"I think maybe, though, that sometimes being part of a big machine doesn’t necessarily mean you’re part of a fast machine. There’s a certain energy when you do this stuff where you’re on kind of a roll, and you want to keep the momentum, and you cannot always do that on big-scale films. If you want to re-set a scene, it might take half an hour to get all the extras (back in place), or rebuild that wall before we break it again or whatever. That’s frustrating when we can’t keep that momentum. But when that happens, you’ve just gotta stay in the zone, be ready in half an hour to go again. I would love it if we could magically do that faster."

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We can only imagine. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso hits theaters next Friday, December 16.

We want to hear from you: What do you think Mikkelsen had to use motion capture for on Rogue One? Let us know in the comments below and on social media.