5 little-known facts about Mads Mikkelsen in Star Wars

Photo: Mads Mikkelsen is Galen Erso in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Mads Mikkelsen is Galen Erso in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

How much do you really know about Mads Mikkelsen and his Rogue One character?

The Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen starred in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Galen Walton Erso, the father of protagonist Jyn Erso. Most notably, he was also the galactic authority on both energy enrichment and crystallography. His development of the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station proved pivotal in the story.

But what about the actor himself? Here are five fun facts that you may not have known about Mads Mikkelsen and his relationship with Star Wars.

1. He had his “fanboy” moments

Mikkelsen admitted to Gizmodo that there is some pressure when filming a movie for the franchise. However, he doesn’t try to think about it. “I think that there’s always a pressure when you’re making a film,” he told the outlet. “And the pressure is obviously to make it as good as possible. We were aware that this was special because we grew up with it. And we were standing there, fanboy hat on. But eventually, we have to take that fanboy hat off and get down to it, to the business of our jobs The pressure we leave up to the producers and directors and we do our very best.”

2. He watched the Star Wars films in an unconventional manner

Surprisingly, Mikkelsen did not watch the Star Wars films until he was a teenager. “I did, but I caught it late,” he revealed. “I didn’t see the first films in theater; I saw them later. I rented the movie box [set] and watched them back to back, and I was blown away. But I didn’t catch the train until I was 14 or something.”

3. Deleted scenes show just how tough he was to film in Iceland

Deleted scenes from the film just how hard it was to film outside in the arctic tundra of Iceland. Mikkelsen and fellow actors were seen with snotty noses and puffs of their breath appeared when they spoke.

“We started shooting in Iceland, and it turned out to be super rainy,” he recalled to Nerdist. “We can’t really order that, but that was the case. It looked good, and that was tremendous. Then we had all these interior scenes in the studio and at the last minute they decided, ‘Hey, we want more rain.’”

4. He wants fans to know that his character is not a villain

When studying the character and script, he believes that his character is not a villain in the slightest. “He’s definitely not a villain, but he’s a scientist,” he clarified to the outlet. “Scientists have a curiosity and sometimes they get tunnel vision.”

All in all, he believes his character thinks he did what’s right. “Sometimes they don’t listen, they don’t see clear,” he continued. “They just keep going because they’re curious. I think he’s one of those characters. Brilliant man who’s not seeing the writing on the wall, where this is taking us. He does believe that what he’s doing now can make the world a better place. He’s aware that it can do something else as well, but he ignores it.”

5. He got to do some improv in the movie

Similar to his co-star Alan Tudyk, he also got to improvise “quite a lot” of his parts in the film. In the movie, moments with his children were almost entirely improvised.

“Especially Felicity [Jones] was playing my daughter, but I also play with two other versions of [Jyn], 4 years old and 8 years old. There I had to improv a lot,” he shared to Nerdist. “It’s difficult to make little 4-year-olds act the way you want, or say their lines without stiffening up. So it’s basically my job to make them feel at ease and play it out so they forget what they’re doing, then all of a sudden you get some beautiful moments with them.

“So there’s a lot of improv in those scenes, but there was a general sense of freedom in what we did in some of the scenes. When they’re big and dramatic and action-heavy, you can’t improv. You have to run that way and then check your right [side], unless you want to be blown up,” he concluded.

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