Mads Mikkelsen: Actors with accents do not get lead roles in Hollywood

·3-min read

Mads Mikkelsen has said it is still difficult for actors with accents to land leading roles in Hollywood.

The Casino Royale star is best known to English-speaking audiences for playing a string of sinister or villainous roles, including in Hannibal and Doctor Strange, contrasting with his varied career in his native Denmark.

The actor recently starred in the Oscar-winning Danish film Another Round, about a school teacher who experiments with how alcohol affects his daily life, and will next be seen in the Danish project Riders Of Justice, about a man whose wife dies in a train accident.

Discussing how different his roles are in Hollywood compared to his home country, he told the PA news agency: “I don’t think it’s the audiences, I think it’s the producers/directors.

“There is still a tendency, even though 80% of all Americans have some kind of an accent, they (actors with accents) still do not play the leads.

“Even though we have these diversity times, that’s not part of it apparently.”

The star, who will also soon be seen in the new Fantastic Beasts film, taking over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp, and in the upcoming Indiana Jones movie, added: “I’ve been lucky enough. I did a film called Arctic and it was an American film and it was a man, not a baddie, so it’s changing slowly.

“But I don’t mind it. I’ve been very fortunate to be offered very different villains in different kinds of films.

“So I just embrace it. If that’s what I get, I’m very pleased.

“But I also think that if they (the audience) get curious about what you do in the English-speaking films they start watching some of the Danish productions, the smaller ones.

“And in that sense, it travels more so and we can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Mikkelsen said it would be “fantastic” if he could introduce Harry Potter fans the world of Danish cinema.

Discussing his role in Riders Of Justice, in which his character moves from grief and trauma to fury and violence, he said: “I think he handles the way that he knows best

“He is a soldier with PTSD and everybody behaves different when they suffer from that.

Doctor Strange UK Launch Event – London
Mads Mikkelsen has had a varied career in his native Denmark (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“But he has handled it as the the strong man in the room, the strongest man at his father’s funeral, so to speak, so everybody else could get room to let go.

“That’s been his mission, his job for 30 years, his strongest side, but apparently also his weaker side, because it will come and haunt him.

“So when he eventually does implode, it is in the same manner. He becomes self-destructive.

“He doesn’t understand how to deal with things unless he can hit it.

“And eventually, there’s no more hitting and he has to give up and I think that’s beautiful development in the characters.”

Riders Of Justice is out now in UK cinemas.

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