Mads Mikkelsen Defends Star Wars: Rogue One Director (Exclusive)

‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ has been plagued by news of reshoots.

It’s no secret that the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ spin-off is heading back to the studio. But with rumours that up to 40 percent of the film is being reshot, it sounds as though director Gareth Edwards has his work cut out for him.

And that’s on top of rumours that Disney were unhappy with his far more serious tone.

But ‘Rogue One’ actor Mads Mikkelsen has come to his defence…

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During an interview with Yahoo! Movies UK to support the release of ‘Men & Chicken’, the 50-year-old Danish actor weighed in on the ‘Rogue One’ director… and explained to me how the ‘Star Wars’ universe was brought to life with smaller, more meaningful scenes.

“[Gareth Edwards’] vision was wonderful,” he said. “He was a natural, man.”

Mads Mikkelsen stars as the father of Jyn Erso – the lead character played by Felicity Jones. And while it’s unknown how much screen time he has in the final film, it sounds as though he shared plenty of scenes with the young, rebellious youth.

And these scenes are apparently what makes the movie.

“The project is so enormous, you’re surrounded by five hundred people, but he did the only thing that you can do in that situation and that is making it small… making it a small scene, just the five of us or the two of us.”

Of course, it’s these moments that Mikkelsen appreciates – as an actor, it’s always far more interesting to get to grips with the smaller-scale stuff, even while TIE fighters are exploding in the background and the Rebel Alliance makes its stand.

“He tried to create this little space where it’s just, it’s real – that we’re actually making a real scene,” he added. “And I think that’s the only thing we can do with it. We tried to take in the enormity of the Star Wars universe, while we were acting. We have to know it’s there of course, but we can’t act it – we have to make it real. He made us feel as if we were just doing a small, Danish show.”

The reality is that ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ is a huge undertaking – the very first ‘Star Wars’ spin-off movie. And as such, there are plenty expectations. But with all the grand adventure of a sci-fi epic comes a more personal story…

But how does Jyn Erso’s relationship with her father come into this?

“I would give away spoilers if I told you what kinds of scenes I have with [Felicity Jones],” he said. “But err… they are characters. They’re not ‘character’ characters… but they all serve their purpose and we have to be aware, obviously when you do a film like this, that it’s not your show. You’re serving a purpose or you’re telling a story of someone else, but you’re a part of it.”

‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ tells the story of the Rebel Alliance’s efforts to get hold of the original Death Star plans… essentially telling the story of what happened just before the very first ‘Star Wars’ movie, ‘A New Hope’.

It’s an enormous story to get to grips with.

But while reports of the ‘Rogue One’ reshoots suggest a lot of reworking, Mikkelsen revealed that there isn’t an awful lot left for him to do. In fact, he’ll only be heading back for a single day.

“I have one day, but that is quite normal,” he said. “The last picture I did, I did four days [of reshoots]. It’s quite a normal thing for big films to do… either something they were not pleased with, or something they wanted to add, and it’s quite normal on big films like this to do that.”

But is it really as bad as it sounds?

“But the four weeks thing? I haven’t heard about it.”

Either way, it sounds as though director Gareth Edwards is on the right track. Whether or not Disney will lighten up the movie with reshoots remains to be seen… but let’s hope they don’t forget the ‘wars’ in ‘Star Wars’.

Mads Mikkelsen will next appear in ‘Men & Chicken’ – a rather dark Danish comedy film by director Anders Thomas Jensen due to be released on 15 July 2016.

‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ heads to cinemas on 16 December 2016.

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Picture Credit: Les Films du Losange, Lucasfilm