Mads Mikkelsen has praised Johnny Depp as an “amazing actor” and speculated about Depp’s possible return to the Fantastic Beasts film franchise after his legal victory against ex-wife Amber Heard.
The 56-year-old Danish actor, who is known for his roles in the James Bond film Casino Royale and the NBC series Hannibal, replaced Depp, 59, as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Speaking at the Sarajevo film festival, as reported by Deadline, Mikkelsen described taking over the role from Depp as “very intimidating” and spoke about the reason for Depp’s departure from the franchise – his libel case against Heard.
He said: “Obviously, well, now the course has changed – he won the suit, the court [case] – so let’s see if he comes back. He might.
“I’m a big fan of Johnny. I think he’s an amazing actor, I think he did a fantastic job.
“Having said that, I could not copy it. There’s there was no way I could just copy it, because it’s so much him. It would be creative suicide. So, we had to come up with something else, something that was mine, and build a bridge between him and me. So, yes, it was intimidating.
“His fans were very, very sweet, but they were also very stubborn. I didn’t interact too much with them, but I could understand why they had their hearts broken.”
Depp won against Heard, 36, in a legal battle in Fairfax County, Virginia, earlier this year.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.
Representatives for the actor said he had lost work opportunities and high-profile roles, such as being dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, after the accusations.
Jurors found in his favour after the six-week trial.
Depp now plans to direct his first feature film in 25 years. Modi will tell the story of Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.
He will co-produce the film alongside Al Pacino.