‘What If It’s A S–t Film’ – Fantastic Beasts Actor Mads Mikkelsen Gets Brutally Honest About Method Acting

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Mads Mikkelsen’s ascension to stardom has left fans and critics in his awe. The Danish star had his first breakout role in Casino Royale and has never looked back since then. After starring in the critically acclaimed Hannibal TV series as the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Mikkelsen went on to star in Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryDoctor Strange, and Another Round, which won the Best International Feature Film at last year’s Academy Awards. Now, the prolific actor has landed a role in another mega-franchise: Fantastic Beasts, a spin-off based on the Harry Potter universe.


Last year, Mads Mikkelsen was roped in to replace Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. Depp, who has been in the midst of a legal battle with his former wife Amber Heard was removed from the Fantastic Beasts movies due to the ongoing controversy. As a result, Mikkelsen was brought in to replace Depp, that left fans divided. However, after the release of the movie, a lot of fans have been persuaded that Mikkelsen is in fact, a terrifying Grindelwald, and much better than Johnny Depp in many aspects. As Mikkelsen has once again portrayed his impeccable acting chops on screen, the Danish actor has shared his opinions regarding method acting in Hollywood.

Mads Mikkelsen hates method acting


Mads Mikkelsen Calls Method Acting Bulls–t

Mads Mikkelsen is easily considered to be one of the best actors of this generation despite having a limited filmography to date. Interestingly, the Danish actor has revealed in the past that he is usually quite unaware of the mega-franchise that he has been a part of. From James Bond to Star Wars, Mikkelsen didn’t have a firm knowledge of these franchises. However, the actor goes into great depths to get the character right, as evident from his string of successes in the past year.

Mads Mikkelsen Calls Method Acting Bullshit
Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald


In a recent interview with GQ, the actor revealed that he actually learned sword fighting and horse riding for King Arthur, showing his commitment to the roles. However, the actor expressed his extreme disdain for method acting, where actors go to extreme lengths to stay in character.


“But preparation, you can take into insanity. What if it’s a shit film – what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?”

When asked about having the chance of starring alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the forerunners of method acting in Hollywood, the Fantastic Beasts actor revealed his thoughts:

“I would have the time of my life, just breaking down the character constantly. I’m having a cigarette? This is from 2020, it’s not from 1870 – can you live with it? It’s just pretentious. Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor. But it’s got nothing to do with this.”

“The media goes, ‘Oh my god, he took it so seriously, therefore he must be fantastic; let’s give him an award.’ Then that’s the talk, and everybody knows about it, and it becomes a thing.”

Mads Mikkelsen Talks About Being Compared To Johnny Depp

Mads Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp was undoubtedly an abrupt and sudden decision that was taken by Warner Bros. considering Depp’s widespread controversy. The Danish actor also revealed that he understood the studio’s urgency. While the Fantastic Beasts franchise has received mixed reviews, especially after the second movie, Mikkelsen thinks there’s still potential for the franchise to be successful.

Related: 5 Times Fantastic Beasts Let Harry Potter Fans Down

Mads Mikkelsen Replaced Johnny Depp as Grindelwald
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald

When asked about being compared to Johnny Depp, Mikkelsen remembered the time when Daniel Craig was brutally criticized for being cast as James Bond, only to retire as one of the best iterations of the character of all time.

“Nobody’s interested in me going in there and trying to copy anything, that would be creative suicide immediately, especially when it’s been done before and masterfully. So everybody’s expecting us to find a different path. Having said that, we need a bridge between what he did and what I’m gonna do, so those bridges you have to find together, whether it’s a certain look, whether it’s a certain attitude in certain situations, but you have to make it your own. Anything else would be plainly just creatively stupid.”

Being no stranger to filling great shoes as he played the role of Hannibal Lecter after the legendary Anthony Hopkins, Mikkelsen says he brought a bit of empathy and respect to Grindelwald, adding to the intellectual vanity portrayed by Johnny Depp.

To see Mads Mikkelsen shine as Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is now playing in theaters.


Written by Akash Senapati

Articles Published: 373

Akash is the Lead Content Strategist for FandomWire. Having started as a writer for FandomWire back in 2020, he now manages a global team of writers who share the same passion for motion arts, from Martin Scorsese to the latest MCU flick. He loves DC Comics, Anime, Pink Floyd, and sleeping in no particular order. His favorite graphic-medium writers are Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Christopher Priest, Garth Ennis, and Eiichiro Oda. Prep time > Aliens.