Mads Mikkelsen Biography
Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen is a Danish actor who was born on November 22, 1965, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mikkelsen grew up in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen with his older brother, actor Lars Mikkelsen.
In his younger years, Mads Mikkleson trained as a gymnast and later studied dance at the Balettakademien in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he became fluent in Swedish. During his dancing career, he met and married choreographer Hanne Jacobsen in 2000.
Mikkelsen made his film debut in 1996 as a drug dealer in Nicolas Winding Refn’s internationally successful film Pusher, which led to two sequels. He went on to play comic roles in popular Danish films and had a leading role in Refn’s Bleeder in 1999. In 2000, he starred in Flickering Lights, a Copenhagen gangster film, and gained wider popularity the following year in the gay comedy Shake It All About.
In 2002, Mads Mikkelsen had a leading role in Open Hearts, playing a young doctor who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his patients. He won both Robert and Bodil nominations in 2003 for Best Actor, as well as the Best Actor award at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival. In the same year, he played an orphaned butcher’s assistant in The Green Butchers, winning the Fantasporto Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the butcher. He also starred in Pablo Berger’s Spanish film Torremolinos 73.
Mads Mikkelsen’s breakthrough role and his longest-running role was as a sensitive policeman in Niels Arden Oplev’s Danish television series Rejseholdet (Unit One) (2000–03), for which he won the 2002 Best Actor Award from TvFestival.dk.
He later became more widely known internationally for his role as Bond villain and terrorist banker Le Chiffre in the twenty-first James Bond film, Casino Royale, in 2006. The role was celebrated by critics and boosted Mikkelson’s global recognition, earning him accolades and establishing him as a versatile actor in the international film scene.
In 2012, Mads Mikkelsen starred in The Hunt, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He also played Johann Friedrich Struensee in A Royal Affair the same year. In 2013, he played Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s TV series Hannibal (2013–15).
Mikkelsen’s recent work includes Kaecilius in the Marvel film Doctor Strange (2016), the villainous mayor in Chaos Walking (2018), and the lead in Arctic (2018). He also starred in the Danish comedy-drama Another Round (2020), which won the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, earning Mikkelsen a BAFTA Nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
In November 2020, Mads Mikkelsen was cast as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, replacing Johnny Depp. He also joined the cast of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in April 2021. Mikkelsen will reunite with Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller on his directorial debut Dust Bunny, with shooting to commence in January 2023.
Mikkelsen has been married to Hanne Jacobsen since 2000, and they have two children. In 2010, he was appointed Ridder (Knight) of the Order of the Dannebrog, and in 2016, the French government appointed him a Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.