The hit NBC TV series Hannibal is based on Thomas Harris’ chilling saga Red Dragon. At first glance, most viewers may wonder whatever happened to the manically suave genius-cannibal Anthony Hopkins immortalized on the silver screen. However, given time, these same armchair critics are swept away by the masterful unfurling of the self-same character, rendered by no other than Mads Mikkelsen.
It might come as a surprise to many of his fans that when the role was offered to him, Mads (pronounced “mehss”) was hesitant to bite. “It’s been done to perfection”, he replied, thinking of Anthony Hopkins’ definitive depiction of the connosieur-cum-cannibal. “What could we add?” The fans can think of much, much more. Now as the titular character of the TV series, he strikes a fine onscreen chemistry with Hugh Dancy who plays the troubled yet brilliant profiler Will Graham. The bromantic tension between the two characters, the impeccable flair for the sartorial, and the controlled madness seeping through the brilliance is what has enraptured fans to this Danish actor.
Like many great artists, Mads had to put in the work and dedication to perfect his craft. He was born in Copenhangen to bente Christiansen and Henne Mikkelsen, a nurse and a cab driver. He and his brother shared a love for acting, and was trained first as a gymnast and later a ballet dancer in the school of Gothenburg. He continued as a dancer for a decade, then left it to study and pursue his dream of becoming an actor.