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Mads Mikkelsen on Clash of the Titans

Published April 5, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Clash of the Titans Poster Clash of the Titans
You got a problem with dudes in skirts? Don’t tell Mads Mikkelsen about it. He plays a warrior fighting mythological Greek monsters in Clash of the Titans, and he loved showing off his legs. Hey, nobody talked sh** about Braveheart.

Mikkelson Caught in the Middle of Clash of the Titans


“The girls wanted higher and I went with it,” Mikkelsen joked. “It was strange. When you start, it was a strange feeling. It would’ve been worse if somebody was wearing cool pants. We’re all wearing skirts but the first couple days we just had to look at each other and say I do have a sword and I do kill enormous creatures. It’s okay with a skirt. I can live with it. But it was flying all over the place. How do you deal with it? I sewed mine together. You had to do a lot of research. Not a lot of protection but we got some flexibility.”

You may know Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, the original Bond villain in the reboot Casino Royale. He’s had a prolific career in Denmark, but Hollywood keeps pulling him over here.

“I got a phone call from Louis [Leterrier] and I met him in a café in London. I hadn’t read the script. He gave me the script and he pitched it for me. Got up on the table, started acting the witches, he was the kraken, he was everybody. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll go down, I’ll do it, I’ll do it.’ He was very energetic. I loved him, his energy and that’s how it started. So while I read the script, I liked what I saw there. Sam [Worthington] was in it, a lot of people I loved in it, so that was it. I was in.”



The film’s kick-ass action lived up to the director’s pitch. “I think we all had great fun doing the scorpion battle. We spent three, four weeks in that separated in little groups, so we were all really anticipating seeing what the other guys did. We showed up at the poolside each night going, ‘Oh, look at this bruise. Look at my bruise.’ It would all be a stunt guy that beat us all with an enormous arm that was open. So I loved seeing that but I was also really happy doing a little smaller stunt with Sam, the one where I teach him how to use his sword. We did that actually on a parking lot in ten minutes, came up with it. The stunt guys, they take really big pride in teaching us, letting us do the whole thing. Having said that, being in a film like this that you loved as a kid, the only thing you wanted to do was fly through the air with a sword. If they take that away from you, you go crying to bed.”

The Greek gods and monsters are universal anyway, so it doesn’t matter where you’re from. “I think we all knew a little about Greek mythology. Being actors, we do dig into the Greek dramas once in a while. We know about Medusa, we know about Hades, we know about Zeus. In my case, it’s very similar to the Nordic mythology. We have all these different gods who have their human qualities of greed and jealousy and anger, and that makes them so vivid. It’s poetry. It’s something that we can mirror ourselves in and we recognize, but in this case we didn’t really have to. It’s in the script. We were focusing on the script and this specific story about Perseus.”

Clash of the Titans is out in theaters.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros
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