MCM: Mads Mikkelsen


I admit, I didn’t know of the existence of Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen until I saw him in A Royal Affair, and then? WHOO BOY! Those cheekbones! He’s done a ton of historical films, and clearly I need to line them up. Let’s do this:


I Am Dina (2002)

A Norwegian-Swedeish-Danish film set in 1860, about a woman who has trouble letting go of the people she loves. Looks like a tragedy!

2002 I Am Dina

I’m getting a rustic-down-with-the-people vibe.

2002 I Am Dina

Cute hat!


King Arthur (2004)

Mads played the small part of Tristan (as in Tristan and Isolde) in this “let’s make Arthur Roman/Guinevere Celtic? Anglo-Saxon? Some kind of warrior badass.”

2004 King Arthur

Letting the locks flow free.


Flame & Citron (2008)

Two real-life Danish resistance workers, one of whom is played by Mikkelsen, during World War II.

2008 Flame & Citron

Hence the professorial vibe, which, rowr.

2008 Flame & Citron



Valhalla Rising (2009)

A 12th-century Norse warrior (Mikkelsen) finds himself in a strange land.

2009 Valhalla Rising

Keeping the linen nubby.

2009 Valhalla Rising



Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)

A fictionalized account about a rumored affair between the famous fashion designer and composer.

2009 Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

I hadn’t cared about seeing this movie, but now?

2009 Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky


2009 Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky



Clash of the Titans (2010)

A remake of the film set in ancient Greek myths. Mikkelsen plays “Draco, captain of the royal guard of Argos who accompanies Perseus.”

2010 Clash of the Titans

Not my favorite look.

2010 Clash of the Titans

Ok the hair is interesting!

2010 Clash of the Titans

Better! Needs more thigh!


The Three Musketeers (2011)

Yet Another Adaptation of the 17th century-set novel. Mads plays the Comte de Rochefort, a baddie.

2011 The Three Musketeers

Hence the eyepatch | Ph: Rolf Konow, SMPSP, © 2011 Constantin Film Produktion GmbH, NEF Productions, S.A.S., and New Legacy Film Ltd. All rights reserved.

2011 The Three Musketeers

Is that a … steampunk eyepatch??

2011 The Three Musketeers

I don’t think this is how muskets work.


A Royal Affair (2012)

He plays Johann Friedrich Struensee, doctor, philosopher, and statesman, who had an affair with Danish Queen Caroline Mathilda in the 1770s.

2012 A Royal Affair


2012 A Royal Affair

The black on black and the simple hair is to show you he’s a straightforward guy.

2012 A Royal Affair

He’s thoughtful!

2012 A Royal Affair

Cares about good government!

2012 A Royal Affair

Hangs with the (crazy) king!


Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (2013)

An adaptation of a story set in the 16th century about a German merchant whose “grievance against a Saxon nobleman developed into a full-blown feud against the state of Saxony, thus infringing the Eternal Peace of 1495,” per Wikipedia.

2013 Age of Uprising- The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

Serious men are serious.

2013 Age of Uprising- The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

I think they’re wearing Dockers.

2013 Age of Uprising- The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

You’re welcome.

2013 Age of Uprising- The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas

The fuck is she wearing? Some Contempo Casuals version of the Anna Meyer/Holbein portrait?


The Salvation (2014)

A Danish western set in the 1870s.

2014 The Salvation

Buying all of the brown dye, I see.

2014 The Salvation

Noble man is noble!


At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

A biopic about painter Vincent van Gogh’s final years in Provence. Mikkelsen plays “The Priest.”

2018 At Eternity's Gate

Yep, looks priestly!

2018 At Eternity's Gate

Not gonna see it unless you tell me he gets naked.


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

A Harry Potter movie set in the 1930s. Mikkelsen plays Gellert Grindelwald.

2022 Fantastic Beasts- The Secrets of Dumbledore

Again with the professorial vibe! Rowr!


Indiana Jones 5 (coming in 2023)

Not sure when exactly this is set — 1940s, I assume? Mads’ role is as yet unnamed.

2023 Indiana Jones 5

I’ll take “dapper men” for $500!


The Bastard (coming in 2023)

According to the Hollywood Reporter, he’ll be playing “Captain Ludvig Kahlen, a 17th century soldier who sets out on an impossible mission: to clear and cultivate the wild Jutland heath for the Danish crown.”

2023 The Bastard



Which is your favorite Mads Mikkelsen historical role?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

17 Responses

  1. Kat

    The Three Musketeers is so bananas; somehow even worse than the 1990s version that cast Charlie Sheen of all people as Aramis. Although I will give it credit for introducing me to Luke Evans – Mads I’d already seen in King Arthur (alongside Hugh Dancy, well before their Hannibal days). I do recall, even as a wee baby literature lover, being mad that his Tristan was reduced to a generic ‘silent vaguely Eastern warrior’ type when I knew the story of Tristan and Isolde and how tragic it was.

    • Al Don

      What a waste of a fantastic cast, almost all of whom I love in something else. Mads Mikkelsen, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård, and I keep forgetting Til Schweiger’s in it.

      A movie that belies its own premise. “This is the realistic King Arthur, and by ‘realistic’ we mean we have no damn clue what Sub-Roman Britain should look like.” It wasn’t even the first attempt or the most realistic.

  2. MsNomi

    Yeah, I know it’s not in your wheelhouse, but definitely Hannibal. Now do a review on his oh so lovely brother Lars. Start with The Witcher and work your way back.

  3. florenceandtheai

    I’m apparently a lover of Mads in frock flicks, because I’ve seen several of these.
    -King Arthur, not a great movie but the knights, sweet Jesus, the knights.
    -A Royal Affair was enjoyable. I like Alicia Vikander, and they did a nice job of showing the king’s eccentricities w/o going full-blown crazy balls. The Danish court had several factions, one of which Struensee led, and the maneuvering is interesting. They take the tack that Queen Caroline Mathilda definitely had an affair w/him, which unless I remember incorrectly, hasn’t been totally confirmed.
    -Flame and Citron is VERYVERYVERY GOOD! Sorry for yelling. It is heartbreaking, and beautiful, and just, go rent it.
    -Not a frock flick, but I did enjoy his performance as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. He was the first genuinely chilling, not cartoonish, Bond villain in a long time.

  4. Al Don

    Great choice. He’s one of my favorite actors working today. I love him in period pieces but he’s also great in contemporaneous roles. Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006) (one of the best Bond movies) and Jagten (The Hunt) (2012) for example.

    Be sure to check him out Mænd & høns (Men & Chicken) (2015) for a fantastic comedic performance. Wholesome, family entertainment that one.

  5. Damnitz

    I didn’t like him in “The royal affair” because he was just looking too much bad ass for me when I compare him to the sources about Struensee. Maybe the costumes were a problem too. But I like him as an actor and I have to underline that I’m allways happy to recognize that he still makes smaller films in his homecountry and is not too much focussed on international productions.

  6. Constance

    I loved MM since seeing him Unit One years ago…but recently read he is a pal of Johnny Depp which cooled my old lady crush significantly…


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