While promoting his new project Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen reveals his adamant disdain for method acting.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Mikkelsen described method acting simply, succinctly, and swiftly: “It’s bullshit.” However, this does not mean that Mikkelsen does not prepare or commit fiercely to his roles.
“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?”
Mikkelsen’s impressive resume has credits ranging from Danish films to indie films to big Hollywood hits. He is best known to American audiences as the villain Le Chiffre in the Bond film Casino Royale and as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the NBC show Hannibal.
He took over the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the new Fantastic Beasts film from Johnny Depp after Depp was asked by Warner Brothers to resign over abuse allegations.
Mikkelsen has seen and done much over his acting career but remains unimpressed with the method. He jokingly imagines himself on set with famous method actor Daniel Day-Lewis stating.
“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.”
Mikkelsen believes the media is partially to blame for the hype around method acting.
“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.”
Audiences can see Mikkelsen use his own acting techniques in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore out in theaters on April 14.