Harrison Ford Wouldn’t Stop Calling Mads Mikkelsen A Nazi On Indiana Jones Set

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

indiana jones
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny might not be blowing up the box office this summer, but the fifth outing for the legendary fedora-wearing archeologist is still generating a lot of conversation. Actor Mads Mikkelson, who plays the villainous Dr. Voller, added an interesting detail to that discussion. In an interview with GQ, Mikkelson stated that Harrison Ford would call him a Nazi every time the two crossed paths during the film’s production.

Harrison Ford had some fun with Mads Mikkelsen on the set of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny by poking fun at the Dutch actor’s villainious Nazi character.

“Normally, he would just see me wherever I was, randomly, far away, and he would scream ‘There goes a Nazi!'”Mikkelsen recalled. 

In the video, Mads Mikkelsen states that his character was based around Warner von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist who was recruited by the United States to helm NASA’s rocket research after the end of World War II.

Mikkelsen said he was fascinated by how photos of von Braun showed him walking comfortably alongside Americans, as though he were not in charge of making long-range rockets to kill civilians during the war.

“Normally, he would just see me wherever I was, randomly, far away, and he would scream ‘There goes a Nazi!’

Mads Mikkelsen on Harrison Ford

Warner von Braun, for his part, said that being a member of the Nazi party was a necessity for advancing his science career, calling himself an apolitical scientist. However, it eventually became widely known that von Braun’s V-2 program used slave labor, resulting in thousands of prisoners’ deaths during the rockets’ production.

Mads Mikkelsen’s character plays up that characterization, playing a hardened Nazi using his role as an American scientist to further his own ends.

Mads Mikkelsen in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Of course, not everyone who heard Harrison Ford call Mads Mikkelsen a Nazi actually knew what he was talking about. According to Mikkelsen, that led to more than a few awkward moments where they had to tell new crew members what exactly was going on.

However, Mads Mikkelsen displayed good humor about the whole ordeal, saying that it was Harrison Ford’s “way of warming up” — something he appreciated. Mikkelsen had nothing but good things to say about the film’s star, saying he is as full of energy as a teenager. He called Ford a “legend on so many levels,” but appreciated that he goes out of his way to make everyone comfortable around him.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the third time Harrison Ford’s character has punched Nazis for the greater good.

This Nazi role plays well with the history of Harrison Ford’s much-beloved archeologist hero, making Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny the third Indiana Jones film to feature nazis as antagonists.

The first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, pitted Jones against Nazis who hoped to use the Ark of the Covenant to help extend Nazi power. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the third film in the series, has Nazis attempting to locate and use the immortality-granting Holy Grail.

While the latest Indiana Jones movie isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off, the reactions of both critics and audiences show that the movie was much better than expected — and certainly better than the ill-fated Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that was released in 2008.

With a B+ CinemaScore and a 69 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, fans of the series would be well-advised to give the latest — and presumably last — Indiana Jones flick a chance.

However, whether enough fans will see the movie based on word of mouth to counteract its poor box office performance remains to be seen.