Mads Mikkelsen Opens Up About What He Wishes He Could Ask JK Rowling

Danish actor, villain extraordinaire, and current Grindlewald Mads Mikkelsen says he has only one question he would like to ask JK Rowling.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Mads Mikkelsen joining the Fantastic Beasts franchise is just about the best thing that could happen to the Harry Potter prequel series. Even if the entire Potterverse were not continually having to deal with the controversies swirling around its billionaire creator and even if one of the (former) central stars of the series was not currently in the midst of one of the most public and gutwrenching celebrity trials of recent memory, Mikkelsen is just great to have on your side. The Danish actor helped bring back the James Bond franchise, made us forget about Anthony Hopkins and chianti, and is now playing the greatest dark wizard in history. And according to an interview that Mads Mikkelsen recently gave to The Hollywood Reporter, the only thing he would like to ask JK Rowling is why Grindlewald hates Muggles so very much. Here’s what he says:

I’d like him not just to be instantly demagogic… My reason is that something happened to his entire family when he was a child that explains the hate he carries around… It’s a fantastic, detailed, complex universe [Rowling’s] created, and I’d love to hear her thoughts on it. I hope I will do more than this one [film].

Honestly, good call, Mads Mikkelsen. While many people might be interested in asking the author of The Casual Vacancy about her apparent obsession with informing the world as to her opinions about the gender orientation of other people or how it feels to have the dictator of Russia sympathize with you, Mikkelsen is about the art. Apparently, he never got a chance to speak to the author, and now that he has taken over the role of Dark Wizard/Dumbledore ex Gellert Grindlewald over from Johnny Depp (who resigned from the role at the request of Warner Bros after losing a UK libel case in 2020), he is sensibly thinking about the motivations of what would make a quasi-fascist wizard in the 1930s hate non-magical people so much. While the motivations of villains in Harry Potter have always been pretty thin (usually that they are classmates who have really bad fathers), it would add another layer of meaning for Mads Mikkelsen to know why Grindlewald has dedicated his life to subjugating the Muggle world. 

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Mads Mikkelsen broke through to American audiences in 2006 with the James Bond reboot film Casino Royale which also brought us Daniel Craig, naked and tied to a chair. While he is known in his native Denmark for a wide spectrum of roles, including often sympathetic everymen, he quickly cemented a place in Hollywood as a villain tour de force. He portrayed Dr. Hannibal Lecter opposite Hugh Dancy in Bryan Fuller’s cult NBC drama Hannibal for three seasons, managing to create a new impression of the famous cannibal after the Anthony Hopkins so well defined it. He also joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the first Doctor Strange movie, playing an adversary of Benedict Cumberbatch’s title character trying to rid the world of death (it did not go so well). 

While Mads Mikkelsen is primarily known for playing well, evil people, he generally does so with a trace of humanity that makes his sinister edge that much more compelling. It is no surprise that he would be interested in knowing exactly what makes Gellert Grindlewald tick, and maybe he will get a chance to ask JK Rowling someday. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is currently in theaters.

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