5 X Mads Mikkelsen

ACTOR PROFILE. Anders Thomas Jensen's new film "Men & Chicken," which screened at the Toronto Film Festival and a host of other festivals this fall, provides the perfect cue to assess the many faces of Mads Mikkelsen.

Over his career Mads Mikkelsen (born 1965) has put together an impressive body of work in both Danish and international films.

The Danish actor has demonstrated his range as a romantic lead in Nicolaj Arcel's Oscar-nominated "A Royal Affair," a heroic protector in Kristian Levring's western "The Salvation" and a Bond villain in "Casino Royale," among many other roles. His talent, along with his captivating and versatile visage, has attracted attention worldwide.

But that hasn't stopped him from picking offbeat roles – roles that show he's not afraid to look odd, battered or otherwise less than flattering. We have picked these five recent faces of Mads Mikkelsen:

 Maendoghoens_5Men & Chicken. Photo: Rolf Konow

Men & Chicken (2015)

Mikkelsen plays Elias, a rather special individual who, like his brothers, has a cleft lip and palate, is a bit dense and has a compulsion to hit people with stuffed animals. This pitch-black comedy picks up the thread from director Anders Thomas Jensen's three previous features, which also focus on the nature and beauty of the oddball.

hannibal_mads_mikkelsenHannibal. Photo: NBC

Hannibal (TV, 2013)

At first glance Dr. Hannibal Lecter is neither unattractive nor uncharming, but once you get acquainted with his peculiar proclivities, you have to question the motives behind his overly polished and controlled appearance. Mikkelsen to discomforting effect shows his knack for making a well-dressed, disciplined man seem both fake and terrifying.

jagten-webThe Hunt. Photo: Per Arnesen

The Hunt (2012)

Mikkelsen's character, Lucas, starts out looking like a nice normal guy. But the actor's face soon proves to be the perfect canvas for depicting the effects of Lucas's downfall after he becomes the victim of a witch hunt. Over the course of the story, as Lucas is physically assaulted and his psyche slowly crumbles, Mikkelsen's face convincingly displays the complete destruction of a man through grief, pain, exhaustion, hopelessness and physical scarring. Thomas Vinterberg's drama won Mikkelsen the Best Actor award at Cannes 2012.

Valhalla-Rising_mads_mikkelValhalla Rising. Photo: Dean Rogers

Valhalla Rising (2006)

Mikkelsen's character doesn't say a single word in the entire film, making the physical appearance of this supernaturally powerful warrior all the more crucial. You can't help but focus on it. His mutilated body and face, especially the brutal scarring around his missing eye, stand out, adding character and physicality, even if it isn't pleasant to look at. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who also made Mikkelsen's breakthrough film, Pusher, in 1996.

De-Groenne-SlagtereThe Green Butchers. Photo: Rolf Konow

The Green Butchers (2003)

Svend, in Anders Thomas Jensen's black comedy, is hardly a dreamboat. His inferiority complex and flawed personality – he eventually adds human flesh to the wares in his butcher shop – along with his steeply receding hairline and heavy sweating makes Svend a highly unflattering character.

Revised version, first published August 2015