Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor best known for his starring role as the accomplished psychologist and sociopathic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter - based on the character from Thomas Harris' classic novels - in the psychological thriller television series Hannibal.
He is also known for his award-winning role in the film The Hunt and for playing the main antagonist Le Chiffre in the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale.
The Copenhagen-born actor began his professional career as a gymnast and dancer, and he has worked steadily in theatre, television and film to become the top male star in Denmark and Scandinavia.
Mikkelsen stars in the Academy Award-nominated film A Royal Affair in the role of Johann Friedrich Struensee, the German physician who became a confidante to the mentally ill King Christian VII and had an affair with his wife, Queen Caroline Mathilde.
Mikkelsen received the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his role in The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration). Mikkelsen plays a kindergarten teacher in a small Danish village who is falsely accused of child abuse.
Following a premiere at Cannes, the film screened at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival, the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released by Magnolia Pictures in 2013.
Mikkelsen also co-stars in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman in the role of Nigel, a violent crime boss, opposite Shia LaBeouf, Rupert Grint and Evan Rachel Wood.
Directed by Fredrik Bond, the film premiered in January 2013 at Sundance Film Festival and was screened in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013.
Mikkelsen made his film debut with a lead performance in director Nicolas Winding Refn's (Drive) 1996 international crime drama success Pusher, part one of a trilogy.
He reprised his role as a low-life pusher/junkie in the much-anticipated sequel, With Blood on My Hands: Pusher 2. This performance garnered him a Best Actor Robert statue from the Film Academy of Denmark and a Best Actor Bodil Award from Denmark's National Association of Film Critics.
In 2004, Mikkelsen made his American debut opposite Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in Disney's King Arthur, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean). As Tristan, Mikkelsen played the understated hawk-loving scout among Arthur's (Owen) Knights of the Round Table.
In 2005, Mikkelsen appeared as a delusional priest in Adam's Apple, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was the Danish selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2006 Academy Awards and his performance garnered him a Best Actor Zulu Award.
In 2006, Mikkelsen starred as the villain, Le Chiffre, in the highest-grossing James Bond film, Casino Royale.
Also that year, Mikkelsen played the lead role in the Academy Award-nominated film After the Wedding, directed by Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier (In a Better World). He also starred in the Swedish thriller Exit, directed by Peter Lindmark.
In 2008, Mikkelsen starred in director Ole Christian Madsen's Danish drama/action film, Flame & Citron.
In 2009, Mikkelsen was reunited with Danish director Nicolas Winding-Refn (Drive) for Valhalla Rising. The story follows a group of Christians who get tragically lost on a journey to Jerusalem, and takes place in 1,000 AD. The film premiered at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.
In 2010, Mikkelsen starred as Draco in the 3D fantasy adventure film Clash of the Titans. The film was directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) and distributed by Warner Brothers.
In 2011, Mikkelsen starred as Rochefort in the 3D adaptation of The Three Musketeers for director Paul W.S. Anderson. The film also starred Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz and Milla Jovovich.
Additional film credits include I Am Dina opposite Gerard Depardieu, Shake It All About, Flickering Lights, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself and The Green Butchers, for which he was nominated for a Bodil Award for Best Actor in 2004.
A graduate of Arhus Theatre School, Mikkelsen has subsequently appeared onstage in several productions, including as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, directed by Lars Kaalund. Mikkelsen also starred in the police series Unit 1, which garnered an International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series.
Among his many distinguished and varied film roles, Mikkelsen is best known for his starring role in Susanne Bier's Open Hearts for which he was nominated for Best Actor for the Robert (Danish Academy Award) and Bodil (Danish Film Critics' Award) in 2003 and won the Best Actor Zulu Award in 2002.
Mads is the younger brother of actor Lars Mikkelsen.