While arthouse fans have already known about the skills of Mads Mikkelsen, mainstream audiences— who may have forgotten he was the menacing baddie in “Casino Royale“— got a full dose of the actor this spring in NBC‘s better than expected “Hannibal.” In the show, he plays the crafty, deeply intellectual psychologist Hannibal Lecter, who has a curious preference when it comes to his meals. But if you want to know just how wide-ranging Mikkelsen can be, just check out this clip from “The Hunt.”
The latest film from “The Celebration” director Thomas Vinterberg, it was a triple prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival last year taking the Ecumenical Jury Prize, Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist and most importantly Best Actor for Mikkelsen. And here’s the evidence. Far from the steelier roles he’s known for, here the actor is full on vulnerable (sometimes maddeningly so), playing a kindergarten teacher falsely accused of child molestation, who faces the wrath of the entire small-town community in which he lives. His friends and family fall away, and his passivity comes as a sign of his own shock that he’s even going through this hell when he’s innocent.