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Mads Mikkelsen Talks to Guillermo del Toro About Playing Drunk in ‘Another Round’ — Watch

Exclusive: The Oscar-winning filmmaker talks to the star and director of the Oscar-contending drama, digging into what it's like to direct and play drunk characters.

Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Vinterberg, Guillermo del Toro

Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Vinterberg, Guillermo del Toro

Vimeo/screenshot

Thomas Vinterberg’s raucous drama “Another Round,” about a group of friends who experiment with a constant, moderate level of drunkenness to see if it improves their lives, is in the running for the Best International Feature Oscar this year. Ahead of Oscar nominations on March 15, where the Danish film could land among the five nominees in the category, the film’s U.S. distributor has shared a Q&A on the film (featuring Mads Mikkelsen and director Vinterberg) moderated by director Guillermo del Toro. Watch the full Q&A, exclusive to IndieWire, below.

“It’s extraordinary to see a movie that moves you, that affects you, the way this one did to me,” Guillermo del Toro said. “I wanted to say something: The title in Danish [‘Druk’], and the title in English, both are very, very beautiful. In English, it’s because ‘Another Round’ means all these characters are going to get another round at life, and the other is about binge-drinking, the original title, but it is the same thing: Can we get intoxicated with life? Can we take it again?”

Del Toro added, “The final scene is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve seen on film ever,” referring to the buoyant dance Mads Mikkelsen bursts into before leaping into the water. “It truly captures something that is lightning in a bottle.”

Del Toro also pivoted the conversation to how Mikkelsen prepared for playing drunk in the film. “We can talk about how difficult it is to play drunk in a movie, which is one of the most difficult things for any actor and for a director to shoot,” Del Toro said.

“We did our best to try to shoot it in order. There are certain things where this is drunk, and nothing else, but there were also a lot of times where we said ‘There’s a certain freedom here’ through the alcohol,” Mikkelsen said. “It was not about the drunkenness of it: It was about how free you would be in a scene. It’s pretty much the same thing, but when he wasn’t insanely drunk, we saw it as freedom, burdenless. And then of course, slurring the mouth, hands moving erratically, but for the guy outside looking at it, it could look like freedom, not drunkenness. That was important to all of us, that’s the way they could get away with it. They weren’t just constantly falling.”

Mikkelsen said that prior to filming, “We did a little boot camp…and that’s not because we don’t know how it is to be drunk…it was for us to see what is the difference between two glasses, four glasses, six glasses.” That helped him modulate his performance throughout the movie, where he is almost always just a little bit drunk.

“I tried to do it in a way that it doesn’t come across. You’re hiding that you’re drunk. That’s the rule for all actors,” he said. “Focus, focus, walk a little more stiffly, you talk a little more slower, and that gives you away. The next level where you don’t care about what people think, we call it the ‘Russian level.'”

“Another Round” is now available on VOD.

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