Sunday, February 8, 2009

younger brother makes good

In his home country of Denmark, actor Mads Mikkelsen repeatedly has been named "the sexiest man alive."

For such a gifted, serious actor, it is a dubious honour. But showing his dexterity for handling publicity, the square-jawed, 40-year-old Mikkelsen has jokingly said he prefers that to winning "the ugliest man in Denmark" prize.

At the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, female admirers -- including a slew of Toronto publicists handling interviews at the Hotel InterContinental -- have been cooing and calling Mikkelsen "the new Viggo," in reference to Viggo Mortensen. The two share a Scandinavian heritage and a manly-man quality layered with sensitivity

When you meet Mikkelsen, he turns out to be modest, but also the real deal. He has already been seen in Ole Christian Madsen's Danish film Prague in the filmfest. And he is ready now to see how Toronto responds tonight at Roy Thomson Hall when his other entry, Susanne Bier's drama After The Wedding, plays as a gala.

Mikkelsen will soon turn 41, already a bona fide superstar in Denmark. Now his career could go international because his birthday coincides with the world release of Casino Royale, the new James Bond film with Mikkelsen as the villain.

"Then we'll see what happens," he says of a possible and sudden career shift to international celebrity (something that did not happen with his support role in King Arthur). "But I will always want to do Danish films, serious films like After The Wedding."

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