In an interview with GQ promoting the soon-to-be-released Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Mads Mikkelsen discussed the many franchise roles he’s taken on over the years and what he faced in becoming the third actor in three films to portray evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is his opinion on the recent trend towards method acting and how it can distract from the end result that ends up in theaters. Simply put, he calls it “bullshit.”
For those who need further context, he continues breaking down why the method doesn’t make sense in his eyes. “I would have the time of my life, just breaking down the character constantly. ‘I’m having a cigarette? This is from 2020, it’s not from 1870 – can you live with it?’ It’s just pretentious” There have been several prominent recent stories about actors who have used method acting on set to extreme degrees, including Jared Leto’s insistence on using a wheelchair while filming Morbius. Mads sees these instances making headlines and views them as a distraction. “The media goes, ‘Oh my god, he took it so seriously, therefore he must be fantastic; let’s give him an award.’ Then that’s the talk, and everybody knows about it, and it becomes a thing.”
Whatever method Mads does use to get into character obviously works. His performances, from Casino Royale to Death Stranding, are always memorable. While it would be fun to see Grindelwald continue to be a shapeshifter in the scheduled last two films in the Fantastic Beasts saga, it seems that Warner Bros. may stick with what works and keep Mads if they can secure him.