If you love Doctor Strange, Entertainment Weekly just gave you a late Christmas present: an extensive first look the upcoming magical Marvel film. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the Doctor, who appeared on the cover of the magazine in the full costume for the first time. EW also revealed the roles of other actors in the film, announcing the incomparable and terrifying Mads Mikkelsen as the Doctor Strange villain, a role he was born for.
It's no surprise that Mads will be Dr. Strange's foe: the 50-year old Danish actor has made a career from accessing the utter darkness of the human soul and has played some iconic villains already. Also, his face.
Marvel Studios president and Doctor Strange producer Kevin Feige and executive producer of the film Stephen Broussard didn't reveal who Mikkelsen would be playing, but did say that "Mads’ character is a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect. [He] believes that the Ancient One (played by Tilda Swinton) is just
her own power base and that the world may be better off if we were to allow some of these other things through." So I am going to assume he's the bad guy.
All the reasons Mikkelsen is the perfect fit to play Cumberbatch's darkly magical nemesis:
1. His Name Has "Mad" Right In It
I don't believe in fate, but if I did, I think naming your son "Mads" would ensure that he would be involved in some sort of villainy.
2. He's One Of The Best 007 Villains Of All Time
Mikkelsen played the ice-cold, nefarious Le Chiffre in the 2006 Bond film
Royale, the first Bond film starring Daniel Craig — and he was scary as hell. Esquire named him one of the top ten Bond villains of all time, as did Variety, calling him "a corpse as much as a man with suave menace."
His performance as the evil genius combined classic elements of Bond villains — amazing suits, crying blood, and using platinum inhalers — with real life evil. Le Chiffre is a terrorist financier on a global level, and his scene where he captures and flays Bond is still bone-chilling. He's my favorite Bond villain, and if I do say so myself, and the most handsome.
3. He Was An Incredible Hannibal
Fans of the NBC version of Hannibal were enraged when the grisly, gruesome, and gory series starring Mikkelsen as the titular cannibal Dr. Lecter was canceled in June after just three seasons. Fans on Tumblr especially were devestated, as Hannibal had a huge fandom on the microblog (obviously helps that Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, who played Detective Will Graham, had amazing sexual chemistry).
The role of Hannibal Lecter was perfect for Mikkelsen, not only for his acting chops, but because Hannibal was so classy and bourgeoisie in an outlandish way: he played the harpsichord, he dressed perfectly, and he was, in nasty and nightmare-inducing ways, an artist.
4. Look At His Face
So handsome. So scary. So sexy. So horrifying. And his face is notorious for its confusing seductive and simultaneously blood-curdling properties--A.O. Scott of T Magazine called him a "reliable character actor with an intriguing mug" in a profile of the Danish actor after he won at Cannes.
5. He's An Amazing Actor
Mikkelsen's method is as precise as his chilling performances, which is what makes him so great. Talking to Rolling Stone about his role as the psychotic and strangely sexy people-eater, he said: "I try to eliminate words as much as possible... sometimes you can make a scene even more precise and powerful without words." He even scared his co-stars: Laurence Fishburne said, "He has this kind of danger that’s really evident. It's like, ‘What’s he going to do next?’”
And even though Mikkelsen is known for his serpentine villainy in America, he's incredible in good-guy roles, too. He won the 2012 Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance in the Danish film The Hunt, as a kindergarten teacher trying to recover from divorce when he is accused by his community of sexual assault.
6. He Was The Villain In Rihanna's "BBHMM"
More specifically, the "bitch." If he can play a foe to Rihanna, he can play a foe to anyone.
Images: Giphy (1), Columbia Pictures, NBC.