Doctor Strange’s Mads Mikkelsen Would Do Anything For Marvel

Fans of Hannibal are still grieving over that show’s relatively recent demise, but Mads Mikkelsen no longer has any credible reason to be disappointed. After all, he plays major roles in two of the year’s biggest movies: Rogue One and Doctor Strange. However, the process of inhabiting the latter’s Kaecilius definitely gave Mikkelsen reason to be concerned, particularly when he discovered the role’s daily makeup requirements. “It was between two and three hours, depending on how many hands there were available,” he told Esquire. “But it was worth it.”


However, it took Mikkelsen some time to come around to that level of acceptance. “At first I was like, ‘This is not happening.’ But then I got used to it and I sat in the chair, and that was my little preparation and meditation to start off the day in a good way.” Thanks to this daily transformation, getting into character was a breeze. “Once you have that mask, then you’re allowed to go in,” he explained. “But if you’re just dressed in your Adidas, you feel a little silly waving your arms around.”

Another reason Mikkelsen was able to tolerate all those hours in the makeup chair is his longstanding affection for Marvel and the worlds they create. “It would be very hard for a comic fan like me to turn down any part in any Marvel film,” he said. “When [director] Scott [Derrickson] mentioned the flying Kung Fu stuff, I was like, ‘This is happening! I’ve been waiting 51 years for this!’ So I was over the moon for that. It was a combination of reading the script, realizing Benedict was playing him—he’s a perfect match, I can’t see anyone else… it was a no-brainer.”

Doctor Strange finally opens in theatres on Friday. For more on Mikkelsen’s lifelong Marvel obsession, check out another one of his Doctor Strange interviews below.