Dogme 95, the notorious Danish DIY movement that started the career of Lars von Trier, is called many things. "Revolutionary", "Amateur Porn", "Shit" (the last critic criticized Mark Kermod of the review of the Canary of Trier's idiots in Cannes). With its 10-point manifesto directed at "decadent film productions," unstable aesthetics, and tendency towards nudity, violence and cruelty, it has inspired equally annoyance and disgust. Although not all of them seem to have had such visceral responses.
"Honestly, I just thought it was stupid," says Mads Mikkelsen. – Sit down and write 10 orders on how to get closer to making movies? "History is important" – there is nothing, Sherlock! Seriously? Should I write this? Was not it important before saving it? All these things were a simple fucking meaning for me.
"So, yes, I had mixed emotions at that time. But, he adds diplomatically, "we must be extremely grateful for the movement. It was a fantastic way to put Denmark on the map. "
If anyone has the right to criticize, it is probably Mikelsen. Coming from the Danish film scene at about the same time as Dogme with a role in the 1996 narrative drama of Nicolas Winding, Pusher, the 53-year-old actor, along with Von Trier and Viggo Mortensen, the most famous cinema screen. ,
In Europe, he has won a reputation for accomplished performances in sophisticated indie dramas, such as Hunt by Thomas Winterberg, a terribly tantalizing tale of a man accused of abuse for which he won best actor in Cannes. On the other side of the lake, his beauty (repeatedly chosen to be the sexiest person in Denmark) and an exciting, detached threat made him a malicious criminal, both in Le Chiffre and in the Marvel universe, . Leader Kacilius in Doctor Strange), as well as an exquisite role of a famous Dr. Speaker in Hannibal's television adaptation.
It is difficult to understand these sadistic bad people with the jagged, cheerful figure waiting at the reception of the Danish public operator DR. (For starters, Lecter would not be seen dead in the hyggy jumper. Mikkelsen is sporty.) Almost wondering what Hollywood executives saw in him to throw him as their antagonist – though Mikkelsen thinks his soft Scandi – Solution may be a factor .
"You, the British, have been playing villains for years because of your accent, and now it is [turn of the] an amusing Scandinavian accent, "he says cheerfully. – I do not care. If the alternative is that I do not play anything there, I will just play the villain.
Happy when devoted to the life of evil, it seems that things can change for Mikkelsen. This year, two US-backed films came out, luring him out of the darkness and the light. Both share curiously similar names, although they have a significantly different quality. First, there was Polar, Netflix's slightly fierce film, in which he played a killer running away from his previous employers.
Better is the Arctic, a rough, minimalist thriller by YouTuber-director Joe Pena. Placed in an isolated corner of the Arctic Circle, he stands out as the Overkind, a cracked pilot who is gloomily accustomed to his everyday routine work – watching the rays, watching the polar bears, building huge SOS signs in the snow – has lost any sense of his own your humanity. "Cozy is a numb, walking zombie walking dead," sighs Mikkelsen. "There is no light in his eyes. There is no hope.
Hope ultimately comes in the form of a search and rescue helicopter, which then descends to the nearby gorge. The lonely survivor is a young second pilot (played by Icelandic actor Maria Telma Smáradóttir), whose life-threatening injuries force Overgård to escape his suicide. He fills her with a painkiller, wraps her in a sleeping bag and begins a dangerous journey into the frosty space. – Suddenly he becomes a man, he becomes alive.
For Michelsen's superfins, who send it shonky sketches of yourself on Twitter, the film is pure Mads-Porn: it is the front and center of every scene and is responsible for almost every line of scant dialogue. But for the man himself, the Arctic was no less than a tribulation. Filmed in a remote part of Iceland for only 19 days (it had to be 30 but extreme meteorological meteorites), he saw the actor working endlessly exhausting shifts, many of which consisted of dragging his star on a toboggan through the snow. And while his hero is careful not to exercise too much energy with a premium of calories, Mikkelsen had no such luxury.
"I was doing 12-13 hours a day walking," he explains. – Just to get the amount of calories [for that] was impossible. So I just forgot to eat so much and became weaker and weaker than the first day.
Aside from hunger pain, one of Michkelsen's largest venues in the pictures was the harsh and dryness of the landscape around him. "Nature has screamed for us. There were a lot of things [where] we would have been a few miles from each other and then came a blizzard and we knew, "If I did not get up now and did not start walking, no one would find me." And you know, that's not too bad. My closest relatives, my family, my friends will be sad. But the world does not care. To be insignificant is a fantastic feeling.
Nature may not care about us, but there is a growing sense – with every doomed report on the rise in temperature – that we need to give more concern to nature. In fact, one of the oddly sharp aspects of the film is the feeling that the brilliant, obscene landscape that Mikkelsen is forced to cross may not be there for much longer. Still, when he presents it to him, he not only wants to emphasize that the Arctic is not a "political film," but seems totally uncertain about the climate change movement.
"We are not making a film about climate change. We're making a film about humankind, "he says. – Yes, the climate is changing, but to what extent we are part of it and to what extent we are not and what to do with it is a big question. I mean science is divided. At the moment it does not appear to be, but it is divided. "
This statement, as well as the fact that they are factually dubious – 97% of scientists believe that climate change is made by man – comes as a little surprise. In 2010, Mikkelsen appeared in a video calling for the public to put pressure on governments on climate change, ending with a giant megaphone call, "Let your voice be heard." Drastic now, you would expect half that he would stick his back to pipe trains with an uprising for extinction. Has he become – sigh – a skeptic?
"I'm not a skeptic in the sense that I think it's changing," he says. – But I also know about fact that it always changes. So there are different graphs showing different things, and we need to find a common ground and understand what we can do and what is the smartest thing we have to do. "(One solution he says is investing in nuclear energy," but no one wants to talk about it. ")
Speaking to Mikkelsen, you feel a tension between the desire to speak clearly and the concern about the contradictions that they might cause. Discussing the sexual accusations against the head of the Danish studio Zentropa, responsible for many of Dogme's films as well as The Hunt, we touch the broader #MeToo movement against sexual harassment in cinema. He tries to point out that "there is obviously a very, very worrying culture, and because God is addressed," but he also says he "does not want to go there." Is he worried about slipping?
"I'm not slipping – I say, one word is wrong and you are a dead person," he says, before referring to the fate of Matt Damon, who was criticized in 2017, suggesting that accusations of sexual abuse must be treated like behavior "and complains of a" culture of outrage ". For Michelsen, Damon is "the most politically correct person in history. He said something very healthy and he was slaughtered. So this is no longer a healthy discussion. "
It seems a little strange that Mikkelsen is so cautious when it comes to what he says but less in what he does: he is quite content to die half-way to death in the Polar Circle, or – as with another of his films , Viking Epopee Valhalla Rising – stripped half naked and tossed over the uneven terrain of the Scottish mountains.
"I came back from movies with all kinds of injuries. It's part of the game, "he says.
Is this why this whole agony? As a game, a challenge? – Honestly, I'm not interested in the challenges. Many of the films I've made have become crazy challenges. But that's not what I'm looking for. I can easily assemble naked and try to climb Mount Everest tomorrow if I want to have a challenge. I'm not interested in the movie, it's more like a personal project. "
"But," he adds, "if it takes me to be naked and climb to Mount Everest, if it does a better movie, that's what we do."
• The Arctic was launched in the UK on May 10th