Actors do have niches. Just remember Robert De Niro’s roles, and look at how many times he has been a cop or a gangster or a psycho. He’s talented and diverse, but sometimes either actors find a certain type of role or those roles find them.
In this article, we’ll look into the niche of Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen is an internationally successful and critically acclaimed actor whose roles range from a bond villain (Casino Royale) to a historical figure that played a huge part in a country’s reform (A Royal Affair), from a thief in a gang of friends (Blinkende lygter-Flickering Lights) to Hannibal Lecter (starting on NBC this winter). He also got the best actor award at Cannes in 2012 for his role as the wrongly accused school teacher in Jagten (The Hunt).
Yet for all that diversity, some of his roles have the cheating factor in common. He seems to find himself as the cheater or the “other” guy. Or he just might the one being cheated on.. Let’s take a look at all the cheating going on his films:
A Royal Affair- He’s the doctor that has an affair with the king’s wife
It’s all the king’s fault, really. He is obnoxious, womanizing and a tad mad. Sturensee (Mikkelsen) is assigned to be his private doctor, and he begins to affect him in a positive way. But the not-so-smart king complains that his wife is way too boring (possibly compared to the all the women he’s sleeping with!), and assigns Struensee to make her fun.
You can read my A Royal Affair review to find out more about the plot, but for the cheating, the king –as crazy as he was- he totally should have seen it coming. I mean you don’t just send your smart, sexy, wise and much nicer advisor/doctor to spend time with your queen (Alicia Vikander) who is already cursing the day she married you- and marrying you wasn’t her choice to begin with.
And guess what? Struensee doesn’t seem to find the queen boring after all. And as it turns out, the queen knows how to have fun-sexy fun at that-when it comes to the right guy. Of course the affair will get them in trouble, but hey-I have a feeling it just might be worth it. You only live once, right?
Love You Forever (Elsker dig for evigt) – Married guy sleeps with the victim’s fiancé
Now, while I approve of Mikkelsen’s character’s position in A Royal Affair, I’m seriously disgusted by the one here. His character is a typically nice family man with 3 kids until his wife has an accident and hits the fiancé of a young woman (Sonja Richter).
The police don’t find the wife at fault, but her conscience wants to make sure the woman is OK, so she asks her husband to help her out, since he is a doctor at the hospital the fiancé is staying at. I suspect that by now you see all the problems with this request: she just gave permission to her husband to be around a young, pretty woman to comfort her. Of course the poor woman doesn’t know that it’s in her husband to stray (he never has before), and is certainly not aware of the fact that the fiancé is treating the girl horribly-completely shutting her out. She also doesn’t know that her husband is practically her only friend.
But still, it does make us think that if you feel guilty, you go making amends yourself and not send somebody else. It also makes us hope for a loyal guy who will stay loyal no matter what, especially if you haven’t done wrong by him. It’s natural and understandable that people fall in and out of love, but you wish they would have the guts to admit to it before cheating on you.
This is a short drama in black and white with no dialogue (if there was some I was too crept out by one character and the atmosphere to remember). Some decades ago a guy marries a woman, only to realize that he doesn’t desire her-or any woman for that matter. Then he meets a man he is attracted to, but it is hard to have a relationship with a boyfriend if your wife is nuts (like Glen Close Fatal Attraction nuts) and is ready to do anything to get what she wants.
He does kiss the man and probably does other things, but the ending…Let’s just say that there’ve been many scary movies that crept me out a lot less.
Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky- Cheats on sick wife while under the same roof with her and the mistress
Creative blocks, needs to seek refuge, poverty, sickness…definitely too much for any man to handle. It is also very difficult to resist a free-spirited designer who doesn’t care about anything other than herself. But it is one thing to accept her helping hand and move the whole family to her house at her request, it is completely another to have sex with her, repeatedly, while the wife is in the house. It doesn’t make it any less disgusting that the house is a mansion. Yuck.
Worse than Love You Forever in terms of the cheating? Absolutely. At least the other guy had the decency to cheat without his wife present.
After the Wedding (Efter brylluppet) (*minor spoilers!!)
After The Wedding will remain as one of the most impactful movies I’ve seen. The story is powerful, the acting flawless, the dialogue well-written and delivered. Not to mention, it makes the best of its grey characters. And the cheating has happened before the timeline of the movie as we see it, but without it, the story wouldn’t have happened.
So here it is:
Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen) runs an orphanage, helping and educating as many kids he can. But he doesn’t have the money, nor does the administrator, to keep it afloat. So despite how much Jacob hates Denmark (his own country) and the Danish (his nationality), he goes to meet the interested investor, who turns out to be the husband of his ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the love of his life. But the real complications arise when he is at the wedding reception of the couple’s daughter where he finds out that their daughter, is actually his biological daughter-one that he didn’t know existed.
Of course the ex has some excuses: one, he cheated on her-with her best friend. So she fled, not knowing she was pregnant. He didn’t come after her, and she met her husband- fell in love and got married. Why go after the cheating ex with whom she had a tumultuous relationship with when she has a happy marriage – and goes on to have 2 more children? (her logic, not mine)
Jacob is furious, but he can’t leave. He wants to meet his daughter and she wants to meet him. And the husband seems to put more and more roadblocks before he gives the money.
OK, a lot of people cheat and that’s wrong and everything…but this is by far one of the most interesting movies that feature cheating that I have seen.
Last but not least: Prague
Now, to give him credit, he gets cheated on here. But he doesn’t want to quit the marriage just like that, and yet he can’t just go and forgive his wife (and whether she wants to be forgiven is another story), he does go on to hook up with another woman. I wouldn’t consider it cheating when he was cheated on first- but he does attempt an extramarital activity, and he was cheated on. Talk about a theme.
Which of Mads’ niche movies have you seen? Which ones do you like best? And if you had to compare between the niches of De Niro, Marsden and Mikkselsen, whose niche do you find to be the most intriguing/fun?