The actor recounts a ‘humiliating’ experience trying out for the 2005 movie of the Fantastic Four franchise.

Mads Mikkelsen is such a widely-respected actor, it’s hard to imagine anybody treating him shabbily, especially when he’s so fearsome too (and even more so with a beard, as the trailer for his new film, Riders Of Justice, can attest). His body of work has certainly seen Hollywood take notice over the years. The news that Mikkelsen is going to be in James Mangold’s next Indiana Jones film is exciting indeed, but it seems that Mikkelsen hasn’t always been lavished with the recognition and respect that an actor of his station deserves.

Back in the mid-2000s, before Mikkelsen would feature opposite Daniel Craig in Casino Royale as Le Chiffre, he tried out for Fox’s Fantastic Four, reading for the part of Mr Fantastic (although he clearly would have made a great Doctor Doom). Mikkelsen was somewhat less celebrated then, and chatting to Vulture, he recalled not being entirely happy with the way the audition process treated him:

“Some of the stuff was interesting, and other things were just like – this is where I felt you can completely lose your confidence as an actor”, he explained.

“Standing in an office with a person who looks down at his paper, and you pretend you have long arms and say one line…I know a lot of casting is just first impressions — is there anything there that reminds the producer and the director of the character they’re looking for? But I find it rude to ask people to come into a room and say one line while pretending you have 80-foot arms like the rubber man. ‘Grab that cup of coffee over there’ — it’s like, Are you crazy? There’s not even a scene here. It was kind of humiliating.”

We’re not sure ‘pretending you have long arms’ is a signifier of decent acting ability, but hey, what do we know? Either way, the role would eventually go to Ioan Gruffudd, but Mikkelsen wouldn’t look back as his career would go from strength to strength. Casting directors take note however, Mads Mikkelsen expects more than one line. We certainly wouldn’t like to face his wrath.

Riders Of Justice is out on May 21st in the US. No UK release date is yet confirmed.

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