Mads Mikkelsen has become synonymous with blockbuster franchise villains, playing bad guys in everything from “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” to “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” The Danish actor has been open about the fact that his steady tentpole work has afforded him the creative freedom to pursue more challenging projects. But if one plane ride had gone slightly differently, his blockbuster career could have been over before it truly began with “Casino Royale.”

In an appearance at the Zurich Film Festival (via Variety), Mikkelsen revealed that he lost his script for the Daniel Craig-led James Bond movie on a flight. He recalled that he was afraid that he would be blackballed from Hollywood if the script, which had his name on it, was leaked and the movie was spoiled.

“‘Casino Royale’ was the first screenplay with my name on every single page. Which also means that if you lose it, it’s on you. I got on a plane, started to read it and I fell asleep. Then I got out and just left it there,” Mikkelsen said. “I was lucky some cleaning person threw it away and didn’t know what it was. That could have been the end of my career, right then.”

Mikkelsen revealed that he was largely unfamiliar with James Bond when he was cast as Le Chiffre in Martin Campbell’s reboot of the franchise. He had not seen any of the previous films, and explained that he did not grasp the gravity of his role until the cast was invited to meet Queen Elizabeth.

“I had never watched a Bond movie up to that point and of course I lied about it. I only knew that guy with metal teeth [Jaws]. I didn’t realize how big it was until we had the premiere in London and had to meet the Queen. Or she had to meet us.”

While he eventually familiarized himself with the iconic spy series and now holds great affection for the property, Mikkelsen knows he won’t be taking over as 007 any time soon.

“If they had an issue with Daniel’s nose, I am sure they would have an issue with my accent,” he said.

Leave a comment