Mads Mikkelsen has been working in and around Hollywood for over 15 years now and has even entered the realm of comic book movies, playing Kaecilius in 2016’s Doctor Strange. But it’s another doctor, Reed Richards, that he once auditioned for – a process that he described as "humiliating".
For Mikkelsen, the audition appeared out of step from what he was expecting. The 2005 Fantastic Four movie, which ultimately cast Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards (AKA Mr. Fantastic), required only one line read… and to pretend to have extended arms.
"I know a lot of casting is just first impressions," Mikkelsen told Vulture of the general audition process. "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."
The Danish actor was then asked to act as if he was grabbing a cup of coffee from the other side of the room. "It’s like, Are you crazy?" Mikkelsen said. "There’s not even a scene here. It was kind of humiliating."
Fantastic Four eventually stretched to two movies, before getting a tepidly-received reboot from Josh Trank in 2015. Now, the future is far brighter for Marvel’s First Family: an MCU standalone movie, directed by Spider-Man: Far From Home's Jon Watts, is in the works – though no casting has been announced just yet. Let’s hope the auditions are a little more imaginative than telling A-list actors to go full Stretch Armstrong.
Catch up on the MCU story so far – and see where Mads fits in – with our guide on how to watch Marvel movies in order.