Casino Royale remains one of the best James Bond movies to date. Not only did the film introduce Daniel Craig's interpretation of 007 – a more serious take on a character who had slowly become a punchline thanks to Austin Powers – but also shot Mads Mikkelsen into the Hollywood handbook of actors who play great villains.
However, one of Mikkelsen's standout scenes in Casino Royale was almost cut from the movie entirely – the torture scene, which he describes as "actually on the cutting table for a while". Speaking to Total Film for the new issue of the magazine (headlined by The Suicide Squad), the actor detailed his time on the James Bond movie. Here's a snippet of what Mikkelsen said, with the full Q&A in the magazine.
Total Film: Casino Royale turned out great, but at the time you were making it, was there a lot of pressure? It was a new actor as Bond, and a reinvention of the franchise.
It was a double thing. We were aware that this was new. This was a radical, different thing that we’ve not seen before. And Bond has always gone one way or another way, depending on which actor and which decade, right? The ’80s was very different than the ’60s, and so forth. But it might have come to a point where your invisible cars were getting a little too superhero-like. They wanted it a little more rough. We knew that it was a great script. So in those terms, we felt we were on to something that might be great. At the same time, I was new, but they were not talking about the new villain; they were talking about the new Bond. So all the pressure was on Daniel [Craig]. I cannot imagine what he was going through, because it’s like the crown jewels of England. James Bond – everyone has an opinion. Every single day on his way to work, he read a headline saying he sucks; his nose was wrong; he was blond. He was being bombarded with all that crap before they had seen one single scene, which is an indicator of how important Bond is, but also how insane it is sometimes. So his pressure must have been insane. But he handled it. And most importantly, he showed them, didn’t he? And they all came crawling back, saying, "I’m so sorry." Yeah, he was great. It was probably nerve-wracking, but it was a great film. I think he’s the best Bond ever.
How was it filming that torture scene between the two of you?
[laughs] Oh, it was great for me. It was a long day for Daniel. That’s basically him screaming for eight hours. But we had a great time. It was actually on the cutting table for a while, in and out, because it was a little radical for Bond. But it was such a great scene, so luckily it was back in. It was so funny, because we both came from this indie world of filmmaking. None of us had done anything of this size before. And the director, Martin Campbell, gave us some leverage. Me and Daniel just took off. We had so many ideas. At a certain point, he just had to say, "Guys, guys. Come back. This is a Bond film." [laughs ] We left the Bond universe for a while there. But the scene was great, and Martin was right. There was a fine balance.
Mikkelsen can next be seen in UK cinemas in Riders of Justice, opening this Summer, and the Oscar-winning movie Another Round, opening on June 25 and available now on VOD in the US. For the full Mikkelsen interview – plus a whole lot more – grab a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves (and digital newsstands) on Friday, April 30. Check out the new (super-size fold-out) covers, as revealed by The Suicide Squad director James Gunn…
So excited to be sharing these upcoming @totalfilm newsstand and subscriber covers of #TheSuicideSquad! 🤯 Subscriber copy out today, on newsstands this Friday! pic.twitter.com/N1A1jAKDXeApril 26, 2021
If you're a fan of Total Film magazine, why not subscribe so that you never miss an issue? Sign up with MagazinesDirect and with the latest offer you can get your first three issues for just £3! Choose a print subscription to get a copy delivered to your home, or a digital subscription to get the magazine direct to your device. Print subscribers get exclusive subscribers-only covers, as well as receiving the magazine before it's in shops. What are you waiting for?