He also won best actor for this performance at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival in 2003.In 2003, Mikkelsen had a leading role as a man who leaves his wife and child in the short picture Nu.Career He made his film debut in Nicolas Winding Refn's internationally successful film Pusher (1996) which would later spawn two sequels, in which he played a drug dealer.He went on to play marginalized, often comic roles in popular Danish movies.Set in the American West in the 1870s but shot in South Africa by Danish filmmaker Kristian Levring, it is a movie that’s a worthy addition to the Mikkelsen canon, which includes his turn as a villain in Daniel Craig’s first Bond film, “Casino Royale”; a Cannes best actor prize for his portrayal of a child molester suspect in “The Hunt”; and his chilling portrayal as Hannibal Lecter in the NBC TV series “Hannibal.” The Chronicle talked to Mikkelsen, 49, who was at home in Copenhagen, by phone. This is one of the stories of how America was created — by numerous crowds of Europeans who moved there — Italian, Spanish, Danish or French. It was an enormous country, and obviously you could not keep the law everywhere. Q: Speaking of violence, the recent shootings in Copenhagen (by a Muslim extremist at a free speech rally) must have rattled nerves there. (Mikkelsen began dating his wife in 1987; they married in 2000 and have two children.) A: I go to the pub, hang out with my family — that’s pretty much it. The smallest little injury stays with you for so long. I’m always ready to do something that hurts a little!In 2004, he returned to his role as drug dealer Tonny in the Pusher sequel, Pusher II.His performance was acclaimed, garnering him the Bodil Award for Best Actor, Zulu Award for Best Actor and Robert Festival Award for Best Actor.
In 2000, Mikkelsen played a gangster opposite Søren Pilmark, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas in Anders Thomas Jensen's Copenhagen gangster movie, Flickering Lights.
Mikkelsen became more widely known internationally for his role as Tristan in Jerry Bruckheimer's production King Arthur (2004), but is best known worldwide for playing the main antagonist Le Chiffre in the twenty-first James Bond film, Casino Royale (2006).
He has since become known for his roles as Igor Stravinsky in Jan Kounen's French film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2008) and his Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award-winning role as Lucas in the 2012 Danish film The Hunt.
I can be intense in a lot of ways, but not the way you see the guy in “The Salvation.” Q: You mention sports. Here’s a secret: The older you get, the more difficult it gets (laughs).
A: Once in a while when I’m out on the lawn, I’ll jump around and do a couple of things.