Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen (born 22 November 1965) is a Danish actor. Originally a gymnast and dancer, he began his career as an actor in 1996. He rose to fame in Denmark as Tonny the drug dealer in the first two films of the Pusher film trilogy, and in his longest-running role as the brash yet sensitive policeman, Allan Fischer, in Peter Thorsboe's Danish television series Rejseholdet (Unit One) (2000–2003).
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. In 2012, he was awarded the Danish American Society's Person of the Year. He currently stars in the TV series Hannibal as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. A. O. Scott of The New York Times remarked that in the Hollywood scene, Mikkelsen has "become a reliable character actor with an intriguing mug" but stated that on the domestic front "he is something else: a star, an axiom, a face of the resurgent Danish cinema".
Mikkelsen was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, the second son of Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a bank clerk. He and his older brother, Lars, who is also an actor, were raised in Nørrebro.
In his youth he trained as a gymnast, wanting to pursue athletics, but then studied dancing at the Balettakademien (ballet academy) in Gothenburg where he also became fluent in Swedish He was a professional dancer for almost a decade until he left it behind to study drama at the Århus Theatre School in 1996, to embark on a career in acting...
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