Mads Mikkelsen talks polar bears, Arctic, and his gymnast past


Mads Mikkelsen talked Agee the polar bear and his experience as a gymnast in an interview to promote his upcoming film, Arctic.

Mads Mikkelsen is doing press for two different movies in New York City this week, Arctic and Polar. They both have similar names, so it’s easy to get them confused, but they are two very different films. Polar will release on Netflix on Jan. 25 while Arctic, which has already been out in some European countries, will make its United States debut on Feb. 1.

Mads Mikkelsen appeared yesterday at an event sponsored by Shackleton Whisky and billed as a “Fireside Chat with Mads Mikkelsen” at the Arlo NoMad hotel in Manhattan. The event was mainly to promote the movie Arctic, which has its premiere tonight. Unfortunately, the hotel had said the event was open to the public, which turned out to not be the case and led to some disappointed fans who felt they had been told wrong information.

Luckily, Mads Mikkelsen came to the rescue and insisted on getting a group picture with everyone. The director of the film, Joe Penna, was also super happy to talk to waiting fans and get a group picture with everyone.

At the event, Mikkelsen talked about working on Arctic and how there was a polar bear on set named Agee who he wasn’t able to directly work with. He said, “She is semi-trained…Agee could not handle anyone talking to her trainer as she would get jealous.” (Not even the director, Joe)

Mads Mikkelsen is definitely unconventional when it comes to being a famous actor. He also has a rather fascinating history where he was a gymnast in his youth and also did work in theater and as a dancer. When the interviewer, Charles Thorp, asked about how he got started as a gymnast, Mikkelsen had this to say:

"It’s weird. We had a math teacher who was running the gymnastics department at school… I had some kind of talent. We won all the national championships. We would go from one city to the other. That was the days before seat belts. There would be eleven of us in the trunk, and we would be chain smoking and drinking beer."

To be honest, this seems like just the kind of life experience that Mikkelsen would have. He is rather go-with-the-flow and is known for his love of a good bottle of Carlsberg beer.

It was also brought up that Mikkelsen had many film credits to his name in his home country, Denmark, and in Europe before crossing over into Hollywood films. He really first made his mark in the U.S. when he appeared as the villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

Just like with much of Mikkelsen’s acting history, it seems like things just get offered to him. It’s easy to see why. He’s an extremely likable and talented man. Mikkelsen said he was approached for the film saying simply, “Yeah, that came my way. The producer Barbara Broccoli had seen me…She thought I should be the villain in the next film.”

Since Arctic is a survival movie, Mikkelsen said his best advice on how to survive is to make sure to bring matches with you. So, try to keep that in mind if you ever find yourself going somewhere in the cold mountains. Mads Mikkelsen told you to after all!

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Fans of Mikkelsen definitely have a lot to look forward to this month! You can check out Arctic when it releases in theaters on Feb.1.