Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen talked to Australian radio recently about his role as Le Chiffre in the forthcoming James Bond film Casino Royale...

Le Chiffre Speaks
28th September 2006

Was it easy playing Le Chiffre?

Yes, fairly easy. I liked this role! He's a vain guy, he likes to dress up nicely. I definitely like this character. I play him up as much as I could. As an actor coming from Denmark, an opportunity like this is unbelievable. I have a friend who's playing the baddie's second or third-hand man, but I play the baddie. So I immediately gave him a call when I got this part!

Do you think it's true that in a James Bond film, the hero is only as good as the villain?

It's partly true. It's so difficult to look back at all the baddies from all the Bond films. it's like doing Hamlet. if you have to look back at all the people who have played Hamlet, that would be impossible to do. You have to do your own thing. If it's in the script, it's in the script.

We're not trying to do something different for the sake of doing something different, we're just trying to do what is in the script. So, we can't look back that much. But this is a legendary film series, so there is a big weight on our shoulders.

What is Daniel Craig like as James Bond?

The bottom line is that he's a fantastic actor. I saw him the first time when I was doing the audition for this role, and he was there dressed up in his tuxedo and he looked just like Bond.

He has this beautiful English accent and this irony about him and he looks like a man who can kill people with his bare hands. And that's the new touch to the film. I think he's perfect for the part.

Above: Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre

What's your Bond villain "thing"?

I have a bad eye, a baddies eye! I have one eye which is white, like a blind dog. It has a little scar going through. It was very nice though. I had a big huge lens that was covering my whole eye. It wasn't painful. But I did have a distance problem as I was only using one eye, so I kept walking in to lamps and knocking over drinks - so hopefully they cut that out!

Above: Le Chiffre at the Casino Royale in Montenegro

Which part of the movie do you like the most?

Well I like the part when I have the chance to torture Daniel Craig (as James Bond). We spent a whole day filming that one scene. We're doing it like the book.

What's it like to an outsider coming in to the "Bond family"?

Yeah, for an outsider like me who's worked on small films before you worry that you're going to see people who are going to scream and fire people, but this really was like a family thing. It was a very nice atmosphere. Michael Wilson was playing poker with us guys all the time, and just to support you, not to watch you but to give you support. It felt really nice.

Above: Dimitrios receives his orders

Did Michael G. Wilson get in the film this time?

Yes, I think he's got two parts in this film.

Did you look at either the 50's TV version of Casino Royale or the 1967 spoof film?

No, I haven't seen them. There's no reason to go back and look at something we're not going to do anyway.

I've done films before that have been based on books and I didn't read them. So I have deliberately not watched the other films for this. But I will see them later.

What were your thoughts when you heard that the set at Pinewood Studios had burned down?

Luckily I was away, so it wasn't me! We were done shooting and it happened when they were pulling the set down, something happened and went wrong. But luckily they were done shooting.

It happened before of course, just before "A View To A Kill"...

That wasn't me either!

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions) and directed by Martin Campbell, CASINO ROYALE is scheduled for release November 17, 2006. Principal photography started on January 30th 2006, with locations in the UK, Czech Republic (Prague), Italy, and the Bahamas. It will be British actor Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond. He is the sixth actor to play the 007 role in the franchise.

The film also stars Judi Dench, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Tobias Menzies, Ivana Milicevic, Clemens Schik, Ludger Pistor, Claudio Santamaria and Isaach de Bankole.

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