Method acting was all the rage this past awards season thanks to performances by Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog” and “House of Gucci” duo Lady Gaga and Jared Leto, but that style of acting doesn’t fly for Mads Mikkelsen. The actor recently told GQ UK that Method acting is “bullshit” and “pretentious.” Mikkelsen has learned new skills for roles, including how to speak different languages and how to ride horses and fight with swords, but he’s never taken his preparation to the level of Method acting.
“It’s bullshit,” Mikkelsen said when asked about Method acting. “But preparation, you can take into insanity. What if it’s a shit film — what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?”
Mikkelsen took on a mocking voice when adding, “I’m having a cigarette? This is from 2020, it’s not from 1870 — can you live with it?” The actor said “it’s just pretentious” to do Method acting and blamed the press for equating Method acting stunts to real acting skills.
“The media goes, ‘Oh my god, he took it so seriously, therefore he must be fantastic; let’s give him an award,’” Mikkelsen said. “Then that’s the talk, and everybody knows about it, and it becomes a thing.”
Would Mikkelsen want to work with such legendary Method actors as Daniel Day-Lewis? “I would have the time of my life [with him], just breaking down the character constantly,” he said. “Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor. But [Method acting has] got nothing to do with this.”
Mikkelsen is taking over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp in Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. The new entry, “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” opens in U.S. theaters April 15.