Back in 2017, Mads Mikkelsen revealed he walked out of an audition for the 2005 Fantastic Four film. Now, in a more recent interview, Mikkelsen shared more details about the audition, which involved the actor being asked to pretend he had “80-foot arms.” All in all, Mikkelsen calls the audition “kind of humiliating,” but hey, it still makes for a pretty funny story.
In a great, career-spanning interview with Vulture, Mads Mikkelsen reminisces about his disastrous audition for the 2005 Fantastic Four. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this story, you might jump to the conclusion that Mikkelsen was auditioning for Doctor Doom since Hollywood keeps casting the Danish actor in villainous roles. But Mikkelsen was actually auditioning for Dr. Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, and by his own account, it didn’t go so well.
“Some of the stuff was interesting, and other things were just like — this is where I felt you can completely lose your confidence as an actor,” Mikkelsen said. “Standing in an office with a person who looks down at his paper, and you pretend you have long arms and say one line…I know a lot of casting is just first impressions — is there anything there that reminds the producer and the director of the character they’re looking for? But I find it rude to ask people to come into a room and say one line while pretending you have 80-foot arms like the rubber man. ‘Grab that cup of coffee over there’ — it’s like, Are you crazy? There’s not even a scene here. It was kind of humiliating.”
Before we go any further I just want to point out that Mikkelsen referring to Mr. Fantastic as “the rubber man” is very, very funny. Obviously, Mikkelsen didn’t get the part. Instead, the role of the rubber man went to Ioan Gruffudd, whom Mikkelsen calls “a good friend” in this new interview. Mikkelsen has talked about this audition before in 2017, where he revealed he actually walked out before the audition was through.
“We all show up and it’s a little office room with a desk and some books and they want you to do a scene where you have two lines – maybe not even two lines – maybe just ‘Bleurgh!’ or ‘Get back!’ And you’re hiding behind a palm tree that’s not there,” the actor said. “It’s like, ‘Guys, couldn’t you have picked a different kind of scene to this? This is fucking mad.’ You feel like an idiot…I think I walked out…I think I actually said, ‘I can’t do it. It’s not about you, I’m sorry, this is wrong.’”
Thankfully, walking out on Fantastic Four didn’t hinder Mikkelsen’s career at all, and he’s continued to work steadily and turn in great performances. He was just in the Oscar-nominated Another Round, and he’s set to appear in Indiana Jones 5 and the next Fantastic Beasts film. Still, it’s fun to imagine some alternate timeline out there where Mads Mikkelsen is on the big screen pretending he has 80-foot arms like the rubber man.
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