“Hannibal” star Mads Mikkelsen has a busy autumn, between playing the villain in “Doctor Strange” and working on the Death Star in “Rogue One.” But first he has to make sense of the U.S. presidential election.
Mikkelsen sat down with CBS News to discuss joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, testing out his kung fu and his villainous legacies.
The magic in this is rather physical. Had you done much flying kung fu in your life before this?
I’ve done quite a lot, but not really flying -- not with wires. But as a kid I was a gymnast and we spent most of our time just flying around, doing stunts, basically kung fu. But as kids, right? Landing on big mattresses and stuff. So when you get a chance in your later days to actually do it onscreen, it’s awesome.
Did you think that sort of work was behind you at this point?
No, not necessarily. I’m a very physical guy, but I understand the limitations. I think I can do pretty much what I could when I was younger, but the healing time is a little different -- you are bound to get injured and you’re bound to bruise yourself, and what lasts two days when you were 20 lasts at least three weeks now. You just have to suck it up and do it.
You’ve played some great villains. Where do you think this guy ranks in evilness?
The thing is, I don’t see them as that evil -- well, I don’t see Hannibal as that evil. I see him as more of a fallen angel. He sees beauty a lot of places where we see death. This guy, his goal is not evil. His goal is fantastic -- who would not love to have a world without pain and without suffering and without death? That’s a pretty decent goal, but his means to get there are completely without moral.
But the idea of everyone living forever just doesn’t work on a basic resources level.
Well, that’s going to be a bummer in the end, right? We would have to figure how to make some more wars that would lead to more deaths. But obviously if you can’t get killed, there would be an issue with resources eventually.
They’ve just started revealing details about your character in the upcoming “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One.” Have you been looking forward to being able to talk about it?
It’s not that difficult unless you’re getting approached by a journalist who wants to know and you’re not allowed to say. It’s kind of really boring doing press if you’re not allowed to say anything. There will still be restrictions once we get there -- we won’t spoil what’s going to happen -- but we’re at least allowed to say my name now and that I’m the father of Felicity [Jones] and that I am a scientist and that I have been separated from my child and that I am in a gigantic dilemma. So far, so good.
And we know it involves the Death Star.
Something to do with a Death Star, I’m not sure what that is.
As you’ve been traveling around the U.S., have you gotten a sense of how the presidential election is affecting people?
Yeah, I mean, we see it back home as well. It is tragic and fun at the same time, because it’s like, how can it come to this? You have a feeling that anyone from the street that is fairly sane, who comes in and says, “I will run” will get 80 percent of the votes, because at this point it feels as if out of necessity they have to pick one. It seems weird for us and it’s scary because it’s the world. It’s America -- you’re the policemen of the world, right?
Did you get a chance to see any of the debates?
Yeah, and at least they got to discuss a little politics, even if it took a little while for them to get there. It’s obscene to watch people throwing mud like that -- I mean, fair enough if there’s mud to be thrown, but don’t do it in the debate. Can we just at least listen to what kind of dreams you have for this country? I think it’s simply rude to all the people that vote that they think there are more votes in throwing mud than there are in basically saying what they stand for.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
I have no idea, I’ve never met him. He’s obviously not the classic politician, that’s for sure. I can definitely laugh at some of the stuff he says but I can also go, “Oh my God, did he say that?” I think he’s a fresh wind for some people, but that’s what you’re voting for, I guess, right? It’s a big job.
Do you get asked to go on a lot of cooking shows because of “Hannibal”?
I have been asked to, but that would be a complete disaster. I don’t know how to cook. But I can definitely chop stuff. If there’s a chef next to me, I’ll chop up all the stuff he wants really fast.
So a sous chef?
I’ll do it.