Mads Mikkelsen Says His 'Doctor Strange' Baddie Was Inspired By Bruce Lee
To be clear, Mads Mikkelsen’s crack-eyed Kaecilius in Marvel’s upcoming mythical actioner Doctor Strange is not a good guy. A disciple of the Baron Mordo (played in the film by Chiwetel Ejiofor), Kaecilius wasn’t all that well developed in the comics, but we do know he did his evil master’s bidding, and will be making life extra tough for Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular superhero.
Mikkelsen says his inspiration for the part, however, is one of cinema’s most revered good guys of all time: late martial arts icon and movie star Bruce Lee.
“We have a lot of physicality going on, and it’s martial arts, and one of my biggest heroes of all time is Bruce Lee,” Mikkelsen told us at San Diego Comic-Con (watch our chat above). “Who would’ve thought at the age of 50 I would get to be a miniature version of him?”
The Danish actor, probably best known for TV’s Hannibal, is a former dancer and gymnast. He first cracked into the film business in Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn’s Pusher trilogy and the drama After the Wedding, but has since been racking up action roles in tentpoles like Casino Royale and the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, in addition to his entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange.
Mikkelsen assessed his own martial arts skills as “fantastic,” adding, “I’m really good at it. I’ve been practicing all my life in the sense that I’m an ex-gymnast and I’ve always wanted to do something like that. But it took a Marvel film to do it for me.”
Doctor Strange opens Nov. 4.
Watch Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Pratt nominate Captain Marvel for president:
the other day i saw a tweet by some man that was like “so what if men just started remaking all the iconic female comedies with all male casts?” and legit my first thought was “uh, yeah, sure, go ahead”
and then i thought a little harder and like, there are a few, but – you couldn’t realistically do that? because here’s the thing: historically, comedies with majority-female casts have been about characters in specifically gendered situations, or have only worked plot-wise because of gender roles. like – 9 to 5. the first wives club. clueless. legally blonde. mean girls. bridesmaids. like, sure, you COULD make all-male versions of those, but they’re going to bear almost zero resemblance to the original story, because those stories are specifically GENDERED stories.
whereas the reason why you can make a movie like ghostbusters with an all female cast is because the conceit is universal, since there was no reason to justify them being all men in the first place. male stories are universal. female stories are “about women.”
so, like, men: if you want to steal all the iconic female comedies and remake them, have at it! good luck with that! you’re not going to get very far.