To film fans, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen will always be Bond villain Le Chiffre — who blew the multi-million dollar poker game in Casino Royale. But in real life, the 44-year-old actor is actually a rather good tournament level player. Metro caught up with him at a Unibet tournament in Hungary.

 

When did you start playing poker?
I’ve played poker for at least 25 years with family, friends, and enemies!

What do you enjoy about poker?
That there are always new situations, things change, and you have to pay attention to everything. Poker is like mathematics, it has strict rules but once we understood them it is like football, you just have to go with the flow.

 

How does it feel like to play at a tournament?
Much different from simply playing poker. It might last up to three hours and you have to pay attention and be really disciplined.

Did your poker skills play role in you getting the Le Chiffre role?
No, they chose me as they thought I was a good enough as actor to play the role. It was just a bonus that I play poker.

Did the Bond role help your career?
Of course, a lot. It was fantastic, playing a Bond villain is really something. I was proud of myself and I liked the movie too.

Your new movie, Clash of The Titans, is ready for release — what’s it like?
There was an original version made back in 1981 but I never saw it. I think gods, especially Greek and Nordic gods, are like us. They have greed, jealousy, love, hate, not just a seat somewhere in the clouds. I play a soldier in the movie who hates the gods.

Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson were in the movie too. How many scenes did you share with them?
I had a scene with Ralph Fiennes but he was hanging up there in the air and I was on the ground… I saw Liam Neeson too, but I mainly worked with the soldiers, very good British and Irish actors.

Do you plan to keep acting for Danish cinema?
Being Danish, it is natural for me to act in Danish movies, and it is easier, too.