Mads Mikkelsen back at Cannes with French role

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Mads Mikkelsen back at Cannes with French role

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Mads Mikkelsen back at Cannes with French role

by AFP Videos 1:31 mins

Mads Mikkelsen back at Cannes with French role

by AFP Videos 1:31 mins

SHOTLIST: CANNES, MAY 24,2013 SOURCE AFPTV - VAR of Mikkelsen SOUNDBITE 1: -Mads Mikkelsen, actor (english, 29 sec): "Extraordinairement difficile. It's a difficult language, and also the French people love their language so much. So even if you're OK, good, it still sounds terrible for the French people. So it was a lot of work. And the horses were hard work. So it was just like going to school again and again every day. We had six weeks of preparation and then we started shooting." SOUNDBITE 2: -Mads Mikkelsen, actor (english,22 sec): "I would say Arnaud had a very strong opinion about what this was, and his opinion was radical. And I found it extremely fascinating to work with a man who was not giving up or giving in to any actor's idea that he did not agree on. So I think that his fingerprint is pretty big on this as well." - VAR of Mikkelsen SOUNDBITE 3: -Mads Mikkelsen, actor (english,26 sec): "I think we're both very radical. But I'm more fascinated with that. I would not persist if I'm sure that what he's doing is crazy. But I was always sure that what he was doing was something special. So I would give in, even though I have a different idea -- I would give in and say, 'Let's do it, it sounds radical!'" - VAR of Mikkelsen /// ____________________ AFP TEXT STORY Entertainment-film-festival-Cannes-France-Germany-Denmark-people Mads Mikkelsen back after Cannes win with French role by Deborah COLE =(PICTURE+VIDEO)= CANNES, France, May 24, 2013 (AFP) - Danish star Mads Mikkelsen fires crossbows, delivers a baby colt and speaks fluent French in the Renaissance drama "Michael Kohlhaas", which joined the competition Friday at Cannes. Mikkelsen, who picked up the festival's top actor prize last year for his turn as a man falsely accused of child abuse in "The Hunt", plays a 16th-century horse dealer who rises up against a feudal lord. Director Arnaud des Pallieres moves the German literature classic by Heinrich von Kleist to his native France, giving Mikkelsen his first French starring role. Kleist based his 1811 novella on a true story of a merchant who rampages through rural Germany after an aristocrat wrongs him. In the film, the province's young lord confiscates two of Kohlhaas's prized black steeds. He seeks legal recourse in the nascent justice system but when his case is rejected, he forms a ragtag militia to rise up against his rulers. Kohlhaas scores an unlikely series of battlefield victories. But when he has the opportunity to overthrow the established order, he forgoes his chance as his demand for a review of his lawsuit is granted. Mikkelsen, who played the Bond villain Le Chiffre in "Casino Royale" and is now appearing as the cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter on US television, said learning French for the part was not the biggest challenge. "Obviously I had to learn to ride (a horse) and I had to learn to speak French to a degree, that was a lot of preparation there... but that's push-ups. The real work is with the director and the fellow actors," he told reporters after a well-received press screening. Mikkelsen, 47, said he and the director agreed not to do countless takes and get bogged down in perfecting the language. "Working in French is obviously very, very difficult when you're Danish. And we made a pact that I would work as much as I could -- constantly, nonstop," he said. "And when we were shooting the scenes, we would not talk about it any more, that was it. That was the deal, and we kept it. We tried to make a space where I could do what I'm hopefully best at, be present in the moment and not think too much about the words." Des Pallieres said the story of a successful merchant and loving father who becomes a radical militant resonated strongly today. "I think this is the most beautiful historical tale you could tell: a man who could seize power but chooses not to out of a sense of honesty and moral rigour," he said. "It's as modern and contemporary as historical -- it applies both to Kleist's time and our own." Mikkelsen said he was attracted to Kohlhaas as a radical character whose motivations are open to wide interpretation. "Whether we see him as a hero, a villain or a revolutionary -- it's up to each individual," he said. "Michael Kohlhaas" is among 20 films in the running for the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or top prize on Sunday. dlc/ri/hmn

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