Mads Mikkelsen

An intense presence in international film since the late 1990s, actor Mads Mikkelsen enjoyed considerable popularity in his native Denmark with turns as brooding, often violent men on both sides of the law in "Pusher" (1996) and on the television series "Rejseholdet (Unit One)" (DR1, 2000-04) before leaping to stardom in America as men of action in "Casino Royale" (2006) and "Clash of the Titans" (2010). Despite his flinty, often taciturn screen image, Mikkelsen also excelled in comedies like "The Green Butchers" (2003), as well as more sympathetic turns in the Oscar-nominated "After the Wedding" (2006). His performance as the icy terrorist Le Chiffre in the James Bond thriller "Casino Royale" (2006) brought him to the attention of Hollywood, which cast him largely in period action features like "Titans" and "The Three Musketeers" (2011). A Best Actor Award win at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival as a man haunted by child abuse allegations in "The Hunt" (2012) underscored his standing as one of Europe's most popular leading men. His subsequent casting as the iconic serial killer Hannibal Lecter on the TV series "Hannibal" (NBC, 2013-15) also highlighted an acting career on a skyrocketing trajectory.