Even the best actors can have horrible auditions and Mads Mikkelsen is no exception. The Hannibal and Casino Royale actor recently did a wide-ranging profile about his career and he opened up a humiliating audition he had for the role of Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in 2005’s Fantastic Four.
Mikkelsen is explaining how things in his career began to change after his villain turn in the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale. It begins with the actor talking about getting an American agent and moving over to States and ends with him talking about how you can lose confidence as an actor when you’re auditioning and standing in an office “pretending you have long arms and say one line.” Mikkelsen was asked to clarify what he meant by the last statement and he confirmed it was a reference to his audition for the Fantastic Four film which starred Chris Evans and Jessica Alba. From there, Mikkelsen outlined his audition in detail:
“Yeah, and actually a good friend of mine got it, Ioan Gruffudd. I know a lot of casting is just first impressions, is there anything there that reminds the producer and the director of the character they’re looking for? But I find it rude to ask people to come into a room and say one line while pretending you have 80-foot arms like the rubber man. ‘Grab that cup of coffee over there,’ it’s like, Are you crazy? There’s not even a scene here. It was kind of humiliating.”
Indeed, Ioan Gruffudd ultimately landed the role of Reed Richards and rounded out the superhero foursome with Evans, Alba, and Michael Chiklis. The film was released before Marvel stepped into the MCU business and while it wasn’t well-received critically and was met with mixed reactions from moviegoers, The Tim Story-directed effort was successful, grossing $154.6 million domestically and $333.5 million worldwide. The film was followed by a sequel, 2007’s Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which received a much harsher critical reception. While the film didn’t tank at the box office, the sequel grossed less than the original, taking in $131.9 million domestically and $301.9 million worldwide. This marked the end of that iteration of Marvel’s first family but a reboot was released in 2015 and we all know what happened with that film. Even though it’s been over five years since its release, I hate to kick a film like that when it’s down.
As for Mads Mikkelsen, years later the actor got a chance to showcase his Marvel skills as the villain Kaecilius in Doctor Strange. The actor is also busy joining other franchises as he replaced Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3 and will be joining the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series. Needless to say, Mikkelsen has certainly survived one humiliating audition.
Could you see Mads Mikkelsen as Reed Richards in 2005’s Fantastic Four?