Performer of the Week: Mads Mikkelsen

Hannibal Finale Mads MikkelsenA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Mads Mikkelsen

THE SHOW | NBC’s Hannibal

THE EPISODE | ”Savoureux”

THE AIRDATE | June 20, 2013

RELATED | Hannibal Finale Recap: Appetite For Destruction

THE PERFORMANCE | Just as Hugh Dancy earned POTW honors with his rendition of a man slowly becoming unraveled, Mikkelsen has regaled viewers with his portrayal of a calculating killer icily in control — until, in a rare, shocking moment of humanity, he wasn’t.

Having framed Will Graham for the death of Abigail Hobbs and brutally gaslighted the FBI consultant all along, Dr. Hannibal Lecter — in sharing with his own psychotherapist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (played by Gillian Anderson) — is visibly moved by that which he has secretly accomplished. “Seems hard to find the words today,” he admits, as tears slip from his deep-set eyes. Addressing his first loss, he says that despite the evidence, “I find myself search for ways Abigail could still be alive.” When De Maurier gently asks why this end of a life affects him so, he reveals, “I never considered having a child. But after meeting Abigail, I understood the appeal” to shape a life (though perhaps in not the most admirable of ways).

Lecter then “mourns” what has become of Will, his patient… and friend? “I was so confident in my ability to help him, to solve him,” he laments. And despite all that we have witnessed the not-so-good doctor do at Will’s expense, the sense of loss seems genuine if not coming from the healthiest of places.

Later, Mikkelsen resumes his depiction of the dark puppetmaster, cool and collected as he serves dinner to De Maurier (who frets that his “patterns” might become evident to those around him, attached as he tends to become to violent, dangerous people) and then as he visits detained Will. There, the music, setting and dialogue stirringly mirrors what will one day be an infamous encounter between Lecter and one Clarice Starling (yet with the brilliant doctor on the other side of the barrier), creating an irony that is simply… delicious.

HONORABLE MENTION | Danny Pudi on Hot In Cleveland, who walked onto the stage of the TV Land comedy’s live premiere and more than held his own against heavyweights Betty White and William Shatner (and that ‘stache!). Pudi effortlessly transformed himself into a nerdy spelling bee winner-turned-local prescription drug peddler, almost making us forget all about his beloved Community alter ego Abed Nadir. It seemed as though we were witnessing the improv vet in his element — and it was pretty cool, cool, cool.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

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  1. redjane12 says:

    Mikkelsen was amazing showing Hannibal as the perfect psychopath who actually believes he feels sorry for his victims. Though by the end of the episode I almost feel more scared of Dr. Bedelia… She’s so cold through all of this… I wonder if the patient who tried to kill her might have been a victim of her (or Hannibal’s) plots….

  2. Did anyone actually proof read this article before posting it?

    • Bob says:

      No. No one proofreads anymore. They just click their version of the Spell-Check button and publish.

      • B says:

        I’m just happy that I’m not the only one annoyed by such things. It’s worse when it’s a professional news website (where it happens all the time as well) but just because this is a TV “blog” site shouldn’t excuse it either. It’s not like it’s some kid casually blogging at home, this is a (heavily) ad-supported, well-known site!

  3. That smile at the end… *shivers*

  4. Patrick Maloney says:

    He really took the role that everyone links Anthony Hopkins to and really, really made it his own

  5. Lalala says:

    Dylan O’Brien was incredible this week! He is the silver lining of Teen Wolf. You could really feel his vulnerability

  6. amycorvus says:

    Reblogged this on Neon Disease and commented:
    Pretty sure Hannibal is single-handedly clawing back the creative reputation NBC has lacked for so long. Will Crossing Lines continue this European-influenced revival- who knows?

    • Leila! says:

      Hannibal’s pretty awesome, but (at least NBC’s comedies) have been critically well received for a long time now. What NBC wants is not creative cred – though it does have that with Parks & Rec and Community, as well as Hannibal – but a bigger general audience.

      • amycorvus says:

        Sorry, I was thinking solely of their drama output! (You are right of course about their comedy). It just seems like the last few seasons their non-Law& Order dramas have been well down the list in the ratings and haven’t been the focus of much critical acclaim.
        Idk, its not like I watch everything they put out but for a while there I wasn’t even trying since a lot of their dramas seemed creatively hollow and cancelled after one season. Hannibal has restored some of my faith!

  7. Stuart says:

    I feel like the whole cast of Hannibal deserves it this week. Amazing work for all of them.

  8. Kiko pantojas says:

    Mads performance as the good doctor is as cool and restrained from over the top gestures, ie Jack Nicholson shining , as was the quintessential mad doctor as portrait brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins. A lot of credit should go to the writers and mr. Fuller.

  9. Mike R. says:

    The entire cast of Hannibal was excellent this week, the show is so incredible, my only problem I some fans are a bit too sympathetic of Hannibal…

    • To start off, the name of the show is “Hannibal,” so we sort of have to “sympathize” with him; however, I believe more in the overall “The Villain We Love To Hate” thought. Mads Mikkelsen clearly shows us the path Will Graham will take leading into “Red Dragon,” when Dr. Lechter finally tries to kill Will; but more astounding is how we begin to realize his own transformation into Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the character. He takes some of Hopkins’ “ticks” and gives us a glance into the future.

      My favorite actor in the show is Gillian Anderson. Out of all the characters, hers is the one I’m frightened of the most. She plays it too cold, almost like a cobra circling its pray before striking. She over-analyzes Lechter’s thoughts, throws everything back at him (like every psychiatrist does) and makes me think, “what’s motivates her to keep him as a client, and how will she strike him down?”

      • TD says:

        What I’m wondering about Dr. De Maurier is what she actually knows about Hannibal. There’s something more to this relationship than we know. At their dinner together, she “warns” Hannibal that Jack will begin to put the pieces together. Who is the patient who attacked her, and is there a connection with Hannibal? Does Dr. DeM. have something on Hannibal, and/or does Hannibal have something on Dr. DeM.? As with practically everything on this show, there are, I am sure, many layers to this relationship that we have yet to uncover.

  10. Mads Mikkelsen is just amazing as Hannibal. Seductive yet sinister beyond belief.

  11. nikki says:

    Anthony Hopkins who? This Hannibal is the ultimate Hannibal. He is awesome. Great actor and great character. By far the best supporting actor. I hope the Emmy voters, at the very least, nominate this brilliant actor.

    • what! says:

      Whoa-whoa, hold on, this is Sir Anthony! Without his iconic performance, we wouldn’t have this great show. No one ever talks about Brian Cox’s great portrayal. Don’t get me wrong, Mads is brilliant! I hope he gets some noms!

      • Mads is also a ‘SIR’ in Denmark btw lol…. Personally I prefer Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal overall (Although my fave movie in the Horror genre is the Silence of the Lambs). Anthony’s portrayal became very cartoonish in the latter movies (which were all terrible critically).

  12. extr3me1st says:

    Mads has been brilliant and Fuller has done a great job with the show. Seriously can’t wait until season 2.

  13. N says:

    Yes! Mads was wonderful!

  14. Gillian Anderson impressed me even more, she was perfection.

  15. Ralph Hartman says:

    How you guys can continue to ignore Holliston week in and week out befuddles me. Every week someone on the show whether it’s one of the main cast or a guest star is fantastic. This week it was Joe Lynch.

  16. I considered Mads the “performer of the week” every week. He’s subtile, menacing, vicious and has the ability to present himseld as human and vulnerable (fromage). Amazing acting!

    • jenesais says:

      I have never SEEN an actor as good as Mads. He has the most delicate facial moves that are perfect. “Fromage” is my favorite episode for the reasons you said, Random; his ability to convey complex emotions in his face. When Will comes in after Tobias’s death, oh, the LOOK on Mads’s face, the look on his face when he said he was glad for the company. It was so REAL, so touching, so SUBTLE. An actor like this is infinite. Watch him carry an entire movie without saying a word (Valhalla Rising), watch him walk up stairs (Chanel and Stravinsky),, dance (A Royal Affair), swordfight (new, silly Three Muskateers except for Mads), or make love (AHHHHH, such a body). This man is a planetary acting treasure,

  17. yless says:

    I know I’m a lonely voice here disagreeing about the performance of Mikkelsen.I hate it! I really think he is a cross of Lurch of Addam’s Family(he would be perfect on a remake) and Mumbles of Dick Tracy.He is unintelligible most of the time, and his acting is one note.The only reason I’m still watching is Hugh Dancy, he is the only saving grace on this otherwise,numb soulless show.

    • wi says:

      He is “one-note” because that is his version of Hannibal – extremely controlling and even more extremely self-restrained, ruthlessly calculating and rational. That *is* how he sees the part. He is wearing a Person Mask all the time. Every second of his life that he is around other people, he has to have that mask on, to maintain the lie, the illusion of the persona he wants other people to see. That is why the smallest moment, like that sneery smile right at the end, when Hannibal knows that Will knows him as he is, makes such an emotional impact. You can feel his emotion, almost a relief that his almost true self is known. And it is a relief filled with terror for us too.

      The fact that you think he is unintelligible, well, yes, he has an accent, but Hannibal is *not* American. I personally find that the accent added so much, the Otherness he embodies. His quietness and accent almost make you have to pay closer attention and come physically closer to him.

      So he can smell you :)

    • Yes you are a lone voice. Mads Mikkelsen is the king of subtle acting and has won Cannes TOP prize because of it for the incredible movie ‘The Hunt’. Mikkelsen is in a different league compared to the other actors on the show. The man doesn’t need to over act to frighten or seduce you. He’s a genius.

      • thespian troll says:

        Why y’all gotta hate on the other? Mads’ is a subtle performance. Dancy’s is about as nuanced as he can be racked with brain flame and all.

  18. Leila! says:

    Yay! Love both all the Hannibal performances and Danny Pudi. Extremely well deserved on all ends.

  19. cassey says:

    Caroline Dhavernas really rocked this episode too. Alana sobbing alone in the car nearly did me in

  20. thespian troll says:

    I hear Hugh Dancy totally improved the ear. They were all like “what the hell is that?!” and “great, let’s use it!”. Guy is really in tune with his charcter.

    • Leslie says:

      Hugh Dancy deserves an emmy for this season. The storylines pretty much revolve around him and he aces his scenes all the time because of his intense, versatile and impressive acting. It’s so palpable that he makes you feel the emotions the character is going through in every scene. The rest of the cast are amazing too. However, after seeing the entire season, I still prefer Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Hannibal than Mads. Mads initial introduction as Hannibal and his subtle acting was a welcome change, at first. But the subtle acting got old quickly and seems so one note now. After seeing this kind of acting episode after episode, it is actually getting to be too tiresome and cardboard boxish. I still think he is a good actor but he needs to show more depth (a mix of subtle and emotional acting would be nice) to the Hannibal character to make him stand out and actually be the lead character. For this season, I would say the show’s lead character is Will Graham with Hannibal as the supporting one.

  21. Emily says:

    Dancy, Dhavernas, Mikkelsen, Anderson. They were all so good. I gotta hand it to Dancy, though. He made the show feel like it should be called Will instead of Hannibal. This episode goes to Mikkelsen, but season MVP goes to Dancy.