Over the years, Mads Mikkelsen has played characters like a high-society, serial killing cannibal as Hannibal Lecter, a blood-crying, testicle-destroying Bond villain as Le Chiffre, and Cliff Unger, one of the most tortured soldiers in Hideo Kojima’s line-up of tortured video game soldiers in Death Stranding. In one of his latest roles, though, Mikkelsen’s task wasn’t to channel the dark psychology of a terrorist or murderer—it was to figure out how to convincingly portray someone who’s drunk a whole lot.
The BBC spoke to Mikkelsen and his castmates about the unique challenges of playing drunk in the recently released Another Round. Asked whether he actually drank for the performance, Mikkelsen said doing that “every day for 60 days [of filming] would be a no-go.” Instead, he said pretending to be wasted onscreen was “the result of hard work and a lot of repetition.”
Before they started, though, director Thomas Vinterberg put his cast through an “alcohol boot camp” that involved “two days drinking on camera and measuring [the cast’s] blood alcohol concentration with digital breathalysers.” After reviewing the footage, Mikkelsen noted “little nuances” and incorporated some of them—”you bring your shoulders down and you relax a little. I have a slight lisp, so I let that go a little, too”—into his acting.
Mikkelsen also watched Russian YouTube videos of drunk people “filming themselves when they’re absolutely hammered” and approached the art of being pretend buzzed by “[approaching] it as you do in your personal life”—basically “[trying] your best not to appear drunk.” For drunker scenes, Mikkelsen noted that people basically just talk way too loudly. He and the other actors also used eyedrops “to give them the requisite bleary red eyes” and wore shoulder pads “for when they bumped into walls.” Vinterberg doesn’t think Mikkelsen participated, but some of the other actors would also “spin around before each take” to make themselves disoriented.
Read the entire BBC article for more on how Mikkelsen and Another Round’s cast pulled from their “backpack full of knowledge of what being drunk was like” for the film.
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