Mads Mikkelsen found his audition for 2005 superhero movie Fantastic Four “kind of humiliating”.
The Danish actor got himself an American agent after landing his first big role in a major Hollywood film – the villain Le Chiffre in James Bond movie Casino Royale – and went to all the meetings and auditions he was sent to without considering if it was a project he wanted to be involved in.
One of these auditions was for the role of Dr Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic, who has the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires, in the superhero movie and he recalled being embarrassed having to pretend he had stretchy arms in the audition room.
“Some of the stuff was interesting, and other things were just like – this is where I felt you can completely lose your confidence as an actor. Standing in an office with a person who looks down at his paper, and you pretend you have long arms and say one line,” he told Vulture.
“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.”
The role of Mr Fantastic eventually went to Mikkelsen’s good friend Ioan Gruffudd, who reprised the role in the 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.