Mads Mikkelsen: “Showdown is a small word for what’s happening between Hannibal and Francis Dolarhyde”

Photo credit: AXN Asia

Photo credit: AXN Asia

It’s less than 24 hours until Hannibal S3’s premiere and the excitement for the show based on Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels and characters is at its height. I was fortunate to have been granted an interview session with Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Dr Lecter himself, and talk about the series. As anyone can guess, I couldn’t not ask him about Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. The Tooth Fairy. But first let me explain why I felt the need to ask him that.

Pretty much everything you want to know about Richard Armitage’s Francis Dolarhyde has been covered everywhere. I can’t even begin to explain to you just how epic this role is – The Tooth Fairy is THAT iconic – and the fact that Richard Armitage gets to play this character is an honor to both actor and character. (And before anyone accuses me of idolizing a serial killer – no, I do not admire Dolarhyde for being a killer. I admire the character because he is a complex individual that requires deft handling by an accomplished actor on screen. Let’s just get that straight.) So far, we’ve heard plenty Richard’s involvement in the show, but they are mostly from Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller and, in a couple of occasion, from himself. (Most recently, Fangoria has an interview with Richard Armitage on Francis Dolarhyde.)

When the opportunity came up for me to interview Mads Mikkelsen (who is also one of my favorite actors) I couldn’t not ask him about working with Richard. I wanted to know, from a fellow actor’s point of view, what Francis Dolarhyde’s appearance in this series will mean for Hannibal Lecter’s character. In other versions, Dolarhyde’s case was what made Will Graham consult with Dr Lecter again, and Dolarhyde was said to idolize Lecter, but I wanted to know if the TV show is going that way or taking a different path.


Mads Mikkelsen is an outstanding actor who absolutely knows his material and he gave me a clever answer. There’s nothing revealing about his answer but it was great to get his perspective on the character.

How does Hannibal the series handle the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Francis Dolarhyde? In previous incarnations, they don’t really have direct contact. Do we get a showdown of some kind? And what was it like working with Richard Armitage?

He has an obsession with Hannibal, so we do get in touch. Given the nature of the TV show, I would be very surprised if we don’t see them having some kind of interaction, more than just ‘getting in touch’.

So I can’t really tell you what’s gonna happen but I think ‘showdown’ is a small word for what’s happening.

It’s fantastic to work with Richard – not only him but also the [actress] who plays Reba* – we’ve managed to find two fantastic actors who are really up for the task, and they’re taking at least 5 or 6 episodes of the show. So we needed strong actors for that, and I know for sure that they have accomplished that 100%.

* Rutina Wesley will play Dolarhyde’s object of affection, Reba McClane.

‘Showdown’ is apparently too small a word for what happens between Hannibal and Francis. Anyone reading that might, like me, conjure images of two monsters fighting to the death while Will Graham watches on the sideline. With a sword. Ready to strike them both down. (Except he probably will save Hannibal instead.) Hearing Mads say that, I seriously got the chills. I may not survive the episode if it gets bloody.


Aside from that, remember that Guillermo del Toro-directing-an-episode-of-Hannibal fiasco that broke all of our hearts when it was announced to be a total hoax? Apparently, according to Fuller, we’re not the only ones heartbroken. There’s this anecdote from Fuller during a junket in Toronto, last April.

B. Fuller: Richard Armitage called me up, and he was like, “Oh my god, I love Guillermo del Toro, is that the one that I’m in?” I was like, “No … It’s Guillermo Navarro, you’ve worked with him, and you said that you loved him.” He was like, “There’s no del Toro?” And I was like, “I wish there was del Toro, I mean I would love to work with del Toro,” but…

His enthusiasm is positively adorable. I hope he will get to work with Guillermo del Toro soon because that would be a film I’d pay money to watch ten times over.

Asian viewers can tune into Hannibal S3 starting Friday, 5 June 2015, on AXN Asia, at 21.00 (Jakarta/Bangkok time).

If I have time (and I should have soon) a soundbite from Mads Mikkelsen’s interview will be available in my Soundcloud in the near future.

A full-length article about everything Hannibal S3 will be published in All Film‘s website and magazine.

4 thoughts on “Mads Mikkelsen: “Showdown is a small word for what’s happening between Hannibal and Francis Dolarhyde”

  1. Pingback: More Hannibal season 3 news – daily update | Richard Armitage Blog

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