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Home page > Interview-Portrait > Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (14 February 2013)

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Denmark - Shooting Stars 2013 Special 

MIKKEL BOE FØLSGAARD is no stranger to the Berlinale, having won the Best Actor award in 2012. He is back this year as a nominee for shooting stars.

You got your big break in “Tbe Royal Affair” even before finishing acting school. How did you build the confidence for that challenge?

I was at the theatre school in Copenhagen back then and when I got the part I was in my third year and it was like my first movie, so I was, you know, when I got the part I was very insecure and nervous. I thought that I couldn’t make it. But I had a good director and some good fellow actors who supported me all the way, so I managed to do it. The hardest part was finding the confidence in myself, definitely. It was my first movie and I was, as I said before, very nervous. I thought perhaps the director had made a mistake choosing me so, you know, the confidence on myself was a big challenge.

You play the role of King Christian the VII, the mad king. How did you prepare yourself for such a complicated role?

In Denmark most people know about the story about the Christian the VII, so I knew a little bit about him. When I got the part I went to the library and I read all the books I could find about the story and I started researching. So I made a whole map about his life and the development of Christian through the story. I also saw historical movies like “Madness of King George” and I started listening to classical music. You know, I was trying to get into the period somehow. Of course I also read the script a lot of times before we got to the Czech Republic, where we shot the movie, and we had a long rehearsal period.

You played alongside the mighty Madds Mikkelssen. Did you learn anything from him?

Yes I learned a lot from Madds. He is probably the biggest Danish actor ever and I had been a big fan of him since I was little. So when I met him at first I was very nervous at the audition. But since the beginning he was so kind and nice to me and to the other actors. He became like a mentor for me. He gave me advice for my career and advice for playing Christian, so we became great friends.

Last year you came here to the Berlinale and left with the Best Actor Award. How surreal was that experience?

I came down here not expecting to win at all. I was, you know, hiding behind Madds and people and the director. I was suppose to go home Saturday morning and the award show was at the evening. Then I got a phone call Friday evening saying the Berlinale wanted me to stay and I was like “ok, what is that all about”. I stayed, I went to the award show and Charlotte Gainsbourg came to the scene and she said my name. It was so surreal. Even when I think about it now it is like a dream: Almost blurry and everything. It just happened so quickly, but it was yeah (pause) so cool.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Shooting Stars event?

Well it gives me the opportunity to meet all the young actors, hear their stories and how they came here. Then we met some casting directors from all over the world, so of course it gives us an opportunity to get some connections outside our own country. And then it is free beers and party. All the fun stuff: Free jewelry, face cream and stuff like that (Laughs). It is great.

What do you plan to do next?

I graduated from my theater school this summer so I am still very new. So right now I am focusing on doing something in Denmark. I am doing a Danish TV series right now called "The Legacy" and then I am doing a theater play in Copenhagen. I also shot a film this last fall. So right now I am in Denmark and I am happy about that and then we will see afterwards.

Do you have a dream role you would like to do in the future?

You know, I don’t have a dream role. I think, you know, when I read a script or a story that interests me I just get stuck into the story, so it can be anything. Of course I like to build characters which are far away from me. I think that is very interesting. I hope to get casted to do all films, TV and theater. I think the mix between those 3 is very interesting.

Interview and editing by Fernando Vasquez Transcription by Luisa Rivieri Video by Cineuroa

Mikkel Boe Folsgaard-Vimeo from Cineuropa on Vimeo.

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