Fantastic Beasts: 10 Reasons Why Mads Mikkelsen Is The Best Grindelwald

There have been many evil and ruthless wizards in the history of Harry Potter, but few are as powerful or as dangerous as Grindelwald. It’s mainly because he has an undeniable charisma that draws everyone to him.

Mads Mikkelsen skillfully captures this element of Grindelwald’s personality, and it’s easy to see, through his performance, how it is that so many good wizards could have gone along with his horrific plans regarding Muggles and his plans for world domination.

His chemistry with Jude Law

Jude Law has been in many great movies, and there’s no doubt he brings considerable charm to his turn from Dumbledore. A big part of why Mads Mikkelsen works so well for Grindelwald stems from his chemistry with Law.

Watching them both engage with each other – especially in the opening restaurant scene – it’s very easy to believe the viewer is looking at two people who were once in love but have now become the bitterest enemies.

He is less caricatural

Johnny Depp has long been known for many outlandish characters, and sadly he brought a lot of that weirdness to his role as Grindelwald. As a result, it was sometimes hard to take the character seriously as one of the most serious threats the wizarding world had ever faced. This was especially true in the second film, where his cartoonish hair and makeup robbed him of his menace.

Mikkelsen, however, is a scaled-down version of this character, which makes him more believable and serious as a major villain.

He has a powerful sense of threat

One of the most notable aspects of Grindelwald’s character is how menacing he is. Although he puts on a benevolent face to the outside world – in order to convince others to join his cause – there are times when the facade slips, and he shows just how brutal and cruel he is capable of being.

Whether it’s his threats to destroy Credence if he fails again or his horrific actions towards the Qilin, Mikkelsen leaves the viewer in no doubt that he is a man ready for anything. to achieve its ambitions.

He’s already played some very compelling villains

Mads Mikkelsen has a wildly varied filmography, but he’s received accolades for his ability to portray compelling villains. Look no further than his turn as Hannibal Lecter on the show Hannibal to see how adept he is at bringing out the subtle nuances of the most monstrous individuals.

Because of this, he is able to imbue the character of Grindelwald with a frightening aspect that is somehow impossible to turn away from, and the audience and his fellow wizards fall under his spell.

It conveys the complexity of Grindelwald

Even if he is bad, Grindelwald is not a simple character. Like Tom Riddle – whose childhood traumas would lead him down the dark road to becoming Lord Voldemort – Grindelwald isn’t just bad.

Instead, what makes him so scary is the fact that he seems to have good reason to believe the way he does, which is precisely what makes him so threatening. Mikkelsen’s performance brings out these nuances of his psychology, allowing the viewer to see him as more than just a caricature.

It’s easy to see why others would follow him

One of the most troubling questions raised by the fantastic beasts movies is why anyone would follow someone with genocidal ambitions. To some extent, at least, Fantastic Beasts 3 answers that question, and it’s thanks to Mads Mikkelsen.

Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald moves through the world with a calm assurance that speaks of someone who can command others, often without appearing to try. He’s the kind of person easy for others to follow, and that helps explain, at least in part, how he nearly saw his ambitions realized.

It ends up being more serious and menacing

As charismatic and charming as he is, Mikkelsen also shows just how deadly Grindelwald can be. He’s the kind of person who can talk, casually, about destroying millions of people, in a restaurant full of the very people he wants to annihilate. He’s also the type of person who will literally kill the person he loved more than anyone else.

Essentially, he’s a menacing, serious person, well-suited to play the wizard who’s come closest to destroying the world and rebuilding it in his own image.

He is a dramatic actor

Although Johnny Depp is a very strong actor in many ways, most of his roles have been overdone (especially since he worked so often with Tim Burton, someone with his own unique style). Thus, his characters can sometimes seem less than serious.

In contrast, Mikkelsen has made his career playing deeply haunted and conflicted people. As a result, there’s a seriousness and gravity to his performance that Depp lacked.

He is more subtle in his characterization

It would be easy to dismiss Grindelwald as nothing more than an egomaniac, someone so convinced of his own rightness that he can’t see anything else. Thankfully, Mikkelsen makes it very clear that there’s a lot going on behind his sinister gaze.

In fact, one of the actor’s great skills is his ability to bring out the most subtle tones of the most despicable characters. Even at the very end, Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald makes it clear that he still cares about Dumbledore, even though the two are now mortal enemies.


More information about Fantastic Beasts: 10 Reasons Why Mads Mikkelsen Is The Best Grindelwald

There have been many evil and ruthless wizards in the history of Harry Potter, but few are quite as powerful or as dangerous as Grindelwald. This is mostly because he has an undeniable charisma that draws everyone to him.
Mads Mikkelsen ably captures this element of Grindelwald’s personality, and it’s easy to see, through his performance, how it is that so many otherwise good wizards might have been willing to go along with his horrible plans regarding Muggles and his plans for world domination.
His Chemistry With Jude Law

Jude Law has been in many great movies, and there’s no doubt he brings a considerable amount of charm to his turn as Dumbledore. A major part of the reason that Mads Mikkelsen works so well as Grindelwald stems from his chemistry with Law.
Looking at the two of them engaging with one another–particularly in the opening scene in the restaurant–it’s very easy to believe that the viewer is watching two people who were once in love but have now become the bitterest of enemies.
He’s Less Cartoonish

Johnny Depp has long been known for many outlandish characters and, unfortunately, he brought much of that bizarreness to his role as Grindelwald. As a result, it was sometimes difficult to take the character seriously as one of the gravest threats that the wizarding world ever faced. This was especially true in the second movie, where his cartoonish hair and makeup robbed him of his menace.
Mikkelsen, however, is a scaled-back version of this character, and this makes him more believable and serious as a major villain.
He Has A Powerful Sense Of Menace

One of the most notable aspects of Grindelwald’s character is just how menacing he is. Though he puts on a kind face to the outside world–in order to convince others to join his cause–there are moments when the facade slips, and he shows just how brutal and cruel he is capable of being.
Whether it’s his threats to destroy Credence if he fails him again or his horrible actions toward the Qilin, Mikkelsen leaves the viewer in no doubt as to the fact that this is a man who is willing to do almost anything to achieve his ambitions.
He’s Played Very Compelling Villains Before

Mads Mikkelsen has a very varied filmography, but he has garnered significant praise for his ability to portray compelling villains. One need look no further than his turn as Hannibal Lecter on the series Hannibal to see how skilled he is at bringing out the subtle shades of even the most monstrous individuals.
For this reason, he is able to imbue the character of Grindelwald with a fearsome aspect that is, somehow, also impossible to turn away from, and both the audience and his fellow wizards fall under his spell.
He Conveys Grindelwald’s Complexity

Even though he is evil, Grindelwald is not a simple character. Like Tom Riddle–whose childhood traumas would lead him down the dark road to becoming Lord Voldemort–Grindelwald isn’t just evil.
Instead, what makes him so frightening is the fact that he seems to have good reasons for believing as he does, which is precisely what makes him so threatening. Mikkelsen’s performance brings out these shades of his psychology, allowing the viewer to see him as more than just a caricature.
It’s Easy To See Why Others Would Follow Him

One of the most troubling questions raised by the Fantastic Beasts movies is why it is that anyone would follow someone with genocidal ambitions. To a degree, at least, Fantastic Beasts 3 answers that question, and it’s thanks to Mads Mikkelsen.
Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald moves through the world with a calm assurance that speaks of someone who can command others, often without seeming to try. He is the type of person that is easy for others to follow, and this helps to explain, at least in part, how he came so close to seeing his ambitions fulfilled.
He Ends Up Being More Serious And Threatening

As charismatic and charming as he is, Mikkelsen also makes it clear just how deadly Grindelwald can be. He is the type of person who can speak, off-handedly, of destroying millions of people, in a restaurant full of the very people he wants to annihilate. He is also the type of person who will literally kill the person he once loved more than anyone.
In essence, he is a threatening and serious person, well-suited to playing the one wizard who came closest to destroying the world and rebuilding it in his image.
He’s A Dramatic Actor

Though Johnny Depp is a very strong actor in many ways, most of his roles have been over-the-top (particularly since he has worked so often with Tim Burton, someone with his own unique style). Thus, his characters can at times seem less than serious.
By contrast, Mikkelsen has made his career playing deeply haunted and conflicted people. As a result, there is seriousness and gravitas to his performance that was missing in Depp’s.
He’s More Subtle In His Characterization

It would be easy to dismiss Grindelwald as nothing more than egomaniac, someone so convinced of their own rightness that they can see nothing else. Fortunately, Mikkelsen makes it very clear that there is a great deal going on behind his sinister gaze.
In fact, one of the actor’s great skills is his ability to draw out the subtler tones of even the most despicable characters. Even at the very end, Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald makes it clear that he still cares for Dumbledore, even though the two are now mortal enemies.

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