Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen’s involvement in the upcoming Death Stranding (opens in new tab) from Hideo Kojima was one of the biggest surprises of 2016. Two years on and we don’t really know much about the actor’s role, but at least we can have some behind-the-scenes glimpses at how good of friends Mikkelsen and Kojima (opens in new tab) have become.
Kojima Productions began tweeting about the pair’s budding bromance under the hashtag “DSStories,” detailing how the two met, a funny coincidence that happened at San Diego Comic-Con, and the ways Kojima and Mikkelsen have bonded since. You can visit the Kojima Productions Twitter (opens in new tab) account and read through the timeline, but some of the tweets are posted out of order and don’t feature the best English, so we’ll also recap below:
As followers of his know, Kojima is a big film buff, and one of his favorites is 2011’s Drive, starring Ryan Gosling. That film was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who Kojima met in 2014. As the idea for Death Stranding began to form in his head, Kojima spoke with Refn about the project. Refn’s film Pusher was Mads Mikkelsen’s first role, and Refn suggested Kojima hire Mikkelsen as a way to surprise audiences.
Coincidentally, Kojima had already created a character with Mikkelsen in mind for the role. Kojima had been watching Mikkelsen’s rise in Hollywood, and particularly enjoyed his turn as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. Kojima got Mikkelsen’s contact info from Refn, and reached out.
Kojima and Mikkelsen conversed back and forth several times, but never had a face-to-face meeting until San Diego Comic-Con 2016. On his way to the meeting, Mikkelsen coincidentally bumped into Norman Reedus, who apparently told the Dane that he would be “crazy” not to take Kojima up on the job. He did, and a few months later at The Game Awards we got that bizarre trailer showing… well, we don’t really know what the hell is going on in it.
The pair quickly grew close. While scanning Mikkelsen for the above trailer, Mikkelsen remarked that his homeland was facing France in the Olympic finals of handball. He suggested they watch the finals together, and they both cheered when Denmark won.
#DSStories 8 Taking over the TV and with a beer in hand, Mads cheered for his native Denmark. Yes, watching handball during the Olympics, in a British pub. Denmark won the game against none other than France -favorites to win it-. Kojima and Mads reveled in the thrill of victory. pic.twitter.com/LaXGaM1wgDJune 27, 2018
A couple days later, Mikkelsen also surprised Kojima with a birthday cake. I don’t know if Mikkelsen himself baked it, but considering the actor has been a gymnast, dancer, juggler, and a freaking knight in both Denmark and France, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
Since then, Mikkelsen has also gotten involved in the creative process, asking Kojima questions and offering suggestions. Kojima says he feels like they are creating the game together, and is quite pleased with his casting choice.
I’d wager fans are too.
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