The Danish-born actor, 55, is winning rave reviews for his boozy, buzz-worthy turn as a disillusioned high school teacher who makes a pact with his friends to spice up their lives by staying secretly drunk all day.
The film "goes places where we normally don't go, but we're not trying to be moral about how much or how little you should drink," he says. Still, "we all know how wonderful one or two glasses of wine can be because there's a lot of beautiful energy being released. It's that good balance that we are all looking for."
In an exclusive interview with OK!, Mikkelsen chats about the new movie, life in lockdown and the fine art of acting tipsy while staying on his toes.
Tell us about your character, Martin.
MM: He was a great teacher once, but something happened. Why doesn't he like it anymore? Why is he so f**king boring? All of a sudden, it dawns on him that the train's left and he's standing on the platform. For him, it's time maybe to step out of that.
Everybody's talking about your dance scene at the end of the film.
In the dance, Martin is liberating something. We wanted the scene to be a mix of wanting to live and wanting to drown at the same time.
Were you really drunk?
No. But it was tricky playing being drunk because it's so easy to overdo it, right? When you've had a little too much to drink, all you have to do is focus on trying not to be drunk. So you become a little more precise in your movements or a little slower and that gives you away — right? But in this case, we had to [take it] up a level and go ballistic. For that, we [prepared by] watching a lot of Russian YouTube [clips]. The Russians are very good at being really drunk. We got very inspired from that.
Is it the first time you danced in a film?
Yeah. There's a tendency in dramas that people don't dance a lot. [Laughs.] So there's never been a real good excuse for it. But I was a professional dancer when I was younger, but that was 30 years ago.
Did the experience come in handy?
I'm sure it's a part of me somehow, but I didn't pay too much attention to it. When I've been in elaborate sword-fighting scenes that go on and on, it came in handy that I was a dancer just in order to remember all the choreography and move the right way.
You were at the Venice Film Festival to promote Another Round last September. What was that like?
Yeah. Venice was an opportunity to see how [a festival] works with masks and restrictions. Everything was just surreal — George Orwell-like. I appreciate that Venice made a real festival. I think it was important and brave of them to do it, [but] I know it was very hard.
How are you handling life in lockdown?
I spend a lot of time at home when I'm not filming [but] it's becoming a little longer than I wanted it to be. Like a lot of people, I'm not working at the moment and it doesn't look as if we're going to in the near future. But I'm pretty good at spending time with my family [wife Hanne Jacobsen, and kids Viola, 29, and Carl, 24].
Have your drinking habits changed since making the movie?
Not at all. I have the same relationship to alcohol that I've always had. I think it's a very fine relationship. [Laughs.]