‘Polar’: Mads Mikkelsen and Jonas Åkerlund on the Popularity of the Hitman Genre

     January 26, 2019

With Polar now streaming on Netflix, I recently sat down with Mads Mikkelsen and director Jonas Åkerlund to talk about their film based on the graphic novel Polar: Came from the Cold by Victor Santos. During the wide-ranging interview, they talked about their initial meeting about the project, wanting to make sure the stuff they loved from the graphic novel made it into the movie, how they wanted to craft the action set pieces, what they learned from early screenings that impacted the finished film, why they think the hitman genre is so popular, how Mikkelsen likes to prepare for a role, and more. In addition, I tried to get Mikkelsen to talk about Hideo Kojima’s upcoming game and Åkerlund talks about his other film, Lords of Chaos.

polar-posterIf you haven’t seen the trailer, Polar stars Mads Mikkelsen as one of the world’s most lethal assassins. As he gets closer to his retirement, his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to have him silenced. Polar also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas, Ruby O. Fee, Fei Ren, Anthony Grant, Josh Cruddas, Robert Maillet, Julian Richings, Johnny Knoxville and Richard Dreyfuss.

Check out what Mads Mikkelsen and Jonas Åkerlund had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Mads Mikkelsen and Jonas Åkerlund:

  • How did they first meet and how did it go?
  • How did the script/story change during the development process?
  • polar-image

    Image via Netflix

    How Mads came with “a backpack of notes”.

  • They wanted to make sure that the stuff they loved from the graphic novel made it into the movie.
  • How Mikkelsen’s character is great at his job but in the real world out of place.
  • How did they work together to craft the action set pieces?
  • How Mikkelsen insisted on doing his own stunts.
  • How Mikkelsen loved his character’s boots and mustache.
  • What did they learn from early screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • Why is the hitman genre so popular?
  • How does Mikkelsen like to prepare for a role?
  • Can Mikkelsen tease anything about Hideo Kojima’s upcoming game?
  • Jonas Åkerlund on what Lords of Chaos is about.

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