Video: Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn on Rogue One

Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn on Rogue One

Mads Mikkelsen is one of the best cinematic villains on screen today. The Danish actor has played bad guys in Casino Royale, Hannibal and Marvel‘s Doctor Strange. But as the actor travels to a galaxy far, far away in Rogue One, he has a new role – that of the hero… or is he? Mikkelsen plays Galen Erso, a brilliant scientist who is key to making the super laser of the Death Star work. He’s also the father of our heroine, Jyn Erso. But when they are separated by the Empire’s Director Orson Krennic, it sets Jyn on her hero’s journey.

Krennic is played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn. While he is just about to become familiar to American audiences, he has long been a star Down Under. He’s had roles in Quigley Down Under, Australia, Animal Kingdom, and The Dark Knight Rises. After playing the villain in Rogue One, he’s about to have one of the biggest roles of his career in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. But first he has to face Jyn and the Rebellion.

I spoke with Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn in a joint interview, in which I asked the actors about working with Darth Vader, the back story between their characters, if it’s more fun to play the hero or the villain, and more. And the biggest surprise for me was finding out just what a lifelong Star Wars fan Ben Mendelsohn truly is.

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

Felicity Jones stars alongside Mads Mikkelsen, who plays her father, Galen Erso. Diego Luna (Milk) stars as Captain Cassian Andor, with Donnie Yen (Ip ManBlade II) as the blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Imwe, Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets FlyDevils on the Doorstep) as his heavily armored best friend Baze Malbus, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the droid K-2SO, Riz Ahmed (NightcrawlerFour Lions) as the Rebel pilot Bodhi Rook, plus Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as Saw Gerrera, a character first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Ben Mendelsohn (BloodlineMississippi Grind) as the film’s main antagonist, Director Orson Krennic.

The Walt Disney Studios will release Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters on December 16, 2016.