It’s a scene … intense, to say the least. In the years 2006 Casino Royale, Mads Mikkelsen’s bloodthirsty banker Le Chiffre tries to torture poker wins on Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Le Chiffre immediately pulls up a chair – makes a hole in the seat – so he can strip Bond and whip his bare undercarriage. It is perhaps one of the most memorable scenes from the famous Bond film, an unprecedented moment in the legendary franchise. And it was almost even more intense.
In a new interview with Vulture, Mikkelsen talks about watching Rafael Nadal hitting tennis balls, his first moments of glory, his starring role in Annibal, and of course its time to film Casino Royale. Mikkelsen revealed that the torture scene – the same where Bond barks: “Now the whole world will know you died scratching my balls!” – almost went even further. At the time, Mikkelsen and Craig were both relatively foreign to big budget movies. So, he says, the duo tried to bring an indie sensibility to the torture streak:
We’ve never seen Bond naked, and we’ve never seen him so fragile, and then obviously there are nuances with the rope. We were discussing how to approach it and we went further with something really brutal and insane. One idea was that I had actually cut it up somewhere, and it must have suffered for a while. At one point, director Martin Campbell was smiling and said, “Boys, come back to the table. It’s a Bond movie. We can’t go there. We were lost in our independent world, weren’t we? You have to respect that. It’s a Bond movie. This is the framework that you need to understand.
“Cut it out somewhere?” Your mind might run wild with that one. Of course, maybe Le Chiffre gave up the rope and started cutting his finger with his knife or something. But what if Mikkelsen and Craig really got to the bottom of it and imagined a scene where the banker made Bond helpless? Earlier in the scene, Le Chiffre told Bond that “there would be nothing left to identify you as a man.”
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Craig’s Bond is famous for bringing a new vulnerability to his character, and an injury like this would have opened up an entirely different storytelling world for the franchise.
On a significantly lighter note, Mikkelsen added that he almost lost the Casino Royale script and blew the lid off the whole movie. Apparently he was studying his lines on a flight. When did the plane land? Mikkelsen rushed off the plane, likely leaving the script in that sleeve where travel magazines live.
I fell asleep on the plane and forgot about it on the plane. I am the reason they put your name on the script. This is what they are trying to avoid. I panicked. I was off the plane. I had walked maybe a minute or something. I realized, Oh no, and I came in, and they wouldn’t let me in. I think I was lucky. I think someone who cleaned this plane had no idea what it was and threw it away. But it’s obviously a complete disaster if it ends up on the front page of The sun. I mean, this is the worst way to blow it up. I got my hands on these stages somehow, and went to audition.
Here is. Daniel Craig’s Bind the films were saved by a noble flight attendant. We greet you.
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