Mads Mikkelsen Says He Hasn’t Spoken to Johnny Depp About Playing Grindelwald: 'I Don't Know Him'

Alexia Fernández
·3 min read

Mads Mikkelsen will bring an original version of Grindelwald to Fantastic Beasts after taking over from Johnny Depp.

Mikkelsen, 55, spoke to the Associated Press about the transition and shared in a video whether he had spoken to Depp, 57, about portraying the wizard villain.

"No, I don’t know him. I met him once," Mikkelsen said. "I wish I had his phone number but unfortunately, that’s not the case."

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The actor continued, saying in terms of preparing for the role and providing a seamless transition, "There’s nothing else I can do, to be honest.

"The only approach I can have is to connect the bridge of what he did and what I'm going to do and we’ll see what it is," Mikkelsen added.

Earlier this month, Mikkelsen spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the differences between his and Depp's portrayals of Grindelwald.

"Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," he joked, before adding in all seriousness, "No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own."

The Danish star expressed his desire to make the two versions of the character connect. "We have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved," Mikkelsen added to EW.

RELATED VIDEO: Johnny Depp Agrees to Resign from Fantastic Beasts Role After Losing 'Wife Beater' Libel Case

Depp stepped down from the film last month after losing a libel lawsuit involving his ex-wife Amber Heard. E! News confirmed on Nov. 25 that Mikkelsen had taken over as Grindelwald for the third film in the franchise.

Mikkelsen will be the third actor to portray the wizard in the franchise. Colin Farrell played a disguised version of the villain in the first film and Depp appeared in the part in a small portion of the first installment, as well as in the second.

Speaking with EW, Mikkelsen said that "job-wise," he finds his new venture into the Harry Potter universe "super interesting and nice."

"It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad," added the Rogue One actor. "I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon."

The Fantastic Beasts films follow Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald more than 60 years before the events of the original Harry Potter book/film series.

RELATED: Mads Mikkelsen Talks for the First Time About Taking Over Johnny Depp's Role in Fantastic Beasts 3

On Nov. 6, Depp posted a letter on Instagram announcing that he had agreed to step down from the villainous role days after losing his U.K. libel case against The Sun newspaper.

Depp had sued The Sun over a story that described him as a "wife-beater" during his marriage to Heard, 34 — allegations of which surfaced in 2016. Despite those claims, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling vehemently defended Depp and his casting in the franchise in 2017.

And though the actor has left the film series, Depp will reportedly still receive his full eight-figure salary, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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