He’s an amazing actor: Mads Mikkelsen praises Johnny Depp

Mads Mikkelsen has praised Johnny Depp as an “amazing actor” and speculated about Depp’s possible return to the Fantastic Beasts film franchise after his legal victory against ex-wife Amber Heard.

The 56-year-old Danish actor, who is known for his roles in James Bond film Casino Royale and NBC series Hannibal, replaced Depp, 59, to play Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival, as reported by Deadline, Mikkelsen described taking over the role from Depp as “very intimidating” and spoke about the reason for Depp’s departure from the film – his libel case against his ex-wife.

He said: “Obviously, well, now the course has changed – he won the suit, the court [case] – so let’s see if he comes back. He might.

“I’m a big fan of Johnny. I think he’s an amazing actor, I think he did a fantastic job.

Johnny Depp court case
Mikkelsen replaced Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts film after Depp withdrew from his role due to his court case against his ex-wife Amber Heard (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Having said that, I could not copy it. There’s there was no way I could just copy it, because it’s so much him. It would be creative suicide.

“So, we had to come up with something else, something that was mine, and build a bridge between him and me. So, yes, it was intimidating.

“His fans were very, very sweet, but they were also very stubborn. I didn’t interact too much with them, but I could understand why they had their hearts broken.”

Depp won against Heard, 36, in the now infamous legal battle in Fairfax County, Virginia, earlier this year.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for The Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.

Representatives for the actor said he had lost work opportunities and high-profile roles such as being dropped from the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise following the accusations.

Jurors found in his favour following the six-week trial.

Depp is now set to direct his first feature film in 25 years with Modi, about the Italian painter and sculpture Amedeo Modigliani.

He will co-produce the film alongside Hollywood great Al Pacino.