Mads Mikkelsen: Cliff is a complex person who represents both sides of the coin

A few days ago, PlayStation Japan published a video titled Talk Stranding Vol. 1, that featured an interview with Hideo Kojima and Mads Mikkelsen. Unfortunately, the video was in Japanese (Kojima’s responses that is), but now a fan has kindly provided subtitles. While there’s not a whole lot of new information (partly due to Kojima and Mads avoiding spoilers) it is still a pretty interesting conversation.

Mads explained that normally as an actor you want to know the entire story, but for Death Stranding that was a little tricky, so they took a different approach and focused on individual scenes instead. 

Kojima’s directing style is very to the point, but also precise, as he knows exactly where the characters need to be at what time, and where the cameras are placed. Mads added that if you were in doubt of anything, Kojima would take you to his gigantic storyboard and point to the frame they were shooting, which clearly conveyed the mood of the scene they were creating. According to Mads, such a visual reference is very helpful to actors.

Cliff was partially based on Mads, as Kojima offered him the role while creating the character. He wanted Cliff to bring out the charm of Mads. Kojima also said that originally Cliff didn’t smoke, but when he saw how cool Mads looked while smoking, he added it to the character. Mads added that a difference between him and Cliff is that the latter often smokes with his left hand, while he never does that.

Kojima said that Cliff is a mysterious character, and that he is at the core of the story. He went on to say that the character will bring the players to the peak of the drama. Mads: “I would say he’s a complex person, in the sense that he is you and me. He has both sides of the coin. You know, when you’re doing something you believe is good, it’s not always necessarily a good thing. And when you’re doing something that the world considers bad, it’s not always the case that it is. And I think that he represents those two sides of the coin, without giving too much away.”

Talking about the game, Mads said: “It’s nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’ve never seen anything like this, and I was very taken with it.” Later in the video, he said: “[Kojima] is a visionary, he’s expanding this world into something that we couldn’t have predicted, and I’m super proud of being a small part of it.”

Mads is planning to play the game himself, but since he’s not really a gamer, he will be making use of the very easy mode included for movie fans, while his son could tackle the higher difficulties.

You can check out the full (subtitled) video below.

Source: PlayStation Japan (thanks to Johnno for the heads-up about the translated interview)

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