Mads Mikkelsen Would Have 'Loved to' Talk to Johnny Depp About 'Fantastic Beasts' Role

"I didn't have a dog in that fight," Mads Mikkelsen recently told The Sunday Times of Johnny Depp's exit from the third Fantastic Beasts film

Mads Mikkelsen, Johnny Depp
Mads Mikkelsen; Johnny Depp. Photo: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Mads Mikkelsen has some big shoes to fill in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film.

The Danish actor says he wishes he could have spoken to Johnny Depp before taking over the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise's third installment.

"I mean, obviously, they were going to do the film, and obviously he was not involved anymore," Mikkelsen, 55, told The Sunday Times in an interview published Saturday.

Mikkelsen replaced Depp in November. Depp, 58, exited the role after losing a libel suit against The Sun, which referred to him as a "wife beater" in a story about his ex-wife Amber Heard's assault allegations that he has denied.

"I didn't have a dog in that fight," Mikkelsen added in his conversation with The Sunday Times. "I don't know what happened [in his private life] and I don't know if it was fair, him losing the job, but I just knew that the show was going on. And I would've loved to have talked to him about it if I had the chance, but I just don't know him in that sense."

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Johnny Depp Fantastic Beasts
Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

"But they called me and they were obviously in a hurry, and I loved the script and so said yes. And I know it was controversial for many people, but that's just the way it plays out once in a while," he continued.

Mikkelsen also discussed making the role his own, after Depp originated the character in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, before returning in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in 2018.

"I didn't want to copy what Johnny had done. I think he's a masterful actor, so copying him would've been creative suicide," Mikkelsen explained. "I had to figure out something that was definitely my own, and yet also act as a bridge to what he had done."

"My take is different, and the look is a little different, but we'll have to wait for the film's release [next year] to find out," the actor noted.

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

The Hannibal star previously opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the circumstances of his casting.

"Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice," Mikkelsen said in December. "It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. 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."

He has since joined the cast of Indiana Jones 5 with returning star Harrison Ford. "The more you've been in the movie business the less you find yourself wearing your 'fan hat,' " Mikkelsen told The Sunday Times.

"And yet in this case it was there for a little while longer than most," he continued. "It helps that Harrison is a really sweet man, and that everyone on set is aware that we are there, primarily, to do an Indiana Jones film."

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