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Mads Mikkelsen Says The ‘Casino Royale’ Torture Scene Where He ‘Tickled’ Bond’s ‘Balls’ Was Almost Even More Out There

Casino Royale did more than reboot the Bond franchise. It also gave us a dramatically different 007. Daniel Craig’s take on the character was angrier, nastier — and nakeder. It was Bond, not a Bond girl, who sensually rose from the ocean, as Ursula Andress and Halle Berry had both done. Then there was the scene where he’s tortured by main baddie Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen. No naughty bits are shown, but Craig is there in his birthday suit, his testicles being whacked by a rope. It’s arguably the wildest scene in the Bond franchise. But it could have been even more out-there.

Per Variety (in a bit caught by Insider), Mikkelsen spoke at the Zurich Film Festival, where he reflected on the movie that broke him through in Hollywood. He admitted he’d never even seen a Bond film before getting the script, which he fell asleep reading and left on a plane. But he got the part (with a little lying), and on set he and Craig quickly bonded (even though Mikkelsen said he was bad at poker).

“I think he was glad I also came from indie films. He had a partner in crime,” Mikkelsen said. They proceeded to try and make the already darker film even crazier. “There was this scene where I tickled his balls with a rope. We had so many ideas and the director just looked at us: ‘Guys, come back. It’s a Bond movie.’”

Mikkelsen didn’t elaborate, but he has in the past. Speaking to Vulture in 2021, he explained the even more extreme direction they wanted to take the naked torture scene:

We’ve never seen Bond naked, and we’ve never seen him that fragile, and then obviously there are some undertones with the rope. We were discussing how to approach it, and we just went further out with something that was really brutal and insane. One idea was I actually cut him up somewhere, and he had to suffer with that for a while. At a certain point, director Martin Campbell was just smiling and said, “Boys, come back to the table. This is a Bond film. We can’t go there.” We were lost in our indie world, right? You have to respect that. It is a Bond film. That’s the framework you need to understand.

So you didn’t get Bond getting cut up, but you still got see him get his balls tickled.

(Via Variety and Insider)