Mads Mikkelsen and Daniel Craig Wanted to Make the 'Casino Royale' Torture Scene Even More Graphic

Brady Langmann
·3-min read

It's an .... intense scene, to say the least. In 2006's Casino Royale, Mads Mikkelsen's bloodthirsty banker, Le Chiffre, tries to torture some poker winnings out of Daniel Craig's James Bond. Le Chiffre immediately pulls up a chair – cuts a hole through the seat – so he can strip Bond naked and whip his bare undercarriage. It's perhaps one of the most memorable scenes from the famed Bond film – an unprecedented moment in the storied franchise. And it was almost even more intense.

In a new interview with Vulture, Mikkelsen talks about watching Rafael Nadal smack around tennis balls, his first moments of finding fame, his leading role in Hannibal, and of course, his time filming Casino Royale. Mikkelsen revealed that the torture scene— – he very same one where Bond yelps, "Now the whole world will know that you died scratching my balls!" – almost went even further. At the time, Mikkelsen and Craig were both relative strangers to big-budget films. So, he says, the duo tried to bring an indie sensibility to the torture sequence:

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.

"Cut him up somewhere?" Your mind could run wild with that one. Sure, maybe Le Chiffre ditched the rope and started cutting a finger off with his knife or something. But what if Mikkelsen and Craig really went off the deep end and imagined a scene where the banker rendered Bond impotent? Earlier in the scene, Le Chiffre does tell Bond that "there will be nothing left to identify you as a man."

Craig's Bond is famous for bringing a new vulnerability to his character, and an injury like this would have opened up an entirely different world of storytelling for the franchise.

On a decidedly lighter note, Mikkelsen added that he almost lost the Casino Royale script and blew the lid on the entire movie. Apparently, he was studying his lines on a flight. When the plane landed? Mikkelsen hustled off the plane, probably leaving the script in that sleeve where the travel magazines live.

I fell asleep on the plane, and I forgot it on the plane. I am the reason why they put your name on the script. This is what they’re trying to avoid. I panicked. I was out of the plane. I’d walked maybe a minute or something. I realised, Oh, no, and I went back, and they wouldn’t let me in. I think I was just lucky. I think somebody who cleaned up that plane had no idea what it was and threw it out. But that is obviously a complete disaster if it ends up on the front page of The Sun. I mean, this is the worst way of blowing it. I got ahold of those scenes somehow, and I went and did the audition.

There you go. Daniel Craig's Bond movies were saved by one noble flight attendant. We salute you.

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