Famous Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen, told N1 that those who organised the first Sarajevo Film Festival during the war in Bosnia are “the real heroes”, stressing that they managed to create it in “circumstances that are unimaginable”.
Mikkelsen, who will be presented with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo as part of the 28th Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday, said that he did not have a lot of time to enjoy Sarajevo.
“I came in, got in a car, went to the hotel, then went out for lunch, and we had a cevapcici, which I loved,” he told N1's Ika Ferrer Gotic.
“It's always surreal to get an award in a different country, because you never imagine that people watch your films, except your family and your close friends. And that people in Sarajevo have watched it, it makes you humble. So I am very grateful,” he added.
The Danish actor said he was surprised that he has so many fans in Sarajevo.
Mikkelsen, who used to be a dancer, explained that he never planned any steps in his career and that he got into acting by chance.
“It was just stuff that happened and people asked me if I wanted to try it. And I had nothing else to do, so I did it,” he said.
Mikkelsen explained that he visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other countries in the region before, but did not have the time to get more familiar with the region.
“But I know of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia. I have a lot of friends back home who come from here. So I know the history. I know of the conflicts, I know what you guys have been through,” he said.
“Sarajevo for me was the Olympics in 1984. I was old enough to watch the Olympics. and then everything just went south and I don't think anyone my age knew exactly what was going on, why it could happen. Obviously, I've learned that since then,” Mikkelsen said.
“It's surreal. I'm an actor, I can go and make a film full of conflicts, but I can leave it right away. But this film festival was created in the middle of the war, during some circumstances that are unimaginable. So those are the real heroes, the people who started this film festival,” he stressed.
He also announced that he will return to Sarajevo at some point in the future.
“I just walked through the city for an hour so I'm thinking I really want to have the time to go and look at it and talk and get a little more background on the history,” he said.
Watch the full interview in English linked above.