Cinema history is full of director/actor collaborations, but Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen has gone one better. More than one, actually, because he has something closer to his own repertory company, a group of actors he regularly works with. Top of the list is Mads Mikkelesen and he, together with other Jensen regulars Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Lars Brygmann and Nicolas Bro, all come together in Riders Of Justice, released in cinemas this Friday.
Mikkelsen plays Markus, a hard-boiled soldier whose wife is killed in a train disaster and who is struggling to cope with his own grief and that of his daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg). But when it turns out that the crash wasn’t an accident but the result of sabotage, Markus begins to find a way of channelling his torment and anger. He’s helped by the most unlikely group of avengers, all socially awkward but with technological talents which are perfect for tracking down the killers.
Talking to The People’s Movies’ Freda Cooper, Jensen admits that it might “sound a bit lazy” to consistently work with the same people, but explains that it’s special to find a group who are all so in tune with each other. They’ve all become friends and the movies they make together are collaborations. “We definitely do our best work when we’re not working,” he says. “Usually over a few beers.”
While it may sound like a revenge thriller, the film has a wide streak of dark comedy running through it, with Mikkelsen as the straight man. “He’s somebody who’s not in control of his emotions. He looks like a bad-ass on the outside,” says Jensen. “In fact, the whole group is a match made in hell.”
He also talks about why he’s concentrated on films for the cinema, although he now has several TV projects under way – and he doesn’t hold back with his views about the many distractions that go with watching movies at home!
Riders Of Justice is released in cinemas on 23rd July. | Read our review of the film here.