When you think of actors, do you think you would favor Mads Mikkelsen over Keanu Reeves? When it came to Hideo Kojima, the answer was clear. At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, he spoke about the Death Stranding cast and what led to certain people being picked for roles over others. More specifically, he talked about Mikkelsen being picked.
When it came to casting characters, Kojima apparently was open to possible recommendations. Nicolas Winding Refn, the director, producer and writer who was behind projects like Bleeder, Bronson, Valhalla Rising and Drive, is one of Kojima’s associates and is Heartman in Death Stranding. He suggested Keanu Reeves for a role in the game. However, at SDCC 2019, Kojima said, “I originally was recommended Keanu Reeves but I wanted Mads [Mikkelsen].”
Mikkelsen plays Cliff in Death Stranding. While we don’t know much about the character, we do know that he seems to be a malevolent force in the world. One of the more recent trailers seems to show a softer side to him, as it has him cradling and caring for a Bridge Baby. However, other scenes show him with soldiers under his control that follow him out of the ominous black liquid that covers certain areas.
The decision makes sense, when you consider who Kojima associates with. He is a noted friend of Mikkelsen. It stands to reason he would prefer to hire a friend he is close to and whose range he knows than someone he doesn’t.