Growing up, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen devoured the adventures of Indiana Jones. He even remembers watching the first film in the franchise, 1981’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark, for the first time. He and his brother had rented it from the local video store with five other films.
“We ended up watching Indiana five times, and not the other films,” Mads, 57, tells TV WEEK with a laugh. “It’s true to say it shaped our generation. As a teenager, I didn’t aspire to become an actor – like everyone else, I just wanted to be Indiana Jones.”
Four decades later, the actor is living out his dream in the concluding chapter, Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny. Mads had never met Harrison Ford, who has played the titular role since 1981, before arriving on set. Now, it’s a moment he won’t ever forget.
“When I went to meet him, Indiana Jones stepped out of the trailer instead,” he says. “He was doing dress rehearsals at the time, so he was wearing the hat, jacket and whip. I met Indy before I met Harrison.
“But he’s an amazing actor to work with – a nice guy and a true legend because he doesn’t behave like one.”
Reviving the franchise after 15 years is no easy task, but Harrison says he “was ambitious for it” if the script was right.
“I’d always wanted to round out the story with seeing Indy towards the end of his career – towards the end of his life, even,” the 80-year-old explains. “We’ve demonstrated his strengths over the course of four movies. Now, we’re entering a new phase of his life. And we’re seeing him after an absence of 15 years.”
In the film, former Nazi-turned-physicist Jürgen Voller (Mads) is on the hunt for a mythical ancient dial that has the power to reverse time and history. But he’s not the only one.
Archaeology student Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) has ties to the device and needs it to get out of trouble. She seeks out the one person who can help her find it: her estranged godfather, Indiana Jones.
For one final adventure, Indy is dragged out of his present slump and into the past – in more ways than one.
“Indiana has aged somewhat and is on the last day before his retirement from academic life, which hasn’t been inspiring for him. His weaknesses are the ravages of time,” Harrison says. “Then we introduce Helena, who stimulates the plot.”
Fleabag star Phoebe brings a modern feminist perspective to the 1960s, a decade that wasn’t necessarily progressive for women.
“There’s something fresh and charming about her, even though she’s morally questionable,” Phoebe, 37, says. “She brings a passion for archaeology and for adventure, and I think that lights up Indy again. And I think she’s very clever for doing that, because she actually has her own agenda.”
Despite fans’ excitement surrounding the film’s release, Harrison has confirmed this is the last. He’s finally hanging up the hat, but it doesn’t mean he’s letting go.
“When it’s received with the warmth and generosity that Indiana Jones has over this period, it’s an incredible generosity to me; I take it personally and it means a great deal,” he says. “It feels good [saying goodbye], because I feel we’ve made a really satisfying film for the audience.
“We’ve taken our concern, our interest in the character, and tried to shape a story that would bring back this character into their lives with an interesting story. It’s a splendid goodbye.”
Continue scrolling to see some amazing photos from Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny.