By Solvej Schou
Updated November 20, 2012 at 11:39 PM EST
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

With his broad, Nordic-handsome face, Mads Mikkelsen is considered one of Denmark’s sexiest actors, but fans in the U.S. mainly know him as the scarred villain in 2006 Bond flick Casino Royale. He’s primed to make another lasting impression next year as a complicated baddie in the upcoming Bryan Fuller-created NBC series Hannibal, filming now in Toronto, starring as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the psychiatrist-cannibal made famous by Anthony Hopkins in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs.

“I’m in Toronto until next year at least,” Mikkelsen told EW during an interview Tuesday chatting about his new Danish film, Denmark’s official Oscar foreign film entry A Royal Affair. “Hannibal is a thriller. It’s something you can get away with in American television, and quite bloody. There’s a lot of gruesomeness in this one, but it’s a big big mind game. We’ve only shot six or seven episodes now.”

Taking on villain parts such as Lecter requires finesse, Mikkelsen said. Bad guys aren’t all, well, bad. “If you’re playing the bad guy, you have to find what you like about them. The character, in this case, is quite elaborate,” he said. “He’s an art collector, he loves the opera. He finds life beautiful, on the threshold of death.”

EW can also confirm that New Girl and Veep actress Anna Chlumsky will guest star in one episode as Miriam Lass, a young FBI trainee under the tutelage of Laurence Fishburne’s agent Jack Crawford, according to an NBC rep. Eddie Izzard is also guest starring on the show.

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‘Hannibal’ on NBC: How Bryan Fuller will reinvent Dr. Lecter — EXCLUSIVE