The leading actors and directors of scandinavia

by jonasgimbel | created - 07 Jun 2013 | updated - 15 Feb 2014 | Public

1. Mads Mikkelsen

Actor | Hannibal

Mads Mikkelsen is a synonym to the great success the Danish film industry has had since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker.

Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher (1996), he slowly grew to ...

2. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Actor | Game of Thrones

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (born 27 July 1970) is a Danish actor, producer and screenwriter. He graduated from the Danish National School of Theatre in Copenhagen in 1993. Coster-Waldau's breakthrough performance in Denmark was his role in the film Nightwatch (1994). Since then he has appeared in ...

3. Ulrich Thomsen

Actor | Festen

Ulrich Thomsen graduated from The Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance in 1993, after which playing on several theaters in Copenhagen, i.e. Dr. Dantes Aveny, Mungo Park and Østre Gasværks Teater. His debut on film was in Ole Bornedal's Nightwatch (1994). Since then a number of ...

4. Alexander Skarsgård

Actor | True Blood

Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård was born in Stockholm, Sweden and is the eldest son of famed actor Stellan Skarsgård. Among his siblings are actors Gustaf Skarsgård, Bill Skarsgård, and Valter Skarsgård. For most of his formative years, his father was an acclaimed actor in Europe but had not yet ...

5. Stellan Skarsgård

Actor | Good Will Hunting

Stellan Skarsgård was born in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden, to Gudrun (Larsson) and Jan Skarsgård. He became a star in his teens through the title role in the TV-series Bombi Bitt och jag (1968). Between the years 1972-88 he was employed at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where...

6. Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer | The Neon Demon

Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...

7. Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Actor | Kvinden i buret

"There are those who miss being in-depth with the world," explains Nikolaj Lie Kaas in an interview with Politiken on April 29th, 2001, "but for me superficiality means a lot - that's where I get my drive." This is an interesting comment from an actor, whose acting always strikes a deeply personal ...

8. Jakob Cedergren

Actor | Den skyldige

Jakob Cedergren was born on January 10, 1973 in Lund, Sweden. He is an actor, known for The Guilty (2018), Submarino (2010) and Terribly Happy (2008).

9. Tommy Wirkola

Director | What Happened to Monday

Tommy Wirkola was born on December 6, 1979 in Alta, Norway. He is a writer and director, known for What Happened to Monday (2017), Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014) and Dead Snow (2009).

10. Aksel Hennie

Actor | Hodejegerne

Aksel Hennie is a Norwegian actor, writer and director. He has acted in a number of successful Norwegian movies, and has received several awards. Hennie grew up in Lambertseter in Oslo. In his late teens he was sentenced for tagging, and became an outcast in the community for confessing to the ...

11. Trine Dyrholm

Actress | Hævnen

Trine Dyrholm was born on April 15, 1972 in Odense, Denmark. She is an actress and director, known for In a Better World (2010), Love Is All You Need (2012) and A Royal Affair (2012).

12. Max von Sydow

Actor | Flash Gordon

Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father's partial German ...

13. Mikael Persbrandt

Actor | Hævnen

Mikael Persbrandt is internationally known for his starring role in the Academy Award winning foreign feature, "In A Better World," directed by Susanne Bier. His performance earned him a 2011 European Film Award nomination for Best Actor.

His interest in acting started when working as an extra in ...

14. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

15. Niels Arden Oplev

Director | Män som hatar kvinnor

Niels Arden Oplev was born on March 26, 1961 in Denmark. He is a director and producer, known for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), We Shall Overcome (2006) and Flatliners (2017).

16. Nikolaj Arcel

Writer | En kongelig affære

Nikolaj Arcel was born on August 25, 1972 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a writer and director, known for A Royal Affair (2012), King's Game (2004) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009).

17. Michael Nyqvist

Actor | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Born Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist in Stockholm, Sweden, it wasn't until he was over a year old when he was finally adopted from the orphanage he had been given to. His father was a lawyer and his mother a writer. It wasn't until he had his first child that he decided to seek out his biological parents. ...

18. Pilou Asbæk

Actor | Ghost in the Shell

Pilou Asbæk graduated from The Danish National School of Performing Arts in 2008. In the same year, he played the leading role in Niels Arden Oplev's drama Worlds Apart. In 2010 he had his breakthrough as the inmate Rune in Lindholm & Noer's prison drama R for which he won the price for Best actor ...

19. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Actor | En kongelig affære

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard is a young danish actor. In 2012, he won the award of Best Male Actor at the Berlinale for his appearance in the movie A Royal Affair, while still attending theatre school, Statens Teaterskole in Copenhagen. He graduated in the summer of 2012.

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard grew up in the...

20. Jesper Christensen

Actor | Spectre

Born 1948 in central Copenhagen. Lived there ever since. Did 25 years of theatre, - like Alceste in the Misanthropist, Richard in Richard lll (solo), Faust in Faust, Astrov in Vanja, a lot of worried men,- stopped doing it in 1998. Since then only worried men on film. Worked on more than 100 films ...

21. David Dencik

Actor | McMafia

David Dencik was born on October 31, 1974 in Sweden as Karl David Sebastian Dencik. He is an actor, known for McMafia (2018), Top of the Lake (2013) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

22. Carsten Bjørnlund

Actor | Arvingerne

Carsten Bjørnlund was born on June 28, 1973 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is an actor, known for The Legacy (2014), The Thing (2011) and Ticket to Romance (2008). He was previously married to Signe Skov.

23. Henning Valin Jakobsen

Actor | Bedrag

Henning Valin Jakobsen was born on July 25, 1965 in Denmark. He is known for his work on Follow the Money (2016), The Last Kingdom (2015) and Department Q: The Absent One (2014).

24. Thure Lindhardt

Actor | Bron/Broen

Thure Frank Lindhardt was born 24 December 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark. At 12, he was cast as the role of the mailman in Negerkys og labre larver (1987), and later that year, he acted as a classmate in Bille August's film Pelle the Conqueror (1987), which, in 1988, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes ...

25. Nicolaj Kopernikus

Actor | Forbrydelsen

Nicolaj Kopernikus was born on August 9, 1967 in Glostrup, Denmark as Nicolaj Christiansen. He is an actor and director, known for The Killing (2007), The Bench (2000) and The Reunion (2011).

26. Allan Hyde

Actor | True Blood

Allan Hyde was born on December 20, 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is an actor and writer, known for True Blood (2008), Alla Salute! (2011) and Below the Surface (2017).

27. Kasper Barfoed

Director | Sommeren '92

Danish writer and director Kasper Barfoed was born in Copenhagen in 1972. He was a child actor, performing in the stage musical version of Oliver Twist and in Ingmar Bergman-actress, Liv Ullmann's directing debut Sofie.

Later, he moved behind the camera, directing commercials and 2nd unit work on ...

28. Malin Akerman

Actress | Watchmen

Malin was born in Stockholm, Sweden and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her mother, Pia (Sundström), is a model and aerobics instructor, and her father, Magnus Åkerman, is an insurance broker. They moved to Toronto when she was age 2. At age 5, she began appearing in TV commercials. Her parents divorced...

29. Kim Kold

Actor | Furious 6

Kim Kold is a former football (soccer) goalkeeper, who in 1993 at 27 years of age suffered a serious injury in his Achilles tendon. He was sent to the gym doing rehabilitation training. He took up an interest in bodybuilding and started competing in 1997. He won the Danish National Bodybuilding ...

30. Kim Bodnia

Actor | Pusher

Kim Bodnia is a Danish actor, who was born in Copenhagen in 1965. His ancestry is from Poland and Russia.

Kim Bodnia is educated as an actor at the Copenhagen Theatre school (1988-1991). After an amazing theatre career as an actor and creator of new Danish theatre in Copenhagen, he had his ...

31. Martin Spang Olsen

Stunts | Sea Dragon

Martin Spang Olsen was born on November 24, 1962. He is known for his work on Sea Dragon (1990), The Collector (2004) and Dangerous Waters (1995).

32. Lone Scherfig

Director | An Education

Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...

33. Mikael Håfström

Writer | Ondskan

Mikael Håfström was born on July 1, 1960 in Lund, Skåne län, Sweden as Jan Mikael Håfström. He is a writer and director, known for Evil (2003), 1408 (2007) and The Rite (2011).

34. Christian Mortensen

Actor | Men and Monsters

Christian Mortensen was born as Christian Thomas Mortensen. He is an actor, known for Men and Monsters (2011), The Candidate (2008) and NCIS: Los Angeles (2009).

35. Kristian Levring

Director | The Salvation

Danish Film Director Kristian Levring has produced a distinct body of work. With films ranging from thriller, through period drama, Shakespearean re-imagining and a Western, Levring has crafted an expression that is as visually stunning and unique as it is eclectic.

Born in 1957 in Copenhagen, ...



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