To celebrate the release of the wonderful, feel good ” Love is All You Need” we’ve taken a look at some of the greatest Danish Actors.
One of the most recognizable Danes working today, Mads Mikkelsen first garnered international attention when he played Bond villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006) opposite Daniel Craig. Clearly Mikkelsen has perfected the art of portraying the baddie: He has since been seen as the murderous psychopath in Bryan Fuller’s television series Hannibal (2013). But this actor is no one-trick pony. He garnered rave reviews for his collaboration with Love is All You Need (2013) director Susanne Bier in the award-winning Danish film After the Wedding (2006). He also scooped up the coveted Best Actor Award at the 65th Cannes Film Festival for his emotionally charged performance in The Hunt (2012).
Though he spent his youth in Venezuela and Argentina, Lord of the Rings actor Viggo Mortensen was born to a Danish father and briefly resided in Denmark during his childhood. In the nineties, the actor took the big screen by storm, appearing alongside big names in several prominent features including G. I. Jane (1997) with Demi Moore and A Perfect Murder (1998) with Michael Douglass and Gwyneth Paltrow. But a major breakthrough came with the new decade, when Mortensen was cast as Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy trilogy, beginning with Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001). The actor has since become director David Cronenberg’s go-to anti-hero, marked by their collaborations in A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007) and A Dangerous Method (2011).
Nicolas Winding Refn
Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn first made a name for himself in 1996 in a widely acclaimed debut, the crime trilogy Pusher (the second instalment earned fellow Dane Mads Mikkelson his first Bodil, a major Danish acting award). After the unsuccessful Fear X, Refn returned with the award-winning Bronson (2008) starring Tom Hardy as the real-life U. K. prisoner. His first major success however came with Drive (2011) starring Ryan Gosling as the unnamed Driver and Carey Mulligan. The film premiered at Cannes to widespread praise and Winding Refn took home the award for Best Director. He teams up with Gosling for a second time in the upcoming thriller Only God Forgives (2013).
Before his big break on the much-loved HBO series Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau first made a string of small, but crucial appearances in rather big films like Engima (2001), Wimbledon (2004) and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven (2005). He finally made the transition to stardom when he landed the coveted role of Ser Jaime Lannister in the small screen adaptation of the popular series by George R. R. Martin. His performance as the troubled, once arrogant villain could earn him an Emmy nomination.
Connie Nielsen achieved success very early on. After dabbling in French cinema at the beginning of her career, she ventured to the States where she made an impressive English-language debut opposite Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate. With no signs of slowing down, she shortly followed up with one critical darling after another: Rushmore (1998), Gladiator (2000) and One-Hour Photo (2002). Nielsen also enjoyed a brief stint on the American television series Law & Order: SVU in 2006.
Sofie Gråbøl is best known for her portrayal of Detective Sarah Lund in the Danish television series The Killing, an instant hit in her native Denmark. For her performance as the aloof, obsessive detective, Gråbøl won international acclaim, not to mention cult status, and the series garnered the BAFTA for Best International Television Show.
In a career spanning almost forty years, Academy-Awarding winning director Bille August has brought several beloved literary works to the big screen, including Pelle the Conqueror (1987), which scored the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Subsequent years brought adaptations of Isabel Allende’s House of Spirits (1993) starring Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep and Winona Ryder, as well as the far more successful—both critically and box-office wise—Les Miserables (1998) with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Claire Danes. August is one of just six directors to have won the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme D’or twice; he won for Pelle and 1992’s The Best Intentions.
Love is all You Need is released on September 2nd in the UK on Blu ray and DVD