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The Keeper of Lost Causes – In Cinemas Now – Successful Scandinavians

29 August 2014

Both Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Sonja Richter are household names in Scandinavia as well as recognisable faces in the UK with the television series, the Killing . They are both on the verge of wider international recognition, and will follow in the footsteps of multiple acting greats.

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES opens in cinemas today and to celebrate, here is a list of some of the top Scandinavian actors to hit the silver screen...

Stellan Skarsgård

Stellan Skarsgård is considered to be a national treasure to the country of Sweden. Although he has acted since 1968, his international breakthrough performance happened in Lars Von Trier’s 1996 film, Breaking the Waves. After the release of the acclaimed film, Skarsgård picked up multiple supporting roles in American films such as Good Will Hunting, Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang), and the Pirates of the Caribbean series where he played Bootstrap Bill Turner. Today, he is a common household name with roles such as Martin Vanger in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Dr. Erik Selvig in Marvel films such as Thor and The Avengers.

Alexander Skarsgård

As the son of Stellan Skarsgård, Alexander has had some major shoes to fill, but has flawlessly transitioned into English-speaking film. The Swedish actor is most commonly known for his role as the vampire, Eric Northman, in the HBO series True Blood but he got his first leading role at the age of thirteen in the Swedish television series The Dog That Smiled. This is what  gained him national recognition. In 1997, after serving in the Swedish military, Skarsgård moved to New York to pursue acting further. Since then, he has had roles in popular films such as Melancholia, Battleship and What Maisie Knew.

Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen is thought of as a success in the Danish film industry. Since he started acting in the 1990’s, he quickly gained fame in Denmark with his role of brash policeman, Allan Fischer, in the long running Danish television series Unit One. His most well known role that gained him international fame was Le Chiffre in the James Bond film Casino Royale, where he played opposite Daniel Craig. In 2012, Mikkelsen was awarded the Danish American Society’s Person of the Year, and he currently stars as Dr. Hannibal Lector in the Hannibal television series.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a Danish actor, screenwriter and producer most commonly known for his role of the knightly Jaime Lannister in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. He made his film debut in 1994 in the movie Nightwatch, which brought him fame in the Danish film industry. By 2001, he transitioned to American film in Black Hawk Down. After that, Coster-Waldau found himself in a variety of supporting roles in American television and film, including Wimbledon, Firewall and New Amsterdam. His role in Game of Thrones helped him earn more popularity and was recently casted lead roles in movies such as Mama and the Other Woman.

Aksel Hennie

Aksel Hennie is a Norwegian actor, writer and director who has starred in a variety of Scandinavian films throughout his career, including Headhunters alongside Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. In 2005, Hennie won the Amanda Award for “Best Direction” for his film Uno, which he was also nominated for “Best Actor” and “Best Film.” His breakthrough to British film happened in 2011 when he starred alongside Sean Bean and Danny Dyer in the World War II film, Age of Heroes. Since then, Hennie has been in other English-speaking productions such as 24: Live Another Day and the upcoming film, Hercules.

Noomi Rapace

Noomi is a Swedish actress who is most commonly known for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish adaptations of the Millennium series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Her first English-speaking film was the 2011 action mystery film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, working along actors Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Most recently, Rapace was cast as the lead role of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus and will star in the upcoming film the Drop alongside Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini later this year.

Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Nikolaj Lie Kaas has worked in both Danish and English-speaking films ever since he began in the 1990’s. He first appeared in the Søren Kragh-Jacobsen film, The Boys from St. Petri, where he portrayed Otto, the rebel son of a traitor. This role earned Kaas two Danish film prizes, a Robert and a Bodil. Since then, Kaas has performed in roles in Lars Von Trier’s 1999 film, The Idiots, and has appeared alongside Tom Hanks in Angels and Demons. In 2012, Kaas landed a recurring role of Mathias Borch in the TV series, the Killing and he will star as Carl Mørck in the film adaptation of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s novel, The Keeper of Lost Causes.

Sonja Richter

Sonja Richter is a Danish actress most commonly known for her role in the 2002 film Open Hearts, which earned her a nomination for “Best Actress” at the 2002 Bodil Awards. Since then, she has avoided Hollywood and prefers being in films in her native Denmark. She briefly appeared as Marie Borch in the TV series The Killing and will have a starring role in the upcoming film The Keeper of Lost Causes. 

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