Most successful Scandinavian actors

Several actors from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have conquered the small and the big screen and have made a place in Hollywood for Northern European stars. Who’s your favorite?

Alexander Skarsgård

Five times voted the sexiest man in Sweden, Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård is the eldest son of famed actor Stellan Skarsgård.

His big break came after being cast in the role of Eric Northman, a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire on hit series “True Blood”. He also played Perry Wright in “Big Little Lies”. On the big screen, you might have seen him in “Straw Dogs”.


Stellan Skarsgård

Stellan Skarsgård was already a big star in his native Sweden when he appeared as Captain Tupolev in The Hunt for Red October. However, what was supposed to be a “big part in a Hollywood-film” was unfortunately cut down so his breakthrough role came six years later with Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves.

From Good Will Hunting to Avengers, he’s the typical “Swedish guy” you’ll see on screen.


Kristofer Hivju

You might not know who Hivju is if you just read his name but you definitely know him if you’re a “Game of Thrones” fan.

A Norwegian actor, producer, and writer, he’s best known for playing the role of Tormund Giantsbane in the HBO fantasy series.


Michael Nyqvist

Sadly, this Swedish actor left us at an early age due to a lost fight against lung cancer.

Nyqvist became well known for playing police officer Banck in the first series of detective Martin Beck films made in 1997, but he was recognized internationally for his role in the acclaimed “Millennium” series as Mikael Blomkvist.

He also played lead villains in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and John Wick.


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

“Game of Thrones” was ideal for Scandinavian actors. Danish star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau played Ser Jaime Lannister in the HBO hit series.

The actor’s breakthrough performance in his native Denmark was his role in the film “Nightwatch” (1994). In Hollywood, his debut was in Black Hawk Down (2001) playing Medal of Honor recipient Gary Gordon.


Max von Sydow

Probably the most famous Scandinavian actor of all time, many people forget that von Sydow is Swedish because they’ve seen him in so many Hollywood films.

He has appeared in well over a hundred films and TV shows, including cult classics such as Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and as Father Merrin in The Exorcist.


Mads Mikkelsen

Hannibal made him a star. He’s then starred in Rogue One, part of the Star Wars saga, and even in a video game by loved/hated director Hideo Kojima.

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has also made some fantastic films in his native country such as The Hunt (Jagten).


Joel Kinnaman

Yes, the new Robocop is Swedish!

Full name Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman, the actor was born and raised in Stockholm but most audiences know him since he starred in AMC’s “The Killing” as detective Holder, and in HBO’s “House of Cards” as Will Conway. He also played Rick Flag in Suicide Squad.


Peter Stormare

You might be as surprised as I was when I first read that the great Peter Stormare was Swedish.

Gaear Grimsrud in Fargo, John Abruzzi in “Prison Break”, Lucifer in Constantine… so many great roles that Stormare has made unforgettable.

If you’re a video game fan, you can’t miss his virtual self in Until Dawn.


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