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8 Hollywood Stars You Didn't Know Were Danish

Picture of Aliki Seferou
Updated: 18 May 2018
You probably believe that you don’t know any Danish actors with a successful career in Hollywood. But, you would be surprised to hear that there are several Hollywood stars that originally come from Denmark or are at least half Danish. And yes, Scarlett Johansson is one of them.

Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen is one of the most famous Hollywood actors of the 21st century. He became widely known for his role as Aragorn in the popular movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings, which achieved great success worldwide. However, prior to starring in one of the most successful movies of all time, he had already been cast in numerous movies. Mortensen who is half Danish from his father’s side was born to an American mother, and although he was born in New York, he spent the first few years of his life in Denmark before settling in Argentina.

Viggo Mortensen at the premiere of A Dangerous Method during the Toronto International Film Festival, 2011
Viggo Mortensen at the premiere of A Dangerous Method during the Toronto International Film Festival, 2011 | © Josh Jensen / Flickr

Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen has played in several Scandinavian and Hollywood movies and is considered one of the most successful Danish actors. His career started in 1996 when he played a drug dealer in the Danish movie Pusher but it was after his role in the 21st James Bond film in 2006 that his fame skyrocketed. In 2012 Mikkelsen received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance as Lucas in the Danish film The Hunt.

Mads Mikkelsen at Comic-Con in San Diego
Mads Mikkelsen at Comic-Con in San Diego | © Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Connie Nielsen

Susanne Bier’s Brødre, Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, The Gladiator and Wonder Woman are only a few of the many films that Connie Nielsen is known for. The Danish actress became known in America in 1997 after her role as Christabella Andreoli in The Devil’s Advocate in which she co-starred with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves.

Connie Nielsen at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calfornia
Connie Nielsen at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calfornia | © Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau widely known as Ser Jaime Lannister from the HBO series Game of Thrones is originally from Denmark. The 47-year-old actor may have become popular from his role as a member of the House of Lannister, but his debut role was in 2001 in the popular Ridley Scott’s movie Black Hawk Down. Coster-Waldau was born in Rudkøbing, a small town on Langeland island in Denmark, but was raised in a small village in Denmark’s most popular island, Zealand. Over the past few years, he has been living with his wife and two children in Copenhagen.