Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Born in Denmark, Coster-Waldau received his education at Statens Teaterskole - or National Theater School - in Copenhagen in 1993, where he made his debut as Laertes in a production of "Hamlet." Coster-Waldau made his Danish film debut a year later in the psychological thriller "Nightwatch" (1994), before co-starring opposite Clive Owen in "Bent" (1997), a British film about two gay men (Owen and Brian Webber) who tried to flee Nazi Germany. Having established himself in a number of Danish-made films, the actor broke through internationally with the U.S. release, "Black Hawk Down" (2001), in which he played a Delta Force sniper, and the British production "Enigma" (2001), a romantic thriller about two cryptologists (Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott) trying to crack the infamous Nazi Enigma machine. Coster-Waldau played a Polish cryptologist willing to betray secrets to the Nazis in order to take down Stalin. Following supporting turns in the action thriller "My Name is Modesty" (2004) and the romantic comedy "Wimbledon" (2004), he reunited with Ridley Scott in the medieval epic "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005). Coster-Waldau continued to make regular appearances in U.S. fare, though often in only a supporting capacity, as he did in the high-tech thriller "Firewall" (2006) starring Harrison Ford. He finally landed his first lead role in America, playing a New York homicide detective who constantly searches for true love in order to break his curse of immortality on the short-lived series "New Amsterdam" (Fox, 2008). With some critics drawing obvious comparisons with the syndicated "Highlander" series from the previous decade, "New Amsterdam" failed to catch on and was duly canceled after eight episodes. Undeterred, Coster-Waldau again was the star of "Virtuality" (Fox, 2009), a one-time pilot turned two-hour television movie about 12 astronauts caught in space with a malfunctioning computer and a saboteur crew member. Coster-Waldau next co-starred in the epic medieval series, "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011-), in which he played the bodyguard to the King of the Seven Kingdoms (Michael Addy), while also remaining reluctantly aloof from the political machinations that surround him. Between seasons of the epic fantasy, Coster-Waldau appeared on the big screen in western adventure "Blackthorne" (2011), Morten Tyldum's crime thriller "Headhunters" (2011), horror hit "Mama" (2013), Tom Cruise action-adventure "Oblivion" (2013), and Nick Cassavetes' romantic comedy "The Other Woman" (2014).