After stepping down as prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt didn’t quite get the plum job we were all expecting. No, that went to Margrethe Vestager.
But one former Danish female PM is taking giant strides overseas: Sidse Babett Knudsen.
Since wowing audiences as Birgitte Nyborg in ‘Borgen’, the 47-year-old’s career has gone from strength to strength, and this autumn looks set to be a career-defining one for her.
Big Hollywood break
First off, she’s in ‘Inferno’, the latest in the Tom Hanks/Ron Howard/Dan Brown escapades, following on the coat-tails of the massive success of the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ novel and then movie, which is opening worldwide next week.
Speaking to Scan Magazine earlier this year, Knudsen described it as the “largest, most expensive, most ‘Hollywood’ production I’ve ever been involved with” – and her role is sizeable enough for her to get noticed.
Big on small screen too
But it will probably be through her significant role in new HBO series ‘Westworld’ (premiered on October 3) that she will achieve US street recognition status.
As a no-nonsense, ambitious themepark executive, she has one of the more intriguing roles, although some US media have expressed doubts about her “valiant stab” (The Arts Desk) at a “sketchy American accent” (The Boston Globe).
A trio of films
Since her international breakthrough in the highly-acclaimed ‘The Duke of Burgundy’, Knudsen has had pick of roles, and no less than three of her films are being released this year.
The first, the German-US comedy drama ‘A Hologram for the King’, was released in the spring. It linked her up with Hanks once again, playing a character that she described to Scan Magazine as “a crazy narcissist expat”.
And in the French-language film ‘La fille de Brest’ (‘150 Milligrams’), she plays the pharmaceutical industry whistleblower Irène Frachon – a casting decision that has grown on French website atoute.org.
“What a great choice!” it commented. “Sidse Babett Knudsen’s Danish accent was a little surprising during the first minutes, until we understand that in the film Irène Frachon is of Danish origin (and swears in Danish when she is angry!).”
Knudsen studied in Paris after winning a place at theatre school whilst on her gap year, and she had previously appeared in the 2015 French film ‘L’hermine’, for which she won a Cesar Award for best supporting actress.
‘La fille de Brest’ will be released in France on November 23.