Who is … Nicolas Bro?
He is a Danish actor who is successful enough to have an English-language Wikipedia page. Appearances in films such as ‘War Horse’and ‘Nymphomaniac’ along with the DR mega series ‘1864’ have confirmed him as one of Denmark’s leading character actors – as long as the character involves some kind of menacing frothing at the mouth.
Where have I seen him? He made his first major appearance as the disturbed sex freak Otto in the crime series ‘Rejseholdet’ (mobile task force). Since then, he has become an expert in portraying bizarre, unflattering minor roles
So an expert at minor roles, but not so good in major ones? There’s a good chance you haven’t seen any of the films in which he has played one of the leads – the biopic ‘Glistrup & Spies’ (‘Sex, Drugs & Taxation’), for example. Bro played the cuddly, if slightly racist media darling Mogens Glistrup (you may have heard of him as a politician who liked to protest against high taxes and rather fittingly went to prison for tax fraud).
And you mentioned ‘Nymphomaniac’ – that must have been uncomfortable for the viewer. Is it fair to say he is being typecast to capitalise on his general replusiveness? You could say that; particularly as his IMDB promo shot is one of him shooting his load in a promo for the aforementioned Lars von Trier film. Over the years we have had the pleasure of seeing him as a kleptomanic alcoholic rapist in ‘Adams æbler’ (Adam’s apples), a gay-bashing Neo-Nazi in ‘Broderskab’ (Brotherhood), a paraphilic serial killer in ‘Mørke’, a cannibalistic sadist in ‘Beast’ and, worst of the lot, an estate agent in ‘De grønne slagtere’ (‘The green butchers’). The latter might sound innocuous enough, but he ends up as fillet in a slaughterhouse.
Has he received a call from Hollywood yet? Absolutely. His big break came in 2011. If you watched Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film ‘War Horse’, you will most certainly remember Bro’s touching performance as the German horse-loving (but not in the fiddling kind of way) Private Friedrich. But as strange as it sounds, the part didn’t earn him an Academy Award.
And since then? After his Hollywood adventure, it’s mostly been work in Denmark again, where he remains in hot demand, whether it’s in the likes of ‘Antboy 3’ or the third series of ‘The Bridge’. He like almost every other Danish actor alive was in DR’s insanely expensive historical drama series ‘1864’, and he was also in this year’s julekalender, ‘Den Anden Verden’, which is why we thought it was timely to honour him with this Christmas tribute.