Actor Profile: Lars Mikkelsen

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From 1864 to 1964 – we celebrate the Danish actor’s birthday this week.

Lars Mikkelsen was born on 6 May 1964, almost a century to the day of the infamous Battle of Dybbøl during the Second Schleswig War on 18 April 1864, as depicted in his recent TV epic 1864 (2014). Mikkelsen stars as the patriarch to sons Laust and Peter at the core of the engaging love triangle amidst the bloody battle in Denmark’s tragic history.

As well as being known as brother to international star Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, 2012 and Hannibal, 2013- ), Lars’ powerful performance as enigmatic mayoral candidate Troels Hartmann in The Killing I (2007) launched his predominantly crime-themed credits. Lars has further established his indigenous Danish TV career with acclaimed crime dramas Those Who Kill (2011) and Borgen (2013).

However, he has recently combated the English-language market portraying eccentric villain Charles Augustus Magnussen in the third season of BBC’s Sherlock in 2014 starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and as Russian President Viktor Petrov; the political Super Power opposition to Kevin Spacey in House of Cards season three in 2015.

While originally cast to act together for the first time and play Mads’ on-screen brother in Kristian Levring’s The Salvation (2014), Lars dropped out due to a family matter weeks before the scheduled shoot. Nevertheless, the Mikkelsen brothers have appeared in the war-time thriller Flame and Citron (2008), with Lars in a minor role.

DR and Miso Films latest high production value miniseries 1864, directed by Ole Bornedal, embodies his dramatic range in an all-star Nordic cast. He continues his television success with the upcoming series The Team (2015- ) which focuses on crime across bordering countries in Europe.

1864 starts on Saturday 16th May at 9pm on BBC Four