For those of us from the native English-speaking world, it’s tempting to think that basically all the actors we know and see in film and TV also come from somewhere like we’re from. Fortunately, for the sake of having the most talent possible in our movies, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
In fact, you’re going to be amazed at how Norway has produced so much talent that’s widely recognized all over the world. Specifically, there is a multitude of famous and well-known actors who have either once called Norway home or have origins there.
So keep reading to find out the most famous Norwegian actors you’ve heard of – even if you didn’t realize before that they come from Norway!
Most famous Norwegian actors
1. Kristofer Hivju
Kristofer Hivju is probably the most famous Norwegian actor in Hollywood at the moment, best known for his roles in The Witcher as Nivellen and in Game of Thrones as Tormund Giantsbane (where he really took advantage of that above average height in Norway for the character). He was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1978.
Kristofer Hivju comes from a family of entertainers. His mother, Lieselotte Holmene, and his father, Erik Hivju, were both famous Norwegian actors. He is also the cousin of French actress Isabelle Nanty – although, out of all of them, it’s only Kristof that today truly qualifies for any list of the most famous Norwegians.
Hivju has had a long and prosperous career. He came from humble beginnings, landing his first role in 2001 on a television series known as Fox Grønland. Other than his roles in Game of Thrones and The Witcher, Kristofer Hivju is also known for his roles in The Last King as Gornstein Skelva, and in the film Operation Arctic as the Fangstmann.
2. Ingrid Boslo Berdal
Ingrid Boslo Berdal was born in Utoy, Inderoy, Norway, and attended the Oslo National Academy of Arts. This talented Norwegian actress can usually be seen playing a strong woman’s lead role. She is best known for her role as Armistice in the television series Westworld.
She is also a well-decorated actress, having received the Amanda Award for Best Actress for a role she played in Cold Prey.
In other roles, Ingrid Bolso is well known for being the horned witch in the movie Hansel and Gretel, as well as the female warrior in Hercule.
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3. Liv Ullman
Although Liv Ullman was born in Tokyo, Japan, she is of Norwegian descent. She is considered to be one of the greatest European actresses of our time. Her decades-long career has made her a prominent figure in the acting world.
She previously won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for a movie called The Emigrants.
Ullman has been nominated for another four Golden Globe awards since. Just recently, she received another reward, the Honorary Academy Award, for her bravery and emotional transparency.
Liv Ullman has lived an interesting life and has had a fruitful career. Many have considered her to be the muse of prominent director Ingar Bergman. She has starred in a multitude of his films, including Scenes from Marriage, Cried and Whispers, and The Passion of Anna.
Ulman is also a director and has directed the films Kristin Lavrandatter, Sofie, and Trolosa.
4. Natassia Linn Malthe
Natassia Malthe is a model and Norwegian actress from Oslo. Born in January 1974, she has always had her eyes set on the arts. She is half Norwegian and half Chinese.
You may know Malthe from her many high-profile action movies, games, and television shows. She played a marvel book character in the film Elektra as Typhoid Mary Fisk, also known as Mutant Zero or Bloody Mary. She also starred in a Sci-Fi Channel series known as Knights and Bloodsteel.
She is well known for her ability to play action roles. Malthe also played the lead role in a movie known as BloodRayne, in which she also plays the lead role in the video game that came after.
Her academic career seemed to set her up well for her future path, given that attending various schools for the performing arts always seemed to be a huge part of her life. They certainly may have contributed to her wild success as an actress and model, including for several well known Norwegian brands. Notably, she attended various ballet academies in Norway and Scotland, including the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
5. Alisha Boe
Oslo, Norway, has once again been the birthplace of another talented Norwegian actor. Alisha Boe is a well-known, US-based actress. She was born in Norway to a Norwegian mother and a Somali father in March 1997.
She has had roles in many popular TV shows and movies. She is best known for her role as Jessica Davis in the extremely popular Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why.
Boe moved to Los Angeles with her mother when she was just 7 years old. Her acting debut was in 2008 in a horror movie, known as Amusement.
She has gone on to lead and act in several popular TV shows. She played Gwen in Teen Wolf, as well as Daphne in the long-running soap opera, Days of Our Lives. She also guest-starred in Modern Family.
6. Agnes Elisabet Hilden Kittelsen
Agnes Kittelsen was born in Kristiansand in May 1980. This Norwegian actress is well known for her high-profile roles in films such as Max Manus as Tikken’s wife, and in Kon-Tiki as Liv Heyerdahl.
She attended the National Academy of Theater and went on to begin her career in both film and theater. She has acted and starred in many films, such as Reisen Til Julestjeren, which is a Norwegian film, as well as the sitcom series Dag.
7. Askel Hennie
Askel Hennie is a popular Norwegian actor. He was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1975.
During his adolescence, he confessed to the crime of tagging. He became an outcast after this confession and inspired the movie, Uno. Due to being the first to be convicted for this type of crime in Norway, it played a big part in his life and the culture of Norwegian arts.
Hennie went on to attend the Norwegian Academy of Theater after applying and being denied three times. On his fourth try, he was accepted and, after graduating in 2001, he went on to act in plays.
His film debut was in 2003 in a Norwegian film known as Jonny Vang. His role in the movie won him an Amanda Award for best actor.
He was also once named European film shooting star in 2004. He starred in the movie Max Manus, where he played a Norwegian war hero.
8. Jakob Oftebro
Jakob Oftebro is another famous Norwegian actor, born in 1986 in none other than Oslo. His impressive track record has landed him starring roles in a variety of star-studded films.
One of his most popular roles was in the Danish war series named 1864, which has one of the largest budgets in Danish history.
Oftebro attended the Norwegian Academy of Performing Arts. While attending school, he had a small role in the award-winning film Max Manus. He also went on to work for the Oscar-nominated film, Kon-Tiki.
He went on to play a larger part in Kon-Tiki as the Lead in the Knut Hamsun adaptation. He also played the leading role in the Swedish film, Hidden Child.
9. Nicolai Cleve Broch
Nicolai Cleve Broch is a famous Norwegian actor and writer, at least in Norway itself. He was born in Baerum, Norway in November 1975. He also acted in the very popular Max Manus movie, alongside other prominent Norwegian actors.
He attended the Norwegian National Academy of Theater. Before attending the Academy, he had already made his film debut in the movie, Sebastian.
Cleve Broch is also well known for his acting in plays. However, he is better known for his roles in film and television. One of his most popular roles took place in a popular Norwegian television show, Lekarske, as a kindergarten teacher named Rodger.
10. Kristoffer Joner
Kristofer Joner is another famous Norwegian actor. Born in Stavanger, Norway in September of 1972, he started his acting career at a young age. At the age of 14, he was a part of the Rogaland Teater.
He made his film debut in 1996 in a television series known as Offshore. The show was canceled in 2000 and the same year, he landed a role as Pal Jackman in the movie Detektor.
In the year 2005, Kristoffer Joner received the Amanda Award for the best male actor for his role in the movie Naboer. He also appeared in the popular American film Revenant.
11. Thorbjørn Harr
Thorbjørn Harr was born in May 1974, in Oslo. His career started at an early age when scouts from an NRK television show were looking for actors for a youth series. He was subsequently discovered in his schoolyard.
Harr has done film and theater, making him one of the more well-rounded Norwegian actors on this list. He is best known for his role in the popular television series Vikings in which he played the character Jarl Borg. He has also won several awards due to his acting talents, including but not limited to the Per Abel Prize, and the Norwegian Critics Award.