Norway’s top 10 most famous actors and actresses

Norwegian movie productions have gotten an upgrade in the last 10-15 years. Over the same period, we have seen some Norwegian actors being able to land roles in international productions.

One recent example is the Norwegian actor Kristoffer Hivju landing one of the main roles in the blockbuster HBO series game of thrones.

Other Norwegian actors have also gotten opportunities in international movie productions. Here is a list of the 10 most famous Norwegian actors and actresses.

Kristoffer Hivju

Kristoffer Hivju is arguably one of the most well-known Norwegian actors. This is in large part due to his role as Thormund Giantsbane in the HBO hit series “game of thrones”.

Before landing the part in the show, Hivju had appeared in lesser-known Norwegian movies and television series before bursting onto the international scene portraying the rugged, bearded wildling.

Luckily for Hivju, his character managed to survive until the end of the show, giving him plenty of screen time.

This has helped him land new roles in several Hollywood productions, including Netflix’s hit show “The witcher” and the 8th installment in the “fast & furious” franchise.

Tobias Santelmann

Tobias Santelmann is one of the rising Norwegian actors. While born in Germany, Santelmann moved to Norway at the age of one.

After graduating from the Norwegian Academy of arts he got his start in theatre and stage work before moving onto the big screen.

He got his big break starring in the movie “Kon-tiki” in 2012 which was nominated for the best foreign-language film at both the golden globes and academy awards.

Santelmann has also landed roles in more international productions, such as the BBC production “The last kingdom” and “Hercules” starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

One of his latest roles is in the Norwegian hit tv series “Exit” where he plays a drug-addicted trader and family man.

Aksel Hennie

Aksel Hennie is one of the most well-known Norwegian actors. 

After graduating from the Norwegian Academy of arts, Hennie enjoyed success in several Norwegian productions, including  “Buddy”, “Johnny Vang” and “Uno” which he also directed.

His big break came In 2008 when he starred as Norwegian war hero Max Manus in what was one of the highest-budget Norwegian productions to date. 

In addition to making him a household name in Norway, it also opened doors to Scandinavian and international projects.

This included “Headhunters”, as well as the British war movie “Age of Heroes”, and the thriller “Pioneer”. 

Hennie enjoyed a very successful stretch in 2014-2015, during which he starred alongside The Rock in “Hercules” and was featured in the supporting cast of Matt Damon in “The Martian”.

Hennie can also be seen in the successful miniseries “Nobel” focusing on Norway’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan which is available on Netflix.

Thorbjørn Harr 

Thorbjørn Harr is a Norwegian actor who mainly starred in Norwegian stage screen productions until he got his international break in 2013 when he starred as Jarl Borg in History’s hit television series “Vikings”.

This was followed by starring in several Norwegian movie and TV productions, as well as in the American comedy-drama “Younger” alongside Hillary Duff in 2015. 

Harr can now be seen starring in the Norwegian comedy TV series “Norsemen” which is also available on Netflix,

Pål Sverre Hagen

Similar to many of his colleagues, Hagen is a product of the Norwegian Academy of arts. 

After graduating in 2003 he got his start as a stage actor, before gradually making his way into television and big-screen productions.

He got his big break when he landed the leading role of famous Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl in the 2012 movie “KonTiki” alongside co-star Tobias Santelmann. 

In addition to teaming up with Santelmann again as part of the main cast in the Norwegian hit TV series “exit”, Hagen would also repeat playing a famous Norwegian explorer in 2019. This time portraying Roald Amundsen, in the 2019 movie “Amundsen”.

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Berdal is a Norwegian actress born in 1980. 

She got her start by landing a role in the Norwegian short film “limbo” in 2005, after which she landed one of the leading roles in the Norwegian horror movie “cold pray” the following year.

After starring in several Norwegian productions she landed a role in the American horror film “the Chernobyl diaries” in 2012. 

This was followed by supporting roles in Hollywood productions including “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “Hercules” in 2013 and 2014.

In 2016 she landed the role of badass bandit Armistice in the HBO series “Westworld” which is still running. 

Agnes Kittelsen

Kittelsen is also a product of the Norwegian Academy of arts. 

After graduating in 2003, she started her career doing stage work before breaking into the on-screen theatre playing the wife of war hero Max manus alongside Axel Hennie in “Max Manus” from 2008.

Staying with Scandinavian and Norwegian productions, Kittelsen starred as the wife of the main character Thor Heyerdahl, in “Kon Tiki” in 2012, alongside co-star Pål Sverre Hagen.

She was also a part of the main cast, alongside Hagen and Santelmann in the Norwegian hit series “Exit” in 2019.

Her major roles in some of the biggest Norwegian productions in the last decade have made her one of the most recognized Norwegian actresses currently active.

Nicolai Cleve Broch

Cleve Broch is another product of the Norwegian Academy of arts. 

After graduating in 1999, he made his big break starring in hit movies “buddy” and “Uno” alongside a friend, and fellow actor Axel Hennie in 2003 and 2004. Broch was praised for his on-screen appearance and charisma together with Hennie.  

This would be on display again in 2008 when he portrayed Gregers Gram, best friend of the main protagonist Max manus who was played by Hennie in “Max Manus” in 2008. 

After receiving critical acclaim for his role in the Norwegian TV series Acquitted in 2015, he would go on to land one of the lead roles in the first Norwegian HBO production “Beforeigners” in 2019. The show is still in production and is available for streaming on HBO max.

Jakob Hoff Oftebro

Oftebro is the son of the well-known Norwegian actor Nils Ole Oftebro.

He got his big break starring in the Norwegian blockbuster “Max Manus” alongside established actors Axel Hennie and Nicolai Cleve Broch in 2008.

He would go on to land a supporting role in “Kon Tiki” alongside Pål Sverre Hagen in 2012, which was nominated for the best foreign-language film at both the golden globes and academy awards.

He also starred in “Victoria” in 2013, a movie based on the novel of the same name by the Nobel prize-winning Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, alongside Bill Skarsgård in 2013.

As a versatile actor, Oftebro is able to speak both Danish and Swedish. This enabled him to land one of the leading roles in “1864” one of the largest danish Tv productions. 

More recently he also landed the leading role of agent Hamilton in a TV series based on the books about a fictional Swedish agent by Jan Guillou.

Alisha Boe 

Alisha Boe is a half-Norwegian actress based in America. Born to a Norwegian mother and a Somali father, she moved with her mother to the united states at the age of 7.

After participating in her high school’s drama program she pursued a career in acting and landed her first role in the horror movie “Amusement” in 2008. 

She also starred in “paranormal activity 4” in 2012 and appeared in several American TV series, including “modern family”, “Days of our Lives”, “NCIS”, and “Teen Wolf” between 2014-2016.

In 2017 she landed the leading role of Jessica Davis in the NetFlix drama series 13 reasons why which concluded in 2020.

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Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.