Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (born 27 July 1970) is a Danish actor and producer.
He graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen in 1993. He became widely known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the HBO fantasy drama series Game of Thrones, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Coster-Waldau’s breakthrough role in Denmark was in the film Nightwatch (1994).
Coster-Waldau has appeared in numerous films in his native Scandinavia and Europe, including Headhunters (2011) and A Thousand Times Good Night (2013). In the U.S, his debut film role was in the war film Black Hawk Down (2001), playing Medal of Honor recipient Gary Gordon. He then played a detective in the short-lived Fox television series New Amsterdam (2008), and appeared in the 2009 Fox television film Virtuality, originally intended as a pilot. He is a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, drawing public attention to issues such as gender equality and climate change.
From 2011 to 2019, Coster-Waldau played Jaime Lannister in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series. He commented about the character “What’s not to like about Jaime? As an actor I couldn’t ask for a better role”. For his role as Jaime Lannister he has received several accolades, including Primetime Emmy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics’ Choice Television Award, Saturn Award and People’s Choice Award nominations.
In 2011, he also starred alongside Sam Shepard in Mateo Gil’s feature Blackthorn, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Later the same year he starred in Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters. The film went on to be the highest-grossing Norwegian film of all-time and received very positive reviews including a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. Coster-Waldau starred in the 2013 horror film Mama alongside Jessica Chastain, which then debuted at number one in the US box office and grossed over $140 million worldwide. He went on to play Sykes, a military weapons expert in the science fiction action thriller film Oblivion. The same year he co-starred with Juliette Binoche in Erik Poppe’s drama A Thousand Times Good Night. In 2014, he starred in Susanne Bier’s Danish thriller A Second Chance as Andreas, a police officer forced to make a difficult choice. In 2016, Coster-Waldau appeared in the action-fantasy film Gods of Egypt as Horus.
In early 2017, he starred in E.L. Katz’s dark comedy Small Crimes which premiered at South by Southwest film festival on 11 March 2017, to positive reviews. Coster-Waldau then appeared in the Danish film 3 Things, a thriller about a prime suspect of a bank robbery who negotiates the terms of his witness protection deal. He starred in Roman Waugh’s prison film Shot Caller, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on 16 June 2017. Since January 2018 he has been the L’Oréal Paris global spokesperson for the company’s Men Expert line of products.
In May 2017, it was announced that he is attached to star in Domino, a film directed by Brian De Palma. The film was released on May 31, 2019. Later the same year he starred in Suicide Tourist by Jonas Alexander Arnby, which premiered at the Zurich Film Festival. Also in 2019, Coster-Waldau launched a production company named Ill Kippers. Coster-Waldau starred in The Silencing, a thriller directed by Robin Pront