Connie Nielsen

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Connie Nielsen
Connie Nielsen by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Nielsen at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International promoting Wonder Woman
Born Connie Inge-Lise Nielsen
(1965-07-03) 3 July 1965 (age 52)
Frederikshavn, Denmark
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–present
Partner(s) Lars Ulrich (2004–2012)
Children 2

Connie Inge-Lise Nielsen (born 3 July 1965) is a Danish actress whose first major role in an English-language film was a supporting role in The Devil's Advocate (1997). Her films include, Gladiator (2000), Mission to Mars (2000), One Hour Photo (2002), Basic (2003), The Hunted (2003), The Ice Harvest (2005), and Nymphomaniac (2014). She starred as Meredith Kane on the Starz TV series Boss (2011–2012) and was a lead character in the second season of The Following. She has joined the DC Extended Universe, appearing as Hippolyta in Wonder Woman (2017) and in Justice League (2017).

Early life[edit]

Nielsen was born in Frederikshavn and grew up in the village of Elling,[1] Denmark. Her father, Bent Nielsen, was a bus driver, and her mother was an insurance clerk, who also acted and wrote musical reviews.[2][3][4] She was raised a Mormon.[5] She began her acting career working alongside her mother on the local revue and variety scene. At 18, she traveled to Paris, France, where she worked as an actress and model, which led to further work and study in Italy—at drama school in Rome and in master classes with Lydia Styx, a teacher at Piccolo Teatro di Milano in Milan. She lived in Italy for many years before moving to the United States, where she still resides.


Nielsen's feature film debut was the Jerry Lewis French film Par où t'es rentré ? On t'a pas vu sortir in 1984, followed by a role in the Italian mini-series Colletti Bianchi in 1988. She appeared in the Italian film Vacanze di Natale '91 (1991) and the French film Le Paradis Absolument (1993).[6]

She moved to the United States in the mid-1990s and made her first appearance in a major English-language film in 1997 as Christabella Andreoli in The Devil's Advocate, starring opposite Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. This first minor breakthrough led to roles in the films Permanent Midnight (1998), Rushmore (1998), and Soldier (1998).[7]

In 2000, Nielsen appeared as Lucilla in Scott's Gladiator, starring opposite Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Since then, she has starred in American films including Mission to Mars (2000), One Hour Photo (2002), The Hunted (2003), and Basic (2003), for which she had to cut off most of her hair. She also starred in the French thriller Demonlover (2002), directed by Olivier Assayas. She played the Irish mother to an orphan in A Shine of Rainbows (2009).[8]

In 2004, Nielsen made her Danish film debut in the drama, Brødre (also known as Brothers), for which she won the Danish Best Actress Award, the Bodil, as well as Best Actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. She was also nominated for Best Actress at the European Film Awards. In 2006, Nielsen appeared in several episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Dani Beck. She filled in for Mariska Hargitay, who was on maternity leave at the time of filming.[9]

Alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jamie Bell and Uma Thurman, Nielsen appeared in the 2014 Lars Von Trier film Nymphomaniac.[10] Nielsen was featured in a series of promotional posters prior to the film's release, a campaign The Independent described as "shocking", writing, "Connie Nielsen appears somewhat moist in this poster for Nymphomaniac".[11]

In 2015 she appeared on the latest TV-2 album Det gode liv where she sang along with Steffen Brandt on the track "Brev til Mona".

Personal life[edit]

From 2004 to 2012, Nielsen dated Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. They have one son together, Bryce Thadeus Ulrich-Nielsen (born 21 May 2007, in San Francisco, California).[12] She has an older son, hip-hop producer Sebastian Sartor (born 27 November 1989), from a previous relationship.[13]

Nielsen is a polyglot who speaks eight languages: Danish, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, and some Spanish.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Par où t'es rentré ? On t'a pas vu sortir Eva as Connie Nielson
1991 Vacanze di Natale '91 Brunilde/Vanessa
1997 The Devil's Advocate Christabella Andreoli
1998 Permanent Midnight Dagmar
1998 Rushmore Mrs. Calloway
1998 Soldier Sandra
2000 Dark Summer Megan Denright
2000 Mission to Mars Terri Fisher
2000 Gladiator Lucilla Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Action
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2002 One Hour Photo Nina Yorkin Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2002 Demonlover Diane de Monx
2003 The Hunted Abby Durrell
2003 Basic Osborne
2004 Brødre Sarah Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actress
2004 Return to Sender Charlotte Cory
2005 The Great Raid Margaret Utinsky
2005 The Ice Harvest Renata Crest
2006 The Situation Anna Molyneux
2007 Battle in Seattle Jean
2009 A Shine of Rainbows Maire
2010 Kidnappet Susanne
2011 Perfect Sense Jenny
2013 Nymphomaniac Joe's Mother Part 1 only
2013 The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden Baroness Von Wagner Narration/voice
2014 3 Days to Kill Christine Renner
2014 Return to Zero Dr. Claire Holden
2014 All Relative Maren
2015 The Runner Deborah Price
2016 Ali and Nino Duchess Kipiani
2016 The 11th Katrine Firth
2016 Music, War and Love Lena
2016 Løvekvinnen Mrs Grjothornet
2016 The Confessions Claire Seth
2017 Stratton Sumner
2017 Wonder Woman Hippolyta
2017 Justice League Hippolyta
2017 Music, War and Love Lena Post-production
2018 The Catcher Was a Spy Post-production
TBA Tonight at Noon Laura Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Voyage Ronnie Freeland Television movie
1994 Le paradis absolument Sarah Television movie
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Dani Beck 6 episodes
2008 Danny Fricke Danny Fricke Television movie
2011–2012 Boss Meredith Rutledge Kane 16 episodes
2014 The Following Lily Gray 10 episodes
2014–2015 The Good Wife Ramona Lytton 4 episodes
2015 Unveiled Joan McAllen Television movie


  1. ^ "Connie Nielsen". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Connie Nielsen Biography (1965–)". Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Stewart, Susan (9 March 2003). "Double Danish / Connie Nielson (sic)". Newsday. p. D7. 
  4. ^ "Star Dentist Drilled for $20M". New York Post. 7 August 2004. p. 6. 
  5. ^ Cavagna, Carlo (December 2005). "Interview: Connie Nielsen". Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "One Hour Photo: About The Cast". Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  7. ^ "Connie Nielsen biography". The New York Times. 2010. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  8. ^ "Connie Nielsen on Reading the Script". Freestyle Releasing. 2010. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  9. ^ "Connie Nielsen fills in for Mariska Hargitay on 'Law & Order: SVU'". Star Pulse. 2006-02-02. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  10. ^ Scott Roxborough (27 August 2012). "Jamie Bell, Connie Nielsen Join Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Liam O'Brien (10 October 2013). "Nymphomaniac orgasm posters: Uma Thurman, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf star in shocking film campaign". The Independent. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "METALLICA Drummer LARS ULRICH, Girlfriend CONNIE NIELSEN Expecting". 6 December 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2006. 
  13. ^ "50 things you didn't know about Connie Nielsen". Ztnet. 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  14. ^ Vaughan, Brendan (1 March 2007). "A Woman We Love: Connie Nielsen". Esquire Magazine. 

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