Jasper Pääkkönen

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Jasper Pääkkönen
Jasper Pääkkönen.jpg
Pääkkönen in 2012
Joona Jasper Pääkkönen

(1980-07-15) 15 July 1980 (age 42)
Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
OccupationActor, entrepreneur
Years active1988–present
Alexandra Escat
(m. 2017)
AwardsFIFI Best Actor
2003 Bad Boys
Jussi Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013 Heart of a Lion

Joona Jasper Pääkkönen (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈjoːnɑ ˈjɑsper ˈpæːkːønen]; born 15 July 1980) is a Finnish film actor and entrepreneur.

Following a two-decade-plus career in Finnish movies, Pääkkönen's international breakthrough role came in 2015 in the historical drama television series Vikings (2016–2018; 2020) as Halfdan the Black. His next roles were in Spike Lee's comedy-drama film BlacKkKlansman (2018) and in the war drama film Da 5 Bloods (2020).

Early life[edit]

Pääkkönen was born in Helsinki, Finland, the son of actor Seppo Pääkkönen and Virve Havelin.[4] His uncle Antti Pääkkönen is also an actor, and is a prolific voice actor.[5][6] Already as a child, Pääkkönen was a theater assistant and attended Kallio Upper Secondary School of Performing Arts in Kallio, Helsinki. When Pääkkönen was 17, he spent a year in Maryland as an exchange student at Baltimore’s Owings Mills High School during the 1997–98 school year.[7]


Pääkkönen's first film role was in The Glory and Misery of Human Life from 1988, when he was seven years old.[8] He became famous as Saku Salin in the Finnish television soap opera Salatut elämät (1999–2002). According to a calculation published by Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, Pääkkönen is "the most profitable film actor in Finland"[9] for having starred in numerous box office hits during his career.[10] Many of Pääkkönen's films have made #1 at the Finnish box office, including Bad Boys, which is one of the most successful Finnish films at the national box office of all time. Other of Pääkkönen's commercial and critical successes include Frozen Land (2005), Matti: Hell Is for Heroes (2006), Lapland Odyssey (2010) and Heart of a Lion (2013).

Pääkkönen with Spike Lee and the cast of BlacKkKlansman at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

For his role in Bad Boys, Pääkkönen was given the Best Actor Award in the Brussels International Independent Film Festival. He has earned international praise from film critic Michael Giltz from the Huffington Post, who called the actor "handsome and compelling"[11] in his role in Lapland Odyssey. Film critic Leslie Felperin from Variety named Pääkkönen a "rising thesp, showing impressive range" in his starring role in Matti.[12] In 2006 the European Film Promotion introduced Pääkkönen as the Shooting Star of Finland[13] at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In 2013, Pääkkönen starred in Finnish drama film Heart of a Lion that earned him his first Jussi Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2015, Pääkkönen was cast in the fourth season of the History Channel TV series Vikings as Halfdan the Black.[14]

Pääkkönen co-starred as a KKK member in Spike Lee's drama BlacKkKlansman, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was released on August 10, 2018. He starred in Lee's 2020 Netflix production Da 5 Bloods.[15]

Other work[edit]

In 2009 Pääkkönen founded the Pokerisivut.com poker magazine together with film producer Markus Selin. In 2010 Pokerisivut.com was awarded Best Overall Affiliate at the London 2010 iGB Affiliate Awards.[16]

Pääkkönen is a member of the Vision fly fishing world team[17] and has appeared on fly fishingTV shows and DVDs as a celebrity guest. Pääkkönen is also known as the protector of endangered fish species of Finland (especially salmon).[18] He has also founded and is one of the owners of Superflies.com, which sells a selection of flies curated by Pääkkönen and raises funds for endangered native fish populations.[19] Pääkkönen has also begun an entrepreneurship with MP Antero Vartia. They built a large sauna and restaurant complex called Löyly at the shore of Hernesaari, Helsinki which cost 6 million to build.[citation needed] Pääkkönen is one of the founders of Röykkä Invest Oy, in whose name the former Nummela Sanatorium, located in the Röykkä village in Nurmijärvi, was bought for €1.5 million.[20][21] Pääkkönen has announced a plan to turn the former sanatorium into a hotel.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Since 2017, Pääkkönen has been married to Spanish-Filipino model Alexandra Escat.[1][2] The couple had a daughter on Christmas Day 2021.[3]


Year Title Role Director Notes
1988 The Glory and Misery of Human Life Arvi Hongisto Matti Kassila
2003 Bad Boys Eero Takkunen Aleksi Mäkelä
2004 Addiction Aleksi Minna Virtanen
2004 Vares: Private Eye Jarmo Aleksi Mäkelä
2005 Frozen Land Niko Smolander Aku Louhimies
2006 Matti: Hell Is for Heroes Matti Nykänen Aleksi Mäkelä
2007 V2: Dead Angel (Vares 2) Dante Hell Aleksi Mäkelä
2008 Moomin and Midsummer Madness Moomintroll (Finnish voice) Maria Lindberg
2008 Kummeli Alivuokralainen Kikke Matti Grönberg
2009 Hellsinki Korppu Aleksi Mäkelä
2010 Moomins and the Comet Chase Moomintroll (Finnish voice) Maria Lindberg
2010 Lapland Odyssey Kapu Dome Karukoski
2011 The Kiss of Evil (Vares 3) Kyypakkaus Anders Engström
2011 The Girls of April (Vares 4) Kyypakkaus Lauri Törhönen
2011 Garter Snake (Vares 5) Kyypakkaus Lauri Törhönen
2012 Naked Harbour Anders Aku Louhimies
2012 Gambling Chip (Vares 7) Kyypakkaus Lauri Törhönen
2012 Tango of Darkness (Vares 8) Kyypakkaus Lauri Törhönen
2013 Heart of a Lion Harri Dome Karukoski Won the Jussi Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015 Vares – The Sheriff (Vares 9) Kyypakkaus Hannu Salonen
2016 Jet Trash Mike Charles Henri Belleville
2018 BlacKkKlansman Felix Kendrickson Spike Lee
2020 Da 5 Bloods Seppo Spike Lee
2021 Omerta 6/12 Max Tanner Aku Louhimies

Television credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999–2002 Salatut elämät Saku Salin Regular role; 387 episodes
2003 Kaunis mies Joonatan Kuusisto
2003 Irtiottoja - Fragments[23] Johnny
2016–2018; 2020 Vikings Halfdan the Black Main cast (seasons 4–5)
Guest (season 6)
2019 Pihlajasatu Saku Salin 4 episodes
TBA The Dark Tower Marten Broadcloak Main role


  1. ^ a b "Tyrmäävä kaunotar! Jasper Pääkkönen toi mallirakkaansa punaiselle matolle" (in Finnish). mtv.fi. July 31, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Jasper Pääkkönen Alexandra-beloved rare update – opens in a couple of christmas in Finland: I Drank a new favorite drink". jellypages.com. December 31, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Juuti, Mikko (January 7, 2022). "Jasper Pääkkösen ja Alexandra Escatin vauva syntyi: "Hän saapui joulupäivänä"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Jasper Pääkkönen | Metro Live". Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  5. ^ "Antti Pääkkönen - Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Mickey Mouse speaks Finnish in my falsetto voice". Helsinki Times. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ Nikolov, Nikolay (25 October 2018). "Why Spike Lee cast a Finnish actor as the most fanatical white supremacist in 'BlacKkKlansman'". Mashable. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Muistatko tämän 80-luvun klassikkoleffan? Jasper Pääkkönen teki ensimmäisen leffaroolin 7-vuotiaana". Mesta.net (in Finnish). April 11, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Lehti: Jasper Pääkkönen Suomen tuottoisin leffatähti | Leffajutut | Iltalehti.fi". Archived from the original on 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  10. ^ "Suomen Elokuvasäätiö". Archived from the original on 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  11. ^ Giltz, Michael (15 September 2010). "Toronto Film Fest Day 6: Hello, Lapland!". Huff Post. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  12. ^ Felperin, Leslie (7 February 2006). "Matti – Hell is for Heroes". Variety.com. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  13. ^ "european shooting stars". European Film Promotion. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  14. ^ "'Vikings' Bulks Up With Three New Regulars for Season 4 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Jasper Pääkköselle jälleen uusi Hollywood-rooli! Näyttelee Spike Leen seuraavassakin elokuvassa". Iltalehti. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Coin Flip in Poker - All You Need to Know". Coinflip.com. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  17. ^ "VISION - IN FLY FISHING". Visionflyfishing.com. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  18. ^ Finnish Breakthrough
  19. ^ "Superflies". superflies.com. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Röykän sairaala kaupaksi 1,5 miljoonalla – mukana hankkeessa näyttelijä Jasper Pääkkönen" [The Röykkä hospital for sale for €1,5 million; actor Jasper Pääkkönen is involved in the project!]. Nurmijärven Uutiset (in Finnish). 7 April 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Onpa erikoinen ilmestys, ajatteli Jasper Pääkkönen – sitten kivilinna vaihtoi omistajaa 1,5 miljoonalla, ja nyt suunnitteilla on jotain uutta" [What a strange revelation, thought Jasper Pääkkönen; then the stone castle changed hands for €1,5 million, and now something new is planned!]. Yle (in Finnish). 4 May 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Röykän sairaalasta viiden tähden hotelli?" [The Röykkä hospital becoming a five-star hotel?]. Nurmijärven Uutiset (in Finnish). 27 August 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Irtiottoja". IMDb.com. Retrieved 9 February 2019.

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