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Peter Franzén

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Peter Franzén
Franzén in 2015
Born (1971-08-14) 14 August 1971 (age 52)
Keminmaa, Lapland, Finland
Alma materTheatre Academy of Finland
Years active1992–present
SpouseIrina Björklund

Peter Vilhelm Franzén (born 14 August 1971) is a Finnish actor, author, screenwriter, and director. He is best known for his role as King Harald Finehair in Vikings (2016–2020).

Personal life[edit]

Franzén was born in Keminmaa, north Finland. Franzén has described his childhood as difficult due to his violent and alcoholic stepfather. Later, Franzén's relationship to his abusive stepfather was a major focal point in his semi-autobiographical novel, Above Dark Waters.[1] He met his actress wife Irina Björklund while studying in Theatre Academy of Finland. In 1999 the couple moved to Los Angeles, where they lived until 2013, after which they moved to France. They had a son, born in September 2007.


As an actor, Franzén has appeared in over 50 films and TV series. For his role in Dog Nail Clipper, Franzén was awarded a Jussi Award for Best Actor[2] as well as earning praise from film critic Jay Weissberg from Variety magazine who called the actor "one of the most talented and versatile thesps in Finland".[3]

In his career he has appeared in Finnish, Estonian, German, English, Swedish, and Hungarian speaking roles. In 2015, Franzén was cast as King Harald Finehair from the fourth season of Vikings.[4] Franzén has also been cast in Amazon Prime Video's The Wheel of Time TV series.[5]



Year Film Role Director Notes
1994 Kissan kuolema – Death of a Cat Saku Raimo O. Niemi
1996 Tie naisen sydämeen Kauko Pekka Parikka
1998 A Summer by the River Kottarainen Markku Pölönen Won — Jussi Award for best supporting actor
1998 Trains'n'Roses Lako's lover Peter Lichtefeld
1999 Ambush Lieutenant Eero Perkola Olli Saarela Nominated — Best Actor in Jussi Awards

Won — Best Actor in Rouen Nordic Film Festival

1999 Rikos ja rakkaus Jussi Rosenström Pekka Milonoff
2000 Badding Ossi Mäki Markku Pölönen Franzén's second collaboration with Markku Pölönen
2000 Bad Luck Love Reino Olli Saarela
2001 Drakarna över Helsingfors Sammy Ceder Peter Lindholm
2001 Jewel of the Sahara Young François Renoir Ariel Vromen Short
2001 Rollo and the Spirit of the Woods Lakeija Olli Saarela
2001 On the Road to Emmaus Mankka-Arvi Markku Pölönen Nominated — Best Supporting Actor in Jussi Awards
2002 Names in Marble Sulo Kallio Elmo Nüganen
2002 Lovers & Leavers Marko Aku Louhimies
2003 At Point Blank Juha Peter Lindmark
2003 Bad Boys Otto Takkunen Aleksi Mäkelä Franzén's first collaboration with Jasper Pääkkönen
2004 Dog Nail Clipper Mertsi Markku Pölönen Won — Jussi Award for best actor
2004 Honey Baby Waiter Mika Kaurismäki
2004 Hotet Magnus Kjell Sundvall
2004 Popular Music Voice-over Reza Bagher
2004 Täna öösel me ei maga Harri Ilmar Taska
2006 Babas bilar Pekka Kukka Rafael Edholm
2006 Matti: Hell Is for Heroes Nick Nevada Aleksi Mäkelä Franzén's second collaboration with Aleksi Mäkelä
2006 Mystery of the Wolf Antero Venesmaa Raimo O. Niemi
2007 The Matriarch Laszlo Markku Pölönen
2008 Cleaner Bronson Renny Harlin
2008 Three Wise Men Santa Claus Mika Kaurismäki Franzén's second collaboration with Mika Kaurismäki
2009 Hellsinki Krisu Aleksi Mäkelä Won — Jussi Award for best supporting actor
2009 Ralliraita Suko Markku Pölönen
2010 Priest of Evil Timo Harjunpää Olli Saarela Nominated — Best Actor in Jussi Awards
2010 Princess Saastamoinen Arto Halonen
2011 Body of Water Elias Joona Tena
2012 Road North Pertti Paakku Mika Kaurismäki Nominated — Best Supporting Actor in Jussi Awards
2012 The Path of the Righteous Men Taisto Raappana Anders Engström
2012 Purge Hans Pekk Antti Jokinen
2013 Open Up to Me Sami Simo Halinen Nominated — Best Actor in Jussi Awards
2013 Heart of a Lion Teppo Dome Karukoski
2013 Above Dark Waters Kake Peter Franzén Directorial debut
2015 The Gunman Reiniger Pierre Morel
2015 Lapland Odyssey 2 Jorma Teppo Airaksinen
2015 Homecoming Tomi Mika Kaurismäki
2015 Johan Falk 15: Blood Diamonds Milo Peter Lindmark Straight to DVD
2015 Johan Falk 17: The End Milo Richard Holm Straight to DVD
2016 The Mine Raimo Aleksi Salmenperä
2018 Ashes in the Snow General Komarov Marius A. Markevicius
2020 Meander Adam Mathieu Turi [fr]
2021 Omerta 6/12 Aku Louhimies
2021 Tale of the Sleeping Giants Narrator Marko Röhr
2023 Boudica: The Queen of War Wolfgar
2023 The Abyss Tage Vibenius Richard Holm


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Maigret Leo Liikanen 1 episode
Franzén's first collaboration with Irina Björklund
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Guard (voice) Episode: "On the Right Track"
2001 V.I.P. Nazi Episode: "Val's Big Bang"
2003 Irtiottoja
2003 Madventures Himself Episode: "U.S.A. – California"
2004 CSI: Miami Ivan Radu Episode: "Legal"
2006 Studio Impossible Various characters
2007–2012 Karjalan kunnailla Jake Rosenius
2009 True Blood Hrolf Episode: "Never Let Me Go"
2016 Beck – Gunvald Risto Kangas 1 episode
2016–2020 Vikings[6] King Harald Finehair Main role (seasons 4–6)
2021 Love, Death & Robots Snow Episode: "Snow in the Desert"
2021 The Wheel of Time Stepin 3 episodes
2022 Helsinki Syndrome[7][8] Elias Karo

Video Games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2023 Alan Wake II Ilmo Koskela/Jaakko Koskela Voice and likeness[9]


In 2010 Franzén published a partly autobiographical novel Tumman veden päällä (Above Dark Waters).[10]

In 2013 Franzén wrote Samoilla silmillä,[11] a sequel to Tumman veden päällä.

In 2017 Tammi published Särkyneen pyörän karjatila,[12] third book by Franzén.


In 2013 Franzén directed the film "Above Dark Waters", based on novel he had written in 2010. In 2020, he directed and narrated a viking-themed short movie called "Age of Vikings: Fated" which was shot in Old Swedish.


In 2021 Franzén sang the song Þat Mælti Mín Móðir (My Mother Told Me), that was performed by the Swedish band Hindarfjäll. The song first appeared in the TV-series Vikings where it was sung by Harald Finehair (portrayed by Peter Franzén). Here Franzén reprises his performance, singing the song in the Old Norse language.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2013 Franzén was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland.


  1. ^ "Peter Franzen: Kaikkea en voi antaa anteeksi". seura.fi. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ Dog Nail Clipper (Koirankynnen leikkaaja) Archived 15 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Finnish Film Foundation. Accessed 21 July 2009.
  3. ^ Weissberg, Jay. Dog Nail Clipper, Variety, 15 February 2005. Accessed 21 July 2009.
  4. ^ 'Vikings' Bulks Up With Three New Regulars for Season 4, Accessed 21 August 2015
  5. ^ "Adam's Wheel of Television: Who Are the New Cast Members Playing?". Dragonmount.com. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  6. ^ Lesley Goldberg (5 May 2015). "'Vikings' Season 4 Spoilers". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ Pham, Annika (6 February 2021). "'Vikings' Star Peter Franzen Joins 'Helsinki Syndrome' from 'Bordertown' Creators (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  8. ^ Helsinki-syndrooma, IMDb, accessed 10 December 2022
  9. ^ Streutjens, Patrick (16 June 2023). "Finnish actor Peter Franzén cast in Alan Wake 2". PayneReactor. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  10. ^ Kaisa. "Peter Franzén: Tumman veden päällä". Kannesta kanteen. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Peter Franzen: Samoilla silmillä | Yle Uutiset". yle.fi. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Peter Franzen: Särkyneen pyörän karjatila". kirja.fi. Retrieved 4 March 2017.

External links[edit]