Pilou Asbæk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pilou Asbæk
Comic Con Germany 2018 by-RaBoe 288 (cropped).jpg
Asbæk in 2018
Johan Philip Asbæk

(1982-03-02) 2 March 1982 (age 41)
Copenhagen, Denmark
EducationHerlufsholm School
Alma materDanish National School of Performing Arts
Years active2008–present
Known forBorgen
Game of Thrones
Ghost in the Shell
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Political partySocial Democrats[1]
SpouseAnna Bro

Johan Philip "Pilou" Asbæk (Danish: [pʰiˈlu ˈæspek]; born 2 March 1982) is a Danish actor. He is known for his role as troubled spin doctor Kasper Juul in the Danish television political drama Borgen,[2] and as Euron Greyjoy in the television series Game of Thrones.[3]

Early life[edit]

Asbæk was born in Copenhagen, the son of gallery owners Maria Patricia (née Tonn) and Jacob A. Asbæk, who run Galerie Asbæk in Copenhagen.[4] His mother was born in Casablanca, Morocco, to a Danish father and a French mother.[5][6] His father is from Hammel.[7] He has two older brothers, Thomas Asbæk, an art consultant at Asbæk Art Consulting, and Martin Asbæk, a gallery owner at Martin Asbæk Gallery.[8]

Asbæk went to boarding school at Herlufsholm School, where he was active in drama productions.[9] He graduated from Denmark's Danish National School of Performing Arts in the summer of 2008.[7]



In 2009, Asbæk played soldier David Grüner in an episode of the second season of the Danish TV series The Killing (Danish: Forbrydelsen).[2]

From 2010 to 2013, Asbæk played spin-doctor Kasper Juul in the critically lauded Danish TV series Borgen, written by Tobias Lindholm, about the politics of a female prime minister of Denmark.[10] Asbæk's performance was uniformly praised by critics.[11] In 2014, the Danish public-funded DR cast Asbæk as Didrich, a landowner suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, in a big-budget period TV series[12] called 1864.[13]

In 2016, Asbæk joined the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as Euron Greyjoy.[14]


In 2011, Asbæk starred in another piece by Tobias Lindholm, in the film R, as a Danish convict, portraying a harrowing prison experience. The film was shot in the Dogme 95–inspired style.[15] The next year, in 2012, Asbæk starred in another Tobias Lindholm film called A Hijacking, about Somalian piracy, for which he transformed himself physically, gaining weight to imbue the role with method acting.[7]

In 2013, Asbæk portrayed a flamboyant Danish tycoon named Simon Spies in the movie Sex, Drugs & Taxation (Danish: Spies & Glistrup).[16] In this film, Asbæk co-stars opposite his wife's cousin, the actor Nicolas Bro, who plays the other main character, Mogens Glistrup.

In 2014, Asbæk starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the Luc Besson film Lucy.[17] Also in 2014, Asbæk appeared in the Bille August film Silent Heart (Danish: Stille Hjerte), in which his mother-in-law, Danish actress Vigga Bro, plays the character Lisbeth.[18][19]

Pilou Asbæk (far right) co-hosting the Eurovision Song Contest

In 2015, Asbæk again collaborated with director Tobias Lindholm in the film A War (Danish: Krigen), playing a soldier in Afghanistan.[20] The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival.[21]

Asbæk co-starred in the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur, starring Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman.[12] He portrayed Pontius Pilate.[22]

In 2017, he played Batou in Ghost in the Shell.[23]

In 2018, he played Captain Wafner in Overlord.[24]

Asbaek plays the lead role as police investigator Anders Olsen in Murderous Trance, opposite Josh Lucas. Written and directed by Arto Halonen, the movie is based on actual events. The plot revolves around the bizarre case of the hypnosis murders, which took place in Copenhagen in 1951.[25]

In April 2021, he joined the cast of the upcoming superhero film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in an undisclosed role.[26]

In September 2021, Asbaek joined the cast of the Stephen King adaptation of Salem's Lot as Richard Straker.[27]



On 10 May 2014, Asbæk co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, with Lise Rønne and Nikolaj Koppel.[30][31] Some critics commented adversely on the obscure jokes shared by the presenters throughout the televised show.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Asbæk's wife is playwright Anna Bro, who had been his domestic partner since 2008.[citation needed] They have a daughter Agnes Bro Asbæk, born 31 December 2012. Anna is the daughter of the actors Hans Henrik Clemensen and Vigga Bro and comes from an extended family of actors.[33]

The nickname Pilou came from his mother's French ancestry and is a French version of the word "Pip."[7] The nickname is because Asbæk was the youngest son, in French, "le plus petit" for littlest, "Little Philip." Pilou is an abbreviation of Petit Philip.[6]

Asbæk's godfather was the late artist Kurt Trampedach.[9]

After having criticised what he considered too harsh refugee policies by the Danish government led by Social Democratic prime minister Mette Frederiksen, Asbæk joined the Danish Social Democratic Party in January 2022 to "speak up against it from within".[34]




Year Title Role Director(s) Notes
2008 To verdener Teis Niels Arden Oplev
Comeback Kris Ulrik Wivel
Dig og mig Oliver Christian E. Christiansen
2009 Den Fremmede Den Mørkhårede Nuka Wølk Mathiassen Short film
Monsterjægerne Søren Martin Schmidt
2010 R Rune Tobias Lindholm & Michael Noer
En familie Peter Pernille Fischer Christensen
Venus Rasmus Tor Fruergaard Short film
The Whistleblower Bas Larysa Kondracki
2011 Bora Bora Jim Hans Fabian Wullenweber
2012 Kapringen Mikkel Hartmann Tobias Lindholm
2013 Spies & Glistrup Simon Spies Christoffer Boe
2014 Lucy Richard Luc Besson
Kapgang Onkel Kristian Niels Arden Oplev
Fasandræberne Ditlev Pram Mikkel Nørgaard
Stille hjerte Dennis Bille August
2015 9. april Sekondløjtnant Sand Roni Ezra
Krigen Claus Michael Pedersen Tobias Lindholm
2016 Ben-Hur Pontius Pilate Timur Bekmambetov
The Great Wall Bouchard Zhang Yimou
2017 Ghost in the Shell Batou Rupert Sanders
Woodshock Keith Mulleavy Sisters
2018 Murderous Trance Anders Olsen Arto Halonen
Overlord Wafner Julius Avery
2020 Run Sweetheart Run Ethan Shana Feste
2021 Outside the Wire Victor Koval Mikael Håfström
2022 Uncharted Gage Ruben Fleischer
Samaritan Cyrus / Nemesis II Julius Avery
2023 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom TBA James Wan Post-production
Salem's Lot Richard Straker Gary Dauberman Post-production
TBA I.S.S. Alexey Pulov Gabriela Cowperthwaite Post-production
Project X-Traction[citation needed] Owen Paddock Scott Waugh


Year Title Role Network Notes
2008 Deroute Mulvad DR 3 episodes
Forbrydelsen David Grüner DR1 1 episode
2010 Blekingegade Carsten Nielsen TV 2 3 episodes
2010–2013 Borgen Kasper Juul DR1 29 episodes
2013 The Borgias Paolo Orsini bravo (Canada)
Showtime (USA)
7 episodes
2014 Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Co-host DR With Lise Rønne & Nikolaj Koppel
1864 Didrich DR1 8 episodes
2016 Stag Neils BBC Two 1 episode
2016–2019 Game of Thrones Euron Greyjoy HBO 9 episodes
2020 The Investigation Jakob Buch-Jepsen TV 2 (Denmark)


  1. ^ "Pilou Asbæk melder sig ind i Socialdemokratiet". 20 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Mesure, Susie (4 May 2013). "Fancy a Danish? What about Pilou Asbaek - the man who plays Kasper Juul in 'Borgen'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  3. ^ McHenry, Jackson (17 July 2017). "Is Euron Greyjoy Hot Enough for You Now?". Vulture.
  4. ^ "Pilou Asbæk: Buy Art to Look At: Not As An Investment". The Big Issue. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon - Patricia Asbæk". www.kvinfo.dk. 15 May 2003.
  6. ^ a b Kupfer, Ruta (24 January 2013). "'Mad Men' of Northern Europe". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d Synnot, Siobhan (11 May 2013). "Borgen's Pilou Asbaek on his Somalian pirate film". The Scotsman. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ Knutzen, Susanne (5 November 2012). "Kom tæt på brødrene Asbæk". Eurowoman. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b Zøllner, Kristoffer (25 August 2013). "Pilou Asbæk: Det er jo bare skuespil". Berlingske. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (11 October 2012). "She Seems to Have It All, a Whole Nation in Fact - 'Borgen,' a Danish Political Drama Series, on Link TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  11. ^ Robinson, Joanna (4 September 2015). "The Perfect Binge-Watchable Show Finally Became Available in the U.S." Vanity Fair. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  12. ^ a b Lobb, Adrian (8 June 2015). "Pilou Asbæk Interview: "When You Play With National History, People Get Very Emotional"". The Big Issue. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ Reuters (14 October 2014). "From the Makers of Denmark's The Killing and Borgen: a Costume Drama". The New York Times. Reuters. Retrieved 6 September 2015. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  14. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (2 September 2015). "Game of Thrones adds Lucy actor to play Euron Greyjoy - Update: It's confirmed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. ^ Holden, Stephen (16 June 2011). "Life in the Big House: The Danish Experience". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  16. ^ Yde, Katrine Hornstrup (Fall 2013). "TIFF: Sex, Drugs & Taxation - The story of two oddballs and their chase after freedom – meet travel mogul Simon Spies and tax-evading politician Mogens Glistrup". Danish Film Institute. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  17. ^ Frost, Caroline (6 April 2015). "'1864' Star Pilou Asbaek Interview: Lars Von Trier, Scarlett Johansson And What Kind Of Role Model He Wants To Be". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  18. ^ Holland, Jonathan (23 September 2014). "'Silent Heart' ('Stille Hjerte'): San Sebastian Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  19. ^ Weissberg, Jay (5 October 2014). "Film Review: 'Silent Heart'". Variety. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  20. ^ Dam, Freja (Fall 2015). "Venice Film Festival. A War: Set in Afghanistan, Tobias Lindholm's drama illuminates the consequences of war on all its participants". Danish Film Institute. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  21. ^ van Hoeij, Boyd (5 September 2015). "'A War' ('Krigen'): Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  22. ^ Ge, Linda; Sneider, Jeff (21 January 2015). "'Lucy' Star Pilou Asbæk to Play Pontius Pilate in 'Ben-Hur' (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Batou (Character)". IMDb. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  24. ^ Overlord (2018) - IMDb, retrieved 18 August 2021
  25. ^ "AMBI picks up Scandi thriller 'Guardian Angel'". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  26. ^ "'Aquaman 2': 'Game Of Thrones' Alum Pilou Asbaek Joins Jason Momoa In Sequel". Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  27. ^ Kit, Borys (24 September 2021). "'Game of Thrones' Pilou Asbaek Joins New Line's 'Salem's Lot' In Key Role (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  28. ^ Asbæk, Pilou; Zøllner, Kristoffer (4 November 2019). Alting sker på en gang: -- et år med Pilou Asbæk (in Danish). Gyldendal A/S. ISBN 978-87-02-27412-7.
  29. ^ "Pilou Asbæk - dansk film database". danskefilm.dk. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  30. ^ Siim, Jarmo (4 February 2014). "Koppel, Asbæk, Rønne to host Eurovision 2014". Eurovision. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  31. ^ Heritage, Stuart (5 May 2014). "Pilou Asbæk: 'Eurovision is a party. I've never said no to a party'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  32. ^ Debnath, Neela (11 May 2014). "Eurovision 2014: Raunchy milk maids, giant hamster wheels and child abuse – the most memorable moments of the night". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  33. ^ Lobb, Adrian (13 May 2014). "Pilou Asbæk Interview: "I Have to Get Through the Night Without Starting a War"". The Big Issue. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  34. ^ "Pilou Asbæk melder sig ind i Socialdemokratiet" (in Danish). TV 2. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  35. ^ Kastelan, Karsten (13 February 2011). "Shooting Stars Initiative Showcases Rising European Stars at Berlinale". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  36. ^ Bergløv, Emil (17 December 2012). "Pilou Asbæk vinder Ove Sprogøe Prisen". Politiken. Retrieved 6 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Eurovision Song Contest presenter
With: Lise Rønne and Nikolaj Koppel
Succeeded by