Sidse Babett Knudsen
Sidse Babett Knudsen

Sidse Babett Knudsen: The Versatile Danish Actress

Sidse Babett Knudsen is a highly accomplished Danish actress known for her exceptional work in theatre, television, and film. With a career spanning over two decades, Knudsen has received critical acclaim and numerous awards for her outstanding performances. From her breakthrough role in the improvisational comedy Let’s Get Lost to her portrayal of the fictional Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in the TV series Borgen, Knudsen has captivated audiences with her versatility and talent.

Early Life and Education

Born on November 22, 1968, in Copenhagen, Sidse Babett Knudsen was raised in a creative environment. Her father, Ebbe Knudsen, was a photographer, and her mother, Susanne Andersen, worked as a school teacher. During her childhood, Knudsen had the unique experience of living in Tanzania, where her parents were involved in volunteer work. This exposure to different cultures and experiences shaped her perspective and ignited her passion for storytelling.

After returning to Denmark, Knudsen attended a “creative school” where her artistic abilities were nurtured. She discovered her love for acting and decided to pursue it as a career. In 1987, Knudsen embarked on a journey to Paris to train in acting at the prestigious Theatre de l’Ombre, despite her initial lack of proficiency in French. This bold decision proved to be a pivotal moment in her life, laying the foundation for her successful acting career.

The Rise to Stardom

Upon returning to Denmark, Sidse Babett Knudsen began her ascent in the world of acting. She showcased her talents in various theater productions, including performances at the OVINE 302 experimental theater, the Betty Nansen Theatre, and the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen. Her dedication and commitment to her craft earned her recognition within the Danish theater community.

In 1997, Knudsen made her screen debut in the improvisational comedy Let’s Get Lost. Directed by Jonas Elmer, the film required the actors to improvise their roles and dialogue based on an outline. Despite initially feeling uncertain about her improvisational skills, Knudsen embraced the challenge and delivered a remarkable performance as Julie. Her portrayal earned her both the Robert and Bodil awards for Best Actress, catapulting her into the spotlight and establishing her as a rising star in Danish cinema.

The Comedy Romance: Den Eneste Ene

Building on the success of her debut, Sidse Babett Knudsen continued to impress audiences with her talent and versatility. In 2000, she garnered critical acclaim for her role in the comedy romance Den Eneste Ene (The One and Only). Directed by Susanne Bier, the film became one of the decade’s biggest box-office hits in Denmark. Knudsen’s portrayal of Sus, a woman caught in a complicated love triangle, showcased her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters. Once again, she received both the Robert and Bodil awards for Best Actress, solidifying her position as one of Denmark’s most celebrated actresses.

International Recognition: Borgen and Westworld

Sidse Babett Knudsen’s talent and versatility transcended borders, gaining her international recognition for her remarkable performances. She achieved widespread acclaim for her portrayal of fictional Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in the Danish TV series Borgen. Knudsen’s nuanced performance captivated audiences around the world, earning her praise for her ability to embody the complexities of a powerful female leader. Her portrayal of Nyborg showcased her range as an actress and cemented her status as a global talent.

Knudsen’s international success continued with her role as Theresa Cullen in the HBO science fiction-Western television series Westworld. Playing a high-ranking executive at a futuristic theme park, she once again demonstrated her ability to bring depth and complexity to her characters. Her performance in Westworld garnered critical acclaim and further solidified her reputation as a versatile actress capable of excelling in diverse roles.

Awards and Nominations

Throughout her career, Sidse Babett Knudsen has received numerous awards and nominations for her exceptional performances. In addition to her wins for Let’s Get Lost and Den Eneste Ene, she won the prestigious César Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2016 for her role in the film Courted (L’Hermine). Knudsen’s ability to captivate audiences with her performances has consistently garnered recognition from the industry and her peers. She has also received award nominations for her roles in Monas Verden (Mona’s World) and Efter Brylluppet (After the Wedding).

Recent Projects and Future Endeavors

Sidse Babett Knudsen’s talent and versatility continue to shine in her recent projects. In 2020, she starred in the BBC drama Roadkill as the mistress of a British Tory politician played by Hugh Laurie. Her compelling performance showcased her ability to bring complex characters to life, captivating audiences with her on-screen presence. Knudsen also reprised her role as Prime Minister Nyborg in the Netflix revival of Borgen, which was released in 2022. Fans of the original series eagerly awaited her return, and she once again showcased her remarkable acting prowess.

Looking ahead, Sidse Babett Knudsen’s future endeavors are highly anticipated. With her ability to immerse herself in diverse roles and captivate audiences, she is sure to continue leaving a lasting impact on the world of acting.


Sidse Babett Knudsen’s filmography is a testament to her versatility and range as an actress. Here are some notable films and television series she has been a part of:


  • Let’s Get Lost (1997)
  • Den Eneste Ene (The One and Only) (1999)
  • Courted (L’Hermine) (2015)
  • Mona’s Verden (Mona’s World) (2000)


  • Borgen (2010-2013)
  • Westworld (2016-2020)
  • Roadkill (2020)
  • Borgen (Revival) (2022)

Sidse Babett Knudsen’s remarkable talent, versatility, and dedication to her craft have made her one of the most respected and celebrated actresses in Denmark and beyond. From her early years in theater to her international success in TV series like Borgen and Westworld, Knudsen continues to captivate audiences with her exceptional performances. Her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters has earned her critical acclaim and numerous awards. As she embarks on new projects and ventures, fans eagerly await the next chapter in her illustrious career. Sidse Babett Knudsen truly embodies the essence of a versatile and talented actress, leaving an indelible mark on the world of acting.

Related Articles


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *