Michael Nyqvist

Michael Nyqvist

Nyqvist in 2013
Born Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist
(1960-11-08) 8 November 1960
Stockholm, Sweden
Other names Michael Nykvist, Micke, Mikael, Michael
Alma mater Malmö Theatre Academy
Occupation Actor
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Catharina Ehrnrooth
Children 2

Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmiːkaɛl ˈnʏˌkvɪst]; born 8 November 1960) is a Swedish actor. Educated at the School of Drama in Malmö, he became well known from his role as police officer Banck in the first series of Beck films made in 1997. He is most recognized internationally for his role in the acclaimed Millennium series as Mikael Blomkvist, as well as the lead villain in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (as Kurt Hendricks) and John Wick (as Viggo Tarasov).

Early life

Nyqvist was born in Stockholm, to a Swedish mother and an Italian father (from Florence).[1][2] As a baby, he was adopted from an orphanage. At 17, he spent a year as an exchange student in Omaha, Nebraska. He took his first acting classes there, as a senior in high school playing, amongst other things, a small part in the drama Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. When he returned to Sweden, he was accepted at ballet school, but after one year, gave it up. An ex-girlfriend suggested he try theatre, instead, and at 24 he was accepted to the Malmö Theatre Academy. After graduating, Nyqvist worked mainly in theatre, but also landed smaller parts in several different film productions.


Nyqvist's first big breakthrough came in 2000 with the film Together directed by Lukas Moodysson. The movie was set in the 1970s and followed the antics of life in a suburban commune in Stockholm. The movie achieved great international success and earned Nyqvist his first Guldbagge Best Actor nomination for his role as a misguided husband with anger issues. He later played the leading man in the Swedish romantic comedy, The Guy in the Grave Next Door directed by Kjell Sundvall. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Katarina Mazetti. The film explored the difficulties that arise between a country farmer and a city librarian, highlighting the differences between blue-collar laborers and white-collar administrators. Nyqvist won a Guldbagge Best Actor award for his role as the farmer, Benny.

Nyqvist in November 2009

In 2004, he played the lead role as Daniel Daréus, a conductor and musician, in the Academy Award-nominated Best Foreign Film As It Is in Heaven, directed by Kay Pollak. It is one of the most-watched Swedish films, and the role highlighted Nyqvist's ability to display tenderness and vulnerability at the same time as rage and fear. In 2006, he starred in Suddenly directed by Johan Brisinger. In Suddenly, Nyqvist plays Lasse – a man who must come to terms with the sudden loss of his wife and son. In 2007, Nyqvist portrayed Swedish ambassador Harald Edelstam, in The Black Pimpernel, a hero who saved several people from execution in Chile during and after the military coupe in September 1973.

He has garnered recent international attention starring as Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish title: Män som hatar kvinnor), The Girl Who Played with Fire (Swedish title: Flickan som lekte med elden), and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Swedish title: Luftslottet som sprängdes) of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series. Although Nyqvist always was high on the list of potential actors to portray Blomkvist, his charisma got him the role. The director of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev, found what he was looking for in Nyqvist – someone with the right looks, charm, and likeability.

He starred in Abduction (2011), directed by John Singleton.[3][4] He is also part of the permanent ensemble at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Nyqvist appeared in the 2011 action thriller Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the fourth film of the series, directed by Brad Bird.[5] In the film, Nyqvist portrays a madman code-named 'Cobalt', who wants to instigate a global war between Russia and the United States that he believes will restore ecological balance to the planet.[6] In 2014, he appeared in John Wick as the antagonist, a New York Russian mob boss who is forced to protect his son from a legendary hit man played by Keanu Reeves.

Personal life

Nyqvist has described his childhood and quest to find his biological parents, subsequently in his adult life, in his autobiographical novel, Just After Dreaming (Swedish title: När barnet lagt sig). He is married to scenographer Catharina Ehrnrooth and has two children, Ellen and Arthur.[7]


Nyqvist in April 2013
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Kamraterna The model TV movie
1987 Jim och piraterna Blom
1990 Pass TV movie
1996 Sånt är livet Kalle Andersson
1997 Tic Tac Vinni
1997–1998 Beck John Banck TV series (7 episodes)
1998 Nightwalk Short film
1998 Waiting for the Tenor The Director
1998 Personkrets 3:1 Karl-Erik
1999 Breaking out Diego
1999 En dag i taget Henrik TV series
2000 10:10 Magnus Short film
2000 Together Rolf
2001 Home Sweet Home Kent
2001 Making Babies
2002 Grabben i graven brevid Benny
2003 Smala Sussie Mörka Rösten
2003 Detailjer Erik
2004 As It Is in Heaven Daniel Daréus
2004 Day and night Jacob
2004 ABBA: Our Last Video Ever
2005 Shadow world Short film
2005 Naboer Åke
2005 Mother of Mine Hjalmar Jönsson
2005 Bang Bang Orangutang Sven Blomberg
2005 Wallander: Mastermind Lothar Kraftzcyk TV series (1 episode)
2006 Search
2006 Suddenly Lasse
2007 The Black Pimpernel Harald Edelstam
2007 Arn: The Knight Templar Magnus Folkesson
2008 The Kautokeino Rebellion Lars Levi Laestadius
2008 Downloading Nancy Stan
2008 Iscariot Masen
2009 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Mikael Blomkvist
2009 The Girl Who Played with Fire Mikael Blomkvist
2009 Bröllopsfotografen Stage actor
2009 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Mikael Blomkvist
2010 The Woman That Dreamed About a Man Johan
2010 Among Us Ernst
2010 Kennedys Hirn Lars Hakansson TV movie
2010 The Chinese Man Staffan
2011 Abduction Nikola Kozlow
2011 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Kurt Hendricks
2012 Disconnect Stephen Schumacher
2013 Zero Hour White Vincent TV series
2013 Europa Report Andrei Blok
2013 The Girl from Nagasaki Father Lars
2013 Days and Nights Johan
2014 John Wick Viggo Tarasov
2014 The Girl in the Book Milan Daneker Post-production
2014 100 Code Mikael Eklund TV series
2014 Paris Follies Jesper
2015 The Girl King Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna Completed
2016 Frank & Lola Alan Post-production
2016 Colonia Paul Schäfer
2016 I.T.
2017 Hunter Killer Filming




  1. http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/movies/michael-nyqvist-stars-in-stieg-larssons-the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo/story-e6freqex-1225843165388
  2. "Swedish star Michael Nyqvist's beautiful personal drama". Vancouver Observer. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  3. Erfors, Staffan (11 June 2010). "Michael Nyqvist aktuell för Hollywoodfilm". Dagens Media (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  4. Søndberg, Ole (26 April 2010). "Michael Nyqvist to star in The Man From Beijing". YellowBird (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  5. Sneider, Jeff (24 September 2010). "Update: 'Dragon Tattoo' Star Michael Nyqvist Will Play Villain in 'M:I:4'". The Wrap. California. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  6. Ebert, Roger (2011-12-14). "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Movie Review (2011)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  7. "Jag kan göra det bättre". Dagens Nyheter (DN) (in Swedish). 14 March 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
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