Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Online
EST 2011 | your ultimate source for all things nikolaj coster-waldau
Welcome to NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU ONLINE @ an online resource dedicated to Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Currently being seen as Ser Jaime Lannister on the hugely successful HBO series Game of Thrones, Nikolaj has a varied film and television history. Included are the series New Amsterdam, Virtuality, and Blekingegade. Nikolaj's films include Mama, Black Hawk Down, Wimbledon, Vildspor in which Nikolaj wrote and directed, Enigma, Kingdom of Heaven, The Baker, A Thousand Times Goodnight, Gods of Egypt, Nattevagten and soon to be seen in Nattevagten 2. Nikolaj has also been named the UNDP Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness and support United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, an action to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. If you're a fan of Nikolaj's please make this your best choice for all things pertaining to his career. This site has an explicit NO CANDIDS policy.

And one more for the weekend. Nikolaj and the cast including Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Conleth Hill (Varys), Aidan Gillan (Petyr “Littlefinger” Bailish), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Hannah Murray (Gilly), John Bradley (Samwell Tarley), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Nathalie Emmanuelle (Missandei), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), and Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont), all were asked if they knew any of the fan theories from the show. They all discussed Azhor Ahai, Lightbringer, and even if Varys was indeed a Merman. Hilarity ensued.

Another interview with the cast from GAME OF THRONES including Nikolaj, Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow). Here the cast talk about their “enemies” Jaime with Cersei, Ser Davos with Melissandre, Bronn with Jaime, and Jon with Sansa.

Yet another interview with Nikolaj and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) on who will end up on the Iron Throne. While Nikolaj believes it might be The Night’s King, Gwendoline believes it’ll be Bran Stark played by Isaac Hempstead-Wright. When asked the same question during a season three junket, Nikolaj believed it should become a republic. This interview was done with Extra’s Mario Lopez.

Another cute interview with Nikolaj and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) where AccessHollywood asked Nikolaj about his feelings for the crushing going on with the character of Tormund Giantsbane played by Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju toward Brienne. The answer was funny. Take a look.

Hilarity ensued when IGN had Nikolaj and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) interview each other. No other explanation is needed except let’s go to the video.

Nikolaj as well as most of the cast of GAME OF THRONES including Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuelle (Missandei), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), John Bradley (Samwell Tarley), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy), Aidan Gillan (Petyr “Littlefinger” Bailish), Conelith Hill (Varys), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Hannah Murray (Gilly), and Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion) all sat down with ABC’s Nightline to discuss season seven. Here’s the video.

If I can’t give you anything else right now, I’ll give you Nikolaj attending the 74th Annual Golden Globes. He was there representing HBO and GAME OF THRONES. He’s seen in the Inside Party with Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth).


GQ just came out with their list of Emmy snubs. They mentioned Nikolaj in their list. Here’s what they said:

Coster-Waldau, Goggins, and Olyphant: GQ Stars, Emmy Snubs

BY Dennis Tang

Jaime Lannister was always a cocky, king-slaying prick; funny, what getting a hand hacked off will do for your temperament. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau turned in quite a performance for this season of Game of Thrones, deftly navigating the depths of snark, anger, and mental and physical anguish forced upon Jaime during his journey back to King’s Landing, punctuated by his bathhouse confessional with Brienne (“My name is Jaime.”) And through Nikolaj’s quietly seething, man-without-a-country recount of the Tywin-planted root of his regicide, it turns out that Jaime isn’t a traitor, so much as he is, simply, a Lannister. (Though we’re told that his portrayal is much less sympathetic in the books. By NERDS.) If Emilia Clarke (who we love to death, don’t get us wrong) can get a nomination for her Season 2 work, in which she mostly sat at the head of her army while men betrayed and killed each other on account of her beauty (again, not an unrealistic setup), then Coster-Waldau should’ve been a shoo-in.


I couldn’t agree with them more.

Another Q&A with Nikolaj discussing the all important scene where Jaime confesses what he knew about Aerys Targaryen to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).

Emmys: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the Naked Truth About the ‘Game of Thrones’ Kingslayer

The villainous Jaime Lannister talks about loving your sister too much, his toughest day of shooting and why the teenage King Joffrey is like Justin Bieber

Before that whole Red Wedding massacre came along to shock “Game of Thrones” viewers, the most gripping moment in Season 3 of HBO’s epic series may well have been one of the quietest.

It was the moment when a naked, battered, nearly defeated Jaime Lannister, soaking in a bathtub after nearly dying when his right hand was chopped off, told an equally naked Brienne of Tarth that the murder that gave him the nickname “Kingslayer” was actually done out of kindness – that he killed Aerys Targaryen to prevent the so-called “Mad King” from burning his city to the ground and killing every man, woman and child within its walls.

Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau delivered the wrenching monologue in a voice that barely rose above a whisper.

The moment softly, quietly and brilliantly upended what we thought we knew about Jaime Lannister, who was introduced in the first episode of the series sleeping with his sister Cersei and then shoving seven-year-old Bran Stark out a tower window when the boy catches him in the act.

It made Coster-Waldau one of a number of “Game of Thrones” actors who deserve supporting actor and actress consideration this season – not just past winner Peter Dinklage, but also Diana Rigg as the devious Olenna Tyrell, Rose Leslie as the feisty Ygritte, Gwendoline Christine as the amazon warrior Brienne and Charles Dance as the thoroughly villainous Tywin Lannister.

Jaime Lannister is usually a man of action, but in your big scene this season you barely moved.
Yeah. I waited a long time to get to that scene. I knew from when we started the pilot that that scene would come eventually, if we were lucky enough to get picked up and get as far as Season 3.

So you knew the scene was coming from the time you first took the role?
I remember the producers telling me about the whole world when I first talked to them about the part. I didn’t know anything about George R.R. Martin, I’m not proud to say. They told me about the story, and about how in Episode 1 Jaime’s having sex with his sister, he pushes the kid out the window… It was so dark, I just got really excited about it, because it’s such a great thing to have a character that’s so clear cut. That’s the baddie, and he has these big action things at the beginning of the show.

And then they told me his secret about why he’s called the Kingslayer, and the guy he really is. Which is a very different man from the perception of him, and very exciting.

But the audience won’t hear his side of the story for two and a half seasons.
Exactly. The beauty of it is that you have a character who’s not a whiner. He would never go out and say, “You don’t understand, I was wronged!” He’s not going to give people the satisfaction, because he’s smart enough to know that that’s not going to work anyway.

It’s that weird thing: If you hear a foul rumor about someone, even though two weeks later you hear it wasn’t true, it still sticks. Horrible rumors have a tendency to leave a smell, in a weird way.

Well, one of the foul rumors about Jaime — that he’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister — sticks because it’s true.
There were so many times I thought, “Why the hell?” I get that you can fall in love with your sister when you’re young, but years have passed. He has to let go. It’s not doing him any favors. It’s such a terrible relationship, and it’s defined him in so many ways. But then you go into the family dynamic, and it does make sense if you’re that isolated from the rest of the world, and you’ve been living under this tyrant and you only really have your brother and your sister.

What parts of Jamie were hardest to get a handle on?
The difficult thing was always the balance. Even in episodes where he had a lot of scenes, you’re still looking at a maximum of maybe 15 minutes. Last season I was only in four episodes. The hope is that if you went back and looked at all those scenes, you’d be able to spot those little clues that I put out early on about who he is. Those little things so that once you get to the bathtub, it’s not a case of, “Where the hell did that come from?”

So you’d been thinking about the bath scene for two and a half seasons before you got to do it. No pressure there.

Yeah, it’s such a big moment for that character. There were so many thoughts that went into that day, but you want to in the moment just be able to let go and not think of anything. It was quite some day.

Just on a personal level, it’s a very interesting journey that Jamie takes. And I’ve obviously thought a lot about what it would mean if you lost something that so identifies you. That hand is the super-hand, the thing that defines him. It’s his pride and it’s who he is, but it also gave him the name Kingslayer and kind of condemned him in that world.

How long did it take to shoot the scene?
We had one day. It was a long day. One of the toughest days I think I’ve ever had, because it was so important for me that we got it right. We did the speeches in long takes, and the camera operator said they were the longest takes we did in the series. It was exhausting for everyone, not just the actors. I was so grateful for Gwendoline Christie, who jumped into the water with me every time. We were clean when we left, that’s for sure. [laughs]

And the end of the day, did you feel that you had the scene?
Yeah, it was a very special day. It felt really good. I mean, all of us felt that we accomplished what we hoped for. I know that that character, and it is a big moment for him to open up. He’s never told that story before, and it’s such a big, big secret to carry around.

In the first couple of seasons, we thought Jaime was the ultimate villain, and Joffrey was a monster, and Cersei was evil. But this season, the family pales next to your father.
Oh, Tywin is such a tough, tough dad. I love those scenes in this season with Cersei and Tyrion [Peter Dinklage’s character]. We’ve seen them where they’re very powerful, they’re very strong, but when it comes to dealing with daddy, they’re just little kids. They can’t say no to daddy.

And I love what Lena has done with Cersei. She’s this horrible woman, of course, but she’s opened up these little glimpses into a woman who’s still just a mother. She understands how ruthless that world is, and she’s trying to take care of her own. And yes, she’s very brutal, but so is that world.

And even Joffrey. I mean, he is a monster, don’t get me wrong. But you can still see that he’s just a boy. Growing up with no boundaries, no rules, he’s so messed up. And I think what is so great with Jack [Gleeson]’s performance is that he still shows us the boy, even though the boy has so much power. Then again, you look at some of the young celebrities today, and you see what power does to young people. It’s just not a healthy thing. Look at Justin Bieber.

Has “Game of Thrones” changed your life and career?
It hasn’t changed my life. But I was just talking to my wife about this – this June is my 20th year as an actor, since I left the National Theater school. I’ve always been working, but what’s so amazing is that there are very few moments where your own enthusiasm for a show is actually shared with an audience. That’s quite rare. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be on a show that people see and watch, and there’s no question that some of the opportunities I get now work-wise are related to “Game of Thrones,” for which I’m very grateful.

Do people call you “Kingslayer” on the street?
It happened in Season 1 here in New York. But I haven’t had any bad experiences. People say with a smile, “You’re a horrible person.” There were a couple of times in a bar where people go, “Kingslayer!” But usually they follow it up with beer, so that’s absolutely cool. Call me Kingslayer and buy me a beer? I love it.


A funny interview with Nikolaj about Jaime, bears, Brienne, and hiding hands. Enjoy.

‘Game of Thrones’ star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on bears, hands and Jaime’s journey

What’s required when acting opposite Bart the Bear? And how do people on the street react to him now?
By Alan Sepinwall
Monday, Jun 17, 2013 9:30 AM

Being an actor on “Game of Thrones” can require patience. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau spent much of the HBO fantasy epic’s second season off-camera, and when we did see him as Jaime Lannister, he was sitting in a cage heckling his jailors. But the Danish actor knew his patience would be rewarded in the third season, when Jaime spent through an even more humbling ordeal while on the road with Gwendoline Christie’s Brienne of Tarth. It was among the most satisfying journeys of the second season, highlighted by a hot tub confession that was among the best-acted moments of the series to date.

I spoke with Coster-Waldau last week about Jaime’s ups and downs, his working relationship with Christie (and with one of their furry co-stars in season 3), the production logistics of Jaime’s new physical condition, and more.

Had you read the books when you took this part or before it? I’m just wondering how much you knew about how much Jaime was going to be changing over the life of the series, including losing his hand.

I didn’t know anything about it — I’m not proud of it, but I’d never heard of George R.R. Martin before I was introduced to it. But then I read the first book, of course. And (“Game of Thrones” writer) Brian Cogman, in the beginning, he was kind of the know-it-all, he gave me this very detailed description of Jaime and his whole journey and the whole history of this character, which has been very very helpful. Whenever there are questions, he’s the guy you go to, because he has a crazy memory. When I first met him, I didn’t know anything, but once I got the part, I dug into it. So I’ve known all along, and that’s been very helpful, because a lot of things happen to the guy. Also, in season 2, there aren’t that many scenes, but that whole prison does it — it’s not just losing the hand, but it’s that he’s never been in a situation where he hasn’t been in some kind of situation of privilege. He’s the worst kind of prisoner, the one that everyone hates. They all want to kill him, and he’s basically left to sit in his own shit. I have a feeling they wouldn’t go “Do you need a bathroom break now, Kingslayer?” Those things are very important to know what happened, and what he was going through.

How much of the emotional turnaround that we see him go through in this most recent season is simply a result of circumstance, and how much do you think was really inside this guy all along, in terms of the regrets he has about the life he’s lived to this point?

A lot of it was all there all along. I just think that sometimes, you meet people — most of us go, ‘Why are they still together? Why is this couple still together?’ Abusive relationships go on and on. You’re in it for so long that it can almost be impossible to see it for what it is. That just becomes your life. We get used to and adapt. There’s no question in my mind that the relationship he has with his sister — I’m not talking about the sexual stuff — that’s what it is — but the fact that he’s given up so much for his love, for a woman who I don’t think she feels the same for him as he does for her, they’re just very different. The fact that he was finally forced to be away from her and that environment had a lot to do with finally being able to realize who he is. That’s one half. The other half is the whole being the Kinglsayer and that whole identity, that he hates more than anything. As we find out, what he thought was in many ways the proudest moment of his life has been turned into this really horrible disgraceful moment.

How do they accomplish the no-hand effect? Is it something low-tech, like hiding it in your sleeve most of the time, or is it significantly more complicated than that?

(laughs) There are quite a few different (methods). I think I have three different prosthetic arms. In the wide shots, when I’m riding the horse, it’s just my own arm that I just hide as much as I can. As soon as I get a little closer, we have to go with the prosthetic. There are a couple of different ways to do it. One is I have my own arm down by my crotch or my crack and try to hide it. The last one is the bath house scene where I’m naked, they had to come in and attach a whole arm to my skin, and then I wore a green glove so they could just paint out my own arm. I hear they’re working on something magical for next season.

Let’s talk about the bath house scene, because you don’t ordinarily think of a hot tub as a moment for emotional soul-searching, but you’re delivering this great monologue. What do you remember about getting that speech, doing that speech and also having to do this big emotional moment while wearing the fake arm and the green glove?

It was a massive scene on many levels. As I said before, I knew this moment was coming, and it was very important for me. There were a lot of dangers. There’s all these visual things, it could become very cheesey, I think, if we didn’t do it right. So we were very lucky. Alex Graves, the director of this episode, and Bryan Cogman, who wrote a beautiful adaptation, were very very good at allowing me and Gwen to really have time on set, a few days before we got to shoot it. Not so much actually rehearse the scene as just talking about it, and making sure that all these practical questions are answered: How are we going to shoot the nudity? How naked are we going to be? Where will the camera be? How am I going to have my arm under water? All those things you don’t want to think about while you’re doing this scene where for the first time ever, he tells someone the truth of what he’s been carrying around for so many years. And then when we did it, they were very nice in allowing me to do full takes, which was crazy hard on everyone involved. You do a scene like this, and it’s a very long scene, and then you want to do three takes, four takes, and we went way over that period we had to shoot it. It was a very long and hard day, but it was one of the best days I’ve ever had on a set.

I’m curious about the working relationship between you and Gwen, since she was your main scene partner for this entire season. How did the two of you work together, and did the bond that developed in any way parallel what was going on between Jaime and Brienne?

She is a great, great actress. She has so many good qualities. Work-wise and professionally, she is extremely dedicated, and it’s very important for her, even personally, I think she identifies deeply with Brienne and wants to do her justice. It’s just great that way that we share this passion for the characters. And we discovered early on that we share the same sense of humor, which is a very — how do you call it? — to most people, we sound as if we’re fighting all the time, kind of carrying on the relationship Jaime and Brienne have into the real world. We’re having a lot of fun, but we say nasty things to each other all the time.

Like what?

I wish she was here. You could call her up and ask, because she could tell you some horrible things about me pretty quick. It’s just a constant. I’m not thinking of one right now, unfortunately. We just have a lot of fun. I’m sure the people working around us are sick and tired of us by now. Maybe it’s because the scenes are so serious. This season in particular has been very traumatic on many levels for both characters. She’s been nearly raped and killed by a bear. I had my hand chopped off. I think we both, without talking about it, had a need to lighten up between scenes.

You mentioned the bear, so I wanted to ask about when you went to California to shoot the stuff with Bart.

Yes, Bart the Bear the Second. I didn’t know there was a First, but he’s the Second. It was crazy! Most of the scene was shot with all the extras in Belfast in October of last year, and then we came out in January to shoot with the bear. To be on the set with an animal that size and that smell is quite extraordinary. And to see what the trainers could make him do. It’s really surprising.

Now, this is a trained bear, and there are handlers and controlled conditions, but you’re jumping into a pit with a giant bear.

(laughs) The way they control it is there’s a tiny little wire that goes across between the set and the cameras and the crew. Just a tiny wire. And there’s a little battery in the end of it. So if you hit it, you’re going to get electrocuted with like 9 volts. That’s what keeps the bear in place. If the bear was upset or something, that wouldn’t stop him. He would just go. Once they brought Bart out, we all had to stay where we were. You couldn’t leave, you couldn’t arrive, couldn’t eat anything. Everybody had one job, which was one job: we had to cheer and applaud Bart constantly. To make him go onset, we had to go, ‘Bart, you’re the best! Good boy! That’s a good boy!’ And as soon as you yell cut, there would be cheers and applause, you could see Bart, he was kind of looking out, sniffing the air, and then they would throw some fish at him. It was amazing. I think I’ve only worked with a few actors like that before, but he was one of the biggest divas.

Obviously, the people who have read the books knew already about the transformation you were going to go through this year, but for the fans you encounter who just know you through the show, has that changed a bit now that Jaime’s been painted in a more sympathetic light? Or are there people who just can’t let go of the fact that you threw Bran out a window?

It’s been very interesting. I’ve had people say that they love the show and like what I do but they hate Jaime because he’s so horrible. But now I get a lot of, (American accent), ‘I never thought I was gonna say this, but he’s a nice guy. He’s a good guy!’ The funny thing is, what I love about the show is that it’s all perspective. One of my favorite lines of the season was Tywin in the last episode where they talk about the Red Wedding, he asks someone to explain why it’s morally sounder to kill 10,000 on a battlefield instead of 12 people at a supper. And it’s true. But we invested in the Starks, and it’s horrible and terrible, and it’s a horrifying incident — but if we’d been invested in all these Lannister soldiers on the battlefield, it would have been horrible as well. I just like the way we play with perspective. Jaime, I’ve never seen him as a bad guy before. Of course his actions have been very brutal, but I’ve never seen him as a baddie doing something horrible just because he likes it. It’s more the fact that we all have the capability within us to do stupid things — horrible things.


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