‘Danish PM’ gets starring role in HBO series

Best known as Borgen's fictional prime minister, Birgitte Nyborg, Sidse Babett Knudsen has landed a key role in Westworld, a new HBO series based on a 1973 science fiction film.

'Danish PM' gets starring role in HBO series
Sidse Babett Knudsen will go from battling journalists as Birgitte Nyborg to dealing with robots in Westworld. Photo: Mike Kollöffel, DR

Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen has been added to the cast of HBO's upcoming series Westworld, joining other new additions Clifton Collins (Pacific Rim), Eion Bailey (Fight Club, Band of Brothers) and Jimmi Simpson (The Newsroom, House of Cards).


Knudsen, who shot to international fame playing Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in Borgen, will also join well-known actors like Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood in the JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan production.


The Copenhagen-born actress will play the role of Theresa Cullen, the head of operations at a robot park, a role that was initially to be filled by Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings).


Knudsen has been getting more English-speaking roles following the conclusion of Borgen. Earlier this year, she starred in the erotic film The Duke of Burgundy.




She has also landed a role in A Hologram for the King, an upcoming film based on the Dave Eggers novel of the same name, which will star Tom Hanks and is expected to be released later this year.


See also: What makes Danish TV so cool?


The new international roles don't mean Knudsen has left Denmark behind, however. She was recently seen in the DR series 1864. Knudsen's turn in Borgen earned her an Emmy Award nomination for best actress in 2010 and the series has joined previous successes The Killing and The Bridge as Denmark's most successful TV exports


Knudsen is not the only Borgen actress to land in an HBO series. Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, who played reporter Katrine Fønsmark, appeared in an episode of the network's wildly-successful Game of Thrones


An official trailer for Westworld was shown at the recent Comic Con but has not yet been released online. 

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Why has Denmark made a children’s TV show about the ‘world’s longest penis’?

The everyday adventures of new Danish kids' TV character John Dillermand like walking the dog or going to the zoo might not look like the stuff of scandal -- if the tales didn't often revolve around his oversized penis.

Why has Denmark made a children’s TV show about the 'world's longest penis'?
An image from the first episode of 'John Dillermand'. Photo: DR/Louise Bergholt Sørensen

Even in one of the world's most progressive countries, the stories of the man with “the world's longest willy” have sparked debate about just what is appropriate for children in the programme's target audience of four- to eight-year-olds.

“We think it's important to be able to tell stories about bodies,” public broadcaster DR posted on Facebook Tuesday.

“In the series, we recognise (young children's) growing curiosity about their bodies and genitals, as well as embarrassment and pleasure in the body.”

Broadcast on kids' channel Ramasjang, the first of Dillermand's 13 episodes has already been watched 140,000 times since it was released on January 2nd.

His extra-long member is often key to the wacky situations in which he finds himself at one point floating over the city thanks to balloons tied to his tackle.

“It's a very Danish show. We have a tradition to push the limits and use humour and we think it's totally normal,” education expert Sophie Munster told AFP.

With some members of the public posting outrage online, far-right MP Morten Messerschmidt attacked the show in a Facebook post.

“I don't think looking at adult men's genitalia should be turned into something normal for children. Is this what you call public service?” he fumed.

Munster argued however: “The debate is from an adult perspective, in which the long penis is sexualised. Children have a different perspective.

“The size of the penis is exaggerated so much, children realise it's a joke.”

The series can be watched via broadcaster DR's website.

READ ALSO: Danish zoo invites kids to watch lion dissection (2015)