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'My wife was a bit starstruck': Foreigners' top encounters with Danish celebrities

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
'My wife was a bit starstruck': Foreigners' top encounters with Danish celebrities
The Danish actor Lars Mikkeslen photographed with his two sons after a handball match in Copenhagen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

We're asking The Local's readers to tell us of times they met a Danish celebrity. Here are the best stories so far.

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Some readers shared stories of encounters with Danish royalty in a park or building completely unaccompanied by security personnel or any other entourage, others of meeting Danish filmstars or billionaires who showed surprising humility. 

We're still keen to add to this story to build up an even better bank of anecdotes showing just how approachable Danish celebrities can be, so if you have had any encounters of your own, please fill in the form at the bottom of the article, or else just tell us in the comments section.

The actor Lars Mikkelsen receives Denmark's Bodil prize in 2022. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

One New Yorker, who has now been living in Copenhagen for nine years, remembers bumping into one of Denmark's biggest stars during a visit to a somewhat seedy bar. 

"I was at a bodega in Vesterbro just a couple months after moving to Copenhagen when Lars Mikkelsen walked in. My Danish wife was a bit starstruck and pointed him out. I knew who he was but hadn't realised when he came in," he remembers.

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Lars Mikkelsen and his brother Mads are two of Denmark's biggest film stars, winning roles in big international films and TV series, as well as appearing in many of their country's biggest domestic hits. 

Lars came to international recognition with his role as the Copenhagen mayor electoral candidate Troels Hartmann in The Killing, the Danish TV series that marked the start of the Scandi Noir trend. He then played the Russian president Viktor Petrov in House of Cards, a hit US series, and the mage Stregobor in the Netflix series The Witcher. 

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The New Yorker, however, wasn't phased by Mikkelsen's global fame, and when his Danish wife left to go to the toilet, his American sociability got the better of him, with impressive results. 

"I noticed him and his friends were setting up to play Danish billiards. Having no idea how to play, I went up and asked him to teach me. He was very kind and walked me through the rules. My wife came back and couldn't believe what she was seeing. All in all a nice intro to Copenhagen." 

The Kongens Have park is home to the Rosenborg Castle, which houses the Danish crown jewels. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

A Brazilian woman who was working at a café close to the entrance of Kongens have, was too new to Copenhagen to identify her celebrity guest: "One day a guy came in who looked very familiar." 

She said that she knew his face and asked him whether he drank in the Globe Irish bar, as she had worked there previously and thought she might had seen him there.

"He said no, I am Prince Frederik." 

Apparently, he was very humble and not at all offended not to be recognised. 

King Frederik X was quite humble when he walked into a cafe just outside Kongens Have. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Jianing Ye, a Chinese girl living in Copenhagen, met a very nice Dane at a driving test, and only discovered on her return home that he was a moderately famous indie musician. 

"I met an exceptionally amiable guy at my second manoeuvre driving test, as I failed the first one, who kept encouraging and translating everything for me in English," she remembers. "We got a ride back to city together and chatted on the way. He seemed to have an interesting job touring around the world. I googled his first name and he turned out to be Jonas Bjerre, the lead singer of Mew." 

The Danish indie rock band Mew performing in Oslo in 2018. Photo: Tory Sætre
 

A Canadian living on the coast north of Copenhagen went on a backstage tour of a ballet at the Tivoli, where they had an encounter with another Danish royal. 

"My Danish husband and I took my parents to a very modern ballet when they were here visiting. It took you on a tour of the basement where the dancers get ready and then out on the stage at the end so you could feel what is was like to be a dancer," she remembers.

"It was a special experience as we were last in line so the entire audience was already sat while we walked out on stage. A humbling experience, but what made it even more special is when we turned around and Queen Margrethe was right behind us. That day it paid to be late."

A Canadian reader bumped into Queen Margrethe II backstage at a ballet. Photo: Lars Møller/ Danish Royal Court
 
Klaus Bogstad, an 80-year-old Danish Brit who has been living in the UK since he came in a child in 1949, said that he had met the Nina van Pallandt, the 1960s Danish singer, along with her then husband and musical partner Fredrik van Pallandt, a Dutch baron, in London in the 1960s. 
 
Nina van Pallandt and her then husband Fredrik in London in the 1960s. Photo: Klaus Bogstad
 
Maria, a Russian woman living in Kongens Lyngby, went to Copenhagen Zoo in 2019 to visit the new panda house designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, and was surprised to see Ingels himself visiting the zoo. 
 
"We got very excited and wanted to come up and say 'hello'. but then changed our minds because he was there with his wife and their baby so we decided not to bother them. I guess he also came to see the results of his efforts. We like architecture and just before our trip to Denmark had watched a documentary about the architect."

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The Danish press gather for the opening of the Panda enclosure of Copenhagen Zoo in 2019. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
 
 
 

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