Born: July 3, 1965
Birthplace: Frederikshavn, Denmark
Connie Inge-Lise Nielsen (born 3 July 1965) is a Danish actress whose first major role in an English-language film was a supporting role in The Devil's Advocate (1997). Her films include, Gladiator (2000), Mission to Mars (2000), One Hour Photo (2002), Basic (2003), The Hunted (2003), The Ice Harvest (2005), and Nymphomaniac (2014). She starred as Meredith Kane on the Starz TV series Boss (2011-2012) and was a lead character in the second season of The Following. She has joined the DC Extended Universe, appearing as Hippolyta in its films Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League (2017).
Nielsen was born in Frederikshavn and grew up in the village of Elling, Denmark. Her father, Bent Nielsen, was a bus driver, and her mother was an insurance clerk, who also acted and wrote musical reviews. She was raised a Mormon. She began her acting career working alongside her mother on the local revue and variety scene. At 18, she traveled to Paris, France, where she worked as an actress and model, which led to further work and study in Italy—at drama school in Rome and in master classes with Lydia Styx, a teacher at Piccolo Teatro di Milano in Milan. She lived in Italy for many years before moving to the United States, where she still resides.
Nielsen's feature film debut was the Jerry Lewis French film Par où t'es rentré ? On t'a pas vu sortir in 1984, followed by a role in the Italian mini-series Colletti Bianchi in 1988. She appeared in the Italian film Vacanze di Natale '91 (1991) and the French film Le Paradis Absolument (1993).
She moved to the United States in the mid-1990s and made her first appearance in a major English-language film in 1997 as Christabella Andreoli in The Devil's Advocate, starring opposite Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves. This first minor breakthrough led to roles in the films Permanent Midnight (1998), Rushmore (1998), and Soldier (1998).
In 2000, Nielsen appeared as Lucilla in Scott's Gladiator, starring opposite Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Since then, she has starred in American films including Mission to Mars (2000), One Hour Photo (2002), The Hunted (2003), and Basic (2003), for which she had to cut off most of her hair. She also starred in the French thriller Demonlover (2002), directed by Olivier Assayas. She played the Irish mother to an orphan in A Shine of Rainbows (2009).
In 2004, Nielsen made her Danish film debut in the drama, Brødre (also known as Brothers), for which she won the Danish Best Actress Award, the Bodil, as well as Best Actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. She was also nominated for Best Actress at the European Film Awards. In 2006, Nielsen appeared in several episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Dani Beck. She filled in for Mariska Hargitay, who was on maternity leave at the time of filming.
Alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jamie Bell and Uma Thurman, Nielsen appeared in the 2014 Lars Von Trier film Nymphomaniac. Nielsen was featured in a series of promotional posters prior to the film's release, a campaign The Independent described as "shocking", writing, "Connie Nielsen appears somewhat moist in this poster for Nymphomaniac".
In 2015 she appeared on the latest TV-2 album Det gode liv where she sang along with Steffen Brandt on the track "Brev til Mona".
From 2004 to 2012, Nielsen dated Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. They have one son together, Bryce Thadeus Ulrich-Nielsen (born 21 May 2007, in San Francisco, California). She has an older son, hip-hop producer Sebastian Sartor (born 27 November 1989), from a previous relationship.
Nielsen is a polyglot who speaks eight languages: Danish, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, and some Spanish.
|1984||Par où t'es rentré ? On t'a pas vu sortir||Eva||as Connie Nielson|
|1991||Vacanze di Natale '91||Brunilde/Vanessa|
|1997||The Devil's Advocate||Christabella Andreoli|
|2000||Dark Summer||Megan Denright|
|2000||Mission to Mars||Terri Fisher|
|2000||Gladiator||Lucilla||Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress - Action
Nominated—Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
|2002||One Hour Photo||Nina Yorkin||Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
|2002||Demonlover||Diane de Monx|
|2003||The Hunted||Abby Durrell|
|2004||Brødre||Sarah||Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actress|
|2004||Return to Sender||Charlotte Cory|
|2005||The Great Raid||Margaret Utinsky|
|2005||The Ice Harvest||Renata Crest|
|2006||The Situation||Anna Molyneux|
|2007||Battle in Seattle||Jean|
|2009||A Shine of Rainbows||Maire|
|2013||Nymphomaniac||Joe's Mother||Part 1 only|
|2013||The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden||Baroness Von Wagner||Narration/voice|
|2014||3 Days to Kill||Christine Renner|
|2014||Return to Zero||Dr. Claire Holden|
|2015||The Runner||Deborah Price|
|2016||Ali and Nino||Duchess Kipiani|
|2016||The 11th||Katrine Firth|
|2016||Music, War and Love||Lena|
|2016||The Confessions||Claire Seth|
|2017||Music, War and Love||Lena||Post-production|
|2018||The Catcher Was a Spy||Post-production|
|TBA||Tonight at Noon||Laura||Completed|
|1993||Voyage||Ronnie Freeland||Television movie|
|1994||Le paradis absolument||Sarah||Television movie|
|2006||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Detective Dani Beck||6 episodes|
|2008||Danny Fricke||Danny Fricke||Television movie|
|2011-2012||Boss||Meredith Rutledge Kane||16 episodes|
|2014||The Following||Lily Gray||10 episodes|
|2014-2015||The Good Wife||Ramona Lytton||4 episodes|
|2015||Unveiled||Joan McAllen||Television movie|