This is Denmark stock exchange

Sidse Babett Knudsen interview

Strange how the mind plays tricks and you find yourself confusing a real life actress with the character who has become her defining role.

moncler outlet uk I weighing up how my meeting with Knudsen will play out, but in my imagination it is Birgitte I be interviewing. She will receive me in the prime minister office, wearing an impeccably tailored grey power suit, with moncler sale outlet a crisp white shirt beneath it. From behind her imposing desk she will answer my questions non committally, while remaining polite, diplomatic and maintaining eye contact. moncler outlet uk

moncler sale Then after only 10 minutes an aide will pop a head around her door and murmur, moncler mens jackets ‘The foreign secretary is here, Prime Minister. She will extend a firm hand across her desk and bestow a dazzling smile on me while wrinkling her nose. It is an adorable gesture that nevertheless means only one thing: my time is up, whether I like it or not. moncler sale

moncler factory outlet That is how I foresee it. But of course it doesn turn out that way at all. moncler factory outlet

The one thing I got right is that I would meet her near the heart of the state of Denmark. Brsen, a bizarre building with a corkscrew spire of four entwined dragons tails, stands beside Christiansborg Palace, which houses the country parliament and supreme court (nicknamed ‘Borgen or ‘the castle by Danes). This is Denmark stock exchange, and I find Knudsen in a jaw droppingly grand hall with stained glass windows; she slouched against a chocolate brown pillar, posing for her photo.

Knudsen returns to play the Danish politician Birgitte Nyborg in Borgen. PHOTO: BBC

moncler jackets outlet Today, there something of the rock chick about Knudsen. Her hair is longer and wilder, and she is dressed all in black jumper, jeans, high heeled knee length boots, all designed to hug her body. And there is an earthy quality to Knudsen that is immediately apparent: she roars with laughter and claps delightedly when I absent mindedly walk into shot. moncler jackets outlet

moncler outlet sale When she is through she moncler outlet online picks up a pair of bright red gloves (her only non black apparel) and we stroll across a bridge over a canal to a quiet cafe. Passers by, being approached by one of the most famous actresses in their country, simply smile at her, almost shyly. Knudsen smiles right back at them. ‘I don get harassed here, she says. ‘I ride around Copenhagen on my bike. The press are worse than they were 10 years ago, but I don get paparazzi. moncler outlet sale

That is nice for her, but there is an odd disconnect between the nonchalance with which Danes accept her moving among them and the extraordinary worldwide reception for Borgen. The buy moncler jackets series has been sold to TV in more than 70 countries; audiences and critics from Sydney to Paris, New York to London, rave about it.

Knudsen won a TV Bafta and an Emmy nomination last year. Prominent politicians in several countries are avid fans: Hillary Clinton sent the producers a warm message about the show, while the French President Franois Hollande is an addict; Saturday nights are reportedly Borgen nights for Ed Miliband and Justine Thornton.

‘It never occurred to me cheap moncler coats that this series would travel abroad, Knudsen says. ‘I mean, it about Danish coalition politics. She shrugs disbelievingly. But travel it did, and in Britain the 20 hours of moncler outlet store its first two seasons have been eagerly devoured. Viewing figures grew and grew, finally rising above the one million mark unheard of for its channel, BBC Four.

And for those who missed its original broadcasts, it has become a hot box set item for binge viewing in the manner of American series such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Wire. Hopes for the third series are runnning sky high.

cheap moncler jackets sale And the reason for this astounding success? Knudsen thinks it must be the way Borgen blends the personal and the political. In the beginning, Birgitte Nyborg becomes cheap moncler sale the leader of the centrist Moderate Party and a key player in the coalition government because of her common sense niceness: she seems liberal, humane, decent, with a conciliatory manner and a lovely, handsome family. But on becoming prime minister, she must make irritating compromises with other parties to stay in power. cheap moncler jackets sale

moncler outlet store There were thorny work life balance problems: her gentle, understanding husband, Philip (Mikael Birkkjr), grew tired of her absences from home and long working hours and gradually drifted apart from her into an affair; her teenage daughter, Laura (Freja Riemann), felt neglected and fell victim to anxiety and depression. And all the while Birgitte was keeping the coalition afloat against the odds. moncler outlet store

moncler outlet online Knudsen with Mikael Birkkjr who plays her former husband, Philip. Photo: BBC moncler outlet online

To keep all these plates spinning at home and in her workplace, she had to change and assume the mantle of her considerable power. She started to wear her hair back in a bun; her body language became more rigid. ‘I imagined her wearing a corset and tightening it a little, Knudsen says. ‘I wanted her to lose weight and be less fluffy, have a more defined contour.

moncler sale outlet So did she lose weight? ‘Yes. Seven kilos. That cheap moncler very disciplined. ‘I was going for 20! she says, laughing and slapping the table with her palm. moncler sale outlet

cheap moncler coats Indeed, playing Birgitte Nyborg has come as a revelation to her. Knudsen, who turned 45 this week, has said in the past that before Borgen she often played ‘girlie women trying to find themselves. My image was romantic comedies. I haven played that many grown ups. cheap moncler coats

moncler jacket sale Well, that has certainly changed, I tell her. ‘And about time, she says. ‘This has been a long engagement and it didn resemble any of the work I been doing before. It Moncler Outlet was a collaboration. moncler jacket sale

Knudsen as Nyborg in the third and final season of Borgen. PHOTO: BBC

cheap moncler jackets Knudsen was born into a creative, middle class Copenhagen family, with a photographer father and schoolteacher mother. On leaving school at 18 she took herself off to Paris, ‘Just for a year, to be bohemian. I thought I reinvent myself. While there she was accepted into a theatre school. ‘I had no plans to become a French actress, she says. ‘But thought I might as well have the cheap moncler jackets experience. She stayed in Paris for six years, landing small parts. ‘But moncler sale I struggled professionally. She took odd jobs to survive, working at one point in a bureau de change. cheap moncler jackets

cheap moncler outlet She regards her French adventure as crucial to her career. ‘I grateful for that detour. There was something healthy about being a foreigner. People think you odd, but I could blame it all on being Danish. On returning home, where her acting peers found her odd, she shrugged and said she had trained in France. Still, she stood out. cheap moncler outlet

moncler outlet Knudsen took theatre roles in Denmark, and made her film debut at the age of 28 in a comedy called Let Get Lost. ‘It was completely improvised, so I had to create my own character and dialogue, she recalls. To widespread surprise, it became a big hit and she won two domestic acting awards. Her career was launched. moncler outlet

Denmark leading film directors took an interest and she appeared in two films by Susanne Bier, the second of which, After the Wedding (2006), was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film. Knudsen also shot an experimental video short for Lars von Trier, Dogville: The Pilot, acted out on a moncler outlet sale bare stage marked out by chalk lines. She took the lead role, which went to Nicole Kidman when von cheap moncler outlet Trier expanded the story to feature film length.

Knudsen with Mads Mikkelsen in After the Wedding (2006). Photo: Rex Features

moncler outlet jackets Then, in 2010, came the prospect of Borgen. Knudsen had largely left TV work behind in favour of films. ‘There was a snobbery about TV [drama], a feeling it wasn much good, she says now. But the Danish state broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) changed that perception at a stroke, having created an internationally acclaimed series, The Killing, three years earlier. Knudsen admired it and noted that her actress friend Sofie Grbl had flourished in the lead role as the police detective Sarah Lund. moncler outlet jackets

Word soon spread around Copenhagen acting community that Borgen Birgitte Nyborg was the next plum role.

‘Sidse was primarily a film actress, best known for comedy. In the end she got the part because she can play Birgitte as competent and strong, but there also a fragile edge about her. That made her a spectacular choice for us. We wanted a Birgitte who viewers would be afraid for: as prime minister, would she succeed or fail?

Having landed the role, Knudsen played her part in shaping Birgitte character. ‘Each script for a Borgen episode goes through six, seven, eight drafts, Price moncler outlet says. ‘I would show Sidse the third draft, which wasn fixed, to get her opinion. But she fought to defend Birgitte to the very end to get her right.