Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish pronunciation: [nekolaɪ̯ kʰɒstɐ ˈvæltaʊ̯]; born 27 July 1970) is a Danish actor. He graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen in 1993. Coster-Waldau's breakthrough performance in Denmark was his role in the film Nightwatch (1994). Since then he has appeared in numerous films in his native Scandinavia and Europe in general, including Headhunters (2011) and A Thousand Times Good Night (2013).
In the U.S, his debut film role was in the war film Black Hawk Down (2001), playing Medal of Honor recipient Gary Gordon. He then played Detective John Amsterdam in the short-lived Fox television series New Amsterdam (2008), as well as appearing as Frank Pike in the 2009 Fox television film Virtuality, originally intended as a pilot. He became widely known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2018. He is a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, drawing attention to critical issues such as gender equality and climate change.