Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist was a Swedish actor. Born in Stockholm to an Italian father and Swedish mother, Nyqvist was put up for adoption and was later adopted by a Swedish couple. He took his first acting class in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was attending his senior year of high school as an exchange student. He made his acting debut in 1982 and went on to gain prominence after playing the role of a police officer in a TV series titled ‘Beck,’ which was aired from 1997 to 1998. He then started playing important roles in movies like ‘Together,’ ‘Home Sweet Home,’ and ‘Making Babies.’ Another movie for which he received praise was ‘Grabben i graven bredvid,’ where he played the lead role. He received international recognition after -playing the role of Mikael Blomkvist in a series of three films, based on a popular trilogy of novels known as the ‘Millennium’ series. Later on, he played important roles in movies like ‘Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol’ and ‘John Wick.’ He played the central role in a film titled ‘As It Is in Heaven,’ which received ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ nomination at the 77th ‘Academy Awards.’
Childhood & Early Life
Michael Nyqvist was born on November 8, 1960, in Stockholm, Sweden, to an Italian father and a Swedish mother who put him up for adoption. When he was a year old, a Swedish couple adopted him.
At the age of 17, he spent his senior year of high school in Omaha, Nebraska. He took his acting class while attending high school as an exchange student in Nebraska before landing a small role in the school’s production of ‘Death of a Salesman.’
After that, he came back to Sweden and joined a ballet school, only to drop out of the school after a year. Next, he joined the ‘Malmö Theatre Academy’ to continue acting.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Michael Nyqvist started his acting career by playing theatre roles. In the year of 1982, he made his screen debut by playing a minor role in a TV movie titled ‘Kamraterna.’ He then started receiving roles in TV series and movies.
He got his first major role in 1997 when he was cast to play the role of a police officer named John Banck in a TV series titled ‘Beck.’ Nyqvist gained prominence as an actor after playing Banck in the series.
His big breakthrough came in the year 2000 when he was cast to play Rolf in Lukas Moodysson-directed film ‘Together.’ The film not only gained worldwide fame but also brought Nyqvist his first ‘Guldbagge Award’ nomination.
The film ‘Grabben i graven bredvid’ earned him a ‘Guldbagge Award.’ He received the ‘Guldbagge Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role.’ Consequently, Nyqvist’s popularity as an actor increased.
In 2004, he landed the lead role in the movie ‘As It Is in Heaven,’ which was nominated at the 77th ‘Academy Awards.’ In the movie, he played the role of Daniel Daréus, a musician and conductor.
He also acted in the movie ‘The Black Pimpernel,’ which released in 2007. In the movie, he played the role of Harald Edelstam, a Swedish diplomat.
Michael Nyqvist gained international recognition when he acted in the ‘Millennium’ series: ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire,’ and ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.’
In the 2011 film ‘Abduction,’ he played a terrorist. In the same year, he starred in the famous action thriller film, ‘Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.’ In the film, he played Kurt Hendricks, a Russian nuclear strategist.
He played the role of an antagonist in the popular action-thriller film ‘John Wick’ which released in the year 2014. Here, he played a Russian mobster named Viggo Tarasov. Nyqvist studied his Russian instructors and practiced a Russian martial art called ‘Sambo’ while preparing for the role. Director Chad Stahelski later revealed that Keanu Reeves' stoicism contrasted well with Nyqvist's quirkiness which worked in favor of the film.
Continue Reading Below
On July 19, 2016, he was cast to play Captain Sergei Andropov in a movie titled ‘Hunter Killer.’ Directed by Donovan Marsh, the film was based on a 2012 novel titled ‘Firing Point’ by George Wallace and Don Keith. ‘Hunter Killer’ released posthumously on October 26, 2018.
Michael Nyqvist became popular as an actor in Sweden when he played the role of John Banck in the TV series ‘Beck.’ He played Banck in seven episodes and received appreciation for his role.
‘As It Is in Heaven’ is the film that took him to the global stage. In the film, he played the lead role of Daniel Daréus who -becomes a choirmaster from being a famous international conductor.
He played the role of a Russian mobster named Viggo Tarasov in ‘John Wick’ which turned out to be one of his most remarkable performances.
Awards & Achievements
He received a ‘Guldbagge Award’ nomination for best supporting actor for the film ‘Together.’
He won ‘Guldbagge Award’ for best actor for the film ‘Grabben i graven bredvid.’
Family & Personal Life
In 1990, he married a Finnish scenographer named Catharina Ehrnrooth. They had two children, namely Ellen and Arthur. While Ellen was born in 1991, Arthur was born in 1996.
When Michael Nyqvist met his biological mother, she refused to disclose the identity of his father. He then did some research on his own and found his father to be Marcello, an Italian pharmacist.
In his autobiography, he wrote that he felt a sense of belonging and that he was free of distress after knowing about his biological father. He also wrote about his quest for finding his biological parents in his autobiography.
Michael Nyqvist passed away on June 27, 2017, after losing his battle to lung cancer. He was 56 years old at the time of his death.
Michael Nyqvist’s father worked as a lawyer and his mother is a writer. His biological father, Marcelo, is a pharmacist.
While shooting for the film ‘John Wick,’ his head was injured in an accident. He later claimed that he had a near-death experience after the accident.