Mikael Persbrandt

Mikael Åke Persbrandt is a Swedish actor. In Swedish films, he is perhaps best known for playing Gunvald Larsson in the Beck series of movies. He is internationally known for his starring role in the Academy Award-winning feature, In a Better World, directed by Susanne Bier. His performance earned him a 2011 European Film Award nomination for Best Actor. Other parts include the role of Carl Hamilton from the novels by Jan Guillou, Beorn in The Hobbit, as well as Jakob Nyman in the British TV series Sex Education.

Early life

Persbrandt was born in Jakobsberg, Järfälla Municipality, Stockholm County.


He has performed onstage with the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and in numerous film and TV roles. Persbrandt is well known for his role as the hardboiled police inspector Gunvald Larsson, in the Beck series of films. He won the Guldbagge Award for Best Actor in a leading role twice, the first in 2009 for Everlasting Moments and the second in 2014 for Nobody Owns Me. In 2015, Persbrandt reported that he would quit starring in his popular role of Gunvald Larsson. In 2019, Persbrandt began playing Jakob Nyman in the Netflix comedy drama Sex Education.

Public image and legal issues

Sex appeal

Persbrandt has often been noted for his good looks, and when Swedish media makes lists of the most attractive Swedish men, he has often been on those lists.

''Expressen'' dispute

In December 2005, Persbrandt notified police that the newspaper Expressen had made false accusations about him having acute alcohol poisoning and being admitted to a clinic in Uppsala. The information was inaccurate. Expressen apologised and admitted that their information was false, but the apology was not accepted by Persbrandt. Otto Sjöberg, at the time editor of the newspaper was fined 75,000 SEK, in damages to Persbrandt.

Drug use

Persbrandt was arrested twice in 2011 for cocaine use and received a fine. In April 2014, he was sentenced to five months' imprisonment for another cocaine offence, but on appeal this was reduced to 75 hours' community service.

Personal life

He is in a relationship with Sanna Lundell and the couple have three children together. He has previously been married to Maria Bonnevie.


All the performances are in Swedish.
1984King LearThe Royal Dramatic TheatreExtra
1985Julius CaesarThe Royal Dramatic TheatreExtra
1991RekviemTeater Galeasen
1992Ferrando BrunoTeater Galeasen
1993GatanTeater Galeasen
1993Roberto ZuccoTeater Galeasen
1994Three SistersTeater Galeasen
1995ÄnglarTeater Galeasen
1996PuntilaThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
1996Death of a salesmanTeater Plaza
1998The Good Person of SzechwanThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
1998Lång dags färd mot nattThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
1999Don JuanThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
2000Maria StuartThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
2000VildandenThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
2002Leka med eldenThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
2004Arbetarklassens sista hjältarLilla elverket
2005Miss JulieThe Royal Dramatic Theatre
2005Lik som mänVasateatern
2007MåsenTeater Galeasen
2009I väntan på GodotStockholm City Theatre
2014DödsdansenMaxim Theatre