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Pär Ola Rapace (Swedish: [²uːla raˈpasː]; Norell; born 3 December 1971)[2] is a Swedish actor.

Ola Rapace
Pär Ola Norell

(1971-12-03) 3 December 1971 (age 47)
Tyresö, Sweden
Years active1999–present
Noomi Rapace
(m. 2001; div. 2011)
ChildrenLine (b. 1999)
Lev (b. 2003)[1]


Early lifeEdit

Ola Rapace was born on 3 December 1971 in Tyresö, Stockholm County, Sweden as Pär Ola Norell. He grew up mainly in Vallentuna, a middle-class suburb of Stockholm. When he was 1 years old, his parents separated, and he was raised by his father. He grew up playing football and listening to heavy metal.[3]

While studying philosophy at University of Montpellier, France, he discovered acting.[4]


His first screen role was in Lukas Moodysson's film Together, a bittersweet comedy about hippie-socialist values set in a Stockholm homeshare commune. The film won several awards at international film festivals,[2] including the Paris Film Festival Special Jury Prize, and Philadelphia Film Festival Jury Award.[5]

Rapace's big breakthrough came with the popular TV series Tusenbröder about a group handymen who get involved with organized crime.[6] Immediately followed the role as Stefan Lindman in Wallander, which was based on Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander books.[7]

He continued with several police and crime related TV-series, including portraying Daniel Nordström in the Danish police TV show Anna Pihl,[2] Crimes of Passion,[8] a crime drama set in 1950's rural Sweden, Farang[9] about a Scandinavian ex-convict living in Thailand and Hassel, an updated dark and gritty cop show based on a classic series of books from the 70's and 80's. This was a cop show he also executive produced.[10]

While he has worked many cop shows, Rapace has been very critical of the genre. In 2012 he told Cafe Magazine: All the Wallander and Beck films are worthless. There is no credibility, it does not work to investigate thousands of murders in Ystad year after year. In the end it becomes a joke, and the quality becomes so low that one has no other option but to shut down the production.[11]

His first English-language film was the 2004 independent movie Rancid starring Matthew Settle (from Band of Brothers and Gossip Girl). A much bigger project was the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall,[12] where he portrayed the hitman "Patrice".

In 2015 he moved to Paris, France and has since worked on Swedish, French and international projects. In 2016, he starred in the French science fiction film Ares and soon after followed Section Zéro, a French TV-series about a para-military police squad in the near future.

Rapace had a supporting role as Major Gibson in Luc Besson's 2017 French/American big budget comic book/science fiction film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.[13]

In 2018 Rapace will be the main antagonist in season 3 of Netflix/BBC's popular Viking drama The Last Kingdom as "Jarl Sigurd Bloodhair".[14][15]

When Below the Surface (Gidseltagningen), a Danish drama about 15 innocent people held hostage underground in a subway train, returns for a second season 2019, Rapace will join the cast as "Yusef".[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Rapace married actress Noomi Rapace in 2001, divorcing in 2011; they have a son, Lev, who was born in 2003.[1][17][18][19] Together, they chose the surname Rapace after they were married, which means "bird of prey" in French and Italian.[2] Rapace lived in France for several years and speaks fluent French.[2]

For years Ola and Noomi were preyed upon by Swedish tabloids. Noomi's international career was taking off, and Ola, who was never afraid of an argument, were frequently featured in gossip magazines and tabloids. [20] He has had several run-ins with the law, including spending the night in a jail in Austria [21]. In October 2008, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and steroids, which resulted in a fine for a minor drug offense in April 2009.[22] [23]

In May 2019 he married Sonja Jawo, in Paris. Sonja Jawo is the older sister of Aino Jawo, of Swedish electropop duo Icona pop. [24] [25]



  1. ^ a b Carlberg, Ingrid (19 January 2010). "Nominerad till DN:s kulturpris 2010: Noomi Rapace" [Nominated for the 2010 DN Culture Prize: Noomi Rapace]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ola Rapace". General-Anzeiger (in German). Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  3. ^ "»Den skapande mannen är en roll«". 16 January 2011.
  4. ^ Spektra, T. T. (10 December 2012). "Ola Rapace siktar på Frankrike".
  5. ^ "Tillsammans - IMDb" – via
  6. ^ "Polisen slog till på riktigt". Aftonbladet.
  7. ^ Häggström, Andreas (20 August 2008). "Rapaces super-kropp" [Rapace' super body]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Filmatiserade Langdeckare förför med nostalgi och sexiga undertoner".
  9. ^ "Sun, surf and sex – 'Farang' is not your typical Scandi thriller". Guide.
  10. ^ "Ola Rapace tvekan för superrollen i "Hassel"". Aftonbladet.
  11. ^ "Ola Rapace: Alla "Wallander" och "Beck" är ju värdelösa". Aftonbladet.
  12. ^ "@007: 8 November". Twitter. Twitter Inc. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Exklusivt: Ola Rapace i Luc Bessons sci-fi". MovieZine.
  14. ^ Debnath, Neela (25 September 2018). "The Last Kingdom season 3 cast: Who is playing Bloodhair? Who is Ola Rapace?".
  15. ^ "Ola Rapace får stor skurkroll i Netflix-serien "The Last Kingdom"". MovieZine.
  16. ^ "Lise starring in the second season of the danish series "Gidseltagningen"". Lise Risom Olsen.
  17. ^ "'Millennium'-stjärnan Noomi Rapace har ansökt om skilsmässa från maken Ola Rapace". (in Swedish). Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  18. ^ "The Drop's Noomi Rapace: on her rough past and the pressure to be sexy". The Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  19. ^ Gritten, David (18 February 2010). "Noomi Rapace interview: the world's most seductive sleuth". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Ola Rapace: Därför lämnade Noomi mig".
  21. ^ "Ola Rapace: "Bond var en lekstuga för mig" - Nöje - Expressen".
  22. ^ Hjertén, Linda (3 April 2009). "Ola Rapace dömd för ringa narkotikabrott" [Ola Rapace convicted of minor drug offenses]. Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Nu ska Ola Rapace upp i rätten". 26 March 2009.
  24. ^ "Ola Rapace har gift sig i hemlighet i Paris".
  25. ^ Dorholt, Ingunn (16 May 2019). "Giftet seg i skjul med «hemmelig» kjæreste". Seher.

External linksEdit