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Niels Arestrup

Niels Arestrup

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BIOGRAPHY

Since the 1960s, French-Danish actor Niels Arestrup has played shady and corrupt characters in everything from theatrical stage productions to feature films. After graduating from high school, Arestrup trained at the prestigious drama academy founded by Russian actress Tania Balachova. He began acting in the theater, and by the early 1970s had transitioned to film and TV with a steady stream of supporting roles in films like "Stavisky...," about a charismatic con man who almost touches off a civil war in 1930s France; and the political comedy thriller "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." By the end of the '80s, he had moved on from background supporting roles to more substantial parts: he was cast as an antagonistic mercenary in the "Dirty Dozen"-inspired action adventure film "Les loups entre eux," and played a fascist-sympathizing police commander in the political thriller "La Rumba." After spending several years appearing in made-for-TV movies and low-profile thrillers, Arestrup reignited his career in 2005 with a searing performance in Jacques Audiard's BAFTA-winning crime film "The Beat that My Heart Skipped." Arestrup brought a weary toughness to his role as Robert Seyr, a career criminal and deadbeat landlord who forces his son to serve as his enforcer. He later portrayed a viciously cunning Corsican crime boss in Audiard's critically-acclaimed prison drama "A Prophet," and has also appeared as a former hostage victim in the 2007 biopic "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and as a kindly grandfather in Steven Spielberg's World War I epic "War Horse."

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