Image Source: HBO
If you were watching the Game of Thrones season seven premiere and wondered why Joshua Jackson cosplaying as Jack Sparrow is trying to convince Cersei to marry him, you may have been a bit confused. But despite Euron Greyjoy’s startling resemblance to a certain Dawson’s Creek heartthrob, he is in fact played by a Danish actor who is not well known in the United States.
Meet Johan Philip “Pilou” Asbaek, a 35-year-old hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, who joined Game of Thrones in season six as Euron Greyjoy, younger brother to Theon and Yara’s father Balon (and also Balon’s murderer). Euron is now King of the Iron Islands and has proposed an alliance with the Lannisters at King’s Landing, so Asbaek is presumably sticking around Westeros for a while.
This is Asbaek’s first major TV project outside of his home country. After graduating from the Danish National School of Theatre in 2008, he starred in season two of the Danish crime series The Killing and then Borgen, a political drama on which Asbaek played a public relations/communications specialist named Kasper Juul.
In addition to Game of Thrones, in recent years Asbaek has appeared in a number of bigger name films, like The Great Wall with Matt Damon, Ghost in the Shell alongside Scarlett Johansson, and as the villain Pontius Pilate in the 2016 version of Ben-Hur.
Image Source: Everett Collection
But Game of Thrones is definitely where Asbaek, who goes by “Pilou” because it was a childhood nickname given to him by his mother, has gained the most fame – and it sounds like it has been a lot of fun for him. He recently told MTV News that Euron is going to be stirring up a lot of trouble in season seven: “Enough to get satisfied – good satisfied.”