Borgen’s Sidse Babett Knudsen eyes Festival

Sidse Babett Knudsen says that she feels an affinity between Copenhagen and Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
Sidse Babett Knudsen says that she feels an affinity between Copenhagen and Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
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The star of the hit TV series Borgen has admitted she dreams of leaving the machinations of the political world behind to return to her first love, the stage – and could even make her return by appearing at Edinburgh’s world-renowned Festival.

In town to promote the DVD release of the Bafta-winning BBC 4 series, Sidse Babett Knudsen revealed exclusively to the Evening News that the thought of being part of the Festival is an attractive one.

The Copenhagen-born actress, who plays Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg, said: “First and foremost I would like to come and watch the Festival, but it might be fun to do something on the old stage again, at some point. I would love to work in English more, I haven’t done a lot in English.”

Sidse, who trained in Paris and is fluent in English, French and her native tongue, continued: “There are millions of roles I would like to play, some of them initially written for men.”

Edinburgh’s gain would be TV’s loss however as Sidse revealed that filming of Borgen has now ceased. The good news is that a third and final season has yet to be screened in the UK.

“It’s being aired right now in Denmark and will be tied up with a little ribbon and finished in the next few weeks,” said the 44-year-old, admitting that, while she has enjoyed playing the role she won’t miss being Denmark’s “Statsminister”.

“It won’t be a hard role to leave behind because it has been really, really great and I have enjoyed the whole ride. But there is an arc, it is a tale, and the story has been told. I love the fact that we ended while the show is on top and are not just keeping on going because we can.”

Which leaves plenty time for that Festival debut, which she mused could be playing two iconic roles originally made famous by Bette Davis and Joan Crawford – the aging 
sisters Jane and Blanche Hudson in Henry Farrell’s cult classic Whatever Happened To Baby Jane.

“I’m interested in the big tales,” she said, “and in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, I’d like to play both characters.”

Should she make it to the Capital one August, Sidse already knows she’ll feel at home here. There is a definite affinity between Copenhagen and Edinburgh, she insists.

“I had a quick peek around the city, in the sunshine, and it was fantastic. The light is wonderful. We also have that in Denmark. I really miss that when I travel sometimes, but the light here, when it is cold, and clear and sunny – it’s the best in the world.”