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Claes Bang
Claes Bang 2015-09-10.jpg
Bang in 2015
Claes Kasper Bang

(1967-04-28) 28 April 1967 (age 56)
Alma mater Danish National School of Theatre
Occupation Actor
Years active 1996–present
Lis Louis-Jensen
(m. 2010)
Musical career
Also known as This Is Not America
Genres Electronica, synth-pop
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar
Years active 2008–present
Labels Music for Dreams, Sound ...
Associated acts Marina

Claes Kasper Bang (Danish: [ˈkʰlɛˀs ˈpɑŋˀ]; born 28 April 1967) is a Danish actor and musician. He is best known for playing the leading role of Christian in Ruben Östlund's 2017 film The Square, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and for the role of Fjölnir in Robert Eggers's 2022 film The Northman. In 2019, he played the role of Sasha Mann for the final season of The Affair, and he rose to further international recognition by starring as Count Dracula in the BBC/Netflix series Dracula (2020). For his role in The Square, he became the first Dane to win the European Film Award for Best Actor. Bang has also developed a music career under the moniker of This Is Not America.

Early life

Bang was born in Odense on the Danish island of Funen. After his parents’ divorce, he mostly lived with his father and moved home frequently; he ended up attending several different schools while growing up. During his third year of high school, Bang participated in the musical Hair which sparked his interest in acting, and after he left school, he continued to do amateur theatre. At the age of 23, he made an application to the Danish National School of Theatre after discovering that the age limit for applying is 25. He was unsuccessful but applied again the next year and was accepted five days before his 25th birthday. He attended the school in 1992 and graduated with a diploma in 1996. His first theatre role after graduation was at Børneteatret Skægspire in the play Tudseakvariet, and he received his first breakthrough role in the Danish 1997 television show Taxa. He has worked mainly on stage and television in Denmark.

Acting career

From 2001 to 2004, he was a permanent member of the cast at Aalborg Teater. In 2002, he asked the theatre director for permission to perform a monologue called Ondskaben, which is based on Jan Guillou’s novel Evil. After leaving the theatre in 2004, Bang bought the rights to the work so he could perform the monologue at other theatres. He has performed the monologue almost 400 times, including an English language version in Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, and South Africa.

Bang starred in numerous Danish television series and films early in his career. From 2006 to 2008, he gained wide recognition (particularly in Germany) for his role in the Danish police drama Anna Pihl. He subsequently starred in several German language roles both on television (Küstenwache, SOKO Wismar, Notruf Hafenkante, Sibel & Max, and Cologne P.D.) and in film (Jungle Child, Rettet Raffi!, Alle unter einer Tanne, and Überleben an der Scheidungsfront).

He played the leading role of the art museum curator Christian in Ruben Östlund's 2017 film The Square, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. He also won the European Film Award for Best Actor, being the first Dane to do so.

In November 2018, Bang was cast to play Count Dracula in the BBC mini-series Dracula, created by the film-makers involved in Sherlock. .....

On 14 April 2020, it was announced that Bang would be working on the pilot of Little Room (previously called The Agoraphobics Detective Society), which was produced by Maggie Montieth and directed/written by his Dracula co-star Dolly Wells, with Suzi Ewing and Heidi Greensmith. Bang and the other cast members filmed themselves from home on Zoom, and were responsible for the props, wardrobe, hair and makeup, and sound. The pilot was released online by Pinpoint Presents on 27 May 2020, and viewers were asked to donate to The Film and Television Charity and the Motion Picture & Television Fund, to help those in the film, TV and cinema industries who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Music career

This Is Not America is the name of Bang's musical side project. He describes it as "a sanctuary and a creative playground where there is no director making the decisions." Bang writes and composes the songs himself, and his musical style can be described as a mix of Gangway, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode. Music videos and album art for This Is Not America are produced with help from his wife Lis Kasper Bang, née Louis-Jensen, who does the filming and photography.

Bang started composing music for fun with a recording studio on his computer in 2002. He records the piano and guitar pieces himself (he learnt these instruments when he was younger) and then programs them with other sounds on his computer. Bang chose the alias This Is Not America to circumvent DR's policy of not broadcasting tracks by actors, and to prevent his acting career from influencing how people perceive his music. The name comes from a song by David Bowie, who is one of Bang's great role models. His first three singles "Don't Come Crying", "Shameless", and "Run" were played on P3 for a year before the station found out that they were made by the actor, however his songs were still played on various DR radio stations for a few more years. These singles were later released on the debut album Dislocated on 7 April 2010.

Two of Bang's co-stars have featured on some This Is Not America tracks. In 2015, he released the single "Still of the Night", featuring Charlotte Munck, his co-star in the Danish police drama Anna Pihl. While filming The Square, Bang discovered that co-star and musician Marina Schiptjenko shared the same taste in music, so he showed her some of his music and sent her a few demos. Once filming finished, they recorded five songs together in his home studio in Copenhagen. So far, the duo has released "Who Am I", "I Don't Care" and "Here We Go".

Personal life

Bang met stylist and photographer Liz Louis-Jensen in 2006 while they were both working on the play Den grønne elevator at Kanonhalløj. Louis-Jensen proposed to Bang on New Year's Eve 2007, and they got married on 25 September 2010 on a canal boat in Copenhagen. Bang is stepfather to Liz's two children, Sarah and Bella. The pair have lived together in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen since 2008.



Year Title Role Notes
1998 On Our Own Politibetjent
1999 Fast Lane Jesper
2001 Now Look at Me Ungdomsfoto Short film
2003 Regel nr. 1 John T
2005 The Comedian Oliver Short film
2005 Nynne Henrik
2005 Far til fire gi'r aldrig op Gymnastiklærer
2006 A Soap Mand 2
2007 Carls engle Man in Cemetery Short film
2008 Take the Trash Lars
2008 Make My Day Doctor Short film
2009 Bastarden Benjamin Short film
2011 Jungle Child Herb
2011 Biler 2 Professor Zündapp Danish dub of Cars 2
2012 Lærkevej - til døden os skiller Per
2013 Educating Peter Faderen Short film
2014 Unga Sophie Bell Klaus
2015 Rettet Raffi! Henry Wiese
2017 The Square Christian Bang dubbed himself in the German language version
2018 Hotel Boy Stefan Short film
2018 The Girl in the Spider's Web Jan Holtser
2019 The Glass Room Viktor
2019 The Burnt Orange Heresy James Figueras
2019 The Last Vermeer Captain Joseph Piller
2020 The Bay of Silence Will Walsh Bang was also an executive producer
2021 Locked Down Essien
2022 Drawback Louis Short film
2022 The Northman Fjölnir
TBA It Is In Us All Jack Considine Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Station 7-9-13: Gufol mysteriet Trench coat man 1
1997 Taxa Kriminalbetjent Episode: "Del 8"
1998 Betjent Episode: "Del 29"
1998 Betjenten Episode: "Del 31"
1998–1999 Christian, kriminalbetjent 2 episodes
2000 Madsen og Co. Henrik Episode: "Ud på ski"
2000 Skjulte spor Preben 1 episode
2000 Pyrus i alletiders eventyr Udyret Episode: "På med pilen"
2001 At the Faber Bjarne 4 episodes
2002 Rejseholdet Villy Episode: "Assistancemelding A-3/01"
2002 Nikolaj og Julie Kevin 1 episode
2002 Langt fra Las Vegas i nærheden af Meyerheim Dennis TV Movie; Uncredited
2003 Langt fra Las Vegas Dennis Randrup Episode: "Mere møs til Dennis"
2003 The Country Doctor Jørn Episode: "Wiedersehen in Dänemark"
2006–2008 Anna Pihl Martin Krøyer Main cast
2008 Max Claes Bang, Skuespiller Episode: "Magiske Mester Max"
2008–2009 2900 Happiness Borgmester Hans Holm Main cast
2010 Borgen Tore Gudme Episode: "Det muliges kunst"
2010 Küstenwache Tomas Jorgensen Episode: "Am Abgrund"
2012 SOKO Wismar Urmas Savi Episode: "Zuckerbrot"
2012 Notruf Hafenkante Holger Lüder Episode: "Unter Brüdern"
2013 Dicte Arne Bay Episode: "Liv og legeme - del 1"
2013 The Bridge Claudio 3 episodes
2014 Alle unter eine Tanne Micha TV Movie
2015 Überleben an der Scheidungsfront Lars Knudsen TV Movie
2015–2016 Sibel & Max Dr. Tobias Olsen Main cast
2016 Cologne P.D. Jens Jensen 2 episodes
2019 The Affair Sasha Mann 7 episodes
2020 Dracula Count Dracula Main cast
2020 Syv kontinenter, en klode Narrator Danish dub of Seven Worlds, One Planet
2020 Little Room Oskar Amundsen Main cast
2021 The Outlaws The Dean 3 episodes
2022 Bad Sisters JP Williams Main role
TBA The New Look Hans Von Dincklage Upcoming series


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Den Fjerde Væg Himself Episode 19
2017 Bucket List Episode: "Claes Bang gør status på, hvor han er nu og taler om ‘Vild Med Dans', angst og kontrol"
Ungdoms Bureauet: De flygtede Narrator Episode: "Claes Bang at forandre verden gennem dans"
Hva så?! med Christian Fuhlendorff Himself Episode 15
2018 The Curzon Film Podcast Episode: "The Square, feat. Ruben Östlund & Claes Bang"
RADIO GLAD - I rollen som skuespiller
2020 Soundvenue Streamer Episode: "Special guest Claes Bang taler Dracula, Bond-rygter og sms’er fra Mick Jagger"
Uopklaret Narrator 13 episodes; Danish version of the Unresolved podcast
Til eftertiden (sammen hver for sig) Himself
Mellem ørerne med Cecilie Frøkjær Episode 31
HFPA in Conversation Episode: "Claes Bang on the Loneliness of Eternal Life"
Dirty Diana Oliver Wood Main cast
The Filmmakers Podcast Himself Episode: "Claes Bang: Acting & Making Films and TV -The Bay of Silence, The Square, Dracula and The Northmen"
2021 Red River Horror Episode 33
Filmland Episode: "Hvad er det for noget med Claes Bang og kunsteksperter med råd i moralen?"
Guttermand Episode 24
Nordic Portraits Episode: "Claes Bang"
Episode: "Bonus Ep - Claes Bang Returns"

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Venue Notes
1994 Faust Various Betty Nansen Teatret
1996 Tudseakvariet Faderen Børneteatret Skægspire
1997 En ren formalitet Kommisæren Statens Teater Skole
Freden Various Det Danske Teater
Pelleas & Melisande Pelleas Kaleidoskop
1998 Kondylomer Anders
1999 La Dispute Mesrin Husets Teater
Leg med Ild Knud Teater Styhr & Kjær
Aalborg Teater
2000 Håndværkerne Various Husets Teater
2001 Vennebogen Georg Aarhus Teater
Dansemus Albert Halling
Jean de France Tjeneren Aalborg Teater
Revisoren Various
2002 Fruen fra Havet Den Fremmede
Ondskaben Erik Monologue
Kiss Me, Kate Hank Calloway
Ondskaben Erik Monologue
2003 Købmanden fra Venedig Lorenzo
Boblerne i bækken Morten
Skylddrup, Skamdrup og Vamdrup Hans-Erik, Skyldrup
2004 Jorden rundt på 80 dage Various
De lærde damer Vadius
Hamlet Rosenkrantz Hamletscenen, Kronborg
Ondskaben Erik Folketeatret Monologue
2005 Gregersen Sagaen - Visse hensyn Erik Aarhus Teater
Nattur Han Husets Teater
2006 Ondskaben Erik Aarhus Teater Monologue
Gregersen Sagaen - Faste forhold Erik
Den grønne elevator Jakob Kanonhalløj
2007 Rene linjer Erik Aarhus Teater
Ondskaben Erik Kanonhalløj Monologue
... Rogozjin Aarhus Teater
2008 Familien Gregersen - Hele historien Erik
Privatliv Victor Grønnegårds
Glade Dage Willie Hamletscenen, Kronborg
2009 Blekingegade Holger Jensen Husets Teater
Ondskaben Erik Docken Monologue
Nørregade Teatret
2010 Håndværkerne Karl Aalborg Teater
Saunaen Bjoern Får 302
Dansk Pistol Teater
Jomfru Ane Teatret
I morgen i Qatar Wüntrop Husets Teater
2011 Hundesvømning Johann Folketeatret
2012 Ondskaben Erik Monologue
Lykkebjørn Nikolaj
Squash Christian Får 302
2013 Æblet Ronni Mammutteatret
2014 Sne Grøn Husets Teater
Ondskaben Erik Folketeatret Monologue
The Evil Erik Riverside Studios Monologue; English version of Ondskaben
Min Arm Team Teatret Monologue; Danish version of My Arm
L'histoire du soldat The Devil/Narrator Copenhagen Phil
2015 Danske Permafrost AKT1 Danmarks Lydteater Live in the Dome of Visions, Copenhagen
The Evil Erik St. James Theatre Monologue; English version of Ondskaben
Min Arm Team Teatret Monologue; Danish version of My Arm
2016 Sidst på dagen er vi alle mennesker Betty Nansen Teatret
The Evil Erik Folketeatret Monologue; English version of Ondskaben
Ren (Medea) Jason Husets Teater
2017 Ondskaben Erik Sønderborghus Monologue
Min Arm Betty Nansen Teatret Monologue; Danish version of My Arm
The Evil Erik Edinburgh International Children's Festival Monologue; English version of Ondskaben
Byen Chris Odense Teater Danish version of The City by Martin Crimp
Jul i republikken Prince Henrik Aveny-T Was intended to be broadcast on DR P1
2018 The Evil Erik Deutsches Theater (Berlin) Monologue; English version of Ondskaben
Theatre Arts Admin Collective, South Africa
2019 Maxim Teatern
2020 Deutsches Theater (Berlin)
2022 "Daddy" A Melodrama Andre Almeida Theatre



  • 2010: Dislocated


  • 2011: EP1
  • 2014: Keep on Dancin’
  • 2015: Still of the Night
  • 2020: Here We Go
  • 2020: Butterflies in December
  • 2020: You & I (Forever Live or Die)
  • 2020: No Song Left Unsung
  • 2020: Your Love Is Wasted on Me
  • 2020: Take It on the Chin
  • 2021: Late to the Party


Year Title Album/EP
2008 "Don't Come Crying" Dislocated

Featured on the soundtrack for Take the Trash

2009 "Shameless" Dislocated
2011 "Virgin Mary" EP1
2012 "Imaginary Friend" Re-released on Butterflies in December in 2020
"Jealousy" N/A
2014 "No One" Keep on Dancin'

Re-released on No Song Left Unsung in 2020

2015 "1983" Still of the Night

Re-released on Butterflies in December in 2020

"Still of the Night (feat. Charlotte Munck)" Still of the Night
"I'm Not Ready Yet" Still of the Night

Re-released on No Song Left Unsung in 2020

"Will Santa Be There for Christmas?" N/A
2018 "They Say It's Wrong" Re-released on No Song Left Unsung in 2020
"Who Am I (feat. Marina)" N/A
"I Don't Care (feat. Marina)" N/A
2020 "All Said and Done" N/A
"Here We Go (feat. Marina)" Here We Go
"Don't Come Crying (2020 edit)"
"Butterflies in December" Butterflies in December
"You & I (Forever Live or Die)" You & I (Forever Live or Die)
"You & I (Forever Live or Die) - Gregers Remix"
"If Love Is the New Black" N/A
"Your Love Is Wasted on Me (feat. Marina)" Your Love Is Wasted on Me
"Take It on the Chin" Take It on the Chin
"Will Santa Be Here for Christmas?"
2021 "Last Dance" N/A
"Just for a While" Late to the Party
"A Saturday Afternoon at the End of the World" N/A

Music videos

  • 2009: "Run"
  • 2014: "No One"
  • 2015: "I'm Not Ready Yet"
  • 2018: "Who Am I (feat. Marina)"


Bang has also performed a number of songs as himself:

  • 2007: Claes Bang - "Når En Sailor Går I Land" (Otto Brandenburg cover)
  • 2014: Nogen Andre - "September" (feat. Claes Bang)
  • 2014: Martin Valsted - "Bilist" (feat. Claes Bang)
  • 2017: Claes Bang - "Party at the Castle" (The Square Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • 2019: Jacob Gurevitsch - "Motivo Loco" (Bang featured in the music video)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref(s)
2017 Subtitle: Spotlight European Film Festival's Angela Awards Actor The Square Won
European Film Awards Best Actor Won
Pingyao International Film Festival People's Choice Award Best Actor Won
2018 Guldbagge Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Zulu Awards Best Actor Nominated
Lauritzen Fonden Awards Wauw Award N/A Won
Ekko Shortlist Awards Best Actor Hotel Boy Nominated
2020 Mofibo Audiobook Awards 2020 Novel of the Year Kokken der holdt op med at rødme Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Actor Dracula Nominated
2021 National Television Awards Best Drama Performance Nominated
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