Birthdate: April 28, 1967
It was a long time in the making, but the striking Danish actor Claes Bang (birthname: Claes Kasper Bang) finally broke through to international stardom in 2017 as the star of Ruben Östlund’s The Square, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
After trudging through nearly two decades of mainly Danish and German TV series and movies that were seldom noticed outside of their language territories, Bang delivered an astonishing home-run kind of performance in The Square, his acting boldness matching the filmmaking itself. It earned him the best actor nod in the European Film Awards and general critical acclaim worldwide.
This single role opened Claes Bang’s profile to an international audience, drawn to his handsome and commanding presence and triggering rumors that he could be the James Bond to succeed Daniel Craig. Bang played opposite Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018), followed by The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019), with Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, and Donald Sutherland; The Last Vermeer (2019) with Guy Pearce; Doug Liman’s HBO movie, Locked Down (2021) with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway.
For prestige English-language TV, Claes Bang appeared in the last season of Showtime’s series, The Affair (2019), and cut a dashing, witty, and dangerous Count in the Netflix/BBC co-production of Dracula (2020). Bang’s feature work in 2022 reflects a considerable range, from Robert Eggers’ The Northman with Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, and Anya Taylor-Joy, to actor-director-writer Antonia Campbell-Hughes Irish thriller, It Is in Us All.
Born in the Danish city of Odense, Claes Bang was raised by parents Mimi and Bjarne Bang. Claes Bang graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in 1996. Bang is married to stylist Lis Kasper Bang (who proposed to him on New Year’s Eve), from 2010 to the present. He is stepfather to Lis’s children from a previous marriage, and step-grandfather to her grandson. His height is 6’ 4 ½”.
Not “Bang”: The correct pronunciation of Claes Bang’s name is “Class Bun-g”.
Multilingual: Bang is fluent in Danish, English, German, Swedish, and Norwegian.
Not Rotten in Denmark: Bang was the first Danish actor to win the European Film Award for best actor.
Side Gig: Claes Bang is also a musician, performing under the name inspired by his idol David Bowie, This Is Not America.
The Next Bond?: Rumors continue to circulate around Claes Bang being cast as the next James Bond, fueled by the social media campaign, #BangforBond.