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William Johnk Nielsen: Danish actor gets town’s attention

Youth Impact Report 2011: Up Next

Danish actor William Johnk Nielsen can thank the local newspaper for his first feature film role. He had appeared onscreen since age 4, but little did he or his mother know that an innocuous want ad calling for actors would result in a lead role in Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World,” which won the foreign-lingo Oscar

Nielsen’s audition for “In a Better World” won over the casting team immediately because of his fluency in English and his moving performance — in fact, his audition was so impressive that the young actor was asked to deliver his character’s powerful funeral speech on the spot. Nielsen landed the role of Christian after just one audition.

“William holds a genuine talent, has a tremendous energy and diligence, but most importantly, he carries the distinct charisma only found in true stars,” Bier says.

The 14-year-old has since shot “A Royal Affair” and Danish horror pic “Skavengers,” both slated for 2012 release. But don’t be surprised if Nielsen ends up behind the camera in the future: The thesp, a budding shutterbug, also aspires to be a cinematographer.

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