“Vikings” actor Jasper Paakkonen has been cast in Spike Lee’s “Black Klansman.”
He joins John David Washington, Topher Grace, and Adam Driver in the film, which Lee is also producing with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, QC Entertainment, and Blumhouse.
“Black Klansman” is adapted from Ron Stallworth’s powerful, stranger-than-fiction, eponymous autobiography — the story of one man who dared to challenge the Ku Klux Klan and thwart its attempts to take over Colorado Springs, Colo. Police Detective Ron Stallworth (Washington), an African American man, miraculously gained status in the KKK’s ranks by pretending to be a white supremacist on the phone or via other forms of correspondence, as part of an undercover investigation.
QC’s Edward H. Hamm Jr. will serve as executive producer on “Black Klansman.” Josh McLaughlin, Focus Features’ president of production, will supervise the project.
This marks a huge break on the domestic audience front for Paakkonen, as the Finnish thesp is well known in his native country, where he has starred in some of its biggest box office hits. Most recently, Paakkonen starred in Charles Henri Belleville’s film “Jet Trash,” opposite Sofia Boutella and Robert Sheehan. Prior to that, he toplined Dome Karukoski’s award-winning movie “Heart of Lion,” winning a Jussi Award for best supporting actor for his performance.
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Paakkonen can currently be seen in the upcoming season of the History Channel hit series “Vikings,” where he stars as Halfdan the Black.
Paakkonen is repped by ICM Partners and The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland.