Danish actress Iben Hjejle attained international recognition for her performances in Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's 1999 film Mifune (inspired by the back-to-basics Dogma 95 filmmaking style) and Stephen Frears' enthusiastically received 2000 screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. Born in Copenhagen on March 22, 1971, Hjejle studied acting at the State Theatre School of Denmark. She was discovered by director Niels Arden Oplev, who cast her in both his 1991 short Naked and his 1996 feature Portland, the latter of which cast the actress as a young woman who takes up with a violent ex-con. Three years later, Hjejle scored a critical breakthrough with her portrayal of a prostitute turned housekeeper in Mifune, winning a Jury Special Mention for her work at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival. After another lead that same year, in the horror film Besat, Hjejle won a starring role in High Fidelity, her first English-language film. Her portrayal of Laura, the lawyer girlfriend of the film's protagonist (John Cusack), earned a positive reception that was nicely complemented by the acclaim surrounding the film as a whole. Despite this generous boost to her screen career, Hjejle has continued to act on Danish television and as a member of Copenhagen's Ostre Gasvaerk Theatre.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Blev afvist af teaterskolerne i Aarhus og Odense, før hun i 1992 blev optaget på Statens Teaterskole i København.
- Debuterede i 1992 i novellefilmen Nøgen; hendes egentlige spillefilmsdebut var i Portland i 1996.
- Debuterede i 1995 i den store hovedrolle som Gretchen i Goethes teaterstykke, Faust.
- Blev i 1996 gift med docent og trommeslager Emil de Waal, som hun fik sønnen William med; de blev skilt året efter.
- Brød for alvor igennem i dogmefilmen Mifunes sidste sang (1999), for hvilken hun modtog Bodil-prisen for Bedste Kvindelige Hovedrolle.
- Afslog tilbuddet om en audition til Ringenes Herre - Eventyret om ringen, da hun ikke ville efterlade familien i Danmark.
- Dannede par med Casper Christensen fra 2002 - 2011.