Who is Peter Franzén?
When the series “Vikings” was released in 2016, one of the lead characters caught the eye of the audience. It was King Harald Finehair, a violent warlord who hates Christians and fights rival kings, while he dreams to become The King of all Norway; if you ever wanted to know more about the actor who portrayed this character, let us tell you some interesting facts about Peter Wilhelm Franzén.
He has over 90 acting credits to his name, and besides the mentioned role, is perhaps known best for his roles in movies such as “The Matriarch”, “Body of Water” and “Meander”, while the television audience knows him for his work in numerous series, including “Studio Impossible” and “The Wheel of Time”.
Early life and education
Peter was born under the zodiac sign of Leo on 14 August 1971, in Keminmaa, Finland, thus he holds Finnish nationality and comes from a family of Slavic descent. He was raised in his hometown by his mother and his stepfather, whose names he hasn’t revealed, but in his semi-autobiographic novel “Above Dark Waters”, he wrote about his childhood, saying that it was hard growing up with an abusive and alcoholic stepfather. In 2013, Peter directed the eponymous movie based on his novel, which was nominated for the Zlín International Film Festival for Children and Youth Award- Best European Debut Film.
Speaking about his educational background, he attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1989, enrolled at the Theatre Academy of Finland, University of the Arts, from which he graduated with a BA degree in 1992.
Roles in movies
Peter made his acting debut in the 1993 movie “Matokuningas”, followed by his roles in “Takatöölö Story”, “The Killing of a Cat” (1994), and “Bittersweet”, and “The Other Side” in 1995.
In the late ‘90s, Peter was seen in “Daisy’s Amazing Discoveries”, “Good Deeds” and “A Summer by the River”, among others, while in the early 2000s, he made appearances in “Kites Over Helsinki”, “Rollo and the Woods Sprite”, and „Bad Boys“ before his role as Alex in “Guarded Secrets” in 2004.
Peter starred in numerous Finnish production movies from 2000 through 2005, then made his first American production movie appearance when he was cast to play Police Officer Bronson, in the 2007 movie “Cleaner”, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes and Ed Harris.
The same year, he portrayed Laszlo in “The Matriarch”, followed by his roles in “Red Is the Color of” and “Alibi”, before his portrayal of Santa Claus in “Three Wise Men” in 2008. Next, Peter was seen starring in “Body of Water” (2011), “Purge” (2012), “Heart of a Lion” (2013), and then he was seen alongside Sean Penn, Idris Elba, and Javier Bardem in the 2015 action crime thriller “The Gunman”.
In the following years, Peter starred in “Homecoming”, “The Mine”, and “Ashes in the Snow”, while his most recent movie role was his portrayal of Adam in the mystery horror drama “Meander”,in 2020, which brought him nominations for the Freak Show Horror Film Festival, and New York City Horror Film Festival Awards for Best Actor.
Roles in series
Peter made his first television appearance in the TV mini-series “Puukoi” in 1994, followed by his guest roles in several Finnish production series, such as “Mustan Kissan Kuja”, “Susi Rajalla” and “Irtiottoja” before 2004, when he was cast to play Ivan Radu in an episode of the series “CSI: Miami”, which was his first appearance in the American production series.
Two years later, he was seen in “Studio Impossible” and “Isabella”, and in 2009, he guest-starred in “True Blood”, concurrently playing the role as Jake Rosenius in the series “Karjalan Kunnailla” through 2012.
In 2016, he was cast to play King Harald Finehair in the series “Vikings”, the role that brought him worldwide recognition, also starring Gustaf Skarsgard, Katheryn Winnick and Alexander Ludwig.
The series’ last season was aired in 2020, and it had 134 award nominations and 44 wins, including one Primetime Emmy Award.
In one of his interviews, Peter spoke about his role saying: ‘I have really enjoyed playing his ambition for power and how he has been persistent and patient in trying to reach his ultimate goal- to unite Norway under his rule’. Although the series ended, on Peter’s Instagram account you can see dozens of photos sent to him by his fans, featuring drawings and tattoos of his character from the series.
The army of his followers, whose number counts over 400,000 people, can hardly wait for a new photo every Thursday, which he chooses as the best one for that week, and shares on his Instagram feed.
After his role in “Vikings”, Peter guest-starred in “Makkari” and “Love, Death & Robots”, before he was cast to play Stepin in “The Wheel of Time” in 2021, which is his most recent television role.
Love life and relationships
Peter hasn’t been the subject of any rumors and controversies concerning his love life, since he is quite secretive when it comes to his personal matters, and prefers to keep his private life away from the media’s attention.
However, it is widely known that he’s been a married man since 1996 and that his wife is Irina Felicia Björklund, an actress and singer, whom he met while they were both studying at the Theatre Academy of Finland. Irina was born on 7 February 1973, in Danderyd, Sweden; her zodiac sign is Aquarius and her age is 49. Her family moved to Finland when she was a child, and she was raised there. She has over 65 acting credits to her name, however, she mostly starred in Finnish movies, while in 2010, she made an appearance as Ingrid in the 2010 movie “The American”, alongside George Clooney.
Three years after their wedding, Peter and Irina moved to Los Angeles, California, and in September 2007, Irina gave birth to their son, Diego Aron Vilhelm, and then in 2013, the family of three moved to Roquevaire, France, where they still reside.
As of April 2022, Peter and Irina are still married, and they have one son.
Age, height, and net worth
Peter’s age is 50, he has light brown hair and blue eyes; he weighs around 175lbs (80kgs) and is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall.
According to sources, as of early 2022, Peter’s net worth has been estimated at well over $1 million.