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Meet Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

The actor and UNDP ambassador shares his travel essentials and post-flight skincare tips.



The embattled, but fictional, land of Westeros would be unlikely to appear at the top of many must-visit lists. That said, the locations that double for Game of Thrones’ Westeros – namely Northern Ireland, Iceland and Croatia – are more than worth hopping on a plane for. But if you <were> to land on the shores of Westeros you would almost certainly run into fan favourite and fictional inhabitant Jaime Lannister, played by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.


In real life, L’Oréal Paris Men Expert ambassador Nikolaj couldn’t be more different from the role that made him a household name. Where Jaime jumps at the chance of a good sword fight, the only battles Nikolaj loves are those fought by his favourite football team, Leeds United. Here he shares his post-flight grooming tips, what it takes to be a hero and where in the world he likes to be the most.


How do you keep yourself looking good?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: “Sticking to my daily skin routine, whatever time my alarm goes off. I’m 47, and though not always wiser about life in general, I recognise the value of a quality moisturiser to get my skin through a day on set.”


What does your daily grooming routine look like?

NC-W: “Shower, shave – or not, I had epic facial hair on my movie <Shot Caller> – then lay on a day’s worth of moisturiser. And, when my eyes are crying out for it, eye gel is a real revelation. That is one heroic product.”


What’s the secret to getting better with age?

NC-W: “Don’t worry. Be who you are. Life is change. Embrace that. Don’t let a number define you. Keep winding people up, make everyone laugh. And for skin, there’s L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift.”


What are your top L’Oréal Men Expert products?

NC-W: “I’m absolutely on board with Vita Lift 5 Anti-Ageing Daily Moisturiser. It’s satisfying to use one product knowing it’s going to do five different things to your skin – that level of expertise is mindblowing. I love that the raw ingredient, don’t ask me to pronounce it, is sourced from a vineyard: truly French <savoir-faire>.”


You must travel all the time for work. What do you never leave home without?

NC-W: “I normally have to head straight to a meeting or set as soon as I land. After 10 hours or so in the air I usually feel quite stressed and look tired. I have two life-savers: Men Expert Vita Lift Anti Wrinkle Turbo Gel, which makes my skin look brighter and fresher, and my spray antiperspirant which keeps me fresh.”  


Where is your favourite place in the world?

NC-W: “Greenland, where my wife [singer and actress Nukaaka Coster-Waldau] is from, is one of the most magical places on earth. It has been eye-opening to see the impact climate change is having there.”


Why is it important for you to do ‘more’?

NC-W: “Thanks to the level of celebrity I now have, I have the position to raise awareness for causes that are dear to my heart. As a UNDP ambassador, I support the UN’s Global Goals. And I’m actively campaigning for climate change and gender equality. We have the power together to make things change; inaction is not an option.”


What hobbies do you enjoy in your downtime?

NC-W: “Mountain biking: I love getting out on the bike in the forest. I enjoy working out at my nearest CrossFit gym with a friend, catching the football when it’s on, and skiing with the family.”


What goal do you have yet to achieve?

NC-W: “To see my football team, Leeds United, win the Premiership. It’s going to happen, trust me. Oh, and Denmark in a World Cup final.”


So, what’s next?

NC-W: “I’ll be on the promotion circuit for my new film, Domino, which is coming out next year. I play a Copenhagen police officer on the revenge trail for his partner’s murder. And there are a few projects I can’t yet talk about. I’ll be carrying on work for the UN, too. And then we are shooting the final season of Game of Thrones.”

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