10 of the best Dutch actresses still making waves

The Netherlands has a host of great actresses, many of whom have parlayed their success at home into an international career. And with the current bonanza of Dutch tv drama, a new, young generation is emerging. Here is our pick of ten of the best already established actresses.

The one who always cries
Sylvia Hoeks (1983), who started out as a model, always looks as if she’s about to burst into tears. No wonder then that some of her biggest roles have involved a lot of crying. For instance, as the adulterous wife in two seasons of the tv series Overspel (Adultery) and in the film De Storm as a young woman searching for her baby during the Zeeland flood disaster of 1953.

sylvia hoeks by siebbi

At the Berlin Film Festival. Photo: Siebbi

In 2007 she won the Golden Calf film award as best actress for her role in the film Duska.

The one with the bouncing curls
Eva van Weideven (1985) made her debut at the age of 17 in the tv series Dunya & Desie in the role of Desie and later reprised the role in the film Dunya & Desie in Morocco. She was in the Dutch theatre production of Paris, Texas, the 12-part tv series Vuurzee (sea of flames) and had a role in one season of the gangster series Penoza.

In a still from Prisoner Cell Block H

In a still from Prisoner Cell Block H

Most recently she starred in two seasons of the tv series A’dam-EVA. But whatever her dramatic roles throw at her, those bouncing curls usually guarantee she’ll be okay in the end.

The one who can’t keep her clothes on
Halina Reijn (1975) is one of the Netherlands’ top stage actresses although she has also appeared in films and on tv. On stage she has played Shakespeare and Chekhov and won the prestigious Colombina prize for her role in Shopping and Fucking.


Keeping some clothes on

But whatever she’s playing, she can usually be relied upon to get some or all of her kit off at the drop of a hat.

The one who starred with Tom Cruise
Carice van Houten (1976) played Tom Cruise’s wife in the film Valkyrie, having made her international breakthrough in Paul Verhoeven’s World War II drama Zwartboek (black book) in 2006. She won the Colombina in 2003 for her role as Macha in Chekhov’s The Seagull and has five Golden Calfs to her name.

Carice in Game of Thrones - with her clothes on

Carice in Game of Thrones – with her clothes on

She played South African poet Ingrid Jonker in the international film Black Butterflies in 2011. She currently has a continuing role in Game of Thrones.

The one who sings
Hadewych Minis (1977) is a member of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, one of the Netherlands’ top theatre companies. She has also appeared in films and tv series, winning a Golden Calf for her role in Alex van Warmerdam’s horror film Borgman.

In Borgman

In Borgman

Most recently she played Rachel Hazes, wife of the late singer and national treasure André, in the biographical musical and film of his life. She also has one of the country’s most extraordinary singing voices and has recently released her first album.

The one who’s always sweet
Noortje Herlaag (1985) sprang to fame in 2010 when she won the tv audition series Op zoek naar Mary Poppins (looking for Mary Poppins) and went on to play the role in the stage musical.


Just a spoonful of sugar

She was a perfect Mary Poppins and went on to star in the tv series Moeder, ik wil bij de revue (mum, I want to join the revue) in which she played the sweet-natured girlfriend of the main character. Since then, this sunny actress has appeared on stage in productions which include Agnes of God.

The one who starred with George Clooney
Thekla Reuten (1975) played a hired assassin who provides George Clooney with a high-powered rifle in Anton Corbijn’s The American.

As a hired gun

As a hired gun

Two years earlier, in 2008, she had appeared in a small role in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges. Alongside work in Dutch films and tv series, she was in the fourth season of hit American tv series Lost and in the four-part BBC1 political thriller Hidden.

The one with an Oscar
Willeke van Ammelrooy (1944) starred in the 1995 Oscar-winning film Antonia’s Line, in which she played the leader of a matriarchal community.

A surprise guest role in GTST

A surprise guest role in GTST

However, she began her film career in 1971 as the eponymous Mira, becoming the first Dutch actress to play a full frontal nude scene. She is one of the Netherlands’ most important film stars.

The one who survived death
Monic Hendrickx (1966) was a highly regarded actress in films and on tv and stage when she became a real star in the tv series Penoza, in which she plays a gangster boss who was gunned down at the end of the third series.

Did she survive death?

Did she survive death?

With a fourth series due later in 2014, it seems she has cheated death. International audiences know her from the film The Polish Bride (1998).

The one in a solo film
Johanna ter Steege (1961) beat Tom Hardy and his 2013 solo role in Lock to the post when she climbed into a car to deliver a 75-minute monologue, playing the role of a woman who phones her ex-lover for the last time in one long take in Last Conversation.


Multifacted Johanna

Ter Steege has a long international career which began in 1987 with a role in George Sluizer’s Spoorloos, which the director remade with an American cast as The Vanishing. She won global acclaim and the Felix Award in Berlin for best supporting actress for this role. Since then she has worked with directors such as Robert Altman, István Szabó and Bruce Beresford and appeared on stage in London and Washington.

(with acknowledgement to Friends)



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