MIPCOM: 4 Ready-Made Foreign Stars With Global Appeal

7:30 AM 10/14/2016

by Scott Roxborough

From Wagner Moura ('Narcos') to Martin Wallstrom ('Mr. Robot'), these actors are giving cutting-edge dramas a pop of media attention — and rating success — abroad.

Wagner Moura in 'Narcos'
Wagner Moura in 'Narcos'
Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix

  • Martin Freeman


    Chris Large/FX

    Channel 4 in the U.K. built its successful marketing campaign for Fargo around the Sherlock star. "He's one of the very few U.K. talents whom you can hang an entire show on," says Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt. "We're hoping Ewan McGregor (star of Fargo's season three) will have a similar impact."

  • Sidse Babett Knudsen


    Getty Images

    She may not be a recognizable face in the States, but HBO's decision to cast Knudsen in its sci-fi Western immediately gives the project the mark of quality for TV audiences across Europe, who have been glued to their screens for years watching her political maneuvers as Denmark's prime minister in Borgen.

  • Martin Wallstrom

    'Mr. Robot'

    Virginia Sherwood/USA Network

    "Having Martin do the Swedish talk shows and the press helped a lot in selling this very unusual show," says Stephen Mowbray, head of acquisitions at Sweden's SVT, one of the few international channels where Mr. Robot was a hit. However, ratings for the second season (in which Wallstrom barely appeared) dropped dramatically.

  • Wagner Moura



    The drug drama is universally acclaimed except, ironically, in Colombia, where audiences have balked at the casting of the Brazilian as Pablo Escobar. But in Brazil — where Moura is a leading man — the show is a smash. And the fact that the theme song, "Tuyo," is from Brazilian Rodrigo Amarante doesn't hurt, either.