The Killing – Sarah Lund’s jumper was nearly a poncho

“I wanted her to be wearing a poncho like Clint Eastwood" explains director Birger Larsen

Sarah Lund’s sweater is now one of the most famous garments in TV drama, but actress Sofie Grabol could well have been sporting a different look had The Killing’s director had his way.


“I wanted her to be wearing a poncho like Clint Eastwood and I worked with that for many weeks,” Birger Larsen (who will direct new BBC2 series Murder) told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. “But Sofie said that she couldn’t draw her gun. I said, ‘if Clint Eastwood can do it, then you can do it as well’. But she said, ‘no, it’s not right’. And she looked so wonderful, so sexy, so good in the poncho. Exactly the Clint Eastwood one.”

Eventually though, it was the series star herself who came up with an alternative:

“She came along one day and said, ‘I’ve got this sweater, perhaps we should use that’. And I said it was a good idea. I’m a firm believer that if the actor feels comfortable in their costumes then the audience will too.”

The Killing has since gone on to become a cult hit in the UK, with Grabol’s choice of knitwear spawning a knitting pattern and Sarah Lund lookalike gallery on


The third and final series of The Killing, which is set to probe the personal and moral consequences of the economic crisis, is scheduled for broadcast in Denmark in September.