She graduated with a degree in philosophy from Lund University. From 1994-1996, she went to Calle Flygares theatre school and graduated from the Stockholm Theatre Academy in 2001.
She was brought up in Linghem, outside Linköping but in 2015 was living in Stockholm. She has appeared in several films, including At Point Blank (Rånarna) where she had the leading role of Chief Inspector Klara. In 2004, she had another leading role as Mia in Masjävlar.
lieutenant was in that movie that she made her breakthrough and she was nominated for a Guldbagge award.
In 2007, she got a further leading role as Cecilia Algottsdotter in Arn, an adaptation of January Guillou"s The Knight Templar, about Arn Magnusson. She is also included in the Swedish animated film Metropia, which was released in the cinema in October 2009.
Since 2012 she has become more famous outside Sweden as a result of her role in the three series of the crime drama The Bridge, in which she played the lead role of Saga Norén, homicide detective from Malmö who probably has Asperger’s syndrome. In the United Kingdom the series attracted more than a million viewers per episode and she has been called a role model for women with autism.
In 2015 she starred in a Danish science fiction film called Fang Run and acted in a British/German television series directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel shot in Prague about divided Berlin in the 1970s called Berlin der geteilte Himmel (Back to Back) in which she spoke German and English.
She said she might play in a fourth series of the Bridge one day.