Sofie Grabol felt like she'd ''died'' when she was stricken with breast cancer.

The Danish actress - who is best known for playing Sarah Lund in 'The Killing' - was diagnosed with the disease in December 2012 but chose not to go public with her condition until after she had received treatment and admits it was ''challenging'' trying to maintain the facade of a normal life with her children Bror, 13, and Gudrun, 10, who she has with ex-husband Jacob Thuesen.

She said: ''I chose not to go public, which sounds like, Oh well, she didn't call the paper' but it was actually very challenging.

''I did everything as normal - took my kids to school, went to the supermarket - but I wore a wig.

''I had this strange theatre going on, where I would get up in the morning and paint a face like the one I used to have. But I really felt it wasn't me any more, I felt like I'd died somehow.''

During her recovery, Sofie was cast in new drama series 'Fortitude' at a time when she felt like a ''freak'' because she had lost her hair and she says the show helped her be less nervous.

She said: ''I told them where I was. We had a Skype session where I sat with this much hair [a centimetre]. I remember saying, 'I look like this, I can't' and they said, 'You look fine.'

''And I felt like, 'What are they talking about? I look like a freak'. I was so nervous, meeting the world again, but they made me feel welcome from the start.''

Though the 46-year-old star is ''glad'' she waited to reveal her health problems, she still isn't sure it was the right thing to do.

She told Britain's Marie Claire magazine: ''I wrote an email to keep it a secret, to about a hundred people. My family, my children's friends' families, teachers, but I'm not sure it was the best way of dealing with it.

''We have a telethon in Denmark called Break Cancer. Every year, they have a film to bring attention to it, so after I had the cancer I just went on that. Had I done that in the middle of chemo, it would have been a much bigger story because then you can follow the tragedy and pain.

''It was the right way for me.''