Rita Madsen is the protagonist of the series, Rita. She is portayed by Mille Dinesen.
Rita was born sometime in 1969 to her mother Lillebeth, and her unnamed father. Her maiden name is mentioned to have been Schmidt-Kronborg. She has a sister named Gitte. Lillebeth was very distant from her family; which had a major effect on Rita and how she would raise her children. She also collected troll dolls as a hobby, and claims to have never learned how to swim.
She briefly dated Tom Dyrehave when they were teenagers, and married Niels Madsen shortly after Tom. With Niels, Rita had her three children Ricco, Molly, and Jeppe. She divorced Niels when their children were still little, and has claimed that she never loved him.
Rita has been teaching at the Islevgard school for over thirteen years, and rents the old caretaker's house that's within walking distance. She usually walks through a shrub by the school as a shortcut home.
While it's not known how long exactly Rita has been smoking, she appears to have doing for a long time given that she regularly does it during her time away from class.
Physical Appearance Edit
Rita has a very relaxed, tomboy appearance. She has long, slightly disheveled blond hair and blue eyes. She typically wears short-sleeve shirts with plaid button downs, jeans, a leather jacket, and heels.
Rita is first shown smoking in a bathroom stall, and spell-correcting some of the graffiti. She is then asked by the principal Rasmus to show the new teacher Hjørdis around. She briefly see her youngest son Jeppe at the computer area. During their tour of the school, she encounters her 14-year-old student Rosa and warns Hjørdis that, "Evil doesn't look evil. Evil has a pageboy haircut and does it homework so it can attack you when you least expect it." Her statement is proven to be right when one of her other students is reading "Birds of Passage" in class, and Rosa keeps disrupting to give her interpretation. At home, Rita's oldest son Ricco brings his girlfriend Bitten and her parents over to meet everyone for dinner. It turns out that Bitten's father Tom was Rita's ex-boyfriend from high school. It's also shown that Rita does not like Bitten, but is happy for Ricco when he tells her that they are getting married. The next day, Rita is approached by the guidance counselor Helle over a complaint made by Rosa over not being included in class. She is then shown having sex with Rasmus in his office until Rosa's mother calls to file a complaint about Rita. Rasmus wants Rita to apologize to Rosa's parent's, but she instead points out to them that adults that act like Rosa are very lonely because people find them hard to deal with. She later talks to Rosa in the library, and takes her to the bathroom to get her to write graffiti. When Rosa decides no to, Rita tells her that the other kids don't like her because she acts like she's 40. Prompting Rosa to say that adults don't like Rita because she acts like she's 14. Rita stays in the bathroom and starts crying. At home, Rita takes her troll doll collection and destroys them with Ricco's fireworks. Her children and Bitten come outside to watch.
Rita has a new student named Viktor. When a girl brings cream puffs to celebrate her birthday, Viktor says to the class that his mother told him sugar is as addictive as heroin. His father then visits Rita and tells her that she be teaching her students better eating habits, and has Viktor hand out tofu chocolate cake to the class. When Rita notices that none of the kids ate the cake at the end of the day, she takes a bite in front of Viktor to make him feel better. The next day, Helle approaches Rita and says that she appears to have a problem with authority; Which is interesting to Helle since Rita's a teacher. Shen then asks Rita what made her want to become a teacher right before the bell rings. At lunch, Hjørdis has Rita come sit with her and the other teachers when Helle joins them. She asks Rita the question again about teaching, but Rita is able to evade it once again when she get's an unexpected phone call from her mother Lillebeth. She then goes to Rasmus and tells him that they can't meet later because she is picking Lillebeth up. When Rasmus tells her that it's nice that she's helping her mother, Rita informs him that Lillebeth and her are estranged because she took off when Rita was younger. Molly later stops by the school when Rita is on break, and is told by her that Lillebeth injured herself after a fall and will be staying with them for only a few days. Rita then surprises Rasmus by sitting at his desk to make plans to see each other, and learns that the school has set up a sugar committee due to Viktor's parents. At dinner, Rita get's into several disagreements with her mother, and tells her not to interfere with her family. Rasmus calls Rita into his office the next day to discuss the sugar committee meeting with her and Helle. He says Viktor's father talked with Rita, and that she agreed the school should do a ban on sugar. Rita says that that's untrue, but isn't listened too. She later notices Viktor by himself while the other children are playing. At home, Rita kicks her mother out for talking to Molly about her breakup, and asks her why she called her in the first place. Lillebeth states that she did try her best as a parent; which makes Rita realize why she became a teacher again. In the teacher's lounge, everyone is eating brownies Rita made when Helle walks in. Rita says she going to take the extra tray of brownies to her class when Helle reminds her about the ban. Causing Rita to retort that the ban is only being enforced on the children while the teachers can still bring in and eat whatever they want. She also tells Helle that the reason she became a teacher was to protect children from their parent's. She then gives the brownies to Viktor, and later sees him eating them with two other boys.
Rita walks past Hjørdis putting up a poster for the upcoming school talent show. When Hjørdis asks Rita to be a judge, she explains her that she doesn't lie to children, but reluctantly agrees to it. She later sees Jeppe dressed up as a punk at school, and finds out that he was inspired from reading Michael Strunge's poetry. Since Jeppe claims that he's now an anarchist, Rita helps him throw clothes all over his room. At school, Hjørdis tells Rita that she's cancelling the talent after the math teacher Torben told her she was being selfish and pressuring other teachers to help out. Rita offers to talk to Torben for Hjørdis, but she refuses. Rita then sees her ex-husband Niels at the school, and tells him that he can't just show up and expect to spend time with her kids. She talks to Jeppe in the computer lab about seeing his father, and watches as Niels picks him up for dinner. Wanting to be alone, Rita goes to a bar where she picks up a guy and has sex with him in the bathroom. Only to find out afterwards that the guy Lars is actually the father of her student Rosa. At school, Rita and Hjørdis are signing up kids for the talent show when Rita get's into a confrontation with a student's father. The father tells Rita that it's her job to encourage the student's, but Rita protests that she has to prepare her student's for the real world. She then quits judging the show. She later helps an upset Hjørdis stand up for herself against Torben. Molly tells Rita at home about her new job, and Rita says that she'll wait to see if she sticks with it. This causes Molly to confront her mother at school after realizing that she's dyslexic, and that Rita never noticed it. Rita tries to calm her down by saying she can do whatever she wants with her life, and runs after her outside. After having a heart-to-heart with Molly, Rita goes to talent show and praises a girl's singing act.