q. Our literature is pretty mind blowing, do you like yeats and joyce and beckett?
a. Very much so – I recently directed and played with 3 musicians in Switzerland Samuel Beckett’s “A Piece of Monologue” in German and English to show the audience the beauty of his original language.
wow what movie did you shoot in galway! of all places?
a. It’s a German TV-movie from 2000 – I would translate the title as “My Green Freedom – a springtime in Ireland” as you can guess some sentimental stuff – but I was the bad guy and therefore it was comfortable enough for me.
Id like to ask you a few questions not about the usual stuff. Human Centipede, but more about you from one actor to another as our college is hosting the ISDA, IRISH STUDENT DRAMA AWARDS festival and the cream of irish college drama will be around and i was wondering could i interview you for our college paper offering advice to young aspiring theatre and film actors
q1 what first drew you to theatre and acting as an art form?
I grew up in a kind of baptists sect and was forced to hear, pray and read at least 3 hours per day the powerful Bible-language of Martin Luther (1545) the first German translator. The good side of this torture was that I developed a love for beautiful, poetic and strong language. Where was a better place to find for this poetic passion than the theatre? So I decided to become an actor – but because I was brainwashed, I first had to accept that I would have to pay for this capital sin by burning in hell for ever.
q2 When you think of Irish theatre of film what comes to mind?
Spontaneously Kenneth Branagh and his great Shakespeare adaptions for film – although he left Ireland quite young.
q3 Do you feel that there are varied acting styles between irish and german actors?
I think Irish actors have more power and they are able to really be rude because they have much more to fight for a living than German actors – security creates cowards.
q4 the two biggest movies to hit ireland of german origin are Run Lola Run and Downfall, do ye think that german cinema often likes to stray into the mainstream?
Meanwhile I very seldom watch theatre or film, I only want to do it. So I haven’t seen “Lola”. – “Downfall” is a very professional made movie – but I hate it because it needs to tell by Credit-Text in the end that 6 Million Jews were murdered! It fits to the attitude “We poor Germans” seduced and blindfolded by demons like Hitler. Thats wrong!! The German People have to admit the guilt of the whole German Nation. In this regard ‘Downfall’ is indeed very mainstream.
q5 What first drew you to your world wide role in Human Centipede?
First, the passion of the director Tom Six and the producer his sister Ilona Six – and second when I discovered the black humor in it and the possibility to portray a cartoonish Nazi-Psyche I had to do it.
q6, What kind of person does it take to play a villain as many striving actors feel that they offer more challenges than a nice pleasant character
Indeed villains are often more interesting to play than pleasant characters! The right looks can help but more important you have to be a “character-actor” just to be only mean or just to be only nice is mostly rather boring. So underneath the entertaining surface you try to develop some kind of personal substance, some kind of your “truth” about human existence. In case of “Centipede” the Nazi-Psyche became my vehicle to drive through the story.
q7, If you had to act with one Irish actor who would it be?
Any actor/actress with passion and a “clean actor’s soul” which means a person who together with her partners wants to give the audience an exiting story and not only wants to tell something about the own personality.
q8, Do you feel that history and especially dotted history plays a role in shaping theatre of our times as we explore and become comfortable with our own patchy history?
I don’t think that I do understand your question properly – but regarding history – I think theatre should always deal with the Past and the Future, preferably at the same time. In my opinion theatre is much too slow to deal profoundly with the actual Presence. The works of the great poets survived decades and centuries because their stuff still covers the presence and still projects into the future. Even the good writers of our time often go back or further on to get a better overview and deeper vision.
q9, who would you most like to play opposite from the world of hollywood film
I don’t know – I have no idol – but I had the honor to play in European productions with Julie Christie and Burt Lancaster, with Glenn Close and John Malkovich – and all of them were “clean-actor’s-souls” and indeed it was a great honor to work with these humble people.
q10, finally will you come back to Ireland and walk into one of our lecturers and scare our proffesors!
Sure thing! I will do so! I’ll come in and say: “Shut up!!! Time has come to finally stop you telling pure shit to the poor students. Go home and talk to yourself in front of your bathroom mirror.”