Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Interview: In 'Güeros' Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios Rediscovered Mexico City Via a Unique Road Trip Interview: In 'Güeros' Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios Rediscovered Mexico City Via a Unique Road Trip Film London Presents Two Finance Markets Film London Presents Two Finance Markets Cannes: Inspiration & Determination From A Short Film Corner Participant Cannes: Inspiration & Determination From A Short Film Corner Participant Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes '15: SCAD Alumni Premiere Oscar de la Renta Exhibition Film at Cannes Cannes '15: SCAD Alumni Premiere Oscar de la Renta Exhibition Film at Cannes Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Cannes '15: KMI Announces Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, AnnaSophia Robb in 'Monumental' Cannes '15: KMI Announces Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, AnnaSophia Robb in 'Monumental' Cannes ISA of the Day: Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales Cannes ISA of the Day: Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes  Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Oberhausen International Short Film Festival LatinoBuzz: 'La Tierra y la Sombra'  (Land and Shade) selected for Cannes' Critics Week LatinoBuzz: 'La Tierra y la Sombra' (Land and Shade) selected for Cannes' Critics Week LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot Review: Wild in Blue Review: Wild in Blue Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

Conversation with Armin Mueller-Stahl at the Locarno International Film Festival Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Parmigiani

Photo of Susan Kouguell By Susan Kouguell | www.su-city-pictures.com August 12, 2014 at 11:30AM

The conversation took place on a sunny afternoon in Locarno on 8 August 2014 moderated by Ralf Schenk.
0
Armin Mueller-Stahl Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Parmigiani
Armin Mueller-Stahl Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Parmigiani

The conversation took place on a sunny afternoon in Locarno on 8 August 2014 moderated by Ralf Schenk.

The many notable directors with whom Mueller-Stahl has worked include Costa-Gavras, Andrzej Wajda, Jim Jarmusch, David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Ron Howard, David Cronenberg and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Born in East Prussia, the Oscar-nominated Mueller-Stahl is a classically trained violinist and an acting school dropout. He moved to West Germany at the age of 50, and later made the transition to working on American Hollywood and independent films and television.

Mueller-Stahl: “This year I am 84, which is a long life by the way.”

When asked about the films he feels particularly attached to, his response is "Avalon" and "Music Box."

Armin Mueller-Stahl in "Avalon"
Armin Mueller-Stahl in "Avalon"

Mueller-Stahl: “I filmed them in parallel over the same year. In "Avalon" (in the role of Sam Krichinsky) I played a German; I was the head of a Jewish family. And in "Music Box." I played Mike Laszlo a war criminal. The two roles could not have been more different. It was an unforgettable experience. I felt like a kind of Mephistopheles.”

Sam Krichinsky in Barry Levinson’s "Avalon":

“I came to America in 1914 - by way of Philadelphia. That's where I got off the boat. And then I came to Baltimore. It was the most beautiful place you ever seen in your life. There were lights everywhere! What lights they had! It was a celebration of lights! I thought they were for me, Sam, who was in America. Sam was in America! I didn't know what holiday it was, but there were lights. And I walked under them. The sky exploded, people cheered, there were fireworks! What a welcome it was, what a welcome!”

Mueller-Stahl: For Avalon there was a press junket with 12 Jewish journalists. The first journalist asked me, ‘Please tell me about your Jewish heritage.’ I made a long pause. I didn’t answer straight, so I made a curve. ‘My grandfather came from St. Petersburg to Germany – unfortunately he got off at that stop otherwise I would have been an American star and you wouldn’t ask me that question.’ I paused. ‘I’m not a Jew.’ Then another journalist put his hand on my shoulder warmly, ‘You are a Jew’.

When I made Music Box with Costa-Gavras I said to him, ‘Maybe I’m (the Mike Laszlo character) not guilty in the very beginning. I would like to keep the door open to almost the end. This guy is guilty of course, in the end you know he’s guilty. He said, ‘No, it wouldn’t work.’ After three days, Costa-Gavras came to me and said, ‘Let’s do it your way.’

Armin Mueller-Stahl in "Music Box"
Armin Mueller-Stahl in "Music Box"

On playing many villains

I played many awful guys. There is always a dark side in a person. I’m always trying to find in a bad character the good in him.”

On Playing Various War Roles

“To live through a war…I have lived it. No war. No more. Period.”

The Actor. The Jester

When talking about the craft of acting, Mueller-Stahl refers to (in German) the ‘gaukler,’ the jester. “The gaukler is a dreamer, but optimistic.” Perhaps one can interpret this as a true reflection of this fine actor.

Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell presents international workshops and seminars on screenwriting and film. Author of SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! and THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide.www.su-city-pictures.com , http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog


This article is related to: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Lifetime Achievement Award – Parmigiani , Locarno 2014, Locarno Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, International, International Film, International Film Sales, International Film Business, International Film Festival, International Sales Agent

E-Mail Updates