He was “Tatort” commissioner and “Bella Block” assistant Jan Martensen on television, played impostors, neo-Nazis and the comedian Hape Kerkeling for the cinema: actor Devid Striesow is known for his versatile roles. Now he was in front of the camera for a literary adaptation: the forty-nine-year-old can be seen as General Friedrichs in the war drama “Nothing New in the West”. At a time like this, Striesow says he finds the film particularly relevant. “I have the feeling that too little is often done in Germany to develop an attitude against fascism.” The film was released in cinemas on September 29 and can be seen on Netflix from October 28.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Differing. On training days, I eat protein-heavy things like skyr or low-fat curd, with fruit. My wife also makes a smoothie every morning, and a different one every morning. That tastes insanely good. When I’m not working out, I like to eat sourdough bread for breakfast. I love breakfast as family time.
Where do you buy your clothes?
I don’t like shopping. But I like touching things and going into shops, sometimes I even fall for a mannequin if I like something. What I dislike: shopping online.
What is the oldest item of clothing in your closet?
A parka from G-Star. I worked with the director Jürgen Gosch, who has been dead for ten years now. And that was probably ten years earlier. At the time he asked me about the parka – so I’ve had it for 20 years now. And I still wear it.
When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand?
I write everything by hand. Here are my calendar, my pen and my fountain pen. I only write by hand because I’m so slow at typing. I even wrote the manuscripts for my book by hand.
What book has impressed you the most in life?
There are several. “Naked among wolves” by Bruno Apitz had the greatest impact on me because I read it very early on. I was sick in bed and I was very impressed by this book. Later I was impressed by “The First Son” by Philipp Meyer and most recently by “The Seeker” by Tana French – although I’m not otherwise a crime fanatic.
How do you find out about world events?
My ritual: I take my son to daycare in the morning and then go to the tobacconist and buy the “Standard”. I’ll read it all the way through if I can.
What’s your favorite small talk topic?
Oh, I’m really bad at small talk. Mostly diet and exercise.
What was the last movie that made you cry?
Sometimes I get really angry inside when I realize: you are not serious! Don’t get sentimental now because Hollywood wants it! That happens to me. I’m very easy to make cry. I don’t want to say, “Nothing new in the West,” but I actually cried. And in “The Lion King”.
Are you superstitious?
Partially. Actually, I try to ban myself. Coming from the theater, something has taken root there. I don’t whistle in the theater, I don’t go on stage with a private cap. And I have rituals before I go on stage.
What can you laugh about?
About slapstick. Also in everyday life. If someone falls on the escalator, I have to laugh – even if I’m sorry. There is humor in tragedy. You can and must laugh about everything, otherwise you can’t process it. If you go down to the basement to laugh, it’s uptight and doesn’t help.
your favorite first name?
All my children’s first names. But I won’t tell you.
Do you take a lunch break?
Yes. If I don’t put my feet up for a moment, the rest of the day will be really exhausting. A few minutes off is enough.
In which country would you like to live?
I already live in these countries: Austria and Germany.
What’s never missing in your fridge?
Do you feel freer with or without a car?
In the city I only ride my bike, the car is in a garage. But when we’re out and about in the country, we can’t do without a car, unfortunately.
What’s your greatest talent?
I can only be an actor. I can not do more. I like being someone else.
What do you do when it’s unreasonable?
Light a cigarette now and then. I always explain it like this: On my first day of shooting as Hape Kerkeling, when I had to smoke, I had a Tschick flash, that’s what they call it here in Austria. I was so bad I actually had a near death experience. So that this never happens to me again, I sometimes smoke one – and immediately regret it afterwards.
Which historical person would you like to meet?
Genghis Khan when he is communicative and peaceful.
Do you wear jewellery? And a watch?
Yes, my very flashy wedding ring, gold with a blue stone and beautiful, and my mechanical watch which I wind every morning.
Do you have a favorite scent?
Blue de Chanel.
What was your best holiday experience?
A holiday camp memory: I was maybe twelve, back then it was still East and West, and then Die Ärzte were just coming up. We formed a band without being able to play any instruments and listened to “Buddy Holly’s Glasses” over and over and played air guitar along with it. When the song was played at the holiday camp disco in the evening, we freaked out.
What concert were you at last?
Panic! at the disco in Berlin. That was sometime before Corona.
Luckily, what are you missing?
Funny, you have so much, but nobody is really happy. The developments in the world are really getting to me, starting with the climate and ending with the war. Fortunately, I miss the fact that people can’t find adequate solutions for this. You always have to experience it yourself first. That is always only crisis management, never prevention.
what do you drink for dinner
Nothing. I try not to drink anything two hours before bed.
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