Moritz Bleibtreu


Carlo Cavagna's interview about the film "Das Experiment"(Los Angeles 28/08/2002) Harald Schmidt's interview(Die Harald-Schmidt-Show 30/08/2002)


Harald Schmidt's interview
(Die Harald-Schmidt-Show 30/08/2002)

Harald Schmidt: My today's guest is a great actor. Next week on November seventh starts a new film starring him. "Solino". Welcome, Moritz Bleibtreu!

Schmidt: It's a pleasure to me to have you here again.

Moritz Bleibtreu: I'm glad, too. Thank you very much!

Schmidt: Solino?

Bleibtreu: Solino.

Schmidt: That is a place in Italy?

Bleibtreu: Yeah, that's a place in italy, which we thought up a little. Maybe it really exists, but it sounded so nice: Solino, Sole, little sun and ... It's the village that occurs in the film. I really don't know, whether this city exists, but it might be ...

Schmidt: When you're saying "little sun" ... that means, you're speaking Italian.

Bleibtreu: Si, un po. ["Yes, a little."]

Schmidt: How good? [with Italian accent]

Bleibtreu: ... Cosi. It's OK. I lived there for a year and had a girl-friend there and she teached me Italian pretty good.

Schmidt: Where was it in Italy?

Bleibtreu: I was jetting between Rome and Venice. She is Venetian by birth and lives or lived in Rome. And so I drove there and back.

Schmidt: They're two world cities, I mean two great cities to shuttle between, or?

Bleibtreu: That's right, although I hated Venice, because if one lives there, one doesn't get round to nothing. 'Cause you cannot go shopping. You have those tiny alleys and when you want to go shop something - I don't know, ham or something - there's always a line of people going into one direction and another one going into the other direction. And as soon as a tourist stops to look into a shop window, you can't go on. And that's why after a time you learn to hate tourists. But it's a wonderful city.

Schmidt: And Rome? Which one did you like better? Venice or Rome?

Bleibtreu: Rome.

Schmidt: Yeah.

Bleibtreu: Yeah, there is more going on and a little more cosmopolitan and somehow bigger. Venice is bit too romantic. And when it's getting a little bit cold, it can pull you down a lot.

Schmidt: Really?

Bleibtreu: Yes, indeed.

Schmidt: So many people say, one has to go to Venice in November, because ...

Bleibtreu: ... yes, because then there's nobody there. Then it's pretty empty. But when you're not in great form it can pull you down. It's pretty ... minor [the musical term].

Schmidt: And then you lived one year in Italy?

Bleibtreu: Approximately.

Schmidt: And then even a year in New York?

Bleibtreu: Yeah, that was afterwards.

Schmidt: In this young life already two years?

Bleibtreu: Yeah, listen. That was ...

Schmidt: And Paris, too?

Bleibtreu: Exactly. I went to Paris because I didn't feel like doing school in Germany.

Schmidt: What grade was it?

Bleibtreu: Eleventh, I broke off. The teachers started addressing me as "Sie" [noble address] and so on. And I said: "Oh!" and I realized that I learned nothing in the time before because I attended a comprehensive school. That means they all were ... [laughing audience] ... Yes, of course. Yes, comprehensive school is a little bit like ...

Schmidt: But it changed, I think.

Bleibtreu: Yeah, that may be.

Schmidt: It got better!

Bleibtreu: Maybe, I thought ... a little bit like communism. Concept good, but realization ... difficult. And so I got to eleventh grade and my teachers began saying "Sie" and so I said: "So, no. I'm ready." And so I went to Paris to actually make some life experience. Italy because of love. I wanted to do some acting school there but there actually was none. So I had to keep myself busy with something. You know, to have a justification to stay there for so long, not only because of the woman, but actually only because of the woman! And then I went to New York to attend a real acting school.

Schmidt: The famous Strasberg school ...

Bleibtreu: Not really. Of course, it's the first address to turn to. That was more than 10 years ago. '90 I was in New York. So I went in ... and you know that there is the famous Lee Strasberg. [praising gesture] And so I went in and they said I could get some information and so they put me in a room and said: "Lee is gonna talk to you"...

Schmidt: OK, he still lived then?

Bleibtreu: On the contrary! That was the funny thing. I thought: 'This is pretty odd. When he's dead, how is he supposed to talk to me?' And they got me into a room. And there were a TV set and a video. And they put it in, then Lee Strasberg came onto the stage: "Dear student, blah blah blah blah" and then I said "No" and I went out. Besides it's way to expensive. A fulltime program costs, I think, $1300 a month. Nobody can afford that. At least not me at the age of nineteen! That was a little too much then.

Schmidt: So they're they taking everyone or does one have to make a entrance examination?

Bleibtreu: They let everyone in. The principle is easy: As a teacher I don't want to destroy your dreams. If you want to learn something about this profession, do it, but I don't judge about your quality. And everyone can do something there. And then they all sit around with thirty people and ... "I'm an alga", share memory, "I'm a fish!"

Schmidt: Oh, I see. That is actually very smart. One earns money and has no responsibility when it doesn't work.

Bleibtreu: Exactly. One can say: "I gave you everything you need to know. If you're not able to ..., so sorry!" And so it's going on there.

Schmidt: That's why you got so many German soap actors and you hear them say: "I attended the Strasberg school for a long time."

Bleibtreu: That might be!

Schmidt: That means, there is no criterion?

Bleibtreu: There is no criterion. Money is a criterion! The more money the better the education. And the rest is a matter of imagination. The whole method-acting thing, it didn't approach me. I'm more coming from a playful acting direction. It's not that I don't take it serious. But I think that the whole thing is more like a game. And a lot of things that add to it are, I think, grossly exaggerated, so much ...

Schmidt: But you attended an acting school?!

Bleibtreu: Yeah, I had private lessons. I tried to work with people I like. So I looked for teachers that I liked and so we learned at the teacher's home. So, I went staight out of the Strasberg institute and I don't believe in the whole share exercises thing, like I said. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Schmidt: The school exercises?

Bleibtreu: Sense memory, emotional memory and stuff ...

Schmidt: And the emotional memory, yeah yeah.

Bleibtreu: When you sit down and think about how the cat died years ago.

Schmidt: And then you gotta cry.

Bleibtreu: Yes, exactly. And then you cry. And everyone cries. Thirty people, all of them crying. And you think: 'Oh God, am I the only one pretending?' And then, years later, you find out that you were not the only one. They're all pretending!

Schmidt: Yeah, exactly. Nobody cares a damn. The audience just has to believe it. A big secret. It's much easier than everybody thinks.

Bleibtreu: That's the way it is. You can say, if I get the viewer to believe that I cry, then it doesn't fucking matter what I do and how I do it. The main thing is, they believe it. Exactly.

Schmidt: Yeah, definitely. But of course everyone says "There were Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and so on attending this school!"

Bleibtreu: Of course, and it's a real big thing when you're young. For example I worked in the Actor's Studio a little bit. I had a so called "observership". I had to keep the room clean and you are allowed to observe it a bit and then Al Pacino went in or ...

Schmidt: Really?

Bleibtreu: Yeah, or ...

Schmidt: What does he do then?

Bleibtreu: He's coming in briefly and says: "Hello, my name is Al." And the he leaves. And then one feels like: 'Wow, I saw Al Pacino! That's got to be the place where everything's gonna be just right.' But after all ... they're just human and they don't show themselves that much no more. There's very much illusion and show. Just like the Americans like to try to put everything into little boxes. They do the same thing with acting. And the whole is called "method" and you got to do it so and so ... like you build up a table or something. But I don't think that this profession works like this. I think there's more to it than just a stupid manual.

Schmidt: We make a short commercial break and after it we will see a scene from the new film with Moritz Bleibtreu. "Salino". See you then.

Bleibtreu: "Solino"!

Schmidt: "Solino"!!!

Schmidt: Moritz Bleibtreu. And the movie's called "Solino". "Solino". Was it shot in Italian?

Bleibtreu: Partly, yeah. It's about sixty percent German and forty percent Italian. But in the most theatres the movie will be seen overdubbed. German.

Schmidt: And the other actors are Italians?

Bleibtreu: Yes. It's a story about a family. I play the elder brother and there is a younger brother who is played by Barnaby Metschurat. And the two parents, they are Italian actors. Mama from Rome, Papa from Naples.

Schmidt: And they have a pizzeria, right?

Bleibtreu: Exactly. So ... [laughing audience] Yes, they have a pizzeria.

Schmidt: I read it before, that's why I know it ...

Bleibtreu: Some people say it's a story about the first pizzeria in Germany. That might be a little wrong, but it's a story about an Italian family of foreign workers which comes to Duisburg in '65 and opens an Italian restaurant there - a pizzeria. And the whole thing covers three decades and it's a big, beautiful family drama, however ...

Schmidt: We will see. The hair? Is it a wig or is it natural?

Bleibtreu: Yeah, all is natural hair. But the question is, how much is mine? ... Partly.

Schmidt: OK, take a close look, OK? "Solino". Moritz Bleibtreu ...

Romano Amato (Gigi Savoia): If we do it right, we will be the biggest in the whole Ruhr. And then I wanna hear somebody saying Romano Amato didn't make his mark in life!

Luigi Amato (Barnaby Metschurat): I will not go to hotel bussiness school.

Romano: I took on a second waiter just for you, so that get a good training, my boy!

Giancarlo Amato (Moritz Bleibtreu): Has to be very hard for you, because you have to pay him properly, or what?

Romano: What? Why? Am I not paying you properly?

Giancarlo: Nooo. For years we're working here almost for free.

Romano: Bullshit! That is not true! It's our restaurant. All this is ours. We're one family! And that's why you will do as I say! Or are you planning to do those fucking photographies all your life? Everything the wrong way round!

Luigi: There's more than pizza in the world.

Romano: What for example?

Luigi: Fire and passion.

Romano: ... And where's the use? What can you buy of fire an passion?

Schmidt: That's Italy. "Solino". In cinemas next Thursday, November seventh. Thankyou Moritz.

Bleibtreu: Thank you.

Schmidt: Lots of success, not only for this movie. And I'd be very pleased if you come again.

Bleibtreu: I'll do.

Schmidt: Always nice. Moritz Bleibtreu. Thankyou, good luck!

Interview found at

Privacy Policy