fri 02/12/2016

Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on Playing Hitler | reviews, news & interviews

Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on Playing Hitler

Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on Playing Hitler

The great Swiss actor on playing the little Austrian corporal in German

'I was scared just for two or three seconds. Then I was actor enough to say, 'That’s OK, that will help. Even if you are bad as Hitler still you’ll look like him'

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and hands the ring on. There were only four handovers in the entire 20th century. The most recent of them was in 1996, when the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (b 1941) became the new lord of the ring. This weekend in Tallinn the European Film Academy has accorded him another honour: a Lifetime Achievement award. But once all the accolades have been handed out, there is one role for which Ganz will be overwhelmingly remembered.

I thought, if it’s going to be seen by many people throughout the world you will be identified with the one who played Hitler and that’s not easy

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A marvellous performance, sure, but in a disappointingly ordinary film. Just because Germany's coming to terms with its past, that doesn't make great art. Would have done pretty well as a high-quality telly series, though

I became aware of Mr Ganz in The Reader, but did not connect him to this role until I saw the parodies on youtube. I along with most found them funny, but at the same time thought what an astonishing job this man had done (Ganz not Hitler!) Mr Ganz is a credit to his craft.

GA, I cannot agree. Have you ever thought what it means to be German with the legacy of Nazism and the Holocaust to deal with? great art can be created by a great acting performance which is what Mr Ganz gave us. Ganz was masterful. Der Untergang is never "disappointingly ordinary" - it is an attempt to demystify events that have perplexed millions for the last 66 years - what made Hitler "tick" and how did this tyrannical megalomaniac finally come to admit defeat? I would be interested in anybody's recommendation of a better in-depth filmic study of a tyrant.

I have to correct the great Bruno Ganz. The private conversation was actually with Mannerheim, the Commander of Finnish Forces during World War II. It took place in a stationary train car in Imatra, Finland.

I, my partner and son watched this last night and were blown away. Ganz really has (I think) captured the essence of the Fuhrer, and we three truly believed. Glad it was done in German with subtitles - it lended a sense of authenticity to the setting and, somehow, underlined the moments of rage and madness. I hope this makes sense. Truly an important work and contribution to historical cinema.

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