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Berlinale Blogger 2018
#BerlinalePeople: Alex Brendemühl, actor

Alex Brendemühl
Alex Brendemühl | © Carles Roig

Actor Alex Brendemühl about amazing moments at the Berlinale and director's contrasting styles.

Back again in the Berlinale competition is (my cousin) Alex Brendemühl, who I caught up with before his Sunday premiere:

Name & role: Alex Brendemühl, actor and writer, known for WAKOLDA (2013), MAL DE PIERRES (2016), HEDI SCHNEIDER IS STUCK (2015). Brendemühl played in last year’s Berlinale opener DJANGO and is back this year with two films in competition: the (French) world premiere of Cédric Kahn’s THE PRAYER and Christian Petzold’s (German) world premiere of TRANSIT.
What was the most amazing moment when you were in the Berlin Film Festival opener last year?
Just everything about that night! Starting on the afternoon of the opening, with the view from my hotel room over the red carpet being set up. And being at this amazing showcase for the first time. Then our huge portraits were put up at the entrance of the theatre… and then the premiere itself at the Berlinale Palast, in this enormous, beautiful cinema, with amazing sound...
You’re back, with directors Kahn and Petzold. What was the biggest difference in their directing styles?
Both are very experienced directors and therefore have a very specific, own style. Christian Petzold creates a very special atmosphere before shooting the scenes, rehearses and changes the scenes a lot at the set. He takes time to talk about anything --cinema, literature, art, life…-- but then is very quick at shooting. Cédric Kahn relies a lot on the actors, he lets you propose your character freely but knows exactly what he wants. He needs a concentrated, respectful atmosphere at the set, but he is very grateful when things happen the way he had imagined they would. Both are amazing directors, a great privilege to work with.
How difficult (or not) is it for you to jump back and forth between shooting in German, French, Spanish…?
I’m getting used to it, it’s constant training. The first days sometimes it takes a while to get used to the team, a different style in approaching emotions, but you just have to rely on your intuition that it is going to be fine. And adapt quickly to a new reality --like an animal has to do in nature too in order to survive.
Where to after Berlinale?
I will start shooting Günter Schwaiger's DER TAUCHER in Ibiza in March, an Austrian production dealing with domestic violence. I am also beginning to edit my third short film, RAROTONGA, for the trilogy I started with RUMBO A PEOR. I already shot this short in January. And then the year goes on from there, with a lot of new projects.
Any German Berlinale films you want to see?
I haven’t even had time to look at the program yet! And I won’t have much time to see films, unfortunately. Festivals mean crazy schedules for actors, you get used to it.

Part of an ongoing series of mini profiles on the blog German Film @ Canada on the movers and shakers that make the Berlinale one of the most important events in the international film calendar: the filmmakers, programmers, curators, industry promoters and visitors, from rookies to veterans