Daniel Bruhl covers our Film section inside FAULT Issue 28

Daniel Bruhl – FAULT Issue 28

 

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Photographer – Udo Spreitzenbarth
Stylist – Ty-Ron Mayes
Groomer – Nate Rosenkranz
Imaging – Lorraine Baker
Photo Assistants – Daniel Stauch & Nate DeCarlo

Words: Alex Bee

You might call Brühl an Actor-demic: his performances as an actor are always backed up by extensive, academic-level research. For his role in American period drama ‘The Alienist’, Brühl studied. Hard. The intelligent star, known for his credits in Good Bye Lenin!, Rush and Inglorious Basterds, embodies pioneering criminal psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in the eight-part series.

FAULT: How did you prepare for your role in ‘The Alienist’?
Daniel Bruhl: I didn’t know the book before but it’s one of those that you cannot put away. I felt like a 12 year old with a book and a torch under the blanket. I read it very quickly and was immediately fascinated by the world that Caleb Carr [the author] created, about each of the characters and the fact that it’s the beginning of so many things at the time that are so important now. My wife [psychologist Felicitas Rombold] put me in touch with criminal psychologists and I’d read a lot about these famous psychologists at the time the story is set. I also read books about New York in the late 1800s just to get an idea of how that place was back in the day.

What do you think makes the series so successful in telling the story of the time?
Daniel Bruhl: What helped tremendously was the passion that was put into that show in recreating the time because its so real and so authentic. When we were working on it we didn’t feel that it was fake, which sometimes can happen if there’s not enough energy and money and passion on a project. I come from movies, and when I was young when I would read a script for a period film and it would say there will be 500 extras and 50 characters and on the day you have one carriage, an old donkey and three extras and then you are supposed to recreate the magic – it just doesn’t work! What was very nice was the chemistry and the friendship we had. Dakota, Luke and I even spent most of our downtime together. Almost every weekend we met and I think that chemistry is something you cannot take for granted.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

What series have you been watching at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: ‘Mindhunter’ [a Netflix series that explores similar developments in criminal psychology] is amazing. I was absolutely blown away by ‘The Handsmaid’s Tale’, it’s a masterpiece! I was very pleased to meet Elizabeth Moss at The SAG Awards, who I think is one of the best actresses around, and I was happy to be able to tell her how magnificent she is. I also spent some time with Matt Smith who is such a great guy and interesting in ‘The Crown’ portraying Phillip – I’m hooked on that show!

How do you find the time to keep up to date with the latest programmes?
Daniel Bruhl: I always find the time! I have a couple of days where I can watch shows in my downtime or I’ll watch them when I’m travelling on the plane.

What was it like working on the third installment in the ‘Cloverfield’ series, which unexpectedly hit devices all over the world after a surprise announcement during a Superbowl ad break?
Daniel Bruhl: It was such a great ensemble. It was interesting because you have astronauts from all over the world and they managed to get all these wonderful actors from different countries, so the opportunity to work with them all was really great. Also, it was something really different for me as I am usually always travelling back in time and this was the first time that I’d actually explored the future.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

How does working on an – equally cinematic – series compare to a film?
Daniel Bruhl: It’s the luxury of time that you have. You don’t feel so restricted as you do when working on a movie when sometimes you feel that pressure. To have that privilege of 10 hours a day and 100 shooting days with one character and the ability to explore the character to the core is very rewarding.

As a pacifist, how do you find taking on roles that are often borne from a conflict?
Daniel Bruhl: That’s whats fascinating about our job as actors: to try and get into the skin and the head of somebody who is different.

What bands or artists are you listening to at the moment?
Daniel Bruhl: There’s a band called War on Drugs that I’m listening to lately and someone from the US called Francis and The Lights. Also Roosevelt, Sigur Ros and Alt-J. There is a lot of great music here in Berlin too with artists and DJs like Frank Wiedemann, Henrik Schwarz and David August – I can highly recommend coming to Berlin for clubbing.

Daniel Bruhl for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

 

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FAULT Focus: 2013 films ‘Rush’, ‘Runner Runner’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ under the spotlight

Throughout 2013, we saw a number of films that catered to various audiences based on hobbies and activities.

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Perhaps the most noteworthy was Rush, one of the most acclaimed sports films released in years. For those who love professional sports, whether that means following Formula 1 racing in everyday life or simply harboring a love for competition, Rush was a thrilling and dramatic adventure that delved into the different approaches great athletes take to competition, and how these approaches reflect in their lives.

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Another example of a film geared toward a specific audience was Runner Runner, the underwhelming online gambling thriller. Despite its disappointing execution, the premise behind the film was sound – at least from a marketing perspective. These days, online gambling activity is incredibly high, so naturally the film was of interest to thousands of real-life gamblers. At popular online poker site Bet Fair, for example, you can find thousands of active gamers live at any time—typically up to 15,000—in addition to tournaments scheduled throughout the day. At online sports booking and slot machines, there’s betting activity going on 24/7 that caters to people’s love of Internet gaming. Clearly Runner Runner had an enormous built-in audience and it was a pity that a film was such a strong cast failed so spectacularly to live up to its hype.

Perhaps more than any other film of 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis catered to a specific genre of fan: music lovers. Music films and biopics that get major releases tend to do very well, as they often delve into the fascinating lives and cultures of musicians, and showcase incredible songs and albums along the way. And despite its focus on what might now be considered a musical subculture (folk), Inside Llewyn Davis was no exception, offering a deep and profound look at the life of a struggling musician.

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The film surrounds Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a fictional folk singer living in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1961. At the outset of the film, Davis’s folk partner has committed suicide, and Davis is struggling to make ends meet. His solo album (which shares the same title as the film) isn’t selling well, and from making a fool of himself at the local Gaslight Cafe, to dissevering he may be the father of a friend’s wife’s unborn child, to general financial and career woes, he can’t seem to put together a string of success.

This is essentially the plot of the film: we watch Davis move from place to place, hitchhiking and sleeping on couches as he tries to piece his life together without any idea of what he wants the finished product to look like. Though it certainly grows a bit numbing and sad—even frustrating, at times—Inside Llewyn Davis is both an impassioned and a quirky look at the journey of a struggling musician, which in many ways is even more fascinating than that of a successful one.

The film also stars Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and (Coen brothers favourite) John Goodman, and, just as Runner Runner and Rush appealed to online gambling enthusiasts and sports fanatics respectively, Inside Llewyn Davis is an absolute must-see for any music lover.