Shooting Star 2009 – Germany
by Bénédicte Prot
- David Kross German Shooting Stars talks about his role in The Reader
At only 18, David Kross has already starred in several major productions. In fact, there is not one of the handful of projects he in which he appeared that has not been a success. Starting with television’s Help, I'm a Boy!, which he shot at age 12. The following year he was seen in Adam & Eva, yet it was with his next film, Detlev Buck's award-winning Tough Enough [+see also:
film profile] (2006), in which he played a boy who moves to a more popular Berlin neighbourhood and is victimized at school, that he became widely known in Germany.
Then came the critical and theatrical children’s hits Hands Off Mississippi [+see also:
film profile] by Buck (with whom Kross is currently working on a new project) and Krabat [+see also:
film profile] by Marco Kreuzpaintner, in which he starred and Daniel Brühl co-starred. With Stephen Daldry's The Reader [+see also:
film profile], a Golden Globe winner and favourite for the next edition of the Oscars, Kross' fame has become international. Thus, he was an obvious candidate for the EFP Shooting Star event.
Cineuropa: Your career has progressed very fast. How would you recount it, from the reasons that made you take this direction to the qualities that you think have allowed such quick progress?
David Kross: Well, I myself cannot explain how it all happened to me. I have always liked acting, for example in the theatre. Later, I played small TV and cinema roles. After my first big feature film, Tough Enough by Detlev Buck, I got the opportunity to continue acting for the cinema, so I took my chances and tried to learn about film in general and acting, of course. The only thing I can say is that I am very lucky to have been a part of these wonderful projects.
How did you join the cast of The Reader? What did you like about the script and the novel?
When I first heard about this production, I was still at school. Since my plan was to finish school first I was not sure whether I should go to the audition, but I knew the film Billy Elliot and when I found out that Stephen Daldry would direct The Reader I really wanted to meet him.
I loved the novel by Bernhard Schlink, so I was very keen on getting this part. After a long auditioning process, when Stephen told me I got the part, I was speechless. The novel combines clear and simple writing with a wonderfully moving love story. I also think it is a very important book, especially for Germany.
How challenging was your role as the protagonist of an inappropriate relationship and as a character whose emotions are explored at different stages of his life? How did you prepare it?
The first thing I had to work on was my English, which was not very good at the time – I would not have been able to act without the ability to speak that language with confidence. Besides that, the role itself was very challenging for me, especially since I was trying to portray a stage in life that I have yet not experienced – Michael's life as a student at 22. I did a lot of preparation for this film.
What did you learn from working with such experienced actors as Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes?
I have learnt a lot of things just by watching these great actors at work. They convey such passion and love for their projects. The director, Stephen Daldry, comes from the theatre and I enjoyed every second spent working with him.
What is your reaction to your selection amongst this year's Shooting Stars?
I was in Cambodia shooting a new film, Same Same But Different by director Detlev Buck, when I heard I had been nominated as the 2009 Shooting Star for Germany. I was elated and surprised, I didn't expect anything like that.
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