Best known for his roles in Die Wolke, Honigfrauen and Mogadischu, the charismatic German actor, author and artist, Franz Dinda, speaks to Discover Germany about his latest projects and reveals how searching for old things brings him back down to earth.
Born on 25 March in 1983 in Jena, East Germany, Franz Dinda has always known what he wanted. “I discovered my love for acting when I joined my school’s theatre club. This quickly turned into a proper fascination and whenever I watched TV, I could only think about one thing: that’s where I want to end up! Thereupon I called an information centre to get all relevant phone numbers in the next bigger city and I ended up in the portfolio of a casting agency. Shortly after, the first few roles followed,” he smiles.
Today, a big fanbase has accumulated around the charismatic actor – for good reason. Dinda has appeared in national and international hit films and series such as Mogadischu, Tatort, Babylon Berlin and Die Informantin 2. He recalls: “Each shooting has its own charm and its very own special moments. After all, that’s why filming is so addictive. I will always remember a two-day, cross-country hike from Berlin to Erfurt that I did with two acting colleagues of mine as preparation for a shoot. We just started with a compass and wanted to see how it feels when having to go from a to b without support and under time pressure. That was almost a film in itself.”
A versatile range of roles
From 23 November, a new, much-anticipated series with Dinda will be shown on SKY – Das Boot. Produced on a budget of 33 million dollars, Das Boot is a World War II drama series with an international, star-studded cast in which the actor will play the leading engineer. Besides Dinda, Tom Wlaschiha, Vincent Kartheiser and Robert Stadlober, amongst others, got roles in the new series. Inspired by the Oscar-nominated film by Wolfgang Petersen and Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s novel, Das Boot will bring the brutal reality of World War II on screen through two storylines that run parallel on land and sea. “We managed to newly interpret the original movie and its stimuli and didn’t merely copy it. We also managed to continue it in our own manner. As mentioned, the series has a storyline that runs on land besides the one in the submarine – both complement each other perfectly,” explains Dinda.
Primarily known for roles in more serious dramas and crime thrillers, Dinda recalls: “When you think of the actor Franz Dinda, you probably don’t think of a specialist for slapstick. I have always been seen more as a serious actor – also because I actively tried to avoid appearing in too many inconsistent formats and comedies sometimes have a tendency like that.” But the actor also has a different side. In fact, another new project which will come to cinemas in 2019 is the Buddy comedy Ronny & Klaid, in which Dinda got a lead role alongside Sahin Eryilmaz. Dinda says: “The chance of proving my comic talent really excited me – especially because Ronny & Klaid is such a wonderfully straightforward comedy.”
Further upcoming projects that Dinda will have appearances in are Die Informantin 2 with Aylin Tezel and Ken Duken, which will be released in 2019, as well as Dr. Heinrich Breloer’s mini-series Brecht – eine Vorstellung, where Dinda plays the German actor, director and author Egon Monk with whom Dinda has more in common than some might think. After all, Dinda is also a renowned author and has published two works already (Kavalier an Dame, Ein Bilderreimbuch über Liebe).
“I search for old things”
Besides writing books and acting, Dinda is also active as a presenter and owns an atelier in which he focuses on artistic projects. “Being able to work is really important to me and I simply need the movement to feel fit emotionally, as well as intellectually. This sometimes entails that I’m in my own thoughts quite a lot. But I still watch out that I appreciate and experience time with my family as much as possible. And when I have the feeling that I lose control, I grab my metal detector and drive to a field in Berlin’s surroundings for a few hours to search for old things – nothing is able to bring me down to earth more.
Speaking of Berlin, since being born in Jena and growing up in Hohenweiler, Dinda has chosen Berlin as his permanent home. “Through moving so much, ‘home’ has become something that I feel when I’m with my loved ones. This doesn’t mean that the places where I grew up are no longer important but rather that they’re not the actual, emotional anchor for me. That’s why I’m also really pragmatic with Berlin: at the moment, it simply is the most practical place to live work-wise.” But nonetheless, Dinda has favourite spots in the capital city of Germany: Berlin’s backyards. He smiles: “They’re like parallel universes which surprise and fascinate me over and over again as they show how complexly Berlin was actually built. On top of that, I simply love hidden places where you get the feeling of finding secrets.”
After already achieving so much at an early age, we want to know what other wishes and dreams he has. He concludes: “I’d really like to get a role in a film that deals with art history – a film about German expressionism or the Wiener Werkstätte. Furthermore, I’d love to take on a singing role. Or immediately play Elvis. Bring it on!”
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO: BEN WOLF