Michael Ostrowski – One of Austria’s top acting exports

The Austrian actor Michael Ostrowski is best known for his roles in the likes of Hotel Rock’n‘Roll, Nacktschnecken and Kokowääh 2. He speaks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about his latest project – the screen adaptation of the musical Ich War Noch Niemals in New York – and much more.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO © MANUEL SCHAFFERNAK

You were born in Leoben in Austria and currently live in Graz. What’s the most beautiful thing about this city? Why is Graz your chosen home?
M. Ostrowski: Graz is an incredibly laid-back city – great people, lots of culture, a great spirit when it comes to the arts and it’s also very beautiful, too.

How did you become an actor? Was this profession always your dream profession?
M. Ostrowski: I’ve never had a dream profession, to be honest. I believe that you rather become what you already are. And apparently I’m many things at the same time.

Hotel Rock’n‘Roll, Nacktschnecken, Kokowääh 2 and many more – you’ve already been seen in many series and films. Which shoot do you remember most, and why?
M. Ostrowski: Based on what Falco once said: those who can remember the filming, haven’t actually experienced it. But what I can still remember pretty well: my first scene in Nacktschnecken: I ran through the forest, screamed like a monkey and moved hand over hand from branch to branch. Not a bad start for a career in film.

You’re also a successful screenplay writer. What do you love most about writing scripts?
M. Ostrowski: Writing scripts is simply fantastic because you are entirely free when doing it. The feeling of inventing characters and acts and then following them and seeing how these ideas take shape and are turned into a film is incredibly beautiful.

On 24 October, the screen adaptation of the musical Ich War Noch Niemals in New York will come to cinemas. What can viewers look forward to in this film?
M. Ostrowski: This film takes viewers onto a quite crazy, beautiful trip; unstrained and funny, emotional and full of terrific songs by Udo Jürgens. A musical with a heart – what more could you want?!

What do you love most about your role as Fred in the film?
M. Ostrowski: Fred is in love with life and a free spirit. I think that he has gone through a lot and therefore enjoys his present existence even more. At the same time, something is missing in his life – namely, the great love which he also finds on the trip. It was really exciting to play somebody who falls in love and gets sorely disappointed in the first instance. That was quite interesting and definitely better than experiencing it in real life.

Ich War Noch Niemals in New York is a musical film – a genre that has fallen into oblivion in Germany. How was the filming of it? And how was it to be part of such a film?
M. Ostrowski: A heavy camera dolly, slow tracking shots, long shots… sometimes it was like playing in a theatre as we developed the scenes right on set. A magnificent scenery, beautiful colours, awesome light. I’m really happy that I was able to be part of this. Such a film hasn’t existed in the German-speaking area for a long time.

What else is planned for this year? Do you have more news for us?
M. Ostrowski: I don’t think I’ve done so many things at the same time as right now. I’m currently filming a documentary series – Ostrowski macht Urlaub – for Servus TV, have just sung with the legendary Drahdiwaberl group, have been part of Enfant Terrible by Oskar Roehler and, at the same time, the film Hilfe, ich habe meine Freunde geschrumpft, in which I play a well-behaved teacher, and I’m also part of a German series in which I play a drug dealing groom. Right after that I will begin the shooting of a new Passau Krimi, a crime thriller, and prepare my own cinema movie Der Onkel/The Hawk, for which a friend and I are directing and writing the screenplay. Phew! And… I definitely need some leisure time after that, too.

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