"Be creative and play. The success will come" an interview with actor Falk Hentschel
Best known for his work on action adventure Knight and Day, Transcendence and the hit TV series The Flash, actor, writer and producer Falk Hentschel talks to Mandy News about his new role in the movie Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carell.
How did you get into acting?
I’ve been talking about it ever since I was four, or so my grandma tells me. But it really all started when my childhood bestie and I decided to take my parents’ home video camera into the woods to shoot little martial arts action films. We had so much fun. It was so creative and fulfilling that I knew then that I wanted to be an actor/filmmaker. Nothing really changed just that now we have better cameras, but we still run around in the woods or some other cool location and have fun telling a story with our friends.
How did you get involved with Welcome to Marwen?
I got the script, read it, thought it was incredibly inspiring and original and made a tape for Victoria Burrows and Scot Boland. I had a lovely meeting with Bob where we connected over the film and filmmaking in general and a few hours after, I got the call. It was all a bit surreal, Robert Zemeckis being such a huge influence and inspiration for me. Basically a childhood dream came true.
Tell us about your character, what it's like playing the Villain and how do you get into character?
I play Hauptsturmführer Topf who represents Mark Hogencamps real life attacker in the world of Marwen. A Nazi who is out to get Hoagie no matter what. Brutal, scary and mean.
The biggest challenge was to get into the mindset of the real life character. In order to take on a role I need to find a way to empathise with the character I’m playing which is particularly difficult when it’s a real life person who has committed such horrific acts of violence and hate. My way in was to imagine that the character I played must have been jealous of Mark’s free expression and the courage it takes to be that way. He needed to teach Mark a lesson in order to cover up his own lack of courage to be himself. That was my way in.
Can you talk us through a typical day shooting?
On this set, it was so fun. Bob would have us all gather and then he’d lay out the battle plan for the day. Talking us through his vision, making sure we were all on the same page. It was like a captain talking to his troops. Inspiring, encouraging and full of energy. I’d follow him wherever he needed me to go. It’s amazing to be able to trust your director so easily and deeply. Then on set in the midst of creating the scenes he was very inclusive and collaborative, just like I had always imagined. It was perfect.
What are you currently working on, what's coming next for you?
I’m currently in Berlin shooting an 8 part TV show called Spides - a sci-fi thriller in the vain of body snatchers set in modern day gritty Berlin.
Rosabell Laurenti Sellers plays “Nora” a teenager who wakes up out of coma having lost most of her memory. A new synthetic drug seemed to have been the culprit. I play a narc who follows this drug down a rabbit hole that brings him to the realisation that an alien invasion is underway.
The thing that really gets my juices going is to finally produce my own first feature. I just wrote an indie medieval action drama that I’m in the process of putting together. I love seeing it unfold. Ultimately though I want to create a studio that makes films in an organic and filmmaker friendly way. Finance it in a way that the power can still remain with the storytellers, the environment is kind and fun and the artist participate in profits.
What advice do you have for people wanting to earn the craft, and become actors?
Play, play and play. Find ways to do what you dream of instead of preparing for the day that your dreams will come true. Obviously if you can, the easiest way to start is to get into an acting class and hone your craft. But beyond that, connect with likeminded people and tell stories. You can do it all on an iPhone these days, so go out there and live your dream. Be creative and play. The success will come.