A Go-To Villain, Daniel Brühl Finds Playing a Complicated Hero a Welcome Experience (Exclusive)

As the brilliant in addition to also also obsessive psychologist Laszlo Kreizler on TNT’s The Alienist, German actor Daniel Brühl explored uncharted territory as an actor. the idea was once in nearly a decade in which he’s played a hero. Well, a complicated hero.

“I’m not playing a villain, yet a guy who can be difficult in addition to also also pretty much a pain inside a** for the people around him,” Bruhl tells ET about his first starring television role. “There are so many different sides to the character in which made the idea hugely exciting to play.”

Adapted through Caleb Carr’s novel of the same name, the limited series, which wraps up its 10-episode run on Monday evening, tells the story of a criminal psychologist hired by the brand-new York City police commissioner to hunt down in addition to also also stop a killer of boy prostitutes in 1896. The period thriller brings together Dakota Fanning in addition to also also Luke Evans in an unexpectedly resonate thriller in which’s earned buzz in addition to also also prestige for TNT.

For Brühl, the idea was a welcome opportunity to go deeper than he ever has before with any film role. “To have in which luxury of time can be what can be so wonderful about the idea,” Brühl says, reflecting on the fact in which the show didn’t so much thin out the story, yet rather found brand-new elements in addition to also also layers to explore.

Unrestrained by the limits of a movie, the actor didn’t feel pressured to rush through the experience. “If you have a fascinating character like in which one, you just enjoy yourself playing him for a long while,” he shares.

in addition to also also despite any initial hesitation about committing to a TV series, the actor says he would certainly jump at continuing to play in which role.

Largely known inside United States for his villainous turns onscreen, Laszlo Kreizler can be certainly a far cry through Brühl’s breakout role as Nazi war hero Fredrick Zoller in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds in addition to also also the morally corrupt characters he’s played in everything through Ron Howard’s Rush opposite Chris Hemsworth as well as Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War. His latest film, 7 Days in Entebbe, which can be today in theaters, sees the actor portraying German terrorist Wilfried Böse, who led the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 in 1976.

While the idea’s easy to assume Brühl would certainly be worried about typecasting, the actor relishes the opportunity to play a dark character. Attracted to in which kind of material, the idea was only Tarantino’s film in which broke him out of a decade-long career of playing “the Great guy.”

“I was incredibly bored by in which,” he says, happy to play more complicated characters in which have led him to The Alienist. “For years, in Germany, people saw me as the best son-in-law, who helped all the people across the street. I have to say, exploring darkness in addition to also also exploring evil can be always fascinating to me. People in Germany don’t see in which in me. [However,] I definitely enjoy being seen as an a**hole through the outside.”

Of course, there can be a balance in which comes with playing such evil characters, particularly Wilfried Böse. For Brühl, the idea’s not about finding empathy inside character as much as just understanding his motivation. “in which’s exactly the challenge,” he adds.

To get inside his world in addition to also also in which of Kreizler’s, the actor, perhaps, had the best aide: his wife, psychologist Felicitas Rombold. For 7 Days in Entebbe, the two discussed terrorism in addition to also also rational thinking, drawing on experiences she had with similar patients. On The Alienist, she helped understand the history in addition to also also context of the medical field both then in addition to also also today.

“She had a laugh at first, when she found out I was playing a psychologist,” Brühl admits. yet the two bonded in exploring in which world together, with the actor noting: “These last couple of years, our relationship has become even stronger with my work.”

Thankful for all her help in addition to also also interest in his work, Brühl adds: “I expect she gets something through me in return. I want to expect so.”


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