For “Next Door”, Daniel Brühl in front of and behind the camera

By Clémentine Goldszal

Posted today at 07h00

He is almost categorical. The next time he directs a film, Daniel Brühl will not be the headliner. “I can’t spend so much time with myself, looking at myself, listening to myself, he explains. It creates self-hatred after a while. “ But, for now, the German actor is the star of his first feature film as a director, Next Door. This comedy is, he says, a « eastern », a western that takes place in Berlin, a game between two men, two neighbors, one pushing the other to reveal himself, to reveal his secrets, baseness and hypocrisy. One clarification: Daniel Brühl plays there a famous German actor named Daniel.

Exactly as we’ve known him since 2003, when he starred in Good Bye, Lenin !, by Wolfgang Becker. He played a young man from the GDR who, to protect his very fragile mother, hides the fall of the Wall from him and does everything to ensure that the subterfuge is not discovered: he buys pickles as only the East could produce, creates fake socialist television shows, makes him believe that Coca-Cola is a communist drink.

He is fluent in French, speaks Spanish

He could have been, in the eyes of the world public, the actor of a single film. On the contrary, Daniel Brühl has toured everywhere. With Spaniards, but also an Icelandic, a Dutch, an English, a New Zealander and a Brazilian. In the 2000s, he also became a fan of the cinema of Julie Delpy, with whom he collaborated for 2 days in Paris (2007), then The Countess (2009), and again for Two Days in New York (2012) and My Zoe (2019). He also, of course, filmed in Hollywood (in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), by Paul Greengrass, Inglourious Basterds (2009), by Quentin Tarantino, Rush (2013), from Ron Howard, to Captain America : Civil War (2016), Anthony and Joe Russo.

A cosmopolitanism that he did not discover with success. He is fluent in French, which he learned with his family (his two uncles married French women, “Françoise de Paris and Françoise de Toulouse”). He also speaks Spanish, his mother’s language, perfectly. He was born in Barcelona and raised in Cologne.

“My behavior was ridiculous. I was walking down the street with my keys in my hand to show that I was fine from here. »Daniel Brühl

The idea for his first film was born in Barcelona. “In 2010, after years in Germany, I returned to live in Spain, where I was born, he recounts. I had found a small apartment, in a very cool, very “authentic” neighborhood, but my behavior was ridiculous. I was walking down the street with my keys in my hand to show that I was fine from here. “ One day, in a restaurant, a man sits opposite him: “He was looking at me with a look that immediately made me feel he hated me. My whole attitude revolted him. He was clearly a local worker, and I was there with my suitcase, I had arrived from Germany, I was talking super loudly to the waiters, Lionel Messi, the match the day before… “ Thus was born Next Door.

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For “Next Door”, Daniel Brühl in front of and behind the camera

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