The 2014 FIFA World Cup might be over, but the football-slash-soccer fever and celebrations are certainly still in full swing for Germans all over the world.
Can you blame them? Their national football team beat Argentina in the final to be crowned World Cup champions and earn that fourth star for Germany, and their first World Cup title since 1990.
And there are more than a few Tinseltown residents who will very likely be celebrating Die Mannschaft’s success this week. As internationalised as America’s film industry is, there are more Germans with established careers in Hollywood than you might realise.
Here are a few:
The name “Heidi” is all you need to hear for your mind to churn up images of the iconic German supermodel who has now become a television icon. Born and raised in the town of Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, Klum broke into the international scene for her appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She then flew to the top of the modelling industry with Victoria’ Secret Angel wings on her back (she is the first German VS Angel).
After a very successful career of strutting her stuff on some of the world’s most prestigious runways, Klum began her television career as the host and judge of Project Runway, for which she has won an Emmy. Talk about fierce. She is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent and has made cameo appearances in multiple films and television shows. Well, who wouldn’t pay good money to give the Heidi Klum some screen time in their film?
Watch any of Diane Kruger’s current interviews, and you wouldn’t be able to detect that this model-turned-actress isn’t American. Unless you’re an expert linguist with a superhuman-sharp ear for traces of converted accents. In fact, Kruger told Jimmy Kimmel that director Quentin Tarantino did not believe she was German when she was being cast for Inglorious Basterds. She had to go as far as to fly to Germany and show him her passport.
Born in Algermissen, Germany, Kruger has certainly made her mark in American cinema; before Inglorious Basterds, she was Dr. Abigail Chase in two National Treasure movies, and the legendary Helen of Troy in Troy. We can see why two entire kingdoms would go to war so that Orlando Bloom’s Prince Paris could have his dear Helen; if she looks like Diane Kruger, we guess that’s worth fighting for.
Well, he’s really half-German and half-Irish, in every sense of the word. His father is German, his mother is Irish. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and raised in Killarney, Ireland. He has a German last name and a very common first name in Ireland. Well, who doesn’t like a guy with the best of both worlds?
If you need us to spell out Fassy’s recent work for you, you have probably been living under a rock. He has been Magneto in the X-Men films, David in Prometheus, Lt. Archie Hicox in Inglorious Basterds, and had an Oscar-nominated performance as a brutal slave owner in 12 Years a Slave. And that’s just the past five years.
You will probably know who he is if you watch plenty of World War 2 movies. It seems to be Thomas Kretschmann’s speciality. Hailing from Dessau, Germany, he has starred in two films called Stalingrad, one in 1993 and another 20 years later. To Hollywood audiences, he is best known for his portrayal of Nazi officers in The Pianist and Valkyrie, and for for his appearances in King Kong (2005), Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Frankenstein and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron).
He has had more than his fair share of Nazi officer roles, but no one’s complaining; the man looks good in uniform. Very good.
Even if you didn’t know his name, Til Schweiger would probably look familiar to you. It might be partly because he has one of those tough guy Hollywood faces, but take a look at his resume and you’ll figure out where you’ve seen him before. Born in Freiburg, Germany, his Hollywood credits include Driven, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Inglorious Basterds, The Three Musketeers, New Year’s Eve and This Means War.
Ring any bells?
Mainstream American audiences first saw him as Frederik Zoller in Inglorious Basterds, and Daniel Bruhl has since gone on to add several high profile Hollywood roles to his name. Born in Barcelona, Spain and raised in Cologone, Germany, this half-German half-Spanish actor has starred in The Bourne Ultimatum and The Fifth Estate, and had a BAFTA-nominated performance as Niki Lauda in Rush.
As befitting his mixed background and multilingual upbringing, Bruhl can speak German, English, Spanish and French. Cue slow whistle.
If you watch regular Hollywood blockbusters and for some reason, you have no clue who this guy is, you would have at least recognised his name from the credits. Frankfurt-born Hans Zimmer is the composer of some of the most iconic (and epic) film scores in American cinema.
Even if you don’t give a hoot about movie soundtracks, Zimmer is the genius behind the overplayed Pirates of the Carribean theme. Surely, you know that one. Zimmer also composed the soundtracks of The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Pearl Harbor, The Dark Knight and Inception, just to name a few.
When we said epic, we meant it.