Actors are interviewed

Interview with actor Charly Huebner : "What annoys me is the opinionated"

Charly Hübner is one of the most popular actors in Germany. Born in Neustrelitz in 1973, the Hüne became known for very different roles: as a sketch partner of Anke Engelke in “Ladykracher”, from 2010 as grumpy Inspector Bukow in Rostock “Polizeiruf 110” or as a lieutenant colonel at the border post in the turnaround drama “Bornholmer Strasse”. In 2015 he received the Grimme Prize for best actor for this film.

From October 29th, you can experience Hübner in the horror series "Hausen" on Sky. In it he embodies the taciturn caretaker in a strange prefabricated building. The first two episodes can be seen in several cinemas across Germany on October 22nd and 23rd.

Mr. Huebner, it's Halloween soon. Are you looking forward to it?
No. This is an old custom from elsewhere that I have no relation to. We've only been celebrating that for 15 years. I remember Mudder saying: The kids are coming today, you still have to go to the supermarket to get sweets. As a little boy I would of course have liked to have been given free chocolate.

Traditionally, the children also tell horror tales on this day. What are you scared of?
Snakes. I see one and know I am inferior. This moment, when they lie still, but I suspect they could bite in a flash, I find it terrible.

Don't worry, the local grass snake won't get you down.
The other day on vacation I came across someone, even with her my brain screams: Maybe that one too! No reason helps.

Other people are afraid of unlit corridors. There are enough of them in your new horror series “Hausen”. Do you have a queasy feeling in the dark?
I used to be really scared. When I was 16, I took it seriously, went into the forest near Feldberg at night ...

... You live in Hamburg, but you grew up in the east of Mecklenburg ...
... and did that a couple of times until I noticed that the forest is a lot lighter than you think. At that time I lived in a forester's house and was afraid of wild boars. Then one night I met a brook with freshlings. It crossed my path, didn't even notice me. From that moment on I became calmer.

As a child you were plagued by strange nightmares: You are standing on the roof of the Oberhof Hotel Panorama, which is built like a ski jump, and are chased down by dogs.
We were in Oberhof at the end of the 1970s and visited such a ski jump. As a lowlander, it really scared me to stand up there. I found it rather questionable that athletes fly down from there without a horse mackerel and wings. I fell asleep with a view of the Panorama Hotel, struggling with the inability to solve the problem of ski jumping and the fear that I might no longer be able to control my own body. That started the nightmare.

For many, 2020 is a lived nightmare. With this reality you don't need a horror fiction anymore.
Yes, we cannot hide, we cannot hope to delegate the event to someone. In June there were two infected people in my home country. At the gas station I was asked: Do you believe in that shit? As if it were a question of faith!

And your answer?
Of course, I said. Because I know other stories. From people who have lost people to this virus in their environment.

Does that worry you that suddenly it's no longer about facts but about feelings?
Well If someone is diagnosed with cancer and still wants to get the fourth opinion, even though three doctors have already said that the disease is there, then one moves in this mentally crisis region. You don't want to get out of your own perceived reality. This tension field with Covid, between a physical state of war among those directly affected and the feeling that “this is all far beyond the horizon” among those not affected at all, is difficult to bear.

Is there something good from the pandemic months that you would like to save for the time after?
We had considered whether, in an emergency, we would all meet in Mecklenburg and withdraw there completely. To know that this nest gives you stability, this experience of the social is great.

Probably you would not have come into Mecklenburg because of the entry ban.
From the beginning of May we were allowed in again, not before. A friend told me about a Berliner who has a house near Grevesmühlen, he drove there with his Berlin license plate, but was reported by neighbors and had to pay a very high fine - once for the outward journey and also for the return trip because the police took him sent away. Given that the plots are further apart than the minimum spacing recommends, it is questionable what is happening. Now it's that time again. The bans on accommodation allow all kinds of interpretations.

Her colleague Alexander Scheer, also born in the GDR, says: "I grew up in two countries and I don't feel at home about any of them."
I would sign it right away.

Why do you quarrel?
A feeling of home as a term wants to tell something about warmth, familiarity and security. I find that neither in the two political German stories that are my life, nor in any regions. If so, then most likely in social constellations, in love first and foremost. I don't quarrel with my homeland. I cling to her. What annoys me, and that goes far beyond Mecklenburg, from Saxony to Thuringia to Hungary and the United States, is the opinionated, persistent and right-wing extremist that is expressed in thinking, speaking and acting. A mélange that for me in 2020, to put it kindly, is completely puzzling.

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In Neustrelitz, where you went to school from 1989, there was a large right-wing scene. You experienced their violence yourself as a young person.
There was a youth club, “Die Box” in Kiefernheide, and I went there in 1989 for the first time. I wore half-length hair and a denim jacket - and immediately stood out. Couldn't even order a beer and was getting in trouble. Later I went back to the theater with actors, one of whom had long blonde hair and was thrashed straight away. The speed with which the neo-Nazis pounced on a victim like piranhas! From today's perspective, I would say: Claims were staked out with all their might. I never understood why beating should be useful, for the girl, for the moped, for anything.

Today we are debating whether to talk to right-wing extremists. Was that possible then?
I can see us high school graduates standing outside the depot, where the right-wing politicians were discussing with us: We have to move closer together, the East is gone! Now the Americans are coming, the invasion of money, don't let any strangers in - except Volga Germans, they were some of us! When I think back to it today, aesthetically, it goes like a comic in my head. Not a funny one, a brutal one, but one in the sense of distorting reality.

Like the scene when you were living in boarding school. A young neo-Nazi climbed up to you at the window on the first floor and threatened to beat you.
He called: Come down, I want to punch you in. Then he slipped and chased down the whole lightning rod. What an inner firm conviction it must be to go up to this long-shagged idiot from amateur theater and urgently want to push one in. It speaks for helplessness if only the convincing argument is convincing.

You once noticed that the turning point came at the right time for you. For your parents too?
No, it was a disaster for them. Both biographies are completely marked. After the reunification, the father went briskly, took out loans in order to gain a foothold in the restaurant business and did not find out at all how to do it in the new society. What is profit, how do I calculate a loan correctly, what does twelve percent interest per annum mean? He accepted all the money that was suddenly available and completely lost his mind. After six years there was silence: bankruptcy. The turning point did not end well for my parents. They were tied to the GDR system.

Do you mean politically?
Ideologically too. As a young man, my father was one of the first to join the local party.

And made himself available as an IM.
When I shot “The Lives of Others” with Ulrich Mühe, I tried to get my father to do it. A short time later he passed away. However, I find it difficult to look at it with a western moral. What do I know about 1956 when he signed up? Personally, I can't find it okay that the Stasi existed, but I don't like to condemn everyone across the board. My brother and I are currently reading our father's diaries. We are now in the year 1946, the family lacked food and coal, the 13-year-old father had to wander through Saxony and help with relatives in the countryside to support the family. Starving, freezing, hiking were his themes. At the same age, I was all about music, girls, and smoking. I was born in 1972, I have a rocket on my butt all the time, constantly on, new opportunities ...

Do you have the grace of the lateborn?
Two years earlier and I would have served somewhere with a submachine gun in hand. A director, with whom I did a lot of theater, stood as a young NVA soldier on the street in Dresden while his mother walked past him at the demo. I didn't have that problem.

When you went to a demo in 1989, it is said that you heard the word Stasi for the first time.
Crazy, right? I can't believe it myself. I can still see myself turning around, looking at the banner and asking my buddy: What does Stasi mean? This term was never used at home, it was the Ministry of the Interior or Mielkes Club or Listen-and-Look.

At the same time you got a taste of the job in the Neustrelitz theater canteen. What was it that fascinated you?
That you could move around without fear. There were guys in floor-length coats, laughing all the time, drinking, having an idea and implementing it immediately. I remember how each of us drew little comics on post-it notes and we plastered the canteen walls. It had nothing to do with masculinity rituals, I didn't need to hide my deficits, I felt welcome in my begging hippie look with headscarves and long hair.

The initial spark finally came in the summer of 1990 when you set off for Turkey with your first Western money.
Stop, first of all we went to Prague, to the “U-Fleku”. It was a beer pub, the eye of a needle through which all travelers had to go. In the middle of the old town, three streets on the right, two streets on the left, there were dumplings and roast pork. The funniest scenes happened there. I wore a cowboy hat and a stranger gave me roses because he thought I was a woman from behind. Everyone from the East met there, celebrated for two days and then got on their trains to the Balkans or Turkey. I was out with a friend, he was talking about acting the whole time and giving a monologue from "Hamlet" in the amphitheater at Ephesus. So I thought, hmm, that would be something!

In 2010 you became famous as a commissioner in the Rostock “Police Call”. Before that, you played your quote, "Dödel, which have no hit with women".
Ulf, Robert and Horsti, that's what these guys were always called. The player's brain wanted much more than the body was allowed to do. For a long time I was worried that I would be stuck in these stereotypes. To sink into supporting roles. For example in "Krabat" ...

... in 2008 you played alongside David Kross and Daniel Brühl in the horror tale ...
... for this we shot three months in autumn on the edge of the Carpathian Mountains, somewhere in Romania. It was an ensemble film, three main roles, the rest was in the background and had to carry sacks for weeks. That was more of an unplanned life experience. The ground froze over within half an hour, the soles of the sandals glowed from the warming gas canister, and in the end you stood almost barefoot in the frost.

Their plan was actually different. You studied in Berlin to go to the theater and just not end up on television. Where did the fear come from?
What should you play there: series like “The Hospital on the Edge of the City”? Theater was like a setting for me. Volksbühne! Very important. A piece called "Woyzeck" was drummed through. I didn't understand a word, but it was like a great rock concert.

Why did you start watching television?
In Frankfurt I worked at the theater for seven years, almost 40 pieces. Until September 11th. We were rehearsing a Strindberg drama, discussing evangelicalism and Catholicism, and suddenly crazy guys flew into these huge towers of money. I felt senseless with my work, had to leave the theater, but still make a living. That's how I slipped into television.

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