WAR AND PEACE
Total Film|January 2022
MUNICH: THE EDGE OF WAR WW2 spy thriller reappraises a maligned prime minister…
JORDAN FARLEY
FaceTiming with the Führer isn’t an everyday occurrence in TF Towers, but that’s exactly the situation Teasers finds itself in. It’s November 2020 and Teasers is a virtual guest on the set of Munich: The Edge Of War – a WW2 thriller adapted from the novel by Robert Harris about the signing of the 1938 Munich Agreement. Already today, we’ve watch a live feed of Stormtroopers on the streets of Germany, but nothing quite prepares you for a video chat with Adolf Hitler. It’s a sight that actor Ulrich Matthes still isn’t used to either.

“I’m looking at myself, and I think, ‘Who is that guy?’” says Matthes, a confusingly delightful conversationalist given his current makeover. “The negative emotion of playing Hitler is so overwhelming. One doesn’t want to get closer to this mass murderer than you have to. That’s an emotional problem more than a craft problem.”

The West Berlin-born actor has history with Nazis - he played Goebbels in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, and only agreed to play Hitler for frequent collaborator Christian Schwochow after actor Martin Wuttke (who also played Hitler in Inglourious Basterds) contracted Covid two days into the shoot. “It’s very brave of Ulrich because a part like Hitler, you would prepare for months, usually,” says Schwochow, who’s currently sheltering from the rain in the back seat of a car. “We did an audition together on a Wednesday night. I called him an hour later and said, ‘You’re going to be Hitler.’ And the next day, we shot the first scene.”

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