Mr. Schuch, in the movie “Dear Thomas” you play the role of the resistant GDR intellectual Thomas Brash. How was it for you?
It was a big gift for me as an actor. Playing the role of someone who turns their inner and their emotional world outwards is multifaceted. She has led many different lives at the same time. He was a spontaneous man, full of bubbling energy. As an actor, it is great to have a person with whom you can illuminate all the dimensions of life.
How did you prepare for it?
I have read many of his works and studied them classically. First of all I connected with his literature. Then I searched strange private archives, looking for photographs, to get an intimate impression of this person. I also met female peers – women were an important part of his life. He met many people in the theater scene. Brash was a superstar at the time, everyone wanted to surround themselves with him, attend his parties. He was one of the brightest minds of his time as he never came to terms with superficiality. He also had a huge amount of energy. It is a lamp that burns from two sides, so the companions said about him. At first everything is radiant in his life, and then suddenly it becomes dark.
You yourself were born in 1985 in Jena. Brasch is your first role as an Eastern intellectual. Is this a special challenge?
No, but an exciting character. I lived in the GDR for only five years, but was always surrounded by people who absorbed this time and felt the changes in the system for the first time. Whether in family, with friends or at school, everyone has their own story. You receive socialization directly or indirectly. And when it’s the drum teacher who says he had to replace his bass drum with a shower head because he couldn’t find the clapper. It’s these funny to sadly fateful stories, these tales of rubbish and betrayal. In this regard, the story of Brash seems somehow familiar. His whole family is extremely interesting – his father as Deputy Minister of Culture in the GDR. He often did not know where he was, what he really wanted. You can guess their words from their words. Then that is my inspiration. But it can’t be anything more than inspiration, otherwise I won’t get to play. If I get into the role with the amount of knowledge I’ve gathered, I’ll go crazy.
Do you find it easy to play fictional characters?
No, I wouldn’t say that. When adapting to novels, I mix fictional biographies with real personalities.
How do you appear in so many literary adaptations right now?
They are exciting material, mostly from times when there are major points of friction and when situations are so expansive that they shape the characters. This gives us energy as actors.
Have you come in contact with Thomas Brash before?
In drama school I often read a brash lesson. The name was “why play”. It hung in my locker in Leipzig and was a sentimental pamphlet for acting. What are the advantages of this profession compared to normal daily life. It’s about holding a mirror in front of people, giving permission to lie, doing what you want. “Why play to play” is its last sentence. There was something serious and easygoing about it at the same time. Like all of Brash’s texts, the depth of which I found mainly through Katharina Thalbach’s interpretation. This removes his heaviness, because there is great wisdom in his scriptures.
Pop culture practitioner. Bacon expert. Explorer. Tv maven. Wannabe student. Subtly charming social media nerd.