HFPA in Conversation: How Daniel Brühl Played a Trick on Tarantino

by Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros May 16, 2018
Actor Daniel Brühl

Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Spanish-born German actor and Golden Globe nominee Daniel Brühl told HFPA journalist Jenny Cooney how he played a little trick on Quentin Tarantino in his audition for Inglorious Basterds:  “By the end of the audition, Quentin said ah, that was alright, but it’s a shame that I cannot see you acting in French when you are flirting with the girl.  And I said that’s not a problem, I can translate it right away.  Now, I speak French, but my French is not as good as being able to translate Quentin’s writing but I just pretended I could.  All the words I didn’t know in French, I just said them in Spanish”, Brühl recalls.
On the same day, the part was offered to him. “It worked out and then eventually I told him and he said, ah sleazy!”

In addition to his Inglorious Basterds turn, Brühl is known for his work on Good Bye, Lenin, The Bourne Ultimatum, Rush and Captain America: Civil War.  Recently he starred in Seven Days in Entebbe, the hostage crisis in Uganda in 1976, and playing a proto-psychiatrist in the period crime drama mini-series The Alienist.

“My plan was to move to New York, because my wife wants to do a postdoctoral training at NYU, as a psychologist. I couldn’t believe my luck, to be offered a show about a psychologist set in New York and having the plan with my family to move to New York.  After the enthusiasm of you got the part, the last note was, oh, by the way, it’s not in New York, it’s Budapest.  I thought that’s weird.  But when I arrived in Budapest, after a couple of minutes, when I was walking around the city center, it made total sense, because there is so much preserved grand architecture of the time that we needed, especially in portraying upper-class New York, that I was blown away.

Listen to the conversation here or, for immediate access to all of our podcasts, subscribe to HFPA in Conversation on iTunes.