The flamboyant world of casting in Hollywood has more in common with the global rise of nationalism than you might first think. Both enjoy nothing more than finding a box to put someone in and then keeping them firmly inside it for the rest of their life.
After all, when it comes to the film industry there are some actors who just seem too perfectly suited to act out the national myths of the states that claim them. Who else but Marion Cotillard could sing La Vie En Rose for France? Who but Hugh Grant could stutter for England and equally who but the American Julia Roberts could want to turn his excruciating Britishness into a special relationship?
When it comes to Daniel Brühl, 38 – the golden boy of German film – initially the stereotypical traits are all there. He’s punctual, polite and he talks modestly about his successful career. Performances like his uncanny imitation of Niki Lauda in Rush (2013), or his complex turn as the Avengers’ adversary in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War (2016), have earned him the adulation of big studio producers and auteur directors alike. Having already achieved so much, and with so much still to achieve, he is easily the best choice to champion the new Germany that is now standing tall out of the debris of the Cold War.
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