The Best Of…Daniel Bruhl

Daniel Bruhl is one of the most gifted actors to come from Germany. The thirty-something actor become a household name in his homeland and has since been lifted into further prominence by appearing in a number of Hollywood films. From war biopics to comedies, Bruhl has tackled a fortuitous amount of roles and enriched them with absolute accomplishment.

To celebrate his role in historical drama The Colony, which is out in cinemas now, we take a look at Bruhl’s best work.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Sparking a whole stream of memes, Bruhl’s Helmut Zemo is probably The Avengers best villain. Despite contending against a puny God, a really embarrassed Nazi, and an apocalyptic robot, Zemo challenged the team on an emotional level, cutting them to the core without the use of spells or mutants. To avenge his family, after they were crushed in the Sokovia incident, Colonel Zemo head out on a mission to their apart Tony and Steve, especially when he former finds out the truth of his parents death. Sinister but not over-bearing, Zemo works best because his drive is visceral vengeance and it is utterly human. Played ruthlessly well by Bruhl, Zemo is a masterful manipulator until the very end.

No Regrets (Nichts Bereuen) (2001)

One of the earliest performances for Bruhl and one which set him on a stellar career. It’s not hard to go back and see the seeds of talent begin to blossom in this movie. At merely 23 years old, Bruhl crafted one of his most intricate performances as Daniel, a man who pines for his old classmate and creates a memorable stunt to get her attention. Helping Bruhl win the coveted Breakthrough Performance award at the Bavarian and German Film Awards, the actor leaped into stardom and would soon see a cultivated career begin to grow.

Rush (2013)

Playing opposite Chris Hemsworth is no easy feat. After all, the charms of the Australian and talents would eclipse a lot of ordinary actors. But Bruhl isn’t that kind of an actor – he is extraordinary and portraying Formula 1 famous racer Niki Lauda solidified his status in the English speaking film industries. Nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and most importantly, an Empire Award for Best Supporting Actor, Bruhl;s captivating performance as Lauda is one of the best in sporting dramas. Graceful, passionate, determined, Bruhl’s Lauda caught the right balance between survivor and competitive sportsman that was wonderfully complemented by Hemsworth’s James Hunt. A cracking and evocative sports film, Ron Howard’s biopic is a must watch.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

For many, this is how we come to know Bruhl. Quentin Tarantino’s “What would happen if the Americans killed Hitler?” film is often lamented as one of his weakest and yet it’s still stellar. Especially because it introduced us to the excellent Christoph Waltz and, of course, Daniel Bruhl. Here he plays Fredrick Zoller, a German soldier who defeated a troupe of allied forces single-handedly. Celebrated in his country, his antics are now heading to the big screen with Zoller playing himself. As he tries to woo the French cinema manager of the premiere, he uncovers a plot to kill Hitler. Cheeky yet serious, Bruhl’s flirtatious and commanding office certainly won over many people.

Salvador (2006)

Daniel Bruhl is multilingual. That’s right, as if he can’t get any better, he can speak seven different languages. Whilst the rest of you are gurning your way through one, he can speak seven. Damn.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because of his award winning work in Spanish thriller Salvador. He plays the lead character, Salvador Puig Antich who was the last person executed by garrotting under the corrupt dictatorship of Francisco Franco in 1974. Though the film itself was poorly received, the man was celebrated – nominated for dozens of leading actor awards and winning at the Barcelona and Seattle International Film Awards. A must see depiction of the titular fateful man, Bruhl encompasses the struggle of the country as well as the character.

Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

Yet again another award winning film, Bruhl’s phenomenal work in Good Bye Lenin! is a must see, not just for fans of Bruhl, but for all audiences alike. The film revolves around a German boy who sets up a scheme to help his mother get back into good health after she fell into a coma witnessing his arrest. As she stays unconscious through the fall of the Berlin and the rise of the German Democratic Republic, Alex tries to keep the secret from her as long as possible – fearing the shock would be fatal. Delicately funny and utterly emotional rich, Good Bye Lenin! is stirring work from Bruhl.


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