Learn German with the films of Austrian actor Peter Simonischek.

German Film: Austrian Actor Peter Simonischek

Last year’s dramatic comedy Toni Erdmann was a big hit and not just in Germany. The film was nominated for a slew of awards. The film received an Academy Award nomination and won an Independent Spirit Award. Not too shabby! This is in addition to all the German and European film awards it racked up during award season. And you know it did well because there’s talk of an unnecessary Hollywood remake in English. Rumor is the remake is starring Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig.

But it was Austrian actor Peter Simonischek who brought the title character to life. But Simonischek has starred in countless other films, too! Here are this month’s film recommendations for practicing your German language skills featuring actor Peter Simonischek!

About Peter Simonischek

Born in Graz, Austria in 1946, Peter Simonischek is an accomplished actor. Since 1980 he has appeared in a number of roles on both film and television. Aside from all the awards the film Toni Erdmann received, he was individually recognized for his portrayal with the German film prize for best male actor.

But Simonischek is also an experienced actor of the stage as well. He has appeared in countless productions across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This includes in 2012 when he starred with August Diehl during the Salzburger Festspiele in Prinz von Homburg.

Peter Simonischek in Toni Erdmann.

Toni Erdmann

In the much talked about film, Simonischek portrays Winfried Conradi. Winfried doesn’t take life too seriously, to put it lightly. A pair of goofy prank teeth are his constant companion. The teeth seem to make an appearance at the most inopportune of times. He travels to Bucharest in an effort to try and connect with his estranged daughter, Ines. A business consultant trying to climb the corporate ladder, Ines is living a highly stressful life that centers on her career. Winfried’s arrival causes some problems. Ines’ serious personality and business pursuits clash with her father’s more casual attitude. Actress Sandra Hüller portrays Ines in Toni Erdmann.

Peter Simonischek and Sebastian Koch in Oktober November.

Oktober November

Oktober November is a 2013 Austrian drama from writer and director Götz Spielmann. In the film Sonja, a successful actress, returns home to rural Austria to visit with her family, including her father who is ill. Sonja’s return causes the family to deal with old wounds in the subtle and emotional film.

Nora von Waldstätten stars as Sonja while Simonischek portrays her father. The film also stars Sebastian Koch.

Peter Simonischek in Gebürtig.


In the 2002 film Gebürtig by directors Robert Schindel and Lukas Stepanik, Peter Simonischek stars as the title character, Hermann Gebürtig. The character is a Holocaust survivor who has started life a new in New York City. But when a suspected Nazi comes to light, Gebürtig’s help is needed to identify the man. Emotions become complicated as he considers whether to return to his native Austria.

Practice German with Austrian actor Peter Simonischek.

Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.

Top photo by Manfred Werner – CC by-sa 4.0 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. This post contains affiliate links.

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