In 2019 when the film Transit appeared on former United States president Barack Obama’s year-end list of favorite films, the world took notice. And not just the film world; the whole world. But this was not the first film starring actor Franz Rogowski to garner international attention.
The critically acclaimed actor is fearless in the projects he pursues. Sometimes that means controversial topics. Other times, like in 2015’s Victoria, it means pursuing challenging techniques: the 2015 film was shot in a single continuous take.
This month, let’s get to know actor Franz Rogowski and learn German with film!
Get to Know Franz Rogowski
Franz Rogowski was born on February 2, 1986, in Freiburg im Breisgau in the Black Forest region of then-West Germany. He grew up not too far away in Tübingen with his parents, a pediatrician and a midwife.
But Rogowski’s path to acting was not a straight line. He first pursued dance. This led him to become involved in theater. He worked as a choreographer and as an actor in Hamburg, Hannover, and Berlin.
Set in the present, Georg is a German political prisoner who escapes to Marseille, France. With him, he carries the papers of a noted writer who is thought to have committed suicide to avoid persecution. Georg assumes his identity.
But things become more complicated when Georg falls in love with Marie, the writer’s wife (portrayed by Paula Beer), and becomes involved with the refugee community.
In the Aisles
The film is set in a new grocery store in an Eastern German city. It is there that a quiet man named Christian (portrayed by Franz Rogowski) works restocking the shelves for a difficult boss (portrayed by Peter Kurth). But it is another employee, Marion (portrayed by Sandra Hüller), who catches Christian’s eye.
Rumors of Marion being in an abusive marriage do nothing to deter or dissuade Christian’s desire. But, the shy man struggles to express his feelings despite repeated attempts.
The critically acclaimed film Great Freedom from 2021 comes from director and co-writer Sebastian Meise.
The film is set in the years following World War II when homosexuality was still illegal. Rogowski portrays Hans, a man who has been imprisoned multiple times due to his “crimes.” Over decades in prison, he develops a life in prison, including a connection with his cellmate, a convicted murderer.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo by Thomas Leidig, courtesy of Agentur Players Berlin. This post contains affiliate links.