Actor Volker Bruch on ‘Babylon Berlin,’ His Biggest Challenge as an Actor

Volker Bruch’s career has been on the rise for the past decade but it was his major role in “Babylon Berlin,” Germany’s biggest-budgeted TV series, that cemented his status as one of the country’s leading stars. Bruch plays Gereon Rath, a haunted and drug-addicted young police commissioner in 1920s Berlin who is investigating a pornography ring that is blackmailing prominent public figures. The €40 million ($49.7 million) production has become the most-watched German series on Sky Deutschland and bested only by “Game of Thrones” among all shows.

Bruch, a native of Munich, first gained attention in Alain Gsponer’s award-winning family drama “Rose” and as a young murderer in Nils Willbrandt’s 2007 TV movie “Nichts ist vergessen.” He went on to star in Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s coming-of-age comedy “Good Times” and Nikolai Müllerschön’s 2008 “The Red Baron”; worked with Stephen Daldry in “The Reader”; and played a key role in Uli Edel’s terrorist drama “The Baader Meinhof Complex.” Bruch’s credits also include Joseph Vilsmaier’s mountaineering film “Nanga Parbat” and Philipp Stölzl’s 2010 period love story “Goethe!”

What attracted you to “Babylon Berlin” and what interested you the most about the role of Gereon Rath?

I was attracted by the wonderful people in the costume department! In addition, from the very start, this project was surrounded by something fantastic, something completely mad that always made you feel like you were in a very special place. I really wanted to be there, whatever the part.

How did you prepare for the role?

Again and again I took my suits out of the closet to remind myself how to move in that elegant manner; I revived my grandfather’s razor and danced as if it were a matter of life and death.

What has your experience been like working on Germany’s most expensive TV series ever compared to the many other films, TV movies and miniseries that you’ve worked on over the years?

Every project is different, many are enjoyable, some are work. “Babylon Berlin” is its own separate planet, with its own climate, its own vegetation. As an actor, to be a guest there is to be on an expedition to another world. It’s simply magnificent. I sometimes think I should just do that.

What has been your biggest challenge as an actor so far?

“Babylon Berlin.”

More TV

  • Astronomy Club

    Astronomy Club Sets Netflix Sketch Comedy Series With Kenya Barris Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

    The sketch and improv group Astronomy Club has landed a self-titled variety sketch series at Netflix, Variety has learned exclusively. The streamer has given the half-hour series a six episode order. Kenya Barris will executive produce under his Khalabo Ink Society banner at Netflix, with the show falling under the “Black-ish” creator’s overall deal. Daniel [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    MSNBC Plans Launch of 'American Swamp' Docuseries with Katy Tur, Jacob Soboroff

    Katy Tur and Jacob Soboroff have been talking to each other since they were teenagers growing up around Los Angeles. Now MSNBC audiences will get to see them discuss what are likely to be much more serious subjects. The two NBC News journalists will lead the new four-part MSNBC documentary series “American Swamp,” which launches [...]

  • Game of Thrones finale

    Emmys 2019: Nominations Scorecard by Program and TV Platform

    “Game of Thrones” dominated nominations for the 71st annual Emmy Awards, earning a record 32 nominations and putting HBO on top again. The series, which recently aired its final season, was the most-nominated program, followed by Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (20), HBO’s “Chernobyl” (19), NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (18), HBO’s “Barry” (17), FX’s “Fosse/Verdon” [...]

  • BLACK-ISH - "The Purge" - After

    Emmys 2019: No Lead Comedy Actresses of Color Nominated

    As inclusion continues to be a hot button topic in Hollywood, the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ensured the importance of the conversation by seeing no women of color nominated in the lead comedy actress category. This is a noticeable decline in representation, even just looking year over year, with people like perennial favorite Tracee [...]

  • Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

    Emmys 2019 Nominations: HBO Back at the Top, As 'Game of Thrones' Makes History

    HBO’s back — and the Television Academy has finally got its Schitt together. The Emmy nominations failed to disappoint on Tuesday morning, recognizing critically acclaimed series such as “Schitt’s Creek” and “Fleabag,” and giving TV juggernaut “Game of Thrones” a rousing farewell. “Thrones” broke the record books this year, scoring an astounding 32 nominations — [...]

  • Game of Thrones finale

    'Game of Thrones' Breaks Emmys Record for Most Nominations in a Single Season

    “Game of Thrones” is going out with a bang. For its final run, the HBO fantasy epic scored 32 nominations for the Emmy Awards Tuesday morning, the most for any program in a single season. That record was previously held by “NYPD Blue,” which scored 26 nominations in 1994. Over its full eight seasons, “Game [...]

  • Emmy Nominations Snubs and Surprises 2019

    Emmy Nominations 2019: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    Landmark series such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” came to an end earlier this year, marking the last time the respective drama and comedy awards magnets would be eligible at the Emmys. While it seemed inevitable that those would score a number of noms on the 71st annual ballot, there were a lot [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content