He’s born in Heidelberg, Germany, the city of philosophers, but he says to be «quite ignorant in all fields». He is a skillful and brave player, capable of facing challenging roles such as Carl Gustav Jung in A Dangerous Method by David Cronenberg (coming out September 30th) but he doesn’t bore people with great theories on the job of the actor. He’s nice and self-ironic: a deadly combination, especially after seeing him naked in Steve McQueen’s movie Shame, for which he won the Coppa Volpi in Venice.
Isn’t that the next time we’ll meet you’ll become hateful?
«Don’t worry, it won’t happen. And why should I? I won’t achieve Robert Pattinson’s fame. I’m not interesting for 14 year-old girls. I have a more reduced and polite fan base. And luckily, because I would be embarrassed».
Nudity on stage, on the contrary, no embarrassment?
«I’d be a liar if I say no. Especially in regard to Shame where I’m not only naked, but I masturbate and have sex all the time. But I can say to be used to the absence of clothes. My first job has been a commercial for SAS airline. I was naked there too».
Talk to me about your family.
«When I was 2, my parents moved to Killarney, in Ireland, my mother’s country (his dad’s German), where they ran a restaurant for almost 20 years. Now they’re retired. I arrived in Venice for the Festival with my father after a long tour trough Italy by motorbike. My parents, although they’re not involved in the world of cinema, are really near. In fact, my mother is happy that I undress. She always says “Why is it always women and not men?”. Though I would have been uncomfortable if we had seen Shame together. It’s strong, even for her».
What about your first play?
«I was 17, it was one of Cinderella’s stepsister in a school play».
«I didn’t need it! I was a metal guitarist, I had very long hair».
So did you want to be a musician?
«Yes, I wanted became like Kirk Hammett from Metallica. But I was really bad. Once with a group of friend we tried to play in a pub, but they pulled the amplifiers because we were making such a row and customers were complaining. That’s why I gave myself to the theater. When I was 18 I produced, directed and payed Reservoir Dogs, based on Quentin Tarantino’s movie».
Who, years later, took you for Inglorious Basterds. But the director that really found you is the video-artist Steve McQueen who introduced you in Hunger, where you play the irish activist Bobby Sands, died after a hunger strike. And then, there’s Shame, still McQueen’s. What did you know about sexual-addiction?
«The first time I heard about it was a couple of years ago, it concerned Michael Douglas. I thought it was some bullshit, a luxury for those few lucky people that have too many easy people. Now I know that, only in the States, there are 24 millions people who suffer [from it] and that spend hours masturbating, watching porn on the net and don’t have sex with their wives».
Before studying the topic, what did you know about porn?
«It exist, it’s ok! (burst out laughing). Well, that there’s porn is normal, because instinct to sex is primary, it is at the base of the survival specie. For human beings, it’s a persistent thought, conscious or unconscious. The bad aspect is the amount of violence in pornography today, especially against women. And, frankly, it disturbs me that even for selling a cereal box are used half-naked women».
What is the boundary between criticizing the commercial use of sex and moralism?
«I’m against all kind of censor. We must rely on adults’ personal responsibility. And I think so for drugs too, every type of drugs: I’d legalize everything, I’d tax them and put on warnings about risks and consequences. Like on cigarettes packs».
After being briefly engaged with Zoe Kravitz, met on the set of X-men, you’re single now. Is it okay like this or do you think to start a family one day?
«You’re wondering why, coming from an “all right” family, I’m still a wretch?»
I would never dare.
«Anyway, yes, I’d like wife and children. But I’m too selfish and too much in my job to give myself in a serious relationship. Not that I like it, but I learned at my cost that in certain moments you can’t have it all».
From Ryan Gosling’s interview
Many, in Venice, would have see you receiving the Coppa Volpi. At the end won your only real rival: Michael Fassbender.
«I’t was right giving it to him. When I knew of his frontal nude, I thought: damn it, there’s no competition for me».
credit for the translation goes to the italian tumblr user