interview | david schütter

shirt. A Better Mistake
trousers. Franziska Michael
sneakers. Axel Arigato
bolotie triangle + belt. Prada

His deep sonorous voice is impressive and, well, perhaps a little intimidating at the same time. His blond hair is not too tightly pulled back and his steel-blue eyes are adorned with bushy brows, he wears a moustache over his full lips, his left ear is pierced and small tattoos grace his trained arms – David Schütter, one of the most sought-after young German actors at the moment, seems to be caught between the classic gentleman and the bad boy, at least visually. 

Born and raised in Hamburg, David already stood in front of the camera during his ongoing studies at the Schule für Schauspiel. After graduating in 2012, David showed his acting repertoire and versatility of role embodiments, from his role as sex worker Damon in the film Porn Punk Poetry to his role as Neo-Nazi Sandro in the award-winning drama We Are Young. We Are Strong

He was recently awarded the Günter Rohrbach Prize for his role as photographer Coyote in the GDR drama In einem Land, das es nicht mehr gibt (In a country that no longer exists), which was released at the beginning of October 2022. You don’t often go to the cinema or prefer watching series over movies? Then you can see David in the current second season of the Netflix series Barbarians.

Schön! caught up with the rising star and spoke about his preparation process for his characters, the future of Netflix productions and his adopted home of Berlin. 

David, your roles often arise in the context of historical films. For example, In a Land That No Longer Exists is set in Berlin in 1989, when the Wall divided Germany. How do you prepare for these historical roles? 

It depends on what aspect of that time you are focusing on. In this case, we tell a story about freedom in a socialist system. In which it is hard to be free. Then it can help to find an analogy from the past to the presence. Which, for me, clearly is imprisonment. The only difference I see there is in the past somebody else chose your prison while today we often choose it ourselves. So, freedom is never given. Freedom is always taken. 

What kind of character would you like to explore or further deal with for a job? Is there a role that would entice you? 

I would love to play a con artist. So, both of us don’t wanna be caught acting. Maybe this gives me and the character another level of bonding. 

The other day I listened to a song by the German rapper Badmómzjay in which she sings “Berlin ist nicht Beverly Hills” (“Berlin is not Beverly Hills”) and surely also not Hollywood. Do you perceive the German-speaking film industry as limiting at times? 

The language is obviously a limitation. Who in the world wants to learn German language because of a story that’s been told. I don’t know if it’s the industry or the audience, but yes. At the moment Germany is represented with nine Oscar nominations, but Germany doesn’t feel comfortable watching your own movies. This might be limiting. 

In the short film Porn Punk Poetry you play a male sex worker named Damon who sleeps with men. Damon’s actual sexuality is not specified and is not relevant to the role and the further course of the plot. In scripts in which the sexuality of the characters is clearly specified, however, obviously, queer roles are also repeatedly played by heterosexual actors and actresses. Do you find that problematic? 

No, this is where acting starts. 

coat. Franziska Michael
trousers. #DAMUR
balaclava. Acne Studios
shirt. Prada
polo shirt. Christian Dior
trousers. #DAMUR
shoes. Camper
jewellery. Jewelry by Carolin Dieler

What career path would you have chosen as an alternative to acting?

Maybe a better liar. Politician? 

Barbarians was an absolute success and attracted millions of households behind the screens. How do you see the future of the Netflix series? Is Netflix on people’s private laptops the new cinema screen for the modern actor? 

Unfortunately, yes. But you can hold your laptop as close to your face as you want, it will never come close to the experience of being in a cinema. At home where you can pause a movie you control it. But in the cinema the movie controls you. This can be beautiful.

Completely different topic: You’re a Hamburger, and listening to you for a while, it’s hard to mistake your Hanseatic mentality. You now live in Berlin. What does one city have that the other doesn’t? 

Hamburg is beautiful but Berlin is better in bed. 

Tell us about your favourite spots in Berlin (except the bed!)

Never. They are mine. 

I guess we all have our little secrets, huh? Currently, you are not in Berlin, so logically you have to shoot your next film, am I right? Can you give Schön! a first taste of where we can see you next? 

The first taste is the taste of money. The next project is located in everybody’s pocket. Can’t say more without getting in serious trouble.

cardigan + scarf. Loewe
longsleeve. SCHEPPERHEYN
trousers. Adidas X Wales Bonner
vest. Moncler Grenoble
sweatshirt. Magliano
trousers. AMESH

Barbarians is streaming now on Netflix. Follow David Schütter on Instagram.

photography. Klaas Wollstein
creative direction. Klaas Wollstein + Luisa Brinker
fashion. Luisa Brinker
talent. David Schütter
hair + make up. Derya Civelek
photography assistant. Noah Okoe
interview. Benjamin Schiffer

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