Getting To Know Matthias Schweighöfer, The German Star Of Zack Snyder’s “Army Of The Dead”

Matthias SchweighöferPhoto Credit: Alex Waltl

Matthias Schweighöfer might be one of the biggest stars in Germany, and he’s about to capture America’s attention, too, as he’ll not only star in Zack Snyder‘s zombie heist film Army of the Dead — out tomorrow on Netflix — but he’ll also direct, star and produce its prequel, Army of Thieves. The latter will follow his character ‘Ludwig Dieter,’ a small-town bank teller that gets drawn into the adventure of a lifetime when he is recruited to join a crew of Interpol’s most wanted criminals. The film also stars Nathalie Emmanuel, Stuart Martin, Guz Kahn and Ruby O. Fee.

But as we said, Schweighöfer is already a known name in his native Germany. This Grime Award winner — born behind the Berlin Wall —  is not only a successful actor, but has his own production company, Pantaleon Film, and also released music this year. Most recently, he produced, directed and played the leading role in the first German-language Amazon Original Series “You Are Wanted” which launched in over 200 countries and in six different languages, and also starred in and produced Resistance opposite Jessie Eisenberg, Ed Harris and Edgar Ramirez.

Here, we play (almost) ten questions.

Matthias SchweighöferPhoto Credit: Alex Waltl

You’ve done a lot of comedies in Germany. How was it like working on a big action film?

Working on a big action film was amazing. It was such a great experience.

How did you first get involved with “Army of the Dead” and what drew you to the project?

My agent called me and said there will be a movie called “Army of the Dead” so please put yourself on tape which I did. I was really excited about it and after a while I received a phone call and they told me I was in! it was the best day of my life.

What was it like to work with Zack Snyder and did you take away any directing tips from him?

It was great working with Zack because he is such a visionary and a legend and one of the directors I’ve always loved. It was really interesting every day and I learned a lot, especially because he was open to questions. I would ask him why he would use a specific lens for a certain shot versus another lens and also discuss the CGI process with him.

How would you describe the overall on-set experience?

Everyone was really professional and really excited to be working on the film. It was such a great time and there are so many different countries represented.

What can fans expect from “Army of the Dead” and the prequel, “Army of the Thieves”?

A lot of fun and super entertaining. “Army of the Dead” has a lot of zombies in it, and “Army of Thieves” is a bit more like a heist movie.

Matthias SchweighöferPhoto Credit: Alex Waltl

What would you say is the one comment people are surprised about or say to you when meeting you?

I thought you were bigger!

You live in Berlin and spend most of your time there. What is the major difference when working on an American film versus a German one?

On an American film you have a bit more time and bigger teams. Everything feels bigger and the schedules are different too.

Is there anything you dream about re: America (In-N-Out burger, Venice Beach, Central Park, etc)?

Yes! All of those. I love having a car driving through the city on Sunset Blvd and Mulholland Drive and enjoying the view. I also love the smoothies from Urth Café and shopping in NYC. I also like the yellow lanes… it’s so American! I love it.

What do you consider to be a true luxury?

Being healthy.

Matthias SchweighöferPhoto Credit: Alex Waltl