After INDIA, I suddenly found myself in the position of being both a screenwriter and an actor without having really trained to do either. Together with Wolfgang Murnberger, I moved from one Wolf Haas screen adaptation to the next, trying to learn how to tap into the element of drama that lies in comedy.
It’s thanks to Murnberger’s generosity that I was increasingly given the opportunity to voice my opinion on set and to influence how these productions were directed.
It gave me the impetus to write my own screenplay and to take full responsibility for the film’s artistic vision from beginning to end.
My approach when capturing the experience of life is not to ban any colour or allow any specific hue to dominate. Film genres offer prisms through which we can understand the world and, if need be, people for us to blame. But I would rather my story be one focused on how the fact that absolutely nothing goes together is the main problem.
In my eyes, ‘tragicomedy’ is the most accurate representation of this thing we call life.
In recent decades, Josef Hader, born in 1962 in Waldhausen (Upper Austria), has won over audiences across the entire German-speaking world as a cabaret artist, collecting all of the most prestigious cabaret awards.
He lay the foundations for a career in film in 1993 with his screenplay for INDIA, which he co-wrote together with director Paul Harather. The film won multiple awards, including the Max Ophüls Prize, and is considered one of Austria’s most well- known and successful films. In 2000 Josef Hader won the Best Actor Award at the Locarno International Film Festival for his role in HOLD-UP by Florian Flicker.
Hader continues to limit his film and television roles to a small number of projects, usually preferring productions where he also has the opportunity to be involved in writing the screenplay. In 2000 he not only took on the role of Simon Brenner, the hero of Wolf Haas’ series of novels, for the first time in the film COME, SWEET DEATH (a performance which continues to earn him growing cult status), he also went on to co-write all four Brenner adaptations (SILENTIUM (2004), THE BONE MAN (2009) and, more recently, LIFE ETERNAL (2015)), together with director Wolfgang Murnberger and the author himself, Wolf Haas.
In 2009 he was awarded the Deutscher Fernsehpreis (German Television Award) and, in 2010, the Adolf Grimme Prize for the TV film HALF A LIFE by Nikolaus Leytner. Most recently, Josef Hader could be seen alongside Axel Prahl, Devid Striesow and Robert Stadlober in DER BAU, an adaptation of a Kafka novel directed by Oscar winner Jochen Alexander Freydank. In 2016 Hader impressed as Stefan Zweig in the biopic that has already garnered much attention and won many awards: STEFAN ZWEIG: FAREWELL TO EUROPE, directed by Maria Schrader.
In WILD MOUSE, he is not only listed as scriptwriter and lead actor: this production also marks his directorial debut.
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Josef Hader
Written by: Josef Hader
Produced by: Michael Katz, Veit Heiduschka
Cinematography: Andreas Thalhammer
Editing: Ulrike Kofler, Monika Willi, Christoph Brunner
Production Design: Christoph Kanter
Costume Design: Max Wohlkönig
Make-Up & Hair: Monika Fischer-Vorauer, Andreas Meixner
Cast: Denis Moschitto (Sebastian), Crina Semciuc (Nicoletta), Nora Von Waldstätten (Redakteurin Fitz), Josef Hader (Georg), Pia Hierzegger (Frau Johanna), Jörg Hartmann (Waller), Georg Friedrich (Erich)
Nominations and Awards
- Feature Film Selection 2017