TV- Interview with Rainer Bock, SS-GB
Rainer Bock plays a member of the occupying Nazi forces in London, after the capital falls to Hitler’s war machine. Here we ask him to explain exactly what’s in store for viewers once SS-GB begins on BBC One.
Tell us about your character.
Kellerman is a high ranking Nazi officer who is now chief of the police of London. He loves the English way of life: tea time, whiskey, tweed suits and – one of his main interests – fishing. But he can be hard and brutal.
Do the costumes and setting help you get into character?
Yes, in an historical film, costume and setting is more than the half of the role. The costume could affect your posture, especially in a uniform.
Was it disturbing to imagine a world in which the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain?
On one hand, it is horrifying to imagine Hitler winning the war. On the other hand, the concept of telling a criminal spy story against the background of this imagined history is very suspenseful.
Was it hard to play such a character in such a story?
This is not the first time I’ve played a Nazi – that is a German actor’s positive dilemma in international productions. But I always try to find the human side of those characters and not to jump into the stereotype trap.
Was it very helpful having a German director?
Very helpful because – as you can see – my English is not so good, and the communication on set was a bit easier in German. And I think a German director knows a little bit more of those times and characters.
Will this series be shown in Germany and if so, how do you think it will do?
I hope so. German people are still very interested in that time, and those who are not – should be.
Why do we love period drama so much?
Because we can compare our own road in life with the ones of the characters in those movies – the decisions they make, the consequences they have to bear and so on. For actors it is fantastic because we can develop our characters and make them that much deeper and more different.
Image credit: (C) BBC/Sid Gentle Films Ltd/Laurie Sparham