Luxembourgish cinema has undergone significant developments since the 1980's, alongside national actresses and actors working in the film industry. Knowing all the local actors would mean knowing at least around a hundred celebrities. That's why we have selected ten for you, that simply must be seen at least once on the big screen!
Thierry van Werveke
This icon of the Luxembourgish film industry (1958-2009) starred in over 60 films and TV shows from 1988 to 2009. Thierry van Werveke has made regular appearances in German productions, and was the lead singer in several musical groups. He sticks to mind for his roles in:
- The police drama and a sort of comedy about crooks that makes fun of itself and especially of Luxembourg: Troublemaker (1988; Andy Bausch)
- Knockin' on Heaven's Door, a German road movie featuring Thill Schweiger, in which two terminally ill people escape from hospital, steal a car and rush to the sea... (1997; Thomas Jan)
- Eine andere Liga, a tragic comedy about a young woman who, following a serious illness, struggles to find her way back into life by playing football (2005; Buket Alakuş)
- La Revanche is a humanistic tale on Luxembourgish unemployed people in business suits who create an international football club that starts to win all its games (2004; Andy Bausch)
After his death, the Thierry van Werveke foundation was created to honour his memory. It supports socially disadvantaged young people going through difficult times, by bringing them together and helping them make progress through cultural means.
Désirée Nosbusch is an actress and presenter who was born in Luxembourg in 1965. She made the leap from being a child celebrity to being a highly sought-after actress. She began her career as a presenter for children on Radio Luxembourg when she was twelve. She then left for New York to train as an actress. In the 1990's, she became a regular presenter for international events, gala events and award ceremonies in Europe. Since then, she has taken part in a large number of TV productions in Luxembourg, but also in the United States of America, Italy and Germany:
- Bad Banks, a German-Luxembourgish TV series where she plays the role of Christelle Leblanc, an ice-cold woman of power in the world of finance (2 seasons since 2018; Letterbox Filmproduktion and Iris Productions)
- Good Morning, Babylon, a drama film about Nicola and Andrea, who emigrate to America to rebuild their fortunes after the bankruptcy of their father's masonry company and soon found themselves in Hollywood... (1987; Paolo and Vittorio Taviani)
- Die Jahrhundertlawine, a disaster film about a tragic accident that causes the break-up of Anne and Marc's love affair (2008; Jörg Lühdorff)
- Eine Liebe in Saigon, a two-part TV drama about a married doctor who falls in love with a mine-finder in Vietnam (2006; Uwe Janson)
Luc Feit was born in Luxembourg in 1962 and has been living in Berlin since 1992. He is one of the stars of the Luxembourgish film industry. He is an actor as well as a director and writer. After training as an actor at the 'Staatliche Schauspielschule' in Stuttgart, and after five years of permanent commitment, he performed as a freelance actor at the 'Volksbühne Berlin/Ratten07', the 'Théâtre de la Colline' in Paris, the 'Théâtre des Capucins' , the Luxembourg National Theatre and the 'Ruhrfestspiele' of Recklinghausen, among others. He featured in many plays as well as cinema films, TV films and series.
In 2019, he was nominated for the Oscars in the "best foreign language film" category for Werk ohne Autor (2018; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck), a film about the life of an artist based on the biography of Gerhard Richter.
Here are some other productions he is known for:
- The Monuments Men, a war film in which an improbable military section of World War II is tasked with rescuing art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners (2014; George Clooney)
- Babylon Berlin, a German neo-noir TV series based on the novels of German author Volker Kutscher. It tells the story of superintendent Gereon Rath from Cologne who moved to Berlin, the epicentre of political and social change in the 1920's (4 seasons since 2017; Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries et Hendrik Handloegten)
- De Butteck, an improvisation film with Luxembourgish actors(2019; Luc Feit)
- Murer, Anatomie eines Prozesses is a courtroom drama and an Austrian-Luxembourgish coproduction on the trial of the prestigious politician and major farmer Franz Murer, head of the Vilnius ghetto as an SS leader and civil servant of the Nazi party from 1941 to 1943 (2018; Christian Frosch)
André Jung was born in Luxembourg in 1953. He studied drama at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts and was then recruited by the Basel Theatre, the 'Deutsche Schauspielhaus' in Hamburg and the Zurich Theatre, among others. He performed at the 'Münchener Kammerspiele' and the 'Staatsoper Stuttgart'. He has already been awarded many prizes and, besides working in theatres, he often performs on television and film. What's more, he has already lent his voice to over 50 radio shows.
Here are his most famous films:
- Das Experiment, a German psychological thriller based on the novel Das Experiment Black Box by Mario Giordano: for two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison (2001; Oliver Hirschbiegel)
- Polizeiruf 110, a German detective series (1971; ARD – Das Erste (Deutsche Fernsehen))
- Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank, a German drama film that tells the story of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family in Amsterdam and became a victim of the Holocaust (2016; Hans Steinbichler)
- Rusty Boys, a comedy about four elderly men planning their future without a nursing home (2017; Andy Bausch)
Marco Lorenzini was born in Luxembourg in 1950 and is a stage and film actor. After various studies and volunteering in the army, he worked as a prison officer before being able to take up his dream job. Since then, he has not only performed in national productions, but also made a name for himself on the international stage alongside internationally renowned actors and actresses. He was present on the stages of the Apollo Festival, the Ruhrfestspiele in Recklinghausen, the world theatre festival Art Carnuntum, the Théâtre de la Colline in Paris and many others. The film Le Tout Nouveau Testament, in which he plays the role of a tramp turned evangelist, was nominated in 2016 for the Golden Globe and the Oscars in the category "Best Foreign Language Film".
Here are some of the films where you can discover his talent:
- The Musketeer, an American action-adventure film featuring Catherine Deneuve, based on Alexandre Dumas' classic novel The Three Musketeers (2001; Peter Hyans)
- Le Tout Nouveau Testament, a Belgian, Luxembourgish and French co-production featuring Benoît Poelvoorde, François Damiens and Catherine Deneuve, about God and his daughter who wants to write a brand new testament (2015; Jaco Van Dormael)
- Die dunkle Seite des Mondes is a film about a murder, an adaptation of Martin Suter's best-selling novel (of the same title), with Moritz Bleibtreu and Nora von Waldstätten (2016; Stephan Rick)
- Gutland is a Luxembourgish, German and Belgian drama featuring Fredrick Lau and Vicky Krieps. It is about a German thief who flees to a small Luxembourgish village only to find out that the inhabitants have their own share of secrets (2017 ;Govinda van Maele)
In 2017, Vicky Krieps' career came to a major turning point: she performs alongside Daniel Day-Lewis in the film Phantom Thread by Paul Thomas Anderson. A story that takes place in the world of haute couture in London in the 1950s where a couturier takes a young waitress as his muse... The feature film was released in theatres in 2018, where it was critically acclaimed and nominated for several Oscars, including for the Best Picture and Best Actor. Vicky Krieps was born in Luxembourg in 1983. She studied at the Zurich University of Arts and is only at the start of a big career:
- The Girl in the Spider's Web is an action thriller featuring Claire Foy as the main lead playing the role of a young computer hacker who finds herself being caught - with a journalist - in a network of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt officials (2018 ; Fede Álvarez)
- Das Boot, is a German TV series that is a sequel to a feature film of the same name by Wolfgang Petersen, in which an inexperienced U-boot crew must survive a secret mission during World War II (2018; Johannes W. Betz et Tony Saint)
- Harry Haft is an American biographical drama film featuring Ben Foster as boxer Harry Haft and Danny DeVito playing a supporting role (2020; Barry Levinson)
- Elly Beinhorn - Alleinflug is a German film that tells the story of Elly Beinhorn, the first German female aviator to fly around the world in an aircraft, which made her a national hero in the 1930s (2014; Christine Hartmann)
Thomas 'Tommy' Schlesser is an actor, comedian and model. He was born in Luxembourg in 1989. At university, he started studying law, and while he did, he passed the entrance exam to the Cologne Film Drama School. But he never started his training there. Luxembourgish television offered him to take part in a sitcom and he accepted to gain experience as an actor: Comeback (2012; Lucil Films) is about three youngsters who bet that they will bring Ronny Riff, a has been singer of the 1980's, to the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. He then completed his acting studies in Los Angeles in the United States.
Up until now, Tommy Schlesser has mainly made himself a name in Luxembourg and Germany. Here are some of the most famous roles he played:
- Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, a long-term German TV series (since 1992; RTL Deutschland)
- Superjhemp retörns, a Luxembourgish feature film about a national superhero based on the Luxembourgish comics Superjhemp by Roger Leiner and Lucien Czuga (2018; Félix Koch)
- Rosamunde Pilcher: Die Braut meines Bruders, a romantic film about a young couple that opens a snack-bar and sandwich delivery business in London, by investing their small inheritance. When she gets pregnant out of the blue, he disappears after emptying their bank account (2019; ZDF – Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen)
- Inga Lindström: Liebe verjährt nicht, dramatic romance: Maren wants to open a surfing school in Brittany. Before she does, she attends her parents' silver wedding anniversary, not knowing what awaits her there... (2020; ZDF)
Myriam Muller is a Luxembourgish actress and a stage and film director. Born in 1971, she landed her first major film role in Hochzäitsnuecht about an upper-middle-class marriage with one thing in common: drugs (1992; Pol Cruchten). She then played Marie, Jesus' mother, in the film Marie de Nazareth (1995; Jean Delannoy), and smaller roles in the films 8 Women 1/2 , in which, following a mother's death, a father and a son open a brothel on their Geneva estate (1999; Peter Greenaway), and L'Ombre du vampire, a fictional documentary on the making of the classic vampire movie Nosferatu (2000; E. Elias Merhige).
In the Club des chômeurs (2001; Andy Bausch), Myriam Muller has one of the lead roles: an employee of the employment agency in charge of Geronimo's file (main character) who falls in love with him. She also appeared in the Luxembourgish productions Doudege Wénkel (2012; Christophe Wagner) a detective film in which inspector Hastert deals with his last case before retiring - the investigation into the death of a police colleague, Mammejong (2015; Jacques Molitor) where a man-child must break unhealthy ties with his mother in order to win over the heart of a young woman, and Rusty Boys (2017; Andy Bausch).
Today, she is especially known for her work as a stage director and as Art Director of the Théâtre du Centaure.
Jules Werner was born in Luxembourg in 1977 and has been an actor since adolescence. He studied in England and is today one of the most famous Luxembourgish stage and film actors. He was awarded the Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis in 2014 for best artistic contribution, for his role as inspector Faber in the detective thriller Doudege Wénkelby Christophe Wagner,
Other must watch films and series featuring Jules Werner:
- Eng nei Zäit (A New Era) (2015 ; Christophe Wagner), a post-war drama where everyone works towards rebuilding their life in a country torn by four years of war
- Péitruss (2019; Max Jacoby), a detective thriller about Lara, who begins a passionate new relationship with the beautiful and mysterious Joakim, who will soon be accused of committing a series of unsolved murders in the Péitruss Valley in Luxembourg
- Capitani, (2019; Christophe Wagner) TV series about a mysterious crime: who killed Jenny Engel?
Fernand Fox was born in Luxembourg in 1934. He is one of the most famous national cinema and theatre celebrities. He was discovered in 1956 by Eugène Heinen, theatre manager, during a presentation at the Casino Bourgeois. Fernand Fox took courses in diction and comedy at the Luxembourg City Conservatory for three years. He then made a name for himself on the stage of Luxembourg theatres as well as by appearing in cinema and television films, and commercials:
- Rusty Boys, (2017; Andy Bausch)
- D’Symmetrie vum Päiperléck, (2012; Paul Scheuer et Maisy Hausemer) a romantic comedy related to chess
- Déi zwéi vum Bierg, (1985; Menn Bodson, Gast Rollinger and Marc Olinger) a film about World War II and the situation in a small village in the north of the country
- Succès Fox (2014; Désirée Nosbusch), a documentary and journey through the life and career of Fernand Fox