Interview with Hans-Jochen Wagner: “Men should also clarify what is important to them”


Actor Hans-Jochen Wagner on the women’s movement, forest songs with his son – and why he thinks the new Bond is ridiculous.

Hans-Jochen Wagner, 52, likes to wear his hair a little longer, as was already the fashion in the 1980s – very practical for his role in “Faking Hitler”, which was played during this period. The new RTL + series tells the story of the fake Hitler diaries, one of the biggest scandals in the history of German journalism. Wagner, already impressive in many “Tatort” episodes or in “Big Manni”, belongs to the top-class ensemble.

Hans-Jochen Wagner in the GALA interview: “At first I didn’t dare go on stage”

GALA: Which headline impressed you the most in your life?
Hans-Jochen Wagner: During my time at the drama school, I also sold the next day’s “taz” in bars in the evenings. It was tough at times, but one evening it appeared with the headline: “OJ Simpson acquitted”. Then it was torn from my hands.

Without really checking their authenticity, the “stern” published the alleged Hitler diaries in 1983. The story just seemed too tempting. What temptations have you had to resist?
I can succumb to some temptations – but money is expressly not one of them. For example, I don’t advertise. Except for a good cause, for which of course I don’t get any money myself.

However, you succumbed to the temptation of the stage.
It’s correct. Although I actually didn’t want to go on stage, at first I didn’t dare. I would rather go in the direction of direction. They liked the applause after all. Clear. But don’t get confused: The applause is not for the person, but for the work. Colleagues who can’t tell the difference often get a problem. They may have to start drinking or something to compensate for that.

In the new six-part series “Faking Hitler” (RTL +), Hans-Jochen Wagner (r.) Plays a “stern” department head who tries to clarify with a young editor (Sinje Irslinger, l.) Whether the reporter Gerd Heidemann (Lars Eidinger ) dragged Hitler diaries are real.

© RTL / Wolfgang Ennenbach

“Men should also clarify for themselves what is important to them”

In “Faking Hitler” a young journalist suffers from sexism in the editorial office. Isn’t that also a problem in the film world?
I have not yet consciously experienced this myself, only know it from hearsay. But of course there were also relationships between older men and young female colleagues that I did not understand.

Does the topic of “male domains and power relations” need more attention?
It is definitely important to talk about it. Even if some people worry that the pendulum will swing in the other direction.

Do you have an example?
When I say to a colleague: “You look great”, I often explain straight away that I meant that without any ulterior motives – although that should actually be a matter of course. Some men find this difficult. They complain that you can’t say anything anymore.

And how are you doing with it?
I think that if you mean it honestly and address it that way, that’s okay. This is about more awareness. This may be a little more strenuous, but it’s not censoring.

And yet something is obviously bothering you.
I think the women’s movement was and is important. But sometimes I would have liked a men’s movement too. And not just as a cuddle round for the softies. We should clarify the question of what is important to us men and what we want to defend.

I think there is a risk that a wrong image of men will also emerge.

In what way?
When Daniel Craig in the new Bond asks the women if he can touch them, but at the same time shoots everything that goes, it’s ridiculous. By the way, my definition of the “old white man” is quite complex. I didn’t choose to be put into this scheme. You can’t just knock me off because I’m no longer up-to-date. This only strengthens the counter-movement. But I always enjoy learning.

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This is how the “Tatort” star raises his son

You are the father of a five year old son. Are you raising him to a new image of men?
Not according to the textbook. But I already spend a lot more time with him than my father did with me, for example. Of course, we also talk about hitting or how to better resolve conflicts.

But he has to be able to get started sometimes, not just sit quietly and obediently.

I romp around with him a lot. And girls are no longer just the reticent. (laughs)

Kraftquelle: Wagner has been married to the director and screenwriter Nana Neul, 47, since 2014.  The couple lives in Berlin with their five-year-old son.

Kraftquelle: Wagner has been married to the director and screenwriter Nana Neul, 47, since 2014. The couple lives in Berlin with their five-year-old son.

© Future Image / imago images

You play multiple instruments. Do you also make music with your son?
Yes, he sings sometimes when I play the guitar. And when we walk through the forest, we both shout the song “Two figures sat on the thunder beam and screamed for toilet paper”. He sings it fervently.

Which headline would you like to read about yourself?
Maybe just: “He did it”. In our job there is always room for improvement.


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