Best known for his roles in Das Boot, Honigfrauen and Mogadischu, the charismatic German actor, author and artist Franz Dinda, speaks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about the fourth season of Das Boot, his love for German Expressionism, and more.

DISCOVER GERMANY: How did you get into acting? Has this always been your dream profession?

Franz Dinda: After my initial experiences in the theatre club at my school, I had a strong desire to pursue acting. However, living in a small village outside Stuttgart at the time, the idea of becoming an actor seemed somewhat unrealistic. Since there was no way to just Google in 1998, I called various Stuttgart numbers related to the film industry until I eventually reached the ‘Brody Casting’ agency. What happened next, I could not have imagined at the time.

DISCOVER GERMANY: Which shoot do you remember most fondly and why?

Franz Dinda: There are special memories associated with each project, as a film shoot is always an adventure. Das Boot was a project of superlatives in every sense, from the size of the team to the duration of the project, which has been with me for six years now. Ronny&Klaid stands out in my memory because, until 2020, I had never been allowed to goof around so mindlessly as an actor and Die Wolke because the great success of the film in 2006 opened the door to acting for me.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You were born in Jena and currently live in Berlin. What does the word ‘home‘ mean to you?

Franz Dinda: I am the book, and all my experiences are the variously detailed chapters, while my family is the cover. When I come to Jena, I feel an echo. When I come to Berlin, it’s the same for me.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you love most about living in Berlin?

Franz Dinda: Having all possibilities in every aspect. I always notice this when I am somewhere else.

DISCOVER GERMANY: How do you choose your roles? And how do they reflect your personality?

Franz Dinda: When I have the choice, I opt for the role in which I believe I can contribute something meaningful to the film. And I succeed when I feel I can authentically portray the character. Characters for whom this succeeds also automatically reflect facets of my own personality.

DISCOVER GERMANY: The fourth season of Das Boot will come out in October. What can viewers look forward to?

Franz Dinda: The fourth season begins when the war is no longer winnable for the Germans. The madness of war builds up with striking visuals and effects to a climax. A group of resistance fighters attempts to end the madness as a result. Betrayal, intrigue, murder, courage, cowardice, and a massive surprise are the consequences.


DISCOVER GERMANY: How do you explain the success of the series?

Franz Dinda: Our former showrunner Moritz Polter did that. He ultimately brought together all the elements that made the result what it is.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you love about your role in this format?

Franz Dinda: Ehrenberg embodies as a character all the dramas of the format. He is a boat whisperer, a victim, a perpetrator, a coward, and a hero. He is dead, fights his way back to life, and dies again. Nobody really expected the journey of this character throughout the last four seasons.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What drives you besides acting?

Franz Dinda: Since 2019, I have been increasingly obsessed with researching the pioneer of German Expressionism, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Currently, I am working on a documentary about his life and a book about his relatively unexplored final residence, the Wildbodenhaus in Davos. And here, the circle closes with Das Boot. Lothar-Günther Buchheim, the author of the original book for the film, owned one of the largest collections of expressionist art, which can now be admired at the Buchheim Museum. This collection includes many works by Kirchner as well.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What else is planned for 2023 and 2024? What else can we look forward to from you?

Franz Dinda: I have recently completed filming Public Affairs for Sky. Currently, I am recording another audiobook by Dror Mishani for Diogenes Verlag. In 2024, I will then be solving murder cases in the new ARD series Nord bei Nordost together with Cordelia Wege and David Bredin – of course, in a highly entertaining manner.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What dreams and wishes do you have for the future?

Franz Dinda: I want to complete my work on Kirchner thoroughly and then, if possible, make a cinematic journey to space. Ultimately, I’m interested in everything that is consistent, regardless of the perceived level of it.


The fourth season of Das Boot can be watched on Sky and WOW from 23 September

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