Langston Uibel: On politics and ramen noodles
Text: Nane Steinhoff I Photos © Dominik H. Müller
T he bilingual up-and-coming actor Langston Uibel, who was born in London but grew up in Berlin, made his acting debut in The String Puppet. Numerous roles followed: last year, he starred in the award-winning film Freistatt, just recently appeared in High Society with Katja Riemann and Iris Berben and Graffiti my Soul is in the pipeline. Discover Germany speaks to Langston about his love for Berlin, current projects and his political commitment.
Do you ever think about going back to England or did you fall in love with Berlin?
L. Uibel: Actually, I fell in love with both cities, but with London it’s more of a love-hate relationship. It offers so much culturally and is a mirror of the world but there are simply too many people and let’s not even talk about the rental fees. Berlin is so green, relaxed and has something ‘unexplored’ about it. Together with my dad, I manage the ‘Dalston Jazz Bar’ in London and thus, I’m often there but I live in Berlin – and that can also stay this way!
Why did you become an actor? Did you ever have other career aspirations?
L. Uibel: I always found it very interesting that you can achieve so much with making films. You can do politics, without being a politician and this remains to be one of my biggest motivations for making films: to influence world affairs, deal with problems and, of course, to reflect society. But I always think that if I don’t want to do this anymore, then I will simply become a very cool teacher.
Was it initially hard to take root in the German film industry as a bilingual, ‘black German’?
L. Uibel: It wasn’t and still isn’t easy. But I was actually able to observe a great development in the past ten years. However, we really need to start understanding that we don’t have to explain to the viewers why the lawyer is a woman, the doctor is handicapped or why the teacher is black. Luckily, we live in times where the word ‘German’ isn’t linked to a certain look any longer. Just take a look at our football national team! That’s beautiful and at the same time, not more than reality.
You were seen in The String Puppet or Freistatt amongst others. Which of your past roles has especially stuck in your mind?
L. Uibel: Freistatt was an incredibly important project for me and I’m proud to be part of that movie. We show the dark, German story that needs to be told urgently. Luckily, we were able to initiate a discussion but we need to continue to speak about this topic, and especially about the affected people. But I also won’t ever forget my role as a child soldier in The String Puppet. That was my first role and I was still so young. I still like to watch it today – even though it also deals with a harsh and touching topic.
High Society came to cinemas in September. What was the beautiful thing about this role?
L. Uibel: High Society was something entirely different for me. It is a family-friendly and relaxed comedy, written and staged by Anika Decker. It was really great to work with colleagues like Iris Berben, Katja Riemann and many others. After all, you find a different atmosphere on set when filming a comedy than when filming a drama. It was a great experience and the outcome is something to be proud of!
What is planned for the future? What can we look forward to from you?
L. Uibel: I hope that everything will continue as before and that I can keep on working with talented and inspiring people. Apart from that, I’ll have a guest appearance in the US series Berlin Station and a new cinema project is coming up at the beginning of next year. Furthermore, I will return to the series Um Himmels Willen for a few episodes as the mayor’s grandson Wolf Wöller.
I also read that you’re currently planning a food truck project with friends?
L. Uibel: Yes, that’s right! We’re five friends who opened a ramen noodle food truck in Berlin a few weeks ago. We’re called ‘YAMEN RAMEN’ and stand on different markets and events in Berlin.
Last but not least, what wishes and dreams do you still have?
L. Uibel: Doesn’t matter how corny this might sound, but I hope that the world becomes a bit better each day. There’s currently so much discrimination on our planet and each one of us should do their bit to change that. Maybe then our children and grandchildren can grow up in a better and more beautiful world without as much war and hate as today.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email