Philipp Christopher – ‘Nature doesn’t need us, but we need nature’
Text: Nane Steinhoff | Photo: Grayson Lauffenburger, Styling: Giulia Consiglio
German actor Philipp Christopher is cosmopolitan through and through. Not only has he lived in New York, but he has also been part of many international productions such as the famous series Origin, shot in South Africa. He speaks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about his latest projects, climate change and much more.
Philipp, you have lived in South Africa and New York City, and are married to an American. What does the term ‘home’ mean to you?
P. Christopher: Somebody once said ‘home is where the heart is’ and that’s true for me, too. Even though I’ve left a part of myself in every single place I’ve lived in, my heart still beats deeply for Berlin. ‘Home’ is family for me and where I can simply ‘be’. It also has to do with roots, though; where you built your foundation. That is and always will be Berlin.
Let’s speak about Origin: why do you think this series has been so successful?
P. Christopher: I think that science fiction, combined with a bit of thriller and an international cast already sounds pretty good. But I also think that the subject matter, leaving one’s past behind and to start anew, is very interesting. The creative minds behind Origin simply put the right ingredients into the mix and produced an exciting series.
How was it to work alongside actors like Tom Felton and Natalia Tena?
P. Christopher: Both are really down-to-earth people despite their big success, which is really refreshing. On set you quickly forget who you’re working with because everyone is focused on telling the story and bringing it to life.
You’ve managed to be part of many international productions as a German actor. What advice do you have for other German actors that want to achieve the same?
P. Christopher: I think I’ve been very lucky or maybe luck knocked on my door because I’ve always been very open towards the international market. I think that you need a certain cosmopolitan outlook, as well as an interest in other cultures and their histories. Of course, language skills are also important. You don’t have to be able to speak without an accent, but it can definitely help with some castings.
The Windermere Children was aired in January. What was special about this dramatisation?
P. Christopher: I’ve always thought that perhaps all stories have been told 75 years after the end of the war, but I was wrong. The Windermere Children is special because it tells a story right after the war, and with hope and dignity. The movie is based on the book The Boys which tells the true story of around 800 children that were brought from concentration camps to Great Britain to rehabilitate them there. One of these places was Windermere. The movie is a tribute to the surviving children, many of whom lost all of their family members. Some of them still live today and I was able to meet them within the framework of the project research, which really moved me.
You always try to play new roles and characters, as was recently seen in Rea, where you played a family father who is a victim of domestic violence. Why is versatility so important to you?
P. Christopher: Because it’s exactly what fascinates me so much about acting: to play different roles and to understand, to create and to live them. There’s nothing more exciting. The more they differ from me, the better.
Political commitment and climate protection are really important to you and your family. What should each and every one of us do on a daily basis to help the world?
P. Christopher: Us humans have literally taken over, occupied and exploited this planet. What has to change is our attitude towards nature. It needs to be closely embedded in our daily lives and needs to be taken into account in everything we do. When we understand the importance of our surroundings and that life on this planet is only possible in symbiosis with nature, then we will be able to make the right decisions in everyday life, too. After all, nature doesn’t need us, but we need nature.
2020 is in full swing – what else is planned for this year? Any news?
P. Christopher: Besides seeing me in The Windermere Children, you can also see me in the book adaptation The Liberator on Netflix. Furthermore, I’ve got a lot planned which I can’t talk about yet. However, I still want to keep working behind the camera, too, and am currently in the development phase of my first feature film.
And, last but not least, what other wishes and dreams do you still have?
P. Christopher: My biggest wish is that we get a grip on climate change and are able to make the much-needed progress. I also hope that we won’t slide into another war. In a geopolitical sense we are in very difficult times and I sometimes wish that it wouldn’t affect me. But it does, of course. The best roles, the most awesome projects don’t mean anything if the ground under your feet is burning.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email