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INT: Jurgen Prochnow


Set Visit Intro / Jurgen Prochnow / Paul Soter & Erik Stolhanske / Steve Lemme & Kevin Heffernan / Jay Chandrasekhar

Jurgen plays such intensely fierce dramatic roles that you half-expect him to knife you with a concealed sword if you so much as look at him the wrong way. As we learned, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only was he the nicest guy in the world, he relished the opportunity to do something funny and silly like BEERFEST.

JŁrgen Prochnow

Whoís your character?

My character is the great beer baron of Munich and owns one of the greatest breweries in Munich. And of course that means real wealth because if you know how much money beer is and how much beer people drink and consume every yearÖso very influential person. And he opens always the Oktoberfest inside of the story and so that means tapping the keg. The ceremonial keg. And thatís a very important duty. You mustnít spill any drop there otherwise itís bad luck for the Oktoberfest. And weíve got a guy there, his [characterís] great grandson, telling him about the whole thing and thatís the opening of the movie.

Are you a fan of these guys? Have you seen their previous films?

Oh, you mean the Broken Lizard?


Yeah, Iíve seen the SUPERTROOPERS. And yeah, I like them very much. Thatís why Iím doing this.

Do you play it straight or is it really silly?

No, I think I try to play it as straight as possible because the situations are really funny and I think you have to go for the character and take it really seriously otherwise itís not funny anymore.

They seem to like to take very respectable actors like Brian Cox and make them do silly things. Have they asked you to do anything unusual?

Not really, no. For example, as you probably know, I did a movie years back [called] DAS BOOT. And I was the captain in that movie and we had a little u-boat scene in here and in that movie. And Iím wearing this hat here [in both movies] and that was my intention to do this because the guys are going for recipe [for beer] from Germany to US in the u-boat and find the recipe over there. Which is really funny so you have to give credit to those guys. Theyíve done a lot nice scenes here.

They doing a good job of recreating it (Germany)?

Yeah, definitely, in terms of costume, everything is really authentic.

Did you give any advice on how people might act?

Yeah, of course, I can help a little bit cause Iíve seen it all. Iíve lived there in Munich a couple of years so I know how it feels and what it is like. Iíve been to the Oktoberfest many times and I know all about the Bavarian stuff.

How are they writing the German characters?

Yeah, I mean, this is for a comedy, of course, sometimes itís supposed to be over the top a little bit, which is necessary for a comedy. So we have five German guys in lederhosen here and theyíre all my [characterís] great grandsons. (laughs) Thatís very funny. And theyíre my team and the drinking team here.

Is there any German with subtitles?

Thereís some German dialogue in there with subtitles, yeah. Iíll speak some German, they asked me to. I even translated my own scene once into German. [The scene was] being shot in German and in English.

Howís Jay as a director?

Very nice, very nice guy to work with. I mean, they [Broken Lizard] have been together for many years. And then theyíre writing scripts together and so they know what they wanna do. And everybodyís here almost every day [and they know] what theyíre doing. Itís nice to work with them.

And how is the research going? Youíre drinking?

Well, me, of course, I mean, Iíve been there so I know about the situations. Iím very well accustomedÖ

So beer drinking in advance for this?

Beer drinking in advance as a special gift I would say (laughs)

What does the movie beer taste like?

What do you mean?

They have to use fake beer, right?

For drinking purposes, thereíll all kinds of different techniques theyíre using but theyíre mixing stuff, of course. It looks like beer but it isnít.

I canít imagine itís very good, what does it taste like?


American beer in generalÖ

(laughs) American beer in general taste terrible.

You havenít done many comedies over the years.

No, thatís why Iím doing this. Iím happy to do this because all over the years, Iíve done so many movies but hardly ever a comedy. People generally cast me for the heavy [drama] so this is a nice opportunity.

This is a fast shoot. Theyíre doing it in a month or so. Is there pressure on you to perform?

No, no.

How many days are you working?

I was here three weeks in February and now Iím back here for a couple of days and thatís it.

So itís a fairly major role in the film?


So do you run the games that theyíre doing?

Yes. In the Beerfest that is a special invention for the movie thatís a competition of beer drinking, all kinds of plays involved there in an arena like in a boxing arena, very similar to that. A lot of people are watching. And thatís a key to that scene, in a way. And every team has five guys Ė and I have five German guys in lederhosen Ė and there are teams from all over the world Ė Eskimos Ė and thereíre all kinds of different techniques to drink beer.

Do they actually have beer drinking contests at the real Oktoberfest?

Well, I would say they make it up themselves. If you watch the Australians over there, for example, or the U.S. guys or the Italians or whatever, you know, itís just hilarious, what they drink, itís unbelievable. And the Bavarians as well, you know, (laughs)

Whatís been the most fun sequence for you to shoot?

Well, I would say that it was the Beerfest scenes that were really very very funny. And then the u-boat scene for me personallyÖ

Besides breaking the keg, what else do you do in the movie?

My part is in the opening scenes and then being after the recipes and the training scenes. Oh, that was a funny scene as well Ė training my guys for the beer drinking competition with computers and high tech and everything, watching it like a trainer, a coach, coaching them how to do the best that they can.

Is there a lot of ad-libbing?

A little bit. I think more with those guys. But sometimes with me as well.

You like doing that? You like ad-libbing?

Yeah, yeah, I do. The other day we had a scene in a cab here and it was a lot inventing scenes, start a dialogue in there, it was fun.

Whatís Wolfgang gonna think of the U-boats?

I have no idea. (laughs)

Ok, thank you very much.

BEERFEST goes wide on August 25th




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