27 January, 2009
Young German Actor Breaks Through
by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
David Kross, an 18-year-old actor who hails from a small northern town in Germany, is suddenly a bright, shining star on the international film stage. His role as a German student who discovers that his much-older lover hides a secret of being a guard in a Nazi concentration camp in THE READER has been universally praised. The film, directed by Sam Mendes, and starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, is now a major Oscar contender, with 5 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Stephen Daldry) and Best Actress (Kate Winslet).
Kross began his career in regional children’s theater groups, which led to his casting at the tender age of 15 as the lead in TOUGH ENOUGH (Knallhart), in the role of a young student in a troubled high school in one of Berlin’s most violent districts Neukoelln. His authentic performance was recognized and admired at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere. The film went on to be both a major boxoffice hit in its native Germany, but also stimulated investigations and legislation to help conditions at socially disadvantaged schools.
In 2007, Kross won a coveted role in the lavish filming of the best seller KRABAT, directed by German auteur Marco Kreuzpainter. The response to this second performance drew the attention of British director Stephen Daldry, who cast Kross in the pivotal role of the young man in THE READER. Despite a thick German accent dotting his first-ever English-language role, the young actor has been widely praised in critical reception, more than holding his own with a cast of celebrated veterans such as Winslet and Fiennes. Expect to see more European and American films featuring this intense young talent.