'Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich' Star Addresses His Many Nazi Roles in Films
German actor Udo Kier has become a staple of the horror genre, thanks in large part to his [...]
German actor Udo Kier has become a staple of the horror genre, thanks in large part to his ferocity as an actor, no matter what the role. With films like Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, Iron Sky, or Grindhouse, the actor has often portrayed Nazis, some of the most horrifying real-world villains to have ever existed. Kier recently pointed out that, not only has his ancestry resulted in American audiences typecasting him, but he also has never gone the dramatic route when portraying such a character.
"First of all, I must tell you, when you're German and you come to America, your name is Hans, and you play mad scientists or a Nazi," Kier shared with ComicBook.com. "I have never in my life, because I was born at the end of the war, I have never played a serious Nazi, never. I got offered, even in America for TV shows, to play horrible people, and I said, 'No,' because ... I only played Adolf Hitler three times. In Iron Sky number two, I am Hitler on the dinosaur visiting my brother, and I say "Heil, Mutter Ficker,' which means, 'mother f-cker.' All the films I did were kind of comedy. It's like Springtime For Hitler [from The Producers]."
Kier's comments essentially suggest that it's far less emotionally taxing to play the caricature of villainy than to try to imbue any sort of humanity into such a character. The actor went on to detail his process of approaching characters, confirming why he has stayed away from a dramatic turn as a Nazi.
"I have never played a serious Nazi, and I will never do. Because if I would play Mengele or somebody I have to study them and get into that,' Kier confessed. "I was born in Germany on October 14th, 1944, the end of the war. When I grew up, I knew anything about it until I informed myself all about what it was all about. And I only do it, as I said, in comedy, which I did all the films like, Iron Sky, and it will be like that. It will never affect me that my name is Hans in the Gus Van Sant film, My Own Private Idaho, or the new one, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, my name is Hans again. That is a normal thing. If you make a film in Japan, [a German actor's name] is Hansman. "
In his latest film, Kier stars as not only a Nazi, but as the iconic Andre Toulon, who crafts devilish toys that come to life to kill a variety of victims.
Recently divorced and reeling, Edgar (Thomas Lennon) returns to his childhood home to regroup his life. When Edgar finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother's room, he decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. Girl-next-door Ashley (Jenny Pellicer) and his comic book shop boss, Markowitz (Nelson Franklin), join Edgar for the doomed road trip. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that's motivated by an evil as old as time.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich hits VOD and Digital HD this Friday.
Do you have a favorite role of Kier's? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!1comments