Storytelling – Learn from the pros: Part 3
The issue of credibility is central to films. It takes credible actors to create authentic stories. This is important for companies as well. They need motivated employees who keep their eyes on the vision, those who appear as credible testimonials. For our four-part blog series we journeyed in search of the secret of what makes good stories and talked with three professional storytellers. Part 3 with the Swiss actor Anatole Taubman.
Meet the actor
Anatole Taubman is a versatile Swiss actor, known for his character roles. He has appeared in more than 100 film and TV productions. He plays the evil Elvis alongside Mathieu Amalric in the Bond film “Quantum of Solace”, and is currently shooting a tragic comedy with Bettina Oberli entitled “Wanda, mein Wunder”.
You are among Switzerland’s most successful international actors. What roles do you take on, which do you turn down?
That depends on multiple factors. Screenplay, role/character profile, emotional span, director, production and co-actors. What matters to me is that the story that is being told functions globally. That it deals with themes and feelings that people around the world can empathize with. Blockbusters, which generally come from the USA, are an exception to this.
Where do you find inspiration for your roles?
Everywhere. In everyday life. In life itself. My basic equipment includes observation, curiosity and fantasy.
What is your favorite story?
I have many favorite stories. Most stem from real life. Reality writes the funniest, most absurd, saddest and most unimaginable stories. Limitlessly.
What do you think makes a really good film?
Three things: a good screenplay, a good screenplay and a good screenplay (Billy Wilder).
Are you a good storyteller yourself?
Yes, I’d go as far as to say, a very good one. As an orphan, self-defense and maintenance were part of my “survival strategy”, unconsciously, of course.
What was your favorite role?
I somehow have to fall in love with each of my roles so that I can portray them as believably as possible. This means that I do not have a favorite role. How-ever, I am able to let go of some of them more easily, while the separation is more difficult for others. It is always like a little death that I go through – romantic, painful, freeing, honest. I would have loved to been able to occupy my Montcourt in the TV series “Versailles” in 2nd and 3rd series as well. Unfortunately, he was slated to die at the end of series 1, at least it was at the hands of Louis XIV himself.
“Reality writes the funniest, most absurd, saddest and most unimaginable stories.”
Anatole Taubmanknown for his character roles
You were born in Switzerland and have a British passport, just like James Bond. Is there anything else you have in common with the character?
I have surely become an authentic gentleman. Other than that, perhaps the charm and fearlessness for people and conflicts, without violence however, and with communication, in dialog and with listening.
In “Quantum of Solace” you play the evil Elvis. What fascinated you about this role?
The chance to create a “colorful tapestry” from a screenplay that presented a rather “colorless tapestry”, one that is memorable. To be more than merely a function, but a person with an identity and background.
“What matters to me is that the story functions globally.”
Anatole TaubmanSwiss actor