At the end of the 1990s, I saw a movie called SLC Punk. While the plot centered around a bunch of punk rocker kids in 1985 Salt Lake City, Utah, it also featured a minor character named Mark; a short, strikingly handsome, cartoonishly paranoid drug dealer from, “somewhere behind the Iron Curtain.” Although over-the-top, batshit insane, Mark delivered some of the movie’s funniest lines, like:
MARK: “Thiiiiis… looks like a silver record. But it’s not a silver record — it’s a LaserDisc. …There’s a movie on there! Heh.”
MARK: “This one, is a waterbed. But it’s not a normal waterbed, ‘cuz a normal waterbed goes like this — ‘twoo-eee-woo-eee-woo-eee‘ [making wave gesture with hand] — lots of waves. Funny thing is: this one doesn’t have any waves.”
STEVO: “Well, why didn’t you just buy a normal mattress that doesn’t have waves?”
MARK: [Long pause, then strokes the bed lovingly] “…This one doesn’t have waves.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but Mark was played by actor Til Schweiger (pronounced: Shhh-vvv-EYE-[like ‘eyeball’]-guh), and he’s kind of a big deal over here in Germany. I get the feeling Schweiger has made a lot of reeeeeally bad movies — mostly action flicks — but I’m not exactly objective: I think 90% of all German movies are 100% dogshit.
Now, most Americans probably recognize Til Schweiger from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, in which he played Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz. Again, a relatively small part, but one which provided my favorite line in the movie:
HUGO: “Say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to your Nazi balls.” [Proceeds to introduce three rounds of lead to SS officer’s scrotum]
Til Schweiger is handsome in that I-bet-he’s-kind-of-an-asshole-in-real-life sort of way. Obviously I have no idea what the man is like off-screen, but something about those squinty little weasel eyes makes me nervous. Like, as a child, maybe he put the family dog in the washing machine and cranked that bitch up to Power Spin. “Honey? Why does the dog smell like UltraFresh Ocean Breeze? And why is he walking in circles like he’s hopelessly retarded?”
From the 10 seconds I spent researching Schweiger, he actually appears to be a man of quality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s been raising money to build a state-of-the-art refugee center to house families arriving in Germany from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. That’s actually pretty awesome — especially considering the army of social media trolls who ripped him a new asshole for it.
But what do well-adjusted, well-educated German people think of Til Schweiger? Lemme ask my wife real quick…
Okay, here’s what she said:
“Yes, I know of him. He’s one of our better actors. Well, he’s a German actor — so not super good — but people like him. He does his own thing. I don’t think he likes the press very much… like, I think he punched a camera man once, but people like him. He has a daughter, and they make movies together. Some women think he’s so super sexy. I don’t.”
Well, I think he’s super sexy, but what I really like best about Til Schweiger is his self-deprecating sense of humor. He never hesitates to make fun of himself, and that’s crucial if a rich, famous movie star ever hopes to someday find himself on some weirdo American blogger’s list of quasisexual man-crushes.
For example, take a look at this German TV commercial for personal liability insurance, in which Schweiger plays himself at a high-society art exhibition. He accidentally autographs a very expensive painting, and then gives this look like, Fuuuuuuck…
I actually guffawed out loud when I saw it at the gym last year, and Schweiger has been close to my heart ever since.
That’s 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for you, Til!
Well done, you sexy little bitch.