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Philipp Hochmeier wants to “go deeper and deeper into this role”

Philipp Hochmeier wants to “go deeper and deeper into this role”

Hochmair can now also work on Everyman, a role he portrayed for years in the musical and stage show Everyman Reloaded. Having replaced an ailing Tobias Moretti in the role of everyman in Cathedral Square for several evenings in 2018 – a busy year – he now plays the title character in Robert Carsen's new production for the Salzburg Festival. He has not shown his cards yet.

courier: When you made the first film, did you expect “Blindfolded” to last as long as it did?

Philipp Hochmeier: When the offer came, I was so angry. At first I could not imagine a blind inspector at all. A person without sight lives in the world of sighted people, and it's very dangerous for him from the beginning – and then he's still chasing criminals? The joy is now greater than the success of the series.

What does this mean for role development?

When you've been embodying a role for a long time, it's only possible to get deeper into it.

While preparing, I had experiences like “Dialogue in the Dark,” where you act in total darkness. Why was this so important?

You have to adapt to this complex character over and over again, and this requires focused and technically correct preparation. It's a very tragic thing to lose your sight, and my biggest concern is that this stroke of fate in the film is handled in a respectful way.

Before filming the new episodes, you had an appointment with the Blind Association. What were you able to learn from him?

Audience comments have taught us that some errors have crept into the physical dialogue between the blind man and his assistant or in the correct handling of the blind man's stick. It is always good and important to talk to people from the Blind Association so that nothing like this happens and the show remains respectful and authentic.

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If you Google “blind actor,” the only results you will find are “blindly designed.” Were there also skeptical voices – key word 'blind face' – that an actor who was actually blind was not shown?

The goal of this series is to give blind people focus. We sighted people quickly forget how difficult and dangerous life is for a blind person in the sighted world. Fortunately there was no doubt, we do our best to present this topic in a professional manner.

Recently, the directors of “Blindly Detected” have changed a bit. How does this affect?

It is quite natural that there are always new directors in such a format, so that each film can stand on its own and remain artistically unique. There is nothing more boring than routine work on set. Each director brings his or her own signature and aesthetic. This is good for the team and the result.

You asked your fans on Instagram to send you critical comments – because you think criticism is important. What did he return?

It was actually a rhetorical question. Better yet, only positive comments are posted.

How did you react when it became clear that you would be playing Everyman in the new Salzburg production?

I was so pleased!

We touched on your extensive preparation for roles. What's it like to develop Everyman in Salzburg?

Ice bathing, dry training in the Australian jungle and paragliding in Brazil. What do you do to survive in the mountains of Salzburg. (He laughs)

You'll be showing “Everyman Reloaded” with your band Elektrohand Gottes in the middle of the festival season. Do you also expect a relationship with your business in Salzburg?

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Yes, I realized that very well. It's precisely these types of interactions that interest me. In addition, Salzburg is often crowded with visitors, giving spectators the opportunity to experience a unique experience in an enormous setting. August 9 is a special date for me personally, as I stood in front of Moretti for the first time on August 9, 2018, exactly six years before the show at Burg Clam.

You said in an interview with “Zeit” that your first contact with “Everyman” disturbed you. Is this perhaps why Hofmannsthal's text engages you so intensely?

That's how it is. As an acting student, I was disturbed by this event. And certainly the desire to do it differently remained a big incentive for me to engage intensely with the material.