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Rolf Kanies Interview 5-5-2009
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Angel
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 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2009 09:48 pm

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The publication of this interview is strictly for lexxverse.com.  Permission is not given for anyone to post this anywhere else, translated or otherwise, without prior contact with Angel or MayaXXX. 

Rolf Kanies Interview 5/5/2009

Rolf's answers are in
red.

 

Lexx Related Topics:

 

 

1.    Were you expecting what was essentially a one-shot appearance in season 3 to become a long term gig in season 4?

 

No, not at all.

And even when I came to Halifax to play the president, the part was much smaller before.

But after a few shooting days Paul Donovan realized what possibilities were lying in that part. So he changed, with the other authors, the whole story-line.

 

2.    Was Priest the most simpering, weak-willed character you have ever portrayed? What methods did you employ to develop his portrayal?

 

As you all know, he murdered Prince in "The battle" and was murdered himself by Prince.

He didn't like this very much and promised to be a good servant.

But well, he was only the second most evil person in the Universe; but what he definitely was, he was the most stupid and dull one ( not as stupid as Bunny, may be, but....) and there was a real president rising up in the United States, which was a big problem for the world  and became even a bigger one, as some of you might know and I was totally aware, that the character should have quite a bit of him.

It is always interesting, if you play bad people, to ask what the reasons for their behavior might be and here we had a real life president, who was full of lack of confidence, who had so many inferiority complexes, that such people react very often in a really mad way.

And in the case of Reginald J. Priest, there was this other thing, that be didn't know anything about the planet Earth and he had to live with the lie, that he was a Vietnam war hero, though he was, as you all know, only an alien.

The other thing was, that the first First Lady was Janet Wright, a big mother figure and it was wonderful, that I had such a strong counterpart, so that I could be really weak.

We have a wonderful famous author, who lived nearly 200 years ago, called Heinrich Heine, who once wrote:

"Stupidity very often goes hand in hand with evil"

(Which is very true!)

So yes, Priest was the most weak-willed character I ever played.

 

3.    What was his previous incarnation in Season 3? How did that character differ from Priest in Season 4?

 

Well in season three I didn't know that I was going to play the president, but when I came for the 4th season, the character that I created fit suprisingly well into the character of the President of the United States.

And as I wrote before they ( both presidents) didn't know anything about the planet earth !

There is one thing, that I want to add:

as some of you may know, I started my work as a theatre actor

(actually I did it for 19 years), before I became a film actor.

One of my old teachers at actor school always said to us that it is necessary - as actors - to show  all the mighty people on earth bare, so that the audience can laugh about them, which is very often the only way to react, because we are - most of the time - powerless.

 

4.    When translating the show from English to German, were there any notable jokes, puns, or verbal exchanges, particularly those heavy on cultural references that you were unable to directly translate?

 

Sadly I have to admit: when I saw the show on TV, before I came the first time to play "The battle", I was extremely shocked, because when the show was dubbed in German, it was as dull as anyone can imagine.

Nothing was interesting, weird or funny !!

So I had been really afraid to go to shoot in Halifax, because I thought I am going to make bullshit. That was the reason why the show didn't make it in Germany.

Which was and is really a pity, because the fourth season will therefore never be shown here in Germany.

The former German producers were just not able to do it right in the beginning.

But when I arrived in Halifax and saw all the episodes in English, I laughed my head off.

LEXX is a wonderful, intelligent piece of great humor and anarchistic art.

 

5.    What did you do from the time you last appeared in Season 3 "BATTLE" and when you woke up in Season 4 as our dear President? (**in real life**)

 

Oh well, in real life, I was still an actor and did some beautiful things on stage, which was the "Seduction of the Serail" at Garsington Opera Festival in Oxford and I did in Berlin "Waiting for Godot" by Beckett, where I played Pozzo and I did several  feature films in Germany.

And after a few episodes doing the fourth season , I played Hitler in the Starz movie "Joe and Max".(A pity that it was not such a good film)

 

6.    What is your very favorite moment in LEXX of all your appearances and scenes, that you remember most fondly? (and... Should we ask Why?)

 

There was this touching moment, when Reginald said, that he is only an alien, which I liked very much.

But thousands of other moments in "The Game" for example, or in "769", when he cannot have sex with the first Lady Bunny .

I loved most, as a whole episode, "Stan Down", because all the playing with the First Lady and Prince, showed so much about how power can mislead a whole nation and the Kennedy scene is one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen.

And "Bad Carrot" is just hilarious, though many people disliked it.

To play with the taboos of a society is so enlightening !

But lot, lots, lots other moments as well: playing Golf with the Pope in Thailand and so on.

 

7.    Do you prefer to play comic characters such as President Priest in LEXX, or would you rather play very serious or even dark sinister characters?

 

That I played that comic part is the exception. I usually play dark, deep characters, very often evil ones, but in the meantime I play as well fathers, who have problems with their kids. You know...I am getting older.

 

 8.    Did you create a back-story other than being a minion of Prince for President Priest?  If so, what was it?

 

I think I answered this question in number 2 and 3.

 

 9.    President Priest and Bunny were so great together.  What was it like working with Patricia Zentilli?  Have you had a chance to work with her since Lexx?

 

To work with Patricia was pure joy and delight !!

What a marvelous, great actress !

Always professional, open-minded, playful, intelligent !!!!

No, we haven`t had the chance to work since then together, but we are still in contact and I would love to work with her again.

 

10. Do you have a favorite or memorable Lexx scene or episode, and if so, which and why?

 

See question 6

 

11.  And this last Lexx question comes from none other than Ellen *Giggy* Dubin herself.  She asks, when you were tied up in the golf scene in Thailand, were you scared that you would lose and be eaten by GIGGEROTA THE WICKED?

 

Oh, wicked Giggerota herself.......!!!!!

No , frankly I was not frightened at all, but I´ll always remember that scene, hanging there, because we all had such a wonderful time in Thailand and I thought, that that was a brilliant scene, so funny. Again it showed how far mad people, mighty people like even the pope can go.

 

Other Topics:

 

1.     In the film Downfall (Der Untergang; The Downfall) you starred as General der Infanterie Hans Krebs, your character spoke Russian in the Soviet Headquarters. Was that you talking or someone else's voice over? And if it was you,  did you have much trouble memorizing Russian phrases?

 

It was definitely me.

I learned the Russian language at school, for three years, when I was a kid.

I was brought up in the western part of Germany, but there were some schools, where you could choose from a huge variety of languages and russian was my third one, after english and french.

But after nearly 30 years, I had to learn the lines quite a bit, because in the meantime  I didn't have the chance to improve my russian.

 

2.     I have read that the film was produced among other places in St. Petersburg. Have you had a chance to do any sight seeing and explore the city?

 

Yes, St.Petersburg is a beautiful city, with a lot of gold and glamour, because it had been, in that year, the 300th anniversary. The outside was nice, but if you walked into the courtyards it looked very different !

And it was very strange for us to see so many poor people walking around, who just begged for an ice-cream or a beer.

 

 3.     I love watching puppet shows and was interested to read that you had ran a puppet show when you were young.  Are you still involved in puppetry, an if so could you tell us about that?

 

When I became 14 years old, I was not at all interested in puppets anymore, because I wanted to become a real actor.

I had 100 puppets from all around the world, which my father brought to me as presents from his business trips.

I gave all of them away to other kids and that was it.

But I was playing with puppets for more than 10  years, which was a long and terrific time!

 

4.     Do you currently have any pets?

 

I had a huge Berner Sennenhund, a Swiss dog, whom I really loved, but two years ago, he got cancer and died and I am not going to get another one.

He is not replaceable.

 

5.     What television and or movie projects have you been doing in recent years and what did you enjoy most about them?

 

If you go to imdb or wikipedia you will see, that I have done quite a bit.

But two years ago, for example, I did a film called "ANOMYA - a woman in Berlin", where I played a German soldier coming back from war.

That is a really good film which premiered last year at the Toronto

Film Festival.

If you cannot see the film, I want to recommend the book, which is an extraordinary piece of writing as well as German history.

 

6.     Do you travel a lot for your roles and if so, what has been the most exciting or exotic locale?

 

Well, I just arrived two days ago from a trip to New Zealand, where I shot a feature film for German TV.

Last November I shot a feature film in Cape Town and before that in Majorca. And two years ago, I was working in Namibia, Rome and Austria.

Yes, I am traveling very often, which I love.

On the other hand side it is a problem too, because there is the danger that you lose contact with your friends.

All the places where I have been were exciting, because I am very

inquisitive about foreign people and different surroundings.

I loved the different deserts in Namibia as well as the rough and green beautiful countryside in southern New Zealand, as well as all those terrific cities, where I get the opportunity to work.

 

7.     What do you like to do in your free time?

 

In my free time I like to walk, because I am interested in nature, especially plants and trees and wild herbs (to make salads or nice vegetable stews).

But, in general, it is a huge pleasure for me to explore the countryside.

For example, I have done some trips to the wilderness of Canada, where I did canoe trips to the Algonkin National Park as well as to the Wells Grey Park in British Columbia.

These trips took me and a companion for 4 weeks to grizzly bears, wolves, brown bears and moose and all kinds of animals.

But I did the same in Indonesia, there instead with tigers and poisoned snakes or in the area of the Molukkus I loved to snorkle with dolphins, sharks and turtles.

I love cooking for friends and for myself!

And I prefer the Italien, French, Greek and Thai cuisine.

I like swimming and so I swim several times per week 1000 meters.

I have ballet lessons once per week, but I have to admit, that , because it's a bit of a drive from my home and because I am quite busy, I do that sort of sport mostly in winter time.

Ballet is something new for me, because I studied modern dancing when I went to actor school.

I like gardening a lot, but in Berlin, where I live, I have got only two balconies.

And those balconies are overcrowded with a huge fig tree  and oleander and lemon trees.

 

Lastly is there anything you would like to say to all the fans out there?  And may they contact you, if so what email address may they write to you at?

 

I really want to thank all the fans around the world for their support.

It has been so helpful to get lots of emails, letters and presents from all those kind people! Very moving!!

And it keeps you going, because you realize that your work means something for the audience. And I think they feel that I am doing my job to give them joy and happiness and sometimes something to think about.

And I am astonished, that still there are lots of people , who watch the show.

The other day I got a long letter from an English man who wrote that he just bought the DVDs of LEXX and he was full of praise.

You can definitely write me, whenever you like to the following email:

 

rolfkanies@web.de

 

I am, looking forward to getting your reactions.

I send you warmest regards from Berlin, where I live.

And I wish you all the best for your futures!

Thank you so much for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Rolf Kanies

 



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CheshireKat
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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2009 01:00 am

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WOW! Great to hear from you Rolf and glad you are keeping busy with new projects.  Thanks for filling in the background of President Priest (very interesting). Hope to see you in a production in the US some time. :bounce_pinka:



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2009 05:31 am

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Amazing interview. Rolf seems a great person and he was really hilarious in 4th season. I loved his character.



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2009 09:08 am

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What a nice guy he is.  Thanks for talking with him for us, FooFoo.  :2567:  You da babe.  :s010a:

I'm so sorry Rolf lost his canine companion.  I know how he feels.  I lost my darling sweet Sugar :xangel1:  more than 15 years ago and I haven't had a dog since.  Sometimes you just can't do it again...or not for a long time. 

Now I'm afflicted with cats.   :cat01:   I love them truly, but they aren't dogs...



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2009 11:36 am

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what a truly lovely man, interested in all sorts of diversions and hobbies..you can read for yourself he is well rounded and quite happy with himself and the world around him..bless his heart and I hope he has a long career ahead of him.

Thank you Mr. Kanies.



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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2009 08:10 pm

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Rolf is such a very nice and interesting man. Thank you from everyone at Lexxverse Rolf for doing such a wonderful interview!



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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2009 11:13 am

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That was an interesting interview and thanks so much to take time out answer all the questions put to you Rolf Kanies.

Thank you Angel for posting it.

It is very sad when one loses one's pet.  I know. 

By the way I love Bad Carrot:carrot1:.  It doesn't matter how many times I watch it it cracks me up every time.

:Dgurl wishes you all the best.

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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2009 05:00 pm

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Great interview, thanks so much Angel and Rolf :)

I also thought Bad Carrot was such a hilarious episode!

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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2009 08:38 pm

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Fantastic!  Thanks Rolf, Angel and Maya :)



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 05:34 am

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bad carrot is the funniest LEXX episode indeed



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 09:41 am

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I sheepishly admit that Bad Carrot made me laugh, too.



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 11:18 am

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I thought Bad Carrot was hilarious! I made sound files from it with alot of the farting and to this day when I listen to it I am cracking up!



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 03:24 pm

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I thought that Rolf was BRILLIANT in Bad Carrot, and the interview was fabulous !!!

Thanks so much to Mr. Kanies and his great sense of humor.

 

Stay tuned for a surprise new interview on the horizon !!

 

:cat01::adu-8::coolcarrot:



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 03:28 pm

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You're such a tease, you sexy bitch!  :bigsarc:

 

What's in store for us next?



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009 11:24 pm

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Wouldn't you like to know...*snort*

:BULLWHIP::cat01::adu-8::badger:



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