Thomas Kretschmann

Thomas Kretschmann

Kretschmann with Brittany Rice, at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, on 9 February 2012
Born (1962-09-08) 8 September 1962
Dessau, East Germany
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Malibu, California, U.S.
Nationality German
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985–present
Children 3
Website ThomasKretschmann

Thomas Kretschmann (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːmas ˈkrɛʧman]; born 8 September 1962) is a German actor. He played Lieutenant Hans von Witzland in the 1993 film Stalingrad, Hauptmann Peter Kahn in the 2013 film Stalingrad, Hauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld in The Pianist, Hermann Fegelein in Downfall, Major Otto Remer in the 2008 film Valkyrie, and Captain Engelhorn in the 2005 remake of King Kong, and voiced Professor Z in Cars 2. He appeared as Baron Strucker in Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Early life and education

Kretschmann was born in Dessau, East Germany, on 8 September 1962. Before he became an actor, Kretschmann trained to become an Olympic swimmer. At the age of 19, he fled East Germany and began a month-long trek to West Germany to escape the East German state. During this trek, part of his finger was lost but surgically reattached. Kretschmann crossed four borders (Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria) with nothing other than his passport and the equivalent of $100 in his possession.[1]


At the age of 25, he began acting, starring in numerous European films and television series. In 1991, Kretschmann was awarded the Max Ophüls Prize for best young actor for his role in Der Mitwisser. He went on to star in his first full-length feature, the 1993 film Stalingrad. He achieved international recognition for his role as sadomasochistic rapist/murderer Alfredo Grossi in Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome.

Although popular in his homeland, Kretschmann did not achieve notice in Hollywood until his role as Hauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld in Roman Polanski's 2002 film The Pianist. In the years since, Kretschmann has often portrayed military officers in films about the Third Reich. In the 2004 film Downfall, Kretschmann played Hermann Fegelein, a Waffen-SS General and brother-in-law to Eva Braun. In the 2008 thriller Valkyrie, Kretschmann played Major Otto Ernst Remer, a Wehrmacht officer who had a key role in stopping the 20 July Plot. Prior to the casting of Tom Cruise, Kretschmann had been attached to play Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.

Kretschmann also played Adolf Eichmann in a 2007 biographical film.

Kretschmann made his first appearance on American television in 2003 when he guest starred in 2 episodes of 24. He later also appeared in Relic Hunter. In 2004, Kretschmann played Timothy Cain, a ruthless Umbrella Major, in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. In the same year, he appeared in the French film Immortal with Linda Hardy. The film was notable for its use of a digital backlot and interaction between Computer-generated characters and real actors.

In 2005, Kretschmann won a role in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, where he worked again with Adrien Brody, with whom he costarred in The Pianist.

The following year, Kretschmann began to win acclaim for his role in Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story (Rohtenburg in Germany). A psychological thriller, the movie co-stars Keri Russell and was inspired by the Armin Meiwes cannibalism case. It was scheduled for a March 2006 release in Germany, but its showing is under injunction after Meiwes successfully sued to have it banned on grounds of infringement of his Persönlichkeitsrecht (personality rights). At the 2006 Festival de Cine de Sitges, Kretschmann shared the Best Actor award for his performance in this film with his co-star Thomas Huber. Kretschmann also shared Best Actor with Huber at the 2007 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

In 2008 Kretschmann was hired for the role of Johann Krauss in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. However, after several trials del Toro decided that Kretschmann's voice and the mechanical sound FX to Johann's suit did not mesh well, so the part went to Seth MacFarlane. That same year he appeared in the action thriller Wanted, alongside Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy.

Thomas Kretschmann (far left) at a press conference for the Film Transsiberian (film), 2008

2009 saw Kretschmann guest star in the American science-fiction TV drama series FlashForward, as well as a major secondary part in the British biopic The Young Victoria as King Leopold I of Belgium. This film also received three Academy Awards nominations in 2010 for Best Art Direction, Makeup, and won for Costume Design.[2]

The next year he returned to Germany, guest starring as himself in the romantic comedy Rabbit without Ears 2. Kretschmann then moved to Malaysia in the summer to shoot his scenes for the German biopic Dschungelkind based on the eponymous bestseller by Sabine Kuegler. The film was released in early 2011. Walt Disney Pictures confirmed in November 2010, that Kretschmann would star as one of the voice talents in the Pixar Production Cars 2. The film was released in the United States on 24 June 2011, in the United Kingdom on 22 July and in Germany on 28 July.[3][4][5]

Kretschmann starred as Captain Kurt Brynildson in the 2011-2012 ABC original paranormal/adventure/horror television series The River about a group of people on a mission to find a missing TV explorer in the Amazon.

Kretschmann signed a multi-film contract with Marvel Studios to play Baron Wolfgang von Strucker,[6] and first appeared as the character in a post-credits scene of the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[7] He had a larger role as the character in the 2015 movie Avengers: Age of Ultron.[8]

For the German dubs of movies and television shows he stars in, Kretschmann often dubs his parts himself.[9]

Aside from acting Kretschmann has also worked as a fashion model, including a stint as the face for a scent by Hugo Boss.

Personal life

In early 2009, Kretschmann confirmed that he had separated from his girlfriend of 12 years, Lena Roklin. Kretschmann has three children with Lena: Stella (born 1999), Nicolas (born 1998), and Sascha (born 2002). From March 2009 to June 2010, he was in a relationship with Iranian model Shermine Shahrivar. Since 2011, he has been in a relationship with Brittany Rice. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


Year Film Role Other notes
1989 Der Mitwisser   Television film
Max Ophüls Prize for Best Young Actor
1992 Shining Through Man at Zurich Station  
1993 Stalingrad Leutnant Hans von Witzland  
Die Ratte Sven  
1994 La Reine Margot Nançay  
1995 Derrick Season 22 Episode 4 Teestunde mit einer Mörderin The Husband of the Murderess  
1996 The Stendhal Syndrome Alfredo Grossi  
Marching in Darkness (Marciando nel buio) Gianni Tricarico  
1997 Prince Valiant Thagnar  
1999 Esther: The Bible King Ahasuerus of Persia Television film
2000 U-571 Kapitänleutnant Günther Wassner  
2001 Feindliche Übernahme – Robert Fernau  
2001 The Knights of the Quest Vanni Delle Rondini  
2002 Blade II Eli Damaskinos  
The Pianist Hauptmann Wilm Hosenfeld  
2003 24 Max Episodes: "Day 2: 6:00 a.m.–7:00 a.m." & "Day 2: 7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m."
2004 In Enemy Hands First Watch Officer Ludwig Cremer  
Immortel (Ad Vitam) Nikopol  
Downfall SS-Obergruppenführer Hermann Fegelein  
Resident Evil: Apocalypse Major Timothy Cain  
The Karate Dog Gerber Television film
Head in the Clouds Major Franz Bietrich  
Frankenstein Victor Helios Television film
2005 Schneeland Aron  
Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II Miniseries
King Kong Captain Englehorn  
2006 Rohtenburg Oliver Hartwin Best Actor, Sitges 2006
(shared with co-star Thomas Huber)  
Best Actor, PiFan 2007
(shared with co-star Thomas Huber)  
The Celestine Prophecy Wil  
24: The Game Max Video game
2007 Next Mr. Smith
In Transit Max
Eichmann Adolf Eichmann
Bionic Woman The Man Television series (episode one)
Warum Männer nicht zuhören und Frauen schlecht einparken Paul
2008 Wanted Cross  
Transsiberian Kolzak
Mogadischu Kapitän Jürgen Schumann Television film
Der Seewolf Kapitän Wolf Larsen Television film
Valkyrie Otto Ernst Remer
2009 The Young Victoria King Leopold I of Belgium[10]
King Conqueror Archbishop of Tarragona
Wanted: Weapons of Fate Cross[11] Video game
FlashForward Stefan Krieger Television series
2010 The Nazi Officer's Wife Kapitänleutnant Günther Wassner  
Dare to Love Me Mariano
2011 Cars 2 Professor Zündapp Voice
The Sinking of the Laconia Admiral Dönitz Television film – BBC Productions
Jungle Child Klaus Kuegler
The Cape Gregor the Great Television series
Hostel: Part III Flemming Direct-to-DVD
What a Man Jens
2012 Dracula 3D Dracula
The River Captain Kurt Brynildson Television series
2013 Dracula Abraham Van Helsing Television series
Stalingrad Peter Kahn
Open Grave Lukas
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden Friedrich Ritter Narration/voice
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Baron Wolfgang von Strucker Mid-credits scene cameo
Plastic Marcel
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Baron Wolfgang von Strucker
Hitman: Agent 47 Le Clerq
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Airplane Passenger
Central Intelligence The Buyer
Stratton: First Into Action Filming
Discarnate Post-production
2017 The Blue Mauritius Holtz Filming



  1. de:Thomas Kretschmann
  2. " Nominations". Academy Awards. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. "Pixar says Cars 2 is still due in cinemas in June 2011". BBC News. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.]
  4. Sciretta, Peter (7 March 2011). "Cars 2 Trailer". SlashFilm. Retrieved 18 May 2011.]
  5. Cars 2 at FilmStarts
  6. Couto, Anthony (3 March 3014). "Baron von Strucker Actor Discusses His Avengers 2 Role, Multi-Picture Deal". IGN. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. McWeeny, Drew (21 March 2014). "Review: Captain America meets his match in the smart and stylish 'Winter Soldier'". HitFix. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  8. Kit, Borys (15 January 2014). "'Dracula' Actor to Play Villain in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 15, 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. "Thomas Kretschmann". Deutsche Synchronkartei. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  10. BBC – Lincolnshire – Features – Filming At Lincoln Cathedral: Young Victoria
  11. Orry, James (6 February 2009). "Wanted gets Hollywood voice cast". VideoGamer. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
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