IN CONVERSATION with Game of Thrones Actor TOM WLASCHIHA
On top of his game, the breakout German star, TOM WLASCHIHA describes life after Game of Thrones, and his top reasons for living in the capital of cool, Berlin.
Tom Wlaschiha has uncovered a lot of truths in his riveting career as an actor for stage and screen but his sudden stardom international stardom following his breakout international role on Game of Thrones hasn’t changed his pragmatic lease on life. A minimalist at heart, he finds pleasure in simplicity and the casual pace of life in Berlin, his chosen home of almost twenty years. And despite amassing throngs of adoring fans, he considers himself lucky to have been given the opportunities that came his way.
Adventurous yet unassuming, Wlaschiha grew up near Dresden in the former East Germany until the fall of the wall led to instantaneous opportunities for personal growth. Mastering perfect English, while studying abroad as a teenager, his penchant for travel and experiencing new things has led to a series of accomplished roles both in Germany and in international productions. But growing up in communist East Germany, he didn’t always have his sights set on international fame and celebrity.
Reminiscing about this not-so-distant past, he recalls how “it was completely different than it is today. We only had one television channel, so I didn’t watch much TV when I grew up. So, for some reason, when I decided to become an actor, I was only thinking about stage, I didn’t think of becoming a TV and film actor.”
International audiences might have first fallen in love with Tom’s mysterious character as Jaqen H’ghar Game of Thrones and thanks to his part on the global megahit he has landed a number of juicy new roles that bring him back to both TV and film in Europe and abroad. “Initially, I did German television and the roles became bigger and bigger. I would say my first major break was Game of Thrones. Or at least everything has pretty much changed since I got that part.”
Despite having throngs of adoring fans and being one of the most sought-after German actors today, Wlaschiha has a humble attitude when it comes to his success. “I don’t know what a celebrity is other than that you get recognized on the street sometimes and you get some things for free (which is nice!). I’m quite okay with my career going the way it did. I started out in theatre and success didn’t hit me immediately. I’m very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given but I also know that luck is playing a very important part.”
Wlaschiha just wrapped filming in Prague for his role on season two of Das Boot, where he plays Hagen Forster, Gestapo Chief and Criminal Commisioner in La Rochelle, a troubling and conflicted character who is tasked with quelling the resistance in the small but strategically important French town. Speaking about the nearly 40-degree heatwave that he had to endure, “Last week, I was still in full winter uniform. I just finished filming in Prague for Das Boot season two. Winter clothes in summer is still better than summer clothes in winter, though, so I’m not complaining.”
We put this theory to the test, asking Tom to join us for a fall/winter photoshoot at our studios in Berlin. Luckily for us all, Berlin turned out to be giving us nothing other than a moody overcast day to fit the relaxed and dapper styles that make up the editorial.
This tracks quite well with his own approach to clothing and to design in general: “I’m quite minimamalistic. I like clear colors, straight lines. The things you surround yourself with should bring out your character, rather than cover it up,” he says, referring to both his individual sense of style and his personal philosophy of living an uncluttered life in his apartment in Berlin.
And when it comes to eyewear, it’s no surprise that Tom Wlaschiha’s great taste and eye for the finer things is apparent here as well. Not having yet had the need to wear reading glasses, he refers to his go-to sunglasses for the summer. “I’ve got a few pairs. Some of my favorite pairs are from Prada. And Barton Perreira, they are really great.”
With his busy schedule that keeps him away much of the time, Wlaschiha enjoys the casual nature of his neighborhood here in Berlin, a neighborhood that he has seen change around him in the nearly twenty years that he has lived there. “I really like the area I live in, Kreuzberg, because of all the water and the canals and all the little cafes and the general atmosphere. I really enjoy Berlin in good weather. Since I travel a lot with my job, whenever I’m in Berlin I’m really enjoying the city. I think it’s a great place to be based.” And that’s something we can all agree on.
Tom Wlaschiha is Hagen Forster on Sky TV’s Das Boot, one of Germany’s most successful recent TV shows with a second season due this fall and appears for the first time as Max Schenkel on Amazon Prime’s hit actions series Jack Ryan, also with its second season expected soon.
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