Damian Hardung in “Our Wonderful Years”: He could have become a professional soccer player

Damian Hardung in “Our Wonderful Years”: He could have become a professional soccer player

“Our wonderful years” newcomer Damian Hardung speaks in an interview about mentor Katja Riemann, James Dean comparisons and his professions.

The second season of the event series “Our Wonderful Years” will run on March 11, 15 and 22 in double episodes from 8:15 p.m. on the first. The story of the Wolf family of manufacturers at the time of currency reform and the economic miracle inspired millions of viewers in the first season two years ago. Based on the successful novel by Peter Prange (67), it is now being continued in the spirit of the 1968s. The focus is on Christel Wolf’s (Katja Riemann, 59) grandson Winne Wolf, a rebellious teenager who takes to the streets to protest against the long-established regime.

Winne is embodied by the Cologne actor Damian Hardung (24), who has been in front of the camera for more than ten years. His filmography includes “Red Ribbon Club” (2015-2017, 2019), “The most beautiful girl in the world” (2018), “How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)” (since 2019) or “Yesterday were we are still children” (2023). Parallel to acting, Hardung is studying medicine. And a third profession was already on the shortlist for him: professional footballer. He talks about these professional decisions in an interview with spot on news. He also tells how he prepared for his role, who compared him early on to Hollywood star James Dean (1931-1955, “… because they don’t know what they’re doing”) and what made him compare to Katja Riemann connects.

The second season of “Our Wonderful Years” starts. What should you know about the first season?

Damian Hardung: I haven’t watched the first season, so I can answer the question relatively quickly. Of course there are storylines that are picked up or that season two is related to, but I think you get the context anyway. For me as an actor, it was like I didn’t want to know anything that Winne can’t know because he doesn’t come in until season two. That’s why I only ever read what Winne could know in the script. He’s so naive and cheerful in what he does that I didn’t want to burden my game with too much extra information.

Winne is “naive and happy”, how would you describe him?

Hardung: I love Winne because he is so young, life-affirming and energetic. He goes out and gets into the action. He’d rather do something than think twice too much and then not do it. Also, he’s a total kid. Winne doesn’t just go down a flight of stairs, he jumps over the parapet. He doesn’t just ride a bike either, he rides his bike on the handlebars. He’s never calm. He’s just a young dude who wants out. It was a lot of fun playing this…

… because you find yourself in it?

Hardung: With enough coffee, yes (laughs). But it was also fun, because of course it’s nicer to play someone like that than a deeply depressed person. I’ve already played it and of course you take it home with you.

How do you like the styling of your role? It’s definitely reminiscent of James Dean…

Hardung: Oh, that is of course a very big compliment, which I am very happy to accept. I actually had pictures of him in my bedroom. And a teacher always called me that back then. And Winne probably really wants to be a little James Dean. His signature move is turning up the collar of his leather jacket. He has always wanted to be very easygoing and definitely the coolest in the room. Incidentally, that’s also a very fun job as an actor, because you always have a scene goal – even if you’re not doing anything.

Speaking of leather jackets. Which of Winne’s clothes would you wear privately?

Hardung: I actually have his jeans in my closet privately. This is a classic Levi’s 501.

The second season takes place around the 1968s. How did you prepare for this?

Hardung: With a historical project, it is interesting and important to look back at the time. I watched movies and documentaries about it. In some cases, we also have original images of guest workers in the series. The way we treated these people back then is still relevant today.

And I also remember many conversations I had with my grandfather about the post-war period. Even then I realized that it was a difficult subject. It is not so easy for this generation to talk about it objectively or even subjectively. This time traumatized the generation, of course. From their perspective, it was like this: You risk your life and think you’re doing it for a good cause and then you come back and you’re the bogeyman. I understand that at some point you push that away from yourself.

I did all this paired with a classic role preparation in advance.

You’re a new addition to an existing team in the second season. How were you received by Katja Riemann, Anna Maria Mühe, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Ludwig Trepte, Elisa Schlott and others?

Hardung: Clearly very good from everyone. I’ve already done three projects with Katja Riemann. And she has known me since I was about twelve years old. It was then that we filmed together for the first time. She’s always been something of a mentor to me that I grew up with. When I play with her, I feel very cared for.

In general, it was just great to play with these actresses – that’s the crème de la crème in Germany and every single one plays so well. One even likes to watch a Ludwig Trepte drinking coffee because he does it brilliantly – everyone who has seen this scene will agree with me.

Also striking in the series are the many old cars. Were these real vehicles or dummies?

Hardung: Those were real old cars – and also a lot of fun. Actually, I’m not a car nerd at all, I see them more as a means to an end, but cruising down a country road in such an old convertible is great. These cars are just made to be enjoyed driving. You can’t just use them as a means to an end either, because they’re far too slow. But you can’t be stressed that way either. And with a classic car like that, you would never be honked at if you stopped at the traffic light and it turned green and you didn’t get away immediately. Instead, you will be smiled at.

It simply makes more of an impression than any sports car. And it is precisely this attitude to life – that slowness is okay – that I would like to take with me into the present day.

The story takes place in Altena. Did you really film there?

Hardung: We shot everywhere in NRW, in Solingen, Buxtehude, Cologne etc. It was particularly pretty in the old town of the small town of Zons. I was really surprised that it was in such good condition. Personally, I didn’t shoot in Altena itself. But overall it was very nice for me because I live in Cologne and could therefore sleep at home.

What is your favorite balance to acting or after strenuous filming?

Harding: Sports. I always take my gym gear with me to the set. And when I change after the shoot is over, I slip it on straight away and go straight to the gym, to yoga, padel tennis or spikes. I just need something with a ball or weights and I’m happy.

Football used to be a big passion of yours, right?

Hardung: Yes, football was a huge passion. That was a big thing for me to have stopped then. But privately it’s just hard to get the right number of people together, so unfortunately I don’t play that often anymore. As an alternative, I have now chosen sports that can also be done in pairs, threes or fours. This way you can spontaneously organize it faster.

You could even have become a professional soccer player?

Hardung: Oh, I think every German who has ever played football says that about themselves, doesn’t it? (laughs) But it’s true, I played a lot and also at a high level. You never know whether it would have been enough to become a full professional. At the end of the day it’s always a matter of luck: do you get a chance to step in because a regular player is injured? And does a coach see you at the right time? And the same. However, my starting conditions weren’t that bad because I was a left-footed left-back. That doesn’t happen that often.

But I also have to say that I’m very happy with the way things have gone. Because the acting profession can also be combined with the university, which would probably have been more difficult with full-time football. I think it’s really nice that I’ve got two lives right now.


Source link