Oliver Stokowski: “The film is not a funny Horst-Lichter comedy”

Deepak Gupta January 9, 2022
Updated 2022/01/09 at 12:29 PM

TV star Horst Lichter is celebrating his 60th birthday next Saturday (January 15th). In his honor, ZDF is showing the television film “Horst Lichter – No Time for Assholes” this Sunday (9 January, 8:15 pm). In the film adaptation of the eponymous bestselling biography by Horst Lichter, Oliver Stokowski (59, “Zeit der Helden”) plays the popular “Bares für Rares” presenter and former TV chef. The film tells of the turning point in Lichter’s life when his mother – played by Barbara Nüsse (78) – fell seriously ill in 2014 …

In an interview with the news agency spot on news, actor Oliver Stokowski tells how he prepared for this unusual role. He also explains what connects him personally with Horst Lichter and he reveals what it’s like to eat, drink and kiss with this distinctive mustache.

What should you definitely know about the movie “No Time for Assholes”?

Oliver Stokowski: The film is not a funny Horst Lichter comedy. It’s about a time in his life that was very serious, got down to business, has a very high emotional level and which initially threw him off track. I found it very exciting that you get to know the other Horst Lichter with this film.

You have dealt intensively with the human being, Host Lights. How would you describe him?

Stokowski: Horst Lichter is a great person and a dazzling figure and he leads an incredibly rich life. It’s hard to imagine that so much can happen in a single life.

What was it like for you to play a real, living character?

Stokowski: When I found out that I was allowed to play the role, I was of course very happy. As an actor, you only get such tasks every few years, or maybe never in your acting life. Even more if the person is still alive and known to so many. The latter in particular also created a lot of pressure, of course. Fortunately, I spent nine months preparing for the role before filming started.

How did you prepare?

Stokowski: With great respect and great joy, I absorbed everything that I didn’t already know. I already knew a lot about Horst Lichter because I had always found him interesting and had read the books about his life. He even gave me his latest book, “I’m quiet then – My search for calm in me” even before the publication date in May 2021. The audio book “No time for assholes”, which he read in himself, also helped me a lot with the preparation. I listened to that very carefully in order to understand the essence of Horst Lichter. I’ve studied how he pronounces words and emphasizes sentences. You could also hear his emotions between the lines.

Did you watch talk shows with him too?

Stokowski: I’m generally a talk show fan and could watch it all day because you learn so much about the people behind the artists. Sometimes I see colleagues there whom I didn’t know personally, but only because of their roles. And after such talk show appearances, I’ve seen so many with completely different eyes. These formats are also fabulous for studying facial expressions and gestures.

In fact, I saw Horst Lichter on a talk show talking about his book “No Time for Arschlöcher” (2016). In it he describes how he accompanied his mother as he died. And I saw how close it was to him, how tears stood in his eyes, how difficult it was for this eloquent man to talk about it. At that time I also got to know a different person than the always funny and quick-witted Horst Lichter. He showed the serious and profound person who is just as deep in him. And that really fascinated me.

Did you also speak to him personally?

Stokowski: Yes, we had a long conversation in the run-up to the shooting, in which I asked him all the questions I still needed to know what it looked like deep inside him, to get back to his level at the time to come and do justice to the person, the situation, this phase of life. During the conversation he opened a lot, opened a lot of soul doors. He let me look deeply into his soul life and thus placed great trust in me. He gave it to me as an actor because he also wanted it to be as authentic as possible. And then I didn’t want to disappoint him either.

Did he interfere in the filming later?

Stokowski: He didn’t interfere at all. There was never a “do this or not or that like this” or something like that. But he’s too smart for that to unsettle me. Instead, he said, “I was very happy to hear that you were going to play me.” That calmed me down a lot.

Did you get a cooking tip during the conversation?

Stokowski: No. That wasn’t an issue at all. But it doesn’t appear in the film either. Horst said to me: “You know, I’ve cooked so much in my life that I don’t want to cook anymore. I don’t cook either, my darling [Ehefrau Nada Lichter, geb. 1972, Red.] always cooks. “

What is it like to eat, drink and kiss with that distinctive mustache?

Stokowski: You have to get used to that. If you always have that, you will likely forget it at some point. Even at some point I stopped thinking about my beard – even though mine was stuck on. A glued beard presents different challenges than a real beard. For example, it often flakes off when you laugh heartily. You can’t eat with it either. The beard, the glasses and the vest helped me very well in pulling the lever in the mask on Horst Lichter. It’s really a nice thing when you can let your figure emerge like this in the morning.

You and Horst Lichter are both celebrating their 60th birthday this year. Did you discover other parallels?

Stokowski: Yes, it’s crazy that we’re both of the same year. We discovered many more parallels from the human side. For example, we are both built very close to water, so very emotional people and sensitive plants. The fact that we quickly ceased to be strangers also helped me to understand the emotional states in the film.

The film will air at the beginning of the new year. What is your biggest wish for 2022?

Stokowski: My greatest wish is that we all stay healthy and that we finally get this corona over with. If we all treat each other carefully, I hope that we can get it under control and finally be carefree with each other again. Above all, I hope so for our children, who have a particularly difficult time during this time and are apparently the last link in the chain …

(ili / spot)

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