Remember that adorable dough-faced QT who played the loathsome Fredrick Zoller in Inglourious Basterds? Well that actor, Daniel Bruhl, is about to break out in a major way with his amazing performance as Formula One racer Niki Lauda in Ron Howard‘s latest, Rush. Brühl’s well-known in his native Germany (apparently Goodbye, Lenin! is a great film to start with if you’re looking to get your feet wet) but with Rush and The Fifth Estate coming out this fall he’s destined to follow in the footsteps of Christoph Waltz and Jean Dujardin, fellow European actors who have made it huge in Hollywood and snagged an award or two along the way. Just last week it was announced that Brühl signed with management firm Anonymous Content, which reps stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone. And while he told us at the Toronto Film Festival that he’s “not thinking” about the possibility of being nominated for an award, we have already have him on our Oscar short list.
But don’t take our word for it – we asked the producers, directors and cast of Rush what makes the guy so special. Here are their 5 reasons you need to know who Daniel Bruhl is…RIGHT NOW. (And check out our interview with Bruhl, above, and the gallery below for the actor’s most important stats.)
5. Producers Guy East and Nigel Sinclair: “He’s a staggeringly good actor.”
4. Screenwriter Peter Morgan: “I asked around in Germany and I said ‘Who do we want to do this?’ and several producers recommend Daniel. So I met him and it was a no brainer for me. He was natural. And I said to Ron, ‘There’s this guy who I’d really like to do it, would you meet him?’ and he met him and cast him in a flash.”
3. Director Ron Howard: “He’s a terrific actor. I didn’t really know him by name, but then when they said Goodbye, Lenin! which I had seen, and Inglourious Basterds, I began to put it together. I saw some more of his reel and various kinds of characters and I realized he’s one of those guys like a Daniel Day Lewis or a Meryl Streep who creates characters from scratch each and every time.”
2. Co-star Chris Hemsworth: “He’s fantastic. when someone is as talented is as Daniel is they only raise your game. And you’re constantly reminded to pick up your pace and keep up. It was a great lesson. I hope to work with him again.”
1. Co-star Olivia Wilde: “Daniel was able to completely become Niki Lauda. People think Niki Lauda dubbed the film because the voice is so perfect. He nailed the mannerisms, he went and lived in Austria with Niki Lauda. This is an important story to tell and for Austrians he’s a really, really big deal, so Daniel understood that and gave it the appropriate amount of dedication.”