In fact, Til Schweiger is known for his cinema movies. He has now produced a documentary about world football champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. In an interview, the 56-year-old explains how it happened.
The documentary is not just about Schweinsteiger, but also about the golden generation of footballers to which he belongs. Why did you choose him and not – for example – Philip Lahm?
I didn’t choose him, they chose me, they called me and asked if we could imagine making a movie about Bastian. But even if you had chosen the protagonist – it would have been Bastian. He is not only an outstanding football player, but also an incredibly interesting character.
What do you like?
His humor and his eyes. I decide within seconds whether I love someone or not – and that was the case with Bastian straight away. He has a sense of humor and empathy and I love that he treats everyone equally. Bastian is not the type of cyclist – he disagrees with himself and steps down.
The movie is deeply emotional in parts of it—especially at the end, when Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from professional football in the Chicago Fire locker room, weeping snot and watering himself.
I’m still affected by some of the scenes too – especially the last one. At first, Bastian wasn’t sure if he wanted it in the movie. But I said: Basti, that’s the highlight of the movie. It should stay in. Fortunately, he changed his mind after that.
You are a special friend of Schweinsteiger. Did you learn anything new about him while working on the joint film?
What I didn’t know at all was that he was such a great skater that he beat Felix Neuter, his best friend. It was news to me that he was once better than the best skater Germany has ever known.
Schweinsteiger is seen as someone who is very protective of his private life. Do you feel like you got close to him in the movie anyway?
Yeah. Understandably, someone does not want to see their young children in front of the camera. But I am so grateful, for example, that Bastian and Anna made available to us the very special pictures of their wedding. And that his father, Fred, documented Basti’s life as someone who never wanted to lose, that is, of course, worth his weight in gold. This scene, in which little Basti furiously collects cans, is adorable. I also wanted to let my mother express her opinion, but she didn’t want to be in front of the camera and you have to accept that. Papa Fred is really cool for that.
Otherwise, did you get all the guys you wanted?
People were also asked who did not want to participate. But most of them immediately agreed.
You yourself say in the documentary that you woke up in the morning after losing the World Cup semi-final against Italy in 2006 and immediately burst into tears again. Why is football an emotional thing for many?
I don’t know either, but it sure is. You pick your favorite club as a kid and for me this has been Bayern Munich from the start – although I can certainly sympathize with the other teams. I support Dortmund myself – when he plays internationally. And I think what they’re doing in Leipzig is absolutely amazing.
To what extent have you made yourself a footballer?
In which site?
I’ve switched from a left winger in midfield to a left-back.
Have you tasted blood now and can you imagine making more documentaries?
In any case. I wasn’t used to watching documentaries, but now I think it’s great. It’s its own genre, which you can’t compare to telling fairy tales. Maybe I’ll try it myself as a director. This time around I was just a producer and I wanted a veteran documentary filmmaker to take over. But I’m not interested in animal documentaries or anything like that. People are the most interesting thing.
Do you already have concrete plans?
Not for documentaries, but actually we wanted to shoot a feature film in April and another in July. Corona has now postponed everything indefinitely. The situation of the film industry is of course catastrophic, and there is no other way to put it. I expect many cinemas will not survive this. One can only hope that there will be no second wave. If there must be another shutdown – not only can the film industry not handle that, nobody can handle it at all.
How did you experience the closure personally? Did you also discover something positive about it? Keyword sluggish?
Anyone who knows me knows it was too limiting for me. Creating things and meeting people who inspire me is important to me. So I didn’t find it comfortable in any way. It’s great that the water in Venice is clear and dolphins are swimming there again – but for me personally I don’t see anything positive about Corona.
The documentary “Schw31ns7eiger: Memories – From Beginning to Legend” will premiere on video streaming service Amazon Prime Video starting June 5th.