Actor Daniel Brühl discussed the intense secrecy that surrounds even a simple mask in the Marvel universe, immediately falling in love with the script for The Alienist and more in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s The First Time.
The actor is currently portraying Dr. Laszlo Kreizler on Season Two of The Alienist, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on TNT. The period drama/psychological thriller is based on Caleb Carr’s 1994 novel by the same name, and Brühl says the script for the pilot hooked him immediately.
“Sometimes it happens that you open a script and you start reading, after page one or two, you already know that you want to do it,” Brühl says. “You have a page-turner in your hands, and your head explodes with ideas, and you get so inspired, and you so want to do it.”
Elsewhere, Brühl discusses his turn as Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, and his excitement when he was asked to reprise the role for the upcoming Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In Captain America, Brühl wasn’t required to wear Zemo’s famous mask, but after the series was picked up, director Kari Skogland flew to Budapest — where Brühl was filming The Alienist — to meet with him and show him the mask.
Brühl says Skogland had had to store the mask in a special suitcase that unsurprisingly raised a few eyebrows at airport security. “They were really wondering what it was, because the suitcase for that mask looks like a Marvel prop,” he says. “So she had to open it and show it, but said, ‘Hey security guys, don’t take pictures.’ … Then she arrived in Budapest, and she came to my apartment, and it was almost like a ceremony — you heard the zip and then she opened that box and I saw that mask. It already felt perfect to me.”
Brühl also talks about the lessons he learned from one of his first on-screen jobs on a German soap opera, driving fake Formula 1 cars while filming Rush and working with Chris Hemsworth on the acclaimed biopic about rival racecar drivers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda.