EIt wasn’t his last job after all. And Yuri still has to finish this one. He puts his left arm around the neck of the man sitting at a kitchen table before he presses his right arm against his head and forehead from above. It looks almost tender for a moment – until it cracks loudly and audibly. Urs Rechn is Yuri, a Belarusian hitman who appears in two episodes of the sixth season of the British TV series “Strike Back” to kill. “First I had to show the director how to break a neck so that the scene would look authentic,” says Rechn and laughs.
The short film excerpt is just one of many that can be seen in a showreel, a collection of work samples with which the 44-year-old actor presents himself, for example to get new jobs through his agency in London. Rechn put together and edited the videos from films and series himself. With them he wants to show casters, producers and directors what he can play: above all villains, brutal guys who beat, stab, shoot, who are corrupt or just want to torment other people.
In “Lauf Junge lauf” by Pepe Danquart he played an SS Untersturmfuhrer, in “We Were Kings” by Philipp Leinemann a SEK officer who went astray, in the German-Danish TV series “Sløborn” he played a police officer on a virus-infected island who was his beats son to make him a man. Even in the German comedy film “Catweazle” starring Otto Waalkes, which was released in cinemas last summer, Rechn is a fiend: the prince from whom the medieval magician Catweazle flees into the present.
Of course, that also has a lot to do with him as a person: Rechn, who was born in Halle (Saale), is “a bear of a man”, as Udo Jürgens so humorously sang in his song “Anuschka”. “Nevertheless, I don’t think I subscribe to the simple, physical types,” says Urs Rechn. “But the fact that I’m a bit broader, a bit more masculine than others, that’s just the way it is.” And that was very early on and at the drama school in Leipzig: “I knew from the start: As a sensitive young lover, no one will ever cast me. I’m not the type of man for that.”
And so he has been playing real guys and warhorses for 25 years, initially in German television series such as “Tatort”, “Polizeiruf 110” and “GSG 9 – Your mission is your life”, but now also in productions such as “Outlander”, “ Barbaren” and “Dogs of Berlin” and even in an Oscar-winning film: “Saul’s Son”.
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