Daniel Bruhl Interview: ‘The Alienist’

Daniel Bruhl was “immediately fascinated” by “The Alienist” when he first read Caleb Carr‘s original novel. That novel was adapted into a TNT limited series in which Bruhl plays Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a criminal psychologist (known at the time as an alienist) who teams up with a newspaper illustrator (Luke Evans) and a headstrong NYPD secretary (Dakota Fanning) to investigate a serial killer in 19th century New York City. The actor, who grew up in Germany, was particularly struck by the show’s combination of “gripping, dark thriller” and “entertaining history lesson about New York … I learned so many things I didn’t know.” He was also excited by the opportunity to go “back in time” to explore “the beginning of so many sciences that now we know so much better.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Brühl above.

Dr. Kreizler is an early practitioner in his field, which at the time was only about 20 years old. “Before that people considered psychology as a branch of philosophy,” Brühl explains, and at the time “people were afraid to look inside the human mind,” preferring to believe that murderers were “possessed by the devil.” He researched the part by reading the works of early pioneers like Sigmund Freud, finding a lot of similarities between Kreizler and that famous Viennese founder of psychoanalysis.

But “the handiest thing is that I’m married to an alienist,” he reveals. “My wife is a psychologist, so she supported me all the way through.” She put him in touch with criminal psychologists, and he even attended psychotherapy in Budapest “just to learn a bit more about that.”

Brühl received Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics Choice nominations for Best Supporting Actor for “Rush” (2013). And he won a SAG Award as a member of the ensemble cast of “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). He is also known for films including “Good Bye Lenin!” (2003), “Ladies in Lavender” (2004), “Joyeux Noel” (2005), “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007), “A Most Wanted Man” (2014), and “Captain America: Civil War” (2016).

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UPLOADED Jun 1, 2018 12:54 pm