Thure Riefenstein: “Movies give people a chance to get carried away and be somewhere else”

Thure Riefenstein (b. 1965) is an international leading, supporting, and character actor who has been working for cinema, television, and theater on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Europe, he has been a U.S. resident for many years now and still commutes between the U.S. and Europe for various acting assignments. Up until now, he shared screen credits with Christoph Waltz, Marisa Berenson, Senta Berger, Greta Scacchi, Jürgen Prochnow, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Franco Nero, and Armin Mueller-Stahl, and worked for Academy Award-winning filmmakers Steven Soderbergh and Jan Svěrák.

Although you may see him from time to time playing a soldier or a general, or anyone with a military rank, there’s no way to typecast him since he’s proven to be a very versatile performer for more than two decades. As a trained stage actor whose work includes Shakespeare and Bertold Brecht—Mr. Riefenstein also worked with Brecht’s former assistant Peter Palitzsch at the Berliner Ensemble—he really is an all-round actor who also writes, directs, and produces.

In October 2019, “Torpedo” (a.k.a. “U-235”), one of Mr. Riefenstein’s latest European feature films up until now, was released in Belgium. Shot in Flanders and with a principal Flemish cast, the film was released in Belgium, with its world premiere in Antwerp on October 15, 2019. A highly entertaining submarine World War 2 movie, this action-adventure film tells the story of a team of Belgian resistance fighters who hijack a German submarine to smuggle uranium from Congo to New York. The film is loosely based on true facts, as Little Boy, the Hiroshima atom bomb, consisted in part of uranium from Belgian Congo that was sold to the U.S. by the Belgian government.

It’s hard to imagine now, but this is what it was like before the coronavirus outbreak: the cast and crew of “Torpedo,” a.k.a. “U-235,” at the 2019 world premiere in Antwerp, Belgium, with Thure Riefenstein, botton row, center | Film Talk

In the meantime, Mr. Riefenstein appeared in Eva Hassmann’s “Willie and Me” (2020) opposite Willie Welson and Peter Bogdanovich, and in the German-made “Rogue Trader” (2021). “Torpedo” has also been released in various territories, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, theatrical releases were limited. However, the film is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Before the film’s Antwerp world premiere, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Riefenstein and have this interview with him. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend, Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe-winning actor Bruce Davison.

Mr. Riefenstein, how did you get to know Bruce Davison?

Bruce was a friend of a friend, and when we moved from Europe to Los Angeles about ten years ago, we tried to find a place to stay, so we looked around until we found a place of our own. Bruce had a big two-storey house, and this mutual friend brought us together. Bruce was renting out the top floor because he didn’t need it at the moment. So we moved in, and ultimately Bruce said, ‘Why don’t you stay as long as you want?’ And we lived there for two years. Our children got to know each other, they are teenagers now, but they still see each other regularly. In the beginning, we were like guests, and then it became a friendship which lasts to this day. We’ve even become more like family now.

Why did you decide to leave Europe and move to Los Angeles? Was it a professional choice?

There was a strong focus on that for obvious reasons, but I always wanted to work in the English language. When I was at school, I always loved to speak English. I loved the language. And when I started acting, I worked in Germany for many years, but I still had this dream to go to California which is so beautiful and so gorgeous. So I thought, ‘Okay, do it. Dare. Go.’ California is very different from Europe, and it’s very different from working in Europe. So eventually I moved and was able to expand my experiences. I left my comfort zone to grow. It was a challenge, and it still is, but now my family and I are settled. In the meantime, I also keep my bonds with Europe—and I say Europe, not Germany: although I focus my career more on the American market, I am still a European in the first place, not necessarily a German.

What do you mean by that?

Europe has an incredible variety of mentalities and different cultures which makes it very fruitful for an artist. There’s this long history of all these little countries pressed together that have been fighting each other, battling each other over the years, so we had to find a way to work it out, to work together. I think we learned to be more tolerant of each other by talking to each other in order to find solutions. The variety of all these European cultures is a huge benefit for any society. Whereas in the U.S., all these people came from all over the world and had to mingle with each other, trying to understand each other. Your neighbor can be from Peru, and on the other side of the street, there are people from Mexico or Scandinavia. Even though many of them are now second, third, or fourth generation, they very often held on to their heritage, but they may have lost some of their cultural richness as well, and that is why I love it so much here in Europe. Bottom line, I’m somehow torn between two continents. When I am in Europe, I recognize that I’ve changed a little bit. I see things differently, as I try to take the best of both worlds in my private and professional life.

And where is home to you?

You know, there is a saying in German, ‘Home is not a place. It’s a feeling.’ It is where you feel at home, that’s where your home is. It’s like cats and dogs: cats are very strongly focused on places, and dogs are happy where their master is. I can only speak for myself, but I’m probably more at home where I really feel at home. Your heimat is the place where you were born and grew up, you know it so well, you recognize the smell—I grew up near Munich, close to the Alps, and very rarely, I have the smells in California that I grew up with. The vegetation is totally different there. But now I can say I have two heimats; they are very different, and I can’t say one is better than the other. For me, it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to travel between two continents. I appreciate it, and I try to bring the best from each side to the other side, to exchange it. In acting styles, both continents are different too—the European style is very different from the American style. European theater, for example, has a different history. I have worked with John Rhys-Davies in “Sophie” [2010]. He’s a very Shakespearean actor with a lot of volume in his voice. That is something you hardly ever see in the U.S.—Bruce is one of the few actors who knows the old style, and he always plays with words, also when he’s on stage because that’s where he comes from. He’s from the New York stage.

Would you consider yourself a chameleon, because in a way, you have to adapt whenever you work in Europe and then back in the U.S.?

I somehow have to adapt to the colors of my surrounding in order to fit in. My personal life is almost copying that—or maybe it’s the other way around, I’m not sure. In Europe, people are very straightforward, you know, shaking hands, being very accurate about everything, and in Los Angeles, it’s the opposite. ‘How’re doing? Hey guys, why don’t you come over here and sit down and have a good time, you know what I’m saying?’ Sometimes I think, ‘Okay!’ [Laughs.] The other day my wife and I arrived in Zürich, and there was a man who was like a human Swiss clock—very precise in everything he did. California is so different; it’s very casual. So you have to adapt.

What about the language? Although you’re perfectly multilingual, do they sometimes suggest a dialogue coach when you’re working in the U.S.?

Let me put it this way. When I do an audition and they bring me in as a Russian, I speak with a Russian accent, and that’s pretty easy to do. I was born in Serbia, so I have this accent in my ears. But there’s also a difference if you play a German, Austrian or Swiss character: their English accent is not the same. I grew up with different accents: my father had his Berlin accent, and my mother had her Austrian-Serbian accent. And whenever I heard another one as a child that I didn’t know, I would imitate it, so ever since I was a child, I have been playing with accents. I loved doing that, and this how I actually came to acting. I did all the accents, and I was entertaining everybody around me. For me, it was a way to fit in because I spoke hogh Deutsch but that wasn’t accepted by the other children in my neighborhood. It was as if I was different; I was not one of them. First, I tried to adapt, but I didn’t like it because I thought I had the right to be who I was. I also loved to listen to audio plays, and then I always played all those different characters. Then people were looking, listening, and they were laughing. ‘Do that again! Can you do that again?!’ So in a way, the profession evolved out of that conflict, out of feeling different because I had a different accent. But that is my history; I can’t change it, so I use it and try to bring it into whatever I do. A few years ago I did an episode of “The Twelve Monkees” in France with Barbara Sukowa; in my opening sequence I spoke French, and then she walked in, and we spoke German to each other, because we played German characters, and then for the rest of the show I spoke English, so I used three languages. It was a challenge, but I am fascinated by languages. They are the key to the hearts of people. If you go somewhere, you just speak a few words of whatever language, and people open up. When I was filming in Morocco, I tried to learn Arabic, and people were smiling, like, ‘He’s trying to learn our language.’ Languages can bring people together and create a better world.

Four films starring Thure Riefenstein: “Fire” (2009), “Behind the Candelabra” (2013), “Kept Boy” (2018) and “Eneme” (2018)

When you’re on a film set, I suppose you feel more comfortable if you can improvise and use your voice the way you like to? Consequently, a script is a work in progress, also when you’re on the set?

I would say yes to both, but sometimes a script is so well written that I really have the highest respect for the person who wrote it, and I will do my very best to bring it exactly the way it is written. But not every actor likes to improvise or is willing to improvise—improvisation is a skill on its own. The written lines are like a skeleton: you can hold on to it when and if you need to, sometimes more, sometimes less. When you work with a director who also wrote the screenplay, his vision is very clear and very straightforward, and then I try to find out how he works. But if you take a Shakespeare play, for example—very carefully thought words and dialogue—you try to explore the depth of what he was saying or was writing, and interpret it in your own understanding. A writer has thought of a play in a very particular way, and he wants you to play it that way. In historical theater—like, ‘This is how it always has been’—it’s not wrong to evolve a play. So what would “The Merchant of Venice” be like today? Americans would do that with all these costumes, but the play still exists, and you want to reach your audience now. Why can’t the merchant be a modern salesman, wearing a suit? Then you adapt it to the 21st century because Shakespeare wrote it far larger than this little window or this particular time period, so many years ago. It is still valid now. So to come back to your question, you as an actor need to have the opportunity to fill in a form someone else has thought about. And what I like about the American style, which is a little bit more rebellious, they would say, ‘Okay, you are there, now try to pull the character towards you.’ Robert De Niro would play a part totally different compared to Patrick Stewart. It’s the same character, but you have two different men there, and so you’ll get two different performances.

Because they pull the character towards them?

Yes, and on top of that, if you look at Robert De Niro, his performance will also have that Robert De Niro edge in it—just like Jack Nicholson or Meryl Streep would do. Meryl Streep is such a brilliant actress, and whatever she does, you will always see the essence of Meryl Streep. Laurence Olivier, on the other hand, was able to completely change his aura. Sometimes I would also try to change completely—I once played a character and my mother told me, ‘I did not see my son anymore.’ It’s like crawling into an image, into a feeling. Like with my accent and dialect characters: the moment you speak a different language, your expression changes. I never think about it; it just happens. And when you can do that as an actor, with that person, that character, you grab it and you just go. Sometimes you have to work on it; you have to sculpture it. Like this new film “Torpedo” now, that film means a lot to me. I am very honored to be part of it. I enjoyed every day of it. Sometimes you do films because you have to feed your family, but this film was something very different, very special. Being in that submarine in this studio in Turnhout [Belgium] with all these young producers and filmmakers who are full of passion and dare to do it… They were so creative! I mean, the way they built that submarine. They went to this shipwreck cemetery and actually bought something like 200 tons of shipwreck. Then the set designer and his technicians started welding it together. The submarine was 52 meters long, and when you were inside, it looked like a real submarine. I did a lot of research, I also watched “Das Boot” [1981] which was a very important reference, as well as other submarine movies, and I read a lot about it to be as accurate and authentic as possible. I mean, I had to know it. I had to make sure that I knew what I was talking about when I played this German officer. I had to understand that submarine. The director said, ‘Oh, you don’t really have to know all that.’ But as an actor, you have to know and understand your character, also the things that are not written in the script. The audience will feel it if you don’t know what you’re talking about. So you dig in—the ballast tanks, the water floats, which vowels do you have to open, which tank must be filled first before the next one can be filled, what happens exactly before you can go up again—how does all of this work. I played the captain, the only person who knows how to run a ship, and if I don’t know it as an actor, how will you believe me? We had these two submarine experts—they like warships, they have tons of books on this subject, and I went over the script with them, asking them all those questions. When you play this character, you can’t say, ‘People won’t notice.’ No, because there are people in the audience who will if you don’t do it right. So when I’m for ten or eleven hours a day in that metal cylinder, that is my world, my real world.

Thure Riefenstein with his “U-235” co-stars Ella-June Henrard and Koen De Bouw during the reception of the film’s world premiere in Antwerp, October 2019 | Film Talk

You play a German officer. On the surface, it may seem an easy character to play, but was it really?

When I play a character like this—or any character really—I don’t take it too lightly. I don’t take it for granted. One of my first lines in the film, when I’m sitting with Koen de Bouw at the table, and we talk about the war, I say, ‘My whole life I’ve been a soldier. A soldier doesn’t choose his truth.’ I think that’s one of the deepest and most significant lines about the war in the script. My character turns over, he changes sides, and that was a decision I had made for myself in the film from the very beginning. Because the only thing you want when you’re at war is to get back home to your family. War is never the right way to solve a conflict; it ruins so many lives. My parents were war refugees. Everything was taken away from them. I know so much about war from my parents that it shivers me, and they didn’t even have to experience the cruelest things—things that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, they can’t talk about it, because talking means reliving, so they just push it aside. If you do know what you’re doing, how can somebody possibly harm other people the way they do in any war? I do believe that if you’re conscious about it, your soul is so strongly damaged that’s hard to ever heal. A friend of mine had been in Vietnam. After he came back, he took any drug he could get, and he was an alcoholic for twenty years. His life was ruined because, as he told me, he had seen and done things that you don’t want to see or do as a human being. But he was forced to do it. So I thought, ‘Okay, bring all of that in the character of Jäger.’ So that scene when I’m sitting at the table, he comes up to me and wants to make a deal, ‘You have to help us.’ Why? Because you get that little spark of hope that opens up this window of love. We don’t want to be there but try to find love. That’s the journey of this character.

In a way, being an actor is like studying life, isn’t it?

That’s right. You try to learn from the experience of all the different characters that you’re playing. You’re studying human nature, and that’s what acting is all about. Trying to understand what we’re doing here, maybe also trying to understand why we’re doing it. The bottom line, it is all about where do we go to at the end during our final hours. You sit there, or you lay there, and you ask yourself, ‘What was it all about? What did I learn? Did I focus on superficiality, on material things? Is the main purpose to feed yourself and to keep your body alive so it can function like a robot? Or is there a higher meaning?’ Statistically, I’m over halfway now, so what do I want to do with the rest of my life? Acting so far has brought me to this point where I am now, but I don’t want my work only to be a repetition of what others have written before, without changing anything. The beautiful thing is, if you tell stories, the writer and the director create it, and the actor tells it from inside. Basically, telling stories gives other people the chance to experience something, to learn, and move ahead without having to go through all of that themselves. Each individual who reads or sees a story gets to experience the strongest and most significant form of art. If you bring that to any art form, every art does tell a story. Every picture, if you think about it. Some of them just put a few colors together, and it might be a micro-story, almost non-existant, while other pictures really tell stories. But moving pictures as a copy of life have the strongest impact on all of us: movies take you on a journey, and that’s the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. I learned so much that the least I want to do is to make people happy. You give people the chance to get carried away and be somewhere else. And if you’re able to give it some meaning so it might change something for the person who watches it, then I have fulfilled or achieved my purpose, my calling.

That’s your philosophy as an actor?

Yes. We’re here to give, and as an actor, I like to give some kind of—if you allow me to use the word—enlightenment or spirituality. That’s what acting is all about. We have this whole PR machinery in the film business or in the film industry, but basically, all we need are good stories, and they enable us to share something. Such a gift! Although—for me personally—the greatest gift there is, is to have a child. It changes your whole perspective because all of a sudden, you are no longer the most important person in your life, and you recognize what is really important.

Antwerp, Belgium
October 15, 2019

“Torpedo” (2019, trailer)

FILMS

BSR: THE TRASH MOVIE (1995) DIR Miki Emmrich PROD Miki Emmrich, Marc Wächter SCR Axel Bauer CAM Robert Laatz ED Valentina Migliaccio MUS Vito Abbonato CAST Tom Presting, Gundi Eberhart, Thure Riefenstein (Vice), Pepe Lübbert, Volker Ranisch, Markus Majowski, Thilo Kiank, Matthias Nitschke

ROMANTIC FIGHTER (1999) DIR Rainer Matsutani PROD Marian Redmann SCR Christian Limmer, Sven Ulrich, Stefan Kornatz CAST Christian Oliver, Thure Riefenstein (Wulf), Chiara Schoras, Drago Ragutin, Pjotr Olev, Ako Michael Hintzen, Theresa Hübchen

OSKAR UND LENI (1999) DIR – SCR Petra Katharina Wagner PROD Erik Stappenbeck, Jörg Wagner CAM Peter Polsak-Lohmann ED Erik Stappenbeck MUS Simon Jeffes CAST Christian Redl, Anna Thalbach, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Reiner Heise, Nadja Engel, Thure Riefenstein, Günter Junghans

DOPPELTES SPIEL MIT ANNE, a.k.a. DOUBLE GAME WITH ANNE and GOTTA HAVE IT (1999) DIR Donald Kraemer PROD Elvira Bolz SCR Allison Hock, Jan Weber CAM Carl Finkbeiner MUS Julian Boyd CAST Nele Mueller-Stöfen, Thure Riefenstein (Jimmy Voss), Shaun Lawton, Felix Bresser, Elke Sommer, Tatjana Alexander, Birgit Bockmann, Sylvain Faÿsse

FEINDLICHE ÜBERNAHME – ALTHAN.COM, a.k.a. HOSTILE TAKEOVER (2001) DIR Carl Schenkel PROD Susanne Porsche SCR Ian Bowater, Nikolai Müllerschön (story by Peter Lars Sandberg) CAM Egon Werdin ED Horst Reiter MUS Harald Kloser, Thomas Wanker CAST Thomas Kretschmann, Christina Loeb, Klaus Löwitsch, Désirée Nosbusch, Martin Semmelrogge, Thure Riefenstein (Geissler), Florian Martens

TMAVOMODRY SVET, a.k.a. DARK BLUE WORLD (2001) DIR Jan Sverák PROD Eric Abraham SCR Jan Sverák, Zdenek Sverák CAM Vladimir Smutny ED Alois Fisárek MUS Ondrej Soukop CAST Ondrej Vetchy, Kristof Hádek, Tara Fitzgerald, Charles Dance, Oldrich Kaiser, David Novotny, Thure Riefenstein (Hesse)

666 – TRAUE KEINEM, MIT DEM DU SCHLÄFST!, a.k.a. 666: IN BED WITH THE DEVIL (2002) DIR Rainer Matsutani PROD Bernd Eichinger SCR Rainer Matsutani (play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) CAM Hans-Günther Bücking ED Hana Müllner MUS Henning Lohner CAST Jan Josef Liefers, Armin Rohde, Sonsee Ahray Flöthmann, Ralf Bauer, Thure Riefenstein (Axel), Mariella Ahrens, Hanns Zischler

BALTIC STORM (2003) DIR Reuben Leder PROD Kaj Holmberg, Jutta Rabe SCR Reuben Leder (story by Kaj Holmberg, Jutta Rabe, Henning Witte) CAM Nicolas Joray, Robert Nordström ED Alan Strachan MUS Mauri Sumén CAST Greta Scacchi, Jürgen Prochnow, Donald Sutherland, Dieter Laser, Jürgen Schornagel, Rein Oja, Thure Riefenstein (Mika Ronk), Birgit Stein

AINOA (2005) DIR Marco Kalantari PROD Marco Kalantari, Philipp D. Weck SCR Marco Kalantari, Nina Munk CAM Thomas Benesch ED Emily Artmann, Norbert Stangl MUS Simon Ravn CAST Simon Licht, Verena Buratti, Gabriela Benesch, Thure Riefenstein (Nok), Edmund Jager, Anton Noori, Johannes Stachl, Manuela Haudek

FIRE! (2009) DIR Raoul W. Hemrich PROD Rolant Hergert SCR Sabine Leipert, Julia Neumann CAM Jörg Lawerentz ED Hanka Knipper MUS Torsten Stenzel CAST Gary Dourdan, Cosma Shiva Hagen, Ken Duken, Florentine Lahme, Ralph Herforth, Numan Acar, Manuel Cortez, Thure Riefenstein (Alan), Shaun Lawton

SOPHIE, a.k.a. SOPHIE & SHEBA (2010) DIR Leif Bristow PROD Leif Bristow, Mary Pantelidis SCR Leif Bristow, Djordje Milicevic CAM David Perrault ED Stephen Lawrence MUS Jeff Danna CAST John Rhys-Davies, Deborah Kara Unger, Erica Durance, Augustus Prew, Brittany Bristow, Aidan Devine, Thure Riefenstein (Magnus), Natalie Radford

BEHIND THE CANDELABRA (2013) DIR – CAM – ED Steven Soderbergh PROD Michael Polaire, Susan Ekins, Gregory Jacobs SCR Richard LaGravenese (book by Scott Thorson, Alex Thorleifson) CAST Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Cheyenne Jackson, Bruce Ramsay, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds, Thure Riefenstein (Maitre d’)

KEPT BOY (2017) DIR George Bamber PROD Laura Reich, Ben Simons, Haley Christensen SCR David Ozanich (novel by Robert Bodi) CAM Corey Parsons ED Ben Simons MUS Darryl John Hannan CAST Jon Paul Phillips, Thure Riefenstein (Farleigh Knock), Greg Audino, Diosiq Burné, John-Michael Carlton, Toni Romano, Charles Fathy, Ellen Karsten

ENEME (2018) DIR Jakob Gisik PROD Jakob Gisik, Frank Büsching SCR Adnan Köse CAM Christine Wagner ED Nils Rehbein MUS Peter Ries, Andreas Friedrichs CAST Thure Riefenstein (Chris), Udo Schenk, Dennis Mojen, Adam Bouskoudos, Jasmin Lord, Adrian Can, Sophia Thomalla, Georg Tryphon

TORPEDO (2019) DIR Sven Huybrechts PROD Kobe Van Steenberge, Hendrik Verthé SCR Sven Huybrechts, Johan Horemans CAM Kobe Van Steenberge, Danny Elsen, Robrecht Heyvaert ED Hannes Timermans MUS Hannes De Maeyer CAST Koen De Bouw, Ella-June Henrard, Thure Riefenstein (Franz Jäger), Joren Seldeslachts, Sven De Ridder, Stefan Perceval, Bert Haelvoet, Vic De Wachter, Martin Semmelrogge, Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Gilles De Schryver

WILLIE AND ME (2020) DIR – SCR Eva Haßman PROD Roxy Shih CAM Marco Cappetta, Alexa Ihrt ED Ting Yu CAST Charles Anteby, Linn Bjornland, Peter Bogdanovich, Paxton Booth, Yangzom Brauen, Sylvianne Chebance, Thure Riefenstein (August Halsig)

SOPHIE’S WAR (2020) DIR – PROD Joshua Sinclair CAST Mikael Persbrandt, Claire Bloom, Thure Riefenstein (Nikolai), Anja Kruse

WILLIE AND ME (2020) DIR Eva Hassmann PROD Eva Hassmann, Roxy Shih CAM Marco Cappetta, Elexa Ihrt ED Ting Yu CAST Charles Anteby, Willie Nelson, Peter Bogdanovich, Eva Hassman, Thure Riefenstein (August Halsig), Paris Riefenstein

ROGUE TRADER (2021) DIR – SCR David Preute PROD Jan Linnartz, Fabian Carl CAM  Ahmed El Nagar ED Philipp Straetker MUS Dieter Schleip, Giovanni Berg CAST Thure Riefenstein (Neal Robertson), Oleg Kricunova, Patrick Dewayne, Paulo Andre Aragoa

IN HIDING (2022) DIR – SCR Joshua Sinclair CAST Thure Riefenstein, Anje Kruse

TV MOVIES

DAS ALIBI (1995) DIR – TELEPLAY Heide Pils CAM Gerhard Hierzer ED Annemarie Bremer CAST Ulrich Faulhaber, Heike Jonca, Dirk Lüdemann, Joost Mindrup, Kirsten Nehberg, Adrian Pintea, Thure Riefenstein (Paul Schiller), Ulrick Tukur

DER ROTE TOD (1996) DIR Rainer Bär CAM Franz Ritschel CAST Horst Drinda, Jürgen Hentsch, Manfred Lehmann, Dieter Mann, Thure Riefenstein (Felix Kanter), Peter Sattmann, Anglaia Szyszkowitz

GEFÄHRLICHE LUST – EIN MANN IN VERSUCHUNG (1998) DIR Bodo Fürneisen TELEPLAY Stefan Kolditz CAM Dieter Chill MUS Martin Todsharow CAST Gedeon Burkhard, Denise Virieux, Nadja Uhl, Stefan Kurt, Thure Riefenstein (Reimers), Wilfried Hochholdinger

IL CUORE E LA SPADA, a.k.a. TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (1998) DIR Fabrizio Costa CO-PROD Doris Kirch TELEPLAY Lucio De Caro CAM Giancarlo Ferrando MUS Marco Frisina CAST Ralf Bauer, Léa Bosco, Joachim Fuchsberger, Mandala Tayde, Cedric Baumier, Thure Riefenstein (Riol), Jean-Pierre Cassel, Maria Schneider

LIEBE UND WEITERE KATASTROPHEN (1999) DIR Bernd Fischerauer PROD Bernd Burgemeister TELEPLAY Gabriela Sperl CAM Bernd Neubauer ED Dorothee Maass MUS Oliver Kranz CAST Senta Berger, Friedrich von Thun, Suzanne von Borsody, Matthias Schloo, Bobby Brederlow, Bernadette Heerwagen, Thure Riefenstein (Bademeister)

ZWEI ASSE UND EIN KÖNIG (2000) DIR – TELEPLAY Bernd Fischerauer PROD Marcus Roth CAM Mike Gast ED Dorothee Maass MUS Gernot Rothenbach CAST Heiner Lauterbach, Heinz Hoenig, Martin Benrath, Michael Mendl, Isolde Barth, Thure Riefenstein, Hilde Van Mieghem

KEIN WEG ZURÜCK (2000) DIR – TELEPLAY Volker Vogeler PROD Suzanne Ottersbach, Dirk R. Düwell CAM Rainer Klausmann ED Claudia Vogeler, Andrea Leber MUS Frank Wulff, Stefan Wulff CAST Barbara Auer, Miroslav Nemec, Karoline Euchhorn, Armin Rohde, Thure Riefenstein (Arne), Peter Franke

ANNA H. – GELIEBTE, EHEFRAU UND HURE (2000) DIR Michael Keusch PROD Mark Horyna TELEPLAY Andrew Findlay CAM Johannes Geyer ED Vera van Appeldorn CAST Doreen Jacobi, Thure Riefenstein (Peter Heller), Simone Thomalla, Rotraut Rieger, Ivana Kansy, Dirc Simpson

GLI AMICI DI GESÙ – MARIA MADDALENA (20) DIR Raffaele Mertes, Elisabetta Marchetti PROD Matilde Bernabei, Luca Bernabei TELEPLAY Gareth Jones (story by Gianmario Pagano) CAM Giovanni Galasso ED Elisabetta Marchetti MUS Marco Frisina CAST Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Massimo Ghini, Giuliana de Sio, Gottfried John, Nathalie Caldonazzo, Roberta Armani, Benjamin Sadler, Thure Riefenstein (Silvano)

DAS TEUFELSWEIB (2000) DIR Oliver Berben, Gerd Roman Frosch, Carl-Friedrich Koschnick PROD Oliver Berben, Jochen Ketschau, Alicia Remirez TELEPLAY Edeltraub Rabitzer CAM Carl-Friedrich Koschnick ED Gaby Kull-Neujahr MUS Georg Kleinebreil CAST Thure Riefenstein (Maximilian), Michael Mendl, Peter Sattmann, Iris Berben, Gruschenka Stevens, Christoph Waltz

THE WANDERING SOUL MURDERS (2001) DIR Brad Turner PROD Christina Jennings TELEPLAY Bob Carney, Andrew Wreggitt (story editor, Carol Hay; novel by Gail Bowen) CAM Nikos Evdemon ED Ralph Brunjes MUS Amin Bhatia CAST Wendy Crewson, Victor Garber, Robin Dunne, Thure Riefenstein (Helmut Keating), Jim Boeven, Cynthia Gibb, Fiona Reid

CROCIATI (2001) DIR Dominique Othenin-Girard PROD Luca Bernabei, Matilde Bernabei, Alessandro Jacchia, Sabine Tettenborn TELEPLAY Andrea Porporati CAM Federico Masiero ED Alessandro Lucidi MUS Harald Kloser, Thomas Wanker CAST Alessandro Gassmann, Johannes Brandrup, Thure Riefenstein (Andrew), Barbora Bobulova, Karin Proia, Antonio Iuorio, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Franco Nero, Armin Mueller-Stahl

GELIEBTE DIEBIN (2002) DIR Thomas Roth PROD Leah Hecker, Alexander Dannenberg TELEPLAY Timo Berndt CAM Gerhard Schirlo ED Dagmar Lichius MUS Andrej Melita CAST Bettina Zimmerman, Thure Riefenstein (David Assman), Jürgen Tarrach, Renate Krößner, Wolfgang S. Zechmayer, Thomas Nötzig

MUTTER KOMMT IN FAHRT (2003) DIR Ariane Zeller PROD Nanni Erben TELEPLAY Kerstin Oesterlin, Jessica Schellack CAM Axel Henschel ED Melanie Werwie MUS Kay Skerra, Gabriela Carasusán CAST Gila von Weitershausen, Elmar Wepper, Jeanne Tremsal, Thure Riefenstein (Daniel Jakobsen), Paul Faßnacht

IM NAMEN DES HERRN (2003) DIR – TELEPLAY Bernd Firscherauer PROD Bernd Burgemeister CAM Klaus Merkel ED Uschi Erber MUS Konstantin Wecker CAST Heiner Lauterbach, Jennifer Nitsch, Mareike Lindenmeyer, Ursula Lingen, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Thure Riefenstein (Volker Lichtenhaln), Rita Russek

JULIE, CHEVALIER DE MAUPIN (2004) DIR Charlotte Brändström PROD Ariel Askénazi, Dirk Schuerhoff, Anna Giolitti, Jan Mojto, Caroline Hertmann, Bénédicte Lesage TELEPLAY Patrick Laurent, Bruno Dega CAM Nicolas Herdt ED Jean-François Naudon MUS Eric Chevalier CAST Sarah Biasini, Pietro Sermonti, Pierre Arditi, Thure Riefenstein (Séranne), Jürgen Prochnow, Marisa Berenson, Carole Richet, Catherine Spaak

HEIRATEN MACHT MICH NERVÖS (2005) DIR Ariane Zeller PROD Heike Richter-Karst TELEPLAY Doris J. Heinze [Monika von Lüdinghausen] CAM Til Maier ED Melanie Werwie MUS Ulrich Reuter CAST Susan Anbeh, Gregor Tözs, Thure Riefenstein (Hugo Vandenberg), Gaby Dohm, Hanns Zischler, Julia Jager, Edith Hancke, George Lenz

ROSE UNTER DORNEN (2006) DIR Dietmar Klein PROD Klaus Graf TELEPLAY Rolf-René Schneider CAM Hans Grimmelmann ED Susanne Peuscher MUS Klaus Pruenster CAST Valerie Niehaus, Thure Riefenstein (Wolfgang Prinz), Heinz Hoenig, Richy Müller, Eva Pflug, Angela Roy, Michael Greiling, Sabine Vitua, Horst-Günter Marx

LIEBE AUF DEN DRITTEN BLICK (2007) DIR Helmut Metzger PROD Michael Smeaton, Anemone Elisabeth Müller TELEPLAY Thomas Oliver Walendy CAM Zivko Zalar ED Romy Schumann MUS Gast Waltzing CAST Katja Weitzenböck, Roland Koch, Thure Riefenstein (Heiko Schönleber), Sabrina White, Dietrich Mattausch, Andrea Eckert, Thamara Barth

ALIA: A BOSNIAC RHAPSODY (2008) DIR Karl Kases PROD Otkay Kaynarca TELEPLAY Kubilay Tat CAM Tolga Kutlar ED Ulas Cihan Simsek MUS Gökhan Kirdar CAST Birol Tarkan Yildiz, Oktay Kaynarca, Marcus Ertelt, Bernhard Leute, Lilie Lossen, Thure Riefenstein (Eric Donovan), Sükran Ovali

DER AMOKLÄUFER – AUS SPIEL WIRD ERNST (2008) DIR Oliver Dommenget PROD Judy Tossell TELEPLAY Alexandra Wiersch CAM Georgij Pestov ED Ingo Recker MUS Robert Schulte-Hemming CAST Anja Kling, Thure Riefenstein (Niklas Götz), Emil Reinke, Alexander Martschewski, Simone Burckhardt, Philipp Kubitza, Amy Mußul

EIN DATE FÜRS LEBEN (2009) DIR Andi Niessner PROD Thilo Kleine TELEPLAY Barbara Jago CAM Bernd Neubauer ED Bettina Staudinger MUS Andreas Weidinger CAST Uwe Ochsenknecht, Julia Stinshoff, Hannes Jaenicke, Marion Mitterhammer, Maria Ehrich, Thure Riefenstein (Patrick Marx), Sabastian Goder

ERNTEDANK. EIN ALLGÄUKRIMI (2009) DIR Rainer Kaufmann PROD Katrin Holetzeck, Frank Döhmann TELEPLAY Stefan Holtz, Florian Iwersen (novel by Volker Klüpfel, Michael Kobr) CAM Klaus Eichhammer ED Christel Suckow MUS Rainer Bartesch CAST Herbert Knaup, Jockel Tschiersch, Johannes Allmayer, Katharina Spiering, Sarah-Lavinia Schmidbauer, Hubert Mulzer, Thure Riefenstein (Heinz Brentano)

BÖSECKENDORF – DIE NACHT, IN DER EIN DORF VERSCHWAND (2009) DIR Oliver Dommenget PROD Ica Souvignier, Michael Souvignier, Dominik Frankowski TELEPLAY Daniel Maximilian, Thomas Pauli (original idea by Dominik Frankowski) CAM Georgij Pestov ED Ingo Recker MUS Jörg Rausch CAST Anna Loos, Thure Riefenstein (Manfred ‘Manni’ Lantz), Andreas Pietschmann, Rebecca Immanuel, Johannes Brandrup, Horst Janson, Esther Zimmering

SCHATTEN DER ERINNERUNG (2010) DIR Hartmut Griesmayr PROD Sabine Tettenborn, Kurt J. Mrkwicka TELEPLAY Brigitte Blobel, Konstanze Breitebner (stories by Ludwig Ganghofer) CAM Rolf Greim ED Aralich Lenz MUS Joe Mubare CAST Julia Stemberger, Michael Mendl, Thure Riefenstein (Anton Archer), Elke Winkens, Emily Matschning, Alexander Strobele, Martina Zinner

DIE WANDERHURE, U.S. title THE ROYAL SIREN (2010) DIR Hansjörg Thurn PROD Andreas Bareiß, Gloria Burkert, Sven Burgemeister TELEPLAY Gabriele Kister (novel by Iny Klocke, Elmar Wohlrath) CAM Gerhard Schirlo ED Andreas Radtke MUS Stephan Massimo CAST Alexandra Neldel, Bert Tischendorf, Julian Weigend, Nadja Becker, Michael Brandner, Miguel Herz-Kestranek, Thure Riefenstein (Graf Dietmar von Arnstein), Elena Uhlig

DIE MACHTERGREIFUNG (2012) DIR Bernd Fischerauer PROD Martin Choroba TELEPLAY Bernd Fischerauer, Klaus Gietinger CAM Markus Fraunholz ED Uschi Erber MUS Hannes Michael Schalle CAST Thure Riefenstein (Adolf Hitler), Matthieu Carrière, Alexander Held, Alexander Goebel, Markus Eberl, Vera Franskevich, Luisa Wietzorek

INSELN VOR DEM WIND (2012) DIR Dietmar Klein PROD Klaus Graf TELEPLAY Sue Schwerin von Krosigk, Wilfried Schwerin von Krosigk CAM Gero Lasnig ED Susanne Peuscher MUS Klaus Pruenster CAST Muriel Baumeister, Thure Riefenstein (Dr. Richard Bertolt), Karl Fischer, Selma Gonzales Minaya, Maria Antonia Gonzales, Aloysius Itoka

DER GERUCH VON ERDE (2014) DIR Marcus Ulbricht PROD Eberhard Jost TELEPLAY Marcus Ulbricht, Andreas Pflüger, Anne-Kathrin Schulze CAM Ludwig Franz ED Thomas Zachmeier MUS Mario Lauer CAST Maria Simon, Sebastian Bezzel, Annika Kuhl, Muriel Baumeister, Rudolf Kowalski, Thure Riefenstein (Jan Krüger), Sascha Alexander Gersak

SCHWESTERN (2014) DIR Olaf Kreinsen PROD Stefan Jacob TELEPLAY Astrid Ruppert CAM Uli Kudicke ED Anke Berthold MUS Jens Langbein, Robert Schulte-Hemming CAST Alwara Höfels, Sophie Schütt, Thure Riefenstein (Phillip), Janek Rieke, Hildegard Krekel, Kai Maertens, Sinje Irslinger, David Tanzer

A VENICE TALE (2017) DIR – PROD – TELEPLAY Juri Kroll CAM Mark David CAST Ronnie Gene Blevens, Robert Miano, Thure Riefenstein (Shaun), Chris Blasman