Richy Müller as a festival star in Bad Hersfeld: “I’m someone who touches people” | hessenschau.de

Whether in “Tatort” or back on stage at the Bad Hersfeld Festival in the summer: Richy Müller always dives into his roles with full commitment. It’s not just hard for himself, as the actor reveals in an interview.

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Richy Müller plays the leading role at the Bad Hersfeld Festival under the direction of artistic director Joern Hinkel


Richy Müller and Jörn Hinkel smile at the camera.

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Richy Müller returns to the theater stage in Hesse in the summer. In 2016/2017 he played a cold-blooded inquisitor at the Bad Hersfeld Festival under director Dieter Wedel in “Witch Hunt”. This season he stars in the opening play Notre Dame.

During a visit to the festival city, the young-at-heart 66-year-old spoke to us about the attraction of the role, his immersion in rehearsing and about himself as a star to touch.

hessenschau.de: You are a popular actor, have been in business for many years and have made it to the “crime scene” commissioner on ARD. How do you explain the success and your popularity with the public?

Müller: There are also people who say: “Hey Martin!” – because they think I’m Martin Semmelrogge (laughs).

hessenschau.de: You two are actually not that far apart in terms of height.

Müller: I’m 1.68 meters tall. I used to be about 1.70 meters tall. But now I’ve shrunk.

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To person

Hans-Jürgen, called Richy Müller (66), plays in the top league of German film and stage actors. His breakthrough came in 1979 in the three-part TV series “Die Große Flatter”. He has acted in numerous thrillers and played in well-known productions such as “The Semmeling Affair”, “Das Superweib”, “Die Wolke” and “Die Apothekerin”. In Hollywood he stood in front of the camera for the action film “Triple X”.

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hessenschau.de: But you’re still big in business, aren’t you?

Müller: I’m humbled that I can earn my living with my job – and happy that someone recommended that I go to acting school 46 years ago. I certainly have a basic talent.

hessenschau.de: Constant and, above all, credible role changes – how do you do that?

Müller: It’s not my style to have roles imposed on me. I have to find it within myself to be believed. Now I know that I can act. But I don’t pride myself on it.

hessenschau.de: How do you deal with your popularity?

Müller: I am a people friend. If people recognize me and talk to me – of course we take a picture. I like to hug her. I am someone who touches people. I think you can feel that. But I feel like nothing better. I’m a working-class kid, a trained toolmaker. But with an IQ of 137. I took a test the other day and couldn’t believe it. But if nobody comes and wants a photo with me, I don’t get unhappy either. My wife makes my life happy.


Richy Müller and his wife Christl Stumhofer

hessenschau.de: And how long will you be hunting criminals in the ARD “crime scene”?

Müller: As long as people want to see me and I can physically do it – and the scripts are good.

hessenschau.de: You have been investigating in Stuttgart since 2007, and you have been successful in film and television for decades. How do you do that? Iron Discipline?

Müller: I can’t explain that, but I can say: I haven’t put myself under pressure for a long time. Otherwise you cramp. I try to feel the role when I’m in rehearsals. Then I dive right down – my wife suffers a bit from it. When I’m on stage, I have to do it with skin and hair. It’s my way of giving in to it. If I do something, then with 120 percent.


Thorsten Lannert (Richy Müller) tries to prevent the robbery in the supermarket from escalating.

hessenschau.de: Rehearsals begin in Bad Hersfeld in mid-May, and then on July 1st the world premiere of “Notre Dame” with you in the lead role of the torn villain Claude Frollo. You are Quasimodo’s opponent in the struggle for the favor of the beautiful Esmeralda.

Müller: I’m very excited and have respect for the role because it’s a diverse character that I want to do justice to. I have to find her sympathetic core. Otherwise the viewers cannot follow her and reject her for lack of sympathy. That’s a big task.

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“Notre Dame” as world premiere in Bad Hersfeld

Intendant and director Joern Hinkel will present his own version of the world-famous novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” together with the dramaturge Tilman Raabke. Victor Hugo’s book was published in 1831 under the title “Notre-Dame de Paris. 1482” and became a bestseller. With its poetic language, it is one of the most important works of world literature. Many know the classic from the 1956 film starring Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda and Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo. At the Bad Hersfeld Festival, the love story between the two will only be part of the production.

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hessenschau.de: Mr. Hinkel, and for this task you have chosen Richy Müller as artistic director and director. How so?

Hinkel: It’s a phenomenon. Richy Müller enters the stage and fills the room. But that’s exactly part of his secret. He is able to immerse himself in his roles without pretending. You can watch him on stage thinking and feeling. For him, rehearsals mean gradually leaving out everything superfluous, all ornamentation, in order to get to the essence of the role.

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Joern Hinkel (51) has been director of the Bad Hersfeld Festival since 2018. As deputy, he succeeded filmmaker Dieter Wedel, who, as artistic director, helped the festival gain a great boost in popularity. As director, Hinkel also tends to stage the opening pieces of the respective season. Last year he convinced with “The Society of Dead Poets”.

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hessenschau.de: Why should you watch “Notre Dame” in Bad Hersfeld in summer?

Hinkel: I’ve been circling around this novel for a long time. After all, I’m always on the lookout for fabrics that fit into the monastery ruins. From the outside, a cathedral is also the focus of the novel. But it is also about other topics that are dealt with in such a religious building.

hessenschau.de: What is it about for you?

Hinkel: The piece is a plea against racism, against the exclusion of those who think differently and strangers. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. It will be an exciting, adventurous and colorful piece. It is also a story about different tones of love that I have seldom seen so differentiated. There are four to five love stories. In films, it is usually greatly reduced to Quasimodo and Esmeralda. But it’s four men courting a woman.

hessenschau.de: And is there even a children’s and family play? “The Little Hunchback” premieres on July 8th.

Hinkel: In a second production, we want to bring it to the stage in a way that is suitable for young people. We will cut out certain parts of our existing production for adults and have them connected and bridged by a narrator so that the young viewers get the same pieces.

hessenschau.de: Are you planning to have full seating again in the monastery ruins after the restrictions imposed by Corona?

Hinkel: The city of Bad Hersfeld decided early on that we would sell the full 1,300 spaces again. I am confident. After all, we play open air. Over the past few years, we have also learned how to deal with unforeseen situations, how to react spontaneously and flexibly. But it’s too early to make a forecast for the summer. Advance sales are going better than last year. Many people are vaccinated. Maybe you will still have to wear a mask. I hope not.

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program

The program for the Bad Hersfeld Festival is not yet complete. “We will publish a few program points,” said Hinkel. There will be smaller theater productions in the chapter hall and on the rehearsal stage. Further events for the supporting program and concerts will be announced.
In addition to “Notre Dame” and the associated family version, the play Volpone (from July 9th in Schloss Eichhof) is also a fixed part of the programme. “The Dead Poets Society” and the musical “Goethe!” from the previous year.

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Jörn Perske conducted the interview.

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