Q & A with André Schneider
Interview by Patrick Darlington, October 5, 2016.
André Schneider, 38, was born in Hildesheim, Germany. He began his career as a stand-up comedian. In 2004, he starred in (and wrote) Deed Poll, directed by Ingo J. Biermann, and five years later in Alex and Leo, directed by Yuri Gárate. When his film career in Germany started waning, he continued to act in France. He has published eight books and released three music albums between 1997 and 2005. His new movie, Sur les traces de ma mère, will be released this year. He divides his time between Berlin and Paris.
What is your earliest memory?
The lovely smell of my Mom’s nightgown.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My lack of patience.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I think it was perhaps that one time in a Berlin comedy club when I simply couldn’t remember my punch line in German and abruptly switched to English. I felt sick for days afterwards.
What is your most treasured possession?
My music, film, and book collections and my sweet dog Chelito.
Where would you like to live?
I’m quite comfortable here.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I wish I was a bit skinnier again.
What is your favourite smell?
Rain, puppies, Helena’s hair, Ian’s neck.
What is your favourite word?
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
»A pity you’ll never find love.«
Is it better to give or to receive?
Both is wonderful.
What do you owe your parents?
My strength (not muscles).
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My mother, for all I wasn’t to her.
What was the best kiss of your life?
I hope it’s still to come.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
Two certain friendships that turned out to be abusive and fake.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I don’t believe in changing the past. I’d rather learn and make changes in the future.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d love to visit the late 1960s.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
1992. 2004. 2010.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A steady apartment in Paris.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
»Never judge your life when you’re exhausted.« Or maybe: »Never say ›Yes‹ to anyone or anything just because you’re tired.«
Tell us a short joke.