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The world according to Til

The famous German actor Til Schweiger is director, film producer, restaurant owner and as of recently proud hotel designer on Germany's Baltic Sea. We met the all-rounder in Hamburg for an exclusive interview.

Text:
Interview: Dörte Welti and Regina Maréchal
Photos:
barefoot

Mr Schweiger, is it true you have just added "designer" to your list of credentials?

The hotel has turned out exactly the way I envisioned it. It is the tangible continuation of the world I show in my films. The restaurant, the online shop "barefoot living" and the hotel are all derivates of the set designs you see in my films.

Do you always design the sets yourself?

I have always been very vocal about how I want things to look. Over the years, I have always worked with the same set designer, Isabel von Forster, who decorates the sets in a way that I only have to come in and say: "Yup, that's it." In the hotel, I have architects that turn my ideas into reality. There was never a master plan as such.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A little bit from my time in Malibu where I lived for six years. A little bit from England. But even in my very first flat in Cologne, I always enjoyed surrounding myself with the right furniture and decoration. That was very exciting.

A Hamburg hot spot. The Barefood Deli serves dishes that are made from recipes by Til Schweiger, his family and his friends.
And the first floor is home to Barefoot Living, a shop that offers choice items from Til Schweiger's design world which is also mirrored in his films, from pullovers and scarves to various home accessories.
Everything merges, everything profits from each other. Will it continue that way?

Honestly, I am coming up to a point where I think: "That's enough for a while now..."

How did you come across this property in Timmendorfer Strand?

In an interview with "Elle Decoration" I said, I'd like to furnish a hotel one day. Mirko Stemmler from the hotel holding Jasika, now manager of the hotel, contacted me as he knew the proprietors of the house.

Did you fall in love with the house at first sight?

When I first stood in front of it I thought to myself: "No way this old building with concrete balconies can be turned into a Barefoot Hotel." Inside though, I saw a photo of what the house used to look like and I instantly knew that we could bring it back to its former style and glory.

Hamptons style in Germany's far north. The recently opened Barefoot Hotel is a celebration of coarse wood, bright fabrics and wickerwork creations - a naturally charming home from home just a few metres from a fabulous Baltic beach. Total relaxation!
The Barefoot Hotel in Timmendorfer Strand, which opened in late May 2017, is a mere 200 metres from the beach. The 19th-century building was converted based on Til Schweiger's input and ideas by labdesign.com of Hamburg under the supervision of Sebastian Labs. The hotel offers 57 rooms in four categories and sizes of between 15 and 75 square metres. It also boasts a restaurant with terrace and lawn, along with a spa and fitness facility that stages regular "yoga days". There are tennis courts just behind the hotel, and the local golf club is only ten minutes away. Also within easy walking distance is Timmendorf village, which is about an hour's drive from Hamburg Airport.
You live on Mallorca, too. Would you tell us your favourite spots on the island?

With the exception of the infamous party beach Platja de Palma, I love the whole island. Valldemossa is beautiful even though it is run over by tourists. I also love Esporles; it reminds me of the Provence. One of my favourite restaurants is Emilio in the old part of Palma (Emilio Innobar, Carrer de la Concepció 9, emilioinnobar.com)

You also have a heart for people who are not as lucky in life.

Yes. In 2015, I founded the Til Schweiger Foundation. A couple of years ago, I learned that 3 million children in Germany live below the breadline. To me, thats unacceptable. Germany is one of the wealthiest countries on earth. How does this go together?

Scenes from a family: In the highly successful "Head Full of Honey" an eleven-year-old girl, played by Til Schweiger's youngest daughter Emma, and her father take the grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer's on a final trip to Venice.
Til not only took on one of the major roles: He also co-directed (with Lars Gmehling) and co-wrote the script with Hilly Martinek.
You have four children. What sort of advice do you give them?

I teach them to be socially aware and instinctively step up for the weaker. However, they are also allowed to defend themselves if they're being treated unfairly. I also tell them that the have my full support. The know they can tell me everything - which, naturally, they don't do. (laughs) I want them to really think about what htey want to do in life. Many parents make the mistake of telling their chilldren: "Right. Now you better enrol in college." So the children go off, study something they are not really interested in just to keep the parents happy and move into their own place. What they really doing though is dawdling away the years.

You are producer, actor, screenwriter, designer, restaurant owner, winemaker, hotel designer - what do you enjoy the most?

Directing. Of all the jobs in the film industry, I enjoy directing the most because I am the creator of something new. In the end, the director is the person who decides what is going to be shown on screen.

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