Talking about life, dreams and projects at the American Bar
I met French actor Karl E. Landler at the American Bar in the Hotel de Paris on a sunny and warm afternoon in April 2014, following on a suggestion by our mutual friend Gregory Salerno. We also took the chance to make a brief tour of the Principality while we talked about his life and projects and I took some photos. Karl was on a professional visit to the Riviera to shoot a TV series Section de Recherches for the French network TF1, and at the same time he is planning to enjoy the Grand Prix F1 in Monaco and the Cannes Film Festival. “I have a love affair with the festival since I shot the Inside mini series for the 30th anniversary of the Festival Palace. A true love affair, but don’t tell anyone,” he said with a charming smile.
From national gymnast to action hero
To get to know him better let’s go back to his childhood. Karl grew up in Nimes in the South of France in the 80’s, with his mother and a sister, and while describing a good childhood he believes being the youngest and a boy probably was an advantage that allowed him more freedom. He watched many action movies as a kid and became fan of iconic stars like Jackie Chan, Schwarzenegger and Stallone. “One time, when I was really little, I was watching Bruce Lee and said: “Me too, I’m going to be IN the TV”. Producing has always been in his mind and with increased knowledge of the industry, growing experience and with the right people around him it would probably make sense for him to think of taking that exciting leap one day.
He loves human beings and enjoys meeting new people with positive energy that is in part why he loves his job. “I am an Aries, meaning that no one can hold me down. I am very driven and focused strongly towards my dreams.” In confidence he also mentioned being somewhat stubborn as one of his traits. Karl was a national gymnast competing in many events that turned out to be a strong asset that he has been able to use it in martial arts and specifically in “Parkour”, the trend in today’s action movies. I checked the meaning and learned that parkour is a holistic training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. Interesting.
Heavy Metal and other TV series
He gave me a quick short selection of the projects he had been working on emphasizing that part of his background is based on some of the French film director, writer and producer Luc Besson’s action pieces, like District 13, Transporter and Dogma Movies, Two Different Worlds plus a series of leading roles on TV. More recently he has been filming the second season of the French sci-fi TV show Metal Hurlant Chronicles directed by Guillaume Lubrano being broadcasted in over 80 countries including USA on SyFy and in France. It will be on TV in June on France 4. He added: “It is very exciting! I am leading in a few episodes with each one featuring a different story. In one of them I’m trying to save my Princess (Marem Hassler) and I travel across the entire universe. In the other I’am either sword-fighting all day, or sleeping with my mistress (Frederique Bel), all in the pursuit of the Throne. Thrilling!” Metal Hurlant Chronicles is an English-language Franco-Belgian TV science fiction anthology series based on the popular comics magazine Metal Hurlant, known in the USA as Heavy Metal and in Germany as Schwermetall. Each episode is a self-contained story that takes place on a different planet with a different cast, linked together by the idea that an asteroid, the Metal Hurlant, passes the planet in question during the events of the story.
Playing a mysterious motorcyclist in the feature film Layover
Karl will be participating in two big festivals in May for the feature film Layover directed by Joshua Caldwell in which he will share the screen with Nathalie Fay. The plot of this movie tells the story of a young Parisian woman called Simone (Nathalie Fay) whose connecting flight to Singapore where she will get married is cancelled and she is forced to spend the night in Los Angeles. After contacting an old friend, she heads out for a night of fun only to wind up ditched at a random club. With the help of a handsome and mysterious motorcyclist (Karl E. Landler), she finds her way through the Los Angeles night-life and in the course of her adventure she begins to question her plans.
The first is the official competition will be at the Seattle International Film Festival (May 15-June 18) that is considered one of the top five in the USA. The second one will be in Dances With Films Festival in Los Angeles (May 29-June 8) also considered one of the coolest in the world and is at the very core of the independent film scene. Besides a couple of Comic Con to promote “Metal Hurlant Chronicles”, one in Rumania and the other in San Diego that is the world’s largest and most kickass annual 4-day nerd fest featuring comic books, games, arts, movies and various pop culture.
Indiana Jones merging with John McClane
I asked Karl how he would you describe his acting and film education. He responded “Great question! It’s good to keep sharpening the tools! Training is key but not exclusively. You learn from everyday life and allow yourself to dig into your own experiences, emotions. If you start to feel safe as an actor doing your job… Just move from that place, stay in the danger zone, in limbo, whatever that means to you.” He added that the best advice he could give someone new to acting would be to question yourself if you have the stamina to hold it for the next ten years. If the answer is yes, then he or she should go for it and enjoy the wild ride. In his case, “It’s a crazy exciting adventure. I am Indiana Jones merging with John McClane (protagonist of the Die Hard film series), running all over the place dodging deadly traps, trying to figure out where the hell the Holy Grail is. Very Intense!” Karl really loves strong business models, strong minds. He admires the influential author Paul Arden who wrote Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite and It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, as well as psychologist and Nobel Prize winner in economic science Daniel Kahneman for his amazing book Thinking Fast and Slow, which takes you on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.
Follow your dreams
As a final message, Karl said: “Be a dreamer! Stay focused on what you want no matter what anyone thinks, because you’re the only one in charge of your life. I have a tendency to do what I want, which makes my life really challenging, but it keeps your mind sharp, and ready for the next big move.”