In: 01.04.48 Out: 01.06.25
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
So my introduction to the United States was as an exchange student I went to, one year, my senior year to Millbrook High in Rowland North Carolina and it was an amazing year, it was really you know growing up really fast in one year in a different culture a different environment. I was staying with three different family it was part of the program that I choose to be part of so I would switch families every four months which was hard but it was also good because you got to know different family and I’m still in great contact with my families you know two of them at least till today. And it was the all American way you know it was like I went to High School, I went to senior year, I went to my prom, I did the whole thing, I was a wrestler, I played soccer I did the whole, it was great it was such an amazing year. And also it really had a big impact on me obviously and that’s when I feel in love with America and I fell in love with the American way of life and the people and what it all, everything I always thought about you know growing up in Europe you have a certain picture of America and my picture was just so much more and more of what I really thought about the United States, it was everything that I had imagined and more. So I defiantly wanted to come back it was clear that I would be coming back to America one way or the other I just didn’t no how.
In: 01.06.25 Out:01.08.13
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
I went back to Germany after an amazing year in the United States and I finished school in Frankford that’s where I grew up and just decided that I needed to come back somehow. And I always wanted to b e in business, I wanted to be an advertising guy. So I got hooked up through a great company BBDNO and it was kind of like an internship they were going to to pass me around within the BBDNO group, I went New York for like four Months then to Paris you know international, like a program. So two days after I graduated I was on a plane coming back to New York and New York coming back to the United States and obviously New York has such a magical place where everything is you know is a multicultural melting pot it just oozes art and passion. I don’t know its just such a great place that coming there was really, enabled me to free myself and I suddenly opened up myself to acting and acting had always been a part of my life because acting I was in theatre, you know I was in school plays and its so funny because I never realized that acting, well I never saw myself as an actor and I never really wanted to be an actor till I really realized how much acting was a part of myself, always had been because my uncle he was a director for like stage theatre for kids and my sister and I would run around back stage all the time, look underneath the bleachers and see you know all the different aspects of the theatre.
In: 01.08.14 Out: 01.12.18
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
Well the funny thing is my Uncle, my Uncle was a my uncle was a director for children’s theatre and my sister and I would would like go over there and stay with him for the summer and run around behind stage, back stage, check out all the actors and the make-up rooms, and peek under the bleachers, peek out there and it was such like playful, getting to know the theatre, getting to know the art and the craft and it was always there and I never realized it was part of me in a sense and New York really brought that out of me because you know Broadway, off Broadway, you just, you cant help it but you have to be involved in some kind of creative and its such a hustle and such an energy. I mean its passionate in New York and every time I get there I get that energy boost and till today I love that city so much, it’s a live and you feel alive when your there. So New York really was the point in my life where I realized you know what you don’t have to live what you thought you wanted to become or what you always thought what you always wanted to become, you can free yourself whatever predetermined notions you have and just do, and you know adventure and that’s really what, and I’m really happy that I did because I would have probably been a business guy today and instead I’m living here and I’m loving (talks) New York is such an amazing place and you cant help it but you have to feel alive and that passion and I think that was really I’m so thankful that New York really got that out of me and New York allowed me to allow myself to step for a second a realize ok what are you going to do with the rest of your life? Is this it? Are you going to be in life advertising or are you really going to give yourself a chance to feel what else is out there. So the whole acting thing was really like it was always in me and New York pulled it out of me you know the Broadway, the stage and I started classes in New York and I felt like a kid exploring and it was very adventurous and my father didn’t think so but my mom was always a big supporter you know I majored in art and she wanted me to be a painter so acting was close enough to that and I’ve always acted as a kid. So she was a big supporter and my father of course just wanted to test the son and I’m glad he did because it was really, I needed that can of thing. It’s like you cant just run off and be like ooh I’m an actor so there was certain things that had to be done and I moved out to La within, I stayed in New York for a year over all and so I explored a good 6-7 months just acting classes and tried agents and I didn’t have a working visa at that point so it was really like do or do. So within three days I was sitting there with my roommates in Soho was sitting there one night and he’s like ‘oh this screen writer is coming out to New York, there’s a apartment in there and its empty and you know you can lease it for the summer, rent it for the summer and the next day I met this guy on 5th avenue he gave me his key I gave him a couple hundred bucks and I moved to La and it was really, it was so just about an adventure, it was adventurous it wasn’t like oo I’m coming to Hollywood to become an actor it was just like I want to see what else is out there in life and explore. And I think that was, I got very lucky in that sense because I never realized that this whole town is full of actor, I thought I was the only one driving out here, you know flying out here and trying my luck. So it was very playful, it wasn’t really, there was no pressure on me, there was just like, I’ve never been to La I want to see what its like. The west coast you know we all know we see the Palm trees and the beaches and so it was exciting, girls.
In: 01.12.31 Out: 01.14.44
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
And it’s a great little story as well because I literally met this girl in a bar the night before blah blah blah I’m not going to go into details but we she went on an audition that day and she was like do you mind I have to stop by an audition and I didn’t even know what that really meant, what an audition was, acting class and stuff I didn’t really know that there was this other process where you go to auditions, casting and stuff and call backs and stuff and I said I don’t care sure. And we stopped by this audition, it was actually a commercial audition and I was sitting there with her in the room and the guy was like ‘ahh you here for the audition’ and I was like no and he was like well you look perfect come in. And I’m like wow ok and ‘you have an agent’ and I was like ‘no’ and she was like ‘yeah yeah he has’ and she just wrote her agency down and she just filled it all in and I ended up booking that commercial. I mean there was like three call backs later and there was a big national campaign for coke, it was a huge national commercial and I was like wow I didn’t even realize what that was I was like I don’t want to do commercials I’m an actor you know, commercials I don’t get it. And obviously I realized over the years how commercials can be and how great they are paying the rent and I wasn’t able to do that commercial but it got me my first agent because obviously the agency signed me right away. I booked another commercial a week later and I got my working papers through that, I got it was just one of those stories where your like yeah that didn’t happen but it was true. It was my first audition I walked in on with her, I booked it and its (talks) its one of those stories because I think it had to do with my a little bit of innocence I think and because you know I really didn’t realize what I was up against, it was, I was having fun and I think that’s what the business is all about if you can find that again and enjoying because then it becomes all about this auditioning process and rejection and rejection after rejection and trust me I’ve been there and explored that and experienced that but right now I’m trying to get back to the fun and enjoying what you’re doing and that’s what its all about.
In: 01.14.56 Out: 01.20.41
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
Well it was, it goes back what I was telling you, I was very lucky, very fast and very soon you know 6 months later I was on a TV show for NBC, this young teenage show it was great learning by doing on stage everyday next to Jay Leno it was exciting it was like you know all this very fast and very, I didn’t know where it came from and why me. So after that you know I guess, show business is like riding a wave, you ride that one ride wave in and then you paddle out again and paddling out is really hard and sometimes you sit there and wait and wait for the next wave. And I just, I’m not good at sitting around and waiting for that wave, I want to create my own wave and if I want to sit there and make waves you know. But it came from that it was like I just realized you cant be sitting on the phone and waiting for your agent to call you got to stay creative and do stuff so a couple of years ago my really good friend from acting class and the director was in acting class the three of us. We met in acting class like 8 years ago or something here in LA and we’ve always wanted to do. And everybody talks about there project and everybody, so really decided that we were going to shoot a movie and it was like a little short movie that he wanted to shoot and they gave it to me and I was like well you know if we go to Aspen 12,000 feet high in the middle of winter in this little cabin its going to be freezing, its going to be crazy, it sounds impossible but if were going to do this we better come down and have a feature. Were not going to do this as a short so you know we all the director started writing like crazy, Dean the other actor and producer started you know calling his parents from aspen, he grew up in aspen, he started trying to get the hut that his grandfather built and it was all, everything fell into place it was like this snowball effect it started rolling and all you could do is hold onto that ball and get everybody involved. And what was so passionate and what filmmaking is all about independent filmmaking and we didn’t really know what we were doing till if we had a movie after we got back, you know we shot sixteen days, we didn’t know if we had a movie, we knew that we had the most incredible experience of our lifetime and that was almost enough for us at that point, we knew that nobody could top what we had just experienced you know we were nine people in this little confined hut, 12,000 feet in the middle of winter, snow, no water, no electricity, you know we had to melt the stove on the stove and it was amazing it was such a great experience. And it was what I’ve always wanted, working with friends in an intimate environment and creating that intimate environment and be able to be creative in that and support each other and work off each other. And obviously you go like this you know too when you work with friends but its good you need that, I feel, that’s what creativity is about in creating something together, It is about friction, it is about and then you resolve it. But as long as you can see something on from that really helps telling a story then its all worth it and so when Phillip started editing and did all this and we all just had to go our different ways after that and were like ok we need a little breather and it was such an amazing feeling to see that the movie got the response it got because you know we got excepted at the Sundance Film Festival which was a dream, that wasn’t even on our radar of course we submitted it but we submitted it with 3000 other movies that got submitted you know. So when we got that call it was insane, I remember that day because it was the last day of shooting on the Good German and I told Steven you know Steven Soderbergh, I had to tell him, I cant believe you Sundance had such a big impact with his life with sex, lies, Videotapes and I was just, you know I just felt like oh Steven I have to tell you the movie I produced last year it got into Sundance today you know we got the call. He was so excited and very supportive and its just great to to see that you know somebody like Steven Soderbergh who started, 26 I think he was at Sundance and Canne and to see him now he’s one of the you know greatest filmmakers of our times and being on set with him it was just like this whole thing was full circle and it was really surreal but it felt great and very inspiring and that’s why I started doing my own movies because I wanted to inspire other people and I wanted to you know show that its possible. I mean this is a great machine, you know Hollywood is the greatest dream machine and I love it and that’s why I’m here because I want to be part of that but also you don’t want to get caught up in it you know you don’t want that machine to squish you and get to you. Like you said it can be very hard on you and it can be very cruel but it can also be wonderful, so you can, I’m trying to find my balance at least. So I’m trying to find you know my balance and I just did another movie with friends which was the same thing and I figured hey if it worked once lets try it again, you know our budget is a little bigger, bigger investors suddenly coming oh wow and you know its fun and its surrounding yourself with people you love that you work, that want to love to work with and friends and people that have been around and want to make, they all pull in the same direction suddenly.
In: 01.20.48 Out: 01.26.24
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
Well basically it was a regular audition and regular audition I mean it was one of those auditions you get those sides, well it wasn’t a regular audition lets put it that way I’m lying, it wasn’t I knew about the project for a long time its been around for years and the Good German I kind of followed it and I told my agent hey if anything ever you got to stay onto of this project because it was supposed to shoot in Berlin and obviously didn’t you know they shot it all here in the back lot of Universal but when I got that call from my agent literally it was an audition and I got my two scenes and it was for Debra Zane an amazing casting director that I had never read before and for years I wanted to read for her you know and its hard to get your foot in the door and I got my foot in that door and I was going to read to play Cate Blachette’s husband and I was like ok I don’t care I don’t need to read this script I don’t care about anything I just want to go in there and do the best that I can and you read your stuff and you’re like aww I don’t know if I’m right for it and you always do the actor thing and blah blah blah but something just suddenly became about having a great audition and not getting the part, obviously I wanted the part more than anything but it was about leaving a very good audition, leaving the room knowing that I had a good audition. So I went, I remember that day, I, early that day because they wanted him ? looking, he was 1945 after war post war and the had like little glasses on and he was so he was so described and it was so visual and you could see him but I didn’t feel that I was really it so my buddy was like you gotta get those glasses man, you gotta do something, you gotta rock and I was like yeah yeah yeah, And I really wanted to walk into that room feeling like that character and being that instead of like hey I’m Christian Oliver how are ya that whole like audition process that we go so, we go through that so much and that morning I really went down to Pico or something and some prop place and rent and got some glasses you know for like 38 dollars these original 1945 beautiful rimless glasses and I put them on and I felt like wow that’s weird felt different because he’s the scientist and it gave me a whole different attitude and I put on clothes and hair and I walked in there like Emil and at least I felt like walking in that I was Emil and I met Debra and she was right there in the room and I thought I as going to read with her assistant or something because I thought that was just the way it works I wasn’t even thinking I was going to meet her and see her nevertheless she was going do the scene with me and she did and it was so amazing because as a casting director you know I’ve to so many castings where they just sit there and there like do there thing and they dial it in and out nice to meet you. But she was there and she was like this close and she was acting with me, I mean she was giving it all and I was like that was amazing and we did the first scene once, we did the second scene once and she was like that was like that was great thank you so much. So showed me exactly what I wanted to do and she was there and she was like an actor actor and the camera was right there, it was just easy. I was like ok can we do it again, she was like no that was great you got it and it was weird because you know you want her to and we talked a bit and I left the office and I was skipping down the street like a little school girl. I was so excited I was like I nailed this, I got this it was awesome and I met my friend you know who told me about the glasses and I met him for lunch and I told him the whole story and I was like this is amazing I’ve never felt like this this is one of the best auditions that I had and I did the scene once and I did the other scene once and …yeah I only did them once, maybe she didn’t like me. And I started to like take me apart like maybe I sucked, maybe this was the worst audition, I’m all in my head. I did what all actors do, we question ourselves and you know don’t trust our gut and I just told tore myself a new one, it was scary and you know my friend was like come on relax dude your instinct was right you felt like it was a great audition but its weird because we never you know our instincts get screwed with in this business and you know like so much rejection and you second guess yourself. So it was great to get the call ten days later from my agent said you got the job. And that was obviously I was like what do you mean I got the job, how is, what about the call back and the producer session and the studio and so on and they said no they you know she sent in the tape Soderbergh and Clooney and everybody reviewed it and they all picked you and I was like What? Somebody pinch me and I was like what. So I drove over to my agency with a bottle of champagne it was very exciting and very surreal because I hadn’t met anybody and I’m happy I didn’t meet anybody because I probably, the call back I would have screwed up the call back with Steven Soderbergh or Cate Blanchette in the room so you know I was really. It was great but it was surreal too to realize that I was going to start shooting three months, four months it was away with all these amazing people George Clooney, Tobey Mcguire I was like this is insane.
In: 01.26.27 Out: 01.29.11
Sound Bite: Christian Oliver
Well thee amazing part about that was really when I step onto that set it was a clean slate it wasn’t like the kid from so and so it was like I was one of them and feeling that and letting that in and allowing myself to be part of that was I think the biggest hurtle because they just accepted me as one of them. I was there for a reason, I was there to work and they knew why they wanted me there and I just had to realize ok I got the job and now its about having fun and you got to step it up so it was really, it was kind of like a switch that I had too because first day of shooting was like 600 extras, Universal back lot, it was just Cate and myself walking and this huge beautiful shot they rebuilt Berlin. I mean I walked onto that set and it gave me the chills because I was like this is amazing what he had created here in the back lot of Universal, this is like German, German signs, German coffee shops and it’s all like war and its destroyed, it gave me the chills, it was wow. And it was just amazing to see that nobody had any judgments whatsoever I think that was the magic for me at least on the set that I didn’t felt judged one day, I felt like you know Steven Soderbergh creates an environment where everybody is equal in a sense where everybody matters, everybody counts, there’s no egos on set, at least I didn’t encounter any maybe they kept me away from that. But it was so refreshing and so amazing to see that on a level like that where you hear all those nightmare stories about you know A-List celebrities blah blah you hear all this crap but it was, I mean it was the total opposite. There was no egos involved and it was just a working environment where he created it was, I was able to trust anybody if it was the camera, anybody on the set it was such a great relaxed environment. And the only thing I had a problem was myself, allowing myself to accept that and it took me a couple of hours and I was like oh fuck this is great, this is amazing you know. And it was just a pleasure to go to work everyday because it was so surreal I mean I didn’t want to go home, we finished early Steven Soderbergh he does one or two takes and you know moving on and like three o’clock came along and it was wrap time like I don’t want to go home. There were so many movies where I wanted to go after 16 hours like get me out of here and I was like this movie I could shoot 24 hours a day it was great.
Description: HRN-767 Christian Oliver Tape #1
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