John Malkovich

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John Malkovich in January 2015

John Gavin Malkovich (born December 9, 1953 in Christopher , Franklin County, Illinois ) is an American actor and film producer .


John Malkovich, 2005

Malkovich grew up as the second born with four siblings in Benton, Illinois. He graduated from Illinois State University . In 1976 he was hired by the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago .

In 1983 Malkovich moved to New York , where he appeared on Broadway in 1984 alongside Dustin Hoffman in the play Death of a Salesman . For his film debut as Mr. Will in A Place in the Heart , he was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Supporting Actor in 1985. In 1984 he also had a role in the film The Killing Fields , for which he received the Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award . In 1985 Volker Schlöndorff made the television film Death of a Salesman after the above. Play, again with Hoffman in the lead and Malkovich as Biff . For this role, Malkovich received an Emmy Award in 1986 and was nominated for a Golden Globe .

Malkovich is one of the most distinguished actors of complex, problematic and abysmal, often highly intelligent but equally condescending characters. The spectrum of the characters he embodies is broad and ranges from sympathetic villains ( Ripley's Game ) to failed intellectuals ( sky over the desert ) , cynical careless people ( The Man with the Iron Mask ) and unscrupulous schemers (dangerous love affairs) to Figures that represent pure evil ( Con Air ) . He played a dangerous madman in Con Air and the evil, tyrannical king in Eragon - The Legacy of the Dragon Riders . In Mary Reilly and Shadow of the Vampire he embodied scientists and artists who, in their insatiable desire for the absolute, do not shy away from a pact with dark and uncontrollable forces. Malkovich demonstrated a different kind of complexity in the film Of Mice and Men with the portrayal of an unsuspecting and good-natured, but in his overdeveloped physicality, dangerous debile . A variation on the theme is offered by Volker Schlöndorff's German-French-British coproduction Der Unhold , in which Malkovich plays an introverted but deeply good naive who campaigns for animals and children, but allows himself to be abused as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, his empathy at the service of the inhumane National Socialist cause. The attraction and the urgency of his portrayal consists in many cases in the ambivalence that arises from the emotional vulnerability of his characters, who are deadly dangerous for the environment.

His penchant for independent films and his reputation as one of the most interesting actors in the USA led to a title role being dedicated to him: In Being John Malkovich (1999), he plays himself while several other people try to get into himself and into his brain after someone accidentally got into it by opening a secret door and enthusiastically reported about it.

John Malkovich lived in France for many years and also made films there. After a dispute with the local authorities over tax payments, however, he moved back to the USA, near Boston .

Working in Germany

Malkovich also performs regularly in Germany. At the Ruhr Festival 2010 in Recklinghausen , he played the leading role in the musical theater adaptation The Infernal Comedy - Confessions of a Serial Killer , the woman murderer Jack Unterweger . In 2011 he played the writer Casanova in the music theater project The Giacomo Variations .

In March 2017, the world premiere of a "scenic production in English" with Malkovich in the lead role as a megalomaniac dictator took place in Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie : Just Call Me God - A Dictator's Final Speech . The production then went on an international tour.

German dubbing voice

In German versions of films with Malkovich, he is mostly dubbed by Joachim Tennstedt .




  • 2002: Hideous Man (short film, also screenplay)
  • 2002: The Colonel and the Dancer (The Dancer Upstairs)
  • 2015: A Postcard from Istanbul (short film, also screenplay)


Films about John Malkovich

  • Flipping Uncle Kimono. Documentary by Howard Brull , Canada 2005
  • Hollywood Profile - John Malkovich . Documentary film portrait by Georg Stefan Troller. Published by
  • Being John Malkovich . Comedy film by Spike Jonze, USA 1999


  • Gero von Boehm : John Malkovich, February 28, 2006 . Interview in: Encounters. Images of man from three decades. Collection Rolf Heyne, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-89910-443-1 , pp. 488-497.



Web links

Commons : John Malkovich  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. The Demonic Child. Interview with Malte Herwig, in: Stern No. 10, March 2, 2017, pp. 116f.
  2. VESTIVALplus: The magazine for the 64th Ruhrfestspiele, Marl 2010, p. 4
  3. dpa: John Malkovich as a great dictator in the Elbphilharmonie . March 9, 2017 ( [accessed March 12, 2017]).
  4. John Malkovich as Casanova at the Ruhr Festival. In: Der Westen, May 2, 2011, accessed May 5, 2011
  5. Hamburgmusik gGmbH - Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle operating company (ed.): Just Call Me God . Program booklet. Hamburg March 2017, p. 3 .
  6. Hubert Spiegel: John Malkovich in Hamburg: Because crazy rulers love big notes . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . March 10, 2017, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed March 12, 2017]).
  7. ^ Daniel Kaiser: John Malkovich as a cynical fantasy dictator. In: Norddeutscher Rundfunk, March 9, 2017, accessed on March 12, 2017 .
  8. John Malkovich ( Memento of the original of July 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,  @1@2Vorlage:Webachiv/IABot/