THOMAS KRETSCHMANN (Otto Ernst Remer) was born in a no man's land which at various times has been considered Germany, then Poland, then Russia. In East Germany, he trained as a teen to be an Olympic swimmer, where he set numerous international swimming records, but instead decided to pursue an acting career. At 20 years old, he was able to escape through Hungry, Yugoslavia, and Austria by foot to West Berlin to begin a new life without the regimentation of communism and received political asylum. After three years of odd jobs and acting classes, he was invited to be a member of the Schillertheater, Germany's equivalent of England's Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 1991, he made his film debut in Der Mitwisser, which earned him Germany's prestigious Max-Ophuls Prize as Best Up & Coming Actor. When he appeared in the World War II epic Stalingrad, his performance launched him into the international limelight. He went on to star in Queen Margot, Marching in the Dark, Dario Argento's The Stendahl Syndrome and Prince Valiant, to name a few. American audiences were introduced to Thomas in Universal's U-571 directed by Jonathan Mostow. He then went on to do Blade 2, directed by Guillermo De Toro. He starred opposite Adrian Brody in the OscarĀ®-nominated film directed by Roman Polanski, The Pianist. Peter Jackson's King Kong followed as well as Lee Tamahori's Next. His recent films include Wanted opposite Angelina Jolie, Del Toro's Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and The Young Victoria opposite Emily Blunt.
Although Thomas has done limited television work, he did portray Pope John Paul II in the television movie Have No Fear: Life of John Paul II.
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