Who is All Quiet On The Western Front’s leading man Felix Kammerer?

Felix Kammerer has had viewers and critics alike raving over his poignant performance in Netflix’s latest World War One epic All Quiet on the Western Front, which has been deemed worthy of an Oscar.

The movie follows the life of German soldier Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), who, after enlisting in the Army with his friends, finds himself confronting the harrowing realities of war, shattering their hopes of becoming heroes.

The anti-war film is the third screen adaptation of the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, but is the first to be filmed with German dialogue, and is a harrowing account of the realities of WW1 based on the author’s own experiences in the German army.

Since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the drama – which also stars Marvel’s Daniel Brühl – has earned critical acclaim, and is Germany‘s submission for Best International Feature Film for the 2023 Academy Awards.

The ‘gut-wrenching’ epic has been dubbed ‘the greatest war movie ever made’ in rave reviews from critics and viewers, with newcomer Felix, 27, finding incredible success with his first ever leading on-screen role.

There has been plenty of Oscar buzz around him, but who is Felix, the young actor who has blown viewers away with his emotional leading performance in the highly acclaimed war epic All Quiet on the Western Front?

Impressive: Felix Kammerer has had viewers and critics alike raving over his poignant performance in Netflix’s latest World War One epic All Quiet on the Western Front, which has been deemed worthy of an Oscar 

Before his astonishing rise to fame, Felix, 27, grew up in Wien, Austria, and was born to two esteemed opera singers, Hans Peter Kammerer and Angelika Kirchschlager, on September 19, 1995.

His mother Angelika, 56, is a mezzo-soprano and has performed in a string of operas across Europe, North America and the Far East and is internationally recognised as one of the most foremost interpreters of Mozart.

She has performed at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House in Pelléas et Mélisande, Sophie’s Choice and Hänsel und Gretel and Octavian, while she has also graced the stage at Wiener Staatsoper opera house in Vienna in Dorabella Cosi fan tutte and Clairon Capriccio.

Acclaim: The movie follows the life of German soldier Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), who, after enlisting in the Army with his friends, finds himself confronting the harrowing realities of war, shattering their hopes of becoming heroes

Acclaim: The movie follows the life of German soldier Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), who, after enlisting in the Army with his friends, finds himself confronting the harrowing realities of war, shattering their hopes of becoming heroes

In 2007, Angelika was awarded the title of Kammersängerin for her outstanding contributions to the Vienna State Opera and just two years later, she became an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music, according to her biography.

The recitalist – whose father is Walter Kirchschlager, born in 1949 – has also shown off her vocal talents and won numerous awards, including a Grammy, for her recordings with the Sony Masterworks label.

And Angelika shows no signs of slowing down in her incredible career as she is returning to Opernhaus Zürich to perform songs by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, after her success as Mrs. Lovett in Stephan Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

Meanwhile, Felix’s father Hans, 57, is best known for his roles in 2007’s Jules Massenet: Manon, 2006’s Moses und Aron (2006), and 1987’s Der Tod des Empedokles oder: Wenn dann der Erde Grün von neuem Euch erglänzt.

Amazing: The 'gut-wrenching' epic has been dubbed 'the greatest war movie ever made' in rave reviews from critics and viewers, with newcomer Felix, 27, finding incredible success with his first ever leading on-screen role

Amazing: The ‘gut-wrenching’ epic has been dubbed ‘the greatest war movie ever made’ in rave reviews from critics and viewers, with newcomer Felix, 27, finding incredible success with his first ever leading on-screen role

The baritone still shows off his talents on stage and is set to star in Werther at Wiener Staatsoper opera house in Vienna in November, followed by an appearance in Die Fledermaus in January.

As a child, Felix travelled all around the world due to his mother’s globetrotting career and visited places including South America, Japan, America and Europe. 

Speaking to Austrian website news.at, he said of his childhood: ‘It was a huge gift… You come into contact with many people, learn a lot, see a lot of the world and become well educated.’

Following in his parents’ theatrical footsteps, Felix decided to train at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin between 2015 and 2019, before finding employment as a permanent member of the ensemble at the Burgtheater in Vienna, where he still works.

Background: There has been plenty of Oscar buzz around him, but who is Felix (pictured on set), the young actor who has blown viewers away with his emotional leading performance in the highly acclaimed war epic All Quiet on the Western Front?

Background: There has been plenty of Oscar buzz around him, but who is Felix (pictured on set), the young actor who has blown viewers away with his emotional leading performance in the highly acclaimed war epic All Quiet on the Western Front?

The talented star quickly made a name for himself in theatre and became a member of the Maresa Hörbiger’s Young Ensemble Hörbiger between 2013 and 2015, while he also worked at the Berliner Arbeiter-Theater (BAT) and the Deutsches Theater Berlin during his studies.

After graduating in 2019, he played at the Salzburg Festival at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin before moving on to work at the Burgtheater. He also premiered the Academy Theater in Vienna.

He has received accolades for his roles with his Ö1 radio play Loud Nights being awarded radio play of the month by the German Academy of Performing Arts in September 2020.

This year, his performance in Moskitos at the Akademietheater even earned him a nomination for Best Young Male at the Nestroy Theatre Prize, which honours outstanding achievements at Austrian theatres.

Childhood: Before his astonishing rise to fame, Felix, 27, grew up in Wien, Austria, and was born to two esteemed opera singers, Hans Peter Kammerer and Angelika Kirchschlager (pictured in November 1999), on September 19, 1995

Childhood: Before his astonishing rise to fame, Felix, 27, grew up in Wien, Austria, and was born to two esteemed opera singers, Hans Peter Kammerer and Angelika Kirchschlager (pictured in November 1999), on September 19, 1995

Parents: Speaking to Austrian website news.at, he said of his childhood: 'It was a huge gift¿ You come into contact with many people, learn a lot, see a lot of the world and become well educated.' He is pictured with his parents in February 2014

Parents: Speaking to Austrian website news.at, he said of his childhood: ‘It was a huge gift… You come into contact with many people, learn a lot, see a lot of the world and become well educated.’ He is pictured with his parents in February 2014

Felix, who is 1.78metres tall, is known to keep his personal life very private and only recently joined Instagram. He is currently believed to be single.

After his success on stage, Felix has turned his talents to the screen with his first ever leading role on Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front. However, he has no intention to leave his theatre roots behind him.

He told Austria’s WEB.DE: ‘My dream is that I can do both [film and theatre]. Because I realize I need the theatre, that’s where I come from.’

As a child, he had a small role as Johannes in David im Wunderland in 1998 and last year, he appeared in Dürer, before bagging a role in a single episode of Artour this year. But the war epic marked his first leading movie role in his budding career.

Family: As a child, Felix (pictured with his mother as a child in Le Nozze di Figero) travelled around the world due to his mother Angelika's globetrotting career and visited places including South America, Japan, America and Europe

Family: As a child, Felix (pictured with his mother as a child in Le Nozze di Figero) travelled around the world due to his mother Angelika’s globetrotting career and visited places including South America, Japan, America and Europe

His newcomer status helped him to secure the esteemed role, with director Edward Berger admitting that they wanted to find an actor who wasn’t yet ‘burdened’ or ‘associated’ with any other roles.

‘We held auditions for three months and saw a few hundred young people, but we always came back to Felix, whom we had seen first,’ he told Cineuropa.

‘He is an actor at the Burgtheater in Vienna and we wanted someone who was new, who wasn’t yet burdened by or associated with other roles.

‘That would allow us to portray the innocence of the character in a believable way. Moreover, I especially liked the fact that he has a somewhat old-fashioned face.’

Opera: His mother Angelika (pictured in 2015), 56, is a mezzo-soprano and has performed in a string of operas across Europe, North America and the Far East and is internationally recognised as one of the most foremost interpreters of Mozart

Opera: His mother Angelika (pictured in 2015), 56, is a mezzo-soprano and has performed in a string of operas across Europe, North America and the Far East and is internationally recognised as one of the most foremost interpreters of Mozart

Speaking about how he found out about the role of Paul, Felix said he was working with dramaturge Sabrina Zwach at the Burgtheater when he found out her husband Malte Grunert was a producer on All Quiet On The Western Front.

In an interview with Germany’s WEB.DE, Felix said it was because of Sabrina that her husband travelled to Vienna to watch him rehearse and perform, leading to him being offered an audition for the leading role in the war epic.

After being offered the opportunity at a premiere, Felix said he suddenly got a call from casting director Simone Bär a few weeks later and quickly had three auditions via video and another three live auditions in Berlin.

Describing the moment he found out he got the part, he said he was having a picnic in the park with his friends when he suddenly got a call from Malte and director Edward, who simply said ‘see you in Prague’ to confirm he had been offered the role.

Stage star: Meanwhile, Felix's father Hans, 57, is best known for his roles in 2007's Jules Massenet: Manon, 2006's Moses und Aron (2006). He is pictured left with Mattheus Sinko in a dress rehearsal for opera Pollicino in April 2013

Stage star: Meanwhile, Felix’s father Hans, 57, is best known for his roles in 2007’s Jules Massenet: Manon, 2006’s Moses und Aron (2006). He is pictured left with Mattheus Sinko in a dress rehearsal for opera Pollicino in April 2013

Felix was quick to throw himself into his first leading movie role and said he found the adjustment of shooting individual scenes in a non-linear timeline, rather than filming chronology in theatre, difficult to adjust to, but quickly found his feet.

He did not shy away from heavily preparing for his leading role as soldier Paul, admitting he uniquely wrote a character story using an Excel spreadsheet and did a lot of physical preparation before the gruelling 46-day filming.

‘I’m a logical guy, pretty rational, and then I thought, ‘why don’t I just go all in?’, I found a way to basically write a character story, using an Excel spreadsheet,’ he explained.

He dedicatedly gave each scene different categories and numbers so he knew what scenes he was shooting when as he described his intricate system.

Theatre: Following in his parents' footsteps, Felix decided to train at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin between 2015 and 2019, before finding employment as a member of the ensemble at the Burgtheater in Vienna

Theatre: Following in his parents’ footsteps, Felix decided to train at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin between 2015 and 2019, before finding employment as a member of the ensemble at the Burgtheater in Vienna

As he is Austrian, Felix also took language training with Simone Dietrich to perfect the dialect of the main character, who is from Osnabrück, North Rhine Westphalia, in Germany.

Felix also underwent an intense physical transformation to undertake the part and walked 10km three times a week for four months with a 10kg weight vest attached to him to build up his muscular physique.

‘Without that, I would have made it through the first week, then it would have been over,’ he told WEB.DE of the intensities of the part as the solder on the Western Front.

Screen: After making a name for himself in theatre, Felix turned to film and starred as the lead in All Quiet On The Western Front alongside Daniel Brühl (pictured)

Screen: After making a name for himself in theatre, Felix turned to film and starred as the lead in All Quiet On The Western Front alongside Daniel Brühl (pictured)

Leading star: Felix's newcomer status helped him to secure the esteemed role, with director Edward Berger admitting that they wanted to find an actor who wasn't yet 'burdened' or 'associated' with any other roles

Leading star: Felix’s newcomer status helped him to secure the esteemed role, with director Edward Berger admitting that they wanted to find an actor who wasn’t yet ‘burdened’ or ‘associated’ with any other roles

He was also trained in the use of weapons and read an online archive with more than 2,000 letters from First World War soldiers to get a sense of what they shared and didn’t share of their harrowing experiences on the frontlines.

Felix admitted he became very emotional reading the censored letters from soldiers to their loved ones and diving into the atrocities of World War One, saying he leant on his friends for support at the time.

After his intense preparation, shooting then took place over 46 days and saw the cast filming in the mud and cold as they replicated the gruelling conditions of the Western Front.

He said their costumes and equipment weighed a staggering 45kg and they would have to run for around 12-14 hours each day with the heavy weight attached to them, with only a few minutes to rest each day.

Preparations: Felix also underwent an intense physical transformation to undertake the role and walked 10km three times a week for four months with a 10kg weight vest attached to him to build up his muscular physique

Preparations: Felix also underwent an intense physical transformation to undertake the role and walked 10km three times a week for four months with a 10kg weight vest attached to him to build up his muscular physique

During shooting, Felix said he quickly bonded with his co-stars and they formed close friendships amid filming in Prague during the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw them all live in the same house due to restrictions at the time.

And his preparation clearly paid off as All Quiet on the Western Front already has awards season buzz surrounding it, and is being considered a Oscar candidate for the 2023 Academy Awards after being put forward as Germany’s international submission.

Critics and viewers alike have already raved over Felix’s heart-wrenching leading performance in the poignant film, which has been dubbed ‘one of the greatest war movies ever made’, as the actor has proved his talent on screen as well as on stage.

‘One of the greatest war movies ever made’: Critics and viewers heap praise on Netflix WW1 epic All Quiet on the Western Front as they call for it to get an Oscar nomination 

Critics and viewers alike have heaped praise on Netflix’s new World War One movie All Quiet on the Western Front and called for it to be nominated for an Oscar.

The film follows the life of German soldier Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), who, after enlisting in the Army with his friends, finds himself confronting the harrowing realities of war, shattering their hopes of becoming heroes.

Since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the drama has earned critical acclaim, and is Germany’s submission for Best International Feature Film for the 2023 Academy Awards.

Acclaim: Critics and viewers alike have heaped praise on Netflix's new World War One movie All Quiet on the Western Front and called for it to be nominated for an Oscar

Acclaim: Critics and viewers alike have heaped praise on Netflix’s new World War One movie All Quiet on the Western Front and called for it to be nominated for an Oscar

Now, critics and viewers have lauded the WW1 epic as ‘one of the greatest war movies ever made’ as they described it as an ‘utterly gut wrenching’ film.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the German-language film secured an impressive audience score of 90 per cent while the critics’ Tomatometer score was 92 per cent.

Taking to Twitter, overwhelmed viewers heaped praise on the film and described it as a ‘must-see’, before calling for it to be nominated for an Oscar.

Many people compared it to 2019’s war drama 1917 and 2015’s The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, insisting it was better than both of the epics.

Praise: The drama has earned critical acclaim, and is Germany's submission for Best International Feature Film for the 2023 Academy Awards. Pictured: Daniel Brühl in the film

Praise: The drama has earned critical acclaim, and is Germany’s submission for Best International Feature Film for the 2023 Academy Awards. Pictured: Daniel Brühl in the film

One viewer penned: ‘Went to see All Quiet on the Western Front today. What an incredible film.

‘Genuinely brilliant, utterly gut-wrenching, and everything I hoped 1917 would be, but wasn’t. I feel completely exhausted by it. A must-see, even if you have no interest in WW1.’

Another said: All quiet on the Western Front on Netflix is a masterpiece, probably one of the greatest war movies ever made. If Oscars do give a f**k about foreign movies, this one should be sweeping all awards.’ 

‘All Quiet on the Western Front is one of 2022’s best. It’s a emotional, stressful, trilling, and bleak film that doesn’t pull any punches,’ a third wrote.

1667482445 128 Who is All Quiet On The Western Fronts leading man

1667482445 426 Who is All Quiet On The Western Fronts leading man

1667482445 712 Who is All Quiet On The Western Fronts leading man

1667482445 679 Who is All Quiet On The Western Fronts leading man

‘This one should be sweeping awards’: Critics and viewers have lauded the WW1 epic as ‘one of the greatest war movies ever made’ as they described it as an ‘utterly gut wrenching’ film

Another added: ‘The Directing and Cinematography are top notch. This film is The Revenant + 1917. We need more war movies like this. Can’t recommend enough.’

While a fifth gushed: ‘So we all agree that All Quiet on the Western Front needs a cinematography nomination, right?’

‘The most brutal, revolting, artistically beautiful, nihilistic portrait of violence, slaughter, and the darkest aspects of war I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is phenomenal,’ another concluded.

Elsewhere, critics also did not shy away from heaping praise on the powerful war epic as they described it as one of the best war movies ever made.

Impressive: On Rotten Tomatoes, the German-language film secured an impressive audience score of 90 per cent while the critics' Tomatometer score was 92 per cent

Impressive: On Rotten Tomatoes, the German-language film secured an impressive audience score of 90 per cent while the critics’ Tomatometer score was 92 per cent

The Awards Daily‘s critic Mark Johnson described it as a ‘timeless and international antiwar classic’ as he lauded the film for its ‘scathing depiction of the mental terror of war’.

He penned: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front is a jaw-dropping film and a remarkable piece of work. 

‘It is not only one of the best films of the year but should also be remembered as one of the greatest war films of all time.’

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, critic Leah Greenblatt said: ‘A film that feels both aesthetically dazzling and full of necessary truths: an antiwar drama that transcends the bombast of propaganda mostly just because it’s so artfully and indelibly made.’

Meanwhile, The Guardian‘s critic Peter Bradshaw awarded the war epic a generous four-star review and said the entire film was powerfully ‘flavoured with this grim premonition of death’.

‘All Quiet on the Western Front is a substantial, serious work, acted with urgency and focus and with battlefield scenes whose digital fabrications are expertly melded into the action,’ he penned. 

‘It never fails to do justice to its subject matter, though is perhaps conscious of its own classic status.’

The New York Times‘ Ben Kenigsberg praised the dramatic opening sequence of the film, which devastatingly shows a clearing lined with corpses, and commented on the incredible cinematography.

What the critics are saying: All Quiet on the Western Front 

The Awards Daily

Critic Mark Johnson described it as a ‘timeless and international antiwar classic’ as he lauded the film for its ‘scathing depiction of the mental terror of war’.

He penned: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front is a jaw-dropping film and a remarkable piece of work. 

‘It is not only one of the best films of the year but should also be remembered as one of the greatest war films of all time.’

Entertainment Weekly  

Critic Leah Greenblatt said: ‘A film that feels both aesthetically dazzling and full of necessary truths: an antiwar drama that transcends the bombast of propaganda mostly just because it’s so artfully and indelibly made.’

The Guardian

Rating: Who is All Quiet On The Western Fronts leading man

Peter Bradshaw awarded the war epic a generous four-star review and said the entire film was powerfully ‘flavoured with this grim premonition of death’.

‘All Quiet on the Western Front is a substantial, serious work, acted with urgency and focus and with battlefield scenes whose digital fabrications are expertly melded into the action,’ he penned. 

‘It never fails to do justice to its subject matter, though is perhaps conscious of its own classic status.’

The New York Times 

Ben Kenigsberg praised the dramatic opening sequence of the film, which devastatingly shows a clearing lined with corpses, and commented on the incredible cinematography.

‘The movie aims to pummel you with ceaseless brutality, and it’s hard not to be rattled by that,’ he concluded. 

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‘The movie aims to pummel you with ceaseless brutality, and it’s hard not to be rattled by that,’ he concluded. 

All Quiet on the Western Front is an German epic anti-war film based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque – which was burnt by the Nazis when they rose to power.

It is a harrowing account of the realities of WW1 based on his own experiences in the German army and largely takes place on the trenches of the Western Front. 

The German-language film sees Austrian actor Felix Kammerer take the lead as Paul Bäumer and it also stars Inglourious Basterds star Daniel Brühl.

The original 1930 adaptation of the novel took home two Oscars, for Best Picture and Best Director, and was nominated in two other categories.

Devastating: It is a harrowing account of the realities of WW1 based on his own experiences in the German army and largely takes place on the trenches of the Western Front

Devastating: It is a harrowing account of the realities of WW1 based on his own experiences in the German army and largely takes place on the trenches of the Western Front

Powerful: Elsewhere, critics also did not shy away from heaping praise on the war epic as they described it as one of the best war movies ever made in their gushing reviews

Powerful: Elsewhere, critics also did not shy away from heaping praise on the war epic as they described it as one of the best war movies ever made in their gushing reviews

The novel was also brought to screen in another Hollywood movie in 1979, but the new movie marks the first German-language adaptation for the screen.

The multi-million dollar movie was poignantly filmed in the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. All four countries were deeply impacted by the conflict that ran from 1914-1918, experiencing a massive loss of life and destruction. 

Directed by German filmmaker Edward Berger it stars European actors Felix Kammerer in the lead role of Paul Bäumer as well as Marvel’s Daniel Brühl as real life politician Matthias Erzberger.

This is the latest in a long line of high profile projects for the director after helming Your Honour, starring Bryan Cranston and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Patrick Melrose. 

Director: Directed by German filmmaker Edward Berger (pictured at a screening last month) he said the movie will 'unfortunately always be relevant' admitting: 'W e had war 10 years ago and we'll have it again in 10 years, unfortunately, so that subject matter somehow never gets old'

Director: Directed by German filmmaker Edward Berger (pictured at a screening last month) he said the movie will ‘unfortunately always be relevant’ admitting: ‘W e had war 10 years ago and we’ll have it again in 10 years, unfortunately, so that subject matter somehow never gets old’

Speaking to The AV Club he said the movie will ‘unfortunately always be relevant’ admitting: ‘We had war 10 years ago and we’ll have it again in 10 years, unfortunately, so that subject matter somehow never gets old’.

He went on to speak about the rise of anger and division following Donald Trump’s time as president, as well as Brexit and ‘neo-fascist regimes’ across Europe. 

‘This is the time to make this movie in German. It felt very resonant of how it was 100 years ago. It felt like, ‘Listen guys, this is what led us 100 years ago. Let’s just be careful.’

‘This was already two and a half years ago [making the movie] and now see what happens in Ukraine. It wasn’t really and isn’t really farfetched’. 

Epic: All Quiet on the Western Front is an German epic anti-war film based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque - which was burnt by the Nazis when they rose to power

Epic: All Quiet on the Western Front is an German epic anti-war film based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque – which was burnt by the Nazis when they rose to power

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Who is All Quiet On The Western Front’s leading man Felix Kammerer?

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