Europe stands on the brink of war. Hitler and his Nazi party are readying an invasion of the Sudetenland, and the great powers in Europe cannot stop him. This is the political backdrop to the new Netflix war movie Munich – Edge of War which tells the gripping story of how British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s fought for peace in the years before World War 2.
Starring Jeremy Irons as Chamberlain, this political thriller movie focuses on the relationship between two former friends Hugh Legat (George Mackay) and Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner). The pair are forced to become reluctant spies by their opposing governments as they both try and expose the Nazi party’s warmongering ambitions.
Ahead of the film’s release this Friday, we caught up with Niewöhner to talk about one of the film’s most intense scenes, a showdown in a Munich beer hall where a disagreement over politics between Hugh and Paul bubbles over from friendly teasing to an explosive and angry argument. “That’s actually my favourite scene in the movie,” Niewöhner told The Digital Fix. “Because quite a lot [of that scene] is improvised.”
“The scene is about best friends having a discussion that turns into a fight,” he continued. “So we had to find a way in which this would feel as real as possible so Christian Schwochow [director] and Ben Power [Writer] encourage us to bring our own arguments to the scene and present them while we were doing the scene so everything would feel as alive as possible.”
“I was so scared of that, but in the end, it really turned out well,” he finished. “When you’re making a movie, and you have a discussion there’s all this technical stuff, and one actor says his line, then you have a break, then you say your line, and you’re not able to interrupt each other, that was all gone so we could just have a real fight which was great.”
MacKay and Niewöhner managed to form a close bond during filming despite their onscreen argument. “[MacKay] is just a lovely person,” Niewöhner said. “I really loved his work before, and I was so relieved on the day I met him because I knew ‘okay, it’s possible to really get to know this guy’.”
Munich – Edge of War is available to stream on Netflix from January 21, 2022. If you love political intrigue, check out our list of the best spy movies ever, they’re for your eyes only.