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In defense of Kinski

Klaus Kinski was one of those actors who’d take any old part that came along. He’s sorta like Nicholas cage in that respect, except his talent eclipses Cage’s like a spotlight outshines a match. I have full confidence saying that Kinski took roles that were beneath his abilities both because so many who knew him or worked with him have said the same thing, but also because the evidence is incontrovertible; I’m speaking of his resume. Look at all the movies he made. Hit up IMDB. How many of those movies were even watchable, much less spectacular? I rest my case.

The guy also had a terrible reputation. People hated working with him. People hated him, period. His daughter, Nastassja, hated him so much she refused to attend his funeral when he died. Werner Herzog, who directed five movies with Kinski, has admitted that he once tried to murder Kinski, and that he once threatened him with a gun on-set. Accounts of Kinski’s behavior both behind the scenes of movies and in everyday life are voluminous. I don’t doubt a word of them. yet I can’t help but feel compassion for Klaus, and not just because he played Dracula–not Graf Orlock–in Herzog’s remake of NOSFERATU, and instilled his vampire with such pathos and, yes, humanity that it broke my heart to see him blasted by sunlight at the end. The man likely suffered from mental illness. He reportedly had schizophrenia. If that’s true, then much if not all of his unstable behavior wasn’t his fault. And ironically, his disease may have fueled his brilliance as an actor. He likely wouldn’t have possessed his preternatural talent without it.

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here:


TheCheezman • February 16, 2018

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