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Joel Basman

Shooting Star 2008 - Switzerland


Joel Basman

Joel Basman First appearing in a Swiss German television series, Joel Basman (18) is the youngest and the most experienced of the nine up-and-coming actors presented at the 58th Berlinale. The Shooting Stars jury were won over by his performance in Dominique de Rivaz’s Luftbusiness, set to be released in Switzerland in March.

Cineuropa: Why did you decide to become an actor?
Joel Basman: In 2003, I attended a workshop for young people at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich (Zurich Playhouse) and this led to a theatre production. This first experience of acting really made me want to continue.

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In 2006, you starred in Niklaus Hilber’s Cannabis and Mike Eschmann’s Breakout [+see also:
film profile
. What were your projects in 2007?

I worked more than ever in 2007. I played an autistc boy in the telefilm Jimmie by Tobias Ineichen, I had a minor role in Luki Frieden’s 1000 Ozeane and I filmed Dominique de Rivaz’s Luftbusiness. Between Christmas and New Year, I was on the set of Christoph Schaub’s episodic film Sweet Life.

What role do you play in Luftbusiness and what is the film about?
It’s a drama about three homeless people who one day come up with the idea of selling themselves on the Internet. The first offers his age, the second his childhood and the third his soul. I play a young Russian refugee who earns his living by selling his sperm. He always carries a live hen around with him, as he is convinced that this helps improve the quality of his semen! His two friends are played by Swiss actor Dominique Jann and Icelandic actor Tomas Lemarquis (Noi the Albino).

What are your expectations of Shooting Stars?
I don’t have any unrealistic expectations – I don’t imagine, for example, that someone will appear out of nowhere and offer me a role in a Hollywood film – but I do hope to make contacts that pay off next year (in the form of a new friendship or a work offer). In any case, I feel ready to take up the challenge.

How do you envisage your future? Are there any filmmakers with whom you’d particularly like to work? Do you plan to do any directing work yourself?
I hope to continue developing as an actor, as I have done up to now, and make a name for myself internationally. I dream of playing a psychopathic killer and working with Martin Scorsese. I also have some directorial projects in mind, which could take shape this year.

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