André Rieu to play himself in a Hollywood film
“It will be a grand story premiering in the States”
After Rocco Granata, André Rieu (64) will also have his own full length movie. “A Hollywood film in which I play myself in the present time and also in the time of Johann Strauss” says the violin virtuoso from Maastricht, in an exclusive interview with HALLO.
Hallo Nov. 2013: We are speaking with André Rieu in Genk, Belgium at the premier of "Marina", a new film by Stijn Coninx. That André was there was in itself quite a major surprise, since a bond between Rocco and André does not exist. "I do not personally know Rocco Granata. But I have been playing his world hit ‘Marina’ for the last 35 years as one of my closing pieces in all of my concerts. "Undoubtedly Rocco will have noticed that in his SABAM (royalty) earnings" the Waltz King says laughingly. André would like to meet Rocco to ask him something immediately. "I would like to invite him as a special guest during my performance in the Hasselt Ethias Arena on 4 January 2014. And together with him play ‘Marina’. That would make a fantastic climax."
The Netherlands’ biggest violinist and orchestra leader, who has sold more than 30 million albums, is loved and renowned since his Johann Strauss orchestra presents classical music in a popular way, is incidentally full of praise about the film of Rocco Granata’s life. "It is a very moving film" according to André " I cried at the end. Yes, when there is something with fathers and sons, I cannot hold it back any longer. My own father did not like it too well either that I was going to play "little waltzes" as he called it. But towards the end of his life he noticed how serious and dedicated I was about it all and finally he gave in by saying:"Yes, there is only one who can really do this."
Hallo: In short, this could be about you. Isn’t it about time that one makes a film about your life?
André: (Whispering) "Well, shall I spill the beans? To be honest, we are already doing that."
Hallo: This is fantastic news. How concrete are the plans? Is there for instance a script already?
André: "But of course. Old Elsevier columnist and novel writer Leon de Winter, who now lives in California, has already written it."
Hallo: Did he write the script at your request? Or how exactly did the idea come about?
André: "Well, two years ago, Leon called me with a very special question: "I want to make a film about Johann Strauss and you have to play him."
Hallo: And you were immediately enthusiastic?
André: "My answer was no, no, no, I will not do that! NEVER! I will only play myself . . ."
Hallo: So ....
André: "Leon then changed and rewrote the entire script, so that I can really play myself in the film."
Hallo: And so a film about Strauss became one about Rieu?
André: "That's right. In the film I play myself in the present time, but Strauss is not totally gone from the story. Through a trick in the story, I will indeed also play in the time of Johann Strauss."
Hallo: Are you satisfied with the result?
André: "The scenario Leon wrote has become very nice and yes, I am in total agreement." (He laughs )
Hallo: In the mean time have the recordings already started?
André: "No, currently we are working to organize everything so that we can really live up to that film. That is not always obvious in these times. The latter was also remarked on by Peter Bouckaert , the producer of "Marina", just shortly after the performance . I can agree with him: "It is a long road and a lot of misery to bring a movie to a successful conclusion."
Hallo: So we should not expect the movie in the theaters in 2014?
André: "No, that would be a little too soon. But I guarantee you that will become a reality. I enormously look forward to it."
Hallo: With a world premiere in Maastricht?
André: "No, In Hollywood! This is a great story! "(Bursting out with laughter).
Thanks to Benny Geets and Ineke for forwarding this interview, and John’s translation.