Cast
Eutin

Biography

Axel Prahl was born March 26, 1960, in Eutin, and grew up in Neustadt in Holstein. After finishing high school, he studied music and mathematics at Pädagogische Hochschule Kiel, before he attended Kiel's drama school from 1982 to 1985. He then worked as an actor at Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landestheater. He also performed and still performs at theatres in Berlin: at Renaissance-Theater, at Grips-Theater, and at Deutsches Theater's Kammerspiele. After his first TV appearances, for instance, in the TV series "Bella Block" and in the TV movie "Das Phantom – Die Jagd nach Dagobert" (both 1994), Prahl starred in his first small, yet memorable role on the movie screen in 1999 as a policeman in "Nachtgestalten" ("Night Shapes"), directed by Andreas Dresen – the starting point of an intense collaboration.

During the following years, Prahl again and again played roles of policemen, for instance, in Esther Gronenborn's "alaska.de" (2000), in Dresen's "Die Polizistin" ("The Policewoman", 2000, winner of a Grimme award), in Lars Becker's film "Rette Deine Haut" ("Run While You Can", 2001), in Marc Rothemund's highly-praised psycho drama "Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt" ("Hope Dies Last", 2001, also winner of a Grimme award), and in his appearances as inspector Frank Thiel in the Münster branch of the "Tatort" crime film series (since 2002).

 

In 2003, Axel Prahl won the Bavarian film award as "Best actor" for his role as snack bar owner Uwe Kukowski in Andreas Dresen's successful tragicomedy "Halbe Treppe" ("Grill Point"). At this point in time, the down-to-earth man in the streets had already become Prahl's signature role. But Prahl also proved time and again that his placid characters might conceal dark traits, for instance, in "Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt" ("Hope Dies Last") as the head of a police station who bullies a female subordinate because she rejects his love, as an exploding small-towner in the TV movie "Die Kette" (2004), as car dealer "Willenbrock" (2005, directed by Andreas Dresen) who is traumatized after a robbery and becomes a ticking time bomb himself. Prahl won the German Film Critics Awards for his role as Willenbrock.

Besides numerous roles in major TV productions like "Die Mauer – Berlin '61" and his regular theatre performances, busy actor Prahl repeatedly returned to the movie screen in recent years, for instance, in Bernd Böhlich's social comedy "Du bist nicht allein" (2007), in Sylke Enders' Drama "Mondkalb" (2007), in Neele Vollmar's "Friedliche Zeiten" ("Peaceful Times", 2008), and in "Die Schimmelreiter" ("Sheep and Chips", 2008), and "Dorfpunks" (2009), both directed by Lars Jessen.

In 2009, he was nominated for a German Television Award for his personification of a BKA agent (the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany) obsessed with his profession in the tripartite TV movie "Die Patin – Kein Weg zurück" (2008). The same year, in the drama "Berlin '36", he played the coach of the Jewish athlete Gretel Bergman who was dismissed from the 1936 Olympics by the Nazis. In "Hier kommt Lola!" (2010), a film adaptation of the book for adolescents, he featured as the young heroine's warm-hearted and color-blind grandfather. The melodrama "In der Welt habt ihr Angst" ("In the World You Have Fear", 2011) had him play a philologist whose marriage is in a crisis and who is furthermore taken hostage by a young female drug addict.

Prahl made another visit to the political climate of the 1930s starring in "An Enemy To Die For" (DE/NO/SE 2012) as the leader of an international research team that embarks on a long expedition in 1939 and is surprised by the outbreak of WWII. After being one of the leads in the TV comedy "Das Millionen Rennen" (2012) and several more "Tatort" entries, Prahl appeared in three feature releases in 2014: He played a German tourist in Doris Dörrie's comedy "alles inklusive" ("The Whole Shebang"), a seasoned crook in the gangster movie "Harms" and the mischievous antagonist in the children's film "Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten".

Prahl delivered another memorable performance as the lead of Jochen Alexander Freydank's 2015 release "Kafkas Der Bau": Prahl plays a clerk who grows increasingly paranoid and holes up in a fortress-like housing complex. On TV, he starred in the comedy "Die Lichtenbergs - zwei Brüder, drei Frauen und jede Menge Zoff" (2015), and in the two-part period drama "Die Himmelsleiter" (2015).

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