Udo Kier Is Long Overdue for Awards. His Fabulous ‘Swan Song’ Deserves All Your Attention.

Udo Kier Is Long Overdue for Awards. His Fabulous ‘Swan Song’ Deserves All Your Attention.
On the eve of his 77th birthday, Udo Kier was on the phone at his home in Palm Springs, wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with orange lettering that reads, “Don’t act.”

He received the shirt as a gift, and it bears a maxim he gleaned from Lars von Trier, with whom he began a three-plus-decade partnership on “Medea” in 1988.

“He means don’t act so people can feel and see that you’re acting. That’s the difference,” said the Cologne-born actor, the star of more than 200 movies from directors including Von Trier, Fassbinder, and Werner Herzog.

Over the years, Kier’s steely cobalt eyes and sinisterly soothing German accent have enabled him to play low lives, decadents, and villains. But he takes a break from all that in Todd Stephens’ “Swan Song,” released this past summer. In a perfect world, it would catapult the iconic performer into the awards conversation.
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