For as revered as movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are, one constant criticism is the lack of engaging villains. Sure some villains made for entertaining tension and the visual effects were stellar as usual, the antagonists were mostly forgettable.
Enter Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, and everything changed! Not only was he a sadistic antagonist, his tragic backstory gave him a sympathetic hook that made him relatable to the audiences.
Daniel is far from a one-hit-wonder, and apart from Zemo, he has played Fredrick Zoller in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds and Ernst Schmidt in The Cloverfield Paradox, to name a few.
Brühl returns as Helmut Zemo in the upcoming Disney+ TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This is the list of seven facts of Daniel Brühl.
Helmut Zemo may be Brühl's magnum opus, but it is not the only role for which he is famous.
Previously, he was in such movies as The Fifth Estate alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Rush alongside Chris Hemsworth, The Bourne Ultimatum alongside Matt Damon.
He was also in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 black-comedy drama movie Inglorious Basterds.
Starring an ensemble cast that included Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, the movie is a revisionist retelling of Nazi-occupied France.
Daniel Brühl played the Nazi war hero and sniper Fredrick Zoller to great acclaim.
Most of us find it hard to master one language, and here is Daniel Brühl, who not only speaks fluent English, but is also proficient in German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. If that was not impressive enough, he also understands Catalan.
Born to a German father and a Spanish mother, Brühl was taught their native languages as well as Catalan when growing up. He also had French-speaking cousins. Being born in a multilingual household, he quickly picked up the languages.
Despite being a self-professed terrible cook, Brühl is the co-owner of a Spanish tapas bar in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The Bar Raval -as it is called- opened in 2011, and is a passion project for Brühl, bringing Spanish delicacy to Berlin.
The success of the Bar Raval prompted a second bar in Prenzlauer Berg, named Bar Gracia, this one without much success. The short-lived establishment opened in February 2017, but had to close its doors in October that year due to dwindling frequenters.
Given how Brühl values his privacy above all, it is a miracle that we known anything about his personal life. The 41-year-old fathers a son with former-model-turned-practicing-psychologist Felicitas Rombold.
They had begun dating in 2010. They were blessed with a son, Anton Hanno, in October 2016.
It was not the first time Brühl thought he had found love. Previously, he a long-standing relationship with German actress Jessica Schwarz. The two met on-set of the 2001 movie No Regrets. They had even exchanged engagement rings, but their relationship could not progress to marriage and they broke up in 2006.
Things worked out in the end, and Brühl found his soulmate in Rombold.
Daniel Brühl admitted to being a hypochondriac, where his paranoia manifests into physical illness. In an interview, he mentioned his struggles with the psychosomatic disorder, and how understanding his girlfriend (now wife) was about the illness.
"I'm a terrible hypochondriac. I am embarrassed to admit it, particularly to my girlfriend, but I suddenly get these panic attacks and I am sure that I have come down with some dreaded disease. I have been to the doctor for the most stupid reasons. But as my girlfriend is a psychologist, she understands that it is pathological. She psychoanalyzes me, and my profession has helped me confront my fears."
Helmut Zemo was the Russo Brothers' retort to the criticism that "Marvel cannot create engaging villains."
Zemo was indeed engaging: a relatable character with a tragic backstory, but undoubtedly the antagonist. Daniel Brühl played the role to perfection, seamlessly transitioning from sympathetic to vile.
The movie ranks as one of the best Marvel movies, and not simply because of the action setpieces, or the visual effects, or superheroes, but because of Brühl's stellar portrayal of Baron Zemo.
An actor, a former frontman of the band Purge, a bar owner, there is little Daniel Brühl hasn't done; and his net worth is reflective of his success in anything he does.
As of 2020, Brühl's net worth is estimated to be $4 million. He has been a part of numerous blockbuster movies of the past few years, including Captain America: Civil War and Inglorious Basterds.
His Berlin bar has also been a hit for local people looking for Spanish delicacy at the comfort of their home.
2020 is set to be another commercial success for the actor, with roles lined up in the upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the movie The King's Man.
As Brühl will tell you himself, money is not everything for him. He is a philanthropist, supporting causes like the United Nations World Food Program which supplies food where in parts of the world where there is famine.Their goal is to eradicate hunger by 2030.