An artist of international range and reputation, Richard Sammel is fluent, and has acted in, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. He has starred in some forty films and sixty television films, shot on locations ranging from Sweden to Italy, Portugal to Slovakia, England to the Balkans, but also Canada, South Africa, and the United States, for such directors as Quentin Tarantino, Luc Besson, Martin Campbell, Bertrand Tavernier, Claude Lelouche, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Roberto Begnini, Dario Argento, McG and Michel Hazanavicius. He has acted, danced and directed for the stage in theaters all over Europe, Russia and Canada.
The prolific actor has recently completed “A Day Like a Week”, a supernatural thriller in which Sammel stars opposite Armand Assante for director Kader Ayd. Sammel returns for the seventh season of “The French Village”, an enormously popular French TV series in which he has had a leading role since its beginning. Sammel also stars as ‘Thomas Eichhorst’ in the hit FX series “The Strain”, for director Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse.
Sammel made his professional acting debut in 1981 on stage in Hildesheim, Germany. From 1983, he worked in France, as a musician, dancer and actor where his breakthrough came in 1987, with an acclaimed performance in Catch, by the Company Nelson Dumont. Beginning in 1989, he worked in Rome with theater director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, and met Susan Strasberg, who assisted him in securing his film debut, the lead role in Il Piacere Delle Carni, for director Barbara Barni. In 1993, Sammel moved to Paris and landed the lead role in the musical film version of the Brecht-Eisler opera The Lindberghs Flight. An indelible performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds in 2009 brought Sammel international recognition. In 2012, he won “Best Actor” at the Syracuse International Film Festival for his performance in Ruggero Dipaola’s Apartment in Athens.
His other film credits include Les Miserable du XX Siècle for director Claude Lelouche; Life is Beautiful for director Roberto Begnini; the original Taxi written by Luc Besson; Casino Royale for director Martin Campbell; Beauty and the Beast opposite Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux for director Christophe Gans; and most recently McG’s Three Days to Kill opposite Kevin Costner.
Richard Sammel was born in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied music, especially the violin, and then went on to follow his true passion, which was acting. He studied both music and acting in Hildesheim, Germany; acting and directing in Aix en Provence; and acting with both Susan Strasberg and Francesca de Sapio in Rome. He is drawn to roles that require physical play, rhythm and timing, a reflection of his dance training; and those that require a deep emotional inner life, a reflection of his intense training in method acting. He lives in Paris and Berlin.