Wolfgang Stumph: "Corona cannot slow down my creativity"

The shooting of the new "Stubbe" film was overshadowed by Corona. Wolfgang Stumph explains in an interview why everything went well anyway.

The successful TV series "Stubbe – Von Fall zu Fall" (1995-2014) returns to Dresden this Saturday (January 30th, 8:15 pm, ZDF) with the second special "Stubbe – Tödliche Hilfe". From there, Chief Detective Wilfried Stubbe (Wolfgang Stumph, 74) moved to Hamburg with his family in the pilot. After a trip together with his girlfriend Marlene (Heike Trinker, 59) to the North Frisian island of Amrum in the first special "Death on the Island" (2018), Stubbe is now back in the Saxon capital as a pensioner in the new film.

The longed-for visit of his daughter, journalist and single mother Christiane Stubbe (Stephanie Stumph, 36), and his eight-year-old granddaughter Caroline Stubbe (Greta Kasalo) to him in Dresden turned out differently than planned in every respect. Because Christiane's childhood friend Malte (Patrick Güldenberg) from Dresden asks her for help in clarifying the death of his mother in need of care; Malte accuses a local nursing service of Boris Krol (Oliver Mommsen, 52) of theft and murder. Journalist Stubbe begins to secretly research and pensioner Stubbe is meanwhile taking care of the granddaughter … for the time being …

Actor Wolfgang Stumph reveals in an interview with spot on news, among other things, whether it was difficult to win his daughter back for the project after seven years. As a nine-year-old she already played in the first "Stubbe" film "From Case to Case: Stubbe's Inheritance" (1995) and stopped with the last regular episode. He also talks about the special filming under Corona conditions.

A lot has changed in times of Corona. A lot is happening now by telephone or video call. Is that a big change for you?

Wolfgang Stumph: No, not at all. I manage the Stumph, do his press work, am his agency, his advisor … I have to master that too, otherwise I would not be able to fulfill these many professions as an I-AG. It's not a problem for me at all. I'm not like the stump hanging on his old portable typewriter and the swallow (GDR moped).

I also like to discuss technical news with my daughter (Stephanie Stumph). Sometimes she is even amazed when I already have something new. In addition, 50 percent of my work can only be done in the home office anyway. Most of the meetings with authors or the production company can also be done from home via video call and when editing I only need to change places.

You only have to be there when playing and filming. The latter, of course, under appropriate security precautions. Otherwise we couldn't have finished "Stubbe". We shot the film during Corona.

How has the shooting changed due to Corona?

Stumph: You now have a personal responsibility to be disciplined, to protect yourself and to respect your health, because otherwise you not only endanger yourself, family and friends, but also the environment and the work process for the entire team.

Are you generally worried about Corona?

Stumph: I'm actually an optimistic melancholic, dreamy and sensitive and very optimistic. And something like Corona can't throw me off course or slow my creativity. But of course I stick to the rules out of a sense of responsibility towards my surroundings and myself.

The last thriller in the "Stubbe" series, "Mordfall Maria", ran in January 2014 and ended with Stubbe's retirement and the departure of his daughter Christiane Stubbe. How is he today

Stumph: Actually, the "Stubbe" series tells the family story of a perfectly normal detective inspector. Since 1995 the private and professional path of this investigator is reflected until 2020. Christiane Stubbe left her parents' home as a freelance journalist with a toddler and a friend in the 50th "Stubbe" film.

Stubbe himself, like Stumph, is now in retirement. He moved to Dresden with his partner. She works as a criminalist in Dresden and Stubbe doesn't really know what to do with himself in his retirement. Not only the television viewers, but also the makers of this series were curious about the future of this television family.

In "Stubbe – Tödliche Hilfe" (Stubbe – Tödliche Hilfe), your daughter is now playing properly again for the first time instead of just being seen in a photo, as in the first special (2018). Was it difficult to get her to do it?

Stumph: No, not at all. With the 50th "Stubbe" film (2014) to consistently break new ground was a joint decision. But there was also a longing to tell a bit of life story as well as personal experiences of the past years in the "Stubbe". In the first special (2018) there was actually only one photo of Christiane Stubbe, together with Stubbe's grandchild. At that time there were many audience questions about Christiane and what had become of her.

Stephanie and I want to continue this television family gift first and foremost. She started the role when she was nine. She is now 27 years older and just wanted to take part in a "Stubbe" film again. Due to her emancipated and equal work, however, she is no longer "the daughter of", rather I am now "the father of". In this respect, the break was good.

The former "Tatort" star Oliver Mommsen also plays in the "Stubbe" special. How was the collaboration?

Stumph: It was a great pleasure because I know my colleague very, very well and appreciate them professionally.

A few weeks ago you both appeared together in the comedy "Pretty Russian Friends". You had a great role then, but it was a supporting role. Does that bother you?

Stumph: No way. I know the author because he has also written many "Stubbe" films before. When he asked me, I gladly accepted. And just as I didn’t let the dumb sense hang out with Til Schweiger’s "Keinohrhasen" (2007), but pretended to be an unsympathetic taxi driver, I was tempted to take part.

What is it like when you meet on two different sets in quick succession?

Stumph: I'm not entirely innocent of that. I respect my colleague very much and that also led to a feeling of sympathy. I know what he has done and is doing and he plays the role of the nursing service boss Boris Krol in the new "Stubbe" film excellently. There are always colleagues who I wish they would appear in my films. And that's what I'm committed to, not just as a co-producer, but because we trust each other.

Could there be any other specials with Stephanie Stumph and the film's daughter?

Stumph: We could imagine telling it on as a cross-generational story. But in the end it is a decision of the broadcaster and the audience.