Andreas Balon

Tobias Moretti: A Wanderer Between Worlds

Tobias Moretti is a theatre star, movie star and TV favorite - but also an organic farmer, and a Tyrolean to boot. In this exclusive interview, he talks about home, family and climate activism.

May 29, 2024

Tobias Moretti is a television, film and theater actor, studied composition and is a qualified farmer © Tobias Soskic

How did acting come into your family - specifically: to you?
My mother came from an artistic and very musical family: her father was a principal and also played in a string quartet, my aunt was an opera singer, professor and married to the actor Hugo Lindinger. At the end of the 1970s, Joschi Kuderna founded the Kellertheater in Innsbruck, which was something like our first stage home and experience. After that, I was lucky enough to be accepted at the renowned Falckenberg Academy of Dramatic Arts, and that's when I really started to get involved with the subject matter.

As an older brother, did you have a role model function in your family?
I was number two and didn't need to be a role model - I don't think I would have been any good at that either.

Tobias Moretti played the title role in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Jedermann" for four seasons. © Matthias Horn

How did you feel when your daughter Antonia also decided to become an actor?
I didn't initiate or force any of my children's decisions regarding this profession in any way. On the contrary, until the end of elementary school they had no idea about my public perception. Antonia played in a movie by chance in her graduation year, and two years later she got the Camorra role through the cameraman Thomas Kiennast, which she played wonderfully. She finished her studies anyway, and now she lives in Berlin and is in the film business. My son Lenz, who had previously completed an apprenticeship as a plumber, went on to study acting in Frankfurt and is now in the ensemble of the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Talent, the urge to act, the joy of it, all this was visible in both of them from an early age and obviously unstoppable. I rave about the joys of farming to our youngest daughter Rosa every day to prevent the worst from happening (laughs).


"I did not initiate or force any of my children's decisions regarding this profession in any way."


Stage star versus organic farmer: you run a 400-year-old farm together with your wife. How does that fit together? Was there a key moment for this decision?
When we have a busy summer on the farm and it's also peak season in my profession - whether in theater or film - and my wife is also playing concerts, I realize that it's actually an effort in two professions that don't really go together. Sometimes it goes beyond the limits. But there are two sides to every coin, and as long as we can manage this life shoulder to shoulder as a family, it's also a source of happiness and a perspective for generations to come.

In his private life, the actor runs a 400-year-old organic farm in Tyrol with his wife Julia. © Andreas Balon

How do you feel about climate activism?
With all understanding and sympathy for youthful commitment, I'm concerned about the increasing radicalization of the climate movement because it leads to equally radical counter-positions and hardening on all sides and therefore, at the end of the day, no real analysis for the climate emerges. The traffic problem, especially heavy goods traffic, is exacerbated by the EU's export pillars, and we need to take concrete action against this in our demands. But that also means restricting our consumer behavior - also for this generation, keyword Amazon and the like. The same applies to our attitude towards energy consumption: we continue to act as if there is no tomorrow, light pollution and the like. But a luxury e-car is neither a help nor a commitment. And climate protection is only worthwhile if many people join in.

How has your native Tyrol influenced you as an actor?
My homeland has influenced me and continues to influence me. There are certainly two sides to this trait, but I'm convinced that both my longing for somewhere else and my roots are the fuel for my artistic work and my life. I am also happy to have grown up in such a culturally diverse environment.

The magnificent Moretti farm in Ranggen serves as a retreat, but also means a lot of work. © Andreas Balon

What makes Tirol special, what makes its people special?
I don't even know if I can put my finger on it, I don't have the distance. Tyrol is my first impression and will also be my last. In between, I have the privilege of living an incredibly diverse life, as a wanderer or surfer between worlds.


"Tyrol is my first impression and will also be my last. In between, I have the privilege of having an incredible diversity of life."

Which Tyrolean dish can you prepare yourself?
With the right support, pretty much all of them; always a question of willingness. But cooking and food have always been of existential importance in our family.
Your favorite time of year?
It's unique when you come back from a spring ski tour in April and the fruit trees are about to blossom. It's like the Easter walk in Goethe's "Faust": "River and streams are freed from the ice" and so on. And yet two hours from Verona and a good four hours from the Mediterranean! 

On his organic farm, he keeps Tux cattle and chickens in a species-appropriate manner and grows organic vegetables. © Andreas Balon

Where are your places of energy in Tirol?
Places of energy ... well ... I have relatively little to do with such terms, because both the outer and inner life is constantly in motion. When something is successful or work is done, there are moments of peace, of fulfillment; but these are moments that can take place anywhere.

Is there a new discovery for you in Tyrol?
If there was, I wouldn't tell you so that everyone wouldn't run to it. Tourism tends to outdo itself again and again with a lot of effort, but often it's enough to rediscover what's already there.

Which book did you read last?
At the moment I'm reading Which borders do we need? by Gerald Knaus. And I'm also in the initial preparations for The Broken Jug at the Tiroler Volksschauspiele.

Nature and his native Tyrol are very close to Tobias Moretti's heart - which is why he is committed to protecting the environment. © Andreas Balon

Sun, beach and sea: is there such a thing as a vacation for you?
When I associate something with the sea, it's usually our Mediterranean. It's often enough for me to simply disappear there for a few days. I also don't really feel the need to go against our seasonal cycle and fly somewhere in winter.

What should never be missing from your suitcase?
Something is always missing from my suitcase.

What are you currently working on? What else can we look forward to this year?
My next film work will probably be with Jan Georg Schütte. And as I said, preparations for The Broken Jug at the Volksschauspiele will start soon. There, I'll be working with Corinna Harfouch, Harald Schrott and others and it'll be directed by Anna Bergmann - great colleagues, I'm really looking forward to the rehearsals!

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Tirol Special 2024.

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