The presenter, known nationwide, has been in front of the camera countless times from “TV Total Stock Car Crash Challenge” to the ” Bavarian Film Award ” and has made a name for himself as the “celebrity whisperer”. Gätjen understands how to win his interview partner’s trust in a short time. Even the big names such as Will Smith, Madonna or Tom Cruise give away more than usual during their conversations. He has worked as a dubber, is a producer, an author of children’s books and the co-owner of a restaurant. For a long time one of his great passions has been the cinema. He introduces selected films in his magazine programme (ZDF) “Gätjens big cinema” and takes a look behind the scenes of film productions and first nights.
Many people, including celebrities, have stage fright before a show or on the big stage. The result: red cheeks, sweating. Are you that kind of person? How do you cope before a big entrance?
“Obviously I’m nervous but I don’t get stage fright, it’s more a happy expectancy of everything that can and hopefully will happen. My adrenalin level and my heart beat rises but that’s all forgotten during the first spoken sentences.”
You are presenting the German description audio film award again this year. How did you get involved? Have you come into contact with hearing disabilities in your daily life?
“I hope that involvement came because I did a good job last year ;-). The German audio description film award really made me sensitive to this subject and showed me what wonderful possibilities there are to open up cinema and TV experiences to everyone. I find that incredible and would like to support it even more.”
What would be your first concern if you could change social structures?
“Where do I start? It’s very important to me that we don’t forget to look left and right in our success oriented world. Be aware, pay attention, be open and interested. A lot would change then and many problems wouldn’t be there. Empathy is the key word. We are obsessed with ourselves and our mobile phones. We could address the problems around us together as a society, and every single person is part of this group. “
You show great empathy and skill when dealing with people. One quickly feels the friendly contact between you and the person opposite, not only with celebrities. Is that something you learn, among other things, at the Hollywood Film School?
” No, I learnt that from my parents. Meet people with respect and openly and you will get to know them.”
You presented big events like “Schlag den Raab” , the” Oscar Red Carpet Show” and the ” Golden Camera Awards”. What would be the icing on your cake in your career?
“Naturally, there are always dreams that one has but I’m a bit superstitious and don’t talk about but rather work on making them real. But seriously, even this list is fantastic. I’m very happy about the ups and downs in my career up to now.”
It’s obvious that you have many other talents – you run a restaurant in New York, have worked as a dubber, have written two children’s books together with your brother and can do synchronised diving. Is there anything you’d prefer to presenting?
“Trying things. Even if I sometimes seem a little sceptical I enjoy just doing things. Only then can I know if it works or not. To have no fear, just start. My father once said :”The only false decision you can make is not to decide. “
Our magazine wishes to give its readers courage. What would you like to say to them? Have you got a gem of wisdom or a motto?
“You erect your own boundaries, but they are not really there. There are so many people who have been told that they can’t do something and they’ve done it. How does it go : “Everyone said : Its not possible. Then someone who didn’t know that just did it.” That’s my motto. “
Thank you very much for your time!
Interview: Judit Stas
Photos: About You