Max Schreck relaxing between takes & creeping everyone out on the set of Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922, dir. F.W. Murnau) (via)
During the filming of Nosferatu, Schreck reportedly stayed in character at all times, even when the cameras weren’t rolling —- there is no report of this at all. In fact, the one report I do have about shooting, right from his biography, is that press were invited to his last shot, in the ship hold. And you know what he did? He answered questions about production, in full makeup. And the cast and crew never saw him out of full makeup and costume —- considering members of the cast had to travel to shooting locations together, outside of the country, even, I’m pretty sure they did see him outside of makeup. While this immersive approach to acting is commonplace now, —- it is? it was unusual back then and his appearance & behavior led to wild rumors that Schreck actually was a vampire —- there were no wild rumors. There was playful speculation at best, but documented reviews of the film on opening night criticized his costume for not being scary enough, and he was also suspected of being another actor. If this photo is indicative of Schreck’s demeanor around the set of Nosferatu, the crew’s wariness was entirely understandable. —- this photo indicates nothing. It shows an exhausted man taking a break on set and the “spooky” elements of the photo are all a conspicuous choice of the photographer.
This blog posted the original text and it spread like wildfire, which is unacceptable. I fixed this bit of “information”, now send it back out!
Max Schreck was never any kind of mystery back then. If people really didn’t know who he was when they saw this movie, all they had to do was track him down at the Munich Theater. He was a full time theatrical actor, lots of people saw him out of costume, and he wasn’t some jerk to everyone he met.
It’s only the people of the future who pretend there was any doubt he was a human being, only because they can no longer see him in the flesh and blood, and they don’t bother to do a little research.