Jannik Schümann was born in Hamburg, Germany, on November 30, 1992, and took acting lessons at New Talent as an adolescent. He appeared on stage at the age of nine as Mozart in a Hamburg musical.
His first TV role followed in 2003 in an episode of the series Die Rettungsflieger. After further roles on TV, he dubbed the main roles in The Three Investigators and the Secret of Skeleton Island in 2007 and continued to appear on stage in musicals.
He actually started dancing when a talent scout discovered him and added acting lessons to modern dance. What luck! His first major role was in the film adaptation of the bestseller Oskar und die Dame in Rosa by Èric-Emmanuel Schmitt. That was in 2004 – when Jannik was just 12.
And then came a film that went through the roof: the bullying drama Homevideo in 2011 – a story about cyber bullying. Alongside Jonas Nay and Wotan Wilke Möhring, Jannik played the main mobber Henry – a really nasty schemer who you believe has great criminal energy and knows exactly what he’s doing when he posts a private home video to the public, plays dirty with his classmate and gets off on his position of power. A supporting role, but what a role!
Another milestone in Jannik’s career was the TV drama Mittlere Reife, where he again got to play a very different character: a very attention-seeking and hyperactive headmaster’s boy – portrayed by the top-class Herbert Knaup – who earns extra money by dealing drugs on the side.
In the same year, he also appeared alongside Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld in the award-winning feature film Barbara.
The 2013 novel adaptation Spieltrieb by author Juli Zeh starred Jannik Schümann as Alev, a highly intelligent but emotionally limited high school student who is unable to understand the love of his girlfriend Ada. Alev is an alpha who manipulates other students and uses, hypes and ultimately drops them at will. Only that Jannik can play such a role is no longer a surprise in this movie.
Jannik says about the role: „Alev is a very strong individual and I have been insanely lucky to play this role. I’m just not interested in evil as you imagine it. I’m not interested in portraying a person who looks violent. I’m interested in characters who are so weak that they eventually build a wall of coldness. But the viewer sees that the character is weak, and that’s actually the basis for all the evil deeds, even if they can’t be morally justified, of course. For me, that’s the exciting thing about such characters.„
In addition to his roles in the cinema, Jannik Schümann can also be seen frequently in the series Tatort. In 2013, for example, he portrayed an ice-cold subway thug from a good family who attacks a defenseless old man and subsequently shows no remorse.
In addition to his work as an actor, Jannik can also be heard as a voice actor and, for example, lent his voice to main character Ted in Dr. Seuss‘ The Lorax (2012).
Center of my World is the film adaptation of Andreas Steinhöfel’s bestseller of the same name directed by Jakob M. Erwa and Jannik has finally arrived here among the top professionals of the acting guard.
Together with Louis Hofmann, Jannik Schümann played two young people who fall in love with each other in this wonderful coming-of-age story. Jannik embodies there a student who is new in the class and is attracted to the main hero Phil (Louis Hofmann). What the two go through until they stand by themselves and discover their first great love is another great facet in the acting of the northern light, who moved to Berlin nine years ago.
The film Center of my world is more than formative for generations of young people, especially gay young people. Asked how it feels to be part of the filming of such a work, Jannik says:
Insanely beautiful! It’s always something special when you play films and people come out of the cinema and are grateful to you. And there are many who say that this film should have been made ten years ago, it would have helped me so much. The reactions have been so good, and that pleases me the most. I’ve heard nothing but nice things. So often, grown men with children and wives came up to us with teary eyes, saying that they had seen something so rare. Such a beautiful love story, aesthetic and touching. And that, of course, is what we wanted, to appeal to all kinds of people.
Ödön von Horvath’s anti-fascism parable Jugend ohne Gott has already been filmed three times. For the fourth, director Alain Gsponer moved the action to the near future in 2017. His aim is to wake up the youth.
The film’s screenplay is essentially based on the novel published by Ödön von Horváth exactly 80 years ago. In it, the author deals with the disturbing social developments of his time: during a camp, a Christian humanist teacher is confronted with the increasingly strong National Socialist behavior of his students, which leads to a tragic death. The novel was translated into many languages within a short time, but was banned in the German-speaking world. Even on the day of his death, Horváth had spoken with director Robert Siodmak about a possible film adaptation, but his death prevented this.
The film features some of the best young actors in German cinema. Jannik Schümann in the role of Titus plays it alongside Jannis Niewöhner and Emilia Schüle. The film’s aesthetics also fit the story perfectly: the futuristic set design, costumes, color scheme and lighting only bring this emotionally cold world to life.
Jannik can also do series. In the second season of the successful ARD series Charité, the heartthrob also played a leading role as Otto Marquardt, an aspiring and gay medical officer.
The budding medical officer Otto, likeable, cheerful and extroverted, is supposed to finish his medical studies, which were interrupted by the front. He would like to take his time with his studies in order to avoid another war deployment. The only one who understands his traumatic experiences is the nurse Martin, who was also at the front. Otto sees clearly where Nazi medicine leads and what it means for a disabled child like his niece Karin. He urges his sister Anni not to look away and to take a stand.
The Aftermath was then released in 2019. For Jannik Schümann, shooting this film was his first direct contact with Hollywood.
How do you meet Hollywood stars for the first time? This question, of course, Jannik has asked himself, and revealed that he was „of course insanely nervous“ before the first meeting with Keira Knightley. She was, however, different from what he had expected.
While he didn’t play with her directly, he did sit in makeup with her several mornings and chatted with her there. „I had her in my head as a historical beauty who is very straightforward,“ Schümann confesses, „but she’s an easy-going, funny and ironic girl. Someone you’d want to be friends with.“ Jason Clarke, on the other hand, helped him a lot, he says, by making him aggressive before a scene: „He grabbed me and insulted me, and it made me do a 180 myself.“
He got the part through a „very normal audition,“ Jannik said. When he was accepted, it was „pure excitement“ that only subsided on the set. Schümann plays a German assassin in this post-war drama The Aftermath.
In the same year Dem Horizont so nah (Close to the horizont) was released – another adaptation of the novel.
What it’s about: Until now, the life of 18-year-old Jessica (Luna Wedler) had actually followed a very regular course. She still lives with her parents, helps out in their catering business, which she more or less already knows she will take over one day. But then her entire world is turned upside down when one day she runs into Danny (Jannik Schürmann), who is two years older and earns a lot of money with his modeling career. After some initial misunderstandings, it is clear to Jessica that he is the man of her life. However, she has no idea that he carries some dark secrets that overshadow the young happiness…
It is always tragic when people have to die young. It’s even more so when a relationship that should actually last forever – or so the impression goes – comes to an untimely end. Of course, filmmakers know this, too, which is why titles in which exactly this happens appear on the market with greater or lesser regularity. The great classic in this respect is surely Love Story, which left behind a lot of broken hearts in 1970. In recent years, for example The Fault in Our Stars and Five Feet Apart have caused handkerchief consumption to soar.
Now, with Dem Horizont so nah, comes a German attempt to match the great and profitable Hollywood colleagues. In paper form, this has worked well before; Jessica Koch’s novel of the same name – the prelude to the Danny trilogy – was a bestseller. And to ensure that this also comes across well in the film version, two sought-after young talents were hired.
Luna Wedler and Jannik Schümann. They are not only popular, but also good-looking. Because only when the people on screen are so attractive that the audience would fall in love with them themselves, do they actually get close to their destiny.
In winter 2019, Jannik was already allowed to shoot on the next Hollywood film. The video game adaptation Monster Hunter by Paul W.S. Anderson with Milla Jovovich. The franchise by Capcom has existed since 2004. In the action role-playing game, the player as Hunter has to hunt various monsters in different environments. In the process, you build new weapons from the bones and fur of the achievements.
„That was a completely different act, a production with lots of special effects, where I walked around with a sword and imagined a dragon, which was pretty absurd. But if it continues like this, I don’t mind,“ Jannik explains.
Where Europe is heading in the future is not only a concern for politicians and society. A new German Netflix production is also tackling this exciting question.
With DARK Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann created one of the most successful German series of recent years. Now the producer duo’s next successful format has appeared: the new German science fiction adventure Tribes of Europa launched worldwide in February 2021.
The new Netflix original is set in the year 2074 and is based on the premise that Europe has disintegrated after a mysterious catastrophe. In this post-apocalypse, several tribes struggle for supremacy. In particular, the story revolves around the three siblings Kiano (Emilio Sakraya), Liv (Henriette Confurius) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) and their fate. The goal is to gain dominion over all the other tribes and enslave them. Jannik Schümann plays Vavara’s slave Dewiat.
What is currently happening? The story of the Austrian imperial couple Franz Joseph I and Sisi is being remade. The film is said to be more accurate compared to the works with Romy Schneider.
The six-part TV-NOW event series Sisi about Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, who became the young empress in 1854 by marrying her cousin Franz Joseph I, has found its main cast in newcomer Dominique Devenport and Jannik Schümann.
Jannik talks about his role as the emperor:
„What I find particularly exciting and challenging about the role of Franz is the complexity of the character. On the outside, the emperor appears to be a ruthless monarch, but he is actually just trapped in a cage that he is trying to escape. His emotions have been suppressed all his life through military upbringing, and are only now being discovered with Sisi at his side. I see the balancing act between emotionless and gloomy on the one hand and lovable and innocent on the other hand as my greatest acting challenge. In addition, I was able to acquire a lot of new skills during preparation: horseback riding, fencing, dancing, label training. How cool is that!“
Compared to Romy Schneider’s Sissi from 1955 the new edition of Sisi is supposed to be more historically accurate, even though it again tells the „love story of two young people between personal desire and political constraints, between power and vulnerability,“ as it says. One thing is more authentic: the real Elisabeth was called Sisi, not Sissi.
Jannik Schümann won the „GQ Care Award“ in the „Best Look“ category in 2020.
A graze adorns Jannik’s right forearm. In the morning, he was still in front of the camera between meadows and swimming pool at the health resort „Lanserhof“ near Innsbruck. There he presented the latest fall trends as the „Best Look“ winner of the GQ Care Awards. But gymnastic exercises on four yoga blocks then brought the actually permanently relaxed young star a little off balance – and caused the slight injury to his arm. But Jannik Schümann is relaxed about it.
When asked how he feels about being the Best Look winner of the GQ Care Award?
„Really good. I’ve been part of the jury for the last two years and find it totally exciting – also that men are being trusted for once to take care of themselves and the product selection. That’s a new facet that is becoming increasingly important, especially for men of my generation. And now I’m the winner of the ‚Best Look‘ myself – mega.„
With an Instagram post in December 2020, Jannik made his love for a man public and received a lot of encouragement from the film industry.
The reason is this black and white photo he posted of himself with another young man on his Instagram account. The two embrace intimately, Jannik looks blissfully smiling into the camera while his partner kisses him on the temple with his eyes closed.
As a comment, Jannik only posted a little heart to the picture, but the message is clear: he is in love – and for the first time dares to show his love for a man publicly.
Jannik seems very happy in the arms of his boyfriend. The sweet photo was commented on by numerous followers and also many fellow actors, including Janina Uhse, who posted three hearts. Babylon Berlin star Caro Cult just left an enthusiastic „YES!“ and singer Johannes Strate also added a few hearts to the picture. Colleagues such as Timur Bartels and Emilio Sakraya also added hearts to the post and numerous colleagues such as Sabin Tambrea, Kostja Ullmann, Vladimir Burlakov, Clemens Schick, Jochen Schropp and Marco Schreyl congratulated the actor on coming out.
Natalia Wörner, with whom Jannik was in front of the camera in the series Die Diplomatin, commented on the picture with the sentence „Beautiful from the soul“.
„You are amazing. I am soooo happy for you. Well done, Superstar. I ❤ you!“ the openly gay director Marco Kreuzpainter commented on the post, which has already received over 160,000 likes. Schümann’s mother wrote that she was „very, very proud“ of her son.
In his Instagram story, Jannik posted a humble „DANKE!“
“I have read every single message and cannot put my feelings into words. Thank you! 2021 will be a good year. I can feel it.”
The 28-year-old has kept his private and love life rather out of the public eye in recent years – so it’s all the nicer now to get a little insight into his world.
In an interview for a German magazine, Jannik explained:
„You can only be happy if you stand by your sexuality and don’t maintain a false life. That can go so far that they consciously show themselves with a wife or their own children – often that ends in a life lie, which the people concerned then can’t cope with at some point.“
It is still a rarity for German stars to come out. Apart from Clemens Schick, Ulrike Folkerts, Maren Kroymann and Gustav Peter Wöhler, there are practically no well-known actors who are open about the fact that they are not heterosexual. This does not speak for a queer-friendly climate in the German film and TV industry, because apparently lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans actors fear disadvantages if they come out. Jannik does not seem to have this fear. And that’s why we love Jannik Schümann.