Actor Ferdinand Hofer

“I have learnt for my acting career from studying”

While studying Ferdinand Hofer has been part of around 25 TV and movie productions as an actor. He is the youngest of Germany’s TV detectives on the Munich-based show ‘Tatort’. He has acquired important key competencies for his role at TUM.

As a teenager Ferdinand Hofer was already an enthusiastic actor on the school stage. When he was twelve director Marcus H. Rosenmüller discovered him for his comedy movie ‘Schwere Jungs’. Following his debut Ferdinand Hofer was immediately signed by a talent agency and has since played in a number of successful German and Austrian TV and movie productions such as ‘Grießnockerlaffäre’, the ZDF-movie ‘Rufmord’, ‘Sauerkrautkoma’, or in ‘SOKO Kitzbühel’. Since 2013 he is a member of Munich’s ‘Tatort’ ensemble. In his role as Kalli Hammermann he not only is the youngest assistant to detectives Leitmayr and Batic, but also the one who has been for the longest time since Michael Fitz as Carlo Menzinger left the cast. Ferdinand Hofer has not studied acting but instead will soon have a master’s degree in Management and Technology (TUM-BWL).

From the Business Administration exam to the ‘Tatort’ set

Because a secure life with a steady financial income is his priority, Ferdinand Hofer deliberately decided to go to TUM in Munich and study Management and Technology (TUM-BWL). He had already attended lectures together with a friend and liked the combination of a sophisticated business administration degree with close ties to engineering and natural sciences offered at TUM.

TUM realized that I have meaningful commitments outside of university and supported this entrepreneurial spirit.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2015 and is going to finish his master’s early in 2019. During his studies Ferdinand Hofer participated in around 25 TV and movie productions as an actor. According to Ferdinand Hofer both worlds were always compatible. Whenever the shoots did not take place during the semester breaks TUM always met this with utmost understanding and support. “TUM realized that I have meaningful commitments outside of university and supported this entrepreneurial spirit. I really appreciated this relaxed attitude. That is why I enjoyed studying at TUM a lot.”

Mutual gain

Ferdinand Hofer likes both: studying and acting. He sees his double role as a student and an actor as a welcome and varying alternative programme: “You always look forward to one or the other and never fall into despair since at least one of the two areas is always going well.” Even though they are rather different, both areas have complemented each other: “I have learnt for my acting career from studying and vice versa.”

The degree programme Management and Technology at TUM in particular requires a high level of discipline, personal responsibility, independent learning and a structured approach. “These skills are very helpful for me as an actor when preparing for my parts, I sometimes used to approach them in a more chaotic way.” Also, the business knowledge acquired during his studies now enables him to relate to a whole range of movie-related decisions, such as the underlying economic connections, in a different way. And, vice versa, through his acting work he has gained great understanding of the human being. “As an actor I get into the minds of different characters, in everyday life, as well as at university I consciously use this to find out which kind of person I am dealing with and how I should best talk to them.”

On dealing with criticism

The fact that such cautious empathizing with other people is not always being observed by film critics is something that Ferdinand Hofer had to experience just before his first appearance on ‘Tatort’. Regarding his new role, things like ‘rosy cheeks’, ‘blow-dry hairstyle’, ‘baby face’ and ‘the newbie with the boy’s smile’ were written. But the young actor Ferdinand Hofer reacts like an old hand at this; “it’s highly unprofessional and naturally annoying, but it doesn’t affect me”, and he continues, “every role can be criticized, but not the person behind it.” Constructive criticism, however, he always takes to heart because professional advice is always helpful for personal growth.

Of course he still wants to continue to learn in his acting profession, at uni however, it is enough for now. “I don’t want to keep learning, I want to do” Ferdinand Hofer says. In early 2019 he will leave TUM with a master’s degree. Even though he is looking forward to the new chapter of his life he is also a little wistful. “My university time was awesome and the flexible time management and support I had at TUM will be hard to find with another employer.” He would love to stay with the Munich-based ‘Tatort’ for a long time and also take on new roles. If that does not work out, he optimistically says, it does not matter: “Through studying at TUM I have gained a solid second foothold in addition to my acting career and thus a certain degree of freedom and independence.”