Acting studies at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna; Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York
First engagements as stage actor at venues such as Schauspielhaus Zürich, Vienna’s Burgtheater and the Salzburg Festival; prolific television actor; directorial debute in 2000 with the German-language television production Wenn man sich traut
International breakthrough with roles in movies by American film-maker Quentin Tarantino: Hans Landa/Inglourious Basterds and King Schultz/Django Unchained and in Alan Cowan/Carnage by Roman Polanski.
Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards in 2009  for Best Supporting Actor in Inglourious Basterds en in 2012 for Best Supporting Actor in Django Unchained; Screen Actors Guild Awards 2009 and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards 2009 for Best Supporting Actor in Inglourious Basterds.
Future engagements
Debute as opera director at the Vlaamse Opera with Der Rosenkavalier, fall 2013.