30 Surprising Facts About Matthias Schoenaerts You Might Have Missed Before

Matthias Schoenaerts
(Photo : Georges Biard, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Matthias Schoenaerts, one of the outspoken actors in the Hollywood industry, conquered the entertainment world with his breakout performance in “Rust and Bone.” He went on taking challenging roles, including the ex-soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder. With some amazing movies in his portfolio, this Belgium import actor is sure to keep up to his father’s name. Here are some really interesting facts about the actor that will make you love him more:

    File:Matthias Schoenaerts (2017).jpg"File:Matthias Schoenaerts (2017).jpg" by DWDD is licensed under CC BY 3.0

  1.  Matthias is the first Belgian male actor and the fifth Belgian actor to win a César award. His performance as Ali in the 2012 movie “Rust and Bone” earned him the César Award for Most Promising Actor.
  2.  In the year 2003, Schoenaerts was named as one of the “Europe’s Shooting Stars,” by the European Film Promotion.
  3.  His father Julien was named as “The Marlon Brando of Flanders,” while Matthias has been called as the “Belgian Brando,” following his performance in “Bullhead” and “Rust and Bone.”
  4.  His performance as Jacky Vanmarsenille, in the 2011 “Bullhead” earned him the Magritte Award for Best Actor as well as the FIPRESCI Award for best actor at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2012.
  5.  He was the first choice of the director José Padilha for the lead role of Alex Murphy/ Robocop, in the 2014 remake of “RoboCop,” but he had to let go of the role, as he felt he was not prepared for such a big movie.
  6.  Matthias Schoenaerts was born on December 8, 1977 to Julien Schoenaerts and Dominique Wiche in Antwerp, Flanders, which is the Flemish region of Belgium.
  7.  His father is regarded as one of the greatest post-war actors in Flanders and the Netherlands. However, since the early 1970s, he suffered from bipolar disorder every three to four years. Julien died in 2006.
  8.  His mother Dominique was a costume designer, translator and French teacher. His mother was never married to his father Julien, who was already married. Dominique died in 2016.
  9.  Through his father’s marriage, he has three step-siblings – Bruno Schoenaerts, Sara Schoenaerts and Helga Schoenaerts. Sara died of cancer in the year 2014, while Helga committed suicide in the year 1982.
  10.  Matthias was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents in Brussels. He grew up bilingual speaking Flemish Dutch and French. He learned English and became fluent in the language by watching American movies.
  11. Film Festival Ostend, Matthias Schoenaerts"Film Festival Ostend, Matthias Schoenaerts" by VISITFLANDERS is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  12.  In the year 1987, when he was only nine-years old, he appeared in a stage production of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's “The Little Prince” opposite his father, Julien Schoenaerts. His father was also the director of the play, while his mother was the costume designer.
  13.  During his teenage days, he used to produce graffiti under the pseudonym “Zenith,” and even collaborate with the Bronx group TATS CRU. Even today, there are some videos of Matthias doing graffiti in Belgium is available on YouTube.
  14.  He initially aspired to become a professional soccer player, and was also on the books of Belgium team Beerschot AC. However, when he was 16 years old, he gave up that dream.
  15.  He is featured in the 2014 documentary “Antwerp - The City Game,” which covers the Antwerp’s street football culture.
  16.  In the documentary, he can be seen playing soccer with kids in the same place in Antwerpen-Zuid, where he used to play when he was a kid.
  17.  He made his film debut at the age of 13, in the 1992 Belgian movie “Daens,” alongside his father. However, both of them did not share any scenes together.
  18.  The father and son duo was again featured together in the 2004 movie “Ellektra” which is actually the only film in which the duo shared scenes together.
  19.  Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Antwerp in 2003, he was featured in several feature films and short movies.
  20.  For his role as Jacky Vanmarsenille in “Bullhead,” he had to gain 27 kilograms of muscle mass. He prepared for the role for two years, committing to a diet of 3000 tins of tuna, several hundred chickens and plenty of oats, rice and pasta combined with an exhaustive weight lifting regimen.
  21.  He also had to study the Limburgish dialect, so that he could perform with authenticity using the same dialect throughout the movie, and no offend the natives.
  22. Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts"Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts" by Bex.Walton is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  23.  During the filming of this movie, he auditioned for a role in David Cronenberg's “A Dangerous Method” and even got it, as the casting agents were impressed with his performance. However, due to his commitment to “Bullhead,” he had to let go of the role.
  24.  He had just lost the 27 kilos he had gained for the role of Jacky in “Bullhead,” when he had to again gain weight, but not muscle mass, for his character of Ali in “Rust and Bone.”
  25.  In preparation for this role as Ali, he spent two months boxing, doing MMA training on a daily basis and also doing weightlifting and eating junk food like burgers, ice-cream and pizza, as his character should look strong, but not fit.
  26.  Initially “Rust and Bone” movie’s director Jacques Audiard looked for possible candidates for the role Ali at gyms and boxing clubs. After auditioning over 200 candidates, he watched “Bullhead” and immediately decided to cast him in the role.
  27.  His co-star from “Rust and Bone,” Marion Cotillard kept praising his acting to her boyfriend Guillaume Canet, and even recommended Matthias for the role of Scarfo in Canet’s directorial debut “Blood Ties.”
  28.  He was initially offered the role of Batman in the 2016 movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but he had turned down the role as he felt that he was too young to play Batman who is in his mid 40s.
  29.  He was hesitant to accept the role of a Nazi officer Lieutenant Bruno von Falk in the 2014 movie “Suite Française,” as he had moral issues with the character.
  30.  However, after reading the book, on which the movie is based, he changed his mind, and decided to allow himself to love the character, as the writer loves the character so much.
  31.  He was ranked on TC Candler's annual list of "The 100 Most Handsome Faces From Around the World" for four consecutive years from 2013 to 2016.
  32.  In the year 2012, Matthias Schoenaerts was described by The New York Times as “the most versatile beefcake actor of our time.”
  33.  Matthias Schoenaerts Net Worth: $4 Million

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