MCM: Matthias Schoenaerts


This is a reader request, which I’ll sometimes entertain when folks follow these tips, plus the request is a topic I’m at least partially interested in! Matthias Schoenaerts doesn’t have a lengthy resume yet, but he’s on the rise, mixing action movies with frock flicks. Which is ideal for cultivating that strong, sensitive guy image, who’s looking for:

“I need someone with a real passion for life; a person who’s on a quest for truthfulness. I find that incredibly attractive. They also need to be pretty independent, like a cat. If I could be any animal, I’d be a cat. They don’t rely on anyone. In a relationship you have to trust each other — becoming dependent on one another isn’t healthy. Also, cats don’t ‘have’ to do anything — how great is that?”

Pretty great!



Joop in Black Book (2006)

Black Book (2006)

Schoenaerts has a small role in this film, set in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during WWII, but I’ll be damned if I can find a picture of him from it.


Alfred Lenaerts in De smaak van De Keyser (2008), aka The Emperor of Taste

De smaak van De Keyser (2008) - Matthias Schoenaerts

This was a highly regarded 10-part series about a Flemish family starting in 1939 & extending over three generations.


Ties van Heesch in De bende van Oss (2011) aka The Gang of Oss

De bende van Oss (2011) - Matthias Schoenaerts

Fraud, prostitution, manslaughter, & murder in 1938 Netherlands, tho’ I don’t see much in the way of historical costume. Hrm…


André Le Notre in A Little Chaos (2014)

2014 A Little Chaos

Admittedly, I watched this movie for Alan Rickman, but Matthias Schoenaerts wasn’t bad. However, is that coat denim? Oh, Joan Bergin, you scamp!


Lieutenant Bruno von Falk in Suite Française (2014)

Suite Française (2014) - Matthias Schoenaerts

Schoenaerts said he didn’t want to play the Nazi, but he read the book the movie’s based on & thought: “if the writer loves the character so much, then I have to allow myself to love him as well.”


Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

Far From the Madding Crowd (2015) - Matthias Schoenaerts

Schoenaerts said of this character: “I was fascinated by the absolute selflessness and sincerity and loyalty of that guy.”


Hans Axgil in The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl (2015) - Matthias Schoenaerts

Matthias Schoenaerts plays an art dealer & friend of Lili Elbe, tho’ he’s a fictionalized character in this highly fictionalized story.


Captain Herder in A Hidden Life (2019)

A Hidden Life (2019) - Matthias Schoenaerts

A melancholy film about an Austrian farmer who is conscientiously objecting to conscription in WWII by Hitler’s forces.



What’s your favorite historical role played by Matthias Schoenaerts?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

6 Responses

  1. J.D.

    Loved him in A Little Chaos and The Danish Girl and Suite Francaise. He emanates a quiet, soft-spoken, smoldering, sexiness.

  2. Nzie

    Well, the only one I’ve seen is A Hidden Life, and I didn’t recognize him, but I suppose that must be it! For costumes it’s fairly simple 1940s countryside clothing, but nice. The film is visually beautiful and the story compelling and interestingly told.

  3. Karen Lavoie

    Having been a foreign exchange student in northern Belgium in the early 1970s, I can understand his reluctance to play a Nazi in Suite Francaise, as the horrors of World War II were not so far removed and were still part of the Benelux psyche. Thanks for posting this–it will be interesting to see his performance in it.

  4. SarahV

    He sure is easy on the eyes.

    If you want to see more of him like a LOT more of him, check out A Bigger Splash as the hunky boyfriend of Tilda Swinton’s Bowie-inspired rock star character as they convalesce in a spartan yet chic villa on a volcanic Sicilian island (!) Enter Ralph Fiennes as her ex-lover and drama ensues. (you see a LOT more him too)