Lou Castel (born Ulv Quarzell; 28 May 1943) is a Swedish actor who became known through his work in Italian films.
28 May 1943
Life and career
The son of a Swedish father and an Irish mother, Castel was born Ulv Quarzell in Bogotá, Colombia, where his father was working as a diplomat. He and his twin brother grew up in Cartagena.
When Castel was 6, his parents separated. He followed his mother to Europe and went to school in London, then in Stockholm. He subsequently went to live in Rome where his mother was working in the local film industry. A militant communist Castel's mother also introduced her son to politics.
Interested in acting from an early age, he attended the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, but was quickly kicked out. His first movie role was an uncredited extra in The Leopard (1963). Two years later, he gained international fame for his performance in Fists in the Pocket, in which he played the epileptic Alessandro, who murders his mother and his brother. His career in Italy included arthouse pictures, but also spaghetti westerns and also softcore erotica. He later played Jeff, the temperamental bisexual film director in Beware of a Holy Whore (1971), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder himself portrayed the film's line producer.
While living in Italy, Castel became involved in a maoist organization. As Italy was going through the Years of Lead period, he was eventually considered an indesirable alien. In 1972, he was deported to Sweden where he no longer had any acquaintances. He eventually bounced back and appeared in films directed by Wim Wenders and Claude Chabrol.
Castel settled in France in the early 1990s. Though the quality of the films he acted in were quite disparate, ranging from arthouse films to cheap exploitation, Castel always chose roles that reflected his militant leftist beliefs.
He has a son from the actress Marcella Michelangeli.
|1963||Il Gattopardo||Party Guest||Luchino Visconti||Uncredited|
|1965||Fists in the Pocket||Alessandro||Marco Bellocchio|
|1966||Francis of Assisi||Francis of Assisi||Liliana Cavani||TV movie|
|1967||A Bullet for the General||Bill 'Niño' Tate||Damiano Damiani|
|1968||The Protagonists||Taddeu||Marcello Fondato|
|Come Play with Me||Alvise||Salvatore Samperi|
|Galileo||Friar, Young monk of the Vatican||Liliana Cavani|
|Lucrezia||Cesare Borgia||Osvaldo Civirani|
|La prova generale||Romano Scavolini|
|1969||Orgasmo||Peter Donovan||Umberto Lenzi|
|1970||Con quale amore, con quanto amore||Ernesto||Pasquale Festa Campanile|
|Bocche cucite||Carmelo La Manna||Pino Tosini|
|1971||Beware of a Holy Whore||Jeff, the director||Rainer Werner Fassbinder|
|1972||Nel nome del padre||Salvatore||Marco Bellocchio|
|Who Killed the Prosecutor and Why?||Carlo||Giuseppe Vari|
|1973||The Scarlet Letter||Rev. Dimmesdale||Wim Wenders|
|Gangsterfilmen||Simon||Lars G. Thelestam|
|1975||Faccia di spia||The torturer||Giuseppe Ferrara|
|1976||Pure as a Lily||Luciano||Franco Rossi|
|The Cassandra Crossing||Swedish terrorist||George P. Cosmatos|
|Caro Michele||Osvaldo||Mario Monicelli|
|1977||Change of Sex||Durán||Vicente Aranda|
|Pigs Have Wings||Marcello||Paolo Pietrangeli|
|The American Friend||Rodolphe||Wim Wenders|
|Les Enfants du placard||Nicola||Benoît Jacquot|
|Italia: Ultimo atto?||Marco||Massimo Pirri|
|Mr. Mean||Huberto||Fred Williamson|
|Flesh Color||Psychiatrist||François Weyergans|
|Killer Nun||Peter||Giulio Berruti|
|1982||Gli occhi, la bocca||Giovanni Pallidissimi / Pippo Pallidissimi||Marco Bellocchio|
|1983||Trauma||Le Maitre||Gabi Kubach|
|1984||Love Is the Beginning of All Terror||Traugott||Helke Sander|
|1985||Treasure Island||Doctor / Father||Raúl Ruiz|
|Fraulein||André||Michael Haneke||TV movie|
|1986||Hôtel du Paradis||Tramp||Jana Boková|
|Nanou||Italian activist||Conny Templeman|
|1987||Man on Fire||Violente||Élie Chouraqui|
|Rorret||Joseph Rorret||Fulvio Wetzl|
|1989||What Time Is It?||Fisherman||Ettore Scola|
|1991||Fuga da Kayenta||McDonaldson||Fabrizio De Angelis|
|Year of the Gun||Lou||John Frankenheimer|
|1992||Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed||Hartman||Alberto Sordi|
|1993||La Naissance de l'amour||Paul||Philippe Garrel|
|1996||Irma Vep||José Mirano||Olivier Assayas|
|1998||Louise (Take 2)||Louise's Father||Siegfried|
|2007||Heartbeat Detector||Arie Neumann||Nicolas Klotz|
|Medea Miracle||Creo||Tonino De Bernardi|
|2012||La Lapidation de Saint Etienne||Étienne||Pere Vilà Barceló|
|2013||Gare du Nord||Ali||Claire Simon|
|2013||The Nun||Baron de Lasson||Guillaume Nicloux|
- "Lou Castel, le comédien banni par l'Italie". Télérama. 13 July 2016.
- Curti 2019, p. 39.
- Curti 2019, p. 40.
- Curti, Roberto (2019). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989. McFarland. ISBN 1476672431.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lou Castel.|
- Lou Castel on IMDb
- Lou Castel, "My 'State of Things'," tr. by Rainer J. Hanshe, Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics (spring 2014) 278–280.
- Lou Castel, "Before / After the filming of The Stoning of St. Stephen," tr. by Rainer J. Hanshe, Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics (spring 2014) 281–288.