Matthias Hues was born on Valentine’s Day in Waltrop, Germany, to the late Dr. Josef Hues and Maria Humperdinck Hues who still resides in Germany. Maria is the niece of Engelbert Humperdinck, composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel.
Matthias was very involved in sports from an early age on. By the time he was 19 he was part of the team that won the German pentathlon championship in Hannover and he later became Germany’s hopeful in track and field. He also took up martial arts due to his ability to move extremely fast for his 6’5″ height and 250-pound weight.
After graduating from school, Matthias moved to Paris to fulfill his early dream of entering Hotel management. Once there he joined one of the most prestigious health clubs in Paris, which had just been bombarded with the new Jane Fonda aerobic exercise program from the US. Matthias recognized an opportunity when he saw one, then and after returning to Germany he gave up his idea of going into Hotel management and instead opened two health clubs, flying in aerobic teachers from the USA.
It was during that time when he became obsessed with America and the American way of life, and due to his spectacular physique and bigger-than-life appearance and personality, it wasn’t long before some people suggested that he should try to enter the entertainment industry, so he sold his clubs and boarded a plane to Los Angeles.
He immediately joined Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, the mecca of bodybuilding and entertainment personalities. Within a few weeks Derek Barton, a former Hollywood stuntman, and formerly one of Gold’s managing directors, received a frantic call from a producer who had just lost Jean-Claude Van Damme for his movie and needed someone to replace him immediately. Derek didn’t hesitate to send Matthias to test for the role, and Matthias managed to convince the producers to give him the part, despite having no acting experience whatsoever. The movie, No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987), was a moderate success, and opened the door for Matthias to make more films.
He established himself quickly as a powerhouse in the action genre and began appearing in more films, his most successful to date being I Come in Peace (1990). Over the years he recognized that his outstanding physique and size would not always be a plus in his acting career, so if needed he would reshape his look, dropping up to 40 pounds at times for various roles, and he began studying with some of the industry’s best acting and speech coaches.
Matthias played a variety of roles in his films, from a gladiator turned private investigator in Age of Treason (1993) to an aging hit-man in Finding Interest (1995) to a bumbling idiot trying to kidnap a rich kid in Alone in the Woods (1996) to a dancing lion tamer in Big Top Pee-wee (1988). He also played a Klingon general in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Matthias is one of the few foreign actors who managed to loose his accent to the extent that many people in his own country don’t even know that he is from Germany.
Matthias recently began writing and producing. He is set to direct and produce his first full feature film; a spy thriller to be shot in Frankfurt and Rome.
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