Tobias Moretti initially studied music at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. After training as an actor at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich, he left his first engagement at the Staatstheater Hannover to join the Munich Residenztheater under Frank Baumbauer. From 1986 he was an ensemble member at the Munich Kammerspiele, where he enjoyed success in productions including Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Fassbinder’s Katzelmacher and Achternbusch’s Der Frosch. Following his first guest appearances in Vienna, he made his Burgtheater /Akademietheater debut in 1995 with Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal.
In 2001, Tobias Moretti played the leading role in the world premiere of Botho Strauss’s Pancomedia at the Schauspielhaus Bochum (director: Matthias Hartmann). He played Mozart in the world premiere of Peter Turrini’s Da Ponte in Santa Fe (director: Claus Peymann, co-production with the Berliner Ensemble, 2002), as well as the title role in Martin Kušej’s production of Grillparzer’s König Ottokar, which was shown at the Vienna Burgtheater until 2009. With Faust (director: Matthias Hartmann), he took on a further title role at the Burgtheater from 2009 to 2012. At the Munich Residenztheater, Tobias Moretti played Friedrich Hofreiter in Schnitzler’s Das weite Land from 2011 to 2014 and the Border Guard in Karl Schönherr’s Der Weibsteufel from 2012 to 2016; the latter, directed by Martin Kušej, was also revived at the Vienna Akademietheater in 2019. In Kušej’s staging of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2015, he appeared as Bassa Selim. In 2016, he acted and sang as Macheath in Brecht’s and Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper at the Theater an der Wien (conductor: Johannes Kalitzke, director: Keith Warner). At the Vienna Akademietheater in 2018, he played the role of Désiré /Romeo in the world premiere of Rosa oder Die barmherzige Erde, adapted from William Shakespeare and Dimitri Verhulst and directed by Luk Perceval. Since the 2019/20 season, Tobias Moretti has been an ensemble member at the Burgtheater.
In 2001, Tobias Moretti staged Don Giovanni in Bregenz, his first production as a director. In 2009, he directed Haydn’s Il mondo della luna at the Theater an der Wien (conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt). Prior to this, he staged a further two Mozart productions with Nikolaus Harnoncourt: Zaide at the Festspielhaus in Salzburg (Mozartwoche, 2005) and La finta giardiniera at the Opernhaus Zürich in 2006.
Tobias Moretti has regularly appeared in film and television productions since the early 1990s: after a stint in a TV series, he made numerous feature films, including Workaholic (director: Sharon von Wietersheim), Krambambuli (director: Xaver Schwarzenberger), Todfeinde (director: Oliver Hirschbiegel), Schwabenkinder (director: Jo Baier), Jürgen Flimm’s adaptation of Kleist’s Käthchen von Heilbronn and Jud Süß – Film ohne Gewissen (director: Oskar Röhler). This was accompanied by further television work, such as The Return of the Dancing Master (director: Urs Egger), his portrayal of Hitler in Heinrich Breloer’s docudrama Speer und Er and Das jüngste Gericht together with Christoph Waltz (director: Urs Egger). His television productions in recent years include Mobbing (director: Nicole Weegmann), Das Zeugenhaus (director: Matti Geschonneck), Alles Fleisch ist Gras (director: Reinhold Bilgeri), Im Namen meines Sohnes (director: Damir Lukačević), Andreas Prochaska’s three-part ORF miniseries Maximilian. Das Spiel von Macht und Liebe, Spuren des Bösen – Wut (also directed by Prochaska), Bad Banks (director: Christian Schwochow) and Achterbahn, a 2018 crime drama set in Vienna (director: Wolfgang Murnberger). His latest work for TV was shot in 2019: the thriller Im Abgrund (director: Stefan Bühling) and Louis van Beethoven (director: Niki Stein).
Tobias Moretti’s films in recent years include Das finstere Tal (director: Andreas Prochaska), Hirngespinster (director: Christian Bach), Der Vampir auf der Couch (director: David Rühm), Das ewige Leben and Luis Trenker – Der schmale Grat der Wahrheit (director: Wolfgang Murnberger), as well as Die Hölle – Inferno (director: Stefan Ruzowitzky). In 2016, he worked with Terrence Malick on his feature film about Franz Jägerstätter, A Hidden Life; in 2017, he made the movie Gipsy Queen (director: Hüseyin Tabak); and in 2018, he played Macheath in Mackie Messer – Brechts Dreigroschenfilm (director: Joachim A. Lang). 2019 saw the release of Deutschstunde, a highly acclaimed new adaptation of Siegfried Lenz’s book (director: Christian Schwochow), as well as Baumbacher Syndrome (director: Gregory Kirchhoff).
Tobias Moretti has received numerous awards, including the Bavarian Film Award (1995, 2013), the Bavarian TV Award (1999), the Grimme Award (2000, 2002) and multiple nominations and wins at the Austrian Romy awards, most recently in spring 2021. In 2020, his performance in Gypsy Queen received the Austrian Film Award for best actor in a leading role. He was also awarded the Salzburg Festival Pin in 2020. In 2005, he was awarded the Gertrud-Eysoldt-Ring by the German Academy of the Performing Arts for his stage performance as Ottokar. He received the German Film Award Lola in 2014, the Grand Diagonale Acting Prize in 2015 and the German Bambi Award for ‘Best Actor – national’ in 2015. In 2016, he was named ‘Austrian of the Year’ in the category of ‘cultural heritage’. In August 2021, he will be honoured with the European Cultural Award.
At the Salzburg Festival, Tobias Moretti appeared as Everyman’s Good Companion /Death in Jedermann from 2002 to 2005, in the 2005 premiere of Grillparzer’s König Ottokars Glück und Ende and as Bassa Selim in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in 2013 (director: Adrian Marthaler). From 2017 to 2020, Tobias Moretti performed the role of Jedermann and in 2019 premiered Albert Ostermaier’s monologue Zum Sisyphos. Ein Abendmahl.