He was born in Vienna where he studied drama at the Max Reinhardt Academy. He started as an actor, working with Franz Novotny and at the Landestheater of Salzbourg. In 1985, he made his first feature film, Schmutz, shown at The Directors’ Fortnight. In1990, he made Weiningers Nacht in which he had the main role. He often performed in movies directed by Michael Hanecke, Joseph Vilsmaier, Alexander Kluge and Luc Bondy. He also played in theater. Der Kopf des Mohren is his third feature film with a screenplay by Michael Haneke.