In the Audible podcast series “Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine” you voice Wolverine. He is a torn hero who struggles with inner demons. What demons plague you?We are all in a battle between good and evil in which we must decide through our free will how we want to be and behave. I cannot say that I have completed this battle within myself. But at least I am aware that it exists.

Can you give an example?I need to work harder to be kinder to those around me. This continues to be difficult for me given the hectic pace and time pressure of everyday life. Although I immediately stumble upon reasons for being grumpy every morning, it doesn’t hurt to decide to remain calm and friendly even in moments of stress. Unfortunately, I often still don’t manage to do this to this day.

Heroic characters like Wolverine tend to be very male. What do you say about the fact that masculinity is now quickly portrayed as toxic? It is very good and important that women are increasingly catching up in many areas and are on an equal footing with us men. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

What do you mean by that? I find it difficult when people generalize too hastily and then in the wrong way. For example, through the thesis that men are responsible for everything bad in the world and that masculinity is therefore toxic. There has always been a Lady Macbeth. Good and evil reside in all of us. You are always wrong with broad generalizations, even with black and white thinking. I also think it is a mistake to say that men and women are equal.

Why? Because they aren’t! It is not without reason that there are differences that are as big as they are important. It is only when the genders interact that we can complement each other particularly well and flourish. I welcome the difference and don’t want anything or anyone to erase it.

What do you hope for in the future? I very much hope that the current debates between women and men do not lead to a completely brittle life living side by side. Rather, we should work on a mutually enriching, charming and joyful way of working together. And as long as everything stays within the bounds of decency and good upbringing, there should also be a good joke at eye level in the future. Because it is only through humor and self-irony when we meet each other that a wonderful charm emerges.

But isn’t it understandable that women today, after debates like…

In your opinion, what state is the debate culture in Germany in? How well and fairly can we still discuss the big hot topics? Unfortunately, a lot of things have been going wrong for some time. It’s always worth talking to each other or having a lively discussion. As long as you act within the bounds of decency, this should always happen. In everyday life I talk a lot to taxi drivers, police officers, salespeople – everyone has a right to be heard. No one should be muzzled!

In your opinion, what are the greatest dangers in the decline of debate culture? We have to be careful that we do not unintentionally create a kind of language and moral police. If we give in to this too much, then in my opinion the controversial debate, which must and should allow for different opinions, will die. In an open and pluralistic society, it is important to listen to opinions that differ from our own. We would have to develop the ability to understand the other person’s point of view. The fact is that no one is 100 percent right. There is some truth in the other person’s point of view that is worth listening to. Even if she comes from a different political camp.

You are considered a man with your own mind and a free spirit. Have you always been like this? I have never been streamlined, never followed the zeitgeist and the herd. That’s why I often felt and still feel out of place. I can’t really assign myself to a specific group of people and I had the feeling early on that I didn’t really belong anywhere. That stays with me to this day, but it’s not a bad thing. I think it’s nice when I meet up with good friends to exchange ideas – but I’m not specifically looking for sociability.

As a man who is very fitness-conscious, how do you deal with physically getting older? Basically, I find it fascinating how quickly it all happens. It felt like I was 35 yesterday and boom, I’m suddenly 51 today. I would be a fool to claim that I am still as strong and responsive as I was in my thirties and I am definitely noticing the physical aging. But it still doesn’t scare me.

When did you first accept yourself, despite all your weaknesses and quirks? Oh, I actually always thought I was good the way I was. (laughs) That never gave me any big problems. And if I didn’t like something about myself, I worked on it. I still do that today. However, I am amazed at the setbacks that I have to experience again and again. Then I believe that I have developed further and the next moment I don’t behave the way I actually intended.

What is the key to inner contentment for you? It would be good if we didn’t complicate and overload our lives even more. Unfortunately, there is a trend today for everything to be made incredibly complicated. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about your job, social life, nutrition, sport or language. All I can say is: keep it simple! This also ensures satisfaction in the long run.