Thorsten Merten

German-born actor Thorsten Merten has proved to be a prolific performer in film and television since his screen debut in the politically fueled comedy "Stilles Land" in 1992. His career as a professional actor, however, began in theater after training at The Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. His unquestionable onstage charisma landed him work at such prestigious theaters as the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin in Germany and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in Switzerland. Throughout the 1990s, Merten focused almost entirely on theatrical productions, but in 2002 he returned to cinemas in force with the award-winning drama "Grill Point." In the film--which is written and directed by renowned German auteur Andreas Dresen--Merten plays an unfaithful radio disc jockey who gets caught by his wife in flagrante delicto with his best friend's better half, kicking off a daring exploration of marriage and friendship. For their portrayals, he and his co-stars were honored with the Silver Hugo for Best Ensemble at the Chicago International Film Festival. Ultimately, it was "Grill Point" that jumpstarted Merten's stalled screen-acting career. Since its premiere, he has gone on to appear in more than 60 film and television productions, including the acclaimed German drama "I've Never Been Happier," in which he played a liberal advertising executive.