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Film release of “Max and the Wilde 7 – The Ghost Grandma” with Uschi Glas |

In 2020, the children’s film “Max and the Wild 7”, shot in Hesse, became a box office hit. The crew returned for part two: the castles in Büdingen and Braunfels once again serve as the backdrop.

By Tamara Marszalkowski

It’s not as if there are no castles in Berlin and the surrounding area. For the second part of his children’s film series “Max and the Wild 7”, director Winfried Oelsner chose Hesse over his homeland again. Braunfels Castle (Lahn-Dill) and Büdingen Castle (Wetterau) would offer “the perfect filming conditions,” said Oelsner.

The first part from 2020 – one of the children’s film successes of the year with around 200,000 viewers – was filmed here. The interior shots for the sequel “The Ghost Grandma” were filmed in the fully furnished but uninhabited castle in Büdinger’s old town.

The picture shows Büdinger Castle, a former moated castle made of light sandstone and with a tower.

Braunfels Castle, on the other hand, was ideal because the large castle is very winding – and therefore perfect for the series about Max, who befriends the residents of a retirement home and solves criminal cases with them. “It’s really a fantastic motif in every respect,” says director Oelsner.

Uschi Glas plays Uschi Glas?

“When you see the castle, you don’t think it’s real,” says actress Uschi Glas. In the film, the 80-year-old plays Vera, a dazzling actress who has retired – and is always irritated when she is not recognized, for example in her role as Apanatschi in an old Winnetou film.

Uschi Glas stands in the room with a folder in his hands and looks annoyed

The parallels to Uschi Glas’s career seem obvious. But there are no similarities, she says – “except that I really like the character and enjoy portraying her.” Glas is far from thinking about retiring. For her, her social commitment and acting are her “elixir of life”.

But she gave the character Vera a personal touch and a subtle similarity to her American interior designer and style icon Iris died at the beginning of March Apple awarded. “She was a role model for me,” said the 80-year-old. “Such an exalted and emancipated woman.” The allusion to apple was like a little wink to her.

Old meets young on set

For “Max and the Wild 7,” particularly young and particularly old actors are in front of the camera. But there were no problems, says Oelsner – apart from the organizational challenges of filming with children. They are only allowed to be in front of the camera for three hours a day. The seniors were so fit that there was no need to worry at all.

All three main actors have more than 50 years of film experience. This didn’t intimidate the child actors – quite the opposite. The atmosphere on the set of the fictional retirement home “Burg Geroldseck” was “always good,” says Frankfurter Lucas Herzog, who plays the main character Max.

He wasn’t particularly excited about filming with such famous and experienced actors. “You could definitely learn things from them,” says the 13-year-old.

Two seniors and a boy sit on a sofa while a senior gesticulates wildly in front of them

Generations learn from each other

In his role as Max, he also learns a lot from the residents in the retirement home – things that as a child you might not always learn from your parents or grandparents, says director Oelsner. “The wild 7 helps him develop self-confidence and stand up for himself.”

Actress Uschi Glas also sees cross-generational issues as a special opportunity for society. The “Brotzeit” association she founded has been providing children at primary and special schools with increased support needs with a school breakfast for 15 years – prepared by senior citizens.

The children and the elderly would give something to each other. “Seniors are sometimes a worry box for the children. They then pour out their worries,” says Glas. “For me, this is also an example of how well things can work.”

Bird's eye view of Braunfels Castle

Film wants to build bridges

Winfried Oelsner also thinks that young and old benefit from each other. The young could provide a perspective of activity and a look forward, the old could support the young with life experience and advice and support.

“There is a lot of potential that is not always used,” said the director. “And if our film helps to build a small bridge, I would be very happy.”

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Editorial staff: Anna Lisa Lüft

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