Did Walt Disney actually like children

Beni Weber: "I wanted to be liked!"

We can reach you in your place of residence in Tyrol, which is under quarantine due to the Corona crisis. As a long-time tinkerer of the nation in the art and handicraft show "Art Attack" you shouldn't run out of employment ideas for your two children so quickly ...

Absolutely right. The concept of the program was to use scissors, paint, glue and other handicraft tools to create original "works of art" from everyday objects such as cornflakes boxes or milk cartons. What was indispensable - currently - empty toilet paper rolls.

You are a presenter, actor, voice actor, producer and book author. Have you been such a jack-of-all-trades as a child?

Not really. I've never been to a theater company or anything. But from an early age I was someone who put everyone in a good mood. But I didn't make a monkey of myself to get attention and laughter on my side.

So not a class clown who compensates for his poor school performance?

I've always been a "good enough" student. Everything went smoothly in elementary school. I then switched to Käthe-Kollwitz, a modern-language grammar school in Munich, where my sister, four and a half years older, was. French was my first foreign language, which I liked more than Latin. I developed my tactics quite early on: watch out in class, then I don't have to study anything at home and don't give up more of my free time than necessary.

What were you doing so valuable in your free time?

I spent almost every free minute on the tennis court. At TC Blutenburg I played in the team up to the Bavarian Championships. However, I did not feel called or empowered to do anything higher. I just had a lot of fun with tennis. I mostly did my homework on the bus on the way to school.

And the calculation of paying attention in class worked out smoothly?

Amazingly, yes. I was able to assess the effort I had to make in order not to end up in the grade danger zone. To my astonishment, this worked equally well in all subjects. Since I had neither pronounced strengths nor weaknesses, I chose, for example, advanced course geography because of the cool teacher.

Did you excel in the school business, for example as a class representative?

I had no ambition to do that. But with my general need for harmony, I always tried to contribute to the good class atmosphere. I was more of the mediator than the leader. Admittedly, it was always important to me to be liked by my classmates.

When it came to graduation: Did your career aspiration already go in the direction of moderation, film and television?

Not at all. My Abi grade point average of 2.1 was enough for a law degree, which I then began. But I quickly realized that I couldn't develop any passion for the subject. Jura was too dry for me, too little alive. I had already flirted with an abortion when a fellow student asked me to accompany her to a casting. At the beginning everything was still very secret, later it turned out that it was about the "Disney Club" in the ARD. There were 6,000 applicants - and me. And because I was probably neither prepared nor excited, I was chosen in the end.

That was the beginning of a steep career as "Mister Disney". Did you know beforehand that you can be so good with children?

With a sister who was twelve years younger than me, I already had the ideal "test child". Yes, I like children, I love their enthusiasm, their honesty and their honesty. Interacting with child candidates is a lot of fun for me, and I've always done everything to make the kids feel comfortable in my environment. I think the children notice that I take them seriously and that I don't pretend nice Beni to them. Don't let them be fooled.

Author: Brigitte von Imhof