Hans Obma Lands Recurring Role on Better Call Saul (AMC)
UW-Madison graduate Hans Obma has recently booked a slew of foreign roles in Hollywood. Since 2017 he played Hungarian, French, German and Croatian characters on primetime television shows.
Obma is currently recurring as German-speaking “Adrian” on Better Call Saul (AMC), the acclaimed prequel to Breaking Bad.
“Foreign characters are a good way for me to combine joy and work,” said Obma, who took courses in Spanish, French and German while at UW-Madison. “I studied and traveled the last three summers in France, Germany and England. Each time I returned to book work playing characters from those countries.”
In early 2017, Obma played French war hero ‘Admiral de Grasse’ on TURN (AMC), a period piece about the American Revolution that starred Jamie Bell. Obma’s character spoke only French.
Later in 2017, Obma played German villain ‘Hans Mattis’ on NCIS: New Orleans (CBS). This year, he was named Outstanding Featured Actor by the LA Scene Awards for his portrayal of British ‘Christopher Wren’ in The Mousetrap at Crown City Theatre in Los Angeles.
Most frequently, Obma plays Eastern European or Russian characters. On Get Shorty (EPIX), Obma played ‘Farkas,’ a crooked Hungarian businessman. On The Resident (Fox), Obma played ‘Dobroslav Charmain,’ a Croatian patient diagnosed with Caudal Equine Syndrome. His first recurring primetime role was as ‘Gregor,’ a Czechoslovakian warlock on The Vampire Diaries (CW).
Obma’s first television and film characters were Russian in General Hospital (ABC) and Independence Day: Resurgence.
“People have thought I was Russian ever since Viggo Mortensen played ‘Nikolai’ in Eastern Promises,” Obma said. Like Mortensen, Obma is of Scandinavian descent, and casting directors have frequently noted the resemblance between the two actors.
Obma’s roots at UW-Madison run deep.
“On my dad’s side, I am a fourth generation Badger. My great-grandmother went to UW-Madison in the late 1800’s. My grandma and five of her sisters went here in the 20’s and 30’s. My dad went to undergrad and medical school here, and so did my sister Kari. My big sister Sarah went to UW for law school.”
Hans Obma (@hansobma) is on Twitter and Instagram.