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LOLs with Haneke: I confess to the director about creating his cat-lover Twitter parody

Oscar-winner Michael Haneke can be as tough to interview as his films can be to watch. So what happened when our writer admitted to being the creator of a parody Twitter account that turned him into a tween-talking cat-lover?

There are a number of reasons to be nervous about interviewing Michael Haneke. The 75-year-old Oscar-winner has carved out a career filled with severity, from the cold-blooded torture of Funny Games to the sadomasochistic psychology of The Piano Teacher, to the bleak account of fascism in The White Ribbon. The Austrian’s off-screen persona has often been similarly austere: he’s painted as evasive, difficult and uncooperative.

But there was an added reason for my trepidation. In 2012, I launched a parody Twitter account in Haneke’s name. It was an extended joke that reimagined the director as a tween-talking, cat-loving, remarkably petty figure, who spent his time insulting Terrence Malick and bragging about his two Palmes d’Or. He ended every tweet with “lol.” It attracted tens of thousands of followers and Haneke was even interviewed about it. “I tried to read some of the posts, but my English isn’t good enough,” he said. “I’m really not interested in what he’s writing, but I’m fascinated by the fact that 25,000 people have subscribed to this feed of nonsense!”

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