Conrad Veidt, 1929. Photo by Edward Steichen.
“I had been longing to get my hands on Conrad Veidt ever since he came to England. He was such an overpowering personality that directors were afraid of him. He was tall, over six foot two inches, lean and bony. He had magnetic blue eyes, black hair and eyebrows, beautiful, strong hands, and a mouth with sardonic, not to say satanic, lines to it. He used an eye-glass. He was the show-off of all time. In private life, as I was to discover, he was the sweetest and most easy of human beings.
…Conrad Veidt was seated alone at a table by the window drinking coffee when Emeric [Pressburger] and I arrived at the studio restaurant. Emeric and I exchanged a glance. This magnificent animal was reserved for us. I went over and stood at his table. He looked up and I got the full impact of those deep blue eyes under black brows.
I said: ‘Mr Veidt, my name is Michael Powell. Alexander Korda has told me that we are to work together on ‘The Spy in Black’.’
He said: ‘Ye-e-e-s.’ Pumas purr like that.”
-Michael Powell on meeting Veidt (excerpted from Powell’s A Life in Movies: An Autobiography)