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Diane Kruger recently provided insights into her diverse acting career, from her early beginnings to working alongside Hollywood’s A-listers and her latest project with renowned director David Cronenberg. At the Zurich Film Festival, she shared anecdotes, challenges, and triumphs from her fascinating journey in the film industry.
Kruger discussed her role in Cronenberg’s upcoming film, “The Shrouds,” which she believes might be the director’s most personal work yet. The film touches upon Cronenberg’s experiences and emotions surrounding the loss of his wife. Kruger confirmed that she will portray multiple roles in this thrilling project, revealing that the emotional weight of the story deeply affected both her and Cronenberg during filming.
As this year’s Golden Eye Award recipient at the Zurich Film Festival, Kruger also looked back on her early life. Growing up in Germany amid a challenging family situation, she ventured to Paris at the age of 15 to pursue a modeling career. She acknowledged that times were different then, as today, she wouldn’t permit her own daughter to embark on such a journey without a cellphone.
However, her foray into the world of cinema soon followed, with one of her initial roles alongside Dennis Hopper in “The Piano Player.” Kruger remarked on the speed of her rise in the industry, crediting Dennis Hopper for teaching her the basics of acting. But it was her role in Wolfgang Petersen’s epic “Troy” that truly propelled her into the spotlight.
Kruger recalled the immense scale of “Troy” and the media frenzy surrounding it. She described the chaotic atmosphere on set, with enormous sets and paparazzi helicopters hovering in anticipation of Brad Pitt. Unfortunately, the German press was unkind to her during this period, publishing harsh stories and even locating her estranged father. Feeling insecure and vulnerable during the Cannes premiere, Kruger was comforted by Brad Pitt, who extended his kindness and support.
She also shared a challenging audition experience for Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” in which she had to prove herself as an “authentically German” actress. Despite initial reluctance from the studio, Kruger was determined to secure the role. She flew to Germany at her own expense, learned extensive dialogue in both German and English, and impressed Tarantino with her commitment and talent.
Kruger praised Tarantino’s unique directorial approach, describing him as an actor’s champion who creates a supportive and encouraging atmosphere on set.
Comparing the film industries in France and the United States, Kruger noted the stark differences. In France, producers play a more substantial role in bringing a director’s vision to life, fostering a closer collaboration between the artistic and financial aspects of filmmaking. She emphasized that in America, the industry’s future is currently facing challenges, especially in terms of the gap between creative aspirations and corporate interests.
Despite her international success, Kruger highlighted the pivotal role she found in Germany, working with Fatih Akin on “In the Fade.” This collaboration resulted in her winning the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. She hinted at a potential reunion with Akin for a project centered around German icon Marlene Dietrich, whether as a series or a film.
Kruger concluded by expressing her emotional realization of the significant body of work she has amassed throughout her career, as she looked back on her achievements showcased at the Zurich Film Festival.