Close-up: An Interview with Paula Beer

Q: You will play Marie in Christian Petzold’s film Transit. From the trailers, Marie appears to be a mysterious figure. Can you tell us anything about her and your experience playing her?

A: MARIE is a lost character. She had to flee from her hometown and she left her husband. Now she is in a new city searching for nothing else but her ‘old’ live. She wants her husband, her life and her feelings within that back. She is always running, hoping to finally find him. So she simply has no time to realise the facts, to rest in the present. She is lost somewhere between past and future.

Q: To play such a character was a big challenge. How do you understand a character that is so confused?

A: BY watching movies Christian Petzold suggested and talking with him about the whole story helped me a lot during the preparation.

Q: What were your experiences working with director Christian Petzold and Franz Rogowski (Victoria)?

A: CHRISTIAN Petzold is the most organized director I know. He has a huge knowledge about movies and storytelling. We always had a lot of time to rehearse scenes, talk about them, so shooting with him is just great

Franz Rogowski is a great colleague and actor to work with. He is a very physical actor – he explores the setting, the language and his character in every minute. Working with someone like that is just inspiring.

paul beer transit

Q: Transit has ties to World War Two and you will soon be in a Cold War setting for the film Werk Ohne Autor. Are you drawn to period pieces?

A: TRANSIT takes place in a Transit-time. It is a story from 1940 which takes place nowadays. It may seem historical, but we were shooting in the actual Marseille, not in a studio. All costumes were new. So it is an old and modern story at the same time. I am not drawn to period pieces. I have played an investment banker in the series Bad Banks.

It just seems that the period movies I have done are more known then the other ones.

Q: Your character on Bad Bank is a female looking to succeed in male-driven world of finance. Have you had to overcome similar battles in your career as an actor?

A: I NEVER had the feeling I needed to fight against someone. There are different ways to deal with concurrence and your will for success and power. Jana has a strong will to succeed and to be powerful and she is fighting for it. I am a totally different person.

Q: 2016’s Frantz was a critical success and a success for you personally. How do you reflect on the film?

A: FRANTZ was my first experience working with a French director and of course the character Anna was a completely new experience. It might be the project that challenged me the most and I learned a lot during the shooting – and later when the movie was released.

paula beer frantz

Q: What are your ambitions for the future and is there anyone in particular that you are keen to work with?

A: CREATING interesting characters and being part of interesting stories. I think you can just decide to work with someone if it is based on a personal understanding and if you want to spend the next four months together.

Q: Lastly, do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

A: CURRENTLY I do not have any upcoming projects. I am curious as to what will happen next.

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