Actress Anne-Catrin Märzke arrives on Close-up Culture to talk about her recent projects.
Q: ‘Address Unknown’ (‘Empfänger Unbekannt’) comes to the Theater unterm Dach in Berlin on 30 and 31 March. Why you feel this story is relevant in 2019?
A: As we can see from current events, history lessons should be top priority in schools.
I have brought the project Address Unknown – written by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor – on stage to tell the story of the politically deranged friendship between Max, Gisela and Martin in the 1930s. An exchange of letters between two friends: a German Jew living in San Francisco and his former business partner and friend who returns to his native Germany. Everything changes when Hitler rises to power in 1933.
In a time where social division and political unrest is increasing, Address Unknown tells a story of the power and danger of words like no other has before.
Q: I believe you went on a reading tour last year to show the play at schools and on smaller stages. How did audiences – particularly young people – respond to this story?
A: Our performances received excellent feedback. People noticed that there are still many similarities between the past and present, and that there are no real winners in a war.
Different audiences interpret the play in different ways. In schools, for example, the students discuss more about the friendship between Max and Martin instead of focusing on the political meaning of the book.
Q: You play two roles in the show: Gisela and Max. How have you found that challenge?
A: Address Unknown has been my favourite book for a long time now. It is world-class literature that hasn’t lost any of its relevance despite having its 80th anniversary this year.
This reading is very special for me because I am playing a double role: there is Max, a Jewish bachelor from San Francisco and his sister Gisela, a young aspiring actress from Vienna. But the moralistic aspect also intrigued me. Education is the key to preventing history from repeating itself.
Q: I understand you have been performing from a young age. What do you love about being on stage?
A: I grew up in the theatre and when your entire life revolves around this profession, the logical consequence for me was to become an actress. It feels like my calling.
Q: You also play Nurse Jacky in the upcoming feature film ‘Adventures Of A Mathematician’. What can you tell us about your experience playing Jacky?
A: Adventures Of A Mathematician is an international feature film that is describes the events around Stan Ulam that led to the invention of the hydrogen bomb.
I was thrilled to take part in a period piece because it allowed me to step into a century when my grandparents were teenagers, to wear the fabulous fashion from the 40s and to drive around in classic automobiles.
Q: ‘Ruthless (‘Skrupellos – Im Netz Der Macht’) is also now out on DVD. What is this story about?
A: Ruthless is an exciting thriller set in Berlin which tells the story of Carla, a journalist, and Max, her ex-boyfriend.
Max is a high successful ex-journalist thrown into the barbaric intrigues of a private bank, whose vile activities he has seen through for a while. His rigorous investigations cost him his previous job, so that now he can only get hired to write for automobile magazines.
When a young autistic boy appears on his doorstep, Max gets the chance restart his investigations. And to carry them out together with his colleague and former lover, Carla. It leads them to reveal the truth and to ensure justice…
Q: What is next for you and what do you want to achieve in the future?
A: I’m currently working on my own feature film with a fantastic group of Berlin filmmakers.
And I would love if vegetarian and vegan restaurants became the majority in the future, that play streets become fashionable again and that the Land Der Tiere from my home state of Mecklenburg, Western Pomerania – a farm for animals that have been saved from feedlots or have been brought here by struggling owners – will be present in every federal state.
Photo by Uwe Eichenberg