Diane Kruger on National Treasure!
German beauty Diane Kruger is a modern day cross between Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard. In three short years she has gone from being a top model to a movie star and current "it" girl. However, all these labels have little effect on the smart level headed Kruger, for her the ride has just begun…
Everyone has a quirky Nicolas Cage story, what's yours?
Krueger: Do you have five hours? There are tons, have you interviewed him today already--he's really funny and a little eccentric and a little crazy. So there are tons--one day, for whatever reason, he decided to just speak in a Scottish accent all day, which drove everybody insane. You know, he's just funny, there are tons--if you would have seen him for example sing karaoke; you need to be there really to describe--funny things.
Talk about the karaoke, what's his stage presence?
Krueger: Pretty good. He looks like a rock star, he wears orange leopard skin pants, so that alone will stand out, and we rented those rooms where you actually have like a stage, and we had a band that would play the karaoke song, you really thought you were there, I thought I was there.
What were you wearing?
Krueger: I looked very plain next to him, that's for sure. We were all in jeans, but he dressed for the part. A true actor.
Was it a little nerve-wracking your first day on the set with Nicolas Cage?
Krueger: Yes, very much so, especially the screen test, I was very star-struck, I have to say.
Jerry said that Nic was actually intimidated by you.
Krueger: I know, I've heard that since yesterday and I wish it was true. I'm very glad to hear it actually, because that's a first. I think what happened is, I was really extremely star-struck and I didn't know if I was going to get the job, there were two other girls that were testing for the movie, and I've seen every single film he's ever been in. Three years ago I just started drama school and Adaptation was out, and here I was two years later in Hollywood screen-testing in this very surreal situation and I was terrified he would think I'm a terrible actress, so I couldn't even look him in the eye, and I was a little standoffish just because I wanted to make sure I didn't screw up my screen test, so maybe he thought I was odd.
Jerry said you were the one who came in and did this part seriously instead of doing it comedic.
Krueger: That's true, because I didn't see it as a comedic part because the situations she finds herself in are funny, but she's not the funny person, that's Justin or Nic to a certain extent.
Did you see the Declaration of Independence after getting the part?
Krueger: I'd never been to Washington or Philadelphia and obviously I had a lot of reading up to do as a European, which is really interesting, I lived in New York for many years and most of my friends actually are American, and so going to Washington and going to the Smithsonian and then actually going to see the Declaration of Independence, it really kind of moved me, because I do in a way feel like I'm a little bit American. I've lived and worked here most of my life. It was a pretty cool thing.
Did being a dancer help you with the stunts where you were hanging off the door?
Krueger: I was hanging off the door. Yes! Obviously the stunt lady did all the really dangerous stuff, but you still get banged up a lot. Trust me, I will not be the next Lara Croft, I had enough after one week I was like ‘Get me off this harness.' It's really tough; I have a whole other level of respect for stunt people.
Are you athletic in general?
Krueger: I thought I was, obviously I'm not.
Very few German actors are popular in Hollywood, are you a national hero in Germany now?
Krueger: So says my mom. I don't know. I really don't know. All these things are always a little surreal. I'm not interested to know if I'm a superstar in Germany or not, or if I'm going to be around here--I'm not going to try to work here like a maniac, all I want is to act, whether that means doing theatre in Poland or getting a great part in an Italian film, I really just want to show range as an actor.
Have you been back in Germany and seen a reaction?
Krueger: Yeah, I have been back. A few times, I've been getting awards in Germany, which is nice. Obviously, there's a lot of attention towards me right now.
Can you tell us which awards you've won?
Krueger: I got the Women's World Award, a very important award, actually it is…Mikhail Gorbachev is the chairman of that, and I got an award in Cannes for breakthrough talent, and I will be getting the Bambi Award this year in Germany. The Bambi is the most important award in Germany. It's like the German Oscar in a way. It's a really cute award; it's a Bambi, like a golden Bambi.
What are you doing right now?
Krueger: I'm doing a movie right now in Romania, which is a European film and it's a true story about World War I, how on Christmas Eve they laid down their weapons, and they buried their dead, and they played football in no-man's-land. It's a really beautiful project and I play an opera singer in German. It's called Merry Christmas. And I'm hoping to do this independent film for next year with Ed Harris, directed by Agnieszka Holland called Copying Beethoven. It's a French, English and German production, and it's really a true European film, the money comes from all three countries, all the actors are all Scottish, French and German, they all speak in their respective language like it was in those times. They are actually building a monument in the middle of France where that incident happened in memory of all the soldiers that fell, and Jacque Chirac, and Schroder and Tony Blair, if he's still in power, will come and come and have an inauguration, which is nice.
Who is directing it?
Krueger: The French director called Christian Carion.
And who are the actors?
Krueger: There's Gary Lewis Scottish, and two unknown Scottish actors. There's Daniel Bruhl that was in Goodbye Lenin! Benno Furmann, Guillaume Canet from the French side, and Dany Boon, but they are all famous in France. I'm not sure if you would know him.
How do you feel about being the new "it" girl?
Krueger: It's silly. What does that mean the new it girl. There's like a hundred girls behind me—in my back waiting to have their big break through. It's a silly label. I don't think I'm an ‘it' girl, or not, I didn't come here pursuing and trying to get a career. It just happened and I just want to do the work. I don't care what people say who I am, if I'm cool or hip or whatever. It's obviously a good position to be in because people want to meet you…But it's also really a dangerous things if girls, as quickly becoming a has been as well.
Is there anything you are not enjoying about becoming famous?
Krueger: Not really because I don't feel like I'm famous. I don't feel like I can't walk down the street anymore. No, I enjoy getting more offers. I enjoy, you know, what's bad about having sets of people come up to you and say ‘I like that film.' It's nice to go to a restaurant and have a nice table. So far I've been quite protected, also I've been at work, it's not like I feel it everyday and I don't really go to fabulous Hollywood parties.
With Justin Bartha being a new comer to this trio, did he ask you for any advice, and how was it working with him?
Krueger: He certainly didn't ask me advice. He would be giving free advice to me. He really had a difficult part because the comic relieve in a film when you film it, making a joke is funny three or four times and then it gets really annoying, you know so it's true, it's really difficult. And when I saw the film on Saturday I was immensely proud of him because I feel like he's a true scene stealer in a good sense. He is so funny and spot on, and I just think he—hopefully this movie will do a lot for him. I think he's a great actor.
Can you compare modeling to acting?
Krueger: Well it's certainly not intellectually very challenging. So it was a really great job to have as a young girl because it allowed me, first of all to live in cities, live in the world, move to Paris, move to New York. I learned some French. It gave financial independence at a very young age which put me through drama school when I finally decided to become an actor. I didn't have to work on the side, which is a huge luxury. And I really only have good things to say about it, honestly. It's obviously not something that I ever want to go back to, or that I thought was a very fulfilling time in my life, but I met incredible people, traveled the world, and I feel like that helps me in my acting. Just seeing the world and making experiences at a very young age that sort of fuels your character work.
A lot of actresses sign on to do commercial work for Revlon and such, how do you see this?
Krueger: But that's not modeling like having to strut the cat walk and do photo shoots six times a week. Yeah, I just signed with Lancôme. Sure, there's a lot of money to be made, and it's not like I make twenty million dollars a movie at this point. I might not never. There's nothing bad about modeling it's just that I don't want to be a model anymore. If I do something now my name would be associated with it, so I want to make sure it's quality brand or quality image or whatever.
Is it perfume you are promoting?
Krueger: Yes, I'm replacing Uma Thurman. You know what's really funny, she's going to do Louie Vuitton. Is that funny? We just switch.
What's your personal style?
Krueger: I do like to get, I like to look nice. Not at work, it's silly, but when I go out to dinner, sure. I like to wear heels and put a bit of blush on and look nice.
You sound pretty American, where did you learn English?
Krueger: Well, yeah, in New York and also being in ballet school. I was studying at the Royal Academy, so we had English teachers. And I have been working on it really hard. It is quite difficult to get that, because you really place your tongue differently and it's really frustrating, and you do feel like a moron. [In different intonations] Dear, dear, dearest, flat a, can't. It's hard work but I will get there one day.
Does it make acting harder because you are thinking about proper pronunciation?
Krueger: Not really because most of the time you do the work before and once, the difficult about dialect coaching once you are aware of what you are doing wrong because you don't really hear your own accent, and so once you're aware of it it's actually okay. You just don't do it anymore.
Dont't forget to also check out: National Treasure