Stuttgart-born actress Nina Hoss could easily be filed under German actors you didn’t know you already know. Fans of the hit political television drama Homeland may recognize her as Astrid. Hoss has appeared in several episodes of the show as a German embassy worker and Peter Quinn’s former flame.
Or perhaps you may know her from the big screen in A Most Wanted Man where she worked alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and fellow German Daniel Brühl. But her talents are not merely limited to acting. Hoss collaborated in 2014 with the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers on their track “Europa geht durch mich” off their album Futurology.
But this month we’re getting to know Nina Hoss for her remarkable acting. Hoss has starring roles in some films that are interesting, intruiging, and great for learning German. I’m highlighting three of Hoss’ films: A Girl Called Rosemarie (Das Mädchen Rosemarie), The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen), and Jerichow!
Get to Know Nina Hoss
Nina Hoss was born on July 7, 1975, in Stuttgart. Her mother was an actress at the city’s national theater while her father was a trade unionist and politician for The Greens.
She got her start in acting at an early age. First, in radio productions before progressing to the stage — all before she was barely in her teens. Later, she studied at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. And before she had even graduated, she had already started to attract attention with her performance in A Girl Called Rosemary.
A Girl Called Rosemarie (Das Mädchen Rosemarie)
Bernd Eichinger was a famed producer who, before his death in 2011, worked on big American films like Resident Evil and Fantastic Four as well as large German films like Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex. He also has several directing credits to his name including the 1996 made for German television film A Girl Called Rosemarie (known in the German language as Das Mädchen Rosemarie).
In the film, based rather loosely on actual people and events, Hoss stars as the title character. Set in 1950s Germany, Rosemarie is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and live a luxurious lifestyle, even if that means prostitution. When she’s found dead, there is no shortage of potential suspects in her former lovers.
The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen)
The Elementary Particles features an all-star cast including the likes of Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Ulmen, Martina Gedeck, Franka Potente, and, yes, Nina Hoss. The film is based on Michel Houellebecq’s book Les Particules élémentaires and is directed by Oskar Roehler.
The film focuses on two half-brothers that couldn’t be more different. One is a nerdy, socially awkward molecular biologist (Ulmen) and the other has a sex addiction (Bleibtreu). Life changes for both brothers when they connect with special women (Potente and Gedeck). It’s a heavy, graphic film that may not be for all viewers. Hoss portrays the brothers’ free-spirited mother. She appears in flashbacks to their difficult childhoods.
This film is based partially on the James M. Cain novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. Jerichow follows Benno Fürmann as Thomas, an Afghan War veteran who is a bit of a loner and a man of not many words.
While back home for his mother’s funeral, he settles down in the quiet town. Shortly thereafter he meets Ali, the owner of a chain of snack bars. Ali is currently without a driver’s license due to some alcohol-related offenses. Thomas quickly becomes Ali’s driver and, thereafter, begins an affair with Ali’s wife, Laura (portrayed by Hoss). They’re playing with a dangerous secret, especially considering that Ali’s not shy about abusing his wife.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.