We live in an age of instant gratification by way of binge-watching. Films sometimes skip theater releases and an entire season of a television series can be consumed in a single day. But certain actors and actresses, like Sandra Hüller, have their roots in community theater. They came from the theater and, even once they are established in films and television, they remain loyal to the theater.
But do not get the wrong idea. In addition to Sandra Hüller being a prolific actress, she is also a legitimate star on both the stage and the screen. So this month, let’s practice German and get to know this remarkable actress by studying some of the films starring Sandra Hüller.
Get to Know Sandra Hüller
Sandra Hüller was born on April 30, 1978, in what was then East Germany. She grew up in the German state of Thuringia.
As a student, she was already involved in acting. Hüller took theater courses and workshops. She then dedicated herself to acting by enrolling at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin.
Following her education, she got involved with theater. And her theatric resume is lengthy. First, she was part of the ensemble in the city of Jena and then in Leipzig. Roles in cities such as Basel, Munich, and Bochum followed.
In those early years of her career, her focus was mostly — but not wholly — on theater. Hüller had roles in a few short films. Her first big film role came in 2006’s Requiem. The performance won her much critical acclaim, including a coveted Silver Bear award for best actress at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The 2013 film Finsterworld from Frauke Finsterwalder is a drama told by an ensemble cast.
Set in Germany, the story weaves together twelve seemingly normal people who happen to have a secret side that most of us would keep secret from others. Among the group are a documentary filmmaker (portrayed by Hüller) who is struggling to find something to document, a policeman (portrayed by Ronald Zehrfeld) who likes to wear an animal costume, and three generations of the same family.
The film was co-written by Finsterwalder and Swiss author Christian Kracht, who just so happens to be her husband.
Toni Erdmann received much critical acclaim upon its release in 2016, including being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
Written and directed by Maren Ade, the comedy-drama film tells the story of Winfred (portrayed by Peter Simonischek), a father who wants to mend the past and reconnect with his workaholic daughter, Ines (portrayed by Hüller).
But in order to get some of her time, he reinvents himself as Toni Erdmann. Adopting a rather unsophisticated costume, Erdmann claims to be the life coach of Ines’ boss.
In the Aisles
The film is set in a new grocery store in an Eastern German city. It is there that a quiet man named Christian (portrayed by Franz Rogowski) works restocking the shelves for a difficult boss (portrayed by Peter Kurth). But it is another employee, Marion (portrayed by Sandra Hüller), who catches Christian’s eye.
Rumors of Marion being in an abusive marriage do nothing to deter or dissuade Christian’s desire. But, the shy man struggles to express his feelings despite repeated attempts.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo by Christian Hüller, courtesy of Agentur Schneider. This post contains affiliate links.