What are some failed actor-actress stories

Interview with actress Laura Tonke : "I stared at the phone that didn't ring"

Ms. Tonke, in your new film you play a failed actress ...

... no, she actually enjoys her job. She speaks the voice of a cartoon traffic light in traffic education clips. The negative evaluation comes in from the other girls who also want to be actors and say: “No, I don't really want to do synchronous work.” These are moments that you have to endure again and again. When you are watching television and it says: “I don't find television that good somehow.” When I started, I was also able to be idealistic because in Berlin in the 90s you didn't need money - and if you did, you had it I just got a roommate.

But everyone complains about German television. Do you think it's good?

No idea. My television is in the basement. There was a time when I was fascinated by trash television: the before and after shows, the Super Nanny. I was interested in the people in it, as factual as the scenes were. I was downright addicted to it, but that was ten years ago.

Charlotte Roche described her addiction to series that can be consumed for hours on streaming platforms. Are you prone to it too?

No. Every now and then I take a look to see how the 20-year-olds play today. There are also generational changes in the game. For years I was that girl who made people wonder, “How can you be an actress? Can't move, have no body tension, can't speak. ”I always found that good. I already had the confidence.

Laura Tonke

Laura Tonke, 44, has an almost 30-year acting career behind her: At 15, she was discovered in the playground of the Sophie Scholl School in Schöneberg for the award-winning turnaround drama "Ostkreuz" by Michael Klier. Although she continued to play under well-known directors such as Dominik Graf in “Bittere Innschuld” or Tom Tykwer in “Winter Sleeper”, she repeatedly quarreled with the acting profession, which she felt was too little self-determined. Tonke, who has never attended drama school, made her theatrical debut in Frank Castorf's production "Forever Young" at the Volksbühne. In 2007 Tonke became a member of the German-British performance collective Gob Squad. In 2016 she received the German film award for best leading actress for "Hedi Schneider steckt stuck" and for best supporting actress in "defective copy". She is the first actress in the history of the award to achieve this. She has been in the cinema since Thursday in “Two in the Wrong Film”, a comedy in which she and Marc Hosemann play a couple in his 40s who have lost their love.
Tonke lives in Berlin and has a son.

You have never attended an acting school.

Because the training there is geared towards the theater. I was not interested in that. I felt sorry for theater actors. Because they weren't at the movie. The poor! Today I see it differently.

Is intelligence important to be a good actress?

I think so, but stupidity can also help. There are very good stupid actors - what a fucking headline! Sometimes they have a different ease.

The actress Sunnyi Melles once said that shame is always part of your job ...

... totally! In concrete terms, my aim is to overcome certain limits, and these are actually always limits of shame. It starts with the shame of screaming out loud, in such a way that it doesn't sound stupid. Once it would have been good, I would have tried it at home. But I didn't do that back then.

So that the neighbors don't run together?

No, the idea never occurred to me. For my first film, the director Michael Klier told me not to read the script if possible. So that everything sounds fresh. It took a couple of years before I understood that it is really good to learn your text beforehand: that it does not take anything away from me of my naturalness. You break into a sweat if you don't say your passages correctly for the tenth time and a scene has to be repeated. This is super stupid for everyone involved.

There is a violent sex scene in your new film. Is that the highest level of embarrassment?

No. I must have found a scene like this difficult the first time, but honestly I forgot. This time Marc Hosemann was my partner. I also played theater with him. He's almost like a friend. Suddenly I thought: Maybe Marc is embarrassed? On set, you always pretend that the woman is the one who is uncomfortable with a sex scene, and the man is never.


According to the motto: “Laura needs a bathrobe, Laura needs a bathrobe!” And Marc, he doesn't need a bathrobe. It's just his ass. Whether the situation becomes uncomfortable has a lot to do with the director. In that case it was Laura Lackmann, and she is generally much less ashamed than I am. That rubs off. When a director is uptight, it's awful.

Since #MeToo we have often talked about the opposite case: directors who suddenly come out of hotel bathrooms naked, completely uninhibited ...

… No. Men who think that from their position of power they can do things that they cannot do in a good way - those are uptight for me.

If you google you, you get some hits with headings like "Laura Tonke Breasts". Aren't these also cases of #MeToo?

These are these porn sites cannibalizing movies. I don't really care because the pictures aren't private. It's funny, it's scenes from total off-off productions: hardly any budget or viewers. At least that's how the three porn site creators watched these films. Isn't that something? Then you saw a nice Berlin school film.

You are still considered an independent actress to this day. Do you like the label?

It's rather the other way around: I'm not at home in any particular branch of film, which doesn't mean that I don't want to appear there. I would like to play in “Fack Ju Göhte 4”.

It is said that you were discovered at the age of 15 in the playground of the Sophie Scholl School in Schöneberg.

I was standing in the corner with my girlfriend when a woman came up to me and asked me to do test shots. That's what it was called back then. They collected my girlfriend right away. Back then they combed everything and cast 500 girls. For three or four weeks I went to the production office to audition every day until I got the role.

Nothing brings prestige to a teenager.

At first I also thought: I'm sure everyone is impressed. But nobody was interested. My first film “Ostkreuz” wasn't in any way any kind of blockbuster.

The film won a number of awards for this, and it got very good reviews. In an interview you once said that at the time you thought you were a superstar at 18, at 20 you no longer knew what to do with your money, and at 21 you would create a perfume.
I just wanted to express my expectation that things would keep going uphill. It was also possible. I shot with Tom Tykwer, Dominik Graf. But in between there were times when I would sit at home and stare at my phone that didn't ring.

That was before the cell phone era.

Yes, at that time those faxes were still coming from the agency, on which was written in craquelure: Call us back! Then I was in a state of excitement. Film acting can be very passive. You are dependent on the caster. And from the director or the producer who say: “No, not. She doesn't have a Sat 1 face. ”Or whatever else I got to hear all the time:“ She's too blonde, too sad, too thin, too fat. ”

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