Cannes 2023: Sandra Hüller, actress on the alert

May 25, 2023 by No Comments

She seems both focused and distant, as if on her guard. During her interview with The cross in Cannes, Sandra Hüller was delighted with the attention given to her, while seeming to find it disproportionate.

Noticed and remarkable in two feature films in official competition, she plays two women who could not be more different: the ambiguous Sandra, a renowned writer, accused of having caused the fall of her husband from the roof of their chalet, in Anatomy of a fallJustine Triet’s trial film, and the chilling Hedwig, who spends happy days in the pavilion adjoining the Auschwitz camp run by her husband, Major Rudolf Höss, in The Zone of Interesthistorical essay by Jonathan Glazer.

Composition roles that say a lot about her personality as an actress. What separates the two characters is the level of self-awareness, Hedwig Höss is filled with hate and greed. She knows nothing about herself, her feelings, the reasons that lead her to act in this way. She lives in denial.” Sandra Hüller analysis.

“Sandra knows exactly what she is doing and why. She accepts her complexity and that of the world, she knows her limits. I admire him because the older I get, the more I realize that it’s impossible to do everything perfectly. But we try anyway, it’s human nature. »

Characters like “old friends”

This character, very adult, interests her a lot, because she often says she is confined to “immature characters”. “I got into theater at school because I like trying to understand how people work and what makes them up. »

Winner of a Silver Bear in 2006 for the role of a student who feels possessed in Requiemshe was discovered by the general public in 2016 with Toni Erdman, irresistible goofy comedy by Maren Ade. She slips into the skin of Inès, an austere consultant who finds a semblance of humanity in contact with her whimsical father.

“With Maren Ade, I found another way of working, which allowed mistakes, did not seek solutions but different things. I loved Inès as I love Sandra. All these characters we play are like people we get to know, they are meant to stay, like old friends. »

A difficult but thoughtful and political decision

His approach to The Zone of Interest was quite different. Like every actor, I look for something in common with the character, a feeling, a musical taste, etc. With Hedwig Höss, I refused to give him anything of my personality. To embody her, I found a technical solution: to work a lot with the body, as she had many children and does a lot of gardening. She tries to be elegant, but she can’t, she walks as if her feet are anchored in the ground. »

It was not painful to play this role, but the decision was difficult and carefully considered for the one who was born in 1971 in East Germany. “The weight of the past weighs on my shoulders. I felt it very strongly when we were shooting in Auschwitz, but I think about it every day. My country is not free from certain dangerous tendencies. We have to be aware of this and on the alert,” said Sandra Hüller gravely, still on her guard.



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