Interview with Martina Schöne-Radunski
How did you get involved in the project?
Philipp saw me in the film Kaptn Oskar (2013) by director Tom Lass where I portrayed a somewhat dark spirited ex-girlfriend that tries and partially succeeds in taking back control over her struggling boyfriend. At that time I was under way being typecast for parts of wild rebellious women - which I enjoy. I love playing villain-ish characters. But Philipp was and continues to be interested in casting roles with actors contrary to their established repertoire. And so he thought it'd be interesting to show me as a tenderer, softer human being.
The first time we met was at a coffee takeaway in a metro station. He gave me the script, which at that stage consisted of 6 pages. He asked me to read it while he took a stroll around the train station. When he returned, he asked me whether I was interested in playing Luca.
What did attract you of the character?
I was attracted by the idea of playing someone who is very different from my private self, and which widened my spectrum as an actress. Every actor is interested in serving a wide range of characters. Luca is a character that is very close to reality. We all know someone like her. Sometimes it hurts seeing a friend not being able to resolve or cope with a difficult situation. The film asks to put a little bit of trust into these seemingly 'hopeless cases' like Luca. To allow them some space to self-help.
What of your personality did you use for Luca?
The story starts when Luca is standing at a pathway: Will she retreat back into depression or be able to continue her path, finishing her education? I, without doubt, like certainly every human being, face moments of doubt and lack of prospect. Especially by being engaged with the acting profession. So this is not strange to me. People shouldn't see 'doubt' as a negative thing. It means that you're looking for something new. Nevertheless, I feel very different from Luca. When we started filming, Philipp had to put me in the right mood before the scenes, extracting my energy. After seven days of shooting, Luca had established within myself. After completing the shoot, it took long to shake her off.
Luca's story is the same of many youngsters who face the transition between being kids and adults. How difficult do you think that evolution can be in a country like Germany?
I was a grade A student until I was 15 and thought I knew it all. I was really into Marilyn Manson and some of my teachers took that as a proof for my being an 'evil person', which they let me know in my face. Back then I was hurt and couldn't resolve the situation for myself. I felt alienated from my countryside teenage life. I hated living in the little village (population 1,500) where I was born, where nobody knew about nothing and defended their close-mindedness with being from the countryside.
After I moved out at the age of 16 I visited a lot of different schools, changed universities, and places in general. I felt restless, but determined. This restlessness stuck with me for a long time.
Luca and I are both late bloomers. Being a late bloomer is something that is becoming 'normal' these days. Not being sure what our place in life is, what to do, but with a lot of competitors around. It's nihilism that is not an ideology anymore but has turned into an everyday reality. It creates a prolonged youth. Expectations are high and create disorientation. Intuition is something you will lose along the way and will want to regain once you understood that you lost it.
Also in the story, it is hard for Luca to feel like an equal human being to her mother while still being observed and assessed by her, at the age of 26! Who would she become if her mother wasn’t there? But obviously Luca also doesn't care too much what her mother thinks. She takes what she needs and tries to maintain her distance, something she really had to fight for in the past, seeing her mother witnessed her years of depression.
After a year of the film's release, is there something you think you would do different now on the movie?
Of course there are some scenes that I would do different now, but I guess that's detail work. The film expresses what it was intended to be with or without those details.
As a young actress, what does it mean that a film you had the lead role will be broadcast in places as remote as Colombia or Guatemala?
I think this film speaks a lot to the parent generation of those born in the late 80s and 90s. The problems that Luca and subsequently her environment face are globally known of. To know that my acting will be seen in parts of the world that I have never been to is extra exciting. I really hope people will like it and I am curious about the feedback.
Are you working on any projects at the moment? Can you tell us something about them?
We just finished shooting another 'Eichholtz Feature' a week ago. A very different story and the opposite of what Luca represents. But with Philipp's way of discussing conflicts: with love and sympathy for his characters.
Another film that I recently shot is Sowas Von Da by director Jakob Lass.
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