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GFQ 1_2013

GFQ 1-2013 10 We meet at Berlin’s main railway station after an exchange of emails and text messages. It’s not the ideal location, but Rosendahl is on her way home after a busy but fun day’s post- production sound work and has ninety minutes till her train goes. So the food court it is then! “LORE is my big milestone,” Rosendahl explain. “Before that I had a very small role in FÜR ELISE. I got the part after a long process, which started with an online casting. After that came a casting at the agency, then I met Cate during my coaching and the next one was where the final decision was made. There were still five girls left in the race. We had an eight-hour casting day, at the end of which we did an improvised scene from the script and then, honestly, I cannot remember what happened! After the scene I looked up and they were all crying!” This kind of story could so easily be part of an experienced actress’ official PR-biography from an agency, an anecdote trotted out, doubtless embellished over time, to showcase her- self in the best possible light. With Saskia Rosendahl, a young woman only just starting out and still very much finding her way, though, you know it’s the truth. You ask, she thinks a bit and then answers. Full, honest and open ones. “’You’ve got the plot!’ they told me,” Rosendahl continues, “or maybe it was ‘You’ve got the part’?” she asks herself rhetori- cally, almost as if she still cannot believe it. “I was up against experienced actors! But Cate was looking for unknown faces and I was the only one with no experience. I can’t really say how or why I got the part! I’ve not learned the ropes of acting so I went by instinct.” Some instinct! Because Rosendahl turns in a towering perfor- mance as the titular LORE who discovers for herself that war, the Second World War, really is hell. If you have seen the film you understand why writer-director Cate Shortland wanted an unknown and, moreover, one whose own experience of filming this hard hitting story would also convey the transformation of the lead character. “I got the script just one day before the big casting,” Rosendahl explains. “I read it at night and then went into the casting. I was lucky, I think, not to have so much preparation time. Cate went through the script with me and we also had an acting coach, which was very important. I wasn’t alone!” Given the usual progression of young actors, Rosendahl kicked off with some hardcore stuff, “Which was good,” she says, “so I threw myself into it. It was hard because I had no personal ex- perience of what LORE goes through.” Thank heavens for that, because LORE really does go through the wringer. So how did she tackle the character? “I went for LORE’s feelings,” Rosen- dahl explains. “As preparation I watched documentaries to get her environment, the Hitler Youth for girls, for example. I also read various books and my dialogue with Cate too.” During the actual shooting, Rosendahl continues, “We went through things before every scene. I was able to develop with the role, which was very important for me as an inexperienced actor. It was really our close teamwork, Cate and me, together with the acting coach, Hanne Wolharn. We did very solid groundwork. I looked for similar things in my experience to bring out similar feelings. I remembered what my great-grand- mother told me of what she had experienced, and I also found other situations that brought out the right feelings.” Her Shooting Star status “came out of the blue! Until now I’ve only really ever been interested in the Berlinale, in that I was curious, but I didn’t know about the nomination or the process, so I am very happy about this. It was a huge surprise, a great recognition.” A SHOOTING STAR WITH HER FEET ON THEGROUND A portrait of actress Saskia Rosendahl ACTRESS PORTRAIT SaskiaRosendahl(photo©PeterHartwig) S.10-11_Saskia Rosendahl_Layout 1 25.01.13 09:40 Seite 1