Thanks to films such as The Wall, The Baader-Meinhoff Complex and The Lives of Others, Martina Gedeck is one of the most important German actresses of our time who also has a lot of love. for arthouse cinema. Also, “Silent Trabants” directed by Thomas Stuber is not a blockbuster at all. This is a quiet and intense film about people from the lower strata of society who struggle with their loneliness and a pronounced lack of love and intimacy.
In an interview with ntv.de, Martina Gedek explains, among other things, what she likes about this poetic material and how she prepared for physically and mentally intimate scenes with her partner Nastassja Kinski.
ntv.de: Ms Gedek, did you already know the stories by Clemens Meyer on which the film is based when the request came?
Martina Gedek: No, I only read the book later and, to be honest, I had no idea how it all ended up. When the script arrived, I saw that everything turned out very well. I found it exciting how he moves from one character to another and they all revolve around each other.
What are you interested in in the project? What should he bring with him for you to accept him?
In general, it always has something to do with what the movie is about. Is it something that I’m interested in and what I can imagine people want to see and what it will bring them something. Does the film tell something about us, does it concern us in any way? And there aren’t many of them, or you’ve seen them all 1000 times. I like projects different, new. Of course, when I get an offer like “The Diary of Anne Frank” or “The Baader-Meinhof Complex” it’s a little different. These are important topics, and they are interesting in their own right.
What particularly attracted you to poetic material like The Silent Trabants?
These are people from our world, our time, our society. People you can meet on the street. I like it in this. That’s exactly what happened to me with Thomas Stuber’s latest film.“In the aisles” – note by Dr. Editor) liked it so much. Then I thought, man, that would be an interesting director…
Does this influence your decision about who is in charge of the film?
This is the main thing and the main thing. The director makes the film and I know that Thomas Stuber loves poetry. That he likes to look closely, to show people not just superficially, but to make visible and tangible what they feel. It’s so important and so beautiful. That’s what’s special about his films. People don’t always have to hide their hearts on their sleeves, but you still know what’s going on with them and how they’re doing. So I had a more or less secret desire to work with Thomas Stuber. I knew that he would not do it in a cheesy way or turn it into a sentimental number, but would stick to reality.
Are there intimate scenes between you and Nastassja Kinski in the film that you didn’t expect at first, and for which the chemistry between the two of you must have been important?
Absolutely. We met in advance because the filmmakers also need to know if it fits, if it works. And even then I liked her. Nastasya is very open, very insightful and soft. She is completely attuned to the other person. I like it. But this is not predictable either. She operates completely independently. It creates new moments. Every time in a new way, never a routine. When it became clear that we would shoot the film together, we kept in touch and rehearsed with Thomas Stuber. We had two or three days of rehearsals where we tweaked the material a bit. Luckily, the night shoot was long and stressful. Having enough time is often a secret. And with Nastasya it was just right, because there is something shy in her and at the same time something very direct. An interesting combination.
The Krista you play is a quiet, lonely woman looking for intimacy. What particularly touched or challenged you about this character?
She is very self-absorbed, practically paralyzed. She has been humiliated and that anger lives deep within her. She cannot find a place for him and does not know how to put him, with whom to talk about it. And in fact, she doesn’t even want to talk to Birgit when she meets her for the first time. She says, “Leave me alone. What do you want from me?” That she then slowly reveals to her those few phrases that she says and with which she does not immediately tell her whole life. She doesn’t talk about herself or say things like “Oh, I’m so lonely” or “I feel bad.” It’s just between the lines and I found it exciting. You see someone who is actually full to the brim and wants to say it all, but just can’t. And yet you can see it on her. The acting is very exciting and exciting and also challenging.
Krista is a female character that you rarely see in movies. In your opinion, has anything changed in recent years in the portrayal of women?
I think women are being told differently now. Anyway. For example, I’m currently playing a role in a mini-series that a man would have played in the past. A woman who asserts herself and takes power. And the man plays what the woman used to be. He is an introverted sufferer in a victim position.
What is it like behind the scenes? Are there more women in jobs like director and cinematographer that used to be considered the prerogative of men?
Yes, there are a lot of young female directors working at the moment. It’s good, even if I find it sometimes artificial. But maybe it’s still needed today. However, there are a lot of very good male directors out there, and from what I understand, it doesn’t always have to be a woman. It still looks like a battle of the sexes. But, of course, for many years I only worked with men, there were almost never women directors. Therefore, there is probably no other way at the moment. I think that in art, ability and talent are important, regardless of gender or skin color.
The old sadness of quota. Women want to be hired for their work, not for their gender…
As a rule, it is difficult that you always have to treat your external. About how you are perceived. We all would like to be freer, be it a man or a woman. You want to be free from the fact that someone is constantly telling you how you should be and judging you. I think there’s a lot of pressure there and it’s counterproductive. If I have a feeling that I have to prove myself as a character, a role, my work, then I am not free. Then I’m not alive, but embedded in concrete.
The pressure that at the beginning of your career was certainly more than today, when you are one of the most important actresses in Germany?
Of course, you have to prove yourself in the beginning. Show that you have a passion for acting, talent… and that you are hardworking and reliable. Otherwise it doesn’t work. Previously, we did not have to deal with social networks, but there were other things for this. Then I was under a lot of pressure. Men made decisions, which, fortunately, is somewhat absent today. Because then you also treat men, flirt, dress up, make yourself happy. But you also do it for women when they have the power and there are many female producers for a long time.
Right now it seems – of course also due to various postponements due to the pandemic – that you have been very busy lately. What’s next?
I also do music or reading concerts with the musicians I recite with. Some of them will be again next year. Otherwise, I’m currently filming for the already mentioned mini-series called Heligoland. Half finished, the continuation will be in February-March. Other things are planned but not yet ready to be decided.
Nicole Ankelmann spoke with Martina Gedek
“Silent Trabants” will be shown in theaters from December 1.