CELEBRITY Go­ing be­yond sur­face-deep with Diane Kruger.

Why Diane Kruger is look­ing for some­thing deeper.

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - By Aliyah Shamsher

In a sim­ple over­sized grey sweater,

re­laxed navy cu­lottes and bal­let flats, Diane Kruger qui­etly ar­rives at Dawn­ridge, de­sign icon Tony Du­quette’s over-the-top 1949 Hol­ly­wood Hills home and the site of our Septem­ber-is­sue cover shoot. Kruger’s well-known re­serve is es­pe­cially ap­par­ent to­day. As car­pets are be­ing laid down, boxes are be­ing un­packed and a tech crew spe­cial­iz­ing in vir­tu­al­re­al­ity video set up their sci-fi-look­ing cam­eras, the 39-year-old ac­tress is the calm in this fash­ion-and-tech storm. But per­haps this quiet fo­cus ex­plains how the Ger­man-born ac­tress has been able to make 34 films (in both English and French) in only 13 years. Her pref­er­ence for tak­ing on char­ac­ters with com­plex in­ner worlds ( Lily Some­times, Farewell, My Queen, The Bet­ter An­gels) is telling, but what Kruger seems most in­ter­ested in is stay­ing real. Case in point: h

When I chat with the ac­tress over the phone a few weeks later, she has just ar­rived home from Cannes (a.k.a. one of the most glam­orous events on the planet) but would much rather talk about the new house she has just bought with her long-time boyfriend, Cana­dian ac­tor Joshua Jack­son. Be­tween run­ning er­rands in L.A. (she spent the morn­ing pick­ing out a washer and dryer), Kruger tells me about her up­com­ing roles, the free­dom that fash­ion has given her and why choos­ing to be­come an ac­tress is still the best thing she has ever done. You’ve been liv­ing in L.A. for five years now, but are there still times when you feel es­pe­cially Ger­man? “Oh, all the time! I feel more Ger­man when I’m here than when I’m in Ger­many. My work ethic alone feels very dif­fer­ent. I fill my days with lists of things I need to do. My friends al­ways say ‘You’re the most Ger­man per­son I’ve ever met!’ But in Ger­many, I feel more French. I’m al­ways like, ‘I’ll come when I come, maybe I’ll be home,’ which drives my fam­ily nuts.” Let’s talk about that work ethic. You started mod­el­ling when you were 15 and worked for Chanel, Saint Lau­rent and Ar­mani, and since be­com­ing an ac­tress in your mid-20s, you’ve been in 34 films. Do you some­times feel like you barely have a chance to catch your breath? “I think this year has been un­usu­ally busy for me, and I’m not sure why. But I have to take a break now— I’ve been away from home for six months, and that’s not good. I have to stop and ac­tu­ally live life. I feel like I’m be­com­ing stupid and silly; you live in this bub­ble when you are on-set—you don’t get to live real life.” You’ve said that in the past as well—that you’re not in­ter­ested in liv­ing in Hol­ly­wood’s bub­ble. Do you think this comes from grow­ing up in a small town [Al­ger­mis­sen]? “You don’t for­get where you come from. I come from the coun­try­side and a very typ­i­cal mid­dle-class back­ground. I re­ally look up to my mother; she raised my brother and me alone. She’s the one who in­stilled such a strong work ethic in me.” Did your child­hood in­flu­ence the roles you’ve cho­sen to play? [Kruger grew up watch­ing her fa­ther strug­gle with when al­co­holismshe was 13; be­for­e­she then her moved par­entsto Paris fi­nally on di­vorced­her own at more16 to inspired model.] by “I my think time my in role France. choic­esI was have ex­posed been to a lot of art and cul­ture, and French cin­ema is re­ally the rea­son I wanted to be­come an ac­tress. One of my favourite ac­tresses is Romy Sch­nei­der; I dis­cov­ered her work when I moved to Paris. I am still inspired by French film; Michael Haneke’s Amour is my favourite movie of the past 10 years. In Europe, the sto­ries—es­pe­cially for women—are so much more in­ter­est­ing than in the United States.” But you’ve played some pretty in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters in North Amer­ica, like Sonya Cross, the de­tec­tive strug­gling with Asperger syn­drome on FX’s The Bridge. “I think tele­vi­sion has al­ways been great for women, but with movies, we still have a ways to go. Maybe I don’t have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties that other ac­tresses have here, but I think it’s such a rar­ity to find re­ally good fe­male­cen­tred films.” In the up­com­ing French film Dis­or­der, you play a tro­phy wife deal­ing with the body­guard her hus­band hired to pro­tect her and their son while he is away. What at­tracted you to this

char­ac­ter? “Well, when you first meet her, she seems very cold. But as the week­end goes on, that fa­cade slowly crum­bles. I thought it was re­ally in­ter­est­ing to take that jour­ney with the char­ac­ter— this idea that you be­lieve some­one to be a cer­tain way, only to dis­cover she is quite dif­fer­ent.” You also have Sky with Lena Dun­ham com­ing out in 2016, and it has al­ready been gen­er­at­ing a lot of buzz. “I co-pro­duced Sky with one of my best friends, di­rec­tor Fa­bi­enne Berthaud. She’s very near and dear to my heart. I’ve known her since I was 16— she gave me my first job, so we have this re­ally in­tense re­la­tion­ship! It’s a story about a cou­ple who trav­els to the United States on hol­i­day to save their mar­riage, and it doesn’t go so well. I love the way it looks at re­la­tion­ships and the self-dis­cov­ery that hap­pens when you are forced to go through a cer­tain set of cir­cum­stances.” Both of those films seem fit­ting—your In­sta­gram bio says that you love pe­cu­liar peo­ple! Do you con­sider your­self a pe­cu­liar per­son? [Laughs] “No! I ac­tu­ally

“I ac­tu­ally find my­self quite bor­ing, so I’m al­ways drawn to peo­ple who are un­afraid of be­ing pe­cu­liar and strange.”

find my­self quite bor­ing, so I’m al­ways drawn to peo­ple who are un­afraid of be­ing pe­cu­liar and strange. A lot of my friends are very, very funny, bizarre peo­ple—and I’m for­ever at­tracted to that.” Are there any peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar who you just love for their strange­ness, and have they inspired you to be a lit­tle strange? “Well, in gen­eral, ac­tors are pretty weird! In one of my first movies [ The Pi­ano Player], I worked with Dennis Hopper; I could lis­ten to his sto­ries for­ever. The way he lived his life in the ’60s and ’70s was just so ex­treme. I al­ways ad­mire peo­ple who are un­afraid to go to ex­tremes. I don’t know if I have the courage to do that. But these peo­ple, they’d rather die than not live, you know?” Peo­ple like that have such a strong sense of self, but I think you do as well—I can see that even in your per­sonal style. Would you agree? “I would agree, but I re­ally think that that comes from work­ing in the fash­ion in­dus­try for a long time. When you work in fash­ion, you learn not to be afraid of it. I don’t re­ally care what any­one thinks, so it takes away the anx­i­ety of think­ing ‘Oh, my God, what is ev­ery­one go­ing to say?’ Women in Hol­ly­wood are con­stantly be­ing judged by what they wear, which is very silly, so there is this fear that you al­ways have to wear the glit­ter see-through princess gown or you’re go­ing to get ham­mered!” You still have ties to the fash­ion world—you’re the face of Hugo Boss and Chanel—so it’s in­ter­est­ing that

you’ve cho­sen not to work with a stylist. “When I first started out, I had the whole thing, be­cause when you first move to L.A., that’s what you think you should do. So you get the stylist and the makeup artist and the hair­styl­ist and the pub­li­cist. But I didn’t rec­og­nize my­self in those early pic­tures be­cause I ended up look­ing like ev­ery­one else. And there were just too many peo­ple around all the time, so I de­cided to cut some peo­ple out. And since I have a lot of long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with de­sign­ers, it just be­came eas­ier for me to call them my­self. And they’ve all been nice enough to make things for me or send things from the run­way that I like.” So I have to bring up that Tim Blanks in­ter­view you did a few years ago, when you called him an ass for sug­gest­ing that your looks might stand in the way of

peo­ple tak­ing you se­ri­ously— “Mm hmm.” Well, I love how adamant you were that an ac­tress should never be judged based on her looks. Do you

still en­counter this type of think­ing? “It just gets a

bit bor­ing. Yes, I read fash­ion mag­a­zines and, yes, I en­joy fash­ion, but I didn’t be­come an ac­tress to talk about clothes.” And yet peo­ple talk about your style all the time, and the gen­eral con­sen­sus is how per­fect it is. So of­ten I’ve heard peo­ple say “Oh, Diane Kruger is per­fect.” “I don’t know if peo­ple re­ally say that about me. It’s im­pos­si­ble to go af­ter per­fec­tion—it doesn’t ex­ist.”

Per­haps peo­ple are con­fus­ing per­fec­tion with re­straint.

You don’t seem to share a lot of your­self with the public. “I don’t know. I’m on In­sta­gram and I am shar­ing a cer­tain ver­sion of my­self that I want to share with peo­ple.” I no­ticed on In­sta­gram that you share a lot of in­spi­ra­tional quotes about love, con­fi­dence and never

giv­ing up. “Do I? It’s so im­me­di­ate; most of the time I just see things that I like and re­post. I don’t know; I don’t think about it quite that hard.”

Do you feel any pres­sure to share more? So many ac­tresses share so much of their pri­vate lives with the public nowa­days. “I don’t feel the pres­sure, no. But I think that has a lot to do with how I grew up. Ger­mans are nat­u­rally a lit­tle more re­served. But, at the same time, I don’t have any­thing to hide. I don’t know the peo­ple on so­cial media, so I wouldn’t share ev­ery­thing that goes on in my life with them any­way.” So why did you want to be­come an ac­tress? What are you hop­ing to con­vey to peo­ple who watch your films? “I try to make it a re­flec­tion of real life. What I en­joy most about a per­for­mance is that you can iden­tify with the emo­tions and the peo­ple be­ing por­trayed. There are beau­ti­ful peo­ple who can act, and there are unattrac­tive peo­ple who be­come so beau­ti­ful when you watch them be­cause you em­pathize with them fully. To me, that is the beauty of act­ing— it’s a re­flec­tion of what it is to be a hu­man be­ing.” It sounds like you’re also deeply in­ter­ested in story

telling. “I think it started a lit­tle bit more un­con­sciously but kind of ego­tis­ti­cally. [Laughs] I mean, to be­come an ac­tress, you have to be quite nar­cis­sis­tic—it’s all about ‘Here I am, please watch me!’ I started as a dancer, and with­out know­ing it I was able to ex­press these re­ally con­fus­ing emo­tions I had as a kid through dance—and be re­warded for it when I per­formed on­stage. I had a very tu­mul­tuous up­bring­ing, and I didn’t re­al­ize how lucky I was to get ev­ery­thing out through dance. I feel like I’ve been search­ing for that my en­tire life—to con­nect with a medium that makes me con­nect.” You’ve said that you left mod­el­ling be­cause act­ing al­lowed you to show your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and doubts. Af­ter 13 years, does it still ful­fill you in the same way? “You per­son­ally just gain so much as an ac­tress. You feel. You live those emo­tions, and that can be very ex­treme. But, if you al­low your­self, you can go on a per­sonal jour­ney as well. It can be un­set­tling, but it be­comes a high you crave.” n

Lace dress with satin but­tons (Alexan­der McQueen, alexan­derm­c­queen.com), 10-karat-gold, rhodium and crys­tal cuff (Alexis Bit­tar, alex­is­bit­tar.com) and ox­i­dized­sil­ver cuff (Dan­nijo, dan­nijo.com)

Wool-blend jacket, lace top and lam­i­nated lace skirt (Al­tuzarra, al­tuzarra. com), suede boots (Ser­gio Rossi, ser­giorossi.com), Swarovski-crys­tal and ver­meil choker (Erick­son Bea­mon for March­esa, er­ick­son­bea­mon. com), 24-karat-rose-gold­plated-brass and black-pearl rings (Vita Fede, vitafede.com) and pink-gold and diamond rings (Re­possi, re­possi.com)

Cash­mere and me­tal­lic-knit sweater, se­quined-net and silk-geor­gette blouse, leather skirt, patent-leather belt and crocodile­and patent-leather boots (Ro­darte, ro­darte. net) and 18-karat-gold-plated-sil­ver rings (Bijules, bi­julesnyc.com)

Or­ganza top (Is­abel Marant, is­abel­marant.com), 24-karat-rosegold-plated-brass and Swarovs­kicrys­tal bracelet (Vita Fede, vitafede. com) and sil­ver fin­ger bracelet (Maria Black Jew­ellery, maria-black. com). For de­tails, see Shop­ping Guide. Stylist, Ju­liana Schi­av­inatto (P1M.ca); hair, Mara Roszak (star­work­sartists.com); makeup, Kate Lee (star­work­sartists.com); man­i­cure, Tom Bachik (global nail artist for L’Oréal Paris); art di­rec­tion, Brit­tany Ec­cles

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