Former Miss Germany tries luck in Mexico
Natalie Ackermann was crowned Miss Germany seven years ago. Today she is a host on Mexican television and will shoot a movie with actor Antonio Banderas. A soap star with Hollywood ambitions, she is The Local's German of the Week.
Ackermann is one of a team of beautiful women who host entertainment show Al Extremo on Mexican television which features a variety of action, comedy and record attempt video clips.
But she originally trained to become a doctor in Düsseldorf.
She broke off her medicine degree when she won Miss Germany in 2006 to pursue a career in show-business.
"It was always my dream, at heart," she said, "and when I was chosen as Miss Germany, I grabbed my chance." After representing Germany at the Miss Universe pageant in Los Angeles, and Miss Continental in the Bahamas in 2007, Ackermann turned to acting.
Her first experience on camera came with a minor role in the hit Colombian telenovela Betty, la fea, which also aired in Germany under the title In love in Berlin. In another series, Nuevo rico, Nuevo pobre, she played a devious lover spinning intrigues.
"Acting is my passion," said Ackermann, "I find it so exciting to play someone I'm not." "The role of villain especially is always a challenge," she added.
The 33-year-old originally came to Mexico for a role in a soap opera and the job on Al Extremo was a challenge at first.
"I had to get rid of my Colombian dialect and learn Mexican Spanish in a very short space of time," she said.
Ackermann grew up in the suburban town of Meerbusch, in North Rhine-Westphalia, the daughter of a German father and a Colombian mother.
When she was a girl, they moved first to Spain, and then to Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Columbia.
These days she runs a small home in Barranquilla for sick children, through her charity Natalie - Niños para Niños. The charity also started a school for 500 kids in the Colombian capital, Bogota.
Her good looks and her Miss Germany title are both a blessing and a curse, claimed Ackermann. They opened certain doors for her, but also meant she had to try harder to prove to people she was not just a pretty face, she said.
After honing her CV with acting lessons and some minor roles in Bogota, Ackermann finally made her Hollywood debut with a minor part as forensic scientist "Dr Nichols" in Ric La Monte's 2010 horror thriller the Tenant.
The film, about a monster created by an obsessed geneticist, has a rating of three out of ten on internet movie database IMDb.
Looking ahead, Ackermann only wants to devote herself to her acting career and has no plans to return to medicine.
At the beginning of next year, she starts shooting another movie with Spanish actor Antonio Banderas. "I'm totally looking forward to it," she said, "I can definitely learn a lot from him."
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