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MOVIE

Miss Germany tries to crack Hollywood via Latino soaps

Natalie Ackermann was crowned Miss Germany in 2006. After building her career in Latin America she thinks she can bring something unique to Hollywood.

Miss Germany tries to crack Hollywood via Latino soaps
Natalie Ackermann. Photo: DPA

At first glance it doesn’t seem like the most conventional route into A-list stardom.

After winning Miss Germany a decade ago, Ackermann has starred in Colombian telenovelas, appeared in a celebrity gossip show in Mexico, and presented a programme called “Disney on Ice.”

The 36-year-old admits that there are plenty of doubters out there.

“So many people have told me again and again that I’ll never make it. But I’ll show them all,” she says.

The way she sees it, she can offer Hollywood qualities which few others can.

“I look like a Latin American, but when I speak English I’ve got a German accent. That makes me somewhat special,” she explains.

Now based in Los Angeles, she has taken acting classes six days a week, from dawn till dusk.

One thing she had to work on in the classes was throwing off the habit developed in Latin American of using over-exaggerated gestures and facial expressions.

Surgery to showbusiness

Ackermann grew up in Meerbusch, North Rhine-Westphalia, the daughter of a German father and a Colombian mother.

When she was a teenager the family moved to Spain, and then later to Colombia's Caribbean coast. It was there that she won her first beauty contest, being nominated Señorita Atlántico in 2000.

When she was crowned Miss Germany in 2006, she broke off her medicine studies at Düsseldorf University to pursue a career in show business.

As Miss Germany in 2006. Photo: DPA

A supporting role in the Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea”, which was also shown in German as “In love in Berlin”, was followed by a role as the love interest in “Nuevo rico, nuevo pobre” (New rich, new poor) which brought her fame in Colombia.

A small role in the US horror movie The Tenant followed, as well as work presenting shows including “Al Extremo” and ”Juntas ni difuntas”.

“That was a great time, but I want to concentrate 100 percent on my film career now,” she says.

Gaining a foothold

Becoming an actor was always her greatest dream, Ackermann confides.

“I enjoy slipping into different roles that have nothing to do with me. For instance I’d love to play a junkie prostitute or a crazy woman.”

At first she simply wants to get a foothold in Hollywood, and she seems to be making progress.

She is currently preparing to appear in a thriller which is scheduled to begin filming in the summer.

Earlier this year she signed a deal with the producer Alan Glazier, who has worked on Three Kings, Scooby Doo and City of Angels.

The contract means that she doesn't have to go through auditions but will work directly with Glazier and his new production company.

And the LA lifestyle seems to be treating her well too.

“I really like LA,” she says. ”I meet interesting people all the time, and the mountains around the city are beautiful.”

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FILM

Germany’s ‘In the Fade’ wins Golden Globe for foreign language film

"In the Fade," the German thriller about neo-Nazi violence, on Sunday won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film.

Germany's 'In the Fade' wins Golden Globe for foreign language film
Diane Kruger and Fatih Akin at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Photo: DPA.

The film triumphed in a category that included Swedish black comedy “The Square,” which took the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and “First They Killed My Father,” the true story of a Cambodian child soldier directed by Angelina Jolie.

“In the Fade” stars Diane Kruger in her first role in her native German as a woman seeking answers to the killings of her Turkish-born husband and son.

She won the best actress award at Cannes. Accepting the Golden Globe, “In the Fade” director saluted Kruger and said: “This is yours.”

The film shines a spotlight on the violence of neo-Nazis, who have come into a growing international spotlight after a white nationalist rally in August in Charlottesville, Virginia.

READ ALSO: 'You have to fight against neo-Nazism': German TV series wins Emmy

Speaking to AFP ahead of the Golden Globes, Kruger said that the movie felt “overwhelming” when she first saw it at a screening.

“There are plenty of movies about bombs and terrorists, but it was the intimacy of this film, the small details that grief and death bring into one's life, that I found so moving and emotional,” she said.

“In the Fade” is based on the song by the California desert rockers Queens of the Stone Age, whose main member Josh Homme composed the score.

It was the seventy-fifth Golden Globes ceremony to take place and it got underway in Los Angeles, California.