“It’s a really complicated story,” divulges Sandra Huller during our recent interview (watch above) about her new film “Toni Erdmann.” Written and directed by Maren Ade, this Sony Pictures Classic release stars Peter Simonischek as a father who goes to bizarre lengths to reconnect with his daughter (Huller). Upon reading the script the actress realized, “it would be really interesting and challenging to do it,” and admits, “I was a bit scared of it.”
Huller, a German star best known for roles in “Requiem” (2006), “Uber uns das All” (2011), and “Finsterworld” (2013), plays Ines, a consultant who works with big businesses to make their operations run more smoothly. “We meet her at a point in her life when she is losing a bit of control about her work-life and her private life,” she reveals. “She’s very stressed, especially at that moment her father visits her spontaneously.” When she sends him away, her father invents the character of Toni Erdmann, “to get closer to his daughter and to maybe be able to do things that his real-self wouldn’t be able to.
While the film is rife with comedy, there’s a lot of emotion as well. “There is this total dryness of humor most of the time,” explains Huller, “and then there are moments that people can’t protect from, when they are really touched in the depths of their hearts.”
“Toni Erdmann” premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, and is Germany’s official entry for the Foreign Language Film Oscar. Could Huller be the latest foreign actress recognized by the Academy a la Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour” (2012) and Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night” (2014)?
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