Translation of Berliner Zeitung article #richardarmitage
[Nothing about Armitage here but it’s an interesting read nonetheless. Thanks to Herba for the link.]
New US Secret Agent series revolves around the Berliner Zeitung
Berlin – She’s just shot a scene for the American spy series “Berlin Station,” as a Berliner Zeitung reporter. Now actor Victoria Meyer explains how she came to the role at the side of American [sic!] actor Richard Armitage.
Ms. Mayer, you are playing a journalist from the Berliner Zeitung in the American television series “Berlin Station.“ What’s it about?
It’s about a CIA agent who comes to Berlin to uncover a whistleblower who is leaking internal CIA secrets. In “Berlin Station,” I play Ingrid Hollander, the German journalist from the Berliner Zeitung, which is publishing the secrets.
A spy series, then?
How did you come to this role in an American series?
Berlin casting agent Simone Bär suggested me for the role. I made an audition video in my living room with Ingrid’s lines, and then I got the role.
How did you prepare for the role?
Ingrid is very critical of the US and the CIA. So I read a great deal, especially writing about US politics and the CIA. I wanted to really understand what Ingrid is talking about. Woody Allen did say once in an interview in conjunction with his film “Irrational Man,“ that good actors don’t need to understand what they say. But seriously: I didn’t want to rely on that.
Victoria Mayer was born in Münster in 1976. The actor became known through roles in series like “Stolberg“ and in films like “Das Lächeln der Tiefseefische“.
Mayer plays a reporter from the Berliner Zeitung in the US series “Berlin Station.” The series will be broadcast in the US this fall.
And the journalistic part?
Initially I concentrated on the contents, as the character’s “normal” journalistic life is more in the background in the series. For me, it was more about Ingrid’s conflict with the agent played by Richard Armitage, and her confrontation with the American secret service.
How should outsiders understand this kind of series shoot — do you meet the other actors regularly, are you filming in America?
No, the whole series is filmed in Berlin. So I go home during breaks and only come to Berlin for the filming. Since Ingrid plays more of an outsider role and is not a part of the “system,” unfortunately I have very little to do with the other actors. I met them all at the “read through,” the general reading of the script before the beginning of shooting. Apart from that everything is very tightly organized. We are not shooting chronologically, but according to locations. For instance, I am never there when they shoot the scenes at CIA headquarters. It’s not like you might think from the outside — we don’t throw a big party every night. Too bad, actually! (laughs)
In the series, you speak German and English. Is that difficult?
For me it was actually the first time that I was filming in a foreign language. But there are great dialogue coaches who rehearse the English dialogues with us and are available on set the whole time and help when it’s necessary.
This is your first American production — how is it different from German productions?
The nicest difference, for example, is that for “Berlin Station” there’s always a scriptwriter on set. The writers accompany the work on the filming very intensively and can develop the conversations and the scenes on the spot or answer other questions that arise. I think that’s really great!
Is an American series a door-opener for German actors?
I don’t know; it was never my main goal to pursue a career in America. I really enjoy working here in Germany. But if something happens, of course I’ll be happy about it. It is a great experience, one meets colleagues from other countries, talks about other things and sees how people work elsewhere. It’s enriching.
Would you enjoy working as a journalist?
Yes, because I’m naturally very curious.
Interview: Marcus Weingärtner