Celebrity Interview: Diane Kruger and Fatih Akin Talk In The Fade

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In the Fade, the Golden Globe nominated foreign film from Magnolia Pictures, staring Diane Kruger winner of the 2017 Cannes Best Actress and directed by Fatih Akin recently held its Los Angeles media day at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons.

Interviewing the two, Ms. Kruger and Mr. Akin, together it was easy to see their deep admiration and respect for each other. The two spoke on particular scenes in the film that they considered particularly grueling and both agreed the courtroom scenes were deeply challenging as Akin said, “Diane was performing a breakdown almost daily.”

Ms. Kruger spoke on the intensity of the character, Katja Sekerci and both gave insight on their own feelings when they first meet in Paris to discuss the possibility of working together.

Below is an excerpt from our interview.

Janet Walker: So the script is so complex, the character is very complex can you describe a little about how the character went from the choice of vengeance as opposed to justice?

Diane Kruger: Well she tries Justice, right? The challenges for me where when I first read the scripts the ending obviously was always there and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to convey or even try to resemble to feel as much pain as my character going through and how do I get from there to there. That took a long time.


In The Fade - A Powerful Tour de Force Film, Captivating, Challenging


So I started prepping the film as soon as we agreed to do it together, about six months before, and I started going to a lot of self help groups in New York for victims, not necessarily for terrorism, but for murder. And as time passed and I was able to observe and witness what those families were going through and listening to the individual stories, it kind of started to creep up in me and haunt me the stories. At night I couldn’t think about anything else and slowly but surely I got there I realized what they were going through and vengeance is a feeling that most people have in one shape or form. And that was something I felt very . . the wish of revenge in the families of the victims was very strong.

I like that in the movie you see she goes through all the stages. The justice system, despair, she is going to commit suicide; she can’t go through with it; she’s going to kill them; she’s not a killer.

Janet Walker: Can you describe the casting process for the other characters, the mother, and the son, the scenes were very poignant of the family reacting to and even reacting and blaming Katja for leaving her son?

Fatih Akin: My wife is doing my casting. My wife has a great eye for actors and actresses. She goes to theater and seeing stage plays and discovers something and she shares it with me. A lot of these actors, we mix non-actors with actors, the mother-in-law, the Turkish mother is a friend of my mother’s she isn’t an actress; she’s a housewife; the father-in-law is a friend of my father; he’s a car salesman.

Diane Kruger: They were kind of funny actually. They did not like each other at all.

Janet Walker: So the two of you met at Cannes, right? At a beach party. It says in the notes that  you started talking in German and you mentioned your interest and he mentioned his and four years later this script comes along.

So, Fatih was Diane the only actress you were thinking about when you were creating this script and when you, Diane, first received the script was he still fresh in your mind, or was the meeting still fresh in your mind?

Diane Kruger: No he wasn’t fresh in my mind because it had been five years. The call came out of the blue. I mean, I went to the party to meet him. I’m a huge fan of his work. He’s a superstar in Germany. You go out with him at night and he signs autographs, I mean people love him. So, of course, I was super excited. He just called to say he had a treatment, would I read it, and could he come to meet me in Paris and talk about it. But the truth is I would have been an extra in one of his movies. He didn’t have to tell me what the movie was about, and apparently he didn’t get that memo, but that’s the truth!

Fatih Akin: It wasn’t a screenplay. I sent her a treatment of maybe fifteen pages and the biography of the character. You know, precise, maybe five pages of that. And so once I sent her the treatment and we met in Paris and talked about it but during that meeting it was clear that I would do it with her and no one else. The, I had to be really be careful I didn’t say anything silly to distract her. I was aware how valuable it would be to do it with her. When we had the dinner all the questions she asked and all the answers she gave to my questions gave me a strong feeling her instincts are absolutely good working for this kind of material.

Janet Walker: What were some of those questions?

Fatih Akin: Like "'Are you okay if I cut your hair like this?'' and "'You don’t have any kids, can you act as if you have kids?'" Stuff like that.


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In The Fade is a stunning portrayal of modern hate crimes and the terrorism faced every day in European cities throughout the world. For no apparent reason other than race, religion or ethnicity a terrorist fanatic decides to set off a bomb murdering as many as possible ripping loved ones away in horrific seconds of unbelievable agony.

If you only see one foreign film this year see this one. Diane Kruger's performance is brilliant and challenging. She is an unexpected surprise in the Academy Awards race.

In The Fade, in German with English subtitles, is now in theaters everywhere. See it.

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