Diane Kruger

Screen International, February 8, 2012 | Go to article overview

Diane Kruger


Diane Kruger stars as doomed French Queen Marie Antoinette in Berlinale opening night film, Farewell My Queen (sold by Elle Driver.)

"You do set yourself up for failure a little bit," Kruger reflects on the challenge of playing well-known historical figures. (She also starred as Helen in Wolfgang Petersen's Troy.) "Everybody has an opinion already of what they were supposed to look like and what they were. In Marie Antoinette's case, a lot of people judge her already.They either adore Marie-Antoinette and feel she was a poor little girl who was put into this position or...they hate her."

Kruger promises that the new film, directed by Benoit Jacquot, will offers us a new vantage point on Austrian-born monarch. "You get to see her in her room. She is not the Marie Antoinette you saw in (Sofia) Coppola's movie."

The Queen here is not the carefree hedonist who is reputed to have told starving French peasants, "let them eat cake." The film shows Marie Antoinette in the last four days before her execution in 1793 (four years after the Revolution.). No, there isn't any Adam and the Ants music or revelling in the luxury at court. "Money was spare and tight. Even Marie Antoinette had to rework her dresses. It wasn't the great crazy hairdos any more! It was past that glory."

Kruger suggests that the film accentuates the grotesque elements of the court in its declining moments, when "you can smell and see that something is coming to an end."

The actress tries not to caricature Marie Antoinette. "I thought it was fascinating to portray her as a woman," Kruger states. "It's irrelevant what I, Diane Kruger, think about her. In this movie, I want to explore the things that I can relate to in the sense of the heartbreak and the sense that something is happening that I cannot control. …

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