The European Shooting Stars initiative, organised by European Film Promotion, is one of the most exciting parts of the Berlin Film Festival presenting Europe’s next big film stars. Previous winners have boasted alumni such as Daniel Brühl, Carey Mulligan and Alicia Vikander. Over the next couple of days, Sleek Magazine is teaming up with Audi to put a spotlight on five of this year’s final winners. First up: Karin Franz Körlof.
No stranger to the Berlinale, turning in an excellent performance in last year’s A Serious Game, Karin Franz Körlof is already a household name in her native Sweden. This was helped in no small part by her supporting performance in Sweden’s flagship show Wallander, as well as the lead role in the highly praised Blue Eyes.
The Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts graduate’s next films include Olof Spaak’s Garden Lane and Björn Runge’s The Wife, which she is currently in the process of filming. Turning in performances that are as devastating as they are beguiling, Körlof has made herself one to watch.
We sat down with the actress to talk about what it means to be a recipient, what she enjoys about acting and who she’d like to work with next.
Previous winners of the shooting stars award include Rachel Weisz, Daniel Bruhl and Carey Mulligan. What does it mean for you to be a recipient?
Well, I feel deeply honoured and very very happy. I mean it’s a great recognition that what you do, what you work with, is reaching out to people, not just naturally, but intellectually as well.
So you’ve had a film at the Berlinale before. What do you think of the festival?
I love the festival. It’s actually my third time in a row that I’m here. It’s a great festival, very well organised. There’s a friendly climate.
Have you always wanted to be an actor?
No, not at all. I think it’s something I just stumbled upon. I’m still not sure how it happened actually.
What is your favourite thing about being an actor and being on set?
I think it’s not just about being on set. I like the fact that you get to work with a lot of different people. Every film you do, every work you do is different. Nothing is the same. Not even one day from another is the same because you always do new scenes and everything changes all the time, which is very nice. You can never get comfortable and think “I know how to do this.” It’s never going to be the same. Once you’ve finished the line, it’s done, you move onto the next. It’s not like theatre where you rehearse and rehearse and then you play the play for maybe half a year, and you do the same lines over and over again. It’s like, once you’ve got it you’ve got it and you move on and so that’s very nice. It forces you to be on top of your toes all the time so you can never just relax.
Do you have any techniques for preparing for roles?
I always try to get as much information around the subject and around the character that I feel comfortable whenever things happen, because you will always bump into trouble in one way or another. To be well-prepared so that I don’t stand there as a question mark. For instance, when I played Sofia in Blue Eyes, I did loads and loads of research on Neo-Nazis and the extreme right parties and the way they speak. It makes you more grounded, I think, to have this information.
Who is your ideal director to work with?
There are a number of directors that I find really interesting at the moment. Yorgos Lanthimos, and Cristian Mungiu and Andrea Arnold. There’s so many great directors I can name.
Photography by Stefan Dotter
Photographer’s Assistant: Lucas Christiansen
Styling by Rachael Rodgers
Makeup by Nora Belovai
Hair by Noriko Takayama