She’s only just turned 21 and Lisa Vicari is already on the brink of superstardom. Since landing her role in Netflix’s overnight-hit series, “Dark”, the Munich-born actress has gained an international reputation for her captivating talent and personality to match. On occasion of the Berlinale opening, and her new film’s general release, SLEEK caught up with the rising star as she got red-carpet ready.
She may be three years younger than me, but Lisa Vicari is already more accomplished a woman than I’ll probably ever be. When we sit down at the Regent Berlin hotel, the freezing cold Berlin afternoon has managed to kill any hope of a premature spring, but Vicari’s used to the awful weather by now, having relocated from Munich to Mitte last year. She’s immediately at ease, and her down-to-earth presence is not only refreshing but contagious.
Vicari has been acting for over a decade. She started taking weekly classes at just 10 years old – “after begging my mother!” Though there are no other actors in her family, film has always been a big part of the actress’s life. “I always wanted to be in movies,” she tells me, “ever since I was a kid”. Reminiscing on her childhood aspirations, Vicari fondly remembers “Emil und die Detektive” – a German dream team of adventurous spies, equivalent to “The Famous Five”. “They were just so free,” Vicari remembers. “I’ve always wanted to be like them, I think.” And at age 11, she got that chance, following a polite letter she wrote to a young director who was in the midst of applying to film school. He cast her in a short film — and the rest, as they say, is history.
Vicari’s first major role was in “Hell”, a psychological thriller, which not only marked the beginning of her journey into sinister narratives, but also her first exposure to them. “Before that I didn’t watch dark movies or thrillers — I wasn’t allowed!” she laughs. In fact, her role had to be approved by the Jugendamt (the German child protection services) to ensure she wouldn’t be scarred for life. But Vicari doesn’t seem too traumatised, and has since found an affinity with such plot lines.
Though she lists Scorsese and Christopher Nolan among her favourite directors, Vicari’s taste in films isn’t limited to the greats – “when it’s a good movie, it’s a good movie”. And while her subsequent roles in “Luna” and “Dark” exhibit a tendency towards the dark and twisted, she’s also a big fan of comedy.
Vicari’s transition from film to TV proved to be relatively seamless, a feat she attributes both to Netflix’s professionalism and such a great co-workers. “We had this German crew, and German cast, and everything felt like home,” Vicari explains. “They even sent us to an adventure park, so we could get to know each other before filming,” she laughs – I never knew they had team building for actors.
“Dark” is the first Netflix series to come out of Germany, and in true binge-watching style, its success happened pretty much overnight. Reflecting on the overwhelming international acclaim, Vicari stays humble: “I mean, I loved the script — everybody who read it loved it, but you can never predict this kind of response.”
The series is shot here in Berlin, and the now-infamous woods outside it. I couldn’t resist asking the one question the Sleek team were dying to know: are the caves real? The answer is yes and no. “The main one, that you see from the outside, is built from polystyrene!” Vicari reveals, “but it looks so real”. She tells me there’s another fake one, in the studio, and apparently a real one too.
Her forthcoming plans are on the down-low for now; although, she confesses, her dream is to act in a period drama. “That’s one thing I really have to do! And while she keeps quiet about the possibility of a second season of “Dark”, what’s certain is that Lisa Vicari’s future, at least, is bright.
Audi is a proud sponsor of the 68th Berlinale which runs until the 25th February. Special thanks to Regent Berlin and our Audi A7 chauffeur.