Interview with actress Nastassja Kinski
 
"I want to do different things, or rather - do things differently"
Posted on 23 August 2003
 

Hallmark is all set to thrill its viewers with the suspense laced Blind Terror. The film airs on 24 August at 10.15 pm. Nastassja Kinski plays a widow, who feels that she can get on with her life after meeting a charming and handsome man who helps her forget about the past. However, it turns out that this guy has a dark secret from his own past which he has so far managed to keep hidden.

What follows are nightmarish scenes beginning with ominous phone messages and petty vandalism. All this quickly escalates into life-threatening situations.

The German born Kinski has been acting for a long time now. Since starting her career nearly three decades ago, she gained fame in a variety of films like
Tess, Cat People and more recently Your Friends and Neighbours where she played a lesbian struggling to communicate with her lover. In an interview via email with Indiantelevision.com's Ashwin Pinto, Kinski spoke about her character in Blind Terror, her reasons for choosing acting as a profession as well as how marriage and having kids affected her approach towards work.

 

How do you feel about the emotions your character experiences in Blind Terror?
Blind Terror was an excellent movie. The character required different emotions to evolve at different stages of the movie. It was challenging and that's what I liked the most about the movie.

 

What aspects of the character's personality were you drawn towards?
The intensity of the character.

 
"When I was young, I wanted to try my hand at everything and anything that came my way, not wanting to let go of a single chance"

 

Considering the number of suspense and psychological thriller films that have been made, does that genre have anything new to offer in your opinion?
A thriller is supposed to thrill you! So it's the plotting of the movie and the unveiling of the story which is important.

They might all fall into the same genre, but that's a very broad perspective. You look at it closely and each of them have a different way to thrill you.

 

What were the major factors that led you to take up acting as a profession?
I wanted to become a doctor when I was a kid. I did not know much about the profession, but I just loved the white coats that the doctors wore.

When I was young, I wanted to try my hand at everything and anything that came my way, not wanting to let go of a single chance. I started off with modeling, and it was Polanski who recommended I get some formal training in acting. It was only after drama school that he decided to cast me in Tess.

 

Before committing to a film, what key ingredients do you look for?
With the passage of time, I guess my priorities have changed and so have the parameters on the basis of which I decide to do a film. Today I look for a lot more mature roles, with a lot of substance. I want to do different things, or rather -- things differently.

 

Do you improvise often for key scenes in a film?
Of course I do. The scene needs to be perfect, the director needs to be convinced, I need to be convinced. Takes and retakes are always important.

 

You worked with Neil Labute in Your Friends and Neighbours. A lot of people view him as a pessimist, because that film as well as his debut In The Company of Men explore how men and women use and abuse each other. Your comment.
Neil had his own style. I think he's brilliant and did things his way. I don't think I would like to judge his work.

For everything that you do, there are people who appreciate your work and then there are those who don't. I think very few people have the guts to be sure of what they are doing, believe in it, and then go ahead and do it, irrespective of what people think.

 

Were you uncomfortable kissing Catherine Keener onscreen? What kind of rapport did you enjoy with her?
No, we were not at all uncomfortable while shooting the scene. Keener and I share a professional relationship. We knew what was expected of us and knew we had to deliver. It was like shooting any other scene, to which both of us gave our best.

The movies is about sharing your love with someone who is willing to take it. If the person on the other end is a woman then a woman it is!

 

With the success of Amelie would you say that the American and global appreciation of European cinema has grown or was that French film just a one-time hit?
I think today, we see a lot more regional films receiving global acclaim. Movies/directors/actors are being recognised and given recognition. Amelie was a very well made film, and I think it deserved the appreciation it received.

 

As a woman and an artist do you think that director Gaspar Noe went overboard by depicting a nine minute rape scene in Irreversible which saw many people walk out of theatres?
As mentioned earlier, I don't like to judge the approach of a director. If he decided to depict the scene in nine minutes, it was his choice. As a viewer, I believe you have the option to either watch it or leave it.

 



"I think, today, we see a lot more regional films receiving global acclaim "
 

Have any roles you have played affected your perspective towards life and if so in what manner?
I have learnt a lot from my life in general as well as my career as an actress. While I would earlier act on instinct, I don't anymore. I did a lot of things when I was younger, that could have been done another way, and my mistakes have taught me a great deal.

Today, my life centres around the kids. I am a mother and I am responsible to them. I take great care to ensure I am there for them whenever they need me.

 

Early in your career you worked with Roman Polanski in the Thomas Hardy classic Tess. What did you take away from that experience?
Polanski is a great guy. I have great respect from him. He was my guide and it was he who got me Tess. The experience was wonderful and I was new and raw at that time. It was he who helped me shape up.

 

Did you consider any of the directors you worked with to be a kind of a father figure since you relationship with your dad Klaus was far from smooth?
People keep asking me about my relationship with my father! I think enough has been written and contemplated upon and I do not want to comment on it.

I have always had great respect for my directors. They have all helped me evolve as an actress and have taught and trained me. I value every advise that they have given me.

 

In what way did marriage and raising kids affect your approach towards work?
My approach towards work and my life as a whole has changed. I now have to balance both work and home. The kids of course are top priority. I make sure I don't take up any assignments that require me to stay away from them for too long. So I try to do both 'good work' and 'play mother'!

 
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