Andrea Sawatzki – ‘Acting means endless freedom’

German actress Andrea Sawatzki has been a staple of German TV and cinema productions for many years. She speaks to Discover Germany about her latest film Zoros Solo, which will come to cinemas on 24 October, her latest book which will come out on 1 October, and much more.

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO © MARKUS NASS / T&T

How did you become an actress? Is that your dream job?
A. Sawatzki: I actually wanted to become a veterinary surgeoun, but then the teacher of our theatre group approached me and asked if I would like to go to a drama school. I hadn’t even thought about it before that point, but I liked the idea. Initially, I only wanted to work in theatre, however, and not in film. Today, acting means endless freedom for me. I can be somewhat of a child again and try new things over and over – where else can you do that?

Today, you live in Berlin with your family. What’s the great thing about this city? Why is Berlin your chosen home?
A. Sawatzki: Berlin is multicultural. Here, people from all countries and cultures are welcome. At least this is how it still is at the moment. People from Berlin might seem a bit harsh at first but they have a huge heart. Hard shell, soft core – I like that!

You have been seen in numerous series and films. Which shoot do you remember the most and why?
A. Sawatzki: Important to me were cinema films like Das Experiment, Casting, the series Klimawechsel and the films that I shot with my husband – Scheidung für Anfänger or Das Sportabzeichen, for example. And, of course, the projects that we will produce in the future will be really important to me too. I really like Familie Bundschuh, too, which Ziegler Film developed for us. As I wrote the novels for the films, I’m really happy and proud that the screen adaptation of the material worked out.

Let’s talk about Tatort: what did you love so much about your role as Charlotte Sänger?
A. Sawatzki: I was able to develop this very role alongside the director – that’s very rare.

Your new film Zoros Solo comes to cinemas on 24 October. What can viewers look forward to?
A. Sawatzki: Zoros Solo is a great mix between comedy and tragedy. I play a strict choir director of a boys’ choir who gets the order to accept a refugee boy (Mert Dincer) from Afghanistan to the choir, from the small town’s pastor. She doesn’t like refugees, however, until she notices that Zoro has a great talent. Zoro, on the other hand, only wants to join the choir because he knows that it’ll have a show in Hungary where his dad is stuck and Zoro wants to get him to Germany. A beautiful movie with wonderful, highly motivated young actors and really fantastic music.

What many people don’t know – you also write books. What do you love so much about writing? Why could you never live without it?
A. Sawatzki: I have written since 2011. In that time, I have written six novels, two psychological thrillers, which I love, as I have a soft spot for human abysses, and four black comedies: the Bundschuhs, mentioned above, which has been filmed for the ZDF; we will film the fifth in winter. I will play housewife Gundula in it – a role that I loved to develop because, logically, I know about women in their ‘50s, with all their fears and hopes, from my own personal experience. She virtually tells the story from her own view, and this is really fun when writing. Gundula is my slightly distorted alter ego.’

What can readers of the book look forward to?
A. Sawatzki: Let yourself be surprised!

Do you have any tips for young aspiring authors?
A. Sawatzki: Never give up. You should preferably sit down every day and try to write – even when nothing comes out because you have writer’s block: and I unfortunately know about this all too well.

What else is planned for this year? What can we look forward to?
A. Sawatzki: I’ll shoot four more films this year and my fourth novel, Andere Machen das Beruflich, will be published on 1 October, for which I will also attend the book fair and am planning a book tour on weekends. At the end of the year, the film-tie-in of the book will be broadcast on the ZDF with the slightly different title, Wir Machen Abitur. And then Zoros Solo will also come to cinemas on 24 October, of course.

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