© Jan Rickers, janrickers.com
Beck is back!. Photo: © TVNOW / Daniela Incoronato
Beck is back!. Photo: © TVNOW / Daniela Incoronato
Annika Ernst and Tom Beck in Einstein. Photo: © SAT.1 / Wolfgang Ennenbach

Best known for her roles in Zweiohrküken, Einstein or Beck is back! German actress and jury member of the ‘Blaue Blume’ award, Annika Ernst, speaks to Discover Germany about the latest season of the hit series Einstein, how she keeps fit in her free time, the importance of reading and much more.

Annika Ernst has always been an actress at heart and knew what she wanted from an early age. However, she took some detours before finally deciding on pursuing her dream job. “I’ve actually always wanted to become an actress but I just didn’t clearly enunciate this goal for myself after leaving school. That’s why I started to study palaeontology for one semester at first – I wanted to become a dinosaur researcher after watching Jurassic Park. This was then followed by a semester of studying law after seeing the film Eine Frage der Ehre,” she laughs, and adds: “After some time, I thought that it would be best to become an actress because I then would be able to combine all these professions of mine in one − at least to some degree!” As Annika already played in theatre during her school days, she had already gained some experience in the field and was ready to gain some more. After attending a drama school in Berlin, she was seen in her first big cinema and TV roles in 2005.

“Every shoot is different”
Since then, the actress has been part of many more great productions and been seen in numerous renowned films and series such as Hochzeit in Rom, Herzensbrecher – Vater von vier Söhnen and Letzte Spur Berlin. She also was part of Til Schweiger’s hit film Zweiohrküken. We are curious to know which role she remember the most. She explains: “Every shoot is different and I actually liked all my previous roles. Of course, I especially remember the series that I made and am still making because you’re simply working so much longer with the same team on these projects. I love that colleagues become friends during these projects. Apart from that, I enjoy filming abroad. In 2016, for example, I was in Rome for a couple of weeks for the ARD film Hochzeit in Rom – that was something very special.”

Currently, Annika can be seen on screen as the ex-wife of protagonist Hannes Beck (played by Bert Tischendorf) in the RTL lawyer series Beck is back!. Another project she is working on at the moment is Einstein, alongside acting colleague Tom Beck. In fact, the third season of the SAT.1 series in which Annika plays inspector Elena Lange is currently being filmed in Cologne. For this role especially, the actress took boxing and shooting classes. “Einstein’s combination of thriller and comedy is simply ingenious. The books for the third season are also fantastic – our authors Matthias Dieter and Martin Ritzenhoff have come up with crazy and quirky murder cases yet again,” she smiles, and adds: “What I admire about my role Elena Lange is her directness on the one hand and on the other, that she doesn’t need to obey men. She is confident and doesn’t humble herself but rather speaks her mind. I think that women, as well as men, can learn something from her!”

The magic of good books and Berlin
The mother of a nine-year-old daughter is not only a bundle of energy on screen. In 2016, she ran the half-marathon in New York and finished her first full marathon in Berlin in four hours and ten minutes. In 2017, she joined the marathon in Kärnten and this year she wants to run the marathon in Berlin and Copenhagen and hopes for a personal best time. Apart from running, she loves boxing, hot yoga and CrossFit classes. She explains: “I never waive a well-balanced sports programme which includes running, yoga, strength training and sometimes also a bit of boxing – even during exhausting days of shooting. I simply need this to clear my mind and to feel fresh and fit. Apart from that, I love to paint and do handicrafts, cook tasty things and, when I have the time, I go to the cinema where I can really switch off.” Just recently, she also went on a diving safari in the Maldives and travelled around Andalusia on a horse. Her next goal: a paragliding course!

She further supports the non-profit organisation Stiftung Lesen (reading foundation) as a reading ambassador in her leisure time. “I find it incredibly important that children explore reading and keep doing it – especially in our digital times. Entirely new, fantastic worlds and images that you only create in your own head develop in yourself through books. That’s the magic of good books for me,” she explains, on her commitment to the foundation.

To relax as an offset to her busy life, she loves to spend time with her family and enjoys her home town of Berlin. “I already love Berlin due to its impressive history – the things that this city has been through…! Of course, I don’t think about that every day but I believe that this ‘Berlin spirit’ − the liberal, the unconventional, the special fact that everyone can do their own thing without being judged – has especially developed in the last century in Berlin and has continued to be the same until today,” the actress says.

The future: marathons and languages
In 2019, we can look forward to a multitude of projects from Annika. If you want to see her on screen, be sure to tune in to the broadcasting of the new Einstein (SAT.1, Mondays – 21.15) and Beck is back! (RTL, from 12 February – 20.15) seasons. “It will definitely be an exciting year – that is certain,” she reveals. And what other plans does the actress have after achieving so much already? She smiles: “I really want to cross the Alps on foot and run the full New York marathon. And I want to learn one or two more languages in addition to English, Spanish and French − maybe Turkish or Chinese, if I work hard enough.”

TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF