A Swiss born super star, Marem Hassler, was born in 1978 and started her acting career at a very young age. We got lucky to get a hold of Marem Hassler for her exclusive interview with us. She is world famous for her acting roles in mega hit movies like Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Dream Team, Duo and many others. She is one of those few actresses who had a chance to appear in HBO and BBC series.
Where would we have seen you?
I started my career in London England, with a show called Dreamteam (SKY1/ FOX). I played Pilar Hernandez, a very Lady Macbethian Chief executive of a soccer club. Needless to say- a lot of fun. I was also in a mini series called House of Saddam (HBO/ BBC). Then a string of guest starring roles. A SyFy movie called “The time machine: Rise of The Morlocks” and more recently: Metal Hurlant the Cronicles (Heavy Metal). This is based on a French cult comic classic(SyFy)
And some indie movies: Layover, The Bride, Duo.
What do you love about acting?
I’m fascinated by human behavior. I love telling stories and with acting, I get to truly embody and live those stories for the length of a performance or project. It’s like getting to live several parallel lives and getting to find a piece of myself in all of them. I love that it’s a collective effort- meaning it takes everybody on and off set to build this reality and then the audience who comes with the willingness to partake in that reality. It’s a big feat if you think about it. I love that I get to meet new people, challenge myself and to face and own my own stuff. Gaining understanding of where and what is the human aspect of this role. What part of humanity is longing to be told.
If you couldn’t act what would you do?
I’d be behind the lens watching it unfold.
How do you prepare for a role?
I really believe in allowing the script to discover you- meaning I read it and read it and read it again, and have it read me. I try to be mindful of any ideas that come up right away, as those are often concept based and not necessarily a moment to moment discovery.
I like to work with my acting coach Eric Kline and my voice coach Erika Ackerman. With Eric I’m making sure I’m not missing a writers intention, script analysis and really looking at the moment to moment between the characters involved. With Erika, it ‘s what I call sounding out the script. I go through a series of movements releasing sound and discover feelings that arise and how they relate to my role and the humanity in it. This is very experimental and a process I’m still exploring.
What advice do you have for actors starting out?
Build your community, create your platform or collaborate with fellow talented people. Stop waiting for a call. Make something happen. Bow only to the God of filmmaking. LOL! It’s something I’m passionate about.
Movies you wish you had been in?
Aliens, Terminator, Body Heat. Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf, Rust and Bones, Strange days, Oh boy I’m forgetting so many right now lol! I’m really into strong female driven action and drama. The women in those movies paved the roads in some form or another.
What’s been your favorite job so far?
Robin Wright said something to this extend when asked what had been her favorite scene on House of cards. “I hope I’ll never be able to answer this question. It would imply the best has already happened”. I’m borrowing this from her, because it’s just so true. Every job brings a new realization and learning curves and I’m always humbled by the generosity of the people I get to work with. So let’s keep it coming lol!
Where can people see you next?
James Franco’s “Actors Anonymous” coming out next year and “The Other” where I’m playing Cary Elwes wife is also released 2016.
I’m super excited about “South Beach”, which is a HULU original series, coming to your screens on the 29th of July. I got to work with Joshua Caldwell, whom I had worked with on the indie movie “Layover”. It’s a very fun show, as I play tough Lt. Erica Whitney, trying to solve a murder in the midst of an escalating rivalry between the two most powerful record labels in Miami.
And I’m getting ready to film this month an LGBT thriller called “The Russian Doll”.
What’s your take on nudity?
Being European I think I might have grown up, feeling that nudity is rather natural, but I remember having to do my first sex scene and totally having a moment of- holy cow. They’re gonna see my ass!! lol!
I think every actor needs to decide for themselves whether it adds to the story telling or not. But on as a side note: I don’t know a single woman who sleeps with her bra on. It always takes me out of the moment – I also think it’s a question of trust with the team behind the camera that the shooting will be tasteful.
Who has influenced your acting most?
I think it was Music that initially influenced my acting most. I would hear a song and things would fall into some spaces in my instrument. Also I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had some amazing teachers, they were and are very instrumental in allowing me to do an artistic “update at faster intervals. But actors I love watching are Robin Wright, she makes my “instrument “ ache. I love Marion Cotillard, her performance in Rust and bone, did something to me. I grew up watching Faye Dunaway, Whoopi Goldberg two strong women who carried movies. Tony Shalhoub and Morgan Freeman, Idris Elba, Essie Davis, I’m continually being influenced lol!
Facts not many people know about you?
1)My middle name is a Duane, a boy’s name actually. Even though my parents had nine months to figure it out lol! They were intrigued by the idea that “Duane” (pronounced Du-ann) would be symbolic for their love crossing borders, as the word “border” in french is Duoane. And they came from different parts of the world. (My dad is Swiss, my mum British -originally from Trinidad). And yes yes they are divorced lol!
2)I have an avant guard film company (Viscus Film) with one of my best friends from Drama School. We made a pact 8 years ago. And A year ago we did it.
3}I love going to the movies by myself and during the day.
I once bought a helmet to impress a prospective boyfriend. Only to find out that he didn’t ride bikes or anything for that matter that required a helmet.
Which super hero would you be?
wonder woman- all the way. Always has been. lol
What is your happy place?
Curled up with my dog, feeling her warm breath on my skin and her little paws in my hands.
When did you last lie?
yesterday to a casting director, he asked if I could sign a letter with a pen between my toes. He looked at me imploringly so I said yes. (And you know I went home and started practicing lol).
What would you want as your epitaph?
She did it her way. she had the courage and was stubborn enough.
A talent you wish you had?
If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?
Hopefully a good listener. I’m working on that. I’m naturally chatty, so it’s about learning to listen. Have I truly received all you wanted me to know? Did I take the time to truly “see” the person in front of me.
Who dead, alive or fictional would you love to have over for tea?
Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, Mr Monk (Tony Shalhoub), Kathryn Bigelow, Angelina Jolie, Eames (designer duo), Ludovico Einaudi (composer), Louise Bourgeois (artist), Jaqueline du Pre (Cellist), Vincent D’Onofrio. It’s a large tea party LOL!!
Which Lesson has been the hardest to learn?
Life’s not about being right.
What is your guilty pleasures?
British TV murder mysteries.
What is your super power?
I can make a decent meal out of pretty much anything lol!
Your favorite things you travel with?
My watch, it’s a man’s watch and it always makes me feel grounded. My computer: I love writing while I travel, a huge scarf that doubles as a blanket. And my crystal stones.