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The Bourne Supremacy - Franka Potente Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. You seem very self-confident on and off-screen?
A
. I am, as much as I do doubt and have fears and stuff, but I turn 30 next week so I think it's a good achievement to be kind of self-confident at that age and in this business it saves you. It's like a suit of armour. I do doubt though. It's not like I'm never insecure about things. But I think I have a healthy self-confidence.

Q. You played hostess to the cast and crew when they were in Berlin, because that's where you live?
A.
Yes. People came over to my apartment for a few parties. I'd cook for them.

Q. What was it like shooting in Goa, India?
A.
I'd never been before and going there as part of a big-budget, multi-million dollar Hollywood film was very weird. You'd be shooting the scene and there would be kids begging, and the catering area had to have security guards and a fence around it, because people are starving and trying to get the food.
It was worlds colliding and I found it very hard to focus. I was not prepared for it and I couldn't really deal with it. I broke down crying after my first day on set.
Maybe my character, being a blonde-haired woman not wearing too much, was a little bit of an offence to Indian men. I found myself being stared at a lot, in a way that I wasn't used to, and that made me uncomfortable.
But it's a beautiful place and the people are super-kind. We'd go out with Indians who were working on the movie and that was great.

Q. So it's a difficult place for women?
A.
You just have to be aware. I would cross the line constantly. I had this really nice driver, a young Indian guy, and I wanted to be nice so we'd chat in the car and I'd tap him on the shoulder and stuff and I think I was basically telling him, 'Go to bed with me, go to bed with me', because you're not supposed to touch the men and he made a pass at me after two weeks.
It was basically my own fault, I was sending out signals I was not aware of. It's just a stupid example of the two cultures not understanding each other.

Q. Do you like to flirt?
A.
I do like flirting but I find it quite hard to do, in Germany, because a lot of times people know who I am, and that just doesn't interest me. It's not sexy to me when somebody approaches me, having seen my movies, and maybe having a little fetish for me, or a perspective on me already.
The sexy thing about flirting is that you don't know each other and you're both hunting, equally. You decide what kind of information you want to give out, and you start to get to know each other better. I sense immediately if somebody knows or cares about me beforehand.

Q. So fame has wrecked your life?
A.
Not mine. But I wouldn't want to be Tom Cruise. I think you can live a normal life, but you have to organise it better. I lived in LA for a year and I think sometimes it's easier to do that here.

Q. Wouldn't it be better for your career if you lived in LA now, instead of Berlin?
A.
Well, when I came here, it wasn't for work. I'd just got out of a very long relationship and I wanted some space, and I got that, and after a year I went back to Germany. At least, I felt better about it.

Q. Is it difficult being a German actress looking for work in English-language films?
A.
I have a great agent and I get to read a lot of scripts. It's not my major concern to be honest. It's been easier since I did first Bourne. I hated going to meetings where they'd say, 'Well, how famous are you?'. To me, that's really rude, awful, and it would make me blush. It's like, 'Why don't you go on-line and look at my frigging credits. Why do I have to answer these questions?'
I don't want to explain my status. But I'm very content with where I am. Next year, I do the Che movie with Steven Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro and then I'm doing Therese Raquin, in Prague.

Q. Who will you play in Che?
A.
Tanya Bunke. She was from East Germany and became Che's right-hand man. She died in an ambush a month or so before he died. I was originally offered the role by Terrence Malick, who was going to direct, but now it's Steven Soderbergh and he's kept me on. Hey, he doesn't have a lot of choice. There aren't a lot of German actresses out there and I'm known.

Q. Do you ever think about losing your German accent?
A.
No. I want to keep it because I think I'm a better actress with it. I succeeded in getting rid of it for Blow, but I felt very stiff. I'm working on a British accent now, for Creep. I'm not going to do it for you. I'm not going to put that pressure on myself.

Q. Do you think you'll ever repeat the success of Run Lola Run?
A.
Probably not. That's why it's so unique and so special. When we did it, we thought it would be too artsy and too weird for anybody. We had no idea it would do so well. You can't calculate that.
They try it all the time, especially in the studio system, but you can't calculate that and you can't plan on repeating it.

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