I recently got the chance to talk to Senta Dorothea Kirschner about her role in ‘Don 2′. Here, Senta talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and which three guests she would invite to dinner…
Hey Senta. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘Don 2′.
Thank you for having me. It is my pleasure.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Don 2′ is a Bollywood action thriller. It’s main character Don, who has taken over the Asian underworld in the first part of this sequel, is now aiming for the European criminal world. Its bosses, aware of the danger, want him dead. The chase for his death starts during a drug transaction in Thailand, but Don succeeds to escape to Malaysia, where he is sent to prison and where he meets his old rival Vardhaan. The two escape the prison and go to Zurich. There, Don gets hold of a tape, which gives him the opportunity to get an entry to the European underworld and use the in-fightings within it for his purpose to take it over. With his insights he plans a robbery of the Euro printing bank called DZB in Berlin, Germany. His coup works out.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I am playing one of the hostages who are taken by Don and his team at the Euro printing bank called the DZB in order to steal the printing plates and to get immunity in Germany.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
The German casting director who was responsible for casting the German actors suggested me to the director and the production company and they cast me.
How would you say this film is different and unique, both in general and from the original?
Unfortunately, I didn’t see the original shot in 1978. But I have watched some available sequences on the Internet. And as far as I can tell, it is similar. Now, in the modern sequel – ‘Don’ and ‘Don 2’ - there are more action scenes with loads of modern special effects and SFX, which are fantastic and fun to watch.
The film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Om Puri, Boman Irani and Lara Dutta - with Farhan Akhtar onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
It was an extraordinary experience. ‘Don 2’ was my first action thriller I worked on and so I was very excited about it. On set there was a very concentrated atmosphere but at the same time the cast and crew were relaxed and very fun. It was in all areas thrilling and inspiring.
Let’s talk a bit about you Senta. What made you want to get into the world of film in the first place?
I started ballet when I was three. I was pursuing a career as a dancer from an early age and went inter alia to the ballet academy in Munich, Germany. We had an enquiry every semester and at one point the committee decided that my subtalar joints where not strong enough to pursue a successful dancing career, so I had to leave the academy. But I didn’t want to give up and went to Dresden to apply for the Palucca University of Dance. I wasn’t accepted. I remember sitting in the cafeteria of the school after the enquiry silently crying. A young lady who was in the examination board sat down next to me and said: “You have such an illuminative stage presence. You should stick with your dream of being on stage. It is just not ballet. If you ask me: you will be an actress”. Well, I was sad anyway because I felt like my dream fainted. And as I arrived back home in Munich and told my parents all this and these words, my father said very pragmatic “Well, then you are going to BE an actress.”
I was already a member of the theatre group in my high school where I had been doing some little dances between the acts in the yearly production (we played a lot of Commedia dell’Arte and Shakespeare). Then I started to play some parts. That was when I realized how captivated I was with language and speech and the different layers you can build with mimic, gesture and language and pronunciation. And to be frank, all my life I have been more interested in watching films (I even stayed up to watch the Oscars as a young girl) then going to the theatre to see Swan Lake. Acting was always my vocation.
You’ve been in a number of different TV series and films – which have been your favourite actors/actresses to work with so far and which project has been your favourite to be a part of?
This is really difficult to answer because of the simple fact, that I am a very enthusiastic personality. Whatever character I am working on, whatever film I am shooting, I am really into it, with my whole heart, all my passion, 100%. I can best answer the question like this: my favourite actors/actresses are the ones I currently work with. Same with the projects: the ones I am currently shooting for.
In retrospect there have been of course some highlights, such as Tom Tykwer, Dennis Gansel, Farhan Akhtar, Nikolai Kinski, Max Riemelt, Shah Rukh Khan. They are national and international stars. And what I admire and what I observe with stars is that they are really inspiring, professional and humble colleagues. They don’t emphasize their standing. In the contrary, they are authentic and meet you on an eye-to-eye-level.
If you could invite three guests to dinner – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Kevin Richardson, the lion whisperer from South Africa – (http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/) – I am so fascinated by him and what he does…I have so many questions about the lions and the friendship he has with them.
- Albert Camus – my favourite author.
- My maternal grandmother – she died at the age of 32.
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
My Labrador Ida, my cherry pit pillow that I got from my parents (they were eating cherries all summer, collected the pits and my mother sewed me a pillow of them) and the muffler a very special person gave to me.
In your opinion, what do you think was the most important news story of 2011?
There were a lot of headlines that were important in 2011. Starting with Fukushima, Japan, all the political movements in the Arabic world, the struggling financial system. 2011 felt for me like an earthquake in all areas: politically, financially and socially.
But I can think of two really shattering news stories in 2011 for me personally:
- July 22nd I was shooting a music video in Berlin. It was a very concentrated, fun and fulfilling work with a great team. When I got home in the late afternoon, I turned my computer on and the news struck me: the massacre in Norway and the death of Amy Winehouse. It was so surreal. The whole day had such a different energy and matrix due to that. And at the same time I felt very gifted to having worked that day with loads of talented personalities and being so fulfilled.
- In October I stumbled over a headline on a website that I read once in a while, called ’The Chronicle of Philanthropy’: I was so touched by this small article and its content. Have a look yourself: http://philanthropy.com/blogs/philanthropytoday/anonymous-donor-leaves-130000-quake-gift-in-japan-restroom/40471
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Professionally, I am aiming for wider recognition and acknowledgement of my work and me. I have some really interesting queries…fingers crossed and stay tuned! And personally, I have a long-lasting wish, which I want to realize this year: when my mother was pregnant with me, my family was living in Pretoria, South Africa. This December – over my birthday – I want to travel to South Africa to experience the country where my life started.
Thanks for the interview!