In her latest film Applause actress Paprika Steen mesmerizes with her intense performance of a desperate mother who is about to lose custody of her children as alcohol abuse and her over-ambitious acting career are about to destroy her. Still, this is not a depressing film and there is a silver lining on the horizon. The camera scrupulously moves very close for Paprika Steen’s long monologues showing her wide range of talent.
Having seen Paprika Steen with her producer husband and son (he plays a part in the film) during an interview with journalist Sven Ahnert, it is even more of a surprise to meet a cheerful, relaxed and very witty person. She states that acting is a craft that she enjoys very much but never takes the role into her private life (as the character in the film does). Coming from a family of actors she is well aware of the pitfalls.
Quotes by Paprika Steen:
About her film Applause:
In the film, I didn’t want to be the clown who cries; I didn’t want it to be about alcohol; alcohol wasn’t necessary for the film. Alcohol was the symbol of escapism. I don’t know the ending of the film, but all artwork should have hope.
About her acting:
• Acting is a craft and a good actor should be able to snap out of it – otherwise that’s not art, that’s therapy.
• As an actress I am the pencil; I color the palette.
• Each person is 30% her parents and 70% herself. It’s the same for an actress: acting the character is 30% of yourself and 70% is just acting.
About Danish film:
• What looks like improvisation in a film is really a skill; actually everything is minutely planned out.
• We Danes are constantly copying everyone else. We don’t have the legacy of a Strindberg or Ibsen. No ghosts in the background. We never think we are good enough.
About film in general:
• The roles are reversed: in America there are bad films and good television, whereas in Europe there are good films and television “sucks.”
• Germany should get rid of dubbing films; why do you think that Scandinavians are so good in languages: because we see films in the original.
• I don’t like normalness, but I want to be normal.
• My mother named me Paprika because I was born with red hair, like the color of the spice