I got a bit of an inkling about how popular my fellow jury member Maren Kroymann was here in Germany, when at the opening night party a couple of people circled her, pointed their fingers and stared. Since I have a limited knowledge of actresses who have not been seen in movies in America I had no idea who Maren Kroymann was aside from having googled her before I arrived here in Germany.
But I am so glad I have had the chance to meet her and get to know her bit.
She is the bomb. An incredible, smart person and has had an illustrious career in Germany, she has worked on the stage, TV and in film and she has her own cabaret show with her own band.
The other evening at the IWFF there was a career retrospective conversation with Maren (followed by a screening of Angelina Maccarone's film Verfolgt) conducted by journalist and filmmaker Anne Siegel.
The conversation included clips from her films and shows but it was so interesting because Maren is very feminist, open, and political about her acting and her life. She was one of the first famous German women to come out publicly as a lesbian and she continues to push the envelope and talk about the issue when necessary. She came out in 1993 in Stern Magazine that was supposed to be an article including other women but they all bailed and Maren was the only left for the piece.
She has been the lead in several TV shows and is known for her comedy and for pushing the envelope. One of her shows was cancelled when the ratings were good because it was too radical for the network. She is a woman who has been able to inject politics and feminism into her work. Because she is blonde and gorgeous she was able to get away with being quite biting because no one expects that from someone who looks like Maren.
According to an interview in Eurout from last year, she is the only woman to have had her own comedy series that she was also a co-writer on: Nachtschwester Kroymann (‘Night Nurse Kroymann’) which ran from 1993-1997.
Some of the things she touched on included how important it is for women to parody other women even though it gets her in trouble with her feminist friends. "If we can't make fun of women we only have 50% of the topics."
Interestingly, in her most recent show Flemming, she plays a character originally written for a man but since the network wanted to reach more women they had the character rewritten.