Cristina do Rego: ‘I AM CAPTIVATED BY PEOPLE AND NARRATIVES THAT SHOW HOW EACH PERSON CAN MAKE A MEANINGFUL IMPACT IN THE WORLD.’
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: LEONIE HANDRICK
Born in Brazil and raised in Germany, actress Cristina do Rego speaks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about the recent election results in her home country, her latest film projects and much, much more.
DISCOVER GERMANY: You were born in Brazil and moved to Germany as a child. To what extent do your Brazilian roots still shape you today?
Cristina do Rego: Brazil is and will always be my roots and my home. I’m at home in Germany, but Brazil is a part of me. Most of my family lives there and I need to recharge my batteries there regularly to feel like myself again.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Let’s chat about uprooting: Do you now feel more German than Brazilian?
Cristina do Rego: It is very difficult to answer this question. Nevertheless, it is now simply the case that I have built up an entire life, a career and many long-term friendships in Germany. I have accepted that I have both cultures within me and that both countries are at home for me. At some point in my twenties, I understood that I never have to choose one root or the other.
DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you think of the outcome of the election in your home country?
Cristina do Rego: I am infinitely relieved, I have hope for the country again, which I have not recognised in many places in recent years.
DISCOVER GERMANY: You recently came out as a member of the queer community. How has this changed your life?
Cristina do Rego: My day-to-day life hasn’t changed, other than making me even more confident. So far, my professional life has only changed noticeably in moments like these, as I am now asked much more about my private life than before.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Today you live in Berlin. Why is this city your adopted home? What makes her so special to you?
Cristina do Rego: Berlin happened to me and I am very grateful for that. I had to move to Berlin for a project in my early twenties, although I was very happy in Cologne, where I lived before. Berlin has slowly conquered my heart. I have the feeling that there is more ‘space’ here overall, and I like that a lot. As casual as the city can be – it always conquers me.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Is acting your dream job or has there ever been another?
Cristina do Rego: It’s still my dream job after more than 20 years. Of course, some things are different: the role of social media, for example. Still, I’m always very fulfilled when I’m on set.
DISCOVER GERMANY: How do you prepare for the different roles? Are there certain rituals that you like to include?
Cristina do Rego: I work a lot with music and make playlists for my roles. Also, every role I play over a period of time has its own perfume. Then, of course, learning classic desk work such as text.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Your feature film TRAUZEUGEN will come out in German cinemas in September. What can viewers look forward to?
Cristina do Rego: To a wonderful romantic comedy with a great look and wonderful actors. There are plenty of fantastic guest appearances by Kurt Krömer, among others – I promise you: you shouldn’t miss this!
DISCOVER GERMANY: Other wishes and dreams for the future?
Cristina do Rego: After the last few years we’ve all gotten a little bit humbler, haven’t we? I dream of a quieter, safer world, of course, like most people. My personal wishes aren’t too big either: I’m happy if I can work for many more years and if I and the people around me don’t want for anything. Especially not in terms of health.
DISCOVER GERMANY: A new fiction documentary about the life of Aracy de Carvalho is coming out soon, and you play the woman who helped many Jewish people escape from the Nazis during World War II. What can viewers look forward to?
Cristina do Rego: Personally, I find the docu-fiction format very exciting, because access to the characters that really existed becomes even more tangible. It is fascinating to know that these people actually existed and experienced what one learns on the documentary level. A presentation of the story and the people that is as realistic as possible can, at best, bring the audience very close to the events. Aracy wasn’t considered a heroine for a long time, but this documentary makes it clear that she very much was one.
DISCOVER GERMANY: How did this shoot shape you as a Brazilian?
Cristina do Rego: It’s very special for me to act in my mother tongue, especially in a historical story and a character that I was very close to. My aspiration was very high to do justice to her as she was a brave and sincere person who was aware of her privileges. I find that impressive and it was an honour for me to embody her.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Why is this documentary so important?
Cristina do Rego: On the one hand, it is always important to talk about this time. On the other hand, I find it fascinating to come across people and stories that show that everyone can make a difference in their small or large world. It’s high time Aracy de Carvalho was recognised as the heroine she never intended to be but undoubtedly was.
DISCOVER GERMANY: What else can we look forward to from you in 2023?
Cristina do Rego: In addition to some nice feature films that I am currently shooting, I am looking forward to the feature film Trauzeugen, which will be shown in German cinemas from September. I also love being part of Podcasts. I would like to recommend the mystery podcast Flüsterwelt (produced by Podstars) which is an exciting twist on the classic format. It´s out already!
WHEN TO WATCH
Aracy – Der Engel von Hamburg
8 June 2023
20:15 on ARTE
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