Actress Iris Mareike Steen has been a staple of German cult soap Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten for a while. She talks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about what goes on behind the scenes, Let’s Dance, and much more.

DISCOVER GERMANY: How did you get into acting? Has this always been your dream job?

Iris Mareike Steen: Acting has always been a big hobby of mine, so I never really saw it as a job. I was able to gain filming experience as a child and I’m really grateful that after graduating from high school I started working on the RTL series Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten and was therefore actually able to turn acting into my profession.

DISCOVER GERMANY: To what extent has your role in GZSZ promoted or furthered your career?

Iris Mareike Steen: I owe a lot to GZSZ. If I hadn’t been accepted in 2010 and packed my things to move from Hamburg to Berlin, I probably would have studied psychology and acting would have remained a hobby.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What is the best thing about the GZSZ shoots behind the scenes?

Iris Mareike Steen: We are an extremely well-rehearsed team in front of and behind the camera. I’ve made a lot of incredibly valuable friendships over the years and even if the day-to-day shooting can sometimes be very intense, we have a lot of fun and really nice interactions with each other. It is a great gift to come to a place every day where you feel so comfortable and where you meet so many people close to your heart.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you love most about your GZSZ role, Lilly Seefeld?

Iris Mareike Steen: I think it’s nice that the role has practically grown up with me. Initially a very shy character, Lilly is now a confident young doctor with a big heart and a great sense of humour. It’s really fun to embody this role.

DISCOVER GERMANY: Let’s talk about Let’s Dance; how was that for you? Do you remember particularly difficult moments?

Iris Mareike Steen: In hindsight, Let’s Dance was an extremely valuable experience. While I was doing it, I was struggling a lot, however. I had totally underestimated the double burden. And, of course, it wasn’t nice that I was rarely able to excite the jury. I was pretty much at my limit, both physically and emotionally. But in hindsight, the good memories outweigh the bad ones, and I am glad that I was able to have this experience.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You have already worked in a number of productions. Which role do you remember particularly fondly and why?

Iris Mareike Steen: As a teenager I played in the ZDF series Da Kommt Kalle for six years and was able to learn a lot during that time. It was great for me to be able to regularly pursue my passion alongside school. I will always have fond memories of that time.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What role would you most like to play one day?

Iris Mareike Steen: Up to now I have played mostly ‘nice’ roles. Of course, it would be fun to play a really bad, maybe mentally ill character. You could really let off steam there as an actor.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What dreams and wishes do you have for the future?

Iris Mareike Steen: As trite as it always sounds: the greatest good is our health and that of our loved ones. As far as dreams are concerned, I would like to fulfill my dream of pursuing my second great passion, music. I’m already at it and it makes my soul very happy.

DISCOVER GERMANY: Other plans for 2022? What’s coming up? Can you tell us about any future endeavors?

Iris Mareike Steen: I have a lot planned for the coming months, which unfortunately I can’t talk about yet – I don’t like it when people say things like that, but now I couldn’t avoid making this statement myself and a little tension building can’t hurt (laughs). But I can say I’m incredibly excited to share it soon.

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