Jane Chirwa: “THE ROLES OFTEN HAVE TO DO WITH THE LIFE PHASE I’M CURRENTLY IN”
INTERVIEW BY NANE STEINHOFF
JJane Chirwa began dancing in her childhood. She discovered her love for acting in the theater club. After acting school, she appeared in various film projects such as Homeshoppers’ Paradise and Charlie’s Angels. In this interview, she speaks about her latest project, Clashing Differences, her love for Berlin, and more.
DISCOVER GERMANY: How did you get into acting? Was this always your dream job? What do you love about the job?
Jane Chirwa: I love that I get to meet so many different people and places through this job, the adventure behind it, the deep engagement with the character and humans in general, and the community vibe with the team and cast. I´m interested in the creative attempt to process being human. All of that and so much more.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Which shoot do you remember particularly fondly and why?
Jane Chirwa: I have fond memories of shooting Clashing Differences due to the safe production conditions. The whole team had two trusted persons available to get support during the shoot, whether in case of conflicts or private issues that became very visible during the shoot. We shot in Brandenburg and had security personnel on set and at our accommodation. And Charlie’s Angels, because I really appreciate Kristen Stewart as an actor. The project had a big budget, and I was interested in how things were done in such a huge production. I was able to observe and learn a lot.
DISCOVER GERMANY: You were born in Mannheim and have roots in Zambia; what does home mean to you?
Jane Chirwa: In the German language there is a fine difference between the words ‘Heimat’ (home) and ‘zu Hause’ (at home). I use the term ‘at home’ instead of ‘Heimat,’ and that is a place where people uphold the same values, where I feel safe and seen, and where I can be free.
DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you love about Mannheim and what do you love about Zambia?
Jane Chirwa: I was born in Mannheim, but I grew up in Berlin, and what I love about Berlin is its diversity. It feels like the whole world is at home here. I appreciate the creative scene, the relaxed way people interact, the wide range of opportunities, and the fact that my family and friends live here. In Lusaka, I love that I can see my family there, constantly learn more about my ancestors, enjoy the music in the streets, pick mangos from the trees, savour the food, and experience the warm, laid-back way people interact with each other.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Your role profile is incredibly versatile. How do you choose your roles? And how do they reflect your personality?
Jane Chirwa: The roles often have to do with the life phase I’m currently in. During certain phases, I want to try out specific roles.
DISCOVER GERMANY: Clashing Differences is airing on October 9th on ZDF. What can viewers look forward to?
Jane Chirwa: To many funny moments and challenging everyday realities. It also depends a lot on the viewers themselves, because Clashing Differences features various people to relate to. So, the question is, with whom and with which topics do you feel represented?
DISCOVER GERMANY: To overcome injustice and abuse of power in the German film industry, what needs to happen on German film sets or in the German film industry in general?
Jane Chirwa: Oh, there’s not enough space here to really get into it. I wish for the film industry to become more family-friendly, to represent the entire society in front of and behind the camera, and for there to be no gender pay gap.
DISCOVER GERMANY: What’s in store for 2023 and 2024? What can we look forward to from you?
Jane Chirwa: Currently, I’m shooting Blaue Flecken, which is Sarah Miro Fischer’s graduation film from the renowned film school DffB. Hopefully, it will be featured at great festivals next year. And Clashing Differences is still screening this year in New York and London.
DISCOVER GERMANY: What dreams and wishes do you have for the future?
Jane Chirwa: I am currently dreaming of producing a song and shooting a music video for it.
The series Clashing Differences is now available to watch in the ZDF media library.
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