Originally from Austria, actress Julia Rosa Peer has made a name for herself in the German-speaking TV and theatre landscape. In this interview, she speaks about her time in New York, her latest project School of Champions, and much more.

DISCOVER GERMANY: How did you become an actress? Did you always know want to be one? Was there a  moment that sprung to mind

Julia Rosa Peer: For me, it was always a fascinating thing to engage in other people’s lives, their dreams and hopes. There were many moments along the way, but I think one crucial one was my very first scene ever, when shooting Dead in 3 Days with Andreas Prochaska. I remember we had a dialogue in a bathroom, and I was sitting on a toilet, rolling a joint, which I had to practice for a month to do it well, and I was feeling my character Mona coming to life. I walked out of that scene with the feeling – wow this felt so right, as if it was made for me and I knew I wanted to become really good at it.

Julia Rosa Peer: “I knew I wanted to become really good at it”

DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you love most about the job? Why is acting your dream profession?

Julia Rosa Peer: I love the creative process with the team, and how a new world comes to life within all these different visions of a story. And I also love the impact each one of these stories has on your own life through the vulnerability you have to allow yourself. I have grown so much as a person and I think it has made me more empathetic, and has taught me how to better understand other people‘s minds. And also how to never give up. It’s like surfing, you can’t only focus on riding the wave, because you won’t get a lot of them in the beginning. You have to start enjoying the process otherwise you are screwed.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You were born in Tyrol in Austria. What do you love about your home?

Julia Rosa Peer: The hospitality. I come from a huge Tyrolean family that is now spread all over the planet and we always enjoy having large gatherings whenever we get together. We also love having guests and my family has by now met my friends from all over the world. And I appreciate the Austrian film industry: I am really proud that I come from a country with such a sophisticated culture of filmmaking and that I was able to learn from that community.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You studied at William Esper Studio NYC, among other places. How did your time in New York shape you as an actress?

Julia Rosa Peer: New York is like this place of infinite inspiration, diversity and excitement. But I also tried to see the less glorious parts of the city, the inequality and how people were struggling to survive this place. I was really lucky, because I received a scholarship for my studies and I felt very privileged. But being far away from home for so long for the first time, has also forced me to learn how to stand up for myself. At Esper Studio I received a really fine-tuned acting training, and I learned how to do comedy, since I was stuck in my dark drama moments for a while. And for the first time, I experienced a creative community with my fellow acting students who remain my friends to this day.

Julia Rosa Peer: “I knew I wanted to become really good at it”

DISCOVER GERMANY: What do you like most about your role in School of Champions?

Julia Rosa Peer: With Mikka Forcher, who played Luca, I had the most amazing acting partner. We developed this really strong bond between mother and son – that was really special to me. And I learned from Laura. She is not the victim of her situation, but a warrior. She has taught me how to feel empowered in the worst possible moments, when all odds seem to be against her. She will not let anyone or anything take away her power of herself or Luca. There were so many colours within her and she follows her instinct no matter what.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What can viewers of the series look forward to the most?

Julia Rosa Peer: The cast and crew of School of Champions, with whom we are already working on the second season of the series, feel like family and we had a great working environment. I think you can feel that vibe in the series. You get insights into the world of professional skiing, with multifaceted stories and action-driven skiing scenes!

DISCOVER GERMANY: You also work as a voice actress. What do you particularly love about this format?

Julia Rosa Peer: The finetuning of my voice and working on different accents: My favourite was being the voice of Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey in German with a French accent as Guinevere in King Arthur – Legend of the Sword.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You also often take part in the theatre. How is a theatre job different from a TV job?

Julia Rosa Peer: They are like two really different worlds, from the artistic concept, how you are developing a project, until even how you use your voice and body. But I would say theatre feels like the base of acting to me. It’s like ballet in dancing.

DISCOVER GERMANY: If you had to choose a format, which would you choose and why?

Julia Rosa Peer: I loved being on a stage, but I always felt my way of expression is very fragile and works better in front of a camera. And after I had been touring with my performances in 16 countries, I was also quite tired. So I took some time off to study and when I got back into acting I felt that I wanted to focus on film & television as my main focus. But maybe I will come back on stage at some point in my life. Who knows.

DISCOVER GERMANY: You speak four languages ​​fluently – German, English, Spanish and French. Why is this important to you as an actress?

Julia Rosa Peer: I remember when I was in Italy for the first time as a child, I started imitating their way of speaking, because I was so fascinated by how they expressed themselves. It’s been incredible for me to study different languages. To dream, feel, love and swear in other languages, made me develop a different kind of personality in each one of them. It widens your horizons and brings new perspectives on life. Also the struggle of expressing yourself can teach you many useful things for life. As actors we portray people, so languages ​​and also different accents or dialects can broaden your possibilities when working on a character. We all have our very unique way of speaking, which is shaped by the way we grew up, where we are from, how we educated ourselves and also where we feel we belong. Everyone has their own linguistic identity. That vision I try to get for each of my characters.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What advice would you give to young actors and actresses today? Are there any tips and tricks you would share?

Julia Rosa Peer: For me, it’s more the question, what can I learn from them? They are such a bold and talented generation, I admire and love working with younger talents like in School of Champions. What I could share with them from my journey is: Stay curious, don’t forget to study the old masters, if you can – go abroad and explore different ways of going about things, make yourself vulnerable and don’t be afraid to also nurture other talents apart from acting. I have only benefited from giving multiple voices inside of me some space.

DISCOVER GERMANY: What are you looking forward to in 2024? Are there any new projects that you are particularly looking forward to?

Julia Rosa Peer: This year is a dream come true! I am just finishing a film project for cinema with one of my favourite directors.  s It’s a comedy and I was dying to work in that genre. And a special highlight will be the premiere of my first short film Bluatstilln – To Remind Me of Life, which I have been co-directing and producing with Roland Silbernagl. I also wrote the script and the lyrics for the title song. With Christoph Stock, I am performing the song as CIJU and can’t wait to share the music video. Singing was like this tabula rasa – there were no limits and it gave me the ultimate freedom in my creative process that I try to remind myself of ever since.

Julia Rosa Peer: “I knew I wanted to become really good at it”

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