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36 Portrait airberlin magazin 3 / 2015 Starkes „Tatort“-Team in Ludwigshafen: Andreas Hoppe als Kommissar Mario Kopper und Ulrike Folkerts als Kommissarin Lena Odenthal. Strong “Tatort” team in Ludwigshafen: Andreas Hoppe as Inspector Mario Kopper and Ulrike Folkerts as Inspector Lena Odenthal. busy playing a neurotic New York Jew in the German stage adaptation of Lily Brett’s “You Gotta Have Balls” in Hamburg. The production has proved a massive hit, earning praise and performing to sell-out audiences. “The best thing about my profession its its versatility,” she says. And Inspector Odenthal? Folkerts laughs. “Lena isn’t my alter ego, but of course we’re close. We’ve grown old together and the character has developed with me; she has acquired a few sharp edges, just as I have.” Ulrike Folkerts has the chance to play a completely different type of person in the ZDF production “Das goldene Ufer” (to be screened on 5 April at 8:15 pm). The adaptation of the historical novel by Iny Lorentz is set on an estate in 1825 (the pre-March era): Folkerts plays the power-hungry Countess Elfreda von Rennitz, who is not above slapping her maid in the face and ordering her beating. “There’s a reason for Elfreda’s harshness,” says the actress. “She fears for her livelihood: after all it’s the period when servants are rebelling against their masters. The ruling class is running scared.” The film’s stunning visual opulence is reminiscent of “Downton Abbey”. It was shot in a stately home near Prague – an amazing experience for Ulrike Folkerts: “I always wanted to act in a lavish costume drama. We actors were really immersed in another world during the shoot.” Many scenes were also filmed by candlelight, lending the production its distinctive other-worldly atmosphere. Ulrike Folkerts is self-confident and appears to know exactly what she wants. But this hasn’t always been the case. She was offered the role of Lena Odenthal at just 28 years of age. Quitting her theatre job in Oldenburg, she decided on impulse to relocate to Berlin. But the gulf between TV and real life was, as so often, a wide one: “I was always on TV, thanks to the many repeats. But initially I was only filming one ‘Tatort’ a year and had to eke out my earnings with waitressing jobs.” Despite this, she managed to win over the TV public – soon everybody knew Lena Odenthal. “There hadn’t been anybody like her before: a strong woman with short hair, jeans and a leather jacket who was more than capable of beating the men at their own game,” says the actress. “Later on she became softer and more sympathetic. I actually preferred her combative nature.” The tough police officer eventually fell victim to burnout in the 25th anniversary episode last October. “One corpse too many,” says Ulrike Folkerts drily. “Well, that’s human nature. It was time that Lena had a crisis in her life. I think it’s exciting.” The many Odenthal fans are looking forward to finding out whether the inspector manages to pick herself up again. Life as a “lone wolf” is never easy. Ulrike Folkerts, on the other hand, is a very social person who is highly committed to various causes, especially the welfare of children: she’s an ambassador for “burundikids” in Africa and founded “kulturvoll e.V.”, a charity that gives young people from socially deprived backgrounds the chance to get involved in artistic and theatre projects, with 15 friends in 2006. Her leisure time is important to her too: after the excitement of a shoot or a performance she likes to recharge her batteries at home, either on the sofa or on long walks in the woods with her long-term partner, the artist Katharina Schnitzler. The couple is openly lesbian: “The more matter-of-fact you are about it, the more it’s accepted by others.” But Folkerts is sometimes irked when her homosexuality is still raised as an “issue” – even in her supposedly tolerant profession. “Not every director wants a lesbian to play the lead role in a love story. But if a heterosexual actor plays a gay man, he’s praised for his courage!” she says with a grin. She would also like to see more openness when it comes to awarding parts to middle-aged women. “Many actresses struggle as of the age of 40, and certainly from 50 onwards, as there simply aren’t enough interesting roles. But these women have so much experience, personality and ability to offer.” Often spurned wives, mothers and grannies are the only parts available. She knows how lucky she is to have such a wide range of projects on the go. Luck and happiness are subjects that Folkerts has pondered over for some time. In 2008 she and her partner published their book “Glück gefunden” (“Happiness found”). What is her definition of happiness? “Sometimes you can be high on happiness; at other times it’s just a permanent feeling of contentment,” she says. Ulrike Folkerts has found herself at the age of 53. Let’s hope that Lena Odenthal can overcome her crisis and do likewise… • Photos: ZDF/Martin Spelda, SWR/Alexander Kluge

Berlin extra 37 airberlin magazin 3 / 2015 37 Inspiration gefällig? Auf ein aufschlussreiches Wochenende voller Kreativität können Besucher des Pictoplasma-Festivals setzen. Führende Künstler und Designer des zeitgenössischen „Character Design“ bieten vom 29. April bis 3. Mai eine Mischung aus Ausstellungen, Filmvorführungen, Workshops und Künstlergesprächen. Mehr Infos: www.pictoplasma.com Looking for inspiration? Visitors to the Pictoplasma Festival can get ready to enjoy an enlightening long weekend brimming with creativity. From 29 April to 3 May, artists and designers offer a programme of presentations, film screenings, workshops and lectures at the leading conference and festival of contemporary character culture. Details at: www.pictoplasma.com Photos: Andy Ristaino/Pictoplasma, Diskrutur, achtung berlin/Christine Kisorsy Zeit-Diagnose Welches Verhältnis haben wir zu Zeit? Antworten darauf gibt es auf dem „MaerzMusik – Festival für Zeitfragen“ vom 20. bis 29. März. Interessante Konzerte, Installationen, Performances und Filmprojekte eröffnen unterschiedliche Zugänge zur Debatte über unseren Umgang mit Zeit. Infos: www.berlinerfestspiele.de Analysis of time Our relationship with time is explored at the “MaerzMusik Festival for Time Issues” from 20 to 29 March. Fascinating concerts, installations, performances and film projects shed light on the debate about our attitude to time. Details at: www.berlinerfestspiele.de Made in Berlin-Brandenburg Aktuelle Spiel-, Dokumentar- und Kurzfilme werden noch vor ihrem offiziellen Kinostart auf dem „11. achtung Berlin – new berlin film award“ vom 15. bis 22. April gezeigt. Das Besondere daran: Alle Beiträge wurden in der Hauptstadtregion realisiert – Berliner Flair inklusive. Abgerundet wird das Filmprogramm durch Partys in angesagten Berliner Clubs. Mehr Infos: www.achtungberlin.de Made in Berlin-Brandenburg Current motion pictures, documentaries and short films are shown before their official release date at the 11th “achtung Berlin – newberlin film award” from 15 to 22 April. All of the films have been produced or shot in Berlin-Brandenburg. The programme is rounded off with various parties at popular Berlin clubs. Details at: www.achtungberlin.de

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