"No matter what happens to me and my career in the future, Berlin is always going to be my hometown." Alexandra Maria Lara.
A Romanian-born German actress living in Germany, Alexandra Maria Lara is a major movie star in Germany, where she has starred in such films as “Der Tunnel” (2001; aka. "The Tunnel"), Nackt (2002; aka. "Naked") and Der Untergang (2004; aka. "Downfall"). She has also appeared in a number of English-language movies, including “Control” (2007), “Youth Without Youth” (2007), “I Really Hate My Job” (2007), "Miracle at St. Anna" (2008), and "The Reader" (2008). The award-winning actress will next be seen in the upcoming films "Affaire Farewell, L'" (aka. "Farewell"), "Hinter Kaifeck" (aka. "Kaifeck Murder"), and "City of Life."
This 5' 8½" actress with delicately chiseled Eastern European features and a lithe, graceful presence, was selected by the readers of the “Maxim” magazine as the “Superwoman of the Year” in 2004 and was ranked #1 in a list by tabloid "Bild" searching the "50 most beautiful Germans of today" in April the following year.
Lara is now engaged to English actor Sam Riley and they now live in Berlin.
Childhood and Family:
Born Alexandra Maria Platareanu in Bucharest, Romania, on November 12, 1978, Alexandra Maria Lara fled to West Germany with her parents in 1983, when she was four and half years old, to escape Nicolae Ceauşescu's tyrannical regime in Communist Romania. The family initially planned to emigrate to Canada, but they settled down in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, before eventually ending up in Berlin.
The only child of Valentin Plătăreanu, a Bucharest actor, and his wife, Doina, a homemaker, Lara graduated from the Französisches Gymnasium Berlin in 1997 and wen on to study acting under the supervision of her father at the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg until 2000. She changed her last name from 'Platareanu' to 'Lara' in 1996 because her agency said it was such a tongue twister.
Lara, who often used to travel to Bucharest to visit her grandmother, has failed to pass driver's license three times. Her favorite drink is Coca Cola and she loves to drink it by the bucket.
For 9 years, Lara had a boyfriend named Florian Unger, who was a joiner. They lived together in Berlin, but broke up in 2006. In the following year, Lara met English actor Sam Riley (born on January 8, 1980) in the movie “Control” (2007), and the two has become engaged. They now live in Berlin together.
In her free time, Lara enjoys her biggest hobbies: going to the movies and taking acting lessons.
"I early acquired adulthood through my job." Alexandra Maria Lara.
The only child of an actor father, Alexandra Maria Lara started acting at an early age as a member of the theater in her school. After graduating from high school, she studied acting at the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg, where her father was also the co-founder and her teacher. By this time she had appeared in the German miniseries "Stella Stellaris" (1994), German melodrama film "Ich begehre dich" (1995), and German teen TV series "Mensch, Pia!" (1996).
While honing in on her craft at the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg, Lara acted in the TV movies "Die Mädchenfalle - Der Tod kommt online" (1997) and "Die Bubi Scholz Story" (1998), as well as guest-starred in an episode of the TV series "Faust," "Tatort," "Polizeiruf 110," and "Sperling." She also could be seen in the films "Das Vorsprechen" (1997) and "Südsee, eigene Insel" (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Lara appeared in the made-for-television movies "Vertrauen ist alles" and "Luftpiraten - 113 Passagiere in Todesangst," as well as guest starred in an episode of "Die Kommissarin." She was also cast in the films "Fisimatenten" and "Crazy."
After her critically-acclaimed performance in "Der Tunnel" (2001; aka. "The Tunnel"), which was based on a true story a group of East Berliners escaping to the West, Lara landed more film roles, in "Honolulu" (2001; aka. "Romeo & Julia 2000"), "99 Euro Films" (2001), "Leo und Claire" (2001; aka. "Leo & Claire"), "Was nicht passt, wird passend gemacht" (2002; aka. "If It Don't Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer"), "Nackt" (2002; aka. "Naked"), and "Leise Krieger" (2004).
During this time, on the small screen, she starred in the TV movie "Schleudertrauma" (2002), which was followed by her debut in a non German-language production with the epic mini-series “Napoléon” (2002), featuring an all-star cast including Isabella Rossellini, Gérard Depardieu, and John Malkovich. Meanwhile, she appeared in the British TV movie “Doctor Zhivago” (2002), which featured Keira Knightley and Sam Neill.
After starring in the classic romantic drama TV movie "Trenck - Zwei Herzen gegen die Krone" (2003), Lara was cast in director Oliver Hirschbiegel's Oscar nominated German/Austrian drama film "Der Untergang" (2004; aka. "Downfall"). In the biographical film that depicts the final twelve days of Adolf Hitler in his Berlin bunker and Nazi Germany in 1945, Lara portrayed Hitler's young personal secretary, Traudl Junge. That same year, she also appeared in the miniseries "Der Wunschbaum," as well as in the films "Leise Krieger" (2004) and "Cowgirl."
2005 saw Lara as a jury member of the Transylvanian Film Festival. Meanwhile, she acted in that year's films "Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe" (aka. About the Looking for and the Finding of Love") and "Der Fischer und seine Frau." In the following year, she appeared in the German films "Offset" and "Wo ist Fred?"
In 2007, Lara co-starred in the English-language films "I Really Hate My Job" (alongside Neve Campbell), "Control" (opposite future companion Sam Riley and Samantha Morton), "Youth Without Youth" (director Francis Ford Coppola reportedly wrote her a letter and gave her a leading role in the film after watching her convincing performance in “Der Untergang” (2004)), and "The City of Your Final Destination" (alongside Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney). She also appeared in the miniseries about the CIA based on the 2002 book by Robert Littell, "The Company," starring Michael Keaton, Chris O'Donnell, and Alfred Molina, and on "Shadowplay" music video from “The Killers,” which is the soundtrack of “Control” (2007).
Recently, Lara became a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Moviegoers could catch Lara in the films "Miracle at St. Anna" (2008), "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" (2008; aka. "The Baader Meinhof Complex"), "Trilogia II: I skoni tou chronou" (2008; aka. "The Dust of Time"), and the Academy Award-nominated "The Reader" (2008; starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes), Stephen Daldry's film adaptation of the 1995 German novel of the same name by law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink.
Next, Lara will appear in the thriller "Affaire Farewell, L'" (aka. "Farewell"), the mystery/thriller "Hinter Kaifeck" (aka. "Kaifeck Murder"), and the dramatic "City of Life."
"If I would have written a wish list to Santa Claus sometime, with wishes for my career - to film with Coppola, I would've never arrogated that to myself." Alexandra Maria Lara.
Milan International Film Festival, Best Actress, "Der Fischer und seine Frau," 2006
Golden Camera: Best German Actress, 2005
Undine: Best Young Comedian, 2005
for: Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe (2005
Bambi: Film - National, "Der Untergang," 2004