Woman (In Horror) Crush Wednesday: Franka Potente

September 20, 2017

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Hallo meine kleinen Monster, es ist wieder Mittwoch. If’n you don’t understand German, I’m basically eluding to the fact that it is again Wednesday, and of course you all know that Wednesday is the day we focus on another wonderful Woman of Horror. “Why the German?”, you may ask. It’s because today’s lovely and talented lady is  a German, born and raised. Franke Potente is an actress you may likely have seen, but may not know her contribution to our beloved horror genre. Well, worry not, because we’ll get to that shortly.
Franke was born in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany (that’s back before the reunification of Germany for all you youngsters out there) and grew up in the nearby town of Dülmen. Franke has a younger brother, who was very ill after his birth. All of the attention that was lavished upon him, made Franke a bit envious, prompting her to put on performance for her family in order to garner attention for herself. This could very well be seen as the seminal moment of her acting career. Whilst in high school she took part in a foreign exchange program, and at the age of 17 began attending high school in Humble, Texas. she became very engrossed in her American lifestyle over the school year and even had a serious American boyfriend, whom she even brought back to Germany with her so that he could meet her parents. It didn’t go as well as she might have expected.
While studying abroad in America, she became truly inspired to take up acting. And after graduation from German Gymnasium (that’s high school to you and me, Rusty) in 1994, Franke began studying at Munich’s Otto Falckenberg School of Performing Arts. It was during this time that she appeared in her first film, a student project titled Aufbruch (Departure). Not long after, she found herself in a bizarre situation where she had obviously caught the eye of a woman in a bar, who had her gaze unflinchingly locked on Franke. This attention made  Franke anxious enough that she was about to leave the bar, but went to use the ladies room first. It was at this point the woman approaced Franke in the ladies, and revealed she was a casting director. This led to her first big screen role of Anna in the film Nach Fünf im Urwald (After Five in the Forest Primeval). Franke decided to complete her final year of dramatic training, and moved to New York to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
Franke again returned to Germany and would find herself taking on a role that was actually written specifically for her by the film’s director, Tom Tykwer.  It was her incredible portrayal of the lead character of Lola, in Run Lola Run, that really made people sit up and take notice of this incredibly talented woman. She has shown herself to be an incredibly versatile actress appearing on the big screen in films like Am I Beautiful?The Princess and the WarriorBlowStorytellingAll I Want, I Love Your Work, Romulus My Father, Eichmann, Che and of course The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Suprmacy. Franke has also graced the small screen with her presence in such series as The Shield, House and Psych. She also had a featured role on the BBC series Copper , the FX series The Bridge and again more recently on the FX/BBC One series Taboo.
As for Franke’s horror resume, it began in 2000 when she starred as Paula Henning in the gruesome German horror/thriller, Anatomie (Anatomy), a role she would reprise in the 2003 sequel, Anatomie 2 (Anatomy 2). The next year (2004),  she starred the British horror film, Creep…no, not the 2014 film of the same name that starred Mark Duplass. Franke also appeared in two episodes of American Horror Story: Asylum and the Canadian sci-fi series Dark Matter. Her most recent appearance in the genre was her portrayal of Anita Gregory in the second film chronicling the supernatural investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring 2.
Aside from being a gifted actress, Franke can also speak fluent German, French and English. She is also trained in fencing and also plays the flute and violin. There have also been times, following a film where it may be required that she would have her hair colored, that she would shave her head. Franke would do this so that she cold get her”real hair” back after it had endured the potentially harmful effects of dying and/or bleaching.
She has, as is the case with many of our wonderful Women of Horror, taken on one of the most fulfilling roles of her life, being a mother of two daughters. She gave birth to her first daughter, Polly, whom she had with actor Derek Richardson in 2011. The couple married in 2012 and had their second daughter, Georgie, in 2013.
As far as seeing Franke continue on in the horror genre, one needs only wait for the release of the upcoming supernatural horror film, which is currently in post-production, titled Muse. She is also currently filming another supernatural thriller, with Nic Cage, called Between Worlds, as well as a comedy titled 25 km/h.
Of course, should any of you Little Monsters decide to dig a little and find out more about Franke’s upcoming films and what-not on your own, there is always her official IMDb page. Aside from that, I have no knowledge of and official or verified social media account of any kind from her…but feel free to seek them out if you so wish.
So my Little Monsters, I will leave you with an old German saying. “Des Teufels liebstes Möbelstück ist die lange Bank.” Which translates to, “The devil’s favorite piece of furniture is the long bench.” And what THAT boils down to is not putting things off for too long, because the Devil just loves procrastinators I guess.

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