Diane Kruger tailor-made for Tarantino film

Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:52pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was looking for a German actress to play a 1940s German screen siren-turned-spy in his movie "Inglourious Basterds," Diane Kruger knew she was perfect for the part.

After all, she thought, who better to play a German movie star working in France than a German actress like herself who was living in France?

"Basterds," which debuts in the United States on Friday, follows a group of Jewish American soldiers, led by Brad Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine, on a mission to take down the Third Reich.

Kruger's Bridget von Hammersmark is loved by her German countrymen, but is secretly working as an undercover agent with the "the basterds," as Raine's soldiers are known.

"This is the first time someone gave me a part where I'm strong, where I'm the engine, the motor of the scene," Kruger told Reuters. "Many times actresses are an accessory to a story line. To be handed intelligent dialogue was nice. It was a very new experience for me."

It was also an unimaginable experience for someone who once considered modeling and movies "completely out of my reach."

"I come from a lower middle-class village in Germany," said the 33-year-old. "It is impossible to imagine that any of this was ever going to be in the cards for me."

With dreams of becoming a ballerina, Kruger studied with the Royal Ballet School in London. As a teenager she was a finalist in the Elite modeling agency's Look of the Year contest and turned her attention to fashion and the catwalk.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Diane Kruger poses at the premiere of "Inglourious Basterds" at Grauman&rsquo;s Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California August 10, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>