Diane Kruger Talks Almost Losing Inglourious Basterds Role & Her Friendship With Brad Pitt


  • Diane Kruger had to fight for her breakout role in Troy and her role in Inglourious Basterds, with studios initially doubting her suitability for the roles.
  • After the film’s release, Kruger faced harsh treatment from the press, which made her feel insecure and sad.
  • Brad Pitt’s kind words of support during the press tour for Troy had a profound impact on Kruger and helped her navigate the challenges of fame.

At this year’s Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland, Diane Kruger reflected on her previous roles and relationship with former co-star Brad Pitt. Before stardom, Kruger opened up about her difficult childhood and having a “not so happy home life” in addition to her parent’s divorce. To get away from her troubled home in Germany, Kruger went to Paris at 15 to study modeling. Wolfgang Peterson’s 2004 war epic Troy was her breakout role as the mythological character, Helen of Troy, from ancient poet Homer’s epic poem, Illiad. Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Sean Bean, Brian Cox, Rose Byrne, and Brad Pitt also star in the film. Unfortunately, Kruger experienced hardships during her screen test for the film.

“The studio didn’t necessarily want to hire me. It was Wolfgang who fought for me. They thought I was too skinny, whatever. I had to fly to Hollywood for a screen test, they put me in a costume and tried to make me look ‘rounder.’ It was just one of these moments when you sit in an office full of older men who look you up and down. I felt like I was being presented in a way that wasn’t me at all.”

While she is grateful for her role and fame, after the film’s release, Kruger discusses (via Variety) how she became the target of harassment by the press and paparazzi.

“It was exhilarating, but it was a circus. The sets were huge, paparazzi were flying around in a helicopter, waiting for Brad Pitt. It was crazy! When the movie was coming out, the press in Germany was very, very tough on me. They found my father, whom I haven’t seen since I was 13. They made up stories. It was really harsh.”

The treatment by the press led her to become “very insecure and very sad” during the press tour. However, Kruger was thankful for Brad Pitt’s kind words of advice for dealing with the press.

“I was thinking: ‘Is that what it’s going to be like, forever? I can’t deal with it.’ Brad could see I was upset. He came to my room and said: ‘I have heard some things and I want you to know that you are one of us now. Don’t let them get to you.’ He was so incredibly kind. It really changed a lot of things for me.”

Related: The Disastrous Production of Inglourious Basterds

Diane Kruger Had to Fight for Her Role in Inglourious Basterds

Universal Pictures

The 47-year-old actress also co-stars with Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as Bridget von Hammersmark, a German actress turned British spy. Like her audition experience for Troy, Kruger had to fight to get the role of Bridget.

“For ‘Inglorious Basterds,’ Tarantino didn’t want to hire me. He wrote it for someone else, he wanted someone ‘authentically German,’ which he thought I wasn’t. I had to fly to Germany on my own dime and he asked me to learn 15 pages of dialogue, in German and in English. It was incredibly hard and I had two days to prepare, but I knew I was right for the part. I came in and he said: ‘You can take your script.’ I replied: ‘I don’t need a script’.”

After she got the role, Kruger explains that Tarantino is a very passionate filmmaker and was very supportive.

“Once you are chosen, it’s like he loves you. You can’t do wrong and he will be there to support you. He sits right next to the camera and you feel him staring at you. He just loves actors and making movies.”

So, what’s next for the actress? Kruger’s latest is the upcoming Cronenberg’s The Shrouds, which Kruger states is the director’s “most personal” film because it is about his wife’s passing. The film surrounds a widower and businessman, Karsh (Vincent Cassel), who invents a device that connects with the dead. Kruger plays multiple roles in the movie. Guy Pierce, Viggo Mortensen, and Léa Seydoux also star.

Kruger explains that she was emotional while making the film and hopes audience members would enjoy it.

“I was very emotional making it, because I knew it was so close to him and he was a little bit detached because of it. I could feel him being so vulnerable. I hope it’s going to be great.”

The Shrouds does not yet have a release date, but filming on the project wrapped back in June.


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