Miss Germany tries to crack Hollywood via Latino soaps

Natalie Ackermann was crowned Miss Germany in 2006. After building her career in Latin America she thinks she can bring something unique to Hollywood.

Miss Germany tries to crack Hollywood via Latino soaps
Natalie Ackermann. Photo: DPA

At first glance it doesn’t seem like the most conventional route into A-list stardom.

After winning Miss Germany a decade ago, Ackermann has starred in Colombian telenovelas, appeared in a celebrity gossip show in Mexico, and presented a programme called “Disney on Ice.”

The 36-year-old admits that there are plenty of doubters out there.

“So many people have told me again and again that I’ll never make it. But I’ll show them all,” she says.

The way she sees it, she can offer Hollywood qualities which few others can.

“I look like a Latin American, but when I speak English I’ve got a German accent. That makes me somewhat special,” she explains.

Now based in Los Angeles, she has taken acting classes six days a week, from dawn till dusk.

One thing she had to work on in the classes was throwing off the habit developed in Latin American of using over-exaggerated gestures and facial expressions.

Surgery to showbusiness

Ackermann grew up in Meerbusch, North Rhine-Westphalia, the daughter of a German father and a Colombian mother.

When she was a teenager the family moved to Spain, and then later to Colombia's Caribbean coast. It was there that she won her first beauty contest, being nominated Señorita Atlántico in 2000.

When she was crowned Miss Germany in 2006, she broke off her medicine studies at Düsseldorf University to pursue a career in show business.

As Miss Germany in 2006. Photo: DPA

A supporting role in the Colombian telenovela “Betty la fea”, which was also shown in German as “In love in Berlin”, was followed by a role as the love interest in “Nuevo rico, nuevo pobre” (New rich, new poor) which brought her fame in Colombia.

A small role in the US horror movie The Tenant followed, as well as work presenting shows including “Al Extremo” and ”Juntas ni difuntas”.

“That was a great time, but I want to concentrate 100 percent on my film career now,” she says.

Gaining a foothold

Becoming an actor was always her greatest dream, Ackermann confides.

“I enjoy slipping into different roles that have nothing to do with me. For instance I’d love to play a junkie prostitute or a crazy woman.”

At first she simply wants to get a foothold in Hollywood, and she seems to be making progress.

She is currently preparing to appear in a thriller which is scheduled to begin filming in the summer.

Earlier this year she signed a deal with the producer Alan Glazier, who has worked on Three Kings, Scooby Doo and City of Angels.

The contract means that she doesn't have to go through auditions but will work directly with Glazier and his new production company.

And the LA lifestyle seems to be treating her well too.

“I really like LA,” she says. ”I meet interesting people all the time, and the mountains around the city are beautiful.”

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Gerard Depardieu to sell off contents of his Paris fine dining restaurant

French actor and legendary gourmand Gerard Depardieu is putting the entire contents of one of his Paris restaurants under the hammer on Thursday.

Gerard Depardieu to sell off contents of his Paris fine dining restaurant
French actor Gerard Depardieu is a famous gourmand. Photo: AFP

Depardieu sold La Fontaine Gaillon in central Paris last month and is now putting everything inside – including its cellar containing vintage Chateau Latour, Cote-Rotie and Meursault wines at up to €6,000 a bottle – up for auction.

The flamboyant star opened the restaurant serving hearty French classics in 2003 with his then partner actress Carole Bouquet and wine magnate Bernard Magrez.

The outspoken Depardieu, who railed against the previous Socialist government's plans to raise taxes on the rich, has been selling off a number of his assets in the French capital, including a mansion, a fishmongers and a deli.

“The adventure has come to an end,” a friend of the actor told AFP.

Depardieu, 70, who owns a clutch of vineyards in his homeland, announced plans to open three restaurants in Russia in 2014, a year after sparking an outcry by taking Russian nationality. 

Rarely out of the headlines, the actor has made more than 180 films, and became the face of French cinema through films such as Cyrano de Bergerac, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

La Fontaine Gaillon is set in a picturesque square close to the French capital's theatre district, and had become a gastronomic fixture, warmly reviewed by food critics.

“The sale of the contents of grand hotels and restaurants always attracts a lot of interest,” said David Nordmann and Xavier Dominique of auctioneers Ader, even without the added spice of the association with the popular if controversial star.