The star of the Oscar-tipped German comedy talks about growing up in East Germany and why one film – however good – is unlikely to change preconceptions about her country
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Actors have to empathise. If they don’t root for their characters, no one else will. They mustn’t judge, just relate. But I have never known an actor defend the woman she is playing quite as fiercely – or as unexpectedly – as Sandra Hüller.
Hüller, 38, stars in Toni Erdmann, a German comedy which was critics’ pick at Cannes and is easy favourite to win the foreign language Oscar next month. She plays Ines, an outsourcing consultant in Bucharest: a chilly stick, morals lost to professional competency long back. “I’m not a feminist,” she tells a colleague, “or I wouldn’t tolerate guys like you.”