Easy Love: An interview with Sönke Andersen, Stella Vivien Dhingra and Niclas Jüngermann
Tamer Jandali’s film Easy Love lies on the border of fact and fiction. Actors play themselves and “perform” situations that occur in their daily lives and within their relationships. We sat down to talk to Sönke Andersen (Sören), Stella Vivien Dhingra and Niclas Jüngermann (Nic) to discuss what this experience was like for them.
Hello, thank you for talking to us about the film. So, How did you feel when you were first approached to take part in the project?
Sönke Andersen: It took me a while to say yes. In the end it was not my decision. Of course, it was my decision, but a friend of mine who’s a director said “Do it”. He has some kind of influence on me.
Niclas Jüngermann: I told Stella to get lost, that I would never have a camera in my private life but then after a few weeks her arguments were enough and I thought, let’s do it’
Did you learn things about yourselves through the process of filming that you didn’t know before you started?
NJ: Yes, Stella and I discovered that we would like to have more sex in front of the camera [Stella laughs anxiously]. Another thing I learned was that if you’re really mad at your girlfriend and she’s really mad at you, and then the director says, “You have to be cosy now”, it really works, you can’t be mad at each other anymore.
Stella Vivien Dhingra: I noticed that I really enjoyed acting, and that I also have to learn how to set more personal limits, that’s something that I think a lot about.
SA: I’m not totally inexperienced with camera work, or being in front of the camera, not necessarily as an actor but I’m used to it. Of course, the sex scenes are the first things that come to mind and you are scared to do them, but that wasn’t the strangest thing. What was really strange was being in my own hood with a camera, that was really hard, being with a camera for eight hours in an area that I’m used to, that was really hard. I didn’t like that.
Did you ever feel vulnerable in the process of filming, how did you come to terms with that vulnerability?
NJ: There were some times when I felt like I was being torn apart. But I think this is a very common feeling.
SA: Those moments existed, we [me and Tamer] were screaming at each other, I’d ask: “What the f**k do you want?” – these were really tense times. I felt like, “you just want to film, that’s it, you want to use your power or what?”. I wasn’t sure what he wanted. I guess those were the moments where I felt like, “I’m weak now, what’s your f**king intention?”.
Do you think that the filming made you more honest with yourself and the people you were filming with, or did the cameras make you more dishonest and less open?
SA: there was no difference at all. No more, no less, by the end it felt totally normal. Of course it was a process. Like I said, for example, those sex scenes. You get used to it, first its new land, then…
For example, I have this moment where – well, the guy you see me boxing with, well, he died. He was my best friend, and this scene, it’s totally real. It would have happened like that. The two of us in an empty gym, at the end he always beats me up. We are licking our wounds and talking about the things that are going on in our lives. If you ask me if the content is 100% real, I would say no, but is the situation 100% real, I would say yes. That was pretty hard yesterday, for me to see that. Of course, I had seen the film before, but on a small laptop, with bad sound and yesterday that was f**king real, I could hear his voice and I could hear it exactly as it is in real life, the sound system made it that much more real. It was so amazing.
Stella, the statements that you made during the opening exposition/interview segment of Easy Love, did they still stay true for you by the end of the film?
SVD: For me it’s exactly the same, what I think, or what I feel. I can’t truly live by what I’m saying, but it’s my vision and it’s still me. Over time my vision changed a little as I learned more stuff but it’s never that different. I can’t completely change my opinion, but as I get older and develop, through gaining experiences, one changes a little, and that’s natural. But, ultimately, little changed, before and after the film.
Thanks so much for your time, enjoy the rest of the festival!
Easy Love does not have a UK release date yet. Read our review here.
Read more reviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival website here.