An Interview with Eva Habermann
Eva Habermann is an actor and producer known for her work on Lexx, Dr Klein, Deichbullen, and Trolls World. I spoke with Eva about landing her first role, portraying Zev Bellringer in Lexx, her work as a producer, and her upcoming film Die wahre Schönheit (The Ugly Truth).
Did you always want to pursue a career in acting, and how did you land your first role?
Already as a child I wanted to become an actress. And that desire got stronger the older I got. I have been taking acting, singing and dance lessons since I was fourteen as I wanted to apply to a state drama school after graduating from high school. My very first role I played at the age of seventeen in a remake of Die Mädels vom Immenhof. There had been a casting call for this role in a local newspaper. During the casting, I played a heart-breaking scene for the director Stefan Bartmann. As Melanie, I shed many tears in the scene and wanted to prevent my foster horse from being sold. I was able to identify with the role because I am a horse lover myself. After graduating from high school, I hosted children's shows such as Ferienfieber and Pumuckl TV and then I played my first international leading role on Lexx as Zev from B3K.
Is there anyone in the industry who has particularly inspired you?
I have met a wide variety of characters in the industry. Unfortunately, there are also many people in our industry who just talk a lot but do nothing. I admire artists who just get things going, do something new and generate trends. Who I think is really world class is Tom Tykwer. I've had the pleasure of shooting with him on a short movie, Germany 09 and I've never seen such a relaxed director. He was perfectly prepared and fully focused on working with the actors. This is exactly how it has to be, because creativity needs room to breathe and pressure and stress are of no help at all.
You portrayed Zev Bellringer in the acclaimed sci-fi series Lexx. How did this come about?
I also got the role of Zev through a casting. Lexx was a German-Canadian co-production and one of the three main roles was to be cast German. I think I was predestined for it. On the one hand I was still almost a child, on the other hand an attractive woman. I didn't feel sexy at all at the time, because I come from an ultra-conservative family and as a teenager I always walked around with an embarrassing pot haircut, polo shirts and health shoes. I was not found at parties, but in the stable with my foster horse. This discrepancy between external and internal perception also played a major role for Zev von Bellringer. Zev is a rebel who is supposed to be transformed into a beautiful and submissive love slave as punishment for her unruliness, but the transformation goes completely wrong. The result of the transformation is that Zev retains the same personality, but visually transforms from ugly duckling to swan.
You’ve worked across the board as a producer and actor. Which role do you prefer, and which is the most challenging?
Being a producer is clearly the bigger challenge. You have a lot more responsibility, you take a much bigger risk and you basically work day and night. You keep the business going, you have to find the right people for a project, and it takes at least a year to finish a movie. The postproduction phase on Trolls World - possessed by a monster took a full five years. Compared to this, acting is a stroll in terms of effort. I love acting. I love to slip into new roles and to try out new things. For me, it's the perfect combination of telling my own stories and playing along myself. I am finally allowed to cast myself for roles that I would otherwise never have got because I would not have gotten out of the drawer in which I had been put by the TV industry: “blonde, young and sexy”. I realized that for myself when the roles became fewer. At first I was very depressed and then I made up my mind, instead of waiting for someone to get me out of the drawer, took the initiative myself. I don't like to depend on other people's decisions anymore and prefer to make my own decisions. Producing films myself is my dream job.
You play a role in the upcoming Die wahre Schönheit (The Ugly Truth), which you also produced. Could you tell me more about this?
The Ugly Truth is a very important, beautiful film! We shot the film with a director I met by chance and had a great script idea. It was important to me to work as a co-author on the second project of our company because I love to write and, through my work as an actress, I have the need to create characters out of flesh and blood with whom the viewer can identify. Characters who are no longer able to face their problems, escape reality more and more and what effects their immature behaviour has on everyone around them. Since I had a depression for a while a few years ago and also drank too much alcohol in the process, it was almost therapeutically beneficial for me to play a variation of my own life story, which could have happened to me as a person if I wasn't so disciplined and strong-willed.
Can you tell me about any other projects you're currently working on?
Despite Corona, I can't complain about too little work. We are currently expanding our company “Fantomfilm GmbH”. We are also in the post-production phase and can therefore work well in the home office on the projects The Ugly Truth and Cyst. I am very proud that our first film Trolls World aka Under Controll was released in October 2020 in the USA, Canada and in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on VOD and Bluray / DVD. I am full of energy