“The quiet satellites” in the cinema: Lilith Stangenberg on one of her quietest roles

New in the cinema: Thomas Stuber filmed the novel of the same name by Clemens Meyer with “The Quiet Trabants”, in which three (love) stories are told: that of bistro owner Jens (Albrecht Schuch), who smoked his cigarette in the stairwell at night Neighbor, the convert Aischa (Lilith Stangenberg) in love, that of the security guard Erik (Charly Hübner), who develops feelings for the young Marika (Irina Starshenbaum) on his tour of the home for foreigners, and that of the hairdresser Birgitt (Nastassja Kinski) and cleaning lady Christa (Martina Gedeck), who meet every evening in the station bar. We met Stangenberg to talk about the film – and much more.

She is probably the most exciting actress in the German-speaking world, regardless of whether Lilith Stangenberg is in front of a film camera or on the theater stage, whether she falls in love with a wolf or wallows naked with performance artist Paul McCarthy on the Volkstheater stage. None of that happens in her new film, and yet Lilith Stangenberg will give you a breathless evening at the cinema. In Thomas Stuber’s wonderfully melancholic episodic drama “The Silent Trabants”, Lilith as the new Muslim Aischa stands almost every evening on the balcony of a high-rise building next to her neighbor Jens (Albrecht Schuch), smoking and silent. In two other stories in the film, Martina Gedeck, Nastassja Kinski and Charly Hübner fall in love. But even if Aischa and Jens share intimacy every evening for the length of a cigarette, their tender rendezvous is an impossible one – and not just because Aischa is married. For Lilith Stangenberg, “there is a great sweetness, something very romantic about the futility of their relationship”. In an interview, the 34-year-old Berliner explains what attracted her to this role. And why working as an actress in Hollywood is very different than in Germany.

Lilith Stangenberg in an interview about the appeal of a role and working in Hollywood vs. Germany

VOGUE: How do you approach a character who reveals so little about himself, but still experiences an intense love story?

Lilith Stangenberg: I ​​found Aischa’s kind of “schizophrenia” interesting. You don’t learn much about her, but you can guess that she has a dark, self-destructive past that she tries to suppress and that is reflected in the wounds on her arm. I’ve heard from many converts finding support, home, or structure in their faith, whatever that is, and I believe that’s what happened to her. But then she meets Jens and falls in love with him, and falling in love always means a total loss of control. Her newly created identity is being questioned at this moment. Your world is turned upside down and the ghosts of the past are waking up again. I found it an interesting tightrope walk to conquer this in the game – and not that easy! Because it’s quite difficult to embody a shy person credibly, because you can quickly get lost in mannerisms.

Lilith Stangenberg and Albrecht Schuch in “The Silent Trabants”