Diane Kruger made her onscreen debut in 2002 opposite Dennis Hopper and Christopher Lambert in The Piano Player. She plays Françoise in Louis-Pascal Couvelaire's Michel Vaillant and Lisa in Wicker Park with Josh Hartnett. Her most notable role to date is her portrayal of Helen in Wolfgang Peterson's epic Troy.
Plucked from relative obscurity to play the most beautiful woman in history, it’s no wonder that actress Diane Kruger was unsure of what to make of her celebrity. Though not a household name, Kruger managed to beat out the likes of Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman to play the woman whose face launched a thousand ships in the blockbuster epic, "Troy" (2004). After four months of interviews and screen tests, the virtually untested Kruger got a rare opportunity, even by Hollywood standards: to become a movie star overnight.
The 5’ 7” blonde-haired, blue-eyed Kruger never dreamt of becoming an actress. Though Diane Kruger's mom wanted her to be an accountant—if only because it had a certain future—Kruger chose instead to pursue ballet. Kruger moved to London at 11 years-old to study with the Royal Ballet, but a devastating knee injury at age 13 forced her to retire young. In 1992, Kruger won a national modeling competition and a contract with Elite, a top modeling agency. Kruger soon became a top fashion model in Germany, working for such industry heavies as Armani and Christian Dior. Then director Luc Besson convinced the young Kruger to move to Paris to pursue acting, which she did.
Diane Kruger made her film debut in “The Piano Player” (2002), starring Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper, and directed by Jean-Pierre Roux. The movie never saw a theatrical release, but did manage to find itself on video store shelves. Kruger then starred in “Mon Idole” (2002), helmed by her husband, French director Guillaume Canet (“The Beach”). In the black comedy about a Jerry Springer-like talk show host, Kruger played Clara, the wife of the show’s producer who gets romantically involved with the host. Kruger then appeared in “Ni Pour Ni Contra” (“Not For or Against”, 2003), directed by NYU grad Cedric Klapisch. Next Kruger had a starring role in “Michel Vaillant” (2003), a live-action take on a popular French comic strip from the 1950’s.
It wasn’t until being cast in “Troy” that Diane Kruger got an opportunity to be exposed to American audiences. Though she was unknown to Hollywood, director Wolfgang Petersen knew that Kruger would be able to pull off the role. “Diane is not only a stunning beauty but a gifted actress with tremendous depth and presence,” he was quoted at the time she was cast. Petersen saw in her an ethereal, slightly melancholy quality that none of the other actresses possessed, which was perfect for her character, Helena, who is married off against her wishes to Menelaus, the king of Sparta, and spends much of her time brooding and weeping. At the time of the film’s release, Kruger was fast becoming a hot commodity. She was quickly signed to several new projects, including the steamy thriller “Wicker Park” (2004), a remake of the 1996 French film “L’Appartement,” opposite Josh Hartnett and her "Troy" co-star Rose Byrne; and “National Treasure” (2004), co-starring Nicolas Cage and Harvey Keitel. In a few short months, Kruger went from virtual unknown to the industry’s most sought-after actress.
This Diane Kruger Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010