The Heroine’s Journey of Jennifer Karen

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love the variety my work brings: from acting in different genres, from stage to screen but also working on commercials, as a voiceover artist or presenter – No job or artistic project is ever like the last one. 

Sometimes it is more my capability for emotional expressions, whether dramatic or funny, that counts… and sometimes it is about just being professional learning lines and looking presentable.. this is the variety I enjoy, it never gets boring!

I get to meet so many amazing people all the time, work internationally and take advantage of the different languages I speak (English, German, French and Dutch).

What is my idea of happiness?

Being creative on an exciting artistic project with like minded people or being with people that inspire me, make me laugh or make me feel loved. Spending quality time with my partner, my family and my close friends is extremely important to me and I also love hosting people I care about at my own place, whether it is for a dinner or a bigger party – making others (sometimes even strangers) happy and feel good also makes me happy in return! 

I also love travelling and discovering new places – the feeling of independence and freedom makes me happy, too!

Photo credit: Vanessa Aeschbach

What is my greatest fear?

Losing those I love the most. Not being healthy and fit. Not following or achieving my dreams. 

What is/are the trait(s) that I most deplore in myself?

Being impatient sometimes. Not being as productive as I could be. Self doubts.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Cate Blanchett. Julianne Moore. Nina Hoss. Leonardo di Caprio. Michael Fassbender. Christoph Waltz. Ruben Östlund. Michael

Haneke. Juliette Binoche. Bong Joon-Ho. Greta Gerwig.

Alejandro González Iñárritu. Chloe Sao. Charlize Theron. And many more…

What is my greatest extravagance?

Finally owning my own spacious flat with a lovely terrace after years of living in small flats and shared houses.

Photo credit: Vanessa Aeschbach

On what occasion would I lie?

If I didn’t know the person well enough and would worry to upset them/hurt their feelings with my opinion but usually I like to speak my mind as I really care about being honest. 

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

When I get a rejection after an audition, especially if I worked for days on preparing the role. I know it’s part of the game but sometimes it is hard to accept it when you really want to play that part…

Having to “convince others” that I can do the job can be another frustrating thing. 😉 

Writing lots and lots of emails (applying for projects or to Casting directors etc.) that often won’t get a response.

Working with people who don’t take their work serious enough or don’t push themselves as much as they could to take things to “the next level”… sometimes you realise this too late.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

On stage playing “Lady Macbeth” during a theatre tour in France and “Elizabeth Proctor” in a production of “The Crucible” in Germany. Both because the roles question moral issues, a subject

I find very interesting and important and the roles challenged me a lot. Performing in the “Vagina Monologues” at a charity event for women.

Producing my own shortfilm “Naked Dreams” – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hou4xMbpUfo&t=15s

and my own song and musicvideo “J’y crois” – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nApBL7ZGms&t=72s

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would change my attitude towards my own capabilities: more self belief, less doubts. And work even harder at improving my skills. Letting go of negative thoughts also and trusting that I can achieve all that I want.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Sharing truthful emotions with my audience. Taking them on a journey…. 

Where would I most like to live?

In connection with nature but close to an exciting city the way I do already right now – except, I’d replace my current flat with a small villa and a beautiful garden! 🙂

What is my most treasured possession?

Sincerely I have never been very attached to objects as such, so all my photos reminding me of my family and friends and all the amazing moments we have shared are probably my most treasured possession. And some art work, including one painted by my father.

What is my most marked characteristic?

My laugh.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Montmartre with its beautiful Sacré Coeur, narrow cobbled streets and many lovely cafés to chill out.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

There are too many amazing places to choose just one..! 

Photo credit: Vanessa Aeschbach

What books influenced my life and how?

Stanislavski – “An Actor prepares” when I first got into acting professionally learning techniques etc.

Bernhard Schlink – “The Reader”, Milan Kundera – “The Unbearable lightness of being”, Siri Hustvedt – “What I loved”, just few examples of books that really “pulled me in” and touched me while reading them.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

David Bowie… or Nina Simone.. or maybe Queen.. ?! But I also love SIA and daft Punk…. Mhm.. Haven’t decided yet… 😉

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Oscar Schindler in Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” if it’s ok to choose a hero that really existed ?

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mum for having dedicated so much of her free time for good causes like a Fair Trade store or a children’s helpline but also anyone who volunteers for charities helping people in vulnerable situations, whether it is for refugees, homeless people or those in developing countries. People standing up for Human Rights wherever they are not being respected. These are issues I also care about and try and do my bit.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

“The Square” by Ruben Östlund, one of my personal favourites; it also won an Oscar in 2018. 

 It says so much about our society, especially in the Western hemisphere today and it is critical and funny at the same time!                                                                                                                                  

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

We all have choices in life, it is up to us to create the best story we can write; we need to stop trying to make others responsible for own shortcomings. 

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Definitely my partner Paulo. He encourages me every day to believe in myself, to go further and to not give up. But my parents and 2 older sisters and my close friends have also been a great support over the years which means so much! The acting industry is such a tough one, so full of competition, so having ‘moral support’ around you is really important !

Photo credit: Vanessa Aeschbach

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022?

If I could really choose… even if some of these people don’ know me….yet…                                                 

Ruben Östlund / Plattform Production  – Benjamin Martins / Herbsthund Filme – Jean-Philippe Daguerre / Le Grenier de Banouchka – Xavier Durringer / Compagnie Chiquita – 

Michaël Abbaï / Writer-Director – Sarah McKenna / Writer-Director – Juliette Menager / Casting director

Nora Fingscheidt / FilmdirectorAsli Özge / Filmdirector

Bruce Edward Sherfield / Writer-Director

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on?

* Producing and recording my rock-pop song “Evil Spirits” (with “Pure Sound Project” Paris) which I wrote already a long time ago when I was in a band in London. I will also create a music video for it, too.

* Writing my own theatre play about two famous singers to also produce and perform in

* Collaborating with writer Michaël Abaï on his own contemporary play with actor Jack Bois and performing in it

* Hopefully more film and TV projects – And I am excited that Part 2 of “We were”, a German mystery film by Tobias Obertheuer I act in will be released later this year hopefully

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

You can find my latest news on current projects on my Instagram account: 

https://www.instagram.com/actressjenniferkaren

or on my website http://www.jenniferkaren.com and quite a few acting clips on my Youtube page:   

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

For me personally this means that I hope to still be acting, singing and dancing when I’m 99… !!! 

(One of my grandmothers made it to 104 so the chances are there.. 😉

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Jack Bois – Stéphanie de Montparnasse – Michaël AbaïSamie Gerard – Tobias Obentheuer – Christian Jannot – Johanna Allin-Lundh – Sarah Pemberton 

How can you contact me?

Via my website www.jenniferkaren.com or on facebook 🙂

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