Ella Rumpf

Ella Rumpf’s acting debut was in “Draussen ist Sommer” by Friederike Jehn in 2011. Before heading to London to study acting, she was nominated for the Swiss Film Award as Best Supporting Actress for the role of Ali in “War” by Simon Jaquemet. Next came leading roles in “Tiger Girl” by Jakob Lass that screened at the 2017 Berlinale and the festival hit, “Raw” by Julia Ducournau that premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. For this role, Ella was selected as Révélation for the 2018 César Awards. Recently, Ella was cast in main roles in the Netflix series “Freud” that opened this year’s Berlinale Series section and “Beast” by Lorenz Merz, both to be released in 2020.

Tara Karajica talks to Ella Rumpf about being an actress, a European Shooting Star, women in film and her next projects.



Portraying the character of Boba in Sympathy for the Devil must not have been easy. How have you prepared for this role? What drew you to it?

Ella Rumpf: I went one month to Sarajevo to get to know the real Boba, learning Bosnian with Elna most of the time, so I understand not only the phonetics, but the whole culture and jokes behind the language. I met so many amazing people there who were so generous in sharing their story with me, especially Boba. I spent most of the time with her! Of course, their story is not easy, but I learned so much from this experience!

You have acted in film and in television. Which one do you prefer? Why?

E.R.: Freud was my first big part in a TV production. Shooting for TV is a marathon, the pressure of time is enormous. And often, there is no time for rehearsals. As an actor, you have to rely much more on your own preparation. With Marvin, the director of Freud, I forgot that time pressure quite often because he doesn’t let it affect his work much when he is in the moment!

How do you pick a role?

E.R.: The script is essential and, of course, the role must be intriguing. I’m always looking for a challenge for me as an actress.

What does being a European Shooting Star mean for your career and how do you think it will impact it?

E.R.: It is an incredible recognition and it gives me the power to continue. We Shooting Stars received a lot of attention during the Festival and we had meetings with casting directors from the all over world, which is great. If something comes out of it, great! If not, it was already amazing just to meet all the other Shooting Stars!

What does it take to be a star, according to you?

E.R.: It takes hard work and luck. Being in the right project would probably be the first step. I have never even thought about this since I haven’t chosen to become an actress in order to become a star.

There has been a lot of talk about women in film these past two years. What do you make of the situation of women in film? How is the situation in Switzerland?

E.R.: The battle for gender equality in filmmaking is very important. Things are changing slowly, but women are still incredibly underrepresented in film. I personally have been working with nearly as many female directors as male directors, but I think this is coincidence and not a proof that we are close to gender equality when it comes to directors.

What are your next projects?

E.R.: I will start to shoot the Tokyo Vice series in Japan in spring and I’m quite excited about that.




Photo credit: Andreas Lumineau

This interview was conducted in partnership with:

Tara Karajica

Tara Karajica is a Belgrade-based film critic and journalist. Her writings have appeared in "Indiewire," "Screen International," "Variety," "Little White Lies" and "Film New Europe," among many other media outlets, including the European Film Academy’s online magazine, "Close-up" and Eurimages. She is a member of the European Film Academy, the Online Film Critics Society and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists as well as the recipient of the 2014 Best Critic Award at the Altcine Action! Film Festival. In September 2016, she founded "Yellow Bread," a magazine dedicated entirely to short films, ranked among the 25 Top Short Film Blogs and Websites on the Planet in 2017. In February 2018, she launched "Fade to Her," a magazine about successful women working in Film and TV and in 2019, she was a member of the Jury of the European Shooting Stars (European Film Promotion). She is currently a programmer for live action shorts at PÖFF Shorts, Head of the Short Film Program and Live Action Shorts programmer at SEEFest and Narrative Features Programmer at the Durban International Film Festival. Tara is a regular at film festivals as a film critic, moderator and/or jury member.

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