Diane Kruger entered Israel on fake passport to prepare for latest role

“I also got to Israel quite early before we started filming, and we did a lot of Mossad training," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.

By
August 25, 2019 16:46
The Operative, Diane Kruger on the right, Martin Freeman on the left

The Operative, Diane Kruger on the right, Martin Freeman on the left. (photo credit: KOLYA BRANDT)

Amid 10th anniversary celebrations for Quentin Tarantino's Nazi-hunting drama, Inglourious Basterds, one of the film’s stars, Diane Kruger, talked about getting into Israel on a fake passport in preparation for her role as a Mossad agent in Yuval Adler’s new film, The Operative.

“I also got to Israel quite early before we started filming, and we did a lot of Mossad training,” the actress told The Hollywood Reporter. “We had agents that gave me false identities, and I had to try to get into Tel Aviv International Airport on a false passport. That kind of stuff.”

The movie, which tells the story of a young woman recruited to spy for the Mossad in Tehran, opened in the US in early August to mixed reviews, and will open in several European countries, including Germany, at the end of the week. It is Israeli director Adler’s second film about intelligence agents, and is the follow-up to his successful 2013 movie Bethlehem, about a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) agent, which launched the career of Tsahi Halevi.


Adler strove for accuracy, and the German-born Kruger – who first became famous when she starred as Helen in the epic Troy in 2004 – learned a great deal about the Mossad and its agents, even speaking to the woman on whom her character was based, who is still in hiding. Apparently, aided by former intelligence professionals, she did cross into Israel with a forged passport, but she did not go into detail about this in the interview.

Asked whether it was easy to play a Mossad agent because of her acting ability, she said, “When you meet some of those agents and from talking to her, there’s a whole other level of paranoia that I was not aware of. From 5,000 applicants per year, they take one person who has the ability to become a Mossad agent. Their awareness, determination and commitment to a cause is remarkable. The people that I met who were Mossad agents have an intelligence and an ability to manipulate people without them knowing they’re being manipulated. It’s extraordinary. I don’t think actors, at least not the ones that I know, including myself, have that ability. You can pretend to be someone for a couple months, but it’s a whole other level to live that.”

She also played a spy in Inglourious Basterds, and reminisced about the experience of working with director Quentin Tarantino: “In his head, he had an entire movie that could have just been my character. How I got to be Bridget von Hammersmark… where I was from… how I became a movie star on that film… why she decided to become a spy... There was never a doubt in my performance or in my mind of where he was coming from, and where my actions as Bridget were coming from.”

It was just announced last week that Tarantino’s Israeli wife, Daniella Pick, is pregnant, and Kruger said that the director acted like a kid himself on the set: “When he’s happy with a take or scene, it feels euphoric at times. He’s like a kid in a candy store. He gets so excited.”


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