Lilly Krug is a star on the rise. This actress, known for her talent and charm, started in films when she was very young. She’s been in many movies, from local to international. Some of her big hits include the thriller “Shattered” from 2022, “Every Breath You Take” from 2021, and her last movie “Plane.”
Lilly’s journey from small roles to big leads has made her a name in global cinema. She grew up in a place where art was loved, and she always had a knack for acting. Even with all the attention and fame, she stays genuine. That’s why many love working with her.
Her acting range? Impressive! From deep dramas to exciting thrillers, Lilly can do it all. She doesn’t just play a part; she becomes it, making her characters real and relatable.
We’re thrilled to chat with Lilly Krug today, diving into her world and discovering more about her journey and skills. Dive into our special interview with her in this issue!
- You developed a passion for acting at a young age. What initially drew you to this profession, and how has it evolved over the years?
As a kid you have a reckless naivety to try anything and are convinced that you are great at it. I had that fire and passion for many things as a child, including sports, theater, music, art – and a lot of the time it was very hard for me to make a choice of what to focus on. Yet, as I grew older, I noticed that one element could not be missing in my life and that was the arts. Growing up in a creative environment, I took the ability to indulge in various forms – ballet, museums, exhibitions, theater, movies, etc. for granted.
However, once I finished school and I was faced with the profound question of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life (which I believe is almost impossible to know at that point), I truly wanted to try different avenues to be sure that what I ended up doing filled me with passion and excitement to keep going on even the most difficult days. I was in my first musical when I was about nine years old – and then I did everything from Troy to Romeo and Juliet, and Into The Woods. I finished my senior year in high school when I wrote, directed, and starred in my own piece. Nevertheless, taking a gap year and allowing myself to see more of the world, suddenly brought clarity to me. The only profession that energized me instead of drained me, where it didn’t feel like work but an expression of my soul and got more passionate and curious with every day was acting.
Over the years, I have come to realize that the hardest thing about acting is that you need to know yourself inside and out and have an unhinged curiosity for the people and things around you. The more you are present in the moment, you listen, are aware, and let whatever is being said wash over you, the better you are. I also learned that you should never think about how you should react, but instead focus on what you are trying to get from the person in front of you. What do you want? What is in the way of that? What is at stake? How would this person act in order to achieve her objective?
- You are often referred to as one of Germany’s most up-and-coming young actresses. How does it feel to receive such recognition, and what are your aspirations for your acting career moving forward?
First, I want to take this chance to thank you. It feels like a blessing to receive recognition for my work and that is the actor’s biggest reward. I have so many aspirations and goals. One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I have this waterfall of creativity within me that I can feel radiating, and it just wants to be expressed and flow through my work. I strive to tell stories that connect people – that allow for authentic emotions to arise, to teach, to educate, to contemplate, even to upset sometimes. What we need in society right now is people who are passionate to act for what they really care about. Self-expression is so crucial in setting the stage for the future we want to come about, and I believe entertainment plays an important role in that.
- In the action thriller “Shattered,” you portray the lead character “Sky” alongside renowned actors John Malkovich and Cameron Monaghan. How did you approach your role, and what challenges did you face while filming this intense thriller?
Every role of mine, I approach with lots of curiosity and wonder to explore this person in their uniqueness. I start by reading the script a few times- writing down all my initial thoughts during the first read through, then looking for references in the second one, then I search for all the things that have been left unsaid. It really is a process for me – one where I explore my reactions at first, and then dive into all the research and see how they come together. There will never be a time when it is perfect, but you will notice when you feel ready. Perfectionism is stiffening – I aim for authenticity. With a role like “Sky” the physical aspect of her character also massively contributed to the development of her toughness and unpredictability. A movie is never made without challenges you have to overcome. That’s one of the things I love so much – you work together constantly to find solutions and get the movie made. For instance, we shoot the intimate scenes a day after we shoot all the fight choreography, so my entire body was bruised, green, and purple. That took a lot of body makeup.
- Is there any specific role you would like to play in the future?
There are countless roles I still want to play in the future. Ranging from historical figures to action ones, thrillers… I am truly open to any genre but what has to captivate me is the story and the script. There needs to be a creative vision and a reason to why we are making that movie right now.
- Attending the Cannes Film Festival is a significant milestone for many actors. Could you share some memorable moments or experiences from your visits to Cannes? How has the festival impacted your career and perspective on the film industry?
Being at Cannes can be a humbling experience, as actors get to interact with talented peers from diverse backgrounds. It may encourage them to explore different styles of filmmaking and storytelling, broadening their creative horizons. Meeting and interacting with actors, directors, and filmmakers from all over the world was both humbling and inspiring. It made me realize that no matter where we come from, we all share a deep passion for storytelling through the magic of cinema. What surprised me most about Cannes is, that at times it is much more laid back than you might suspect. One evening towards the end of the night, I was wearing bath slippers at an event. I was tired and there was absolutely no chance I could fit my feet into another pair of high heels (laughing).
To my surprise that was an icebreaker and I met the most interesting people and had the best time ever. Also, nowadays it’s become rarer to meet the people you work with in person before a project begins and Cannes is the perfect time for that and to make new connections.
- You’ve had the opportunity to work with some impressive actors, such as Anthony Hopkins and Michael Shannon. What has it been like collaborating with such talented individuals, and how has it influenced your approach to acting?
My development as an actress never stops as long as I develop as a person. Everything you experience and see feeds into your ability to relate to other roles and step into another person’s shoes. Working with Michael Shannon and Anthony Hopkins gave me the chance to see how they work, what moves them, what their approach is and what makes them unique. They are so well known for a reason and seeing the magic energy when they are on set motivates you to continue to refine your approach and be brave in your choices.
- Outside of acting, you have an adventurous streak. Can you share some of your most memorable outdoor experiences or challenges you’ve taken on?
The most memorable one is probably Kilimanjaro. More than the physical experience of it, I learned so much about myself, being alone, and the power of my mind. Apart from that I was in India a few weeks and helped to build a school there in the suburbs, which was truly a humbling experience and gave me a totally new sense of the culture. My latest adventure was alpine touring up one of the highest mountains in the ski resort in the afternoon and skiing down in the absolute dark with a flashlight connected to my helmet. That was very special.
- You mentioned that you are currently pursuing a Psychology degree while living in Los Angeles. How do you balance your academic pursuits with your acting career, and how do these two fields intersect for you?
It’s not always easy if I’m honest. I learned so much about myself through acting and psychology. As an actress, you need to know yourself inside out and have a deeply rooted interest and care for other people – to really understand how they work, what motivates them, what disappoints them, why these things hurt/make them happy/etc. It is fascinating. My degree allows me to see beyond the actions and with everything I learn I grow as a person and an actress. I truly believe that psychology is needed in every field and at the foundation of life lies understanding people, and especially children because most unconscious habits are formed in childhood.
- As an actress who speaks English and primarily works in the German film industry, what opportunities and challenges have you encountered working across different languages and cultures?
The biggest challenge I have encountered working in English and German projects, is my inability to be at two places at the same time. Sometimes there are opportunities that present themselves a day apart in different continents and just time wise it is impossible to do both. In those moments I wish teleportation was possible, haha. Nevertheless, that also means that I have more opportunities and possible projects to be involved in. Working internationally gives me more casting and creative opportunities since I get to work in both markets.
- Looking back at the movies and shows you’ve been a part of, is there a particular role or project that holds a special place in your heart? If so, what makes it significant to you?
It’s funny you ask that question. I was just talking to a friend about this the other day. Bringing a script to life is something deeply personal. Working on a project is very intense and sharing life for a few weeks or months in a bubble really bonds you. So in that way each project holds a special place in my heart.
- Can you give us any insights into your upcoming projects or any roles that you are particularly excited about?
Unfortunately I am not allowed to talk about that yet. But I will keep you updated.
- Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring actors who are looking to make their mark in the industry, based on your own experiences and journey so far?
I think one major thing I’ve learned so far is to bring the same energy and passion to every project and opportunity. It’s important to not take rejection personally but as a chance to grow, even though it still hurts sometimes. Patience is also crucial. You need to know why you are pursuing acting – your motivation is what drives you when you don’t know how to continue otherwise.