A forbidden love, lots of blood and chick versus Thusnelda: “Barbarian” star Jeanne Goursaud in an interview on the new German Netflix series.
With “Barbaren” the first German and extremely bloody historical epic starts on October 23rd in series format on Netflix. In it, the true story of the traitor Arminius is not presented exclusively from the perspective of the progressive Romans, but primarily from the perspective of the supposedly uncivilized Teutons. What series fans can expect from the German “Vikings”, what we could even learn from the “barbarians” in these unsteady times and why they had to switch off “Game of Thrones” during the first episode – lead actress Jeanne Goursaud knows all of this from the RTL series “Der Lehrer”, revealed in an interview with the news agency spot on news.
Ms. Goursaud, you play the princess Thusnelda in “Barbaren”. What distinguishes your figure?
Jeanne Goursaud: Thusnelda is very ambitious. She knows what she wants, pursues her dreams and fights for her dreams. I thought it was very nice when I read the script. Because I would say of myself that I am very ambitious and that acting has always been my lifelong dream. I followed it – and now I’m sitting here. Perhaps the difference is that I would never literally walk over dead bodies. (laughs)
Thusnelda has a secret relationship with the character Folkwin – that reminds a little of Romeo and Juliet in Germanic, don’t you think?
Goursaud: Not only with Shakespeare, but also in general people like to watch love relationships that are not so easy to live out at first glance. That means you have a fever for these people, you want to know how they deal with it, how they solve the problem. I think that is told here in a beautiful and rousing way.
The term “barbaric” has a very negative connotation – as the opposite of “civilized”.
Goursaud: It’s always a question of who is telling the stories. Back then, the Romans had the opportunity to tell and write down stories, but the barbarians didn’t have that. That is why the story is told very one-sidedly and is written down very one-sidedly in our history books.
Which aspects of your role or of the “barbarians” in general could we learn from our supposedly civilized modern society?
Goursaud: That we don’t just talk, we tackle it. That we follow our convictions and then take to the streets today, take part in demonstrations and not just watch, but become active ourselves.
The series isn’t exactly squeamish about depicting violence. Do you have a strong stomach when it comes to screen or TV violence?
Goursaud: It’s actually very difficult for me to see blood both privately and in films. But I have to say that I was there while shooting and now know that it just came out of a bottle or that an assistant is transporting a chopped off false head from A to B. Since then I’ve actually been okay with it. When I watch the series now, it doesn’t really matter to me anymore because I saw behind the scenes that it wasn’t real.
Which series just couldn’t watch the end of it because of that?
Goursaud: I started with “Game of Thrones”. That was one evening with a friend, on which we ordered a lot of food. We were really hungry and then we started Game of Thrones. The first episode was so incredibly brutal that after a few minutes we turned it off and said: Okay, there is no way that is possible, it’s very unsavory and a little too much right now.
Her characters Bibi from “The Teacher” and Thusnelda from “Barbaren” swap their lives for a day – what happens?
Goursaud: Bibi was more of a chick and Thusnelda is a warrior. That means that Bibi would probably be killed by the barbarians on the very first day and Thusnelda would kill everyone else at school.