The Infiltrator star Diane Kruger on working with Bryan Cranston and oversharing on social media
Diane Kruger gets giddy with excitement when talking about Bryan Cranston, her co-star in The Infiltrator.
“Oh, my God – I was dying to work with him,” she says. “Everybody is, though – in the actor’s world … he’s a god. He cannot do wrong.”
Although he has had a long and successful television and film career – including a leading role in the long-running sitcom Malcolm in the Middle and a memorable recurring spot in Seinfeld – it is fair to say that his eminence these days is mostly thanks to his incredible performance as a high-school teacher-turned-drug dealer in the ground-breaking drama Breaking Bad.
There are some similarities between that world and the one portrayed in The Infiltrator, although this time Cranston, and Kruger, are on the right side of the law.
In this based-on-fact story, set in the 1980s, they play Robert Mazur and Kathy Ertz, undercover cops who pretend to be a high-rolling couple who offer to launder money for legendary Colombian drug baron, Pablo Escobar.
“The costumes and being an undercover cop in the 1980s were really fun to do,” says 40-year-old Kruger.
The life of an undercover cop has some similarities with the life of an actor – both have to pretend to be someone they are not. In The Infiltrator this creates problems in the personal lives of the characters when Mazur’s wife gets jealous of the time he has to spend with Ertz. Kruger, though, says she tries to switch off when the cameras stop rolling.
“I don’t know if I’m able to completely switch it off ... sometimes ... but I really, really try,” she says. “I once went to a method-acting class for a day, and they asked me to be an artichoke and I was like, ‘I don’t think I can ever use that’. I don’t want to bring work home anymore, but sometimes you can’t help yourself.”
In this age of social-media, the lines between public and private continue to blur. A former model, Kruger is often lauded in glossy magazines for her fashion sense. And more recently her Instagram account has been receiving plaudits. Does she worry about oversharing?
“It’s actually been really interesting to share aspects that I choose to share with the public and see the reactions and how they have grown,” she says. “Sometimes people are not agreeing with me, sometimes they are. But that’s not really what it’s about – I think it’s about showing aspects of my life that a regular interview or photo shoot cannot do.”
It’s funny to think that Kruger once struggled with acting because she was camera-shy.
“My first movie, I was trying to hide from the camera,” she says. “I think it’s human not to want to expose yourself. If you have to cry, you don’t want everyone looking at you.
“But you learn through other actors. My first movie was with Dennis Hopper and he literally was like, ‘You’re the greenest person I’ve ever seen’. And he taught me everything. The basics, you know?”
It’s been 14 years since the German-born actress starred alongside Hopper in The Piano Player. She is still happy to talk of admiration for her co-stars, especially when they are every bit as good as their reputations suggest – like Cranston, for example.
“I think he’s the best actor I’ve ever worked with,” she says. “He completely disappears. It’s really great. I love him.”
• The Infiltrator is in cinemas from Thursday, September 1
Updated: August 30, 2016 04:00 AM