Popcorn and sleeping ahead

Berlin (dpa) – Twelve-year-old actress Helena Zengel, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in a western alongside Tom Hanks, is well prepared for the awards night. “We’ll be in a very nice hotel – I’m sure it will be a really great night!” the schoolgirl said in Berlin in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I’ll definitely get some popcorn.” The outfit will come from a designer, she added. “It’s going to be a kind of jumpsuit, but with a new-fangled style.”

Because of the time difference, it will be the middle of Sunday night here when the Golden Globe gala begins in Hollywood. “I got Monday off from school.” To stay awake for the awards, the twelve-year-old has come up with a trick: “I will try to go to bed really late on Saturday so that I can then sleep in for as long as possible on Sunday.” She hopes her body will then be able to adjust if she has already been sleeping in the afternoon. “It should be fun! I always think award ceremonies are really cool.”

In the US western “News of the World”, Helena Zengel plays an orphaned girl who meets a Civil War veteran (Tom Hanks) by chance. She has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Currently available on Netflix, the film is also scheduled for release in cinemas at a later date.

The twelve-year-old continues to keep in close contact with her colleague Tom Hanks. “We email and text each other – Americans don’t usually have WhatsApp – and we also talk on the phone every week, mostly on Skype,” she said. “He’s like an uncle to me.”

Her life has hardly changed despite her success, she said. “After all, I’m still at school and only twelve years old. I do also really enjoy the big, crass parallel world that is Hollywood – but I just want to stay grounded.” Even if you suddenly find yourself in Hollywood, she thinks it’s always important to remember where you came from. “That you realise that everybody starts small and even if you make it big, you don’t have to start showing off and walking around like an arrogant I-don’t-know-what. People will also like you more if you stay natural.”

For now she has saved the money she was paid for the western. “Maybe for later, for my driving licence, car or moped. I want to live a really nice life one day.” The schoolgirl started acting early. At the age of nine, she was already in front of the camera for Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” about an angry and traumatised girl, which won her among other things a German Film Award for best leading actress in 2019.

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