She has helped find the key actors for many films. Casting director Simone Bär has died in Berlin at the age of 57. This was announced by the German Film Academy.
Bär raised casting to art, the academy wrote in an obituary. "She was one of the best people judges in the business, always looking for a new face, a new inspiration, always willing to throw everything overboard for the perfect group, for the perfect lead."
"Babylon Berlin" and "Inglourious Basterds"
Among other things, the Academy paid tribute to Bär as an expert for major international art house cinema and recalled her collaboration with directors such as Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"), Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds"), Steven Spielberg ("Companions"), François Ozon (" Frantz") and Wes Anderson ("The Grand Budapest Hotel").
For example, Bär cast the series "Babylon Berlin" and "Dark", the films "Nothing New in the West" and "Good Bye, Lenin!". She worked with German filmmakers such as Christian Petzold, Matti Geschonneck, Florian Gallenberger and the director Margarethe von Trotta. Some of her new films have not yet been released, such as Trotta's film about the writer Ingeborg Bachmann and Petzold's new film "Red Sky".
Calls from Hollywood
Bär was born in Königs Wusterhausen in 1965 and founded a casting office in 1990. In a Film Academy podcast with director Christian Schwochow, she once talked about her job and her career. She did the first castings from home, initially for an advertisement for orange juice. "I'll never forget that either," she said. Bär later worked for soaps like "GZSZ" and "Verbotene Liebe". At some point there were also calls from Hollywood when filming was due in Germany.
She described the making of a film as teamwork, her sentences in the podcast sounded rather modest. Casting is a profession that you do in secret, she said in the recording. And she explained that casting is about more than making suggestions or writing lists. When you really think through a cast - always with the director - you have something that's a bit like creating a family. "You humanize a book, so to speak. You bring it to life." That is also a form of staging. She is interested in people.
"Unique as a caster in Germany"
Bär was not only a member of the German and European Film Academy, she was also a member of the US Academy, which decides on the awarding of the Oscars. "There is no doubt that she was unique as a caster in Germany," wrote director Gallenberger, who runs the German Film Academy together with actress Alexandra Maria Lara, on the academy's website.
Bär's gaze never got stuck on the surface, but looked in depth. "Simone always saw the possibilities where others were fixated on the problems." Director Petzold wrote: "Simone didn't cast, she thought, she felt, she sympathized."