Actress Natalie O'Hara (46) has been part of the main cast of the successful ZDF series "Der Bergdoktor" since 2008 as innkeeper Susanne Dreiseitl. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, she tells what she thinks about her colleagues and what souvenir collection she has amassed over the years. She also reveals a few details about a heart project that has nothing to do with the series highlight.
Natalie O'Hara: Oh, there are so many... actually every day is a highlight because working with the main cast is so wonderful. I really enjoy playing with each of the colleagues. Everyone works a little differently, so it's always exciting, even though we know each other so well.
O'Hara: This season, Susanne's story is lighter. That's a nice change. There are several funny scenes with Hans and others, so I had a lot of fun shooting them.
O'Hara: Certainly friendships have formed over so many years. It really is like a second family with everyone. I see Hans Sigl and his wife Susanne, Heiko Ruprecht and Ronja Forcher as close friends of mine. I am also very connected to some team members and former colleagues.
O'Hara: As soon as possible we have an evening together on the terrace, where we discuss life over a good meal.
O'Hara: Not really. In the beginning I kept all the scripts, now they're only available in digital form, and by now there were quite a few... (laughs) But I kept a lot of fan gifts, for example a whole fanfiction novel about Susanne. But one thing is also certain: When the series is over, I will keep one of Susanne's dirndls for my personal collection.
O'Hara: Susanne is a warm and open person. She loves people and is very emphatic. I especially like her cheerfulness and the ease she has when she's not in the middle of the drama. I also enjoy having guests and cooking for others when time permits. The quality must be judged by others, but no one has ever complained. (laughs)
O'Hara: I get recognized and approached a lot, and that's actually always really nice. You don't usually get much feedback on television, only the abstract figures of the audience ratings, and when you realize in direct contact how happy people are to meet me and how much the series means to them, that's wonderful.
O'Hara: It's been a long time desire of mine to do something about Alice Heart Summer. Her story and her personality is fascinating, inspiring and gives hope. I also love playing piano and classical music, and have been looking for ways to put these in a different context, beyond all U and E pigeonholes. I was originally just going to add music to a short reading from her biography, but when I asked author Kim Langner to help me, she had the crazy idea of writing a one-person scenic play for me based on Alice's story. So I took up the challenge and worked towards it for four years with a top notch team... And the overwhelming response from the audience makes me very happy and grateful.
O'Hara: I was pretty excited at the premiere, but that's part of the game. The adrenaline also makes you concentrated and energetic, so it's not just bad, even if it feels uncomfortable. It's the anticipation and love that overcomes fear, so I always try to focus on the feeling of love. And my team's belief in the project and in me was elementary to give me strength and courage. Basically, the best way to combat acute stage fright is to breathe consciously, and if necessary, sing and dance loudly.
O'Hara: Alice's friends and family who have seen it so far have absolutely loved it and said Alice loved it. That's the best feedback we can get.
O'Hara: Since I also do a lot of theatre, currently "Alice - Spiel um dein Leben" at the Hamburger Kammerspiele, but in the years before that I was often in Stuttgart and other cities, for example, so I'm just on the road a lot. It's normal for me to live out of a suitcase for most of the year. Our "Bergdoktor" valley has become an important constant and almost a bit of home. Luckily, I like to travel and I feel very fortunate to always get to know new places and people.