Interview with Lisa Maria Potthoff

In the successful ZDF crime series “Sarah Kohr”, Lisa Maria Potthoff plays an investigator who fights crime with punches and kicks. A role that brought the mother of two children to martial arts a few years ago and changed her life forever. In the journalistic thriller “Dangerous Truth” (Monday, April 25, 20:15, ZDF), the 43-year-old again embodies a very combative character – but this time her weapons are search, perseverance and a keen mind. . As a lone investigative wolf, Sarah Kohr seeks to clarify the circumstances of a house fire in a socially deprived area – as her daily newspaper is consumed in a battle of exhaustion between financial hardship, investor influence, and click-throughs. in the Internet.

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Have you been to martial arts training today?

(laughs) In fact, I discovered this for myself in 2017 and am currently pursuing a late “martial arts career”. One that you are welcome to put in quotes because I am certainly not a very good martial artist. However, this sport has become part of my life. I am passionate about it and the series “Sarah Kohr” always gives me a reason to improve and set new goals.

You train almost every day. What is the current situation?

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Well, every day – at rush hour in preparation for “Sarah Kohr”. But I can not do this constantly. But it should be two or three times a week. It also always depends on if and where I am shooting. If I am preparing for “Sarah Kohr” then it is definitely more, otherwise it is a little less. But I definitely miss it when I can train just a little bit.

“The sadness of the inability to do anything cultural”

Has sport helped you overcome coronary blockages well? Or was it more frustrating because you couldn’t go to the studio?

Group martial arts in the studio were not really possible at the time. But because I had to go to the making of a movie, I started working alone with my trainer Yi-Chung Chen. It was certainly very efficient. In the first block everything actually stayed in place, but in the second – winter 2020 to 2021 – I had to train. The one-on-one training really took me further – and also cleaned my head.

You mean because you finally managed to meet someone outside your four walls?

Of course, there was home schooling. Add to this the sadness of not being able to do anything cultural. Combat training was a fantastic opportunity to clear your mind of things.

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Although actresses like you, who make a lot of films, were not so badly affected by the cultural stalemate, because by the summer of 2020 there were still a lot of shootings, right?

That’s right, hygiene concepts developed quickly, and a staggering number of films and series were made during Corona’s heaviest period. I actually shot a lot, professionally it was a good time for me. Independent theater actors who could not perform, musicians, the whole industry of events turned out much worse.

“Classical journalism” versus “social media-like activities”

What was the reason for the fact that many were allowed back so quickly during the shooting?

I think the point was that a movie or television is not an event, it is a place of business. In this small but impressive term lies the difference between being allowed to work and being convicted of passivity. Of course, it was not as nice to work as before Corona – with endurance tests, constant care and lots of masks – but I do not want to complain about it at all. It was just wonderful to be able to work.

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Now most of Corona’s masses have fallen. How has this affected recent filming?

I can not say this yet, because the development is still very fresh. I am currently shooting an international series in Budapest. In Hungary, the measures are looser than here. I think people are now choosing more for volunteerism when it comes to safeguards. But because we currently had several crown cases on the team, the current agreement between the production and the team is that the masks be put on when you work – unless you are in front of the camera and acting.

Her new film “Dangerous Truth” shows the current crisis of journalism, which is under economic pressure due to digitalization and social networking, under the guise of a crime thriller. Does the message go to you?

I was extremely enthusiastic about this scenario because I use the example of a daily newspaper to show how the same media company wants to reconcile classic-based journalism with social media-type activities that have been created to attract a lot of clicks. As older editors do classic research, the new online editor conducts surveys to find out who might have lit a fire that killed people. A beautiful example of the typical conflict zones that arise in the news business today.

“How much does it cost to do serious research”

What exactly does this tension look like?

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The film tells about the responsibility he has when dealing with the news. News is an extremely exciting field, especially now in times of war: Which news is true? How can you prove them? What is research and what is secret thinking? All of this is extremely interesting and one of the most important questions we have to deal with right now.

Did the film teach you things about journalism that you did not know before?

It was more of a knowledge that I knew theoretically, but that is presented here in vivid form. For example, how much money does it cost to do serious research. So less money than time – but in a job done by highly skilled people, time is nothing more than money.

Lisa Maria Potthoff in a scene from the movie “Dangerous Truth”.

What can be seen in the film of daily journalistic work?

You can see how journalists make the decision to come up with a message. The film also addresses the question of the extent to which a title is disseminated and the risk of spreading information that has not yet been actually verified. How to distinguish news and opinion? Especially in the current political situation with the war in Ukraine, this is again very current. Of course, it was and still is during the corona pandemic.

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“I try to teach my children not to believe every message”

Participatory journalism was created through Web 2.0. News is no longer a one-sided process from journalist to consumer, but is publicly communicated in all directions. A problem?

I quote our Federal President, who said: “Democracy is also an obligation to engage in debate.” I think it is right for us to accept a culture of debate. We should even encourage them to hear different opinions. We learned during the Corona period: For every study there is a counter-study. You need to learn to examine and weigh the data and the arguments. After all, this freedom is a gift. In Russia and elsewhere you can see what political systems look like where this is not allowed.

Are we then good debaters in this new world?

Basically, we have learned this culture well. But what has unfortunately taken the lead in recent years, since social networks have existed, is the aggressiveness with which discussions are taking place. Many things happen under the belt. We would do well to be more polite to each other. Confronting each other does no good to anyone. It only creates an unhealthy living environment – for the attacker, but also for the attacker. For me, treating each other well is a great challenge that we must master and pass on to our children, the next generation.

Are you talking from personal experience?

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Yes, absolutely. I always try to teach my kids not to believe every message. That you have to question everything critically and above all look: where does a message come from and what might those who express it want to achieve with it?

The film depicts the economic pressure of a daily newspaper struggling to survive in the new digital age. Some say a free press will sooner or later have to be funded by public money. Do you like this?

It’s a complicated debate and I’m not an expert. But I think journalism should not come from the private sector alone. Where private interests in the media sector are involved, the investor’s opinion can certainly play a role – subtly or less subtly. On the other hand, the state media that try to dominate the formation of opinion and besides which no critical journalism is allowed to exist, naturally provide a danger, as we see especially in countries like Russia. In a democracy where freedom of the press is a necessity, a mix of public and private media is ideal. In Germany we have a diverse media landscape and consequently the opportunity to receive extensive and diverse information. We should be grateful for this and just not complain about our complex world.

RND / Teleshow

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