Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List, People’s red carpet Best Dressed polls, Vogue’s weekly 10 Best Dressed roundups, and, of course, the ultimate seal of approval, frequent appearances on the arm of Karl Lagerfeld. The consensus is clear: Diane Kruger is one to watch.
The actress, 37, grew up in Algermissen, Germany, far from Hollywood, but the call of fame was undeniable. As a teenager Kruger began modeling in Paris, landing campaigns for Armani, Chanel and Dior. After conquering the fashion world, Kruger turned to the silver screen, and she made her English-language film debut alongside Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom in Troy.
Although the actress has continued her ascent with roles in films like Inglourious Basterds, Kruger’s latest project is FX’s The Bridge. The series, which was just renewed for its second season, follows in the heavy-hitting footsteps of Golden Age television dramas like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Kruger plays Detective Sonya Cross, a cop with Asperger syndrome investigating a serial killer operating on both sides of the US-Mexico border.
Accolades aside, Kruger describes the series as an eye-opening experience. In order to get into the mindset of her character, the actress got in touch with Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization that funds research into the disease. The organization put her in touch with Alex Plank, who was himself diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 9.
“When I first signed on to portray Sonya Cross…I knew very little about autism,” Kruger said. “Even after countless books and internet research, I could only begin to grasp what it must be like living with this condition. Alex allowed me into his world….unafraid of what I might ask or see, he is truly the reason I finally felt capable to become Sonya. But because of Autism Speaks and Alex Plank I`ve come to understand what autism is and how it impacts one’s life and the people around them. I feel like I finally “know” Sonya…and my life has forever changed because of her.”
Off-screen, Kruger has stayed true to her fashionable roots, working with Jaeger-LeCoultre. The actress is a Friend of the Brand, and as the face of the manufacture’s ladies’ collections, stars in Libre (French for free). The short film follows Kruger’s evolution from ballerina to model to actress, and by extension, the passage of every woman from child to girl to woman.
The relationship was natural for Kruger, whose mother gifted her a Reverso for her 18th birthday. The actress has since become something of a muse for the manufacture, making classical pieces like the Joaillerie 101 Art Déco Watch and the Reverso Cordonnet Duetto feel tremendously modern with the chic, simple way in which she wears them on the red carpet.
Whether in real life or in front of the cameras, Diane Kruger exhibits a style and grace that is truly captivating.