Diane Kruger Talks About The Bridge (FX)

Cable television has plucked another movie star from Hollywood’s ranks.

TV fans may not really know who Diane Kruger is, but moviegoers are certainly familiar with her work. Working on films such as Troy, Inglorious Bastards, National Treasure, and many films overseas has given Kruger quite an IMDB profile. Her latest role is Detective Sonya Cross in FX’s much-anticipated new drama series The Bridge. I (along with lots of others) spoke with Kruger on a conference call last week to promote the series.

What led her to television?

Kruger cited the impressive work of cable drama series as one of her reasons for coming to television. “The writing in these cable series surpasses most movies,” she said. “This type of character has never been offered to me in a movie setting.”

In addition to the quality of writing on a cable series, Kruger also cited the freedom that comes with a 13 episode season: “13 episodes leaves me time to work on movies and in Europe.”

The hardest thing about playing her character

Detective Cross is a unique character because she has Aspberger’s, which is an autism spectrum disorder. Kruger was asked about the difficulties of handling such a unique role. “It’s a daunting undertaking,” she said, “The mindset you have to be in everyday.” Kruger also mentioned that FX reached out to Autism Speaks. The organization sent out a person with Aspberger’s to answer her questions and to council her on how her character would handle certain situations. She said she’s spent more time with him than her own partner in the last few months.

Instincts and Aspberger’s

Kruger discussed how she had to set aside her acting instincts in order to accurately play the role. She mentioned social cues don’t exist, she had to learn how to say everything without intent, and she had to work hard to control her emotions. “Sometimes when you’re in a scene with someone hurting, you can’t show any sympathy. You have to work hard to control your emotions [in those scenes],” Kruger said.

Controversy involving the US-Mexican border

Given that the show takes place around the US-Mexican border, immigration issues will pop up in the series. Kruger ensured the callers that the show would not try to preach about the situation. She mentioned their most important goal was to make an entertaining show. Regarding the border issue in the series, Kruger said their only goal was to “shine a light on it and be as accurate as possible without taking a side.”

Research for the role

Given the heavily nuanced content of the both the character and the setting, Kruger was asked about the amount of research she did to prepare for the role. Kruger told us she did a lot of research including spending a few days in El Paso, Texas, walking the Bridge of Americas, and spending a day in Juarez, Mexico. She insists she “doesn’t know everything”, but she did try to learn as much as possible to prepare for this very challenging role.

Partner dynamics

Detective Cross will be paired with Mexican cop Detective Mario Ruiz played by Demian Bichir. Kruger spoke about the partner dynamics between the two characters. “He’s Latin and charming and she’s American and all-business,” Kruger said. She went on to say the series shows how two cultures can put their differences aside to accomplish something.

What makes The Bridge standout?

With so many shows these days having a serial killer bent, Kruger was asked to explain what makes her show different from the others. She said the setting of the US-Mexican border is a first. Also, she believes the backdrop of all the unsolved killings down in that area will provide a deeper level of attachment. Finally, and most importantly, Kruger believes the two characters are different from the norm on television. She believes that the mystery (which will be solved by the end of the season) is important, The Bridge is really a “very character driven show”.

The Bridge premieres this Wednesday at 10 PM on FX.