Who is Franka Potente?
German actress Franka Potente was born in Munster, North Rhine-Westphalia, then-West Germany, on 22 July 1974, meaning that her zodiac sign Cancer. She’s had roles in more than 60 movies and TV series, and is perhaps still best known for her playing of the lead character Lola in the 1998 action crime thriller movie “Run Lola Run”, written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and which also starred Moritz Bleibtreu and Herbert Knaup. It follows Lola who has 20 minutes to find 100,000 Deutschmarks after having lost them; the movie won 28 of its 50 award nominations.
Education and early life
Franka and her younger brother were raised in Dulmen, North Rhine-Westphalia by their father Dieter Potente who was a high school teacher, and their mother Hildegard who was a medical assistant; Franka’s great-grandfather was an Italian slater, who moved to Germany sometime in the 19th century.
She grew up dreaming of becoming a famous actress, and practiced her skills with her high school’s drama club, playing lead characters in numerous school plays. At the age of 17 she spent several months studying at a school in Houston, Texas USA, as an exchange student.
Upon matriculating in 1992, she moved to Munich, Germany and enrolled at Otto Falckenberg School of Performing Arts; Franka eventually transferred to the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1996.
Roles in movies
Franka’s debut film role was her playing of Anna in the 1995 romantic comedy “Nach Funf im Urwald”, and some of her following roles were in the short drama “Easy Day”, the comedy “Babes’ Petrol” and the comedy drama “Coming In”, all released in 1997. She gained recognition in 1998, when cast to play Linda in the comedy drama “Am I Beautiful?”, written and directed by Doris Dorrie, and which starred Marie Zielcke, Carla Weindler and Julian Messner. It follows the lives of two German couples, and the movie won three of its four award nominations.
Franka could then have been seen playing the main character Sissi in the popular 2000 romantic mystery drama “The Princess and the Warrior”, which won six of its 22 award nominations, and portraying Toby’s Editor in the 2001 romantic comedy drama “Storytelling”. In 2002, she was cast to play Marie, the main character in the evergreen action mystery thriller “The Bourne Identity”, which Doug Liman directed, and which also starred Chris Cooper and Matt Damon. It follows a man who’s suffering from amnesia, and the film won three of its nine award nominations; Frank reprised her role in the 2004 sequel “The Bourne Supremacy”.
Some of her notable performances in the remainder of the decade were in the 2005 drama “A Life in Suitcases”, the 2007 biographical drama “Romulus, My Father”, and the 2008 historical war drama “Die Brucke”.
The year 2016 saw her play Anita Gregory in the critically acclaimed mystery horror thriller “The Conjuring 2”, directed by James Wan, and which starred Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Madison Wolfe. It follows Lorraine and Ed Warren who’ve traveled to London, England to help a mother of four, who claims that her house is haunted; the movie won four of its 17 award nominations.
Franka’s three most recent film roles have been in the 2018 adventure comedy drama “25 km/h”, the 2019 animated family drama “Princess Emmy” and in the same year the short animated horror “The Haunted Swordsman”, both voice roles.
Roles in TV series
Franka’s debut TV series role was her playing of Mara in the 1996 episode “In Eigener Sache” of the mystery crime drama “Zwei Bruder”, and her following role came in 2007, when cast to play Diro Kesakhian in three episodes of the hit crime thriller drama “The Shield”, created by Shawn Ryan, and which starred Michael Chiklis, Jay Karnes and Michael Jace. It follows the life of dirty police officer Vic Mackey, the series aired from 2002 to 2008, and won 16 of its 77 award nominations.
Franka could then have been seen appearing in an episode of the mystery drama “House”, the mystery crime comedy “Psych”, and the historical war drama “The Sinking of the Laconia”.
In 2012 and 2013, she starred as Eva Heissen in the action drama “Copper”, which Will Rokos and Tom Fontana created, and which also starred Tom Weston-Jones and Kyle Schmid; it follows a Civil War veteran who’s become a police officer in New York City, and the series won two of its 12 award nominations.
Franka’s also known for her playing of Helga in the 2017 mystery thriller drama “Taboo”, created by Steven Knight and Chips Hardy, and which starred Tom Hardy, David Hayman and Jonathan Pryce; it tells the story of James Keziah Delaney who’s trying to rebuild his father’s shipping empire in 1812 London; the series won nine of its 20 award nominations.
Franka’s two most recent TV series roles have been in 10 episodes of the 2018 crime comedy drama “Claws”, and four episodes of the 2022 action crime adventure “Titans”.
Franka’s sung songs in nine movies and TV series, including in the 2002 comedy video “Stella Shorts 1998-2002”, the 2003 action adventure comedy film “Young MacGyver”, and the 2005 comedy movie “AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture”.
She wrote and directed the 2006 short fantasy comedy film “Digging for Belladonna”, and the 2020 drama movie “Home”.
Some of the talk-shows in which Franka’s made a guest appearance include “Titel, Thesen, Temperamente”, “Heute Journal” and “Leute Heute”.
Awards and nominations
Franka’s won 10 of her 19 award nominations; some of her wins include a 1998 Bambi Award for Best Actress – National, for her performance in “Lola Rennt”, a 2000 German Film Audience Award for German Actor/Actress of the Year, and a 2008 Adolf Grimme Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, for her performance in “Der die Tolkirsche Ausgrabt”.
Love life and husband
There are three men whom Franka’s dated, that the public knows about. From 1998 to 2002, she was in a relationship with famous German screenwriter, producer and music composer Tom Tykwer, who’s probably best known for having composed the music for the 1998 action crime thriller film “Run Lola Run” and the 2012 mystery science fiction film “Cloud Atlas”.
In 2003, Franka dated famous American actor Elijah Jordan Wood, who’s perhaps best known for his playing of the lead character Frodo Baggins in the hit film trilogy “Lord of the Rings”.
Since the summer of 2012, Franka’s been married to American actor Derek Richardson, who’s known for his playing of Harry Dunne in the 2003 comedy movie “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”, and as Josh in the 2005 horror film “Hostel”; their first daughter Polly was born in April 2011, and their second Georgie in 2013.
Franka hasn’t mentioned other men whom she’s been with, she’s married to Derek Richardson as of November 2022, and they have two daughters together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Franka’s an accomplished author, and published her first book “Los Angeles – Berlin” in September 2005, while her second book “Kick Ass – An Alternative Workout” followed in May 2009; her book of short stories “Zehn” was published in August 2010.
She can fence, as she practiced the sport for around five years.
Franka likes languages, and is fluent in German, French and English.
She’s passionate about music, and can play the flute and the violin.
Franka became a huge fan of American actor Johnny Depp when they were shooting together for the 2001 biographical crime movie “Blow”, and has revealed that she always blushed in his presence.
Some of her favorite actresses are Penelope Cruz and Meryl Streep, and a couple of her favorite movies are “On the Fringe”, “Parallel Mothers” and “Everybody Knows”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Franka’s age is 48. She has brown eyes and long black hair, her weight is about 140lbs (64kgs), and she’s 5ft 8ins (1.74m) tall.
Franka’s net worth’s been estimated at over $8 million, as of November 2022.