Theaterkunst Talk

Natascha Curtius-Berger

In 2014 she won the “German Film Award”, the “Austrian Film Award” and the “European Film Award” for best costume design for the film “The Dark Valley”. With her current project “Luden” starring Aaron Hilmer, Jeanette Hain and Lena Urzendowsky, she’s been a regular visitor to Theaterkunst. And she recently got married as well. All the more reason to invite Mrs. Curtius-Noss for an interview.

© Prime Video Susanne Schrahmke / Theaterkunst / Curtius-Berger


Natascha Curtius-Berger

Dear Mrs. Curtius-Noss… or, on a more personal note: Dear Mrs. Curtius-Berger… All the best and lots of love for your wedding! That’s great news!

Thank you! I guess it’ll take a while for everyone to get used to the new name. 🙂

You are currently a regular here at Theaterkunst, working on the six-part series “Luden”. The Amazon project looks at the rise and fall of a Hamburg pimp cartel in the ‘80s. The ‘80s! Isn’t that the dream of every costume designer? How did you and your team approach the topic?

Oh yes, the ‘80s! And then the Reeperbahn on top of that! An exciting project for sure. Luden is about real characters, even if most of them are no longer alive. So once we finished with the initial research, we had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to go. But in order to get that fashion look that is so typical of the ‘80s, we and the directors decided to shift the story more to the middle of the decade. The story actually starts in the early ‘80s.

In 2014 you won three prizes for “Best Costume” for the film “The Dark Valley”. What was it about the film’s costumes that was so convincing to the juries?

Since “The Dark Valley” was a Western, I had more creative freedom in my designs than if it had been a realistic film about mountain farmers. A lot of what I did, I simply subordinated to the visual concept. Clemens Schick’s uniform, for example: The cut is accurate, but not the color. In this region, for example, people didn’t get married in white, but rather in black. The blending of special materials (old British military blankets were turned into jackets, for example) with vintage historical pieces created a modern look that apparently was very well received. Lucky for me!

The topic of “green filming” is more relevant than ever. As of January 1, 2022, many players in the German film, television and VoD market are making the commitment, under the label “green motion”, to producing content in a more environmentally and resource friendly manner. What role does a costume house like Theaterkunst play in this movement?

Recycle and reuse whenever possible. And borrow instead of buy. Those are the principles that are certainly becoming more and more important. That’s why costume collections like Theaterkunst will become more relevant than ever.

Costume designers keep telling us that they have to fight for their department’s budget and standing in the production. What would you like to see for the future of the costume trade?

In principle, any budget that is calculated based on the screenplay deserves serious discussion and should be taken seriously. All of the creative trades should be recognized and taken seriously. Ultimately, we are the “icing on the cake”… (laughs)