The actress shares the screen with Tom Hanks in Paul Greengrass’ new feature film that you can already see on the platform.
Last week, Noticias del gran mundo, the new feature film as director by Paul Greengrass, premiered exclusively on the streaming platform, arrived on Netflix. Tom Hanks leads the cast of this drama, set in 1870 – several years after the end of the American Civil War -, which will compete for two Golden Globes, on March 1. And no, curiously, it will not be Hanks who will compete in the category of Best Drama Actor, but his young adventure partner, Helena Zengel, nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
The talent that squanders Zengel, only 12 years old, in his first film in the United States, has not gone unnoticed by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Thanks to this, it has become one of the youngest actresses to achieve a Golden Globe nomination. A milestone that had been achieved so far by Joel Osment, for The Sixth Sense, and Kirsten Dunst, for their role in Interview with the Vampire; and that, of course, has made little Zengel very happy, as he has told Deadline.
I did not expect it, and I am very excited
On News from the big world, the actress, whose parents are musicians, plays Johanna, a girl kidnapped by a tribe of natives, whom Hanks’s character, Captain Kidd, must rescue to take her back to her real family. A role, with few dialogues, that Greengrass, as recognized by The Hollywood Reporter, knew it had to be for her since you saw her performance in the drama, System Crashre, where she plays Benni, a girl with trouble controlling her anger. A performance that earned him a Lola Award, the highest award in German cinema; and that, unknowingly, triggered his leap to Hollywood.
As soon as I saw her, I had the feeling that she had a special talent. At the beginning of the film’s production I thought it would be a long search to find our Johanna, but it turned out to be very simple [Greengrass]
His mother was Tom Hanks at the casting with Greengrass
But how was that first meeting between the director and Helena Zengel? The event was held in London, at The Soho Hotel, in the summer 2019. Little Zengel came along with her mother, Anna, who did not hesitate to step into the shoes of Hanks himself so that her daughter could prove to Greengrass that she was the genuine Johanna of her story. In the scene, Anna had to simulate the moment in which Captain Kidd rescues Johanna from the hands of her captors, and this is what Zengel remembers, as he has explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was a lot of fun because I had to bite my mother and yell at her. Right after, Paul said to me, ‘You have the part.’ But my English wasn’t that good, and I didn’t understand him. Only when he held out his hand and said, ‘It’s yours if you want it,’ did I feel overwhelmed. I could have jumped for joy. I did, actually. And then Mom and I went shopping!
Although his parents have always been devoted to music, Helena Zengel has recognized that she has always had a special talent for acting. That is why, to date, the actress has not considered attending drama classes, because she assures that she is self-taught. One of his tricks, for the scenes of Histories of our world in which I had to cry, it is “thinking about something sad, like someone dying, or a horse dying“For the final shot, continue, according to the Los Angeles Times, I move my eyes, my mouth, I make noises, and … when I really cry, they record a close-up.”
Tom Hanks, the best travel companion
Helena Zengel admits that she was moved when she discovered that Tom Hanks was the actor with whom she was going to star in the Paul Greengrass film. For Zengel, the veteran performer, who previously worked under Greengrass on Captain Phillips, “he’s just great, very nice, a gentleman.” Along these lines, the young actress confesses that, during filming, “I always had a joke and was kind to everyone on set. Every time I had a question or needed something, he always helped me.”
Will it win the Golden Globe? Will she be nominated for the Oscars in 2021? Will new projects start to emerge for Zengel? We will have to wait to answer these questions, but we are certain that the actress’s career has only just taken off.
If you have not yet seen the magnificent performance of Helena Zengel in Stories from our worldWait no more and enjoy the movie on Netflix.
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Helena Zengel (‘Noticias del gran mundo’): Meet the protagonist of the new Netflix movie – Movie News