About Diane Heidkrüger
Multilingual, German-born actress Diane Kruger is best known for her role as Helen in Troy, Dr. Abigail Chase in National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Bridget von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds.
Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger on July 15, 1976, in the small village of Hildesheim, Germany. She studied ballet as a child, moving to London at 11 years of age to study with the Royal Ballet. When a knee injury ended her dance career at age 13, she rebounded nicely by winning a national modeling competition and a contract with the Elite agency. Kruger became a top fashion model in Germany, working for such industry heavies as Armani and Christian Dior. Then director Luc Besson convinced the young Kruger to move to Paris to pursue acting, which she did. She made her film debut in the crime drama “The Piano Player” (2002), starring Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper, then appeared in the black comedy about a Jerry Springer-like talk show host, “Mon Idole” (2002), helmed by then-husband, Guillaume Canet. Kruger appeared in the indie “Ni Pour Ni Contra” (“Not For or Against”) (2003), and went on to nab the female lead in “Michel Vaillant” (2003), a live-action adaptation of a popular 1950s French comic strip set at the famed Le Mans auto race.
She was unknown in the United States when she beat out A-listers Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman for the role of reluctant queen Helen of Troy in Wolfgang Petersen’s blockbuster epic, "Troy" (2004) starring Brad Pitt. From launching a thousand ships with her face, this former model stayed in the realm of highly active films, including the popular thriller “Wicker Park” (2004) and “National Treasure” (2004), starring Nicolas Cage. While those films were high-profile blockbusters, Kruger’s supporting roles were relatively underwritten and only her foreign-made titles offered the actress room to really develop a three-dimensional lead character. But in “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), Quentin Tarantino’s World War II tale of revenge, Kruger’s significant role as a double agent and German movie star finely showcased the actress’ untapped capacity for tough, conniving intelligence, and proved to international audiences that there was much to explore underneath her ethereal beauty.
Continuing to split her time between Europe and Hollywood, the fluent French-speaking Kruger starred in “Les Brigades du Tigre” (2006), about a specialty team of police officers fighting crime in early 20th century Paris. In “Copying Beethoven” (2006), Kruger played a music conservatory student who befriends the ailing composer (Ed Harris) in a fictionalized account of Beethoven’s final years. That clichéd biopic was skewered by critics and followed by little-seen efforts “The Hunting Party” (2007) and the low budget horror film “Days of Darkness” (2007), before Kruger reprised her role as Dr. Abigail Chase in the blockbuster sequel, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007). Following a starring role in the French-produced thriller “Pour Elle” (“Anything for Her”) (2008), as a quiet-living woman shocked when she is squired away and charged with murder, Kruger was perfectly cast as a German femme fatale film star and double agent for the Allied forces in “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). Quentin Tarantino’s World War II tale of a U.S. mission to take down the Third Reich garnered largely positive reviews, and for her substantial supporting role Kruger’s profile was not only boosted, but she also earned a SAG award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. She was next seen with Jared Leto in French filmmaker Jaco van Dormael's love story, "Mr. Nobody" (2009).
She married French actor and director Guillaume Canet on 1 September 2001. They divorced in 2006, but acted alongside one another in Joyeux Noël. She has been in a relationship with Joshua Jackson since 2006. Besides her mother tongue (German), Kruger speaks English and French fluently. She is friends with Karl Lagerfeld. Kruger divides her time between Paris and Vancouver.