A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Teresa Palmer peels back the layers in Berlin Syndrome.
LET’S get one thing straight: Teresa Palmer might make the life/work fame/family juggling act look easy, but Australia’s favourite earth mother has her off moments just like everybody else.
Take today, for instance. Palmer’s baby son, Forest, is crying in the background. He’s been up since well before dawn. Consequently, both mother and child are sleep-deprived.
Forest’s three-year-old brother, Bodhi, is so excited about that blow-up splash pool being set up in their 10 hectare backyard (for an Easter egg hunt to which 20 of his mates have been invited) he keeps interrupting Palmer, derailing her train of thought.
PTeresa Palmer returns to Adelaide with her family for Easter. Picture: @teresapalmerSource:Instagram
Oh, and the Adelaide Hills house she shares with her husband, writer-actor-director Mark Webber, have been overrun with millipedes (a common problem in SA right now).
“That’s parenting. And it’s life. The juggle and the struggle is real. You have to try and be on point in your relationship first and foremost, I think, to make it work,’’ says Palmer, her voice only momentarily cracking.
“Mark and I have many days when we are grumpy with each other and then we just … well, we figure it out.”
After struggling to accommodate Hollywood’s “perfect image” early on in her career, Palmer made a conscious decision to live her life on her own terms.
This is why she often conducts interviews in the company of her extended tribe.
It’s also why she posted an Instagram photo of herself breastfeeding Forest while being dressed for this year’s Vanity Fair Oscars party (which she attended with director Mel Gibson and other key members of the Hacksaw Ridge cast).
“I just want to be real,” she says.
“My kids are always with me. Luckily I have a husband who wants to be a hands-on parent like I do.”
The couple typically choses to stagger their work commitments so that both of them aren’t on set at the same time.
Clare (Teresa Palmer) in a scene from Berlin Syndrome. Picture: Entertaionment One FilmsSource:Supplied
They made an exception for Palmer’s latest project, Berlin Syndrome, a psychosexual thriller about a young woman whose travel romance turns ugly when her German lover entraps her in his isolated apartment.
Directed by Clare Shortland (Somersault), the film takes Palmer to the darkest place she has been since her debut feature, 2:37, in which she played a suicidal high school student who turns out to be pregnant with her brother’s baby.
“I have been reflecting on that a lot recently,” she says.
“It does feel like I have come full circle. That was my very first acting role and I really had to dig deep and find a very vulnerable place within me to be able to play that character.”
More than a decade later, and with a good deal of experience under her belt, Palmer found the task considerably more difficult
Palmer and Sam Harris in scene from film 2:37.Source:News Limited
“On 2:37, it was very easy for me to come in and out of character. I think I was just so fresh and new. I really had no idea what I was doing on that movie.
“With this one I felt I had to immerse myself, to live in that world as authentically as possible, and it was very hard for me to peel away from (Clare) at the end of the day.”
Palmer, who was breastfeeding Bodhi at the time, found the process especially taxing since Webber wasn’t there to lend a hand.
“I was doing a lot of single parenting at the time because my husband was away shooting a film.
“The six to seven weeks I worked on Berlin Syndrome was one of the most challenging periods of my life.”
The end result, however, is a film she couldn’t be more proud of.
“Clare is a survivor and that resonated with me.”
Palmer with husband Mark Webber at the Australian premiere of Hacksaw Ridge. Picture: Paul MillerSource:AAP
Like the Brisbane backpacker she plays in Berlin Syndrome, Palmer travelled to Hollywood on her own at the age of 19.
But apart from their lack of enthusiasm for make-up, the similarities probably end there.
“I am more confident than she is; she is very uncomfortable in her own skin,’’ says Palmer.
“And I am definitely more of an extrovert. For me it was very interesting because (director) Cate (Shortland) kept on stripping down that side to my personality because I am bigger than Clare, who internalises everything.
“It did feel like a transformation.”
Andi (Max Riemelt) and Clare (Palmer) in a scene from Berlin Syndrome. Picture: Entertainment One FilmsSource:Supplied
Despite the trauma Clare is subjected to by her deeply disturbed captor (Max Riemelt), both actor and filmmaker ultimately see the story as one of personal growth. (We’re talking about the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” variety here.)
Both of them are unsettled by the thought that their film might also serve as a disincentive to young women who are contemplating a solo adventure.
“I personally feel more comfortable travelling in pairs, either with a friend or with my husband,” says Palmer.
“But I would hate for people to take that away from this film; that they need not to take risks. It’s good to take healthy risks. You just need to be smart and be safe; to trust your instincts.”
Palmer and Andrew Garfield in a scene from Hacksaw Ridge.Source:Supplied
Three days after she wrapped filming on Berlin Syndrome, Palmer was on the set of Hacksaw Ridge playing Dorothy Doss, the wife of Andrew Garfield’s character Desmond Doss.
In many ways Clare’s polar opposite, Dorothy took Palmer all the way to the Oscars (on the back of some of the best reviews of her career.)
That’s why the actor is taking her time when it comes to choosing her next project.
“Right now, I am hanging out here in Adelaide doing school runs … I really want to work again and I have been reading some great things.
“But Hacksaw Ridge and Berlin Syndrome really set the bar high for me. I want to have those kinds of opportunities with those types of filmmakers again.
“And I am very happy to be patient until the right thing comes along. I don’t want to do the work for the sake of working because I prefer to hang out with my kids.
“When something comes along, and I hope it will, then I will jump at that opportunity.”
Berlin Syndrome opens next Thursday (April 20)
Elizabeth Hurley flaunts her youthful bikini body on a Seychelles getaway. Picture: @elizabethhurley11 of 35
MAFS reality star Vanessa Belvedere celebrates Easter with her mystery new beau. Picture: @nessie_is_living_now/Instagram2 of 35
A visibly happy and fit Grant Hackett takes to the great outdoors using the new ultralight backpacking chair, “Adventuring #rockclimbing #nature #mountains #mountainair” Picture: @grant__hackett/Instagram3 of 35
Rita Ora makes her way to the much anticipated Coachella music festival, “Chel chel” Picture: @ritaora/Instagram4 of 35
Shanina Shaik debuts a new hairstyle ahead of Coachella, “Looking right for the festival by @queenb_braids_” Picture: @shaninamshaik/Instagram5 of 35
Bella Hadid kicks back in Dubai inbetween promoting her new Dior mascara campaign. Picture: @bellahadid/Instagram6 of 35
Sofia Vergara throws it back to her younger days, “#tbt Miami Beach, To when I didnt know my 2 favorite things where bad for u! Sun and transfats#thegoodtimes #boththingsmademybuttlookgreat” Picture: @sofiavergara/Instagram7 of 35
Casey Donovan confuses fans by wearing a diamond ring, “Just sippin on some coffee and doing some emails… Well, I was doing emails then decided I wanted to make a coffee and now I’m writing this caption and don’t want to go back inside to do emails… hahaha “ Picture: @caseydonovan88/Instagram8 of 35
Kim Kardashian shares an adorable snap with daughter North, “My cutie!” Picture: @kimkardashian/Instagram9 of 35
Buff Daniel Macpherson takes time out inbetween filming, “Go to the Dead Sea they said. It’s relaxing and full of health benefits they said… Unless you are full of cuts and scrapes from a week of action on set, in which case it stings like hell.” Picture: @danmacpherson/Instagram10 of 35
Jessica Origialisso snaps a steamy bodysuit selfie, “Back to honey brunette.” Picture: @jessicaveronica/Instagram11 of 35
Pink shares a breast feeding snap, “Hiking makes us thirsty! #happybaby#hotpocket #normalizebreastfeedingyo#arewethereyet” Picture: Pink/Instagram12 of 35
Busy Phillips enjoys a day out with celebrity BFF Michelle Williams, “Today, at the @thebroadmuseum, I found the third Marilyn!!!!!” Picture: @busyphillips/Instagram13 of 35
John Mayer makes light of his album release timing, “When one of your favorite artists @kendricklamar slides into that Friday release schedule and will handily take the number one slot but you’re too excited to listen to it to even care.” Picture: @johnmayer/Instagram14 of 35
Is that you Lena? That hair that says “I just murdered my much older minister husband and escaped with his valuables in a Walgreens bag” Picture: @lenadunham/Instagram15 of 35
Geri Halliwell shows off her post-baby body after giving birth in January, “Monty’s first dip!” Picture: therealgerihalliwell/Instagram16 of 35
Khloe Kardashian shares a candid from her Evening Standard magazine shoot, “Polaroids please!” Picture: Instagram17 of 35
Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston get snap happy at the ‘LVxKOONS’ exhibition (Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons collaboration) at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. Picture: Justin Theroux/Instagram18 of 35
Lewis Hamilton makes time for his fans, “Some of my favourite #TeamLH members found me in Bahrain 🙂 #BahrainGP #BestFans” Picture: @lewishamilton/Instagram19 of 35
Katy Perry showcases her new pixie cut, “fifth element flow.” Picture: Katy Perry/ Instagram20 of 35
Fresh-faced Bridget Malcolm strips down to her underwear, “Love early AM body digitals. Gratuitous AF but yolo.” Picture: Instagram21 of 35
She’s still got it! Brooke Burke smoking hot in St Barts, “BTS Spring2017 @miamarcelleswim” Picture: @brookeburke/Instagram22 of 35
Picture perfect! Teresa Palmer all smiles as she returns to her hometown of Adelaide with her family. Picture: @teresapalmer23 of 35
Imogen Anthony and Kyle Sandilands living it large in LA “Shady.” Picture: Imogen Anthony/Instagram24 of 35
MAFS Cheryl wearing a revealing gold bodysuit “This bodysuit @_luxefashionlabel_” Picture: Cheryl Maitland/Instagram25 of 35
‘I’m a celeb’ stars Kris Smith and Ash Pollard reunite: “Jungle catch ups, difference is, these stories would never make it to air! Not even at midnight @ashpollard__#shecraycray #funny #goodtimes” Picture: Kris Smith/Instagram26 of 35
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi get’s starstruck in Las Vegas, “Brian tho. #BSB #dead” Picture: @snooki/Instagram27 of 35
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness celebrate their anniversary with a game of tennis, “To the love of my life. 21 glorious years. I love you with all my heart.” Picture: Hugh Jackman/Instagram28 of 35
Bernard Tomic’s girlfriend uploads another revealing bum snap from Miami South Beach, Florida. Picture: Emma Blake Hahnel/Instagram29 of 35
Is that really Benji Marshall having a facial??? “I’ve created a monster @brooklynbeautybar @benji6marshall is now obsessed with facials and is getting all precious about his skin… #pamper #pleasure#dranks #brooklynbeautybar”. Picture: Zoe Marshall/Instagram30 of 35
MAFS Sharon Marsh flaunts her bikini body in Perth: “My last trip to Rottnest Island for awhile… Perth beaches rock!!” Picture: Sharon Marsh/Instagram31 of 35
Concerned fans comment over Sam Frost’s thin frame “Who else but @heidiscarlettkingmakeup polishing me up? xo” Picture: Sam Frost/Instagram32 of 35
All the fun of the fair: Geordie Shore bad boy Gaz Beadle and girlfriend Emma McVey take time out from filming Hell’s Kitchen Australia to sample some of The Easter Show’s finest culinary offerings. Picture: Gaz beadle/Instagram33 of 35
Having been paddle boarding last week in full burkini swimmers in Thailand, Lindsay Lohan confuses fans by posing for a contradictory saucy snap, “Lost at sea on a #riva #yacht.” Picture: Lindsay Lohan34 of 35
Fans question whether Erin McNaught is expecting… “Yesterday called for 80’s aviators and a bikini to match the sky. London is pretty nice sometimes” Picture: Erin McNaught/Instagram35 of 35