Nina Hoss

Nina Hoss (born 7 July 1975) is a German stage and film actress.

Nina Hoss
Nina Hoss at Berlinale 2013
Born (1975-07-07) 7 July 1975
Stuttgart, West Germany
Years active1996present
Known forBarbara (2012), Phoenix (2014), A Most Wanted Man (2014), Homeland

Early life

Hoss was born in Stuttgart, West Germany. Her father, Willi Hoss, was a German trade unionist and politician (member of the Bundestag in The Greens). Her mother, Heidemarie Rohweder, was an actress at Stuttgart National Theatre and later director of the Esslingen-based Württemberg State Playhouse (Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen).


Hoss acted in radio plays at the age of seven and appeared on stage for the first time at the age of 14.[1]

In 1997 Hoss graduated from the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. Her first major success was the title role Rosemarie Nitribitt of Bernd Eichinger's A Girl Called Rosemary in 1996, a period drama (based on an actual scandal) set in the 1950s that looks back at the days of West Germany's postwar Wirtschaftswunder with, what a New York Times review calls a "curdling cynicism".[2]

In 2000 Hoss was one of the Shooting Stars at the Berlinale. Her close collaboration with director Christian Petzold has been extremely successful: she won the 2003 Adolf Grimme Award for her role in his film Something to Remind Me and two years later the Adolf Grimme Award in Gold for Wolfsburg. Her performance of Yella, earned her the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007 and the German Film Award in 2008.[3] Another collaboration with Petzold, Barbara, in which Hoss plays a doctor exiled to an East German provincial backwater in 1980, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011 and the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. In a review of her 2009 film A Woman in Berlin, The New York Times remarked that Hoss, "whose strong frame and graceful bearing suggest both old-style movie-star glamour and Aryan ideals of feminine beauty, is an actress of haunting subtlety, and the film, episodic, ambitious and a few beats too long, is held together by the force of her performance."[4] The Washington Post, reviewing Phoenix (2015), again directed by Petzold, wrote "Hoss’s breathtaking portrayal, especially in the film’s final minutes, makes it clear why director Christian Petzold has made a habit of working with her".[5] She later made her name in Hollywood playing a German agent in three seasons of the series Homeland (2014-7).

As a stage actress, Hoss was an ensemble member at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin from 1998 to 2013, where she appeared as Medea and as Franziska in Minna von Barnhelm (2005). In 2013, she joined the ensemble of the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin. There, she starred in three productions by director Thomas Ostermeier, including Lillian Hellman's 'Little Foxes' (2014) and the world premiere of Yasmina Reza's 'Bella Figura' (2015)[6][7]. In his stage production (2017) of Didier Eribon's book Returning to Reims, her starring role drew autobiographically from her relationship with her father and his activist politics.[8][9]

Hoss recorded a duet with the Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers called "Europa geht durch mich" ("Europe goes through me") for the album Futurology which was released on 7 July 2014.[10]

She has received numerous state honours including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2013) and the »Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres« (2015).[11]

Other activities

Hoss has been a member of the juries of the Locarno International Film Festival in 2009, the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011, and the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in 2016.[12].

In addition, Hoss was a jury member of the German Film Academy's First Steps awards for young filmmakers in 2000.[13] She served as the sole judge of the 2012 Alfred Kerr Acting Prize at the Berliner Theatertreffen.[14] In 2018, she was part of the jury that awarded the first-ever Wortmeldungen Prize for Literature of the Crespo Foundation.[15]

Since 2019, Hoss has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[16]

Social and political commitment

Hoss supports the Make Poverty History campaign[17] and fights female genital mutilation. She is quoted as saying, "For me, genital mutilation, torture, is one of the worst crimes in the name of so-called honour on earth. I dream that it will be possible for this form of domination over women to be abandoned."[18] In continuation of the work of her father she is committed as a Goodwill Ambassador of the State of Pará in Brazil against the destruction of the rain forest and to improve the living conditions of the indigenous people living there.[19] In 2017, she joined Cate Blanchett, Lars von Trier and others in signing a petition in support of Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov and a crack down on artistic expression.[20]

Hoss served as an Alliance 90/The Greens delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2004 and 2010.


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Und keiner weint mir nach Marilli Kosemund
1996 A Girl Called Rosemary Rosemarie Nitribitt TV Movie
1998 Fire Rider Marie Rätzer
1998 Love Your Neighbour! Liz
1999 The Volcano Marion von Kammer
2000 Die Geiseln von Costa Rica Kiki TV Movie
2001 Toter Mann Leyla TV Movie
2002 Naked Charlotte
2002 Epstein's Night Paula
2002 Emilia Galotti Countess Orsina TV Movie
2003 Wolfsburg Laura Reiser
2003 Leonce und Lena Prinzessin Lena TV Movie
2005 The White Masai Carola Mamutelil geb. Lehmann
2006 Atomised Jane
2006 Hannah Hannah Morgan
2007 Yella Yella Fichte
2007 The Heart Is a Dark Forest Marie
2008 The Anarchist's Wife Lenin
2008 Jerichow Laura
2008 A Woman in Berlin Anonyma
2010 We Are the Night Louise
2011 Fenster zum Sommer Juliane Kreisler
2012 Barbara Barbara
2013 Gold Emily Meyer
2014 A Most Wanted Man Irna Frey
2014 Phoenix Nelly Lenz
2014–17 Homeland Astrid TV Series, 13 episodes
2017 Return to Montauk Rebecca
2019 The Audition Anna Bronsky
2019 Pelican Blood Wiebke



  1. Nina Hoss is judge of the 2012 Alfred Kerr Acting Prize (1 March 2012) Berliner Theatertreffen.
  2. Stephen Holden (October 15, 1999), "A Prostitute Undone by Ambition". The New York Times.
  3. Berlinale 2011: International Jury Archived 2011-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, Berlin International Film Festival, 21 January 2011.(in German)
  4. A. O. Scott (July 16, 2009), "Diary of Soviet Violence in a Conquered Capital", The New York Times, 17 July 2009.
  5. Merry, Stephanie (2015-08-06). "In 'Phoenix,' a woman fights back from the brink". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  6. "Beautiful Corpses and Yasmina Reza's »Bella Figura« | by Joseph Pearson". Schaubühne Berlin. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  7. "Nina Hoss". Schaubühne Berlin. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  8. Vincentelli, Elisabeth (2018-02-02). "A 'Homeland' Spy Opens Up Onstage in 'Returning to Reims'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  9. "Class Traitors Didier Eribon and Thomas Ostermeier's »Returning to Reims« | by Joseph Pearson". Schaubühne Berlin. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  10. Harris, John. "Manic Street Preachers: Eurostars find a new strasse". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  11. "Nina Hoss". Schaubühne Berlin. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  12. Vivarelli, Nick (24 July 2016). "Laurie Anderson, Joshua Oppenheimer, Zhao Wei Set For Venice Jury". Variety. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  13. The juries First Steps.
  14. Nina Hoss is judge of the 2012 Alfred Kerr Acting Prize (1 March 2012) Berliner Theatertreffen.
  15. Verleihung des WORTMELDUNGEN-Literaturpreises an Petra Piuk Wortmeldungen Prize for Literature, press release of May 7, 2018.
  16. Academy Invites 842 To Membership Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, press release of August 1, 2019.
  17. "Berlin Live 8 Concert Attracts Over 200,000 | Germany | DW.COM | 02.07.2005". DW.COM. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  18. I have a dream
  19. Barbara Jänichen: "Nina Hoss and the amazon-heritage of her father". In: Die Welt, November 6, 2009.
  20. Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov goes on trial for fraud BBC News, 7 November 2018.
  21. Official press release Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  22. John Hopewell and Jamie Lang (September 28, 2019), ‘Pacified’ Wins Golden Shell at San Sebastian Variety.
  23. Britta Schmeis (September 30, 2019), Nina Hoss will Widersprüchlichkeiten ergründen Die Welt.
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