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Alexandra Maria Lara
MJK 68027 Alexandra Maria Lara (Berlinale 2020).jpg
Lara in 2020
Alexandra Maria Plătăreanu

(1978-11-12) 12 November 1978 (age 45)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Sam Riley
(m. 2009)
Children 1

Alexandra Maria Lara (née Plătăreanu; 12 November 1978) is a Romanian-German actress who has appeared in Downfall (2004), Control (2007), Youth Without Youth (2007), The Reader (2008), Rush (2013), and Geostorm (2017).

Early life

Born in Bucharest, Lara is the only child of Valentin Plătăreanu, an actor, and his wife, Doina. Her father was a successful actor and director in Romania, directing many plays such as Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare and Hernani by Victor Hugo.

In 1983, her family emigrated to West Germany from their home in Bucharest, Romania (then the Socialist Republic of Romania). Although the family had originally planned to emigrate to Canada, they settled in Freiburg im Breisgau, before eventually moving to West Berlin. She gained fluency in German during this time.


By sixteen, she was playing lead roles in various television dramas; since then, she has appeared in films, including as Traudl Junge, Adolf Hitler's secretary, in the Academy Award-nominated 2004 film Downfall; following this, Francis Ford Coppola wrote her a letter and gave her a leading role in Youth Without Youth (2007).

In 2007, she also appeared as Belgian journalist Annik Honoré in the film Control, the Ian Curtis biopic. In 2008, she served as a member of the Cannes Film Festival jury. She has also appeared in several French productions, including Napoléon and L'Affaire Farewell. She appeared in The Reader and Der Baader Meinhof Komplex which were both nominated for the 81st Academy Awards, for best picture and best foreign language film, respectively.

In 2018, Lara starred with her real life husband Sam Riley in Happy New Year, Colin Burstead by Ben Wheatley, playing his German girlfriend.

Alongside Florian Gallenberger, Lara has been serving as president of the Deutsche Filmakademie since 2022.

Personal life

MJK 68021 Alexandra Maria Lara und Sam Riley (Berlinale 2020)
Lara with husband Sam Riley at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on 20 February 2020

In August 2009, Lara married English actor Sam Riley, with whom she acted in the films Control and Suite Française. In January 2014, she gave birth to their first child, a boy. They also played a couple on-screen in Ben Wheatley's drama Happy New Year, Colin Burstead.


  • Stella Stellaris (1994, TV miniseries)
  • I Desire You (1995), as Mädchen am Bahnhof
  • Mensch, Pia! (1996, TV series, 10 episodes, breakthrough role), as Pia Mangold
  • Faust [de]: Tote weinen nicht (1997, TV series episode), as Laura
  • Das Vorsprechen (1997, Short), as Junge Schauspielerin
  • Girl's Trap – Death Comes Online [de] (1998, TV film), as Silke Hartmann
  • Tatort: Fürstenschüler (1998, TV series episode), as Kerstin
  • The Bubi Scholz Story [de] (1998, TV film), as Renate - jung
  • Polizeiruf 110: Sumpf (1999, TV series episode), as Meike
  • Sperling (Sperling und der falsche Freund) (1999, TV series episode)
  • Our Island in the South Pacific (1999), as Sandra
  • Vertrauen ist alles (2000, TV film), as Jennifer Blankenburg
  • Lady Cop (ep. Die Geliebte des Killers) (2000, TV series episode), as Sabine Sasse
  • Fisimatenten (2000), as Hanna
  • Crazy (2000), as Melanie
  • Force Majeure (2000, TV film), as Nicolette
  • The Tunnel (2001, TV film), as Charlotte 'Lotte' Lohmann
  • Honolulu (2001), as Cleonise
  • 99 Euro Films (2001) (segment "Privat")
  • Leo & Claire (2001), as Käthe Katzenberger
  • Liebe und Verrat (2002, TV film), as Marie Irimia
  • If It Don't Fit, Use a Bigger Hammer (2002), as Astrid
  • Schleudertrauma (2002, TV film), as Doreen
  • Napoléon (2002, TV miniseries), as Comtesse Marie Walewska
  • Doctor Zhivago (2002, TV miniseries), as Tonya Gromyko Zhivago
  • Trenck [de] (2002, TV film), as Princess Amélie (Anna Amalia)
  • The Wishing Tree [de] (2004, TV miniseries), as Camilla Senger, geb. Hofmann
  • Leise Krieger (2004, Short), as Nora
  • Downfall (2004, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel), as Traudl Junge
  • Cowgirl (2004), as Johanna 'Paula' Jakobi / Murderous Lady im Film Noir
  • About the Looking for and the Finding of Love  [de] (2005), as Venus Morgenstern
  • The Fisherman and His Wife [de] (2005), as Ida
  • Offset (2006), as Brindusa Herghelegiu
  • Where Is Fred? (2006), as Denise Poppnick
  • The Company (2007, TV miniseries), as Lili
  • Control (2007, directed by Anton Corbijn), as Annik Honore
  • I Really Hate My Job (2007), as Suzie
  • Youth Without Youth (2007, directed by Francis Ford Coppola), as Veronica / Laura / Rupini
  • Miracle at St. Anna (2008, directed by Spike Lee), as Axis Sally
  • The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008, directed by Uli Edel), as Petra Schelm
  • The Reader (2008, directed by Stephen Daldry), as Young Ilana Mather
  • Kaifeck Murder [de] (2009), as Juliana Lukas
  • The City of Your Final Destination (2009, directed by James Ivory), as Deirdre Rothemund
  • Farewell (2009), as Jessica
  • City of Life (2009), as Natalia Moldovan
  • The Nazi Officer's Wife (2010)
  • A Distant Neighborhood (2010, directed by Sam Garbarski), as Anna Verniaz
  • Small World (2010), as Simone Senn
  • Woman in Love [de] (2011, directed by Detlev Buck), as Sarah
  • Lullaby Ride [de] (2012), as Livia
  • Imagine (2012, directed by Andrzej Jakimowski), as Eva
  • Move On (2012), as Lena
  • Rush (2013, directed by Ron Howard), as Marlene Lauda
  • Suite Française (2015, directed by Saul Dibb), as Leah
  • The Most Beautiful Day (2016), as Mona
  • Robbi, Tobbi und das Fliewatüüt (2016), as Sharon Schalldämpfer
  • Sing (2016, directed by Garth Jennings), as Rosita (German dubbing, originally performed by Reese Witherspoon)
  • Vier gegen die Bank (2016, directed by Wolfgang Petersen), as Freddie
  • Geostorm (2017, directed by Dean Devlin), as Ute Fassbinder
  • 25 km/h (2018, directed by Marcus Goller), as Ingrid
  • Sealed Lips [de] (2018), as Antonia Berger
  • Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018, directed by Ben Wheatley), as Hannah
  • The Collini Case (2019, directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner), as Johanna
  • Børning 3: Asphalt Burning (2020), as Robin
  • The King's Man (2021, directed by Matthew Vaughn), as Emily Oxford
  • The Sitting Duck (2022, directed by Jean-Paul Salomé), as Julie

See also

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