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  • Writer's pictureXander Turian

The Voyager Golden Record: Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2019

In March I got a call from my German agent, Caprice [Crawford]. She said I had been offered a role and asked if I was interested and available.

The script was in German except for the dialogue which was in English. I read it as best I could using my level of skills in the German language and using help from google translate at times.

The background for the project was the Voyager Golden Record that was launched into space in 1977. The concept was that a superior life form discovers the vinyl and deciphers the messages before going on a mission to learn more about the human race.

My role would be to play 3 clone scientists that are in charge of the mission.

The film would be split into 3 parts and aired during the annual Nobel Laureate gathering in Lindau, Germany for the most prominent scientists from around the world.

I was intrigued, excited and honoured to be offered the role without an audition.

The shooting dates fit perfectly with my schedule and we would be filming in Heidelberg which meant that I could spend time with Jojo who has family that live there. Bonus!

The script had a few heavy monologues which contained dates, names and facts that were important to the script and connected to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and their history.

My preparation became finding how I could create three characters that each had their own personalities while maintaining the fact that we were all clones.

I broke down the script and together with the director, Nicolas [Ehret], we found the direction and subtle differences we wanted to achieve.

I flew to Düsseldorf and Nicolas and Kathrine the producer picked me up and we drove the rest of the way to Heidelberg together. The car journey was a great opportunity to get to know each other and discuss the project further.

Heidelberg is a beautiful town in the south of Germany. Jojo and I stayed at her late Grandparents house which over looked the river and the old castle ruins. We had dinner in the old town and enjoyed our extra mini vacation time together before the shoot started.

Playing 3 characters and interacting with myself was an interesting experience. The planning and set up times were slightly longer than normal and I had to be extra aware of my continuity, my marks, my movements and my eye-line. The crew was amazing and at times when we did certain over the shoulder shots my make-up guy threw on a white lab coat and played my stand in for me, which also made it easier for me and my eye-line.

There was one other character in the script that I had to interact with and when they arrived on set all hell broke loose. She was such a diva, hissing at everyone that went near her. We all left her alone and got on with some other shots and eventually had to fir her and get a replacement short notice.

When the replacement arrived, she was so professional. She was hard working, easy going and a delight to be around.

These are the difficulties working with cats on set.

We shot the film at the Heidelberg Astronomy Institute and we were able to shoot one scene inside of the planetarium which was super cool.

On the last day we had a group of extras on set who were to play Nobel Laureates attending the meeting. I had to do a long monologue with 4 different phrases in 4 different languages while lying on the floor, under the chairs, in between the legs of these extras and then have the cat run past at the exact right moment and then I had to escape backwards out from under the chairs and after the cat… It was the most difficult scene I have ever done, but one of the most fun and I have to say, it turned out pretty great in the end.

I loved the challenge of this project and I am amazed at the end result, it looks stunning. The team behind it are really incredible people and I look forward to working with them again in the future.


Watch The Film Below

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