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Independent-minded Diane Kruger gets symbiotic instead in her new film, The Host.

In 2004’s Troy, Diane Kruger broke out as Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world. Since then, however, with heralded turns in projects such as Inglourious Basterds and multiple foreign films, the Germany-born 36-year-old has proven that she’s more than just a pretty face. This month, Kruger is back on the big screen in Stephenie Meyer’s much-anticipated Twilight follow-up The Host. It’s no surprise that, much like Kruger herself, her character is a strong, complicated woman (albeit an alien).

American Way: So, a Stephenie Meyer alien movie. We’re intrigued.
Diane Kruger: It was definitely intriguing. These types of movies are usually just about the bad guys, but in this one, the aliens, or “the souls” that come into our body, are actually good. People become very good to each other. It raises the question of what makes humans special, what sets us apart.

AW: Had you read the book before signing on?
DK: I hadn’t read The Host, no, but I was a huge fan of Twilight, even though it’s not quite intended­ for my age group. Stephenie Meyer has this particular talent to touch on our most romantic ideas of love, though The Host is a very different take on this. But my character is so interesting because you seem to know who she is, but there’s so much more than what you initially think.

AW: How did you get started in the business?
DK: I’ve been on my own since I was 15 years old. I started out in drama school in France, and I come from a dance background, and then I ­modeled and got to travel the world.

AW: Has your independent nature been helpful in navigating your career?
DK: Sometimes it’s helpful and, sometimes, not so much. Acting is wonderful and it’s what I love doing, but I try not to make it all I have in life. There are other things I’m interested in, whether it’s traveling or raising kids one day. So if acting stops, I won’t have nothing.

AW: You’ve become well known for your sense of style. Have you always loved fashion?
DK: I have an appreciation of all things art, especially haute couture. I think it’s a great way of expressing yourself, no different than the books you read or the car you drive. It’s not superficial. It’s the opposite of that. Why not try to be the best version of yourself?