If you’ve ever wondered whether Marlene and Rebecca are here to stay (and believe me, I have), German network ARD is currently doing a lot to assure viewers that in fact, they are.
A few days after an interview with Tatjana Kästel and Melanie Kogler was posted on the official “Verbotene Liebe” website, German network ARD even issued a press release concerning the love story of Rebecca and Marlene. Here’s a translation:
They are young, sexy and lust after each other: Countess Rebecca von Lahnstein (played by Tatjana Kästel) and musical singer Marlene Wolf (Melanie Kogler) have discovered their feelings for each other on the ARD daily soap opera “Verbotene Liebe” a long time ago. Even the fact that Marlene is engaged to Rebecca’s brother Tristan von Lahnstein (Jens Hartwig) and the wedding is imminent cannot stop the young women’s passionate affair. They are powerless against their feelings.
The complicated love story that is currently being told on “Verbotene Liebe” is escalating. In episode 4151 of the show – likely to be on the air on September 26, 2012 on ARD – Marlene finally has to decide: Tristan or Rebecca? Brother or sister?
There’s a tradition of same-sex love stories on “Verbotene Liebe”. The tragic story of Carla von Lahnstein (Claudia Hiersche) and Hanna Nowak (Katharina Darlichau), who died in Countess Carla’s arms, or the wedding of Carla and Susanne (Claudia Scarpatetti) have captivated viewers in the past. The love of Christian Mann (Thore Schölermann) and Oliver Sabel (Jo Weil) is inspiring for millions of fans even outside of Germany. The two actors are receiving letters, mails and gifts from all over the world on a daily basis. “Love stories are the heart of the show, whether they’re happy or unhappy, and same-sex relationships are of course also a part of it. It’s important for us that they are not clichéd, but portrayed as realistically as possible”, says Executive Producer Elke Kimmlinger (WDR mediagroup).
Since February 2012, Tatjana Kästel plays the role of fashion designer Rebecca von Lahnstein on “Verbotene Liebe”. Born in Karlsruhe, Tatjana successfully completed her acting studies at Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Austrian Melanie Kogler studied acting at the European Film Actor School in Zürich und took on the role as singer Marlene Wolf in January of 2011. Melanie Kogler: “If, as an actress, you get the chance to play a story like that of Rebecca and Marlene, you have the opportunity to show the audience that love between two women can be as real and beautiful as love between a woman and a man.”
In an interview with DasErste.de, Tatjana Kästel and Melanie Kogler talk about their personal experiences and the acting challenges of playing a lesbian couple.
Let’s start with the one thing that’s really bothering me: Why do they have to keep using the word “challenge” when it comes to playing a lesbian couple? What’s supposedly so difficult about that? It’s love, pure and simple. Besides, in the interview, both actresses say that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a love story with a man or with a woman. So please, dear “Verbotene Liebe” press people, could you once and for all stop writing that? Thank you.
Other than that, I think that this press release is interesting and a positive sign for various reasons. First of all, if they see Marlene & Rebecca in the tradition of Carla & Hanna, Carla & Susanne and “Chrolli”, it means that it’s likely not just going to be a fling, but a serious relationship. Also, by putting an emphasis on wanting to portray this relationship without clichés, but as realistically as possible, they are adressing the fears and concerns of a lot of gay viewers who are sick and tired of all the stereotypes on TV. That they are not just aware of those concerns, but even actively address them, is something that, in my opinion, they deserve credit for. And, last but not least, the mention of “Chrolli”‘s international fans. Though “millions” might be a bit exaggerated, it shows that they are aware and apparently even a little proud of that international fan base, which is a good sign for all of you – the international “Marbecca” fans.
What do you think?