Why do people enjoy serious TV dramas

Christiane Hörbiger in an interview about the ARD drama “The Last Journey”, getting older in front of the camera and the joy of life.

Christiane Hörbiger has been the lady on duty on television for decades. Older viewers will never forget the Viennese-born countess in the ZDF series “Das Erbe der Guldenburgs” (1987–1990). But for some years now, the now 78-year-old has broken with the image of the noble lady and also embodies old, lonely, sick women. So on Monday at 8:15 p.m. in Florian Baxmeyer's ARD film "The last trip" about a woman who wants to put an end to her life. We talked to the 78-year-old about the film and her age.

Is euthanasia something you might one day be eligible for?

No, euthanasia is out of the question for me. I am catholic and a believer. I don't mean that one should mess with God’s craft.

Have you ever been confronted with this topic in your environment?

No never.

Do you think television is the ideal medium for presenting such a serious subject?

Yeah, where else should you do that? Do you think it would be more appropriate in the cinema or on stage? Oh God, there are really serious issues that television presents. The film is not a comedy, but rather raises a question that is very topical.

How do you feel about getting older and the fact that we all have to die someday?

I have no choice but to accept it and make the best of it. (Laughs) And I'm not afraid of getting old - no, I'm already old. To a certain extent, work is also part of this process for me. Work helps over everything. It's a very, very wonderful thing - you know that about yourself.

Artists enjoy the privilege of being able to work for a very long time.

As long as you are still healthy and remember the text and there are people, thank God also on ARD, who want to continue working with me, that's okay. But the audience can retire me.

All your life you played very beautiful, ladylike women. But for a long time you don't seem to have had any problems showing the camera faces of old age that are not quite as beautiful as, for example, when you were homeless in “On the Street”.

I really don't have the slightest problem with that. Even from the stage - I played Marthe Schwerdtlein (from Goethe's “Faust”, Red.) When I was 30. A real actress must also be able to grow old. Personal vanity is unprofessional.

As an actor, do you feel like doing something really funny after such a sad film?

Quite right - absolutely! I had also expressed the wish to ARD. And now the broadcaster and my wonderful producer Markus Trebitsch have offered me a wonderful book - something funny. Filming will start in February or March of next year, but of course I'm not allowed to reveal any specifics.

Ultimately, “The Last Journey” is also about joie de vivre. The old lady learns to appreciate good food and drink from her Swiss doctor. What is your recipe for joie de vivre?

My two little boobs. You are my whole delight. One is called Loriot and the other Vicco von Bülow. But it is only called Vicco and is insanely bad.

They aren't descendants of the unforgotten Loriot's pugs, are they?

No they are not!

But are they also comedians, your boobs?

You are just adorable! In my house in Baden near Vienna they are outside in the garden. But when I'm in my apartment in Vienna, I take them for a walk three times a day. That ensures a zest for life!

The conversation went onUlrike Cordes