With her soft Dutch accent and a penchant for existential digressions, Maruschka Detmers is pure European. If she ever does work in Hollywood, it will be because she found the perfect part.
“They invented this horrible word-- market ,” says the raven-haired, green-eyed beauty as she folds her legs beneath her on the brocaded hotel chair. “The more markets I have, the better the scripts. So I know I’m going to be working here.”
In the meantime, American audiences will have to settle for seeing Detmers on screen in “Hanna’s War,” in which she stars as a Hungarian Jewish girl who moves to Palestine during World War II and returns to aid the resistance--only to be taken prisoner and viciously tortured. The film, based on the true story of Hanna Senesh, was filmed in Hungary and opened in Los Angeles Nov. 23. Detmers had already kicked up some dust in Europe when director Menachem Golan of Cannon Films tapped her for the role of Hanna. In Jacques Doillon’s 1984 “Le Pirate,” she had played a troubled lesbian, a performance that earned her a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.
Two years later she caused a scandal when she engaged in oral sex in Marco Bellocchio’s “Devil in the Flesh. " “I don’t feel I have to defend myself,” Detmers says of that part. “I could be preoccupied with my image, but I don’t feel that’s worthwhile. . . . People who went to see the film have a different idea of what it is about.”
Detmers stumbled into acting while working as an au pair in Paris. Without friends and ignorant of the language, she turned to dance and theater as a way to “integrate myself into French social life.” Soon after, she won a scholarship to acting school. Now 26, Detmers speaks six languages.
Her next films include “Deux,” a Claude Zidi project in which she stars opposite the acclaimed French actor Gerard Depardieu, and “Comedie d’Ete,” directed by Daniel Vigne.