By Rollo Ross
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - German-born actress Diane Kruger's latest role as a woman whose husband and son are killed in an attack in the German movie "In the Fade" left her "physically exhausted" and taking a step back from acting.
"I didn't take a movie for a long time. I just felt like I couldn't. I was feeling I was drowning," Kruger told Reuters.
"I just needed time for myself to get my life back in order," she added.
Kruger, known for films such as "Inglourious Basterds" and "Troy," plays Katja in director Fatih Akin's "In the Fade," about a woman who marries her husband while he is in prison.
Years later, a devastating tragedy leaves her husband dead and Katja on a mission for justice, suspicious that Neo-Nazis might be behind her loss.
German director Akin, who is of Turkish descent, said he wanted to explore racism and specifically Neo-Nazis in Germany within the film.
"There are people in this country, which I consider is my country, who want to kill me just because I look like how I look like with black hair and brown eyes. They want to kill me for it, for nothing. This bothers me," Akin said.
"I don't like that, so I have a feeling that I need to express my anger so the film gave me the opportunity to express it on paper and later on film," he added.
The film has garnered both Akin and Kruger strong praise from critics, and Kruger was named best actress at France's Cannes Film Festival last year.
"In the Fade" is Germany's entry to the Oscars, one of nine films short-listed in the foreign language film category.
(Reporting by Rollo Ross for Reuters TV; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Cynthia Osterman)