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Aline Amike on the Physicality of Performance (Berlinale Talents Acting Studio)

By Elise Czyzowska

26 March 2024

Last month, BA Screen Acting student Aline Amike attended the Berlinale Talents Acting Studio, led by renowned movement directors and acting coaches, Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad.

Throughout the experience, Aline attended workshops on the Alexander Technique, as well as panels and networking events across the festival, even getting a glimpse into the European Film Market.

In today’s blog, we spoke to Aline about her top takeaway from the session – the physicality of performance – and how her experience as the Founder & Creative Director of her own fashion brand, Amike Studios, has made her a better actor…

When did you first know that you wanted to pursue acting?

I didn’t necessarily always want to be an actor, but I liked telling stories ever since I was young. I’ve always enjoyed literally lending my body and my emotions to a character – allowing them to live through me is an honour.

The first time I worked as an actor I was casted in a music video, helping out a friend. I found that it allowed me to play, recognise, and change my own habits. I honestly believe that life is an adventure experienced through our body, and with acting, I get to have a different one with each role.

Then, the first film that I worked on, Fathers Day, received great acclaim, which gave me a lot of confidence. That’s when I realised I needed to learn more about the history of film and my craft, which of course, led me to MetFilm School Berlin!

And how did you first get involved in the Berlinale Talents Acting Studio?

To be honest, I didn’t have much hope when I applied as I had received a ‘we regret to inform you’ email the year before. But I realised that because I’d already been through rejection, the worst thing that could happen was simply to get the same response.

I knew I could get over another rejection, so I went for it – and luckily, it was a better response this time!


How did this workshop inform your MetFilm School training?

In the Acting Workshop, I was introduced to a breathing technique called the Alexander Technique: the philosophy of moving the body lightly, emphasising the interrelationship of the neck, head, and back.

The technique really helped me to connect more with acting methods like Meisner, which we are currently practicing in the BA Screen Acting programme, because of the focus it put on being aware of your entire body at all times.

You focused specifically on engaging with the physicality of your body. What did this look like?

Again, this was through the Alexander Breathing Technique that made me slow down and be more physically aware with my body. To feel the distance between my legs and my head when I sit, and how this affects my movement – or how different it is when I am standing or walking.

It also helped me with posturing my body in a way that makes me more available whether it is in a scene, or just practicing this to improve my overall way of being.

Credit: Lupita Nyong’o at Berlinale Talents: Talents Tanks: Check Out © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2024

As Founder & Creative Director of Amike Studio, has your fashion design helped you connect with your physicality as an actor?

Definitely! In my work as Creative Director, I meet a lot of people from very different backgrounds, and I need to know the right way to talk to them, to charm them into believing in my vision – without overwhelming them with information. And of course, the approach varies from person to person, meaning I have to adapt depending on who I’m talking with.

In a strange way, this has heightened my level of observation and my thought process, which has been a great asset for me in understanding, relating to, and giving life to my characters.

Of course, this wasn’t your first time at Berlinale, as you attended last year with THE BRIDE. What did this role teach you?

I played Uwase, a woman who had witnessed her family being killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis – she had given up school, and everything else that mattered to her, due to the trauma, but still hung on to the craft of beading that her mother had taught her. When she meets her cousins’ new wife (through a forced marriage), she starts to find joy and to heal through their developing friendship.

Stepping into Uwase’s shoes was quite challenging, because of the heaviness of her pain. It even scared me for a bit – but I’ve lived with women who have gone through these things, so I took it as an honour to tell one of their stories.

The role taught me to examine the weight of a character, and to decide whether or not it’s worth it, as well as how far I can – or cannot – go for a film.

Watch Aline Amike’s portrait video in collaboration with Deutsche Welle Portrait

And finally, how do you think this experience helped you to develop as an actor and a creative?

The 2024 Berlinale experience created a space for conversations with filmmakers around the world, helping us all to incorporate other perspectives of thinking, ways of looking at the world, and different approaches to our own creative projects.

It definitely enriched my knowledge, and it put me in contact with people I hope will be future collaborators!

  • Aline Amike studies BA Screen Acting at MetFilm School Berlin. This course is also available at our London campus.
  • Find out more about Amike Studios on Instagram!