Lusie Rainer is 100. Born into a wealthy Jewish family in Germany, Rainer pursued her acting career with legends of European twentieth century theatre. She honed her acting skills in Max Reinhardt’s company, for example.
A victim of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, she left Germany – where she was already established as a well-known theatre and film actress- for American shores after being spotted by a talent scout for MGM.
After her American cinema debut in 1935, in ‘Escapade’, co-starring with Willian Powell, Rainer’s star rose rapidly and she is still keenly remembered by movie buffs as being the first performer to win consecutive Oscars. But, neither her unexpectedly early success nor her personal value systems made things easy for her in Hollywood. A rebellious character who came from a serious theatre background and was often at loggerheads with the demands of the studio, Rainer often found herself involved in tiring struggles to play roles that interested her.
Hans Ulrich Obrist’s interview with the grand old lady of stage and film in issue 18 of Another magazine, accompanied by photos by Wolfgang Tillmans has surely got to be one of the highlights out on the shelves. A poignant and intimate conversation reflecting on a full and rich life, it also serves as a timely reminder to subsequent generations of performers that they are hardly the first to juggle artistic integrity with the industrial demands of mass media and entertainment.