“She has no idea, what she is in for” was my first thought. Sara Maria Schätzl had asked me to write a feature about her! She never answered my question why she would but herself out there that much for no reason. This is her Website and people have Websites to sell their product or their image. A critical outside perspective is normaly not what you put on there.
After 13 years of working as an entertainment correspondent in Hollywood, I cynically believe that I have heard it all. Moreover, sugar-coating reality is not my thing. I almost declined as most stories I had heard about Schätzl had made her sound like a typical, one-dimensional starlet. I could not have been more wrong – something I realized after a little research and a big dose of Sara live.
First, yes she polarises. If you are ever lucky enough to run into Sara Schätzl, chances are, you will never be able to get her out of your mind. Her “Can do”-attitude is contagious and the main reason that the beginning of her story – young country girl leaves her little town to make it big– has had a happy ending for her. Schätzl fulfilled her big dreams – the girl from a small Bavarian village became Germany’s “It Girl”.
Schätzl broke into show business at age of 6 with a TV-spot for dolls by Käthe Kruse. At age 10, she got her first role in a theatre production. At 16, when the stage became too small for her, she moved to Munich to conquer the big stage of film and television. She did it in her very own way. It is a way most people can not relate to. Without an agent, a portfolio or even headshots she camped out in front of a casting agency: “I did not leave until they let me audition. This is how I got my first small part in a TV series.”
Larger roles in TV-Series and daily soaps followed and Schätzl earned herself a spot in the German celebrity and party-society. Not a week went by without her name appearing in the tabloids. The stories were about her parties, her curves and about her men. Schätzl played the game and cultivated all the stereotypes associated with her. Also the ones that other people wouldn`t want to hear about themselves. She created her own media image and was – to quote the German Society-Columnist Jan Chaberny – a “true virtuoso of self-staging.” She did not miss any important gala and walked all the red carpets that mattered. However, only a few knew that the so called “ultimate party girl” usually left through the back door right after her arrival.
The years in the limelight left a deep emptiness in Schätzl that turned into a serious depression. She had lost herself in the camera lights: “Everything about my life had become superficial. It lacked substance. I needed a radical change.” She went with a drastic change of scenery and rented a house in the countryside that came with a horse and three dogs. She changed her phone number and had finally the quiet and peace she had craved. Schätzl: “I did not care that I risk losing the ‘Sara Schätzl’-brand I had created. I did it once- I can do it again. Better.”
She discovered writing as a “perfect tool of self-fulfillment and self-therapy”. She decided to change sides to become a journalist and author, a move many of her new colleagues frowned upon. They only saw in her the barely clad It-Girl who had come up with a new public relations-stunt to get back into the fame-game. It gave Schätzl even more incentive to succeed. She got herself a new tattoo, “Life free and dream loud”, bought a MacBook the same day and began to write. She started with a small blog and went on her own website with a diary. In 2011 Germany’s largest newspaper BILD offered Schätzl her own syndicated column. It was the literary equivalent of being knighted!
In “Zur Sache Schätzl” – which roughly translates to “Let’s get to it, Schätzl ” – she delighted her readers with an often self-deprecating inside look into her daily routine and party life.
The column became so popular that a renowned German publishing house approached her with a book deal. In 2012, Schätzl published her first book “Glamourgirl” – about her rise to fame and an honest look behind the curtain of “Schätzl-world”. As a new best-selling author, she was booked for Germany’s biggest talk- and late night shows. In one of them, “Marcus Lanz”, she stunned the audience with a personal secret: “I am pregnant.”
Some unforeseen events in her private life made Schätzl to reevaluate her situation. She decided to completely reinvent herself. She left her German comfort zone in the beginning of 2013 to move to Hollywood. It had always been her dream ending up there, growing up in a village that was smaller than most American malls. Schätzl: “I will do what I do best – entertain! And I will do it in the country that does it best !”
With a bunch of luggage in tow and carrying her infant son Louis, Schätzl arrived in Los Angeles. Her master plan: To make it as an actress an author. Her fans in her home country did not want to let go of her completely, though. The German TV-stations RTL and VOX sent camera crews to document Schätzl’s new life in the Docu-Soap “Sara in Amerika”. Since her arrival, Schätzl has been in constant demand. Cameras for German Reality-shows are following her around while she takes acting classes with the renowned teacher Marjorie Ballentine, goes to auditions and red carpet events. On top of that, she keeps up with her video-column on her website while handling the demands of a single mom. Sara Schätzl is not just a Cliché .
As a journalist, I constantly hear Hollywood-newcomers proclaim that they will make it big and “star in movies with the A-List”. I have learned to just smile and bite my tongue about their actual chances of achieving that. In the case of Sara Schätzl, it seems different. I would never bet against her.
Written by Chris Thiele
(senior correspondent and co-owner of Enterpress Entertainment News Agency Hollywood)