German-born femme fatale Diane Kruger has a face that made countries go to war (think Helen in Troy) and an aura that could put Mata Hari to shame (her spy avatar in Inglourious Basterds). So it should come as little surprise that Calvin Klein chose this model-turned-actress as the face of its new women's fragrance, titled Beauty.
But Kruger, 34, is surprisingly grounded and seems to take her genetically-supreme assets in her stride. If her definition of a beautiful woman — sensuality and strength — does not point towards this, then her candid confession that Quentin Tarantino's Second World War film helped her shed her exotic European beauty image provides ample proof.
"I always had this feeling that Americans saw me as this delicate European or German actress because of Troy. So this role changed things," says Kruger about her career-altering role as the spy Bridget von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds.
Her take on being effortlessly chic is equally refreshing.
tabloid! taps into the National Treasure star to find out more about her beauty regimen and fragrance fetish, as well as her stint in Hollywood and more.
You are now the face of the fragrance Calvin Klein Beauty. What attracted you to the scent and brand?
To be honest, I couldn't believe they would be interested in me. In my eyes, the Calvin Klein woman embodies what I find beautiful in a woman — someone who's sensual, attractive and strong, but not advertently sexy.
I grew up watching and seeing those beautiful advertising campaigns too.
I've always admired the women he chose and am honoured to be in their company.
What are your memories of other CK fragrances, many of which are iconic?
The first time I saw a Calvin Klein ad, it must have been Eternity with Christy Turlington, who is the most beautiful woman in the world. It is such an honour to be in a campaign with company like that.
What are the factors you considered before becoming the face of the perfume?
To me, a scent is something personal and involves a surprising number of emotions. As a personal rule, I am not the kind of person to change my perfume every day. I spritz on the same perfume for five or six years and I am extremely selective about my scent.
They showed me this perfume many months ago and I asked if I could wear it for a few months before making a decision.
I loved it, because it's a wonderful scent that changes from morning to evening and lingers on your skin.
When you first spritzed this fragrance, what were your thoughts?
I loved it. Beauty is a sophisticated fragrance. It has these floral undertones that slowly wear off, and leave a very lingering affect. It's a multi-layered fragrance. I like to put it on in the morning after washing my face, it's the first thing I do.
I like that it's such a fresh scent in the morning. It has something very flowery about it that tends to dissipate throughout the day and suddenly it has more of a woody scent — a little musky even.
While choosing a perfume, do you have ground rules that you always follow?
I love this idea that when my boyfriend, my family or my friends think about me they automatically associate me with my perfume. That's how I grew up. I recognised my grandmother's scent anywhere. I don't understand people who constantly change their perfume or who wear something different during the day and in the evening.
I think a perfume provokes a very specific emotion, which instantly triggers your memory.
Your career catalogue is filled with a mixed platter of blockbusters like National Treasure and festival-friendly films such as Inglourious Basterds. What are the factors you keep in mind before choosing a project?
Sometimes when you're given a screenplay, you get the feeling that it was written for you. Also, there have been times when I've been afraid to take on a role, where I think it's a great role, but I'm not sure if I can do it.
It's a fun challenge when you are a bit afraid.
You have worked with some of the finest directors, but what was the experience of working with Quentin Tarantino? Would you call your role as Bridget von Hammersmark the highlight of your career?
I would say that Inglourious Basterds provided the greatest advantage for me in the US, because I hadn't been given such a role in America before.
I always had this feeling that Americans saw me as this delicate European or German actress because of Troy. So this role changed things. Plus, to know that someone like Quentin Tarantino saw something in me that others hadn't was a great boost.
He gave me an opportunity that opened doors for me as an actress and has made me more confident.
You are easily one of the most stylish women in Hollywood. What's your personal style and how do you ensure that you are ahead of the style-stakes game?
I feel that fashion is a personal thing and you should always have fun with it. At least I do, because fashion shouldn't have rules. Perhaps what works for me is that people appreciate that I always look like myself and not as if I were put together by a stylist.
I am a fan of all those women who display their personality, their individuality through their clothes. I may not wear it myself, but I appreciate them nonetheless.
You wear one of Francisco Costa's designs in the ad. Do you wear CK in your daily life?
I have worn Calvin Klein over the years to premieres and photo shoots and I do know Francisco, he is very charming. I love his accent. His clothes are just beautiful and have a great concept and shape to them. I love the white, flowy gown I wore in the advertising campaign. I love the pureness of it, that's something I really look for in clothes.
Who is your all-time style icon and why?
Grace Kelly. When you look at her photograph, you are mesmerised even though you don't know why. Maybe it's in her look, her eyes — there's something else going on there. There's a certain sexiness and an intelligence there.
You have one of the best bodies in Hollywood. How do you maintain your picture-perfect figure?
I am naturally slim and my cardinal rule is never to weigh myself. But what I have devised is a "jeans test". I cut back a little when my jeans get tight, that's a good way to keep yourself in check. Also, I love to cook and eat. It's one of my favourite hobbies.
Your professional life is going great and so is your personal relationship. Will we get to hear wedding bells soon?
I don't think so. I've realised commitment is important. But irrespective of what paper you sign, if that commitment ceases to be there you'll get out of the marriage anyway.
You were the first German in the history of Cannes to have hosted the opening ceremony. Was that the moment when you realised that you had made it on your own in Hollywood, despite being an outsider?
In Cannes, I was so intimidated and overwhelmed by the whole thing that I had the feeling that it was the first day of my new life. It was a great feeling.
You are quite vocal about not going overboard with beauty treatments. What's your skin regime?
I have sensitive skin, so I have to be careful. I use an intolerance cream for those parts of my skin that are extremely sensitive. Otherwise the ritual is basically just cleansing my skin.
Go get yours
Calvin Klein's new lily-based eau de parfum, Beauty, is out now at all leading perfumers. Dh315 for 50ml and Dh430 for 100ml