Jun. 16th, 1980
5' 4 1/2
Sibel Kekilli's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Sibel Kekilli (born 16 June 1980) is a German actress. She gained public attention after starring in the 2004 film Head-On (German: Gegen die Wand). She won two Lolas, the most prestigious German film awards, for her performances in Head-On and When We Leave. Since 2011 she is known for her role as Shae in the television series Game of Thrones.
Kekilli was born and raised in Heilbronn, to a family of Turkish origin. Her parents came to West Germany from Turkey in 1977, and were described by Kekilli as fairly liberal. After finishing school successfully at age 16, she completed an apprenticeship as a public administration employee at the local city government, and then worked for two years at the municipal waste disposal office. She moved to Essen in 2002, where she had various jobs, including work as a saleswoman, cleaner, manager of a nightclub and promoter.
One day in 2002, while at a Cologne shopping mall, she was noticed by a casting director, who invited her to audition for a role in a movie. Sibel won the leading part in Fatih Akın's Head-On (German: Gegen die Wand) against a field of 350 other hopefuls. The film was released in 2004 and was a major success, receiving several prizes at film festivals.
Kekilli starred in the Turkish coup d'état movie Eve Dönüş (2006), playing the wife of a man who was unjustly imprisoned and tortured. The performance won her the Best Actress award at the 2006 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. Also that year she played a Jewish woman on the way to the Auschwitz concentration camp in the 2006 German movie Der letzte Zug (The Last Train).
In 2009, she played Umay in Feo Aladag's When We Leave (Die Fremde), a young Turkish woman who leaves Istanbul to return to her family in Berlin. Kekilli was awarded the Lola for Best Actress in 2010 for her leading role in this film.
In 2010, Kekilli was cast as Shae in HBO's Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
In 2011, one year after first appearing in a supporting role in the long-running crime series Tatort, she became a permanent cast member as the new investigator Sarah Brandt, working alongside chief investigator Klaus Borowski played by Axel Milberg. She said that she was glad not to be playing a character of foreign descent, as she feels she has been typecast in the past.
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