Martina Hill: comedian wanted to avoid “comedy drawer”.
Comedian Martina Hill can be seen in “HILLarious” from February 9th. She was originally “afraid” of the “comedy drawer”.
comedian Martina Hill (48) has had a meteoric career in the comedy scene. It all started with “Switch reloaded” in 2007, continued with the “heute-show” in 2009 and culminated in “The Martina Hill Show”, which has been broadcast since 2018. Numerous prizes have already been showered for her work, including the German Comedy Prize, the Grimme Prize and the Bambi. She has done well both as a member of the ensemble and as an individual artist.
Since January 26th she can also be seen in the cinema in “Caveman”. She sets the next milestone with her own Amazon series “HILLarious”, which will be released on February 9th. In the sketch comedy with the motto “I do what I want!” she slips back into a variety of roles, from the wannabe rapper to the alternative Mother up to the emigrant.
In an interview with the news agency spot on news, she explains how she manages all her projects, why she originally feared the “comedy drawer” and why “Binge Reloaded” wasn’t for her.
“Caveman” has been in cinemas since January 26, “HILLarious” starts on February 9 on Amazon Prime Video, and other projects are running at the same time. What is more important to you right now: joy and relief or exhaustion?
Martina Hill: I’m overjoyed, grateful and proud to be on board with such great projects, it’s just fantastic and an absolute blessing. The last year was tough in terms of work, no question about it, but if you’re passionate about something, like I am in this case, then I have a lot of power and I’m practically “unstoppable”. (laughs) I love my job. Such a big and intensive project like “HILLarious” is a long way, especially since I’m not only in front of the camera participate, but accompany the entire process before and after. This is precious life time, which I am grateful to be able to spend with great and lovely people. The joy and fun I have in what I do carries me through my work and hopefully carries over to the format.
The motto in “HILLarious” is: “I do what I want.” The show bears your name. When did you realize that your path is the right one, that no one needs to interfere with you from outside?
Hill: Filmmaking is teamwork, you always have to be aware of that. Without my team, I can only shoot cell phone videos, but I can’t handle a relay like this. But it always takes someone who has a vision of where the journey should go and I’m happy and grateful that in the meantime I can realize my ideas. I’ve gained more and more experience over the years and looked further and further behind the scenes. I have always co-written my texts, I would have done otherwise at “switches reloaded”, for example, can’t parody at all.
So it was very important to let the phrases and certain subtleties of the characters flow into the text in order to make the parody really “round”. And from project to project it grew more and more until my own style crystallized. I’ve always followed my gut feeling and only done what I believed in. That’s why I’m happy and grateful to be able to continue like this. Which doesn’t mean that I’m resistant to advice, that’s why I have my team.
You’ve been a constant on the “heute-show” since the beginning. How much politics is in your work outside of ZDF?
Hill: Of course there is more politics in a satirical show like “today’s show“, than in a pure sketch comedy like “HILLarious”. But there, too, we deal with the problems of everyday life and touch on everyday political topics here and there, but without putting the focus on them.
The big breakthrough came with “Switch reloaded”. When you started the project, did you think your future was in comedy?
Hill: Not in life. And funnily enough, that was never my plan. I remember when I first started out I was terrified of ending up in the comedy category. i wanted drama But especially in the early days after drama school, the inquiries were sparse and my rent still wanted to be paid. At some point I got tired of the endless jobbing and waiting around after all these years and simply grabbed every opportunity that was offered to me at the time.
And when I had the opportunity to take part in a comedy casting in Cologne, I just tried my luck. I never seriously expected that I could actually do something with my performance, which I had come up with in my small 25 square meter backyard apartment, and that it even got me my first permanent job in television in the end.
You’re getting your own Amazon series now, some of your colleagues have already appeared in Prime Video’s Binge Reloaded. Would you have liked to have taken part again back then?
Hill: For me, six seasons of “Switch reloaded” was by far the biggest playground on which I could let off steam and try things out. I still love to parody. I’ll do that again and again when my fingers get itchy, like I did with Kiwi on the “Martina Hill Show,” but a pure parody format would just be too one-sided for me.
Your “Caveman” colleague Moritz Bleibtreu told us that you are always highly professional and serious on set. Is it difficult to stay serious and focused while shooting?
Hill: That’s what he said? I feel honored. I don’t always see myself as professional and serious. But I’ve found that people often kind of expect that as a comedian you have to be full of nonsense all day long and you can’t be serious. That’s true, of course – but I can pull myself together when it’s necessary. (laughs) And of course the atmosphere on the set is highly professional and appropriate.
Only then does such a big machine run like a film set. But when everything goes really well, there is also the freedom to go a little too far. It all depends on the scene! The bigger the bullshit I do in front of the camera, the harder it is to keep my composure. And just when I have to concentrate particularly hard, a hysterical fit of laughter is an excellent outlet to release the pressure. But of course it’s still work, and at the end of the day the scene has to be in the can.
You always prepare meticulously for your projects, and there are quite a few of them. How does your work-life balance work?
Hill: That’s not always easy, especially since creativity knows no time. That’s why I have to take very specific breaks. During filming, the “work” phase clearly dominates and then the downtime is only bedtime. There is no time for free time. For example, when I’m busy with the book work, I have relatively normal office days, on which I can also choose more leisure activities. But when I get a good idea on the couch at night, I still grab the laptop and find myself typing texts into the night.
In your skits you like to make fun of classic families and educational models. To what extent does your own experience flow into this?
Hill: With so many ideas, I often ask myself where I got them from. I get inspiration from everywhere, from my own everyday life, from my surroundings and from my surroundings, and a lot of input also comes from our brilliant team of authors.
What advice would you give to couples who are becoming parents for the first time?
Hill: Before that, go have a really nice meal in peace and then go to the cinema. You won’t be able to do that for the next five or six years.