When you have a twin sister, there can be advantages and disadvantages. For example, you are never really alone, which can be very good or bad. Identical twins can sometimes pretend to be someone else. If you’re young, having a twin sister like that also gives you a better chance of getting a leading role in a movie, because school children aren’t allowed to film for more than three hours a day in this country. With twins sharing such a role, you double the shooting time.
In this way, Valerie and Violetta Arnemann, twelve years young, played the title role in Till Endemann’s children’s film “Lucy is now a gangster”. Lucy is a dear and well-behaved girl whose parents run an ice cream parlor in a half-timbered town; When the expensive ice machine breaks down, the desperate child considers getting the family the money they need in a dangerous way – by robbing a bank. The double Lucy tells us what filmmaking was like during a video call in Switzerland, where Valerie and Violetta live with their family.
You appear in the list of actors as “Valerie and Violetta Arnemann”. Is it usually the case with you that Valerie is mentioned first?
Violetta: Yes, Valerie is often said first.
And which of you two is the older one?
Well, that’s fine then. How many days of shooting did each of you have on the film?
Valerie: We had 30 days of shooting, which is the maximum a child can shoot in a year.
But you only very rarely filmed together.
Violetta: There was a day when we were on set together.
That’s probably where you shot the mirror scenes when Lucy’s evil reflection, Lucyfer, tries to steer her astray.
Valerie: Yes, that was funny.
Violetta: In the mirror scene I always had to spit out water and Valerie had to laugh.
Which was easier: playing bad or good Lucy?
Violetta: Playing the bad guy was more fun, and that’s why it was easier for me. It was cooler.
Valerie: I always found it easier to play dear Lucy.
The film was shot in spring 2021, that was quite a while ago. How is it for you to see him on screen now?
Violetta: It feels like we were very small back then – like nine or eight. We are much smaller and speak much higher.
And do you still remember or do you recognize it immediately which of you is in which scene?
Valerie: Yes, we always see the difference.
Violetta: We can also hear it a little bit in the voice.
If you don’t know who you are, what should you look out for to find out which of you is in the picture?
Valerie: I have the higher voice and she has the lower one. And I have a broader face than her.
Did you always tell each other in the evening what happened on the set during the day?
Violetta: Yes, that was nice. We always sat at dinner and talked about how our day of shooting was.
Valerie: Yes! In the film you also see the scenes that you didn’t shoot, which is funny again. You know one half of the film, but you don’t know the other half because you didn’t play it.
The ones of you who weren’t shooting were homeschooling. How was it?
Violetta: Studying alone is much more boring than with your classmates at school. I often thought about my sister on set. I would have preferred to watch the filming, but I couldn’t. School was really stupid alone.
Did you get to choose which scenes you acted out?
Violetta: No, that was strictly according to the schedule.
And was there a scene, Valerie, that you would have liked to act, but Violetta was allowed to do it?
Valerie: Yes. Actually, I really wanted to do the first day of shooting, where Lucy gives a presentation at school, but I got a rash. I hadn’t tolerated the hairspray during the mask rehearsal the day before.
Violetta: She was very sad then. And I was supposed to do a scene where Lucy’s friends are trying to stop her from robbing a bank, but then I had a really bad stomach ache that day.
Did you always know the lyrics when you had to step in at such short notice?