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Education: Otto Falckenberg School, Munich; Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York. (

1/16th Italian by descent. Her great-great-grandfather was an Italian roof-tiler, who stayed in Germany. (

In spring 2002, she broke up with longtime boyfriend Tom Tykwer. (

German citizenship. (

Member of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2005 (

1998: Named as one of European films 'Shooting Stars' by European Film Promotion. (

Graduated from high-school (German Gymnasium) in 1994. (

Disliked the strict fitness regimen and diet that were required for The Bourne Identity (2002).

Knows how to fence.

Has a brother who is three years younger and was very sick when he was born. She says she always was very jealous on the way he was cosseted and that was why she often behaved like a clown and arranged performances to get more attention, and that this was why she decided to become an actress.

Says she was discovered as an actress in a public restroom. She was in a bar when she noticed she was constantly stared at by some woman. She decided to leave but went to the restroom before. The woman followed her and again stared at her through the mirror. Suddenly she asked "How would you describe yourself in one sentence?". Turns out she was a casting agent.

Her father is a teacher.

Tom Tykwer wrote Lola rennt (1998) specifically for her, with the intention of casting her as Lola.

Her last name "Potente" (pronounced Poe-ten-teh) means "powerful" in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Has occasionally shaved off her hair after filming movies because she has wanted time to get her "real" hair back (as it is dyed or bleached so often for roles).

Speaks fluent French, English and German.

Plays the violin and the flute.

Number 8 in `Neon` Magazine`s list of 100 most important young Germans. (Issue 1, September 2003)

Shares birthday with Danny Glover, Terence Stamp and John Leguizamo.

Was director for the short movie Der die Tollkirsche ausgräbt (2006) (German title) for the first time 2005. She also wrote the script.

Wrote her first book "Los Angeles - Berlin. One Year." together with her good friend, the actor Max Urlacher 2005.

She is Sicilian German.

During the shooting of Blow (2001), she was so impressed by Johnny Depp that she always blushed in his presence.

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