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What’s your favorite thing about Berlin?
It’s my fifth time in Berlin. It’s a festival where I feel incredibly comfortable. The city is amazing. You always feel good in Berlin. It’s like an old girlfriend you can’t forget.
And your second-favorite thing?
At this time of my career and life, I have some health problems. Going to Berlin in the winter and knowing what to expect is important to me. Being able to walk from one place to another, and not being stressed out or having to jump into a cab every 15 minutes. In Berlin, you jump into the metro and it’s fine. So I know I will be well taken care of.
What’s the one item you always take with you to Berlin?
I always end up seeing a concert somewhere in the city, so I bring or look at a schedule. Usually metal, heavy punk stuff.
Advice for a Berlinale first-timer?
Calm down! The Berlinale is not as stressful as Cannes or Toronto. No need to have a crazy promotional strategy or a long to-do list at the festival. Things will happen.
The one place you think someone has to go while in Berlin is …
If you like to get lost a bit, I’d say some bars and industrial spaces on Revaler Strasse in Friedrichshain. At least one drink at Franken Bar in Kreuzberg.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s Feb. 9 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.
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Jon M. Chu