Ingrid Bisu is a Romanian-German actress and producer. She is known for her appearance in the dramedy Toni Erdmann (2016), which was nominated at The Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or and also for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards in 2017.
Early life and family
Bisu was born on 15 September 1987 in Bucharest, Romania to Romanian/German parents. She grew up in the German community in Romania, attending the German kindergarten, highschool and college in Bucharest.
In 2003 at the age of 16, Ingrid had her first photoshoot in the teenage magazine "Cool Girl" and then landed her first commercial for Orange S.A. Mobile, which was broadcast in Israel and Romania.
Bisu had a part in a Romanian national TV series, Casatorie de Proba (Marriage of Probation) playing the part of Flori, a young and bright teenager.
As a result, she appeared in magazines and television interviews. Bisu had a role in the movie BloodRayne (film) where she plays alongside Ben Kingsley. and had other smaller roles in sitcoms such as La Bloc(In The Building) and Arestat la domiciliu (House Arrested) with Pro TV.
In 2006, Bisu played the lead role of Alice in the drama television movie O Lume A Durerii (A World of Pain), which showed the struggles of teenage women in Romania at the time. Her performance gained the attention of director Cristian Mungiu, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 for his movie 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. He cast Bisu as Viviana for his series Tales from the Golden Age. The series was nominated six times at the Cannes Film Festival.
Bisu enrolled in the Hyperion Academy of Dramatic Arts in Bucharest. While balancing schooling with her movie and television career, she took the role of Naomi in the drama series 17, Poveste despre destin (2008) on Prima TV, a show about young adults and the repercussions of drugs, violence and other abuse. During university she starred as Bianca in the comedy series Nimeni nu-i perfect (Nobody's Perfect),
After roles in the horror film Slaughter (2009 film) and the Christmas comedy Ho Ho Ho (film), Bisu played the part of Mona/Amie 2 in the movie What War May Bring, directed by Claude Lelouch.
Her next role was in the film Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man, directed by Constantin Popescu, where she played the non-fictional character Matilda Jubleanu. The movie tells the story of the people that went against the communist regime, hid in the mountains, and the repercussions that had on the families left behind.
In 2011, Bisu worked with Cristian Mungiu again in her portrayal of Selena, a young girl who resorts to prostitution for the man she loves, in the movie Outbound. The film earned 19 awards and nine nominations at international film festivals, including the Locarno International Film Festival, Viennale. The same year, she became one of the youngest television presenters, for her work as host and producer on the national morning show on Kanal D Romania (a Turkish network that became one of the biggest networks in Romania). Cafeaua de dimineata (Morning Coffee), was a two-hour live morning news program. Bisu was credited with the concept of "doing something new everyday" to boost the ratings. During every show, she would teach people how to do something themselves or show activities they could try.
In 2012, Bisu was featured in Romanian films such as Sunt o babă comunistă, directed by Stere Gulea, and Roxanne, directed by Vali Hotea. both films with multiple nominations. She played a supporting role as Minerva in the American horror movie Dracula: The Dark Prince in 2013 starring Jon Voight. The same year, she was featured in the science fiction film The Zero Theorem, directed by Terry Gilliam, with Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz. In 2014, she played Brittany White, the host of a five-hour live comedy web series, being broadcast in the United States, called The Super Yolo Sho.
In early 2014, Bisu auditioned for film Toni Erdmann directed by Maren Ade and landed the part of Anca, the young and bright assistant of the lead character played by Sandra Huller. The film received over 56 nominations and 33 award wins, including Best Film and Best Screenplay, with Maren Ade named Best Director and actors Sandra Huller and Peter Simonischek Best Actress and Best Actor at the 2016 European Film Awards The movie also was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI award.
A.O.Scott of The New York Times described the movie and Ingrid's performance: "Early in "Toni Erdmann" — by a wide margin the funniest almost-three-hour German comedy you will ever see — there is a brief discussion, conducted in a sterile modern office building in Bucharest, about the meaning of the English word 'performance.' For Anca (Ingrid Bisu), a young Romanian employed by a global consulting firm, it refers to the way she does her job and, more than that, her ability to obey the norms and protocols of the corporate workplace. Her boss, she explains, gives her 'a lot of feedback,' which is clearly a euphemism.". The film scored a nomination for Best Foreign Film at The Golden Globes in February 2017. The success of Toni Erdmann culminated with a 2016 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
Bisu has joined the supernatural horror film The Nun, New Line Cinema's spinoff of The Conjuring 2, where she plays Sister Oana. The movie is currently filming and is set to premiere July 2018.