New Ulm native plays Garbo in ‘Mank’

Submitted photo Natalie Sperl poses near her dressing room on set of “Mank.”

LOS ANGELES, Ca. — A New Ulm native is in the film “Mank,” nominated for Six Golden Globe awards recently.

New Ulm Cathedral High School graduate Natalie Sperl played Greta Garbo in the film starring Gary Oldman, who was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.

Sperl talked about her role in the movie.

“Although a smaller role, I worked hard to achieve Garbo’s look,” said Sperl.

“I pored over tons of images, studying her features and style, carefully re-creating her look for the audition,” she added. “To my delight, I got the callback, followed by that magical call from the agent, ‘you got the part.'”

Released earlier this year, the movie was nominated for Golden Globe awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Jack Fincher posthumously}, Best Director – Motion Picture (David Fincher), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, (Amanda Seyfried) and Best Original Score – Motion Picture (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).

Filmed in black and white, the movie centers on 1930s Hollywood as seen through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of “Citizen Kane” (1941).

Mank’s screenplay was written by David Fincher’s father, Jack Fincher, prior to his death in 2003.

Filming began Nov. 1, 2019 in Los Angeles. Parts of the movie were filmed in Victorville, Ca., a smaller city in the High Desert.

Mank was released in a limited theatrical release in the United States Nov. 13, 2020. It began to stream worldwide on Netflix Dec. 4, 2020.

Mank was described as “a stunning recreation of the old studio system, and there is an enjoyment simply watching this world come back to vivid life. The costumes and lavish production design are impressive,” by rottentomatoes.com.

Sperl’s talent goes beyond the silver screen.

Her rock and roll band “Kill My Coquette” releases a new single “CAGE,” written by Sperl and mixed by Adam Smith in Los Angeles.

Released by Sperliegirl Music Inc., the song was mastered by Nathaniel Sperl at Zeller Productions in New Ulm.

“CAGE” is an auto-biographical trip down memory lane for me leaving small town Minnesota for the big city to make it big,” Natalie said. “All the world is a stage. I’m breaking out of my cage!” she said.

The daughter of Arlene and Dennis Sperl of New Ulm, Natalie Sperl has appeared in many commercials including a gig with Kid Rock in a Coors Light Super Bowl commercial, and in “Around the World in 80 Days,” “CSI: Miami” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

For more information, visit mank reel.gov.


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