The cast of the Empress | Meet the characters from the Netflix period drama

This cast has many up-and-coming talents who might not be immediately recognizable to English-speaking audiences. Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of The Empress.

Devrim Lingnau plays Princess/Empress Elisabeth von Wittelsbach


Who is Elisabeth von Wittelsbach? Elisabeth von Wittelsbach is the focal point of the series as the woman Emperor Franz Joseph decides to marry – much to the shock of everyone but Franz Joseph himself. She is deeply in love with the Emperor, but also feels severely constrained by the weight of the pressures that come with her position – especially with the powerful forces moving all around her.

Where have I seen Devrim Lingnau before? Devrim Lingnau made his screen debut in 2017, appearing in two episodes of the German detective series Under Suspicion. Since then, she has made several television appearances and also had a prominent film role in Emily Harris’ Carmilla., a film that follows the love story between a vampire and his prey, based on the short story Sheridan Le Fanu of the same name. His most recent appearance was on a 2021 episode of Allmen, a show about the adventures of an unconventional art sleuth.

Philip Froissant plays Emperor Franz Joseph

close-up of Franz's face

Who is Emperor Franz Joseph? Philip Froissant appears as the reluctant Emperor himself. Joseph is a deeply conflicted man, especially with the mounting pressures of war in Europe, but he has his own very different plans for the Empire. The main thing he is constantly decided on is his love for Elisabeth – but even that is tested by all these worries.

Where have I seen Philip Froissant before? Foissant’s career has focused primarily on theater and not on screen, appearing in various roles across Germany. His most prominent on-screen role was in the Netflix TV movie Black Island, directed by Miguel Alexandre. He plays the talented young orphan at the center of the play, who is manipulated by a newly arrived teacher.

Hanna Hilsdorf plays Amalia

close up of Amalia's face

Who is Amalia? Amalia is among the courtiers surrounding Sissi and hopes to have precedence in the courts. She plays by the rules and is defined by her lifelong devotion to the Royal Family and specifically the Empress.

Where have I seen Hanna Hilsdorf before? Hanna Hisldorf’s screen acting career began fairly recently with In The Fade (2017), a crime thriller about a woman seeking revenge for the death of her husband and child in a car bombing. bomb. Most recently, she starred in Bahnhof Zoo’s biopic drama series We Children.

Svenja Jung as Louise

close up of louise

Who is Louisa? Louise is a former courtier and romantic entanglement of Franz Joseph, and his attachment to her threatens to undermine his new found love for Elisabeth. This becomes further complicated by his political ties that develop throughout the series.

Where have I seen Svenja Jung before? The German actor has mainly worked in television, getting his big break in the soap opera Unter Uns. Avid Netflix viewers might recognize her from her work on the famous German supernatural TV show Dark.

Wiebke Puls plays Sofia Esterházy-Liechtenstein

close up on sofia

Who is Sofia Esterházy-Liechtenstein? The Countess was Princess Sophia’s confidante and worked as Elisabeth’s Oberhofmeisterin (mistress of the robes), ruling the royal court with an iron fist and attempting to force Elisabeth to conform to etiquette.

Where have I seen Wiebke Puls before? Puls has been seen across German TV and film. Just like a few of her other co-stars, she appeared in just one episode of Under Suspicion, this time as a psychologist. Other appearances include commercial drama Open Season and campaign comedy My Life in Orange.

Elisa Schlott plays Helen

Hélène greets someone by shaking their hand

Who is Helen? Helena is Elisabeth’s older sister and the woman Franz Joseph was originally to marry. Now she has been placed in a strange position, aggrieved by Elisabeth but retaining potential influence as the Empress’s sister.

where did i see Elisa Schlott before? Schlott debuted with the TV show Das Geheimnis von St Ambrose in 2006, before going on to take on various film and television roles, from Losing Balance to Gaming Instinct, and the ongoing miniseries Our Wonderful Years. One of her notable recent appearances is as Greta Nussmeier in this year’s television series adaptation Das Boot.

Melika Foroutan plays Princess Sophia

Princess Sophia is talking to someone

Who is Princess Sophie? Princess Sophie of Bavaria is Franz Joseph’s mother and one of the main players in the Hapsberg court. Even with her now-married son, she has immense influence, including operating control over the country’s security forces that are brutally suppressing the rebellion.

where did i see Melika Foroutan before? Foroutan is the veteran actor, first appearing in 2000 on the German court show Streit um Drei and appearing on a wide variety of TV shows over the years. That includes a 2011 appearance on Under Suspicion, the same show her co-star Lingnau debuted on. Most recently, she starred in the Netflix thriller Old People in 2022.

Johannes Nussbaum plays Archduke Maximilian

Maximilian looking at Elisabeth

Who is Archduke Maximilian? Brother of the Emperor, Archduke Maximilliam is the family’s playboy, leaving chaos and spurned lovers behind. In The Empress, he has just been called back to court as one of François-Joseph’s advisers. His deviousness and tendency to chaos pose a huge threat to his brother and our principal Elisabeth.

where did i see Johannes Nussbaum before? Nussbaum made her debut in the award-winning Austrian film Import Export and has since taken on a wide range of roles. Perhaps one of his most recognizable roles in the English-speaking world is a role in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, which follows a conscientious objector in Nazi Germany.

Alexander Finkenwirth plays Alexander von Bach

Who is Bach’s Alexander? Alexander von Bach was one of the closest advisers to Emperor Franz Joseph and his Minister of the Interior. He was largely disinterested in law and instead wanted to push industrialization throughout the empire, which he saw as the best way to strengthen it.

Where have I seen Alexander Finkenwirth before? Alexander Finkenwirth has worked almost exclusively in television, from an appearance on crime show The Peppercorns to joining his co-star in the television adaptation of Das Boot. He also appeared in a few shorts like Cigarbox Blues and Herzberg.

The Empress is now streaming on Netflix. Check out more of our drama coverage or visit our TV guide to see what’s on tonight.

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