In the tenth episode “Old Paths – New Paths” (2023), the MS diagnosis turned farmer Marie Huber’s life upside down. The last two films in the popular family saga “At Home in the Mountains” (since 2018) show what happens next. Actress Catherine Bode (49) explains in her farewell interview with spot on news what she likes so much about her role and what you can learn from Marie. The Hamburg resident raves highly about the harmonious “overall package” of a “cross-generational family history” in the “unique backdrop of the Allgäu mountains”. If it had been up to her, “I would have still played Marie as a grandma,” says Bode with a wink. The final “Shoulder to Shoulder” will be shown on May 17th at 8:15 p.m. on Das Erste.

Catherine Bode: Marie is a very free woman. Externally and internally. For me personally, freedom means a lot, and by that I don’t mean lonerism or selfishness, but for me – and for Marie – freedom means independence.

Bode: If you want to be and remain a free person, you will naturally always come up against limits. Be it internally because you have fears that stand in your way or externally because – like Marie – a fate befalls you that limits you [MS diagnosis, ed.]. How do I still remain free and not allow myself to be struck down? Marie has a deep strength and a basic trust within herself, which is why she is not afraid of being alone, she is energetic and looks for solutions instead of moping around, she learns to let go and take new paths. And she knows the importance of family, which gives her support in times of need.

Bode: For me it was actually very unusual to shoot so much at the Leitner Hof with Georg [Thomas Unger, editor]. I felt like Marie, who misses her hut and the mountains terribly and feels a bit like a goldfish outside her bowl, down there in the valley. The few but, as always, heartbreaking scenes with my film sister Theresa Scholze [role: Lisa Huber] also meant a lot to me. And there are a few very funny short “bed scenes” with my Georg that I’m really looking forward to.

Bode: The fact that the producer and the two producers actually spent the entire filming time with us in the Allgäu is rather unusual and shows the strong solidarity. Our production coordinator Christl was also there almost every year. She was the good soul of the production and a bit of the mother of all of us. When I arrived in Allgäu, I was always the first to go to her and let her hug her. And my almost sisterly relationship with Theresa Scholze is also something particularly valuable. We have now shared six years of our lives and enjoy talking to each other about many private topics even after filming.

Bode: We have been living on the outskirts of Hamburg for five years now and we really enjoy it. The Allgäu was always too far away for short weekend visits. So I was more likely to jump on a plane as soon as I had several days off in a row to carry on with my normal family life in Hamburg. But my family, just like me, are absolute fans of the mountains and we like to spend our summer holidays in the Allgäu to go hiking, enjoy nature and be in contact with the friendly people there.

Bode: I have always found the people in the Allgäu to be very open and warm-hearted and we were always welcomed with open arms. Over time, friendships have developed that I still maintain today. We also like to hike with the children to “my” hut during the holidays and then spend a night above the cowshed when the Alps are in operation. My children have already driven the cows into the stable with the older children, and I spontaneously helped with the catering and served food. It’s fun and really funny when real life and film life overlap like that.

Bode: As an actress, it is generally advisable to be very fit. No matter what project. Filming is often physically demanding, be it because you’re filming all night long, being on your feet for hours or repeating scenes several times. For example, if I run 50 meters in the film, I had to do that maybe ten times during filming until everyone was happy with the shot. I also prefer to do my own stunts because I find it so much fun. Being involved in a fight in the film or falling down a mountain like Marie in episode nine [“The Second Born”, 2023] really challenges me. I also love the concentrated work with the stunt people.

Bode: I really miss the mountains in Hamburg and I look forward to seeing the landscape become a little hillier. For me, who grew up on the edge of the Odenwald, mountains always mean a feeling of home; for me, mountains are the “right” nature. So who knows where my life will take me…