Actress Antje Traue was plucked from relative obscurity to play one of the main villains in Zack Snyder's Superman update "Man of Steel" (2013), which vaulted her to worldwide attention. Raised in East Germany by an artistically inclined mother, Traue was initially interested in athletics, but injury forced to seek another outlet. She found it in music, which led to performing with a Munich theater group throughout the world. But Traue's attempts to parlay her new passion into a screen acting career were met with rejection for several years until she landed a role in the American science-fiction thriller "Pandorum" (2009). Its failure to find an audience once again left her outside the industry, but persistence paid off three years later when she was cast as the pitiless super-soldier Faora-Ul in "Man of Steel." The film's success thrust Traue into the global spotlight, where she soon found herself in demand for roles. Traue's formidable nature, both on and off screen, preserved her status as a star on the rise on the international film scene.
Born January 18, 1981 in Mittweida, East Germany, Antje Traue was encouraged at an early age to pursue the arts and athletics by her mother, a musician and dancer who also raised her daughter to speak Russian. Traue trained as a gymnast until a series of injuries forced her to turn her attention elsewhere. She soon took up music, which led to an interest in musical theater. When her inability to speak German forced her to drop out of school at the age of 16, Traue joined the International Munich Art Lab company and toured Europe and America as part of a hip-hop opera production. She then returned to formal schooling after the death of her mother, eventually learning both German and English, while auditioning for roles in German-language features and television. She made her screen-acting debut in a German made-for-television film, but subsequent roles proved difficult to find. After nearly a decade of obscurity, Traue was cast as the survivor of an alien assault on a spaceship in "Pandorum" (2009), co-starring Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. The picture proved a failure at the box office, though it afforded Traue an American agent.
However, she continued to find little luck in the Hollywood market, and for a period, Traue supported herself through a variety of day jobs. Endless rounds of rejection made her reluctant to submit an audition tape for "Man of Steel," but with her 30th birthday rapidly approaching, Traue decided to take a leap of faith. Her gambit proved successful: Traue's turn as the emotionless Kryptonian super-soldier Faora-Ul was received with near-universal praise, especially for her intense hand-to-hand combat scenes with Henry Cavill's Superman. The exposure afforded to Traue by her "Man of Steel" performance led to more roles in major Hollywood pictures.