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Christiane Seidel: Our Favorite Murderous Nursemaid

The secret to HBO’s hit prohibition-era series 'Boardwalk Empire' is just that—a secret.

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Photograph by Matt Sayles

HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" has floored audiences with its unpredictability and star-studded cast for four seasons. A castmember since season two, Christiane Seidel (Sigrid Mueller) dropped by Marie Claire to share some insider info, including the scoop on those steamy sex scenes with co-star Michael Shannon.

Marie Claire: "Boardwalk Empire" was just green lit for another season – congratulations!

Christiane Seidel: Thank you! I can’t believe I’m still alive!

MC: Originally—Sigrid, your character, was written as just a “possibly recurring” role. Yet here you are three seasons later.

CS: Yes. And if it’s possibly recurring you think, "Maybe I’ll get another one. Maybe I get this one, and then another one, if I’m lucky."

MC: Well looks like you’re lucky!

CS: I’m really lucky. And they don’t tell us beforehand what’s going to happen at all. I keep thinking when am I going to read the episode where I get killed?

MC: How much do they tell you?

CS: We only get our scenes. Everything else, even if there’s half of a page from another scene before or after, it’s blacked out. So I’m watching every Sunday too wondering what's happening. Because we don’t know either!

MC: Wow, so they really keep you in the dark. Do you get any future insight about your character?

CS: I heard from the writers and producers that the chemistry between Mike and me is really nice. That we’re like Bonnie and Clyde.

MC: Yes, you are! What has your experience been like working with Mike?

CS: He is awesome. He’s Michael Shannon! First of all, it’s such an honor to work with him. When I was on set for the first time, I was like, "Don’t get star struck. Just do your work. That’s what you’re here for." And then he was so warm and welcoming. So sweet. He’s a real teddy bear. And he’s also very protective. When we have sex scenes, he is just so careful and always watching out.

MC: Right the sex scenes, talk about intimidating! Was it super awkward between you two at first?

CS: Well [our first time] was also my first time doing that on camera! Ever.

MC: No way!

CS: I was telling Michael on the way to set that day, "So this is the first time I’m doing this. I mean, you know, on camera. Just to warn you if I’m weird." And he was like, "Oh! Ok well I don’t know what to tell ya, I guess just go with it!" But then he was so amazing. After every take, he like jumped off the bed and covered me up or gave me the blanket and looked away. And I’m like, "Okay was it that bad? That you’re like jumping off and running away!"

MC: [Laughing] Well still good you told him beforehand.

CS: Yes because it’s awkward! It’s technical and there are all these people around you. For me it was important just to tell him.

Tune in to Sunday’s episode of "Boardwalk Empire**spoiler alert** to witness Christiane take her relationship with Van Alden (Michael Shannon) to what insiders are saying is "a whole other level."

"Boardwalk Empire" airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.


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