Michaela May's "Tatort" history goes back to 1977, later she shone as a chief inspector in the "Police Call 110". In the last "crime scene" before the summer break, there is now a reunion with her - as a pensioner between tragedy and fulminance.
There was a lot going on back then, in February 1977: the federal cabinet increased student loans by 16 percent. The first issue of the women's magazine "Emma" is at the kiosk. Actress Ingrid van Bergen shoots her lover. In the cinema, Interpol's best man, Inspector Clouseau, is investigating. And on the screen, Klaus Höhne gets down to business as Chief Inspector Konrad in the "crime scene". "Lilac for Jaczek" is the name of the episode, it is the 72nd of the series, the cast is dazzling, including Günter Lamprecht, Günter Strack and "Tagesschau" icon Karl-Heinz Köpcke - and in the role of Irmi: Michaela may
45 years later it still exists, the "crime scene", the case "In his eyes" is the 1206th episode (in words: one thousand two hundred sixth) - and finally Michaela May is there again. Unbelievable, but true: It's the first time since 1993, back then in the Palu case "Kesseltrieb". Seven years later, she had moved from the crime supporting segment to the top of Sunday night crime. From 2000 on she shone for 17 episodes as chief inspector Josephine "Jo" Obermaier alongside Edgar Selge on Munich's "Polizeiruf 110". For almost ten years, the team was one of the most popular investigator duos in the republic. Selge as a somewhat awkward analyst with a big heart, May as a multitasker organizing life construction sites, who reconciled job and family, her marriage to Tarek Yilmaz, played by Tayfun Bademsoy, sometimes better, sometimes worse - a role as diverse as life itself.
In the years that followed, names like Utta Danella, Inga Lindström and Rosamunde Pilcher adorned her filmography, titles like "Elli hands over the spoon", "A nun to fall in love with" and "Lighthouse with a view", but also appearances on "Kroymann". She often plays women full of life, smart and passionate, in the here and now. Only a few months ago, however, she made something of her life public that she had previously kept under wraps. In the run-up to her 70th birthday, her autobiography "Behind the Smile" was published. In it she told about her three siblings, Karl, Hans and Gundi, all three suffering from severe depression, all three who died by suicide between 1974 and 1982. She never wanted to talk about it to protect her parents. After the death of both of them, she decided to work through the whole thing, and the book turned out to be a kind of therapy, as she said in an interview.
In the "crime scene" on the previous evening, Michaela May - whose real name is Gertraud Elisabeth Berta Franziska, which always seemed "too Germanic" to her - once again gave more than just a taste of her skills. Basically a conglomeration of her numerous roles: the dreamy from the Danella cosmos, the gripping from her crime appearances and those great emotions that ran through all her engagements. As an older lady with timeless longings, whose beloved little dog has just been cremated, at her side in a much younger lover - there would certainly have been a number of pitfalls, the whole thing could have turned out too fussy, unrealistic, striking.
But nothing there - Michaela May throws herself into this part with full physical effort. Emma Thompson caused a sensation in the cinema. Her sex scenes in the movie "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande" had sparked debate, aging in Hollywood, an unspoken topic that can mostly be brushed aside cosmetically. Michaela May, seven years older than Thompson, shoulders this similar part with chutzpah and skill, pulls the strings together in the sometimes clichéd intrigues about her lover, whom her best friend finally takes on a leash as a sado-maso puppy, and that even though everything slips away from her. Granny cardigan and sweaty sex, noodles after work and reading literature in bed, pensioners' frustration and hunger for life - May does it, and it's believable, touching, engaging. She was a "rock bride" at heart, she once said. You take it from her. See you soon!