Sibel Kekilli

Sibel Kekilli (born 16 June 1980) is a German actress. She gained public attention after starring in the 2004 film Head-On (German: Gegen die Wand). She has won two Lolas, the most prestigious German film awards, for her performances in Head-On and When We Leave. Recently she has appeared in the HBO series Game of Thrones as Shae, a prostitute in the service of Tyrion Lannister, one of the show's leading characters. Kekilli was born and raised in Heilbronn, then in West Germany, to a family of Turkish origin. Her parents came to West Germany from Turkey in 1977, and were described by Kekilli as fairly liberal. After leaving school at age 16, she underwent an apprenticeship as an administrative assistant at the local city government, and then worked for two years for the municipal waste disposal. She moved to Essen in 2002, where she had various jobs, including work as a saleswoman, cleaner, manager of a nightclub and promoter. One day in 2002, while at a Cologne shopping mall, she was noticed by a casting director, who invited her to audition for a role in a movie. Sibel won the leading part in Fatih Akın's Head-On (German: Gegen die Wand) against a field of 350 other hopefuls.


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