Sibel Kekilli (*1980) is a German actress of Turkish origin. With her debut in “Gegen die Wand” (“Head-On”) she gained major public attention. She has won twice the highest German movie award “Lola” for Best Actress in “Gegen die Wand” and “Die Fremde” (“When we leave”). With her role as Shae in the award-winning HBO series “Game of Thrones” she got further international recognition.
Sibel Kekillis career started rather accidentally as she was noticed in a shopping mall by a casting agent. After the auditions for Fatih Akins award-winning movie “Gegen die Wand” (“Heads-On”) she won the leading role against a field of 350 other candidates. The film won the Golden Bear at the German Film Festival Berlinale and her acting performance received several national and international prices, among them her first Lola award in 2004.
Since then she played in several national and international productions like “Eve Dönüş” (“Home coming”, 2006), awarded Best Actress at the Antalya Film Festival, aside with Josef Bierbichler and Hanna Schygulla in “Winterreise” (“Winter journey”, 2006) or the leading role Umay in Feo Aladags “Die Fremde” (“When we leave”) in 2010. There Kekilli plays a young Kurdish woman who leaves Turkey to return to her family in Germany and flee from her conservative and violent husband on the one hand and to give her son a better life on the other. The film was her second big hit with international recognition and Kekilli received the Best Actress Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and once again the Lola award among others.
Apart from other movie roles, as the very successful comedy “What a man” (2011) directed by Matthias Schweighöfer, she investigates together with colleague Axel Milberg in the highly regarded German series “Tatort” from 2010 until 2017 and was part of the main cast from the very beginning in the award-winning HBO-series “Game of Thrones” which turned into a major international success.