Cast of The Empress | Meet the characters from Netflix’s period drama

This cast has many emerging talents that might not be immediately recognizable to English-speaking audiences. Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of The Empress..

Devrim Lingnau plays Princess/Empress Elisabeth von Wittelsbach

Elizabeth veiled at her wedding


Who is Elizabeth von Wittelsbach? Elisabeth von Wittelsbach is the focal point of the series as the woman Emperor Franz Joseph decides to marry, much to the surprise of everyone but Franz Joseph himself. She is deeply in love with the emperor, but she also feels severely restrained by the weight of pressures that come with her position, especially with the powerful forces moving around her.

Where have I seen Devrim Lingnau before? Devrim Lingnau made her screen debut in 2017, appearing in two episodes of the German crime series Under Suspicion.. She has had several television appearances since then, and also had a leading role in the Emily Harris film Carmilla., a film that follows the love story between a vampire and his prey, based on the novel of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu. His most recent appearance was in a 2021 episode of Allmen, a show about the adventures of an offbeat art detective.

Philip Froissant plays Emperor Franz Joseph

close up of franz face

Who is Emperor Franz Joseph? Philip Froissant appears as the reluctant Emperor himself. Joseph is a deeply conflicted man, especially with the mounting pressures of war in Europe, but he has very different plans of his own for the Empire. The main thing he persistently settles on is his love for Elisabeth, but even that is tested by all these concerns.

Where have I seen Philip Froissant before? Foissant’s career has focused primarily on the stage and not on the screen, appearing in various roles throughout Germany. Her most prominent screen role has been in the Netflix television movie Black Island, directed by Miguel Alexandre. He plays the talented young orphan at the center of the play, who is being manipulated by a newly arrived teacher.

Hanna Hilsdorf plays Amalia

closeup of amalia's face

Who is Amelia? Amalia is one of the courtesans who surrounds Sisi and hopes to have priority in court. She is very strict with the rules and defines herself by her lifetime devotion to the royal family and specifically to the Empress.

Where have I seen Hanna Hilsdorf before? Hanna Hisldorf’s screen acting career recently kicked off with In The Fade (2017), a crime thriller about a woman seeking revenge for the deaths of her husband and son in a bomb attack. Most recently, she appeared in the biographical drama series We Children from Bahnhof Zoo.

Svenja Jung plays Louise

louis closeup

Who is Louisa? Louise is a former courtesan and romantic entanglement for Franz Joseph, and his attachment to her threatens to undermine his newfound love for Elisabeth. This is further complicated by her political ties that develop throughout the series.

Where have I seen Svenja Jung before? The German actress has predominantly worked on television, getting her big break on the soap opera Unter Uns.. Keen Netflix viewers might recognize her from her work on the renowned German supernatural TV show Dark.

Wiebke Puls plays Sofia Esterházy-Liechtenstein

sofia closeup

Who is Sofia Esterházy-Liechtenstein? The Countess was Princess Sofia’s confidante and worked as Elisabeth’s Oberhofmeisterin (Mistress of the Robes), ruling the royal court with an iron fist and trying to force Elisabeth to abide by etiquette.

Where have I seen Wiebke Puls before? Puls has been seen on German television and film. Like some of her other co-stars, she appeared in only one episode of Under Suspicion, this time as a psychologist. Other appearances include the business drama Open Season and the country comedy My Life in Orange.

Elisa Schlott plays Helene

Helene greets someone while shaking their hand.

Who is Helen? Helena is Elisabeth’s older sister, and the woman Franz Joseph was initially determined to marry. She has now been put in a strange position, wronged by Elisabeth, but she still has potential influence as the sister of the Empress.

where have I seen elisa schlott prior to? Schlott got his start with the television show Das Geheimnis von St Ambrose in 2006, before taking on various film and television roles, from Losing Balance to Gaming Instinct, and the ongoing miniseries Our Wonder Years. One of her notable recent appearances is as Greta Nussmeier in this year’s TV series adaptation of Das Boot.

Melika Foroutan plays Princess Sofia

Princess Sofia talking to someone

Who is Princess Sofia? Princess Sofia of Bavaria is the mother of Franz Joseph and one of the key players in the Hapsberg court. Even with her son now married to hers, she has immense influence, including operational control over the nation’s security forces brutally suppressing the rebellion.

where have I seen Melika Foroutan prior to? Foroutan is the veteran actor, first appearing in 2000 on the German court show Streit um Drei and appearing in a wide variety of television shows over the years. This includes a 2011 appearance on Under Suspicion, the same show he started co-star Lingnau on. Most recently, he starred in the Netflix thriller Old People in 2022.

Johannes Nussbaum plays Archduke Maximilian

Maximilian looking at Elisabeth

Who is Archduke Maximilian? Brother to the Emperor, Archduke Maximilliam is the playboy of the family, leaving chaos and spurned lovers in his wake. In The Empress, he has just been called back to court as one of Franz Joseph’s advisers. Both his deviousness and his tendency toward chaos pose a tremendous threat to his brother and our leader Elisabeth.

where have I seen johannes nussbaum prior to? Nussbaum began her career in the award-winning Austrian film Import Export, and has since taken on a wide range of roles. Perhaps one of his most recognizable roles in the English-speaking world is a part in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, which follows a conscientious objector in Nazi Germany.

Alexander Finkenwirth plays Alexander von Bach

Who is Alexander von Bach? Alexander von Bach was one of Emperor Franz Joseph’s closest advisers and his Minister of the Interior. To a large extent, he was not interested in the law and, instead, he wanted to push industrialization throughout the empire, which he saw as the best way to strengthen it.

Where have I seen Alexander Finkenwirth before? Alexander Finkenwirth has worked almost exclusively on television, from an appearance on the family crime show The Peppercorns, to joining his co-star in the television adaptation of Das Boot. He has also appeared in some short films like Cigarbox Blues and Herzberg.

The Empress is streaming now on Netflix. See more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.

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