Christiane Seidel is a Danish-German actress who rose to prominence when she played the role of Martha Bischoff in Netflix’s Godless (2017). She is also well-known for starring in the television series Boardwalk Empire (2011), and the film The Hollow (2016). In 2020, she appeared in the critically-acclaimed Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit as Helen Deardorff.
Christiane Seidel was born on Sunday, April 3, 1988 (age 33 years; as of 2021), in Wichita Falls, Texas, United States. Christiane’s father, a navy officer, got stationed in Texas shortly after he met Christiane’s mother at a party. In an interview, while talking about her life in Texas, she said,
My dad was flying fighter jets, so I was born in Wichita Falls, Texas of all places. I lived the life of a typical army brat.”
Apart from Texas, Christiane also spent her childhood in Germany, and later in Denmark. Her passion for acting got intrigued during her primary school days when she starred as a woman who housed Mary and Jesus in the German version of the play ‘The Nativity.’ Later, in high school, she performed in the play The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After attending a film school in Capetown, South Africa for a semester, she moved to New York where she pursued a two-year course at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Imagista In her days of struggle, Christiane’s mother tried to persuade her to abandon her career as an actress and move back to Germany. In an interview, Christiane said,
My mom would ask me, ‘When are you coming back? When are you going to do a real job? When are you going to use the thing that you actually learned?”
Finally, in 2010, Christiane Seidel secured a role in the show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which marked the beginning of her journey as an actress. Thereafter, she pursued additional courses such as Michael Chekhov Technique, The Alexander Technique, and training at The Fitzmaurice Institute, etc., to strengthen her acting skills.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Color: Scarlet Red
Eye Color: Moss Green
Family & Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
Christiane Seidel’s father served in the navy as a pilot, and her mother is a florist.
Relationships, Husband & Children
Her husband, Eddie Shieh, is a director and producer. While she was shooting for the television series ‘Godless’ in 2016, she learned that she was pregnant. In March 2017, Seidel gave birth to twin sons; Kai Seidel and Karl Seidel.
In 2008, Christiane Seidel ventured into the entertainment industry with her debut film ‘…Around’ in which she played the role of a Foreign NYU Director. Later, she gained popularity with the film The Hollow (2016) in which she played the role of Sarah DeSoto, one of the F.B.I. agents who investigate a mysterious case after a U.S. congressman’s daughter dies in a triple homicide in a small town in Mississippi.
Later, she appeared in various films like The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch (2009) and Schmidts Katze (2015), Yellow Fever (2017), etc.
Christiane Seidel made her television debut in 2010 when she played the role of ‘Darla Pinnington,’ a masseuse who gets involved in a kidnapping, in an episode of the American crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2011, she shot to fame when she appeared in the period crime-drama ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as Sigrid Mueller, a young naive nursemaid who later becomes a feisty killer.
Later, she appeared in the television series Jay & Pluto (2016) and Royally (2017). In 2019, Seidel outshined in the series ‘Fosse/Verdon’ in which she played the role of Hannah, mistress of the Bob Fosse (one of the protagonists).
In 2017, she struck stardom with her digital debut ‘Godless,’ a critically-acclaimed Netflix series in which she played the role of Martha Bischoff, a mysterious, free-spirited German woman who raises some suspicion in La Belle. Godless was nominated for Emmy Awards in multiple categories, including the nomination for ‘Outstanding Limited Series.’
Thereafter, she appeared in Netflix’s coming-of-age period drama The Queen’s Gambit (2020) as Helen Deardorff, the headmistress of a Christian orphanage for girls ‘Methuen Home’
- Actor(s): Cate Blanchett, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix,
- Actress: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams
- Color: Royal blue
- Dessert: Sweet Potato Lasagna
- Resturant: Amass in Copenhagen
- Web Series: Friends (1994), Big Little Lies (2017), Dark (2017 ), Black Mirror (2011), Game of Thrones (2011)
- Clothing Brand: Ganni
- Shoe Brand: Alexander Wang, Rothy’s
- In an interview, Christiane revealed that she was bullied by her fellow classmates for being a redhead. She said,
It definitely wasn’t easy. As a kid I felt quite ugly and didn’t want to stand out. I was teased and called all sorts of names.”
- In 2015, she held the position of producing director in Scandinavian American Theater Company, which has presented various renowned Scandinavian plays in America like Beloved (2004) by acclaimed Swedish playwright Lisa Langseth, Kinder K by Kristofer Blindheim Grønskag, etc.
- She also starred in the play ‘Then Silence’ by the Norwegian playwright Arne Lygre.
- In 2018, various news outlets mistakenly identified Christiane Seidel as the popular Hollywood actress Amy Adams at the 70th Emmy Awards.
Apparently, Christiane was wearing a bright red dress with a sweetheart neckline and shoulder cut-outs while walking down Emmy’s red carpet when she bore resemblance to Amy Adams. It wasn’t Seidel’s dress or makeup that fooled everyone, it was her red scarlet hair which looked similar to Adams’ signature crimson shade.
Shortly after Christiane was mistaken as Adams, the news outlets rectified their blunder, but, by then Christiane had already gone viral as Adams’ look-alike. Thereafter, the bloomer became one of the most talked-about moments at Emmy Awards.
- In 2018, Christiane was nominated for the Best Actress Award at the Brightside Tavern Film Festival for the short film 16 Mins (2018). Other short films in which she appeared include Bordenia (2009), The Left Hook (2012), The Perfect Nothing (2016), etc.
- Apart from being an actress, Christiane also holds the position of partner-cum-executive producer at Red Rope Productions, a minority and woman’s business enterprise of New York (MWBENY), which produced various short films like Fraud (2020), In SYNC (2020), Neuland (2021), etc.
- She is a polyglot, fluent in four languages English, German, Danish, and basic French.
- Other skills in which she is well-versed include horse riding, playing piano, skiing, ice-skating, tennis, and swimming.