In 1994 at the age of eight she and her mother come to Berlin from the Crimea Peninsula in the Black Sea. She has been stage acting since she was twelve, first at a small Russian theater, later at the Volksbühne Berlin in numerous plays directed by Frank Castorf.
Since 2005 she has also played in several movies. Among other roles, she starred in the German feature film Prinzessin (directed by: Birgit Großkopf) and in 2006 she played the part of Adelaida in the movie Idiot (Frank Castorf).
She's never gone to acting school, learning her trade instead by getting up on the stage and just doing what comes naturally.
Five questions for Irina Potapenko
What complete happiness means to me?
When I can share it with someone.
Three aspects of your part that you’re already familiar with from life?
Being something I’m not (playing a role), “exposing” myself, stage fright.
And what three things are completely unfamiliar?
Charging someone for making love, picking up men in cars, walking on 20-cm heels every night.
Your role models?
Everyone that looks forward to what life brings.
What would you like to be able to do?
Take away people’s fear, breathe under water, fly, etc.