For new mum Diane Kruger, the chance to spend a weekend in Paris with Formula E was a very appealing prospect. But it wasn’t just her love for the city and the opportunity to experience the eco-friendly car race that appealed – it was the chance to sleep, uninterrupted, for the first time since her six-month-old baby daughter was born that really clinched the deal!
"I have slept more in the last 48 hours, than I have in the past 6 months," the German-American actress laughed as she chatted to HELLO! during her high-velocity weekend. "It’s been amazing! It took a lot of planning, my boyfriend is at home so he is taking care of the baby, and I have a nanny who thankfully is very reliable – plus I have only been gone for two nights. But it’s been totally amazing!"
The boyfriend in question is Diane’s partner of the past few years, The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, with whom she welcomed her first baby back in November (Norman is already father to son Mingus, 19, with ex-partner Helena Christensen). And while the couple are fiercely protective of their daughter’s privacy – opting not to release her name or any photographs on social media - the 42-year-old actress can’t help gushing about her new role.
Diane drove a lap around the Paris Formula E track
"I’m really happy," she says. "I’m really enjoying my time with my baby. I waited long enough to have one, and I am so happy, you know!" Of course, as well as napping, there were other reasons the Troy actress decided to zoom across the Atlantic to attend Formula E’s race weekend in the French capital. For one thing, despite growing up in Germany, she considers Paris – where she got her first job aged 15 and attended drama school - her European home.
"I spend a lot of time in New York now because my family is there," she says. "But landing in Paris is like coming home. There is never going to be a version of me, not having a place here or you know, not being in France." She’s also a huge supporter of electric car technology. "I remember watching Formula 1 with my Dad as a kid, and even back then I kept thinking what a waste to spoil natural resources just for fun," she says. "
"I think Formula E is great – it’s so much fun – and it’s a place for the public to see how cool e-cars can be." Since becoming a mother, she’s even more aware of environmental issues – and is acutely conscious of wanting to leave a better world behind for her daughter. She and Norman do not currently even own a car although she reveals they plan to purchase an electric vehicle in the near future, now they’ve bought a country home in New York state.
"It’is not always easy," she admits of her eco-desires. "Like diapers for example, but I try to use bamboo diapers. You do your best. I am not Miss Perfect, but I try – like buying her food in glass containers rather than plastic. You buy orange juice in cartons rather than plastic bottles. Little things." Diane spent the weekend partying and racing - she dined with chairman Alejandro Agag at the official pre-race dinner, and joined him for a lap in an electric car. She even mingled with drivers on the grid before the race.
One aspect of Formula E that some people find hard to adapt to is the lack of noise. Rather than thundering around a track like a Formula 1 car, Formula E cars make a high pitched hum, more like a scalextric race. "I know a lot of people say 'Oh I miss the sound', but I think that’s one of the best things," Diane explains. "Personally I am dreaming about a city that doesn't have noise. I am mostly in New York, and my kid wakes up twice a night from sirens, noises outside, people talking loudly. I would just love cities to be quiet!"
Diane looked stunning at the post-race Moulin Rouge party
While clearly enjoying every moment of her time in Paris, there's no denying Diane is eager to return to her daughter. "Tomorrow I’m going home to see my baby," she says with a grin, and admits she’s in no rush to get back to her acting work. "I’m still on hiatus. I have movies coming out this summer, so I am doing promotion, but in terms of filming - I think next year will be very busy, and I might do a movie this fall, but I haven’t been rushing back to work.
"I waited a long time to have a baby and I feel like I was so ready for this. I’d made my career, I have been working since I was 15 years old and I just feel that it is time to stop and smell the roses. I want to be there, and I am excited to go back to work but I haven't missed it for one day, you know. I am really enjoying being home. I mean, it's not downtime because it is full on – and actually, going to work sounds like going on vacation. But every day is different and in the first year there are so many changes – I just want to be there."