The Westin Grand Berlin
Straight out of Hollywood
Anyone entering the Westin Grand in Berlin’s historic city centre is sure to ask themselves: Haven’t I been here before? And the answer is – almost! Located on Unter den Linden boulevard and the corner of Friedrichstraße, this impressive hotel has often served as a location and setting for movies and TV. Which is why it may seem amazingly familiar to many new guests.
Here, for a good week Matt Damon and Franka Potente transformed the Westin Grand into a movie set as they filmed key scenes in the second successful Bourne thriller, The Bourne Supremacy. In one unforgettable moment, Matt Damon walks into the foyer down the large open staircase – further enhancing its legendary aura. Director Paul Greengrass not only skilfully integrated the hotel’s thirty-metre-high atrium and classic style, but also often offered the hotel’s employees roles as extras in scenes. As a result, today’s guests can still find many of these ‘small actors’ throughout the hotel. Other films that shot scenes in the Westin Grand include the Bollywood blockbuster Don The King Is Back with Shah Rukh Kahn and Priyanka Chopra. Parts of the German film comedy Männerherzen und die ganz, ganz große Liebe with Til Schweiger, Florian David Fitz and Nadja Uhl were also filmed here, as were scenes in several episodes of the popular police procedural series Tatort.
But most movie fans staying at the hotel ask about the room where the German crime thriller Victoria was filmed. Directed by Sebastian Schipper, Victoria was shot in a single continuous take lasting 140 minutes. This beautiful yet melancholy homage to Berlin was screened in the main competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, winning the Silver Bear for its Outstanding Artistic Contribution for Cinematography. At the German Film Awards in 2015, Victoria won the Film Prize in Gold for best fiction feature as well as the Best Director award. The final scene in the film is set in a Westin Grand suite. Sonne, played by Frederick Lau, lies bleeding to death in the hotel bed waiting for the ambulance to arrive. His girlfriend Victoria takes the money from the bank robbery where Sonne had been injured and runs out onto Friedrichstraße. Watching the movie in the same suite where it was filmed ensures a double shot of adrenalin!