Childhood & Early Life
Carla was born on November 20, 1984, in Locarno, Switzerland. She grew up in Ambrì, a Swiss village in the municipality of Quinto, Leventina, Canton of Ticino.
Carla is trilingual and speaks fluent German, English, and Italian. She had learned German and Italian during her adolescent years, while she picked up English at the age of 15.
In school, Carla played hockey for the Ambri hockey club 'HC Ambrì-Piotta.' She later became a forward for the Swiss ice-hockey club ‘Reinach’s ‘Class A’ team, 'SC Reinach.' She moved to London to join an acting studio after she completed her schooling.
From 2005 to 2007, Carla studied theater in Los Angeles, under the tutelage of Douglas Matranga. She had also studied the craft in London. In between (2007 to 2008), Carla was part of the 'Theatrical Arts Theatre Company' ensemble in Los Angeles. From 2008 to 2010, she studied acting at 'The Actors Centre' in London.
Back then, Carla followed a tight schedule. She also tried to make the most of her trilingualism. Hence, she traveled across Berlin, London, and Rome for her auditions. She had separate agents in all these cities.
Carla decided to become an actor when she was around 19 or 20 years old. It was never her first choice of career. Carla had grown up in a small village where people did not even consider acting a form of art. However, she realized soon that an actor alone could display different art forms, such as poetry, history, psychology, painting, sculpture, and music. Hence, to explore the versatility of the art, she decided to make a career in acting.
Continue Reading Below
Carla made her acting debut with the role of a bride in the 2006 short 'Midday Room.' Two years later, she was seen as ‘Lea’ in another short movie, 'The Space You Leave.'
Carla’s first TV appearance was in 2010, as ‘Ilaria Cantilli’ in an episode of the series 'Married to a Cop.' The same year, she was seen as ‘Esther Grüter’ in the Swiss drama film '180° – Wenn deine Welt plötzlich Kopf steht,' for which she was awarded the 'Swiss Film Award' for the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 2011. Carla also made an appearance as ‘Michis Cousine’ in 'Bold Heroes.'
The following year, she won the 'Swiss Film Award' for the ‘Best Leading Actress,’ for her portrayal of ‘Annemarie Geiser’ in 'Eine wen iig, dr Dällebach Kari' (English: 'Someone Like Me'). She also appeared as ‘Marie’ in an episode of the 'ZDF' series 'Der Kriminalist,' which has been her last TV appearance to date.
In 2013, Carla was one of the 10 young European actors to be awarded the 'Shooting Star Award' at the 'Berlin International Film Festival.' That year, Carla was seen in her breakthrough role.
Carla was roped in as the protagonist in the 2013 German adaptation of the controversial novel 'Wetlands' by Charlotte Roche. She played ‘Helen Memel,’ an absurdly unhygienic teenager suffering from hemorrhoids and engaging in weird ways of masturbation. The original title of the movie was ‘Feuchtgebiete.’
Carla underwent a grueling process to get into the skin of ‘Helen’s weird persona. She would dress up as ‘Helen’ and spend a lot of time in Berlin, where the character lived. Since Carla was in her late twenties while filming 'Wetlands,' to justify playing a teenager, she went undercover as a high-school student for 2.5 weeks. She even had to chop her long hair off to look like ‘Helen.’ Additionally, she had to undergo a lot of mental preparation to play someone who loved to explore the dirtiest parts of her body.
The critically acclaimed character earned Carla nominations for the 'Bambi Awards' and the 'Deutscher Filmpreis.' She won the ‘Swiss Critics Boccalino Award’ for the ‘Best Actress’ at the 'Locarno International Film Festival.' In 2014, she signed with 'United Talent Agency.'
Carla played ‘Natalie’ in the 2013 German motion picture 'Finsterworld' and ‘Linda’ in the 2014 short 'Spooky & Linda.' She had a prominent role, as ‘Inka,’ in the 2016 American–German coming-of-age comedy–drama film 'Morris from America.'
Carla played a real-life character for the first time when she was cast as Paula Modersohn-Becker, a painter and the first Expressionist of Germany, whose craft had not been taken seriously because of her gender, in her 2016 biopic 'Paula,' directed by Christian Schwochow. She played ‘Elizabeth Brundy’ in the 2016 Western thriller film 'Brimstone.'
Another notable appearance of hers was as ‘Dr. Ana Stelline,’ a memory designer for replicants, in the 2017 American neo-noir science fiction 'Blade Runner 2049.' The director, Denis Villeneuve, was highly impressed by her audition, and he signed her on the spot.
She played a brief role in the 2018 American drama film 'A Million Little Pieces.' Her future projects include the upcoming war drama 'Six Minutes to Midnight,' in which she has been cast as ‘Ilse Keller.’ She will also be seen as ‘Lucy’ in the adventure biopic 'Walking to Paris.' The film was, however, supposed to release in 2017.
Carla will be playing ‘Agnes’ in Daniel Alfredson’s second directorial venture, 'Intrigo: Dear Agnes,’ from the 'Intrigo' trilogy. The film is based on the thriller novels by Swedish writer Hakan Nesser and is currently in the post-production stage.
Family & Personal Life
Carla’s father practices as an attorney, while her mother is a sculptor.
Growing up, Carla watched a lot of French and Italian movies of the 1960s and the 1970s and idolized classic filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, and Fellini’s wife, actor Giulietta Masina.
In July 2019, the Swiss 'Sun-Times' reported that Carla and her boyfriend had been shopping for their engagement rings. The couple was spotted at some major jewelry stores.