Fans of the German soap opera Verbotene Liebe will remember actress Meike Gottschalk as Sophie Lewinsky, but she’ll be on an international lesbian radar as the star of the new web series Emma Stahl. The show’s producer Sandra Uredat describes the series as "a modern action and crime series like Dexter or " but also a little bit of "old school stuff" like Remington Steele and James Bond."
Emma Stahl is a special agent for the European police unit EuForce and is investigating the Russian Mafia. Meanwhile, she becomes involved with several different women. That’s right — like Bond girls, there are Stahl girls.
"When you are gay you always have to decide whether you want to see a movie, tv series or whatever with a thrilling plot but straight heroes, or to see a lesbian main character but no plot" Uredat said. "Since Bound, there was no other lesbian themed movie or TV show with anything more than girl-meets-girl."
Meike got involved when she met Sandra through a friend. "I was thrilled when she offered me [the opportunity] to play the main character. I couldn´t believe how powerful she started to produce, collected money and put together a professional team. Even though we still are in the beginning, it already has its own style and attractivness and we are confident we will continue shooting in summer with more suspenseful stories, more crime and more sex."
Currently, there is only a teaser for Emma Stahl available to viewers, as the series depends heavily on donations.
"We are financing the project by crowdfunding," Sandra said. "In terms of budget, it´s not much difference between producing a web series or producing a TV series … We don´t want to produce a web series, which looks like someone got a camera for Christmas and is now shooting with his friends. Emma Stahl will be a slick and sexy web series with a professional team and fantastic actors."
Though Meike didn’t play gay on Verbotene Liebe, the show recently garnered a lot of lesbian fans who followed the life and love of Carla, played by Claudia Hiersche.
"I heard about Claudia leaving V.L. quite a while ago, because her partner Stella and I have the same manager," Meike said. "I thought, that it is sad for the lesbian community, because Carla was such a strong character and, in a way, the Bette Porter in V.L.! On the other hand I understand that she wants to push her career besides V.L. and therefore has to move on. Sometimes a story is just told and I think it is a happy end that Carla and Stella left for a common future."
Just as viewers became attached to Carla, Sandra and Meike are hoping the same happens for viewers of Emma Stahl.
"I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Emma is Meike," Sandra said, "but, of course, there is Meike´s determination and her coolness in Emma Stahl."
"Don´t get me wrong," she continued. "I like romance but I think there has to be something more. A real story. A thrilling story. Why can´t we have both girl-meets-girl and a thrilling story?"
The cast of Emma Stahl will be at Germany’s lesbian gathering L Beach in April. You can make a donation to their project at emmastahl.tv.