Carries on a Family Tradition

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Collien Ulmen-Fernandes is a television presenter, columnist (Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German national daily newspaper), actress, model, and author (‘Ich bin dann mal Mama’; Eng. ‘So Now I’m a Mother’). The 34-year-old lives in Potsdam and is married to actor Christian Ulmen. They have a four-year-old daughter.

Collien Ulmen-Fernandes is a popular interview subject among lifestyle journalists. At the launch of the Opel Zafira at the Burg Schwarzenstein hotel she took part in interviews, photo shoots, test drives. “In the end, the photographers even had me posing on the car,” says the dainty actress with a laugh. Dressed in baggy jeans, a jean jacket, and refined stiletto heels with leather fringes, she takes time before dinner to answer Opel Post’s questions about her autobiography (“Let’s drop the formalities; I’m Collien”). We order another water, make ourselves comfortable on the sofa in the hotel lobby, and away we go:


Collien, what’s the first thing you look for in a car?
The appearance. I’m a very visual person. The Insignia spoke to me right off the bat. The shape. The contours. Just fantastic. I’ve already owned a few Opels. The Insignia Sports Tourer is still my favorite. Even after so many years I still climb in and think, “What an awesome car!” Then again, my Cascada period was something special, too. But as a mother, I simply find a station wagon more practical.

What does a car mean to you?
For me, it’s a place where I’m completely at home. I drive the Insignia to most of my TV presenter or acting gigs. I use the drive to prepare myself. I already know my lines, of course, and I recite them out loud during the drive. This has become a regular ritual.
 

What do you associate with the Opel brand?
For me it’s the car. I was raised in one. My father never drove anything but Opels. He still drives one today. An Astra. And I’m happy to carry on this family tradition.


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What do you associate with the Opel brand?
For me it’s the car. I was raised in one. My father never drove anything but Opels. He still drives one today. An Astra. And I’m happy to carry on this family tradition.

Would you like the new Zafira?
Absolutely. I love the gigantic panorama windshield, which makes the vehicle feel really spacious. My daughter would like this, too. She loves riding in a car. Even when I just have to run a quick errand she says “I’m riding with you.” Then she climbs into the back, into the kiddy seat covered with pretzel crumbs, and off we go.

What do you listen to during a car trip? The radio, music?
Music! Whether it’s the Beatsteaks or the Stranglers, it has to be loud. But I just went through something traumatic. For whatever reason, all my songs disappeared from my iPod. So now I listen to the radio, for better or worse. But only talk radio.

Who is the better driver: you or your husband?
(Laughing) Me of course! Christian probably sees things differently.

Thanks to Opel OnStar, the Zafira Tourer has become a Wi-Fi hotspot. Do you use this feature?
And how! Just recently I was on the highway when I got a call from my manager.

 

I had to approve two interviews right away. In the old days I had to go through the tedious process of setting up a hotspot, assuming my reception was good enough. Thanks to OnStar, it’s no longer an issue. I just head to the nearest service area, load my e-mail, and voila!

What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven?
From time to time we drive from Potsdam to Hotel Stanglwirt in Tyrol. That’s 700 kilometers. Recently my husband flew there with our daughter. I had business to take care of so I took the Insignia. Guess who got there sooner? Me, of course!

 

 


July 2016