DIANE Kruger's first leading television role is far from glamorous.
The German-born beauty plays a homicide detective with Asperger syndrome in FX's new US drama series The Bridge.
The former model and movie star, who is known for her fashion-forward red carpet choices, takes on a more unkempt appearance to play Detective Sonya North, who displays many of the social shortcomings associated with Aspergers.
"I personally had never considered doing television before, it's such a time consuming commitment that you're making," Kruger said.
"I thought the opportunity to be able to really dig deep into a character like that I couldn't let pass.
"To be honest, I never wanted to play a cop in my life. It's not something I dreamt of, toting guns and finding serial killers.
"But I thought it was so intriguing to have a character who has so many challenges because she falls on this spectrum in her personal life and has so many shortcomings in her personal life and then is so brilliant at something in her professional life."
Based on the original Swedish/Danish series, The Bridge follows North as a strange murder forces her to work with Mexican detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) to hunt down a serial killer working on both sides of the border.
"I've been living in the US on and off for the past 20 years… you cannot open a newspaper without reading about immigration, drug cartels and what is going on in those border towns," Kruger said.
"It's definitely something that I'm really interested in and I thought that the show is looking at it from a less clichéd point of view."
Kruger said her co-star easily charmed every woman on the set. "He's the most charming person I've ever met," she said.
"It's funny, we were supposed to do a movie together just before this came along and the movie fell apart and then they offered both of us this pilot and it felt like we were meant to work together."
What Detective North lacks in social skills, Detective Ruiz has in spades.
"Her brilliance lies in other things, like she sees things people don't necessarily pick up on," Kruger said.
"And she's obsessed with dead bodies and serial killers and so that's what I found fascinating about her."
It's North's autism that she believes is central to her character. She had a man with Aspergers, Alex Plank, on set as a consultant. "I was so concerned to get the Asperger aspect right because I think that is much more what defines Sonya," she said.