Nora Waldstätten was born in Vienna, Austria, on December 1st, 1981. She started dancing at the age of six in the Children’s Ballet Ensemble of the Baden Town Theatre in Baden/Vienna. As a result of her promising participations she got her first acting job at the age of twelve: »It was a magical moment. I was able to add another facet of self-expression on stage – language! The penny had dropped.« From then she transferred from the Children’s Ballet Ensemble to a theatre club that allowed her to play around with the works of Goethe, Ionesco and Wedekind. After finishing her A-levels, Nora moved to Berlin and applied for the acting programme at the University of Arts, into which she was immediately accepted. While studying at drama school she acted in many films, including Maria Solrun’s Jargo, Christoph Hochhäusler’s I am Guilty, which premiered in Cannes Un certain regard, and the television series Tatort – the Woman Whisperer. After graduating from university in 2007, she made her debut at the Deutsches Theatre in Berlin in About Animals, directed by acclaimed director Nicolas Stemann.
Films such as Irene von Alberti’s Tangerine, Julie Delpy’s The Countess and Marc Rensing’s Parkour followed. She also starred in Maximilian Erlenwein’s film Gravity for which she received the Max Ophüls Award for Best Young Actress in 2010. One year earlier she had garnered rave reviews from fans and critics alike for her role as the ruthless murderess in Tatort – Heart of Ice, which earned her the New Faces Award.
International attention followed in 2010 with her portrayal of Magdalena Kopp in Olivier Assayas’ highly acclaimed film Carlos that celebrated its world premiere in the sélection officielle of the Cannes Film Festival and won a Golden Globe in 2011. Following her success on the big screen Nora took time to go back to the theatre to work alongside Robert Borgmann in Going Out 1-3 and Katja Lauken in The Art of Falling, both in Cologne’s municipal playhouse, Schauspiel Köln. In 2011 Nora filmed Ken Follett’s World Without End directed by Michael Caton-Jones, starring as Gwenda, the peasant girl. She then went on to star in Nuran David Calis’ film adaptation of Büchner’s play Woyzeck. In 2012 she worked with Academy Award nominated director Götz Spielmann. She starred as the lead in his new film October/November. In 2013 Nora played the villain in Enid Blyton's Famous Five.