P-Twins // The Pahde twins talk to the Pollak twins about their virtues, dreams & the merits of being an identical twin
It is a grey Sunday morning; the fog hangs heavy over the cold city as we start the last day of 2018. We have arranged to meet twin sisters Cheyenne and Valentina Pahde in their family home in Munich where they are currently unwinding from their busy schedules and enjoying some time off with their family. Their mother, Samanda, who exudes the same goddess-like beauty as her twin daughters, greets us out front with her warm, familiar smile. She is on her way out to oversee renovations for their new deli, Feinkost Pahde, which just opened its doors to the public. “The deli has been a dream of ours for the past ten years. To finally see it flourish is a dream come true,” Cheyenne tells us as we gather around the dining table. We instantly fall into our usual chitter chatter, wanting to catch up on everything since we last saw each other in October for their 24th birthday. Cheyenne serves us an apple baklava treat when Valentina finally cuts to the chase: “now, tell us about your new project. We want to hear everything.”
We have known twin sisters Cheyenne and Valentina for over a decade and go way, way back to a time where BBM was still a thing, Friday and Saturday nights were spent in nightclubs and our dreams were wrapped in Net-A-Porter shopping carts. Although none of us recall the specifics of how we met – we believe mutual friends brought us together – it didn’t take long before we coined the catchphrase P-Twins.
Pollak-Twins, Pahde-Twins, P-Twins. Get it?
Beyond our twin bond and the matching initial of our surnames, it is our shared values – love, family, hard work and loyalty to name a few – which ignited our deep, long-lasting friendship.
Fast forward two moves across the country, countless birthdays and four very involuntary BlackBerry to iPhone swaps later and you will find Cheyenne and Valentina have sky rocketed to success. They both star as lead roles in a series, are currently co-hosting the renown Holidays On Ice show for the second year in a row, and have been named brand ambassadors for a handful of very noteworthy brands. What most people don’t see, however, are the years and years of hard work behind their success.
Cheyenne and Valentina first started acting at the age of three, similar to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, where they shared a role in a prominent German TV series. They understood from very early on that no one was going to hand them roles on a golden platter: “You have to work towards your goals on a daily basis and always keep the ball moving. I am a passionate actress and very proud to be able to call it my profession,” Valentina explains.
Their work ethic and ability to continuously deliver on such a high standard is commendable. What we admire most about them is that they never complain (those early call times, often 6 days a week — eeeek!), are unconditionally loyal and put their family and friends first.
“As I always say,” Cheyenne explains, “everything originates from its source, and for us that’s family. We are all workers who are where we are today as a result of our relentless ambition and determination.”
The biggest turning point came in November 2014 when Valentina was cast for the role of Sunny in the television series GZSZ. Overnight she was separated from her twin sister, her family & friends, and moved across the country to Berlin. “To physically separate from people that you love is never easy but when I look at Valentina today, I know that it was the right decision for us to part ways and move to separate cities,” Cheyenne recalls as she looks at Valentina, her voice turning sentimental. After one and a half years of weekend trips from Munich to Berlin, Cheyenne moved to Cologne to take over the lead role of professional ice skater Marie for the television series, Alles Was Zählt. “Especially in the beginning it was hard,” Valentina remembers, “we still really miss each other but iPhone’s and airplanes make the distance bearable.” The best feeling in the world, and this they both agree on, is to be able to share their success and come together as one: “Pahde Power forever,” Cheyenne exclaims.
To say that it is all sunshine and roses would be a lie. Both Cheyenne and Valentina were confronted with jealousy and hate from very early on and had to learn quickly that in life you can’t please everyone. To know this fact is one thing – to embrace it, a constant work in progress. “When you are a part of the public eye you need to know that there will always be negative comments and opinions,” Valentina explains. And that’s not all, “you have to be prepared to give up a big part of your personal life.” Although the Pahde twins have become very good at dealing with criticism, there is a point at which they draw the line. Cheyenne, the blunter and less patient of the two, explains that she doesn’t “tolerate abusive comments of any kind.” In an industry where your success isn’t just based on talent but instead measured by box office numbers, TV ratings and Instagram followers, Cheyenne and Valentina continue to do a lot of things right: they surround themselves with genuine, positive people and never let themselves get side-tracked into being or doing something that doesn’t resonate with them.
“I am a very grateful person and am thankful every day for being a part of this magical world,” Valentina explains, her eyes glistening.
Their plans for the new year? “To work on another television or cinema film,” Valentina says. “And to bring out a song or album at some point,” Cheyenne adds. What the future holds none of us know exactly, but what we do know, and this we know for sure, is that for Cheyenne and Valentina nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.
Q&A Part I
What is your wake-up ritual?
CP: I check my phone and drink a glass of water
VP: First thing is coffee
What time do you wake up?
CP: Between 4am and 6am
VP: Between 5am and 6am
How do you mentally prepare for the day?
CP: Talk to my family on the phone
VP: I try to see every day as a new possibility and try to be positive
What is your favorite city?
CP: Paris and my hometown Munich
VP: At the moment Madrid (so inspiring!)
What is the last book you read?
CP: How To Be A Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
VP: Flugangst 7a by Sebastian Fitzek
Who is the last person that texted you?
VP: Cheyenne (her flight got cancelled)
What's the most attractive quality in someone?
VP: Loyalty and honesty
Call or text? Or voice message?
CP: Call – it’s quickest
VP: For work text or email otherwise call
Netflix or Cinema?
CP: I love both! One of my friends even calls me POPCORN but I have to confess, my first name is cinema and my last name is Netflix – I’ve seen almost everything.
Q&A PART II
What does your ideal food day look like? I know this is an important one for you guys.
CP: Start with brunch (not too early): eggs, avocado, chia pudding. Then for lunch a light dish by the ocean including seafood, fish and a glass of rose. For dinner nothing too fancy, but a starter of truffle pasta and then a steak (medium/well) with lots of vegetables! That’s it!
VP: A huge breakfast at around noon with avocado, scrambled eggs, fruit and a cappuccino!
What inspires you?
CP: My mom
VP: My mom
Something you can’t live without?
VP: My twin sister
How do you recharge?
CP: Holidays! Even if it is just a 2 day trip or 2 hours of wellness
VP: By working out or being home with my family in Munich
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
CP: Do what makes you happy
VP: Be proud to be a woman
Mantra you live by?
CP: Don’t fear change, fear stagnation
Who is your girl crush?
CP: Valentina! She is so strong and always believed in me.
VP: Chrissanthi, my best friend
Best gift you ever gave?
CP: My love
VP: A stripper
Best gift you ever received?
CP: Wireless headphones, for real!
Q&A PART III
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
CP: To be able to fly. And not to be dependent on anything or anyone. And the feeling of weightlessness.
CP: Fast forwarding to everything; I have no patience and don’t like to wait!
VP: Weekend trips
Favourite work out?
CP: I think you can do no wrong with 45min on the StairMaster
Alcohol or green juice?
CP: I’m not 21 anymore so let’s go with Green juice. I love a matcha latte with a shot of vanilla
VP: Gin and Tonic with Cucumber – so that counts as both, right?
Ideal karaoke song?
CP: Song of a Preacher Man
VP: Song of a Preacher Man
What is the best trait about each other?
CP: That we always stick together
VP: Kindness and willingness to always help
Where will you travel next?
VP: Vienna for a show and Barcelona for a Birthday
Do you like to sit window or isle?
CP: Window so I can sleep
VP: Window so I can sleep
Q&A PART IV
Blackberry or iPhone?
CP: Blackberry!!!!! I miss you so much
VP: Blackberry to talk to my P-twins and iPhone for everything else
What’s the weirdest thing that was ever written about you?
CP: That I am too thin and don’t eat – literally impossible given the amount of food I love to consume
VP: That I supposedly had an affair with Cheyenne’s partner
What’s on your bedside table?
CP: Pink flamingo print tissues, a bottle of water, my phone
VP: A glass of water, my charger and lip balm
Cheyenne, describe Valentina in three words?
CP: Hungry, kind, sensitive
Valentina, describe Cheyenne in three words?
VP: Moody, compassionate, best sister
Which TV shows are you currently binge-watching?
CP: Everything on Netflix! But the one film I watch over and over is The Parent Trap
VP: Casa Papel, Elite and Riverdale
How do you unwind?
CP: When I’m in nature – preferably by the ocean – I forget all my worries and thoughts and can relax
VP: Playing loud music
What’s your favourite evening indulgence?
CP: To go to bed before midnight
VP: Being at home alone in my Berlin apartment and to do nothing