She next starred with Eric Bana and Kodi Smit-Mc Phee in the Australian drama film Romulus, My Father (2007), about the struggle of a couple to raise their son amid great adversity.
She received nominations for the European Film Award and the German Film Award for Best Actress.
Potente's first English-language role was that of an airline stewardess who starts working with cocaine smuggler George Jung in the biographical crime film Blow, alongside Johnny Depp.
She noted in an interview she "had an American boyfriend, went to football games and to my American prom.
I was so serious about my American boyfriend, I brought him back to Germany with me to visit my parents.
In 2004, she starred in the British-German horror film Creep, as a woman locked in the London Underground overnight who finds herself being stalked by a hideously deformed killer living in the sewers below.