March ‘13
Insight Interview

March ‘13
Firat
Firat


    


You were born in Germany, grew up in Paris and you are of Turkish origin...this mixture formed what kind of character?

I was born in Germany, however immediately after my birth we moved to Paris. I lived in Paris for 28 years. I feel that being surrounded with multiple cultures broadened my outlook on life and the way I view what is going on in the world. I only got in touch with my Turkish roots just recently. But I feel the overall experience made a better observer of people of different ethnic heritage and therefore of different temperaments.


Paris is not only the city of love, but also the city of creativity and arts; so how were you influenced by the ambiance?

Paris truly is a city that is rich in culture. You are constantly surrounded with theater and the arts, as well as it being a magnificent city and admired by many. Of course I was profoundly affected by everything in Paris, its 'joie de vivre' still continues to be an inspiration today.


You spent three years in 'Paris Sudden Theatre', what did you learn and how did you benefit from it?

For three years I studied acting and drama at the 'Paris Sudden Theater'. This period was very important for the preparation of my career. As for acting on the stage it truly was a different experience. I worked with some of the most rigorous stage actors who taught all about the nuances of characterizations, I also became utterly fearless when it came to performing in front of a packed theater.


Describe the difference between the acting & directing techniques in France v.s. Turkey?

Everyone has their own experiences, education, and past....Therefore working together with people from different cultures means each one has his own way of working. However, when considering only the performing aspect, regardless of where you are performing, I feel that the sincerity is what is important. You're acting has to ring true, and that is a truly universal technique.


How do you see the opportunity that was given to you by Thierry Harcourt & what can you tell us about the play 'Orange Mecanique'?

Theirry Harcourt for me was an important turning point, responsible for changing my life. We lived in the same neighborhood and courteously greeted each other even though we did not personally know each other. One day we ran into each other and he discovered than I'm a student actor. He responded that he was a director and that he found my facial appearance striking, and that he had a project that the was working on and asked if I would like to participate. Theirry Harcourt bravely took a chance on me. This was a huge opportunity for me and my career and I needed to take assessment of this opportunity... 'Orange Mecanique' was the beginning of my career. For the first time 'Orange Mecanique' was being performed in theater and it received a lot of attention. I was the protege of Mr. Harcourt and he was a marvelous director capable of eliciting powerful pathos from within the actor that he himself might not be aware of its presence.


In 2008 you had an diverse taste of a creativity which was acting in cinema & television; describe those experiences and want you felt at that time?

Theater and cinema are totally different from each other. Performing in both is truly beautiful. Even though they are technically different, again sincerity is most important. Seeing myself on the screen for the first time was very exciting


Seems like you are walking on a path of fortunate luck; tell your fans how did ' Welcome' bring you back to Turkey?

The film 'Welcome' is very important to me. My role in the film was a small role, however it marked a transition to a new part of my life. We first went to the Berlin Film Festival, followed by the Istanbul Film Festival. I obviously attracted the attention of the producers in Turkey because upon my return to Paris I received offers for acting in a series. Therefore, the film 'Welcome' became a major turning point for my career.


What was the story line of ' Kış Masalı'? What was your role at it?

'Kış Masalı' was my first series in Turkey. It was produced by Most Yapım. It was cancelled after 11 episodes but for me it paved the way for my introduction to Turkey.


Hilal Saral , Fatmagul & Mustafa; How do you evaluate the experience of working on 'Fatmagul'?

Performing the character of Mustafa in the series 'Fatmagul'un Sucu Ne' was my chance to display my dramatic chops. Mustafa overall was a very layered character. From the first episode to the last episode he truly went through some major changes, made many mistakes, very vacillating, having many regrets, but a man in love. His character had a tremendous narrative arc, and I felt if that I could nail such a complex character then I would've really accomplished something. Hilal Saral the director of the series has also had a major influences on my career. I admire her both as a director and as a human being.


What was the first meeting with Hilal Saral like and how was the series' cast assembled?

I was at Ayapım with my manager when I met Hilal Saral for the first time. As I was explaining who I was and while she was listening and watching me she leaned over and whispered something to my manager, as she continued to look into my eyes as I was speaking. Once I was done, she looking at me and said 'I think I've seen the perfect Mustafa'. For me this was a very special and very encouraging moment. I could sense the positive energy between us, which has continued to this day.


When you were reading your role, did you feel anxious about the audience's reaction of ' Mustafa' who was a villainous person who conspires against his ex-fiance for money?


Did you face any hostility from the viewing audience?

I did not have any problems, quite the opposite I received positive comments from the viewers.


If you were able to choose from the other roles; which one would you pick?

It's very difficult to answer that. I've immersed myself so completely into my characters, it's inconceivable to imagine myself inhabiting the other characters.


What can you tell us about Beren Saat &Engin Akyurek off-camera & are you friends with any of the cast?

Both Beren and Engin are professionals. Working with both of them was quite enjoyable. As time permits we all go out together. It's a great ensemble cast.


From the professional point of view what are the differences between each of cinema, television and theater, where do you feel yourself more?

All three have different techniques. During the last few years I have only performed in television, I do miss performing in theater since performing on stage is the closest you can get to the viewer; I also miss the excitement of performing on stage in front of a live audience.


'20 Dakika' is the name of your new project with the beautiful ' Tuba Buyukustun''¦

Yes, in my new role on '20 Dakika' I am appearing as a totally new character. Ozan in the Chief of Homicide, a man driven by his job and is extremely perceptive, I played him with a more gritty style than in my previous roles. Our screenplay, cast and crew are all great. Working with Tuba was very enjoyable.


Now that you're famous here in the Middle East; do you have any thoughts of visiting any of the Arab countries?

It makes us all very happy to know that the work we produce in Turkey is viewed and enjoyed by the citizens in the Middle East. Yes I would love to visit the area. The meeting of cultures through art is a truly magical thing. It ignites my pride for my profession.


What would you like to say to your Egyptian fans?

'I love you and send you the warmest embraces from Istanbul'