‘LANDLADY’ OF THE CINEMA: SELDA ALKOR

‘LANDLADY’ OF THE CINEMA: SELDA ALKOR

“CINEMA COULDN’T DISCOVER MY FUNNY SIDE. THEY HAVE FOUND ME FIT FOR BOSSY ‘LANDLADY’ ROLES.”

We had a chat with Selda Alkor who was committed to our memories with landlady roles and we met a whole different side of her. We encountered with a person who was mischievous and was smiling at the end of each sentence. Our interview with Selda Alkor who had faked fainting and had song arias on top of the desks during her high school years was so entertaining.

You are someone who has made great effort for cinema for long years. Do you think you are where you are supposed to be?
I think no one is where he or she deserves in the Turkish cinema. Unfortunately, our cinema has not become a sector as the American cinema has. I think we were a little early for our cinema. I look at young people and realize how bright and successful they are. I appreciate their success. The conditions and the technology of our time were so different then. Still, we did our best to carry the sector in where it is today. Those young people owe their thanks to us in fact. Maybe someday they are going to thank us when we meet, because we don’t meet. We meet neither with young players, nor with young directors. The chances are so small.

Do you think the old is not appreciated?
Our time is over and now we are living in a different time. Everyone loves what he or she does. They say, ‘I do it the best’ and I don’t think that they look around to see if anyone is doing better than they do. Maybe they don’t even have the time to do it just as we didn’t back then. However, we had learned about the people who existed before our time in cinema, who were they and what they did. Only film existed back then and we used to make film.

Would you like to start over now?
Every period has a different taste. I remember the times that I just started working; I was inexperienced but full of excitement. They were beautiful and different days for me. What an excitement! To tell you the truth, I would love to start over from 18-year-old with my present intelligence.

How old were you when you were married?
I was 23.

Do you think it was wise to marry at that age?
Certainly, it was not. Marrying at an older age is better. Same thing goes for men. My husband was very young, too. He insisted on marrying and we did. Otherwise, we were already together all the time, why would we marry.

How did you two meet? Did your families play a part in it?
Oh, no! What are you talking about… We saw each other on the street (laughter.) I was driving. For a moment, our cars were next to each other. That was when I had realized that he was following me. So, I started to follow him. I was just back from Italy. I was chosen as the ‘beauty of cinema’ in Europe. I must have thought of myself in Italy (laughter.) We went to a convention and they were there, too. But we all missed the convention so we just drank coffee and talked. We were four people. We exchanged phone numbers. Our friendship turned into something else. Dating and engagement periods took about 4 years. This is our 47th year together now.

Is love replaced with another feeling after 47 years?
It changes its form. You become a life partner for each other, a better half. Illnesses begin bad things happen. It is hard.

Thank God that he didn’t interfere with your acting career…
He knew that even if he had said anything against it that would change nothing. However, after getting married, I didn’t get any offers for a while.

Did stars get jealous of each other at those days?
We didn’t have time to be jealous. Everyone was doing something. However, I think some colleagues of mine with good contacts had made a more powerful start in this business. If we consider Memduh Ün and Fatma Girik relationship, I don’t think I could get a special scenario from him. He would give me a part since I am popular but I wouldn’t get the festival films that he had made for her. Movies with commercial value would be offered to me. It is fine. I was good with it. I have played in 70 films.

How was your relation with your father? Did he have any saying in your acting career?
I had lost my father when I was 12. My mother died when I was 15. I have experienced many losses. I couldn’t spend any time with my father. I loved my father, I was my daddy’s girl. I came in İstanbul with my brother. He didn’t allow me to become an actress. He didn’t talk to me for 3 years. I moved in with my aunt. She was an educated woman. She was a different person; she was very social unlike my brother. My brother was a journalist, he owned a publishing house. We didn’t talk for a few years but at the end I was still his precious. Later, I lost him, his wife, and my sister, too. Time has passed busy with burying my loved ones.

We’ve heard that you don’t watch Yeşilçam films because of this death issue…
For instance, I watch ‘Once in a Year’ and feel filthy because of crying. Most of the actors in this film are dead. The movie is like a cemetery. They are gone. I remember those lovely people. They used to love me, too.

Actually, you look like a mischievous naughty child…
Yes, I do, but they never discovered that part of me. The cinema couldn’t discover my funny side because I am a serious person. They found me fit for bossy landlady roles. They never let me play comedy, did you know that… I had played in ‘One Goes for Hunting Becomes the Hunted’ with Sadri Alışık, and ‘Name of the Blond, Taste of the Dark’ with İzzet Günay, ‘Comfy Necla’ with Yusuf Sezgin (laughter.) In Comfy Necla, I was a bully with all the karate moves.

Did you used to fake fainting at school?
I did it to cancel the quiz. I am at the school one day. We have art class. I am on top of the desk, singing arias. The door opens all of a sudden and the teacher comes in. Of course, what I was doing was nonsense. It was forbidden. But I used to do mischievous things like that. I was a very pretty student. I would cut my hair, but still a teacher would come up to me and warn me for the length of my hair. Because I was so beautiful and I was standing out.

Did other girls become jealous of you?
Although, they didn’t get jealous, whatever I wear would suit me. I used to wear a beret and aim it to one side. A teacher would come, push, and drop it on the ground. Those kinds of behaviors even made me consider dropping out the school.

Probably, many men were after you…
Yes, they were. Aykut Oray who is now deceased was after me. He used to play the ‘killer’ in ‘Bizimkiler’ (Our Folks.) He used to study in Manisa Highschool. I had a friend named ‘Deniz’ and she was beautiful, too. The young men of Manisa used to come after us like an army.

Close to Mevlana’s philosophy
“This philosophy has one thing to teach me and whoever reads it; it is ‘being human.’ Doing something in the name of humanity… This is what I understand. Many meanings can be found in such a deep philosophy. When I look at a face, I see only a human. I like people, I love life. I see things that are given to me as blessings.”

No offers
“I don’t know why but I don’t get offers. I wonder, if they think that young-adult movies bring more box office success. Or maybe they don’t think a small mother role would suit me. Sometimes, I don’t like the stories of the projects that they offer me. Now there are cast agencies. Maybe I should connect with them. However, I am unable to bring myself to register with one of them. I am here. My phone is always on.”