MERYEM UZERLİ, WHO ENTERED OUR LIVES WITH THE HÜRREM CHARACTER THAT SHE PLAYED AND WON THE HEARTS OF MANY, ATRIBUTES THIS TO HER ‘HONESTY AND CHEERFULNESS.’
The talented actor who entered our lives with the Hürrem character, Meryem Uzerli continues to reap the fruits of her success in the series. The actor who suffered from the burnout syndrome in the final season of the series had gone back to Germany to take things easy. On the other hand, the beautiful actor also stepped into a different sector by establishing her own brand name of cosmetic products. In addition, she was deemed worthy of the “Best Actress” award for her successful acting in her projects at the Beirut International Awards Festival (BIAF), which was held for the seventh time this year in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Meryem Uzerli, who was dazzling everyone before the awards ceremony on the red carpet, enchanted people with her elegance and grace. We had a pleasant chat with her.
How did you learn to speak Turkish?
I used to know a little but I studied a lot and living in Turkey made learning your language much easier.
What is the difference between living in Germany and living in Turkey?
Germany is where I was born and grew up. My family and friends are there. I know every street in the city like the back of my hand, I feel good there. I am not famous there, I am an ordinary person. This gives me additional comfort. I am not a star. I am someone who is free.
How was your life before you came to İstanbul?
I had work done in the television sector. I did acting. I made films.
Did you have hard time after coming to Turkey and becoming famous?
No, I did not. What we did was appreciated a lot. If you are in the acting business, the chances are that you might become famous someday. I am happy for what I have accomplished. People like my acting. They also like me for who I am. I think, they feel the energy I have. They feel my heart. I played a strong character in the series.
Did you like the Hürrem character?
There were some traits of her that I liked. Many people might think that she had done bad things. She may not always pick the right things to do. I agree with that. However, we should consider that 500 years ago the rule of thumb was “Either I die or you do.” She played the game by this rule. In addition, I have to like her bad behaviors so I can play her the best way possible.
Why did you stop playing her?
I am a sensitive person. This is how I was cut out. Maybe, that is why I can act really well sometimes. I can become one with the character. Hürrem is actually a hard character to play and she is too far from who I am in reality. I don’t say that she is strong and I am weak. I have strong characteristics also, but she and I are two completely different women. It was not easy trying to be her. I put too much effort into it.
14 hours of professional life at the set was the cause of the development of the burnout syndrome. What do you have to say about that?
I was too tired. It was not only because of the working conditions or because of my personal life. Sometimes everything comes together at once and things become critical in time.
Don’t you think leaving the set in the middle of a season is bad reputation for an actor?
Tell me about it… I would never do such thing, if I didn’t feel that I had to, especially when only four episodes left. But I was not in the situation to play even for four episodes. I was feeling that horrible. Otherwise, I endured three years and I could have done the same thing for four more episodes. But, I just could not.
Your father is a Turk and your mother is a German. How did the two meet?
At the university corridors… They saw each other and fell in love.
What is your perspective on awards?
When the people who watch my acting can feel what I intend them to feel, this is when I am the happiest in my life. My feelings go through them. I was unbelievably happy that the committee in Beirut felt that, too.
You returned with the Best Actress award from the 7th Beirut International Awards Festival, would you share with us the speech you gave there?
I said, “I am so glad to be here. It is a big honor; it is a great pleasure to take this award in this beautiful country with this beautiful people. I just walked around today in downtown; the buildings, the architecture, so beautiful… The friendly people are full of love, so warm and nice welcome; I am speechless. Thank you so much. I am searching for words to express my feelings. As an actress, I always try to be real to be the character I am playing and slip into different roles. If this is the feedback for my work, I am the happiest person on earth right now. Thank you so much. I would like to share this award with all the young and talented actors all over the world, who are waiting for their chance. You are making me proud and unbelievably happy…”
How did you feel when you learned about the award in Beirut?
When I learned the news that I would be receiving an award at the 7th BIAF that would be held in Beirut, I felt so happy. It was one of the rare events that I have seen that is so positive, genuine, and enveloping everyone who was there with love. I stayed three days in Beirut. I had the chance to spend some time in the city. The lovely attention of the people on the streets, the architecture, and their dishes mesmerized me. It is as mysterious, warm, and genuine as İstanbul is.
The dress you wore at the ceremony was admired very much, whose design was it?
I wore a dress designed by Ziad Nakad to the ceremony. He is a Lebanese designer. His designs are preferred often for red carpet occasions.
Why do you think you became that popular in Turkey?
I don’t know, maybe because I am an honest and cheerful person.
Do you have new projects?
I haven’t yet committed to a new project for this season. I am at the stage of considering the offers. Meanwhile, I will travel to Russia and Middle East for Meryem Cosmetics.