Bestyle Magazine (Turkiye) surprised us all with a beautiful photoshoot and interview with actors Demet Ozdemir and Ibrahim Celikkol that is included in their December 2020 issue.
(Click on the arrow to watch the slideshow)
The brilliant photoshoot captures the magnetism of these two actors together and sheer level of fitness and beauty they both maintain.
Interview with Demet Ozdemir and Ibrahim Celikkol
(English translation by Sena Ikizoglu)
Both names are successful actors. We are talking about two people who keep working hard every day to climb the stairs of their career, who have future goals, who almost forget about the world while acting: Demet Ozdemir and Ibrahim Celikkol.
We talked about every detail with the duo who has been on the screen for a year with the Dogdugun Ev Kaderindir series and who came together for the first time in a drama series. How they handle the pandemic process, how their private lives go, how they achieve making a series in such a time and more…
While coming to the end of the last month of the year, their highly sincere attitudes gave us a renewed energy. In addition to all the details, thanks to the their poses for the photoshoot, we are saying goodbye to 2020 with an awesome motivation. We’re glad that you exist, Demet and Ibrahim!
Your project is the talk of the town, “Dogdugun Ev Kaderindir” which has been broadcasting for almost a year. How did your paths cross in this project?
D: I have been following Ibrahim’s projects and watching what he did with respect. Since we work with the same agency company, we met a couple times and I told him that I wanted to work with him each time we did. Thankfully, his response was similar. Actually, looking back, we have been looking forward to working together. Seemingly, luck decided to bring us together now. When I read the script, I could totally see Ibrahim in the character and when I heard his opinions, it was like killing two birds with one stone. He was suitable for the character, he was someone who would put more into it as an actor and also he was an actor I wanted to work with. After spending some time together, he became a working partner I very much value. He has both been like a brother to me and has taken me under his wings. I’m glad that our paths crossed, we had mutual wishes in our hearts. He portrays Mehdi character with such talent and I’m so happy to work with him.
I: The general theme of the Dogdugun Ev Kaderindir’s script had a big impact on me. Learning that this is a real life story attracted me even more. These main points won me over to join in this project.
DEK is an adapted series from the author and psychiatrist Gulten Budayicioglu’s book, “Camdaki Kiz”. I read it and in fact, this story is a short part of the book. Which details in the script attracted you to the series?
D: Mrs. Gulseren touched very briefly upon the story in the book. We received a general story, wider than the one in the book, so that we can have a better grasp of its scope. Honestly, when I read it, instead of thinking that it was a real life experience, I evaluated it as a story which could teach good lessons and from which I could learn good things. Zeynep’s character has had severe trauma. Knowing that it was a real life story made me extra sensitive about it. Many people will think of various different things and will make better decisions once they watch this series. I see a transformation, a journey of courage in Zeynep and it makes me so happy.
I: We see individual and interrelated lives in the story. We live these lives. We witness how situations are interpreted differently by others’ lives. The fact that it reflects real life, that it is real life, have been the important factors for me.
Mehdi and Zeynep actually speak for the women and men of real life. What are the aspects of Demet and Ibrahim that match up with the characters?
D: I actually thought a lot about this -the sides of my personality that parallel Zeynep’s. I can say when people thought she was keeping quiet about everything and then she gained courage later, it drew a parallel for me. The times when she kept quiet, couldn’t cry, couldn’t scream and shout was a journey where she started questioning what she was doing to dispose of it and where she learned lessons, especially first 4 episodes. I experienced this too, I can say it relates to me as well. Because I always prefer to observe some things without interfering and make deductions. Zeynep is more patient than me at this.
I: I love Mehdi’s fatherly behaviors. His protective and responsible stances seems familiar sometimes.
How did you take your first step into acting?
D: I can say that “dreaming of it” was my first step toward acting. When my firends asked me, “Do you consider being an actress?” I thought I wouldn’t do it without an education. I’ve been aspiring it since young age though. But when it was first asked to me, it seemed hard, it still seems hard. But I defend that one has to have an education. Then I had acting lessons for two years but before someone recommends it to you, you must dream of it first. Consequently, my first step wasn’t the education in theater but rather dreaming.
I: It was an option that life served me. Afterward, I made a choice and it was acting.
Demet, you started off as a dancer in this industry, right? Then you continued by taking acting lessons.
First I took dance lessons and became a dancer. Then I took acting lessons, it was all fate’s doing, it just developed that way in my life. Of course, I enjoyed acting, I still enjoy it. For example, doing sports is very important but dancing is completely another joy, another adrenaline rush for me. Dancing has become very useful for me in acting. I could have planned it but wouldn’t have become as useful as I find it does now.
Kurt Seyit ve Sura, Cilek Kokusu, No: 309, Erkenci Kus, you have been on a lucky streak. What kind of experiences were each of these projects for you?
My first project is Sana Bir Sir Verecegim. I will never forget it. There was an undeniable labor, effort, courage in it on my behalf. Because it was my first ever series in this industry. I didn’t know if I would be able to accomplish but I was sure that I wanted to do it. I had such complicated feelings. The next projects that came after this are all very precious, I learned a lot of things in each, from my colleagues, from the director, from experienced actors. It has been a really good time. Kurt Seyit was very important to me, it was my first period drama. Cilek Kokusu was a colorful one, every project has their own special place in my heart. No:309 was a lovely one, I built lovely friendships while filming it. It was pretty amazing to work with Sumru Yavrucuk, she really was my biggest tutor in the set of series. We were a team that understood and loved one and other. My character in Erkenci Kus was already like me, like Demet. I had that energy that led me think of what I could do more, how I could improve every time I read the script. Master Cagri constructed a very colorful world for us. He has a special place in my heart too. Each one of them are like steppingstones, it’s like a staircase actually. Now DEK, a drama for the first time… It showed me that I still have a lot to learn and that I’m at the beginning of the road. I’m glad that I did it, have been a part of these projects and worked freely.
Apart from all these projects, there are brands which you have been the face of. All of them are influential ones. What are the factors that made your path cross with these brands?
For me, acting and dancing are eternal. But being a face of a brand is also nice if it matches up with your soul, your energy. I believe that this also is an important steppingstone. I am who I am and I use social media platforms with the same sincerity. Maybe they notice it. I can make people naturally connect when I am the face of a brand, not for making them buy a product but because I really use them. Maybe that’s the reason. I really attach importance to this. If I’m hosting something, I try to make the best of it.
You were born in 1992 and every project that you were a part of is mighty. The awards you won as a representative of this fact is the talk of the town. To what do you really owe this success?
I’m at the beginning of the road but I won very beautiful awards, I received beautiful feedback and comments, I keep receiving them. I owe this success to the faith I have in myself. Whatever it is, if I’m on a path, I keep going by imagining the ending. I believe in it whole-heartedly and devote myself to do my best. And I’m not anxious about it, this might be the ultimate key to it. At the end of the day, we are humans. I think how I can do best rather than thinking of making a series that will last 100 episodes. I have the blessings of thinking this way and I keep going forward.
Your story is a little bit different, Ibrahim. The journey which started with modeling continued with a “young basketball player” identity. During the acting lessons that started afterward, you come across Osman Sinav and I guess everything changes from there.
If you believe in coincidences, my story will sound good to you. It wasn’t a part of my plans in life but I was at the right place with the right timing and all the plans changed.
Then there were tv series and movie offers that came consecutively. You achieved ensuring a place in people’s minds with the characters you portrayed in those projects. I guess the Merhamet and Kordugum (Intersection) series has been very special for the audience. Do you feel the same?
Every character that I played is special to me. Even today the essence of each one of them still lingers. I love and miss all of them without making any distinction.
Almost all the characters you portrayed has that “serious and macho Turkish guy” aura. Is it a coincidence that those kind of characters were offered to you?
Actually, all the characters that seem serious and macho from outside differ in their personalities when we look deeper inside. We see those guys in this single persona, however when we analyze deeper we see how much different they are from each other.
So are you a serious husband and a father like them in real life?
In my point of view, a good husband and a father should lead the way to peace, sincerity and happiness. I don’t know in which part seriousness plays a role.
What has changed in your and your wife Mihre’s lives once your son Ali was born?
After my son Ali joined our family, the appreciation we once had for anything has been heightened. His existence makes everything more meaningful.
The pandemic process that we are currently in has raised everybody’s awareness of a particular thing in their lives. Which effects does it have on you?
D: The pandemic really jolted everyone. It made us think about many things and showed us that “losing” is actually under our noses. We figured out that we were overexerting, overly exhausting ourselves. I started breathing and realizing that everything is temporary. I realized that everything is valuable and I need to sort out my priorities. On one hand I felt sorry hearing the number of people that were diagnosed and the ones that died and I thought that a solution must be found, on the other hand I discovered many spiritual things in myself. I learned to spare time for myself. Since we couldn’t go out, couldn’t go to work, I came to notice how valuable our friendships and families are. Of course, it hasn’t yet completely gone but the first wave hit hard. I saw that we can adapt to anything and that has been a type of awareness for me. I realized that as long as you get used to the thought of a sickness or some emotions, your body and mind accept the truth. It’s both a positive and scary experience . I hope that this illness get wiped off of our country and our world immediately. Hopefully we get into a manner where we hug each other tighter and understand each other’s value better. This is my only wish.
I: The pandemic made time meaningless, we can say that it even stopped time. We are as active in our minds as we are with our bodies to be able to catch up with life. We can say that the pandemic fed our awareness in terms of this.
So how is your set in this process? I’m sure the conditions are harder now due to the physical distance and masks.
D: There aren’t only actors, we work with 80 people on sets. It’s really hard, the crew’s job is much harder. We keep changing masks and disinfect the set. We have a hard time breathing and of course we can’t use masks while filming. All this uneasiness affects us negatively. We are trying to get an episode ready in a week at the same time. We want people to forget about this disease at least for two hours and free their minds. We are being very meticulous on the set, we work with a responsibility. We do what is needed to be done.
I: Of course, we have to be much more careful. We are trying to take even more precautions than needed. We draw our own safety zone and continue working.
After this contagious sickness, what do you think awaits the tv series industry, Demet ? You know, the number of projects on digital platforms has increased in this process. Does it affect the watch rates of Turkish tv series?
I always say that diversity is good and that it gives people a right to choose. Having an alternative is not a bad thing. The fans of quality content will always be everywhere and they will follow you everywhere. It has been a good steppingstone for the actors, scriptwriters, directors and the audience. Sometimes a project isn’t meant to be 150 minutes, it needs to be a 40-minutes one to cast its magic. The audience that wants to watch series on tv is still there, we can see it from the ratings. I believe the digital zone will have a positive reflection on Turkish tv.
Do you watch the digital platform projects, Ibrahim ? Lately, there have been projects that caught attention.
Just as I do in every industry, I also follow and support the innovative works of my industry.
Demet: What kind of a mark do you think this series will leave on your career?
Honestly, let me say this right away: I’m playing in a drama for the first time. So it will have a special place in my heart. From now on I can play in dramas or do other things, doesn’t matter. What matters is how I feel. In my point of view, an actor/actress should be in a project which they feel like being in. DEK is my first steppingstone in dramas. I hope I’ll be a part of other projects too but for now, this is my baby!
So when it comes to love, do you guys prefer to go away because of your pride just like in the series even though you’re dying of love? Or do you fight until the end?
D: Choosing to go away or to stay depends on circumstances and the people. I can say it applies not only to a romantic relationship but also to every kind of relationship. I can stay if it is worth the effort. But I wouldn’t like to stay in a relationship where this sacrifice of mine is abused, I would leave. It completely depends on the effort you put in and the mutual respect.
I: Is it love if you don’t fight for it?
Well, is acting a way of self-expression for you?
D: It’s a way to make a sound, a reflection. The part I value the most is inspiring people, opening a road for them, to make them feel something, to touch people who you are not acquainted with. While I’m portraying a character, the moment I distance from myself and empathize with the character, a brand-new person is born. But the most important part is touching people and sending a message once you created the character, to me this is the most magical side of it.
I: Acting is my profession and it brings about particular stuff in my life. That’s all.
Will you have new projects in near future that will surprise the audience and your fans?
D: We are not thinking about a long-term project actually… We always do what comes to our minds weekly or daily. But since the direction of the series will always surprise them, they should wait us on standby.
I: Why not?
What is your first expectation from 2021?
D: My urgent expectation for 2021 is health for everyone. I wish everyone a talent of empathy. I want love that can be felt by everyone for anyone. I wish 2021 to be a year which everyone to enter with love and respect by taking good lessons from this sickness, this virus and raising awareness.
I: First of all, I wish for health. The process we experience since the beginning of this year wore us all down. My biggest wish for it to be a year which we can pass with good health and hug our loved ones as tight as we want to.
Source: BeStyle Magazine December 17, 2020
The December issue of BeStyle magazine is available through the DERGILIK app
Note: This interview has been edited to clarify the Turkish to English translation.
All content information and photos are collected from BeStyle Magazine and the content belongs to them. No copyright infringement intended.
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