The series Hercai, which started its adventure on the screen the previous winter season, is now highly anticipated for the new season. We met with Akin Akinozu- Miran in the series- before he went to Mardin for filming. We talked about Hercai, about Miran and about his aims regarding future.
Interview: Ozlem Ozdemir
Photos: Ozan Balta
Art Director: Cansu Ozcomert
Fashion Editor: Taylan Gul
Translation by Sena Ikizoglu
After a busy season, how did your summer vacation go?
After we finished the first season I went to military service to fulfill my duty as a citizen. When I returned, I restored my energy by spending time with my family and friends.
You are about to start filming the new season of Hercai which was one of the most viewed series of the last season. What does Hercai mean to you?
To me Hercai is a project which has allowed me with the most opportunity to express myself that I have ever had before. It has given me the first meaningful results of my effort and labor.
Miran was actually a man who grew up in a traditional city with a grandmother that supports patriarchy; he was tough, he was driven by revenge. But towards the end of the first season he got to know himself and made peace with his feelings. How would you describe Miran and how does this change of the character make you feel?
My acting coach and I re-imagined Miran as a man who was locked inside an icehouse when he was 6 years old. But meeting Reyyan in Mardin, where he returned to carry out his plan of vengeance, slowly melted the ice around his heart. As an actor, it has taken me through an incredible journey of discovery to experience the wealth of emotions, step by step, that appear from under the ice. A description of the character that summarizes all was made by one of our directors, Benal Tairi and I think it suits Miran- he is “An Emotional Terminator.”
Miran hurt the women who loved him and he built walls between people and himself, and despite all that he is a heartthrob- especially for teenagers and young adults. Why do you think is that?
Because we have been able to show his loving heart that was buried underneath the ice, to the audience.
What was the most interesting situation you experienced with your fans or a memory that includes your fans?
On one of the filming days in Urfa, while I was having a rest at the hotel we were staying, our director of photography called me and asked me to come downstairs. When I went downstairs without knowing what exactly was happening, I saw a group of 300-400 people welcoming me with shouting “Miran”. I thank once again all of my fans for the intense interest that they showed.
Generally young people want to study arts, their families want them to have another job as well. But for you, things developed in the opposite way, your mother wanted you to study acting but you chose to study maths. What was your goal at that time and how did you decide on becoming an actor afterward?
It's fairer to say that my mom told me that I had the option to study acting rather than to say she wanted me to study it. But in those days, my interest was in mathematics and science. In my last year of studying “Applied Mathematics” which I chose in accordance with my interest, my recognition of the unity of the arts with the sciences prodded me to learn more about this field to which I hadn't paid attention before, and so as a result, acting became the first step in this new journey of mine.
What are the first points you pay attention to when you first read a character from the script. What kind of methods do you use while you are working on that character?
The first point is to see if there is a precisely described conflict of a character or not. Then my purpose is to internalize this conflict by using different acting techniques I learned and to develop a unique way of portraying it.
Ebru Sahin in 3 words: Partner – Energetic – Curious
Cem Karci with 3 words : My Teacher – Creative- Neighbor
Cahit Gok with 3 words: Friend – Master – Clean
Tansu Tasanlar with 3 words: YIIB – Fenerbahce (soccer team) – Hyperactive
You are one of the most loved, followed, admired actors of this generation but you don’t really prefer to be so much visible/ to be always out in the public. You strive to limit visibility except for your job (even on social media). What are your reasons for trying not to be seen in an era where being seen a lot makes you more popular and richer?
I believe that an actor has responsibilities for the project both inside and outside, and I observed that, in this social media age we are living in, these responsibilities are more critical and cause more difficulty. I’m doing my best to own my character and the story we're telling in my personal life and on my social media accounts. Obviously that takes being less visible except for my job.
You studied math in one of the best universities. Most good mathematicians are also interested in literature. Do you have an interest in literature? What are your favorite genres/ authors?
As a mathematician who later chooses acting-- this relationship sounds familiar to me. (laughs) . But I’m interested in philosophy rather than literature, I am actually studying philosophy right now in the open university. Especially, the philosophy of Stoa influences me deeply with the practices it offers that improve today’s quality of life. The philosopher I’m following closely is Epiktetos.
The person of whose advice I keep in my mind is my father.
If I had to listen to just one song for the rest of my life I would choose Bryan Adams- Heaven.
What do you do to motivate yourself when you are desperate, tired or sick of stuff? What's your motto, if you have one? I play a song and dance in the shower. My motto is: AKIN DO IT!
What do you like to start your day? tea or coffee? Coffee.
Your favorite foods in Mardin? Well, I’m a pescatarian :-)
Do you support a sports team ? Beşiktaş.
Your favorite neighborhood/ place/ district in Ankara? Tunalı Hilmi
Your favorite neighborhood/ place/ district in İstanbul? My home.
Your favorite neighborhood/ place/ district abroad? Los Angeles.
Let’s imagine without a boundary to the period, genre or budget, that you are one of the names that will be in a project, a series or a movie adapted from a novel (Turkish or foreign). Of which novel’s adaptation you would like to be a part of?
The novel of Professor Dr. Cengiz Yalçın – who I had the chance to meet in person- called “2018: A Novel of Global Rebellion” excited me when I first read it. I hope I can feel the excitement of being a part of this book’s adaptation.
Are there any historical people you would like to portray?
I would like to portray Fatih Sultan Mehmet because of the emotional and mental depth the character has.
Do you have any future theater or movie projects ?
As an actor who is at the beginning of the road, I made myself some promises, I am waiting for the right time.
You lived in USA for many years, a lot of the actors desire to also play in a US movie or series. Do you aim that too and do you think having lived there would help you in your profession?
You just answered perfectly about my aim and the reason why I could be a strong candidate to reach that aim, with your question. (laughs)
Are there any foreign series you passionately keep watching? Who are the actors you absolutely watch every project they are in?
I watched all the seasons of Game of Thrones. Lately I’ve been watching Dark.
Daniel Day Lewis but he said he quit being an actor...
Do you also have dreams about working behind the scenes? Such as script-writing, maybe writing and directing your own movie...
And producing it. (laughs)
What are your before-sleep books?
Ömer Khayyam- Rubaiyat.
My suggestion is George Orwell – 1984.
The movie you lastly watched?
What kind of dilemmas, anxiety and situations are awaiting Miran in the new season?
I’m impatiently waiting along with you...
The audience loved the chemistry between you and Ebru Sahin. At the sets which are located outside İstanbul, actors spend more time together. What can you say about the process of working together with your partner since the first episode?
The sets located outside İstanbul don’t only require us to work together but also to live harmoniously with the whole team. And I’m grateful that Ebru and I could spark this chemistry since the first day.
Do you spend your off days in Mardin? What do you do there?
I generally spend them in Mardin. To be able to rest, I try to spare time for the activities which make me feel good. It’s sometimes sports and sometimes reading a book.
Which scenes were the most influential ones for you while you were playing in or watching Hercai?
Both because of the emotional intensity of the scene, and sharing it with an experienced actress like Ayda Aksel, the scene with Miran and Azize in the season finale influenced me deeply. On the other hand, thanks to edits made at the rehearsing table, some scenes gain a new flavor. I believe that the background music has an important role here too. In last season, one of the most influential scenes for me was the flashback scene where Miran saw Reyyan for the first time. Thanks to whole team once again for their work and labor.
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