Tulin Ozen Interview of Kubra Par from Haberturk

We met Tulin Ozen in Zizek Conference of Bogazici University in 2009 for the first time. Then, in some cinema environment we had chatted on the run. I always remember her as a good actress. I still remember the last scene of her taking off clothes and leaving herself free in the film of Semih Kaplanoglu, Melegin Dususu. In fine, I used to know her as a dainty actress rushing in the film festivals, curious about art and literature, soberminded in magazines – which you cannot see easily. In fact, she is a bolt! Hitchhiking, not having look at his phone, joining in protests, vegetarian but fond of grilled chopped meat, Tulin is really a good girl even she doesn’t look like so. Here is her portrait as a street girl!

- How did you have the offer for the film?
Erdal working with Cem Yilmaz texted me message : “They’ll call you, this time answer it on no account.”

- Why? Normally, do you always decline the calls?
- You may make my mum cry with this question! I have really bad relation with my phone. It is off or in silent mode all the time. When I answer, there are some saying “Wow, she answered! I forgot what to say, I’ll call you later!”

- and you didn’t answer Cem Yilmaz’s?
- No, I did! It was Oner Isik, assistant operator of the film, and said “Cem is filming something new and wants to have a talk with you.” I went there and had a talk. I saw how touchy and respectful the story of it is. I wouldn’t accept if it were a brute one.

- Did you change your mind when you act in Cem’s film?
- Everybody has big opinions about Cem, but you understand that it isn’t so when you met and chat with him. He is very respectful and humble. There are some directors that are deaf to his actors. Cem is not one of them, he is a good listener.

- We always remember him with his jokes. Is there any moment he is angry at the film set?
- He doesn’t have something we called “director anger”, but there were sometimes he felt anxious because of the responsibility he took on. The film set wasn’t all beer and skittles.

- We imagined the opposite of this, though.
- There are some jokes, of course. They say “We will choose the funniest of the week, be prepared for your joke.” One time I said “I’ll be the funniest this week.” All the people at the film set laughed a lot. I didn’t understand why they laughed. (laughing)

- How was Cem Yilmaz comparison to the others?
- I started with Semih Kaplanoglu. He is really one of the most compelling directors! He may say “Why are you raising your eyebrow very little?” while you know almost nothing in front of the camera. “I do not know, did I?” (laughing). The film set including full of young actors was Erdal Kiral’s. As he is old stager, it may be surprising that he is very energetic. He is very respectful and the lets the actor free in the film. The director of Karnaval, Can Kilcioglu is kind of love hug. Amongst all of them, Cem’s film set was one of the most balanced one.


- Refraining from being mediatic, you are living in your own world. Won’t it becloud your life?
- No. I am known from the films that I took role before. Now, my name is bigger because of Cem Yilmaz brand.

- What did you think when you watched the film? Was it satisfying for you?
- We were watching the recordings, but it is different to watch it from the screen. There are a lot of details there where the background actors are affecting your performance, too.

- How did you like you when you watched yourself?
- I think the first a few scenes were uneasy, then it gets better. It was difficult to perform fully my character: The woman divorces his beloved husband, not the one she gives up loving.

- There are some ridiculed scenes of art films. Did you take it on as a that kind of actress?
- No, it didn’t disturb. Cem had already said respectfully the things he found important in this sector, all the things should be said. Attention: Tansu Bicer is on the stage! (laughing)

- Are the directors intending to blockbuster angry with the independent directors because people in the festivals turn blind eye on these directors?
- I cannot say the same for the film I am in because Cem is open to talk everything. When we make an art film, we are well aware of the fact that less people will come to watch it, which is a problem in fact. On one hand there are art films and on the other hand we have comedy films. The middle part of this balance is absent. Instead of going back and forth between “We are the funniest.” and “We are the most intellectual.”, the middle part should be completed by the directors.


- You took part in a lot of series. Do the series dampen your acting?
- You should be very careful. You know what is expected in the series, for example in the film your well known glance will be cut and used in the mounting, then all the people will say ‘Oh pity…’’ It is misleading that you think your acting is real. You are to slap in your face, shake a leg and say ‘No, do not do this, do not do that glance!”. I mean, it is very difficult not to forget that you are an actress while acting in the series.

- Is it satisfactory acting in this period?
- Very difficult and heartbreaking. There are lots of social conditions. It is necessary to join in the parties with a lot of film-maker, but not to criticize much on a film. Or if you are in a group that didn’t like the film, you shouldn’t criticize sharply between “Good job!” and “Why did he take the trouble to make this film?” lines. I do not like this sharp distinction. It is very rude to blot out a film with two words.

- Is acting really a colorful world?
- No. There may not be an offer for a long time if you’re not selective. Where you are at is very important and determinant. If you’re popular, film makers think as “Can we earn money if we film this woman?”. Independent film makers are worried about whether you’re popular or not.


- Was it very luxurious set? I think you didn’t constantly eat pasta, did you?
- It was the richest set I’ve ever seen. There were something I’ve seen for the first time. We filmed in Beykoz Shoe Plant. It was a very professional crew and the set was free from ego and caprice, it was really in minimum level. It may be thought that it is kind of swagger atmosphere out of the set, but I do not think so.


- Are you an introvert type?
- No, I am not introvert, but not a type obeying social codes. I cannot welcome it, but it needs time.

- You look like very niminy piminy, aren’t you rascal?
- I think I am totally pleb and rascal. We are a very crowded family and I am the most mischievous one. Earning money from private lessons, hitchhiking and wandering around the streets, I was penniless when I was young. I am still open to these. I like protesting and shouting. I love streets. I sit with the artisans that I know. I like walking or running constantly. One day, I jumped into the sea near in Hisar while walking and two men took me out of the coast near Bebek. To my surprise, there was a lot of flow and I should have thought of the place where I could get out. (laughing) I still hitchhike some time. The very last, I hitchhiked to Trabzon while filming Bal.

- Isn’t it dangerous because you’re famous?
- Two days before the release of White Veasel, Erol Avci conducted a meeting. He said “There are some of you will be the first time on TV, everybody will know you.” I said “Oh no! I will not be able to hitchhike again.” The day after, I hitchhiked to Adana just in case. (laughing)

- You were born in Iskenderun. How do you like Hatay cuisine?
- I like a lot. I am cooking at home, too, but I haven’t been eating meat for 14 years. I watched a documentary on chicken farms and from that day on, I am vegetarian.

- You never eat?
- If I am somewhere very special, I taste a little bit. But sometimes I go on a binge for kokorec. (charcoal grilled seasoned mutton intestines)

- How come? You’re a vegetarian not eating meat, but kokorec?
- Yes, I am. It is nonsense, but it is… (laughing)

Three Things You Do Not Know About Tulin Ozen

- She is playing transverse flute and percussion. She listens to all genre. Nowadays she likes listening to Gaye Su Akyol.
- Vocalizing in a music band once upon a time, her voice is good.
- She is a total book worm, fond of both stories and novels and research books. She recommends Seray Sahiner, Aylin Balboa, Melisa Kesmez as young writers.