High Tempo Duo

A tasteful thief, love, intrigue and action… Romantic Thief, starring Birkan Sokullu and Esra Bilgiç, invites the audience to a love story in an entertaining intrigue. We met with the leads, Birkan and Esra, to talk about this modern movie that you can watch on Netflix.

Birkan Sokullu

What kind of person is your character Güney in the movie? If only we could see it through your eyes…

Güney is a business person. He is a gentleman, educated and wealthy. We can say that he has everything, but he has a great passion for adrenaline, and this passion draws him to an unexpected place. Let’s say he has a past with Alin and actually finds a different way to get back together with her. His passion for adrenaline and his past with Alin lead him to art theft.

In what ways is your new movie, Romantic Thief, to be released on Netflix, different from your other projects?

It’s a scenario I’ve never seen before. It is a very action-packed, fast-paced, romantic and entertaining movie. I have mainly taken part in dramatic works before. I have never done a job where all these elements were together. It was a very enjoyable experience for me.

Can you tell us about your experiences on set? What was the atmosphere like?

We can say that we worked in a very professional yet friendly environment. I think all this sincerity is reflected in the film. Shooting part of the movie abroad allowed us to spend a lot of time with the team and explore a new city together. We had the opportunity to shoot in the environments and atmosphere where many Hollywood movies were shot. I also enjoyed being in a high standard set environment.

Esra Bilgiç: Jacket and Trousers: Jacquemus / Beymen Blouse: Zara Earrings: Gügü Design
High heels: Dolce Gabbana
Birkan Sokullu: Full look: Dior Sneaker: Camper

What challenges did you face while preparing for your role and how did you overcome these challenges?

I prepared myself physically because it is a fast-paced and action-packed character. I followed a strict diet and exercise program. I had to go on set about a week after my last TV series project, so it was a very busy period for me.

What reactions do you expect from Turkish and international audiences?

I think the movie will be liked by the audience, entertained and watched with excitement.

Why does Güney steal even though he is a very rich man?

Actually, I gave a little hint about this in the first question, I think anything more would be a spoiler. We can also say that the curiosity of adrenaline and the intersection of their lives with Alin again. Güney has everything financially, this is true, but he has a different motivation.

Do you like dangerous sports, adventure or risk taking?

I love doing sports such as skiing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding, but I prefer to do them at the safest possible level. For example, I would definitely not consider skydiving. I’m not someone who takes risks for the sake of adrenaline like Güney.

How did you feel when you read the script of the project for the first time? What made you accept the project?

It is a movie that is not made very often in our country, but that I love as an audience. The structure of the script and the character’s journey, the fact that it has an international leg and the fact that it will be broadcast on a worldwide platform such as Netflix attracted me a lot.

As Birkan Sokullu, how did you try to bring your character to life?

I tried to bring the character to life from a very self-confident, quick-witted and mischievous place. I think for Güney, life is a playground and he loves to play this game.

What do you think about being on a big platform like Netflix?

This is our second time working with Netflix. Our first work turned out very well and received very good reactions around the world. The fact that our work can meet the audience simultaneously on a global level is a separate source of motivation for an actor. I am very happy to be reunited after this beautiful experience. I hope Romantic Thief will be liked by the audience and our journey will continue.

Can you share any interesting or funny memories that happened behind the set?

Grandhotel Pupp, where we stayed in Karlovy Vary, was a hotel where Atatürk stayed to rest for a while. Esra shared with us the memories Atatürk wrote while he was here. Knowing this made the place we stayed more meaningful for all of us.

Do you have plans for new projects? What type of projects do you plan to take part in in the future?

I am in the process of reading and evaluating new scripts. We will meet the audience again soon with a project that I cannot give details about right now.

Do you have a message for the audience about the film?

They will go on a visually rich and very satisfying journey.

Brief Brief

Which period in art?Expressionism, Expressionism

Your favorite painter:Fikret Mualla

The museum that impressed you most:Hermitage Museum

Your favorite dance type:Tango

Love or ethical values?Love

Istanbul or Prague?Prague for holiday, Istanbul for living

Esra Bilgiç

How do you connect with your character in the film? What can you say about him?

Alin is a goal-oriented girl. He puts forth everything he has to get the result he desires. He has strong intuition, full self-confidence but cautious. Until she decides on something, she thinks about it in every detail and acts accordingly. As they say, doubt is the sharpest point of intelligence; when it comes to Güney, whatever he accepts as true, he puts everything he knows through the filter of doubt again. There is a bridge of doubt that I built to understand Alin’s behavior. We can think of this as a connecting bridge between us. When Alin becomes the subject of an event, Esra first walks over that bridge of doubt.

What were the factors that influenced your decision to get involved in the project after reading the script?

I’ve been dreaming of a project where women are right in the action for a very long time. Thanks to Pelin Karamehmetoğlu, she wrote exactly the project I dreamed of. When I talked to my teacher Recai Karagöz, I said that I should definitely play Alin.

Esra Bilgiç: Jacket: Magda Butrym Dress: Rhodochrosite Earrings: Mert Heels: Dior
Birkan Sokullu: Polo neck t-shirt: Dolce Gabbana Trousers: Academia Sneaker: Camper

Were there any particular characteristics or details you worked on while portraying your character?

When it comes to an action movie, I think the action scenes, gun use, chase scenes with a car or motorcycle must be very good. I also worked hard for them. We talked a lot with my director about determining Alin’s attitude. Our scriptwriter Pelin guided me in a positive way and changed my perspective a lot. Alin’s attitude during the plan she carried out, the Alin we saw while she was doing her job, and her attitude towards the man she fell in love with were very different from each other. It was necessary to draw their boundaries.

How does it make you feel to be on a platform like Netflix? How do you evaluate this experience?

Romantic Thief is my first project where I had the chance to work with Netflix. When I read the script, as a viewer who enjoys Netflix productions, I got very excited when I pictured the scenes in my mind. It was a very privileged experience for me.

What inspired or influenced you in this project?

When I first read it, I found the project very “attractive”. He is a very successful, wealthy and handsome businessman, but a very dark man. They have secrets. Chasing him on the other side is a young, idealistic Interpol agent. And they have a story that ended in disappointment in the past. Romantic Thief is actually a thief-police story. Being able to tell a complex story or a problem in a simple way is very impressive to me. Alin is devoted to her work and pursues whatever she believes in; A girl who can’t even see the man she loves while doing this. But let’s still hope that love will prevail, without giving any more details. 🙂

Do you often find yourself torn between your emotions and logic, like your character Alin in the movie? Which one usually wins in such situations?

In my personal life and choices, I act with both my emotions and logic. I think the healthiest thing is for the two to act together. I take care to make decisions in balance. But if I am torn between my logic and my emotions, I choose the logical one.

Is there such a thing as coincidence? Do you believe in coincidences? Which was the most valuable coincidence in your life?

There is no such thing as coincidence, but I guess we couldn’t find another word to describe some miraculous moments. I believe that everything happens as a result of our choices. Of course, I have many stories where, when I connect the dots backwards, I believe that the coincidence was actually a great coincidence. There are interesting events and situations that we encounter and cannot explain on the paths we choose to walk with our mind and will. I accept this. But I do not believe that we are blown away by the winds of chance.

Among the places in the film, which one impressed you the most and why?

Frankly, the movie was a visual feast. For me, Istanbul is the most beautiful city in the world. We worked in very special places in Istanbul. Prague and Karlovy Vary were magnificent. A theater scene we worked on in Prague impressed me greatly. We got ready and started shooting one evening. The wooden floor of the theater stage and the smell of the hall are still in my nose. It was very enjoyable.

What are your selection criteria when traveling?

There will definitely be an architecture that I admire very much in the city I will travel to. In other words, I create a travel plan after an architectural work or a painting that I am curious about. I like to research and travel. I try to choose cities where I can walk and visit.

What kind of projects do you plan to take part in in the future?

I want it to be a project that surprises me a lot when I read it. I definitely want to be the hero of stories that tell something and have a problem.

Brief Brief

Which period in art?Dutch golden age and baroque period

Your favorite painter:Rembrandt

Your favorite dance type:Flamenco

Love or ethical values?Ethical values

Istanbul or Prague?Istanbul

Report:Serli Gazer Painter
Photos:Erman İştahlı
Fashion Editor: Damla Hasanreisoğlu

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