Sometimes you shut down. You want to hide your soul and avoid it. To protect. To avoid getting another wound. Sometimes you leave the most secret treasures of your existence completely free. You reflect your light from the brightest, the most unique. You hold your life, which you see as a miracle, in the palm of your hand and open all the doors that open for you towards a new year with excitement. We thank you, Serenay, for giving wings to your heart every time and showing us your most precious miracle, that is, you… We hope that happiness is at the end of every path you choose.
In previous interviews with you, you mentioned how working is good for your soul. You are currently in a pace where even repo days are full. How do you feel, how do you manage? Do you ever complain/rebel?
Yes, I wanted this tempo. Frankly, I predicted that it would be this intense and tiring. But of course, the body and mind need a little closure, rest, and inactivity, even once a week. Sometimes I lose my tolerance when I fail or feel very tired. At those times, I can’t find the strength to continue no matter what I do… Then I remind myself how much I love this job… Sometimes, thinking that I go to beautiful places and do nice things, I tell myself to hold on, it’s almost time, grit your teeth… Of course, I have many other methods of my own, but I have a good one. I think being able to sleep is the most essential need. It doesn’t happen without him. I can never compromise on my sleep time.
After a very long break, you returned to television with the TV series Aile. What were the most important reasons why this project affected you and touched your heart?
Family taught me a lot. I had lost my stamina and fitness for television. Getting into this tempo again and doing your job properly in this hustle and bustle is a really big challenge. After a while, one inevitably feels like a machine. It was an undeniable opportunity for me to return to the screen with such a magnificent cast, especially with such a torn, crazy female character.
I know you are interested in human psychology. Did the fact that your character Devin Akın in the series is a psychologist have an impact on your acceptance of the role?
Very accurate detection, it definitely had an impact. After my parents divorced, my aunt, I and my mother lived together for many years. Books in this style were constantly read at home, and all kinds of daily or extraordinary events were evaluated in their psychological framework at the house council. Even at that age, I had gained the skills to empathize, understand, express myself correctly, and justify my behavior and feelings deeply and sincerely. This has helped me a lot throughout my life. Both in my business life and my private life… The fact that I have a predisposition and it feels like a place I know is one of the reasons why I chose this job…
What would you say if you, as Serenay, analyzed psychologist Devin, what are the weaknesses, strengths and weaknesses of this young woman?
Devin grew up experiencing the absence of a mother and father together. The father perhaps never loved the mother, and reflected his anger and lack of love towards her on his daughters. The mother got stuck in this lack of love and worthlessness, had severe mental health problems, and could not be a mother to her daughters at all. In this atmosphere, Devin tried to be both the father and husband of his sister and mother at a very early age, and had to take on more responsibilities than he should have. He considered healing himself, his family and his loved ones as a duty, a life motivation, and in this way he was able to maintain his mental health. That’s why he chose this profession. All these events made Devin tougher and more masculine, and he always managed to survive by fighting very close. A true warrior. This durability, this hardness made it lose its flexibility. It breaks very easily. For this reason, he always has a dark side that is strict and even cruel towards anyone and anything that might offend him.
I feel like you play Devin with passion, just like every role you play. It seems like you love his impulsive, independent, sometimes even crazy reactions, his head-butts… what do you think?
I love. I have never been a person who reveals his emotions very much. I want to put everything inside me and weigh, understand and solve it within myself first. I try to manage up to my last limits. I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone without being sure… What I love about Devin is that he is such an extrovert and that he solves his problems directly, without accumulating or suppressing them, even if it is in his own way at the moment. Even though it can sometimes cause headaches, I think it is a great habit for someone who already carries a lot of weight in their bags.
In our last interview, you said, “Each character enters my life at the right time and helps me understand and heal something about an issue I’m trying to solve at that time.” Was this the same for Devin?
Devin came into my life at a time when I wanted to be more vocal towards myself and the outside world. It definitely opened another window for me. The timing is perfect again.
How do you interpret Devin and Aslan’s relationship? Where does their love get its strength? Why did we believe them so much? What is their dilemma? Were there any lessons you learned from yourself?
I think the relationship between Devin and Aslan is a bit sick. These are not normal people. They are both really strong, very lonely, two crazy people who have no mercy on anyone. What keeps them in balance is something that can only work in this formula, that is, something unique to them. They have flaws and wounds, and therefore an understanding of each other that can ensure equality when put on the scales. And of course a great love! Love of giant. I guess love itself is a sick thing. One feels fearless enough to challenge the whole world. This power can cause darkness, but it can also bring good things. No matter what Devin and Aslan do, there is something and someone that pulls them into darkness. They can’t get out of this vortex anymore. Let’s see how their story will end. I’m very curious, too.
What are your thoughts about the mother model who tries to control everything that the concept of family entails, and especially the lives of her sons? Why do we have such a pattern in Turkey?
Giving birth to a son and giving birth to someone who will continue the lineage has always been considered very sacred in these lands. This seems like an extension of patriarchy to me. Even though it has no place in today’s realities, unfortunately, there are still family structures that try to maintain this… But there is an issue that is overlooked, even though this is actually done as a favor when children are children, it turns out that when those children become adults, their social skills are weak, powerless, They become insecure, problematic, inconsistent, dissatisfied and insatiable young people. I think being overly protective and possessive of a parent is not a good thing for either a girl or a boy. Later it starts to become a disadvantage. The calculation at home never matches the market.
We think that you have a ‘dream partnership’ with Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ in the fictional world. You both have a common brand collaboration and have achieved great harmony in the series. What kind of synergy do you have in terms of acting?
Yes, I always wanted to work with Kıvanç. He was an actor friend of mine that I admired from afar with his stance, the way he embraced his work, his choices, and his success. We came across this project. It was an undeniable comfort for me to return to television with him after many years, no lie.
You shot the second season of Netflix Turkey’s original series Şahmaran last year. Is it clear when it will be released? How is Şahsu’s journey developing? What kind of a journey did the events in the second season of this iconic story take you on and how did it affect you? Can you tell us a little about it?
I don’t know when it will be released, so I don’t want to give false information. The second season is now a season where all the cards are opened and the war begins for everyone inside and outside. Şahsu is at a decision stage with the heavy responsibility placed on him. That’s how I handle it, of course. These are symbolic metaphors used to strengthen the narrative. How do we react to formations and transformations that are bigger than us and that we cannot prevent or influence? Do we fight on our own front to become stronger, or do we just watch it pass us by, no matter what? I guess I choose to be an actor again, not to be a spectator…
Very coincidentally, simultaneously with the Şahmaran project, you started to act as the Bulgari Turkey brand ambassador and came across the Serpenti collection. What does it mean to you? What kind of feelings does carrying the snake symbol bring to your soul?
Snake is a scary, dangerous and spooky animal for most people. For example, my mother is also very afraid. He can’t even bear the thought of it. However, like the evil eye bead and other superstitions and symbols, the Shahmaran is perhaps one of the most important symbols of women and femininity, whose existence and power dates back to ancient times and is thought to protect and increase the fertility of the house. I think it has survived to this day with the same strength because it also has a great love story in it. Bulgari is a brand with very old roots. Of course, its existence with the Serpenti collection from the first day until today may be to crown the power and existence of women from past to present… It gives me a great feeling of self-confidence and comfort every time I wear it. But if you ask me, all this was no coincidence. Shahmaran came into my life screaming in every sense and said to me, “change is starting, be ready.”
You recently attended the opening of the “Serpenti 75: 75 Years of Endless Stories” exhibition with Bulgari in Milan. The exhibition included six artists’ interpretations of the Serpenti, which one did you like the most?
There was a snakeskin wall art that interacted with sound and movement. I loved him the most. I stood in front of him and danced and sang.
In this year’s New Year’s campaign, Bulgari celebrates the wonders of its collection and the miracles of life. What do you think is the most valuable miracle of life?
I think the most precious miracle of life is you, me, us. I don’t look far away because you are inside me! Each of us is unique and the important thing is to realize this and invest in our own spiritual, mental and physical health. To nourish and satisfy your soul and mind…
Have there been miraculous decisions or turning points in your life?
I believe in miracles, I wait for them, and when they happen, I express my gratitude to life. If you ask me, my life is full of miracles from top to bottom. I think everything that has happened to me, the people I have encountered and my reactions to all of this are what create my miracles… Partly, believing in what life has prepared for you and patiently moving forward on that path, sometimes without doing a lot, sometimes without doing anything at all. What I mean is that everyone creates their own miracle. Just listen to your inner voice.
On the one hand, new lifestyles, avatars, omnistars brought about by technological developments and digitalization, and on the other hand, dreams, fairy tales, myths, wonders… Which one interests you more?
I am an antique dealer, a soil collector, a worldly person… I love things with roots, where humans and nature play the leading role. Technology is not something I am against, but knowing everything and thinking that you know everything does not feel good to me. On the contrary, I think this brings with it a lot of dirty information and minds. I still need to explore, to touch in a concrete way, to feel, to understand, to make mistakes, to learn.
You shot a new Netflix series by Ece Yörenç: Who Came and Who Passed. It has been described as a very exciting ‘extravagant love’ story. What attracted you to the character of lawyer Leyla?
KGKG is not just a love story. It contains a lot of things. It’s like real life… This is what attracted me even before Leyla. I miss Ece’s pen and the real worlds she created. Leyla, like all of us, is someone who learns by experience and clarifies what she wants from life through her experiences. Love, betrayal, friendship all together…
It is impossible not to think of Ajda’s song when we hear the name of the series. Do you like singing Ajda songs? Your favorite?
I love Ajda and Ajda songs. My favorite album is also the first record I bought, 1986 Sen Mutlu Ol. My favorite song in it is Dream and Reality!
Actors’ love lives are scrutinized all over the world, and you are no exception. Do you get upset and obsessed when things are written that are impossible, or do you just not care anymore?
I think I’ve slowly reached the point where I don’t care anymore. I realized that these things did nothing but make me sad. I prefer to be mentioned by name and talked about by the things I do. The rest of the world belongs to me. They can understand as much as I want to share.
Is flirting and falling in love an emotion that you love and that makes you feel good, or is it more shocking, tiring and painful for you?
Sometimes the other person can shine their good aspects, and sometimes they can feed the darkness inside them. I guess it depends a bit on the person in front of you… Of course, it would be nice if there was someone who doesn’t do weights…
You know that you have a wonderful aura, right? Do you think this is a natural feature or can it be created by working on it?
Thank you dude. I don’t know… I love and accept myself in every situation, that’s all.
Considering that you feed this aura with energy coming from within, what do you do to keep yourself and your life motivation high?
I do things that are good for me. Like traveling, meeting new people… I get to be with people who are good for me, inspire me, and whom I love…
When you listen to yourself, can you accurately define what you need to increase your happiness or moments of happiness?
Yes, I can detect in advance the moments when I need to stop, when my flow is disrupted, when I need to move away for a while. Then I immediately go somewhere on my own, away from everything. I make my settings and go back.
It is said that Cancer sometimes feels the need to retreat into its shell and hide. Are there days when you don’t want to get out of bed? How do you recover and find your balance when you fall or wake up to a day when you don’t feel well?
Being in my shell definitely makes me feel safe. I always retreat there when I need it. When I’m too tired or exposed to too much outside noise… My home is also very important to me. It’s like a temple… Being able to be happy and peaceful in my home. It feels good to know that all the sounds are left outside when I enter the house.
Are you someone who scrutinizes himself a lot, criticizes himself, and questions why-why-oh, if only?
I am someone who asks myself a lot of questions. This heals me. It helps me soften the parts and hardness that I want to smooth down…
What if the subject is the other person? Can you listen without judging? And do you express your thoughts clearly to the other person, or do you have a filter? Will you keep quiet so as not to offend, upset or spill?
If the other person is curious about my thoughts and shares them with me to get support from me, I will tell them their thoughts, what I believe in, and my own experiences. But I don’t want to be the one influencing anyone’s choices and fate. Sometimes we do this unintentionally, but if there is something I sincerely see and need to say, I will say it. If he needs to hear it. Sometimes this could be a criticism, sometimes a suggestion, sometimes a few words of encouragement, I don’t know…
You have an extraordinary beauty and it seems like you are even more beautiful than when you were 20 years old. How do you protect it? Can we say that the more a woman stands on her own feet and her self-confidence increases, the more beautiful she becomes?
I don’t do anything to maintain my beauty. Of course I take good care of myself. I do the things I need externally and internally for myself, such as nutrition, care and exercise. But I think the most important thing is to live this life well. To the fullest, joyful, happy…
You were doing a lot of gymnastics and dance training during Alice’s time. Did you like it, did you find it difficult, do you still continue dancing?
I love being as active and active as I am during Alice time. I can’t keep doing this at my current pace, but I miss it. It’s a completely different life discipline. I can’t continue dancing in that sense, but I always dance by myself at home…
You always seem to be good with fashion. How do you manage to be stylish even by wearing tracksuits? What trends are on your radar this season?
My relationship with fashion, what creates my style, is partly related to my mood at that time, how I want to look, what kind of woman I want to be. I think when I find exactly what represents my mood, I take a strong and confident stance about myself. I guess this is what reflects on the outside…
You have now proven your acting and yourself in Turkey. How do you plan for the future?
After completing my current work, I want to lie fallow for a while and stop for a while to get rich again. I haven’t made any plans yet…
Do you believe in karma?
There is no need to leave channels open that will feed bad energies in anyone. So I wouldn’t do it!
If you could write 2023 in one sentence, what would it be?
The gray just before the rainbow blooms…
Interview: Melda Narmanlı Çimen
Photos: Emre Güven Fashion Director: Aslı Asil