Kerem Bürsin: “Love has no linguistic or cultural barriers”

Thank to one of the most expressive forms of art like cinema we reach to know not only the world that surrounds it, but also other forms of culture. Contemporary Turkish cinema is of particular interest to viewers and critics from around the world. The professionally written scripts and the talented and engaging acting by the actors who realistically play many roles,

conquer the hearts of the spectators who follow the cinematic news of this truly fascinating country. The dominant culture of television series is somehow helping to increase Turkey’s popularity. Today the Turkish film industry offers a wide selection of dramas, romantic and historical television series, comedies and films where the intertwining of oriental traditions with modern ones create a special interest for the viewers. Kerem Bürsin is considered the most popular Turkish actor in his country and in the world, thanks to his talent, charisma and ability to reveal his creative potential in brilliantly copying with the most sundry roles. Right now you are engaged in a leading role in the TV series “Sen Çal Kapımı” (Knock on my door) which has become popular in many countries of the world.

How difficult is it to win the viewer’s heart and what’s the secret of its success? How challenging was it for you to prepare for this role?

First of all I’d like to say that knowing that our television series has become very popular in other countries of the world is absolutely amazing and makes all of us in the cast and crew very happy. I believe that what breaks the barriers of spoken language is the universal language we all have in common, even in our TV series: Love.
Love has no linguistic or cultural barriers. When I firstly read the script, what attracted me immediately was the possibility of playing a character like Serkan Bolat.I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. It’s so different from who I am as Kerem Bürsin, I think it’s great for an actor! It has been a very fun process to prepare and shape the character I play.

In addition to professional knowledge, each actor must have a special energy that allows him to convey his deepest feelings to the viewer. How has your acting career started?

I started theater in Sugar Land, Texas when I was 13. When I got on stage I realized this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then I wen to Emerson College in Boston to continue my acting school and that’s when I approached film. At the end of my university career I realized how much I love acting in front of the camera and so I decided to continue acting. I moved to Los Angeles, it definitely wasn’t easy, but I think it’s great to build a career, the journey you take, there would be no fun or history in something that happens that easily.In Los Angeles I had the chance to work with the famous Roger Corman. After a few years, I returned to Turkey for six months. Two weeks before returning back to Los Angeles, I was offered the starring role in a new TV show “Gunesi Beklerken” (“Waiting for the Sun”).We’ll see what the future will bring us.

Contemporary directors have taken Turkish cinema to a very interesting level. Many movies and television series emphasize the importance of true human feelings, be they love or hate, in historical context or in social drama. What roles do you usually like to play?

I prefer roles that are far from who they really are as a person, whether it’s historical or if the characters’ motivation is love, hatred or revenge, all of which come after shaping the psychology of the characters.

I’m more interested in why the character is this way, what’s going on in his mind.

Obviously I love jumping out of cars and doing some great fight scenes, but I’m more interested in why a character is like this and what made this character the way he is.

Being an actor isn’t easy at all: you’re popular when the role you played in the last film appeals to the public. What helps you to be in demand in acting profession besides a well-played role?


Honestly, I don’t know. I think that you have to be faithful to your work and I believe that giving 100% is the most important thing. Actors don’t have any kind of room to lie when playing a role, the camera captures everything, so you just have to be as sincere and as faithful as possible when playing a part. I believe that this happens in all professions: if you do the right job in the right way, then you’ll be in demand

Can you name a director you’d like to work with in the near future?

There are so many… I’d love to work with Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Andrew Dominik and Ferzan Ozpetek, since they’re so capable of reaching the depths of the human souls. Honestly the list is too long.

Do you like singing? What’s your favourite type of music to sing?

I really love singing, but I don’t know even if I’m good. I always sing and above all on the set or alone at home. My favourite music depends a lot on the mood I’m currently on. Recently I’m listening to country music, but a year ago I was listening to RAP music. Maybe next year I’ll listen to classical music. The genre of music changes with the spirit.Being curious not only helps to explore the world, but also helps to discover new possibilities.

Would you like to become a director?

Definitely! It’s something It’s something for what I’m growing up. It’s may biggest passion, while I’m moving on with my career as actor.Since childhood you’ve lived in different countries in the world.

Do you think that this has somehow helped to have a positive thinking about the world in general? Have you ever been in Russia or in Italy? What are your impressions about these trips?

Growing up in many countries around the world has helped me to understand people and to be open to differences. Most of the time we consider something different or negative that we aren’t used to, but it’s absolutely not so: the other is beautiful, the other is what teaches you something of new in yourself. I’ve been in Russia, in Moscow, for several days. I was really surprised: the sculptures scattered around the city, the Kremlin, the people… In short words, I had a lot of fun. Moscow definitely surprised me and I want to go back and travel in other cities in Russia. I’ve also been in many cities in Italy: I mean that Italy is a country that everyone should “experience”. From art to food, to culture. It’s wonderful, it’s an inspiration for the soul.

I think many people in Europe are interested in Turkey, its history, oriental wisdom and culture.

Do you think that contemporary Turkish cinema also contributes to the convergence of expressions of interest for your country and for culture as a whole, which certainly deserve to be admired?

I think that it all depends on the context of the show or movie, but essentially I think that the direction the Turkish content industry has taken, and the fact that it has sold around the world, has created a sincere empathy for the culture and the Turkish people.

You’ve played many characters. Can it happen that that will change positively the sensitivity of those follow you at the cinema? How is it important for you to feel the synergy with the audience that follows you?

I don’t think I have the right answer for the first part of the question: I mean, my job is oto act to get in and out of different stories and characters. I don’t think I could necessarily do that if I always think that this will bring me a lerger audience or that people appreciate me more if I do this. Making people appreciate the work we do is a great reason why we actors do this job, to please and influence people and touch people’s souls. The synergy of the audience is very important but essentially as an actor I am part of a large orchestra, so not only me but everyone must be on the right note for there to be good music.

Best wishes to the readers.

First of all I wish everyone health, secondly I wish to focus on the moment and make it positive.

The third wish is to approach everything with love and joy.

Interview: Irina Cafiero

Τranslation into English: Ivan Cafiero

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