An oldie but a goodie! Check out Akin Akinozu’s interview in Be Style Magazine dated November 2016. Akin was filming the series Arkadaslar Iyidir during this interview.
By Mensure Ozbek
I collected such great memories and unforgettable moments in Ankara. This city means special things to me: friendship, memoirs, experiences… That’s why I love to look at the pictures of those good old times. In one of those pictures, where there’s Taner and Ozlem, there is also a little boy, looking at the camera with gleaming eyes who I had claimed to be a heartthrob in the future. Meanwhile realizing how fast the time goes by, I’m thinking that the beauty of our age lies in seeing that little boy seated before me as a handsome actor and making an interview for his new project. May your road be smooth, Akin Akinozu! The TV world gained a brilliant young man.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Let’s get to know you…
I was born in Ankara on the 22nd of September in 1990. I studied at TED Ankara High School. I decided to go to the US while studying for the university exam in my senior year. In my first year in the US, I took language courses at the University of Wisconsin. I was thinking about continuing my education there but then I decided to go to LA and went to Santa Monica College. It was allowed to transfer all the credits to a university for a 4-year-long-education after you receive 2 years of education there. After I finished my 2-year-process, with good grades, I transferred to UC Berkeley. I studied “Applied Mathematics” in Berkeley. I’d had a passion for math in high school so I wanted to pursue it. It’s not a common department in Turkey but I can briefly explain by saying that one takes the fundamental lessons and chooses a particular course to specialize in. At first, I was interested in economics but an interest in the arts grew in me while I was in Berkeley. I hadn’t thought about it before but it seems my mom’s side of the family are actually interested in the arts.
Was the reason you got interested in arts while you were academically successful because of your family’s artistic side?
Honestly, I didn’t realize it until my last year at the university but seemingly it was something deep within me. Math appears to also have been effective. Because I believe that Math is a type of thinking and I realized that Math can also be applied in the arts. When I come across this treasure, I wanted to discover it and my journey has begun.
in acting; I really enjoy discovering a lot of things about myself from the characters I portray.
So why didn’t you continue with this journey in the US as someone who knows the country well but continued in Turkey?
I decided on it in my last year. I had frozen my university registration and for reasons having to do with my visa, I had to leave the country in 15 days. I returned to Turkey but my plan was to go back to the US with that goal in mind. But when I came back, I took some steps which made me think there’s more time to spend here.
I know that you are the son of a very sociable, very successful, very lovable father and a very cultivated and very decent mother. As someone who is well acquainted with both Tamer and Ozlem, I know that the accomplishments of a boy who grew up in such a decent family are not coincidental. Your first TV experience was The Magnificient Century: Kosem, with the Ivan/Ali character. Could you tell us a little about it?
After returning to Turkey, I started studying at Craft Acting Atelier and thanks to that education, I began receiving meeting requests. After those meetings, I met Zeynep Gunay Tan in the audition for The Magnificient Century: Kosem and I was accepted for that project. So the first name who opened doors for me was Zeynep Gunay Tan. We couldn’t find the opportunity to work together later because she left after the first episode and I stayed in Kosem for 10 more episodes. I met the set atmosphere for the first time, namely, the acting I knew theoretically found itself an application area. After playing in 12 episodes, my story with the series ended too.
How did you come across “Arkadaslar Iyidir”? It’s the show that young people watch with admiration nowadays, and which I also watch with high interest. I have also recommend to others and think that it has a bright young cast and a special script.
After The Magnificent Century: Kosem, I started working with ID Communication (ID Iletisim) where my teacher Zeynep -who I mentioned before- is the creative director. She suggested this project to me. This has also been a great opportunity for me. Zeynep had been thinking about me from our former project even though we hadn’t worked together long because of her early departure. She had me in mind especially for this project because she saw me in one of the characters, and also she wanted to work with me. So she contacted me and our journey with this project has begun. When this project was offered to me, what attracted me the most in the first place -as in the emotional aspect, was that it narrated a friendship story. There even is a general question in the script. It goes something like this, “Will friendship be able to heal the wounded souls?”. That immediately made me form an attachment to the story. There had been various projects that were offered to me throughout that process but this one was different than the others with its friendship story. I already had faith in the team and Zeynep was someone who I aspired to work with.
What is your aim in acting and the place where you want to be? What exactly do you want to do?
In fact, in my point of view, acting is a little like workmanship. You know, a shoemaker becomes a master in shoe-making over time. I approach acting like that. I think this profession is a life-long journey. There are a lot of different things that come alongside acting, but I believe that seeing it as craftsmanship makes it take root. Thinking like that keeps you grounded. My first aim is to maintain that. I also highly enjoy discovering numerous things about myself while portraying characters.
It is so hard to ensure a place in this industry. How do you plan to maintain it?
Honestly, time will tell! I really believe that this is a difficult test. If you’re going somewhere, you will come across a lot of obstacles on the road. There was a time I stayed away from my parents, but after returning here I comprehended the value of the family better. There are things that remind you of your essence and create a defense zone for you. Your friends and the people you work with are also very important.
Where do you see yourself? Where do you want to see yourself?
Actually you asked me why I didn’t continue doing this abroad. I returned here because I believe this is where I should begin. However, I want to stretch this road to foreign countries in the future. Because I experienced overseas at a young age and thanks to that, I have the advantage of knowing the language, so I’d like to span the boundaries of Turkey.
The actors/ actresses of today are all well educated young people. They have brought a lot to their profession At this point, what do you think your difference should be?
The more you know about your own disposition and the more you can be yourself, the more you will be different than others. You do it via the characters while acting. You are the one who gives life to a character. The better you present it and the more you can enrich it, the more difference you will make.
I believe that you’ll be very successful and popular! Do you like being popular?
This is the first time I am popular! I can give the simplest example of social media, sometimes the reactions I get can be frightening.
I know that you are working with a very good company. Does ID Iletisim manage your career path alongside acting management?
This is what I mean when I say luck. Because there is a very thin line and the situation is sensitive. You can be swallowed up very easily if you don’t fill your social circle with trustworthy people. I was working with the company before this project. There have been times that we stumbled on each other in some meetings or projects. I’m such an apprentice in this business, I’m not yet well acquainted with people since I came from another country and there are more parameters than I thought in this system. This directed me to consult with them before accepting a project and at this point, I can the importance of the choices I have made up to now. I couldn’t have made them alone.
Your mother, who received decent theatrical education before, also must make great effort in this!
We are the creation of our mothers! I am the creation of my family, period. Honestly, I don’t usually get help from my mother in acting because I like to discover myself. It’s already great support for me that she has done her motherly duties.
What are you interested in other than acting?
Let’s begin with sports! I think sports are a must because I have to look after myself. We show ourselves on the screen and we always have to make it a high-quality display. When the filming is done, we find ourselves yearning for a little rest after a busy process. The times when you rest are very important because you have to recharge so you can be ready for the next marathon. Outside the set, I read in my spare time. Reading a book is not a free-time activity for me, I create time to do it.
I believe this matter is especially important for young people because there is a generation that doesn’t read!
That’s the reason I called social media “frightening” a while ago. Because there, the focus has shifted to elsewhere completely, that’s why it’s a little dangerous! I observed that the people around me don’t have a reading habit and in my opinion, this is a huge loss. The pleasure I get from reading a book when I’m alone, the taste of it is something else. I can’t find it in any thing else. It is absolutely not something that social media can give you! Apart from this, spending time with family makes me peaceful. And of course, my friends, meeting with them when I can find time is like an escape for me.
I believe that you are going to be very successful, you are a bright young man. How long this series will last?
Right now it’s unclear.
You know that this road you go on requires a lot of patience and you will have to wait a lot, right?
You have just stated the importance of patience. Recently, I have been coming to grips with the significance of it. We are way too impatient! Life speeds up, and because of the internet people live very fast, sometimes I find myself in a hurry. The only way to fight this is with patience!