While the changing psyche of acting can have depressive effects on many, Ahsen is ready to embrace all these new women who enter her life, change her and, above all else, make her think. Maybe this is why she tries to prolong the delights of a moment rather than staying in it and to turn every small detail into an advantage. She walks on her own path with no questions left behind.
What was the motivation for you to start acting?
Acting is a state of motivation. It’s a space open for change. You need to know and change yourself, explore other things about being human. My greatest motivation is the obligation to renew myself. It’s not just a physical thing. It’s discovering new things and renewing yourself spiritually, intellectually, mentally and psychologically.
Is there a role you wish to have played?
It could be Virginia Woolf in The Hours by Stephen Daldry. Nicole Kidman played her. This adaptation is one of the milestones in literature about the equality of men and women. It’s a whole other experience to play Virginia Woolf. It’s one of those rare works where you see a beautiful actress is popular for her performance. A beautiful woman is always a beautiful woman in Hollywood when you look at it from a superficial and physical perspective. But Nicole Kidman managed to break that stereotype.
“I’m interested not in who does what but in what they bring in for each other.”
In the movie, Nicole Kidman has that letter that goes: “Dear Leonard, always the years between us, always the years… Always the love, always… The hours.” Although it may look like the end of the letter, it’s actually the beginning. They’re such passionate sentences from a woman. Both distant from the man she loves and very close to him.
How would you define being in the moment?
Due to our existence, everything is very fast. Our birth and death – it’s all about moments.That’s why we instinctively want to be in the moment but what matters is the process. Moments are fleeting. This rush and effort to stay in the moment; it’s actually about certain delights that vanish along with the passing of those moments. Actually, staying in the moment is not an achievement. What makes it so is to think about how you can prolong that moment, to beat your brains over it, and to realize some delights or non-delightful things that are prolonged along with the moments.
A professional deformation brought along by acting?
While watching a movie, TV series or a play that some people consume for enjoyment, we may have to make some observations. And this turns what would otherwise be relaxing in our leisure time into a professional deformation.
What would you like to say about the actor’s role in society?
You’re followed by a group of people with whom you’re interacting. They can completely accept your lifestyle or can misunderstand it. In this manner, we can define actor as an interactor. That’s why you need to take very careful and confident steps. You need to be equipped in every sense of the word. Society sees you as something you’re not and sets you apart. When you say you’re acting, you can see something light up in that person’s face. S/he wants to go deeper into your thoughts and feelings with an omnipresent point of view. But everyone has certain responsibilities in society. Doing the right thing is the goal even when no one is looking and seeing or there’s no society. I’m trying to do that. It’s not about acting, it’s about being human.
“Give birth to another woman and become her.”
After choosing this profession, have you had some limitations to your individual preferences?
With acting, I changed cities and moved to Istanbul. I had to postpone my plans to go to London to improve myself and to continue my training. Instead, I’m doing that here. The books I’m reading, films I’m watching and TV series I’m following for the fun of it are all stuck on repo days. The most important thing is that I’m not searching for the same thing anymore.
Is there a festival you closely follow?
I’m not really a festival person but I try to follow current concerts and exhibitions. I recently watched a performance by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and it was amazing. There’s also a photography exhibition I really want to visit by August Sander which is in its last days. It comprises human portraits and I use those to my benefit. I also follow international festivals and try to attend them as much as I can. Last year, I went to London African Centre Summer Festival and it was unforgettable. I don’t want to miss it this year.
Which branches of art feed your acting?
Though acting may look like a profession based on seeing and showing, what really feeds me the most is the art of listening. It’s not just about listening to the person in front of you but also about listening to all parts of your body. What are they saying?
A few hints about your next role?
A brave country girl who’s not afraid to go to the extremes.
Your latest discovery?
I’ve always been interested in biographies. It enables me to do research and to see the cinematographic approach. I find myself criticizing them sometimes. My latest discovery is American Crime Story.
How would you define your perspective of life?
Accepting people as they are. People communicate through gossip. But I’m not that interested in what’s going on. I’m focusing on accepting people as they are and am trying to love everyone. I’m interested not in who does what but in what they bring in for each other. I try to see positivity in everything. That’s the only way you can be happy without getting hung up on trivial talk.
What’s the most exciting and inspiring thing for you recently?
We had interviews for a few plays. One of the characters really excited me. The idea of being a completely different woman… To play that woman, I need to become her. I need to walk with her steps out of the house, to dress like her and to get together with my friends with her thoughts in my mind for a long time. What kind of joke would she make? How does she laugh? What makes her cry? Give birth to another woman and become her. This thought inspires me a lot.