There Is No Place Like Home with Özge Özpirinçci

UnframedSeptember 4, 2018
There Is No Place Like Home with Özge Özpirinçci

Imagine a family with lots of love that can turn every moment into a memory, can keep its own archive, and plays games. Isn’t it inevitable for kids to be free, to take risks, to be prolific and, most importantly to be individuals and to be aware of humanity and other living beings? Having left behind a decade in acting, Özge Özpirinççi subconsciously experienced her first acting when she was playing with games with her older brother around seven and eight. She talks about this passion which began during that period and never faded over time by saying, “Back then, I just had fun by giving the right reactions to the situations Emre has put me in but he was the one to infect me with the bug of acting at a young age!” She goes on to confess
that, after college, she just “wanted to try it at least. I prepared myself to confront all the challenges that might come. As someone who loves playing games, I was at the right place at the right time with the right people. The rest was easy.” After the ups and downs of life, she says, “I can see more clearly how big a gift it is to earn a living by doing the thing I love.” Léon, a movie she’s watched many times and can watch it forever, and the memorable character of Mathilda… Although she’s rather distant to popular culture, it manages to draw her in. “After watching the movie, I had my hair cut like hers. Wasn’t it sad?” She talks about those days with a laugh. Although time has passed, she has not lost any of her excitement and managed to be herself, which is quite rare these days. We cannot wait to know more about Özge, who does not give up on dreaming, takes risks and makes an effort to be herself.

Do you make big plans for the future?

Maybe not plans but I have dreams. But not the kind that would disappoint me if unfulfilled. I think my biggest goal is to let life flow and to try and bee a good person. I wouldn’t want to lose that. Like all my peers, I worry about the future but these aren’t the kind to affect my daily life.

How important is the sense of surrender for you?

As long as faith and trust are hand in hand, surrender represents comfort both in my personal relationships and my professional life. When I meet someone new, I begin with 100 points. As the relationship evolves, that score either goes down or remains where it is. It’s a great saving on time to surrender myself to people I trust in their areas of expertise!

”Today, we are presented with every opportunity to avoid us from finding ourselves or to trick us into believing that we have. For instance, social media is such a great example of this.”

We kind of regard being 30 as a milestone whether because we exaggerate it or because of the movies? How did it affect your life? Can we say it raised your awareness?

I think I experienced the feeling you talk about when I was 28 or 29. It’s like a switch was turned off in my mind. I started to listen myself more. I worked on thinking and understanding myself. Before that, I didn’t like being alone. And I was keeping myself busy all the time. I was constantly creating a mindset to think. I still move a lot; you cannot keep myself in the same place for an hour. You know those people who walk up and down the aisle during long flights? I’m one of them. But I can listen to myself within this movement. Being alone becomes more and more valuable. My mind becomes clearer and I get to know myself better. I don’t know how people would define it but, in simplest terms, it’s like what you said, being aware.

We know that you grew up in a house full of love! How did this affect your perspective of love? Was it about looking for the perfect love or dominating the  relationship dynamics?

Growing up in a house full of love is one of the biggest gifts of my childhood. Those years prepared me for these days. I want to thank my family for that! I hope that every kid can grow up in a house that’s as happy as mine. About love, it’s a happy and exciting feeling in a short period of time as long as it doesn’t evolve. What I have right now is to surrender myself to the dynamics of a relationship. As long as it has that faith and trust I talked about.

How do you interpret the Y Generation’s perspective of acting?

I think acting is a very personal experience. Yes, there’s a script, there’s a director and there are décor, costumes, lights and camera etc. But when they say “action” it’s just you and the character you’re playing. I think a generation’s perspective of such a “personal moment” is a very abstract thing. Every actor’s perspective and journey is, eventually, only
his/her business. With the advance in technology, maybe we won’t need “human” actors 50 years from now and every element of a movie will be presented to the audience from a virtual platform. Who knows?

What’s the biggest handicap about being an actor?

I don’t think there are any as long as you can properly manage the negative aspects that come with the package. It sounds innocent when I put it like that but if you’re working on mainstream projects and are a popular figure, the only way to survive is to shield yourself from the accompanying drunkenness, illusions, disguise, injustice, unfairness, in short, all this nonsense.

What are your thoughts about the effect of acting on the quest for an individual identity?

Today, we are presented with every opportunity to avoid us from finding ourselves or to trick us into believing that we have. For instance, social media is such a great example of this. You want to design the society’s perception of you before creating an individual identity. You want to build a structure, even a skyscraper without a foundation! Isn’t quest
what life is about? If I direct it the right way, I believe that this quest will have a positive influence on my profession. But I wouldn’t want to design my individual identity based only on my job.

Which phase is your acting going through?

Acting is a profession with an inner nature. Every actor is experiencing a different journey. What matters is to just focus on your performance without listening to empty words and by listening to the advice of those who offer an honest criticism. I’m very lucky that my family and all my friends (from or outside the industry) have always been honest about everything I’ve done so far. I’m also very proud to see how far I’ve come from the first character I played to “Bahar” for whom I’ve received great praise and been encouraged to do better. I want to continue my journey remembering the values I’ve learned from the team I’ve worked with.

How was it to play Fikriye Hanım?

It was my first cinema movie! It’s definitely an experience I want to repeat! I’m sure it’d be very different if I were to play it now. But there are both a lot of differences and no difference at all between Özge who was on the set that day and Özge who’s answering this question right now. It’s true for every role. Just as a book we’ve read or a movie we’ve seen affect us based on the time and situation we experience them, each role has something from the actor who plays it. It’s not that can be observed from outside; it’s more like something that directs the actor and his/her feelings. I’d love to talk to Fikriye Hanım. With each glass, she would feel more encouraged to share with tears in her eyes. I hope that she’s being compensated for the feeling of despair she felt in this world somewhere in the universe.

”I think my biggest goal is to let life flow and to try and bee a good person.”

What affected you the most in this love story?

The fact that we will never know the truth! My brain just resists accepting that. When we think about it as a love story in history, I think we should have more proof. So, a lot must have happened for people to feel the need to hide it. But reading about how people in the past loved, be trayed or abandoned each other brings us closer to them and make
us realize that they are also people with feelings. But I believe the truth will come out. Maybe I won’t be able to see it but Fikriye Hanım’s spirit will find peace.

How would you define risk?

The situations I find worth experiencing not for the sake of the outcome but for the journey provided that I’m not hurting anyone. When you take a risk, you have these indescribable high feelings until you have the outcome, whether positive or negative. On the other hand, taking risks means not being afraid of failure as well. To try, to fail, not to give up, to change perspective, to be willing to create a solution… If you can manage even a few of these, you will reap the benefits of the journey even if you’re successful or not.

Which phases do you think one has to go through to become a person with high self-confidence?

Self-confidence is like ego’s unloved sibling or cousin. I cannot think of any other things that are so close yet so different. I will continue answering this believing that you think I’m a person with self-confidence because you asked me this (laughs). I think the unconditional love of your core family, the sense of responsibility that comes along with the freedom given to you during your quest for an individual identity and the feeling of respect for every living thing on the planet create high self- confidence. Does it? Oh, there’s also the fact that you can take failure and defeat with grace.

Which period in time do you feel like belonging?

I’m okay with any period when human race is respectful for nature and animals. I saw a meme the other day which summarized the situation we’re in. It said, “You don’t want to know the truth, you want to be tricked.”

How does this classic line from Fight Club make you feel?

Surprisingly, it made me think about illusionists and magicians. Whenever I’m watching a performance, I distance myself from the theory and the question “How are they doing it?” to surrender to the effect the show has on me. At that point, I stop questioning the reality and think if what I’m seeing before me has the same meaning with reality. On one hand, I want to know the truth about everything in my daily life. I wouldn’t care if it would upset me, crush me or make me go crazy with disappointment. On the other hand, some lives are so unbearable that you want to be tricked to go through the day even if you know the truth. For instance, Bahar, the character I played in the series “Kadın,” tricked her children in the first few episodes. Though it doesn’t sound innocent, Bahar did this the most innocent way and with an instinct to protect her children. Our screenwriter Hande Altaylı wrote it so well in the following episodes that Bahar saw this short-term solution would hurt her children more later on. Because the truth will always come out; it’s just waiting for the right time. Maybe, people prefer to be tricked rather than learning the truth because they are afraid of the following desire to act upon it. The saying “Ignorance is bliss.” might have been about this. Knowing the truth requires action and we are all so “busy” with our lives…

What do you do when you feel “home sweet home?”

I cook with Burak. To be honest, he’s cooking and I’m learning. We have a big kitchen and I love spending time there with him. It’s very relaxing and hearty! I also lazy around with my cats.

What’s next for you?

After this series, I want to relax and earn new experiences. There’s so much I want to do! For instance, I want to be a dubbing artist for animations. Cinema is always a good idea as long as the script is well-written. Theater is a place I start to feel more comfortable in. Maybe I’ll do a play, learn another language, go on a long backpacking holiday, or experience the life in a village. I really don’t know. I wish I knew my filming schedule for the next four years like my colleagues abroad. Then I could organize my life according to that. But doing this job in our country, it’s impossible to make even a week-long schedule.

Röportaj / Interview by DUYGU BENGİ
Moda / Fashion by BURAK SANUK
Fotoğraf / Photography by BURCU KARADEMİR
 Makyaj / Make-up by SAM ARAJI
Saç / Hair by AKIN ÜNAL
Moda Ekibi Asistanı / Fashion Team Assistant: BARIŞ KARTAL
Teşekkürler / Thanks to PERA PALACE HOTEL
Author: Yağmur Koç