Creation begins with “realisation”… You need to be aware of your surroundings, feel things and get one step closer so that your creation can touch the lives of other people, other souls. When came across Funda at a very similar crossroads: “The more you’re aware, the more you see.” She might even be more excited to break out of her world compared to any of us… We ask ourself if her rapidly growing success in the theatre world or perfect acting skills would have been possible without her take on life. The answer is clear, however we wanted to get together with Funda to get a further glimpse into her life before her rehearsals for ‘Ev’vel Zaman’ in 20th Istanbul Theatre Festival, and to talk about her passion for theatre.

“The more you are aware, the more you break through your judgments and look around, I guess creativity begins there, when we are in balance with life.”

You started the conservatory as an International Relations graduate. Can you tell us about that decision?

When I was studying International Relations, going to the conservatory was something I already had on my mind, I actually set that goal for myself. As there was an age limit in the conservatory, I had to pass all my classes. In the meantime, I was also acting. As soon as I graduated I took the exam and got into the conservatory.

If ‘Sessizlik’ continues, this will be its 4th season, and yet you still want to be on stage having the same passion, mentioning that you miss it. What is it that still connects you to this character with the same emotions?

Unfortunately we couldn’t play the 4th season… State Theatre began the season with a promise, however we couldn’t play. I don’t think we ever will. We all want ‘Sessizlik’ to continue, we have a great following as well. To be honest, I miss both the character and the text. There were still some things that we discovered as we played… In that sense, it’s was a great text. We would get excited for exploring new concepts in the script. There are still parts of that text that I haven’t fully grasped, I was hoping to figure them out. That’s why I’m sad that it’s over.

Can you tell us about the younger Funda you describe as someone who “wanted to be unique as oppose to beautiful?”

It was during my adolescent years, I was in a delirium like many others, I was tough towards myself. I was after being rebellious and out of the box. It was a tidal time. The theatre group was a friend circle I liked a lot, I wanted to be accepted by them, they were older than me. Isn’t adolescence years difficult for every one?

What are the adjectives that make a woman beautiful?

Courage is something that makes a woman more beautiful.

Doing a job that is open to the public’s comments and being exposed to all of it via social media… How do you interpret this situation? How does it influence you?

As you said, this is a job that is open to comments and everybody has an opinion about acting and drama. Of course people can share things however the issue with social media is that you don’t know what is real or not. I mean, it’s really difficult to reach true knowledge. I take social media seriously, I think it’s like a revolution. It changes and transforms our connection with reality. The problem is that it has become so chaotic to reach original information now. I take the criticism on social media seriously by keeping in mind that they might not be real.

We are extremely curious about Yeşim Ustaoğlu’s film ‘Clair Obscur’ which she defines as “the psychological dance of two women, a micro to macro reflection of a secret inner-corrosion”. How do you define ‘Clair Obscur’?

The film focuses on a hidden space. It gazes at a household life that has never been revealed, then it gets into another world which goes through the same thing in a different way. We will watch the transformation process in the lives of two women. I am looking forward to it too.

The play you prepared for the 20th Istanbul Theatre Festival: ‘Ev’vel Zaman’ sets off from the story of people who are left without reflexes by the chaotic style of everyday life. I guess it’s the unavoidable mood of our era… Are any moments you feel you don’t show any reflexes?

Unfortunately yes. In the play, we focus on the habit of the middle class; in the middle class there is an unawareness going on until something happens to that person first hand. While struggling with our small problems in this chaotic life, we don’t notice the issues of others until we have the same thing happening to us, we don’t speak out about it either. It only becomes an important issue if it affects our own benefits. However when it happens to your neighbour, next to your neighbourhood or somewhere else in the country, we don’t care… This is happening because we are in a chaotic bombardment. There are so many things happening in the country, so we are in a traumatic and ill time. Even death is normalised. Elusive things happen every day and we are not surprised, this is horrible. While we get used to this horror, we also gain a cynical mood.

If we were to try and form a relationship between acting and fashion, it would unquestionably be about ‘awareness’. Awareness directs both a person and a brand; it adds character. While Cashmere In Love keeps ‘awareness’ as a focal point in their design process, what does it mean for you? How does this concept influence you as an individual, as an actress?

Being aware helps me to look at life from a bird’s-eye view, making me see everything clearer. So, I try to keep my curiosity for life and people fresh. Awareness helps me to go out of my little window, I am able to see what I share with other people or living beings. The more you are aware, the more you break free from your judgments and are able to look around, and I guess creativity begins when we are in balance with life.

Interview: Duygu Bengi

Photography: Tabitha Karp