Leyla Feray’s naiveté which is hard to come by these days is a different way to express her self- condence. She moves forward not with big words but with firm steps. It’s as if we visit her pink-colored world of dreams where she can be herself. Life is more beautiful when you’re not afraid of laughter. Let us give the stage to Leyla – you’ll better understand what we mean.
Acting is the favorite profession of these times. How do you interpret the passion for acting in your generation?
There are indeed a lot of people want to become actors. The industry is
in a good place in Turkey. We love watching and talking about TV shows and movies. And since I’ve taken up this career, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me “Help me to become an actor!” whether jokingly or not. There are different reasons for this demand. Some want it to become rich the easy way, some to become famous and some for reputation. But I think it’s a hard process. It requires patience, ambition and passion.
While many people dream of it, what would you like to say as someone who lives it?
I count myself lucky. I’m doing the thing I’m most passionate about.
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to be in acting?
I had to prioritize acting over school. I should have graduated much sooner. The working conditions are very hard. I find it hard to spend time with my family or myself due to long hours on the set. But I cannot say I feel like making a sacrifice because I really love what I’m doing.
How do you feel about people saying that you look like different actresses?
It’s something I’ve been having since I was a kid. I’ve grown used to it. When someone says, “You look like someone but I don’t know who,” I start listing all these names. I don’t feel offended by it because they’re all successful and beautiful women. I can feel the same way towards someone I meet. I don’t think it’s a big deal.
You’ve played many different characters in such a short time. How do you prepare for your roles in such a fast-paced tempo?
It’s enough for me to talk to the director and the screenwriter about the character and all the related details. However, for instance, my latest role, Ayşe Sultan, was based on a real person. I had to do extra research about her and the period she lived in. Or when I was playing a visually impaired girl, I went to Six Dots Foundation for the Blinds to meet and observe them. These helped me better understand the characters.
Do you watch yourself on TV?
Whenever I watch myself on TV, I always nd something to criticize. But I do enjoy it because I’m very young and need to observe what I should or should not do. This is very informative for me.
How would you evaluate yourself in terms of acting? How do you improve yourself?
I have a lot to experience and learn. But I’m happy where I am considering how I started. I want to improve my acting day by day. I’m not in a rush; my goal is to take con dent and proper steps.
Acting on TV, in cinema and on stage have different dynamics. As an actress who has just finished filming her first movie, what do you think about these dynamics based on your experience?
Cinema is lovely and I hope I get to be in many other movies in the future. TV is a must, and I love the pacing of TV shows. Theater requires a great amount of time and effort but I’d love to perform in a play and to be praised for it. I don’t know if it’ll happen soon, I just know I really want it.
What is the professional deformation for you in acting?
I’ve become more emotional. I surrender more to the ebb and ow of my feelings. I can say I’m feeling “more” which can make me a moody person throughout the day.
In today’s dynamics, how can an actor train himself to stand out?
You need to be unique to stand out and to be able to do the unexpected. You can only make a difference if you can go beyond the expected, create your own style and personality, and to add your own color to what you do.
How would you define being original?
Living outside the boundaries, in your own way, open to new things. Implementing what you find inspiring into your creative process. Going beyond templates and clichés.
Where would you draw the line for professional sacrifice?
Though I love my job, I do have certain ethics and priorities so I cannot say I don’t have any limit of toleration. This depends on the issue. My ultimate goal is to be happy.
Are you affected by the comments on social media?
I do feel happy for the positive comments people write about me – the fact that people who don’t know me can love me and accept me for who I am. But I believe one shouldn’t let these comments get to himself – either good or bad. After all, it’s virtual so you shouldn’t get caught up in it. I believe it shouldn’t affect whether you’re happy or upset.
In a speech about our screen habits, Levent Erden once said, “a viewer follows on an average of 2.5 screens.” In this fast-paced feed, what kind of a TV show do you think could make it in time?
Something that’s easy to follow and that you can continue from where you left off. But I don’t want to be pessimistic about it. I’m always hopeful about everything.
Tell us a movie you recently added on your “must-watch recommendations” list?
I really loved the Swedish movie A Man Called Ove from 2015. It was nominated for Best Foreign Feature at the Oscars. The scenario was very simple yet lovely and the performances were amazing. It was both touching and ordinary.