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Tuba Buyukustun - interview for sabah magazine

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We talked with Tuba Büyuküstun about her relationship with her actor husband Onur Saylak, her twin children, and her popularity in the Middle East and the Balkans. She is coming back to TV screens with “Dirty Money and Love” series whose first episode will be aired at 20:00 on Wednesday on ATV.

Tuba Büyüküstün is one of the most important actresses of the TV series sector. She has a large fan base not only in Turkey but also in the Middle East and Balkans. And although she was bombarded by this intensive admiration, she lives a simple life. She gave birth to twins named Maya and Toprak two years ago, and now, she raises her children with her husband Onur Saylak together. As long as she is not filming TV series, she doesn’t need a baby sitter. The successful actress lives so simple that she even uses public transportation very often. After six months break, she is coming back to TV screens with Dirty Money and Love TV series which will be aired on ATV. Engin Akyürek plays Van Organized Crime police captain Ömer and Tuba Büyüküstün will be a jewelry designer who lives in Rome and who is a daughter of a wealthy family. We met Tuba Büyüküstünfor her new TV series.

- In one of your interviews, you said “The chemistry between the leading actors is very important.” Are you able to have this chemistry with Engin Akyürek?
I wasn’t involved initially when they started filming the series. When I got involved, Engin Akyürek’s scenes were already finished and they started filming my scenes. I mean we didn’t get together for a long time. We have been filming our mutual scenes for the last two weeks. Right now, everything is going so well.

- It looks like you have the chemistry in the trailer.
Thank you. We feel the same way.

- How does it feel to be so popular abroad?
It surprises me. After the Middle East, I like it when a Serbian, Greek, or Azeri person wants to take a picture with me or when a Pakistani person says that “I am your biggest fan.”

- It looks like you have a sheltered nature and you don’t care about fame…
This is my job and I do it because I love it. I am trying not to allow my job to overshadow my life and my personality.

- Do you think that viewers abroad and viewers here behave differently towards famous people?
I can’t compare; but, as you move to the east, people’s behaviors change. While Europeans give you space, eastern people are warmer; they like to touch or hug you.

- Does being famous bother you at all? Does it overwhelm you when you want to have some peace and quiet?
I am already living a very simple and peaceful life. The place where I live and the things I prefer to do don’t make me feel like “I am famous.”


- There aren’t many leading actresses… There are people who watch the series just because of you. Don’t you think this is a big responsibility when you start a new project?
I think I am very lucky if I am able to make people believe in me. Earning people’s trust is a very difficult thing to do. There are actors and actresses whose movies I definitely watch when I see their names. I am very happy if I was able to make them have full confidence in me.

- Do you have things that you cannot forget about your fans?
They always remember my children’s and my birthdays. When I had my twins, they made a donation to Tohum Autism Foundation. And they planted trees honoring our names via TEMA Foundation. These made me very happy. I realized how well they knew me and that these things would make me happy rather than receiving gifts.

- Do women or men admire you more?
Just when I think that women admire me more, a very interesting thing happens to make me think otherwise. I guess it is the same.

- Do you think your fans started admiring you more by sanctifying your motherhood and that you have a very special part in their hearts?
I don’t feel that way, but I was moved when I got a letter saying “Toprak and Maya are kids who have the most uncles and aunts.” I feel like I grow for them.


- Which one do you like the most; being a mother or actress?
Do I have to choose one? (Laughs)

- I heard that you had a plan to raise your children in France?
Paris is a city that I love and visit a lot. It has a special place in my heart. But, we are not planning to move to Paris and raise the children there.

- Do you make plans about your children?
I don’t even plan my own life.

- What do you do if you have a spare day?
I play with my girls. I try to finish things need to be done when they are sleeping. What else am I doing? I don’t know. When you have kids, you can’t do anything else. I didn’t read a book for a long time.

- I heard that you looked after your twins for eight months.
More than that; Onur and I looked after them. We had a baby sitter only when I was filming “20 minutes.” Having twins is challenging. Onur and I share them. We were exhausted. One night, both of them fell asleep and we found ourselves on the couch watching Baby TV. I guess everybody who had a baby had a moment like this.

- Are you able to put your parenthood aside and treat each other like lovers?
Our children are two years old. Slowly… We are trying to do it as much as we can. Particularly, Onur is a very special man in that regard. He really cares about creating those special moments that we can be lovers. But, I believe, things will be easier now.


- Do you have any sports or beauty secrets?
After the birth, I almost started exercising (Laughs) I gained 16 kilos during my pregnancy. But, I lost 15 kilos within the first three days after my delivery. To be honest, I wasn’t interested in tightening my muscles. I like eating. I decreased using beauty products recently; I am more inclined to use natural products. Even though I can’t go to the hair dresser to apply special care for my hair, I do my beauty care at home by using right shampoo, conditioner, and facial masks.

- I heard that people saw you using public transportation…
True. I use dolmus or sea bus while I am crossing the other side of the Bosporus.

- We don’t see you in movies, why?
I’ve been waiting for the right project.


- Can you tell us about Dirty Money and Love?
It is a love story with a very escapist plot. I liked the way scenario written and I curiously read it. Nowadays, you can’t find very interesting scenarios.

- How did you get involved in the series?
When I read the scenario, the production company wanted to start the series in September or October. But, I wanted to rest and spend some time with my family. I didn’t feel ready but I was intrigued by the scenario. Then, months went by, and we got together again with the same project. And I had rested and spent time with my family. So, we started shooting.

- Could you tell about the character you play in the series?
Elif is a middle child of a wealthy family. She is the proud of the family in her private life as well as in business. She always made her family happy. She has her own store in Rome and designs jewelry. Her father or siblings visit her now and then. Her father is very fond of her and she is very devoted to him. They trust each other. The story starts when Elif comes to Istanbul to see her family on her birthday. This is a love story but very different from the classic love stories.

- The sentence “You can trust everybody until one’s first lie” in the trailer of the series is very remarkable. How is it going to be reflected to the story?
Considering Elif, it seems that she has a very happy family. Her mother Zerrin is a very dominant character trying her best to be able to keep the family together and to have the perfect family of her dreams. Elif, contrary to her younger and elder sisters, is a person who stabilizes the family although she lives abroad. Her successes make her family very proud and she is her father’s favorite. But the truth is very different than what Elif knows and she will suddenly face the facts. She will see the real faces of the people whom she thought she knew very well. She will find out that her beloved ones whom she trusts have totally different lives. And during this period, she will meet Ömer and he will be the only person whom she can trust. We will see in detail the reflections of that sentence on other characters as well.

- What will make Elif-Ömer love different than other love stories?
Our scenarists said “People think that today’s loves are not magical. But, when two soul mates find each other, a love becomes a legend.” In that regard, Elif and Ömer will have different stories. Although they live very different lives, they share the same core values. They find each other when they lost their beloved ones. The events will evolve very differently and therefore, they will have to act fast. Their path will intersect and they will share and carry each other’s pains on this path which they won’t have anybody else but each other to trust. They will build a mutual trust first and they start discovering each other as a result of very stunning events. I believe viewers will enjoy being a part of their excitement.


- You and your husband earn your living by acting. Do you ever get worried about your future?
Yes, we do. We spend a lot of time for our work. And when we work, we have no time for our kids. I don’t want to say “Oh my god, I don’t remember those days” after 20 years.

- It must be very difficult to have a family order in an environment where you have long working hours.
Absolutely; but, unfortunately, this is how the system is. And having and being a family in such an environment is very hard.

- Then, having an actor husband must be an advantage…
Of course, it is a very big advantage. But, even though we try to understand each other, it would be very difficult if my husband didn’t work in the same sector. There is a French movie that I love very much; “My wife is an artist.” It tells a sports writer’s relationship with his actress wife. His wife is very famous. And the man visits her movie set and doesn’t understand the set environment; therefore, he shows all kinds of whimsical behaviors.

- Do you and your husband take turns at working in a project to look after the children?
Of course, we do. We can’t and will never dare not to be with our children. Therefore, we do take turns at projects offered to us. And my production company is very considerate. They know my sensitivity about this. My producer really cares about me and that takes the weight off my mind. I can concentrate on my work more if I don’t think about whether I will be able to spend time with my children or I will be able to take a break. It is as simple as that.

- On one side, a woman who became an idol in the Middle East and Balkans, and on the other side, a married and happy woman who has kids. Which one are you?
All of them or none of them.

translated by Engin Akyürek Universal Fans Club

Source: SABAH / Pazar

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