Burak Berkay Akgül and Özge Yağız in an interview for Şamdan Plus magazine (February 2024)

Feraye and Yaman are the heroes of a special story unfolding in Cappadocia. They are the couple whose love is legendary, yet they struggle to reunite with each other. The actors who have brought these two characters to life are Burak Berkay Akgül and Özge Yağız.

The young actors experience a special excitement about the story in which they star. Undoubtedly, this excitement is also transmitted to the viewers, who eagerly await the release of each new episode.

The filming of the series continues in Cappadocia, where a cheerful and pleasant atmosphere prevails, and the entire team works with great effort.

We met with the two young actors in Istanbul, on a day when they were resting from their hectic filming schedule. Just before Valentine’s Day, we spent a special day talking a lot about love.

  • “Safir”, which premiered in the fall of 2023, continues to be watched with great interest today. What has this “journey” been like for you, how did it all start and evolve?

Özge Yağız: It all started with great excitement. I read the script for the first four episodes, thinking my heart would jump out of my chest. For a whole week, 24 hours a day, we were in contemplation, thinking about what would happen next. When we saw that our viewers shared the same excitement we experienced upon releasing the first episode, everything became even more valuable.

Burak Berkay Akgül: “Safir” has been a project that excites me with its plot, atmosphere, and the intensity of emotions from the moment I first read the script. The first thing that impressed me when I opened the script was the depth of love in our story.

I was very happy to immediately get acquainted with my character, understand him, and see what I could add to him. For me, this is a special work that has brought a lot to both my personal and professional life. I think this work will always remain in my memory, thanks to the good experience it gave me.

  • Filming in Cappadocia continues, what is the atmosphere like on set? How is your life in Cappadocia?

Özge Yağız: We have a fun atmosphere. Despite having to cry every 5 minutes, I have very nice and sweet colleagues who can make me laugh every time our director says “Cut!”. I feel that being in Cappadocia has filled me with a more tranquil energy and enveloped our work in a mystical atmosphere.

Burak Berkay Akgül: The atmosphere on our set is very pleasant. Since we spend more time with the filming crew on locations outside the city, we can continue filming without breaking away from the plot and this magical geography. Our director, Semih Bağcı, has also played a huge role in facilitating communication among the team.

In fact, I can say that we all get along wonderfully, enjoying Cappadocia. The only problem we’ve encountered lately is that it has become very cold here. And although I’m glad to escape the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, filming in the cold here sometimes becomes tiring for me.

  • On the other hand, you work with an experienced cast. Other actors, the backstage crew, the director, etc. What do you enjoy most about working with these people?

Özge Yağız: Regardless of age, we feel that we are constantly learning from each other. And it’s not just about our profession. We are in an environment where we can talk about anything and have a good time together.

Burak Berkay Akgül: It’s always beneficial for an actor to work with people who have more experience on the set or in the scene than themselves. However, I believe the main thing is being able to share this experience and benefit from the knowledge shared. We, as a team, are very fortunate to have gathered a wonderful collective that supports each other, helps, and talks about their weaknesses.

Our filming crew, staying behind the scenes, is the same. Since we do physically and psychologically demanding work and work overtime, it’s very important for everyone to help each other and try to make the work easier.

  • The series has a strong storyline. What attracted you to the script? Were there any events in the story that surprised you?

Özge Yağız: It was a script I believed in the reality of from the moment I first read it. The characters’ personalities, the connections between them, the language of communication, all of it was very close to my heart. Amazing events happen throughout the story, but for me, it was unexpected that Bade turned out not to be Vural’s biological daughter.

Burak Berkay Akgül: The fact that the story itself is strong, as well as Yaman’s struggle between love and logic, and the fact that he did not give up despite what he had to go through on this path, is what attracted me the most in this story. This conflict, the attempts to understand it, waiting for what Yaman’s next step will be, all of this excites me as much as it does our audience.

  • What do you like most about acting?

Özge Yağız: What I like most is that there is no limit to learning in acting. You can always learn something new.

Burak Berkay Akgül: The opportunity to play. Since childhood, I’ve loved to play and have fun. In everyday life, I am a person with the energy of play; I can immediately engage and adapt to what is happening. This aspect of acting is what I like most.

  • What do you find most exciting about creating a new character in each new project?

Özge Yağız: Undoubtedly, it’s the joy of discovery. When I start exploring a character, my imagination goes on an endless journey.

Burak Berkay Akgül: I’m not one for monotony. Each new job, each new character for me is a journey, a process of birth. I believe that entering a new creative process, down to the smallest details, nourishes my soul and develops me. Uncovering different details of each character and analyzing their place in my life, where they are right or wrong, is also a process that develops me as a person.

  • If one day you had to give up what you are doing, where and what do you think you would be doing? Do you have a “Plan B” for your career?

Özge Yağız: I haven’t thought about it and probably don’t want to. I believe that such thoughts about losing what I love so much will attract negative energy into my life.

Burak Berkay Akgül: I never had a “Plan B,” especially when choosing to be an actor. For me, it’s much more important to focus on one goal and achieve it. I prefer to direct my energy towards the desired goal rather than scatter it across several events, mixing my thoughts.

  • Romantic relationships in series are full of surprises. Do you believe in what is called love at first sight? Would you consider yourself one of those who like to take their chances in this matter?

Özge Yağız: I think the concept of love is something that develops as you get to know the other person better. I can say that I believe two people in the same sphere of influence can attract each other at first sight. I like experiencing these emotions, just going with the flow, so I don’t rush things.

Burak Berkay Akgül: I think the most important thing in love is stability. With constant mutual love and boundless respect, I believe feelings can grow exponentially.

  • On the eve of February 14th, let’s not forget to ask you this: What stage is love at in your life now? If you could compare love to anything, what would it be?

Özge Yağız: Love is like an amusement park. It’s like magic that surrounds us with its colorful, vibrant, light-filled energy every time we think of it.

Burak Berkay Akgül: Love is a unique feeling. Over time, it begins to harbor all emotions and getting to know them in human form is very interesting. You encounter feelings you have never felt before, that you are afraid to feel, that you are not able to cope with. It’s when the paths of two souls merge, these feelings continue to grow as long as you share your path…

  • Being people who are in the public eye because of your work, you are probably subjected to all kinds of criticism, good or bad. How do you deal with such comments at those moments? In other words, how do you protect your psyche from this?

Özge Yağız: I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is what we call the realm of freedom. Each of us uses this freedom within our own limits, and unfortunately, this is not a situation that can be influenced. I have really distanced myself from this downside of our profession.

Burak Berkay Akgül: I am open to any criticism that can improve me, as truth is not singular and I respect everyone’s opinion. Some people talk just for the sake of talking. However, hurtful, aggressive, and insulting comments that offend another person’s personality and life make no sense, so they should not be dwelled upon.

  • How do you approach a healthy lifestyle? Do you have a special diet or exercise regimen?

Özge Yağız: Sometimes I can turn into an absolute health freak, but it doesn’t last long. I am a person of moderation, so I leave myself alone when it comes to diet because I believe I can control it well. Sports are always a part of my life, but unfortunately, sometimes I can’t fit them into my work schedule.

Burak Berkay Akgül: I have a sports routine that I can fit into a set schedule, and I try to pay as much attention as possible to what I eat and going to the gym to stay energetic and healthy. Doing sports makes me feel more vigorous and energetic.

  • If we asked you to give a brief assessment of your life, past and future…

Özge Yağız: Sometimes, though we may not fully realize it, growing up really does bring a different kind of maturity into life. I consider myself very lucky for every experience I’ve had, both from my past life and the present. Even today, I still see myself as a little child in the house because I never lost my energy and self-control. I am grateful for the past for every success, big or small, that made me feel good.

Burak Berkay Akgül: Honestly, there’s not a single moment in my past that I would want to change or wish it had been exactly like that. I am grateful for everything that life has brought and taught me, and I trust its flow in accordance with my goals and happiness. I am building my future, trying to attract what brings benefit and joy.

  • Finally, what excites you most about the future right now?

Özge Yağız: Step by step getting closer to the list of places that need to be visited.

Burak Berkay Akgül: What always pleases me about the future is seeing how Burak improves each year compared to the previous one and also observing and noticing this development in myself. My motivation and inspiration continue to grow every day as I think about what I can add to myself in terms of human relations and career.

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