cagatay ulusoy with his every face
Do we know him the way he is, from every corner, character, ups and downs?
Photo: Emre Guven Fashion Editor: Gunus Guner Production: Ahmed Cayli Text: Alara Kap
Cagatay appears on the cover page of GQ Turkey 2021 and the magazine initially released few of the photos from the shoot as well as part of the interview is available online. The rest is now available in print. We bought one so we could give the English speaking fans an understanding of what he said!
This is Cagatay’s third appearance on the cover of GQ Turkey. Previous ones were in March 2014 and January 2016. He also appeared on the cover of GQ Middle East in October 2019.
This year, Cagatay has a lot to showcase in his career already. His latest Netflix movie Paper Lives has proven to be a runaway success in its first four weeks of streaming, ranking highly in Netflix movies worldwide. It marks his debut as a creative producer, and the movie has been lauded for its social commentary about the homeless or the forgotten children on the streets.
Since January he has been filming for Yesilcam, a highly anticipated big budget production by local streaming giant, Blu TV. The first season comprising 10 episodes have completed filming and will start streaming on the platform on April 22, 2021.
As well, Cagatay written & directed short film Birdie is screening at the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi for the month of April.
Maintaining a very low media profile for the last few months, fans are delighted to have him back on the cover of a magazine. The following is the translated text from GQ Turkey. – Enjoy, Team CUNA
”He is 30 years old. He has a calm nature. He is a passionate man in all aspects of life. While he wanted to become a basketball player, life made different plans for him and he became an actor. The bond with his family is very strong. When he is making a decision, he is very attentive and careful. Under his calm and serious nature, he has a sensitive soul. And a passion for the sea. When he wants to rest and breathe, he turns to nature. Privacy is very important to him in his personal life. He keeps his emotions inside and experiences them in a genuine and passionate way. He makes good observations. For him, sincerity is important.”
“Acting is a journey that never ends. Each character teaches a person something different. Learning is very important. And is always very exciting. That is a motive. And this motive guides me to say things that different people and characters could not, and to open the locks in their lives. This job is that immense. With every new character it’s as if I’m starting acting again. Just imagine, I didn’t live in the 1960s, but travelling back in time and playing that, I can share my feelings (emotions/sensations) with the audience!
Isn’t that one of the most enviable parts of the job? While you live a quiet and calm life in your home, far away from the chaos, the next morning you have to act as if you are in a street fight, swear at your best friend when the occasion arise, chase the rich girl or collect paper. But at the end of the day, you always have the luxury of becoming yourself again. So, in this pool of roles, how does he decide which one he will keep?
“I make sure that they are some sort of unique characters (that the characters are the only one of its kind). The character must impress me, be sincere, someone from life, real. I have to get excited while decoding and exploring the character I took in my hands. And he should awaken the same feelings in the audience as well. It’s pleasing to play the characters that cause my heart to tremble. I also try to choose a character that is different from the previous one I played.
I have to get excited while decoding and exploring the character I took in my hands.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FROM THE FIRST DAY UNTIL TODAY?
Ulusoy says he is not afraid to cope with his fears. It occurs to us that about 10 years ago, he said to our editor “Please, write that as well” when he came late to the one interview he did with GQ Turkey. Yes, it was clear even then that he is open to confront himsefl, knowing that it can create a negative impression on others, even though being late is not deemed as a nightmare by the majority of people. The way he overcomes his fears by not taking them seriously gives us another clue about Cagatay Ulusoy’s characters.
“Our previous decisions, ideas, approaches and perspectives are changing and updating in the flow. There is no black and white, we are just improving ourselves as we learn and grow. When I first started acting, I was playing what was written on the left side of the script. Now I’m trying to decode the character and make him alive by keeping him in the moment and analyzing his purpose, passion, devotion and traumas in various disciplines.”
What about the roles that we cannot experience in real life? Doesn’t he stumble while trying to make them live the moment? “For a while, I thought that I wouldn’t empathize with the fantastic world while playing Hakan’s character in The Protector that is streamed on Netflix. I had a hard time with making myself believe in the existence of that world. Initially, it felt like swimming in unfamiliar waters where you cannot see the bottom. Then I remember myself getting accustomed to it and taking a deep breath.”
He had mentioned in one of his interviews during the promotion process of Icerde TV series’ that he was writing things for behind-the-camera but that it cannot happen with ‘the snap of a finger’. We caught him 5 years later just when his scribbles has come into the light.
”A while after I started acting, behind the cameras – the kitchen of the job – and the creation process caught my attention too and I wanted to be a part of it. During the past couple of years, I have had my first experience of behind the camera by filming a short movie that I have written myself. Then I thought that I could contribute to the script of a project that I am playing. To develop the storyline, to be on the invisible side of the team have been different experiences for me and aroused my excitement. It has been a process that I have really enjoyed. I can say that the creation part of the job excites me as much as acting. There are stories I want to tell. “
ON THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO SUCCESS
Let’s get to his last role … Yesilcam is a source of such a big pride for Turks, such a full testimonial and such an iconic period … We wonder what kind of relationship there is between the Yesilcam he watched and the Yesilcam he played.
“Warm, sincere, humane and affectionate feelings used to rise in me when I watched Yesilcam movies. I believe the same warmth can also be found in our Yesilcam TV series. We have a very different narrative structure compared to those times, but in order to be able to address it to the modern-day, the story is projected with a contemporary, sweet firmness. I think, with this project, warmth pierce people’s hearts just like the movies of that period did back then.
The script was woven, little by little, with the same sincerity and care. It’s one colorful world where we will watch how Semih Ateş, who was raised in Yeşilçam as a child, is trying to exist as a producer in Yeşilçam as an adult, his relationships, the balance of power and money, the organic and passionate relationships of the characters with one another and the ongoing story in this context. He himself is also the character that I have enjoyed playing the most to this day, the most colorful and the one that left a mark on me. “
No matter how much we want to talk about his acting, his classic roles and his success on the big screen, we shift gears because, as a matter of fact, our job is much more a task /duty we have to do than the person we actually are. Speaking of “success” – “The word “success” is interesting because saying “I did it, I succeeded”, it means completing something. I am still on the journey, the process continues for me with a lot of learning. There is an endless process and a satisfying journey on the road that leads from point X to a point of success. An ongoing, continuing process that will keep continuing”.
When we asked if he could ever accomplish something he wanted, he says “There are multiple areas in which I fulfilled objectives.”
We wonder about his latest discovery about himself and he talks about his interest in all types of grapes.
We ask about his biggest goals however he cannot share with us because of his superstitions. What about happiness?
“Happiness is a broad headline. I believe the one who can be content with his inner world is happy. To get to know yourself and to understand yourself, to know what you want, to be aware of what you have… These are important and valuable keywords. For the rest, life guides you to be happy in the energy of its flow. In plain words, I think that happines depends upon discovering yourself. “
When we took the fact into consideration that keeping one’s private life secret is hard when one is famous, we got curious if there is a particular character he gets into when he goes out to prevent being misunderstood by people or to be thought ill of.
“I don’t think I should disguise myself as any character. I am always myself, I don’t have different faces or multiple masks. This is what the job requires anyway. I already portray different characters. To be myself feels good. I think that’s why I prioritize my privacy. Who I should be is me, I don’t put extra effort, I don’t pretend.”
We got it. There are still people around us who act like themselves without any charade.
Photo: Emre Güven
Fashion Editor: Güneş Güner
Production: Ahmed Çaylı
Photography Assistants: Baturalp Yılmaz, Alican Tükle
Hair: Mahmut Terzi Make Up: Selen Saygin
Fashion Assistant: Busenur Can
All image/ content credit belongs to GQ Turkey
Translation by CUNA