Turkish actor Hatice Aslan says back home theatre steals a march over films

She is 48 and can clearly give a complex to a 30-year-old with her flawless complexion and a well preserved figure. She is Hatice Aslan, a well known name in Turkish theatre. Age didn’t stop her from experimenting with films and make a debut with The Three Monkeys that was shown at the Turkish Film Festival in New Delhi’s Siri Fort auditorium recently.

This 104-minute film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan was featured as the inaugural film at the Festival. Organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey and Directorate of Film Festivals of India, the festival brought seven award winning films including Istanbul Tales, Rumi-The Dance of Love, My Father and My Son, The Bliss, Ice Cream I scream, and Lovelorn.

Hatice, who was present during the festival, “didn’t want to miss even a single moment of being among the Indian audiences.” She has been working with Turkish Theatre for 26 years. She says she works in at least two plays every year which run in theatres throughout the year.

Despite being an established name, Hatice “never thought of joining films”. She reasons, “Turkish films have great subjects but less money. Television serials pay more than films there. Moreover, our documentary films travel much more than our films and are widely recognised.”

Defying the general notion that for girls working in films is still a taboo in Turkey, Hatice says, “Since the time of Ataturk who declared Turkey a Republic, films and actors were taken seriously because of his cultural policies. Since it has less money, families don’t encourage it as a profession. And we still need to explore stunning geographical locations and scenic splendour of Turkey in our films. We focus on subjects more than our beautiful nature.”

Best Actress

Hatice chose to work in The Three Monkeys to “experiment” her range. And it fetched her the Best Actress Award in River Run International Film Festival in the U.S. The film has also won four prestigious award in Cannes, Osian) and Haifa festivals.

The film that resplendently fuses Gandhi’s philosophy of ‘see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil’ through his three monkeys, is about a dislocated family. To stay together, they choose to ignore the truth. The film questions if playing three monkeys invalidates the truth?

“Working in this film has been diametrically opposite in terms of experience. In theatre, I had to rehearse a lot to appear faultless on stage. But films have a lot of flexibility. I can commit mistakes and erase them through retakes as we click ‘delete’ in our computer,” she says smiling.

“Keen to work in Bollywood”, Hatice admits she is mesmerised the way romance is portrayed in Hindi films. “In Bollywood, actors break into songs and dance, if they are in love. Since we don’t do it in real situation, the idea fascinates me. It feels like a fairy tale,” she concludes.