The successful actress, Tuba Büyüküstün, has joined the new emerging and powerful generation of Turkish actors taking the world by the storm with their talent, beauty and positive energy. She is a star and a recipient of several national and international awards and has become one of Turkey’s most popular artists.
Recently, our sister brand HELLO! Turkey had the opportunity to chat with Tuba for a very special occasion. Surrounded by the spectacular Bodrum Demirbükü Bay, and accompanied by Dior’s Dioriviera collection, the young actress gets candid about life, acting, fashion motherhood, beauty and her passions.
“The favorite part of my profession is being able to continue to be a child”. [Tuba Büyüküstün]
This 12-hour shoot allowed us to really explore the life of this talented actress, a world-famous fashion giant and an idyllic location. Surrounded by the unique blue of the Aegean, Tuba – a Mediterranean spirit and force – met with a Parisian atmosphere, transports us to a unique place filled with vibrant colors and textures.
Tuba plays a great role in the global recognition and success of Turkish actors. In addition, she serves as UNICEF Turkey Goodwill Ambassador. Enjoy this in-depth interview paired with beautiful photos!
Tuba Büyüküstün: I was brought up with the general codes and values of Turkish society, such as being modest, always treating others with respect and being honest. Now, when I close my eyes, I remember the Sundays of my childhood... After Sunday breakfasts, we used to sit down as a family and watch cowboy movies, sometimes there were musical movies. Also, my father used to open the classical music program on TRT 2 every Sunday, I think those days have an effect on my affection to classical music today.
In my early youth I was someone who questioned everything a lot. I would try to understand concepts, research and read opposing views, and create my own definitions. Like many young people, those years were spent trying to get to know myself.
I always found being behind the scenes very interesting while studying. There is something magical about creating something and making it out of nothing. Actually, I always dreamed of being one of the people behind the scenes to reveal something unseen.
Yes, of course I would love to. One day, I want to experience it either in the theatre or in the cinema. Designing has a very important place in my life. I like the way my brain works when designing.
I love the hippie spirit of the 70s, but I also love the 50s. And I love the 20s in itself. I can go on because I love the 1800s and the 1600s. It is like a great show to see the changes in the world‘s conditions, people’s living conditions, famines, wars, riches, the effort to make oneself happy again after the wars.
Tomris Giritlioğlu has a very important place in my life. If it wasn’t for Tomris Giritlioğlu, I probably wouldn’t be an actress. Even if I had somehow experienced it, I probably wouldn’t have continued. She believed in me more than I did, she made me believe in me, and she’s still trying to make me believe in myself more. The person who made Tomris Giritlioğlu see me and made me take the step was Cemil Ağaçıkoğlu. When I was going to enter Mimar Sinan University, visiting the painting workshops, there was a photo shoot by Cemil Ağaçıkoğlu. He somehow got me into that photo shoot and then everything in my life seemed like a knot. In fact, the person who started everything, who first lighted the lighter, is Cemil Ağaçıkoğlu.
‘Çemberimde Gül Oya’ is one of the best works I‘ve ever done in my life, and one of the best in Turkey. The character of Zarife is very special to me. With the set, director and actors of ‘Çemberimde Gül Oya’, it became like a school for me.
People from America, the Middle East, Europe, South America, almost all over the world, as you said, from very different cultures, languages, and countries with very different habits can somehow connect with the TV series we make. When I asked, “Why do you like it, what attracts you so much?”, the answer I get is always the same: “Your serials tell people very simply from a very human, very sincere and very emotional place. Family, love, land, woman, child, man tell this from a very human place, with their real feelings, with the weaknesses of all people, and this is very ingrained for us,” they say. This is a very clear indication that regardless of language, religion, race or culture, everyone has actually the same feelings.
I have very valuable memories and valuable experiences. And yes, I got the ‘Best Actress Award’ for my first job, which I started this business with. We were nominated in the category of ’Most Watched Series’ with ’Asi’. I was nominated for an International Emmy for Best Actress. And many more… I just try to do what I do, whatever I’m doing, to the best of my ability, I try to do it happily in it. I try not to be in things that I will be unhappy with or that I do not believe in. I see this as both respect for my work and self-respect. I think that people cannot be successful where they are already unhappy. To move all this forward; I’m not talking about acting or just the industry we’re in, I believe we should pay more attention to our treasures as a country. I think we should give them the value they deserve. In any field, we need to embrace them; We need to love them, appreciate and praise their achievements. We need to give them the value they deserve first, so that others can too. No one else will value them more unless we give what is within ourselves the value they deserve.
Of course, there are things that I feel better about and things that I do not feel that good. But seeing something as apple of the eye means that I wouldn‘t exist without it, I guess. Right now, when I look from where I am, it wouldn’t actually be without any of them. Because the sum of them that brought me to today, if one of them was missing, I would be in a different place today. No matter how we live something good or bad, we gain experience from all of them, we learn, and that experience actually leads us to take other steps. If I say “my apple is this job”, I would be unfair to my other works. Without any of them, I don’t know where I would be today, both personally and as a career, but not here, I’m sure.
My favorite part of this profession is, I think, being able to continue being a child. In other words, play making like we did when we were kids; To continue to share roles, to believe in the role we play together, to take on those characters by believing until the end, and to do our best for a game with 100 people together. I think this is the part of my job that I enjoy the most. Also, during the character‘s debut, “If I was someone under these conditions, what kind of person would I be? If this was my name, if I had been born in such a family, if all this had happened to me, and if I had such a character, what would I be like?” It is a great pleasure to think about it and try to find it.
Actually, I write and draw. I have paintings, I‘ve had jobs behind the camera, I’ve also experienced singing. It was something I was afraid of; I wanted to sing and go on top of it. Even being able to try it was something very important to me. Bringing together the things I learned by experience gives me excitement.
Luck, talent, perseverance, hard work, all have their place on the road to success. But at different rates, these rates work differently for everyone. I think success is a combination of all of them.
I may seem like a calm and quiet person from the outside, this is because of the polyphony in my head (laughs). There is a very different Tuba than it seems from the outside, next to people I feel comfortable with. Is it crazy? Of course, wouldn‘t life be so boring without a little craziness? But besides that, learning to internally maintain calm and grace in any situation is something I still seek, as do all of us.
Has it really been 18 years? If I had solved everything, there would be nothing left to do. But I have more to do. Sometimes we wish that life was easier, that everything could be solved so easily and that the human structure was not so complicated. But what makes all this enjoyable is perhaps the complexity of human life and relationships. In every situation we encounter, in every experience, in every loss, in every win, we realize something more about ourselves. I look at life as a bit of a self-knowledge journey and I know myself so little that I still have so many ways to go...
This is a difficult question. I guess what makes me me is that I act as I feel, under any circumstance. No matter what comes my way, I can‘t stop myself from behaving the way I feel, even though I may get harmed. I think that if I behaved otherwise, I would be rejecting my own state of being.
Genes, yes, but in the end, genes don‘t just come from our parents, they come from our ancestors we’ve never seen. I have no idea what will come to the fore in Maya and Toprak. There are things they love to do right now, things they enjoy doing more. But I don’t know what they will evolve to at the end of the day. The most important thing for me is that they become good people, know themselves well and be happy. Knowing what they will be happy with, realizing what they don’t want.
The version of me you see on the red carpet is very different from my daily life. I prefer to dress the way I feel good and comfortable. But I love design, so it would be more accurate to say that I follow designers rather than fashion. I‘m trying to understand how the designs of the brands evolve from the designs of the previous season, the thought and the story behind it.
I felt very good in Dioriviera designs. On a sunny day in Bodrum, we shot a photo shoot with a great team in a very beautiful place, where our energy never dropped even though it took about 12 hours. The ‘Toile de jouy’ pattern is already one of my favorite patterns, the navy blue and white striped ’Jadior Bodrum’ t-shirt and the accompanying red skirt, swimsuits, all the combinations and colors were magnificent. Being in navy blue, red and yellow colors gives people a great energy. Also, some things coincide so well in life... It was exciting to be the first person to drive a motorcycle designed in collaboration with Vespa and Dior, again in Bodrum, with the motorcycle license I got in Bodrum a month ago. I had a great day in the aura of Dior.
First of all, thank you very much. Beauty is complete of everything. A person‘s view of life; I think beauty is the attitude, the stance and the behaviour in life that are in harmony, like a dance you can’t take your eyes off of.
I think dreaming is one of the best qualities a person can have. It is very important not to lose this feature that every child has while growing up. I dream a lot, but I don‘t get lost in dreams. I also have an analytical mindset and a realistic side; but every reality starts with dreaming first.
I like being with myself, writing, reading, painting. Sometimes going out and walking, sometimes going somewhere and having a cup of coffee, sometimes chatting with someone I don‘t know...
Frankly, I am not very interested in courses and workshops. I paint and wish I could make painting more programmatic; but I can‘t do anything programmatically in my life, I am a very spontaneous person. Apart from that, I love sculpture and three-dimensional work and would like to improve myself more about sculpture.
I guess the question of what kind of mother I am should be asked not to me but to the children. Let‘s just say, I’m composing my own sentences using the alphabet that my mother made and that my mother created.
I have seen a lot since I became UNICEF Turkey‘s goodwill ambassador. On the one hand, I saw very little, for people who lived it. I’ve seen lives scattered, I’ve seen bodies that have lost their limbs, I’ve seen women with broken hearts, I’ve seen children who don’t understand why this has happened to them. I have seen families trying to exist, I have seen their longings, I have seen their hopes, I have seen their clinging to life. I saw their purpose, I saw how much a person can hold on to life even in the worst conditions, never stop dreaming, exist and always do what they can to keep breathing. But what saddens me the most is what children go through. Because kids don’t choose anything that happens to them. We adults choose everything and they have to adapt and live with what happens to them without being asked.
I think we can start by understanding each other. We can never know exactly what a person is going through, but as human beings, we all want the same thing, the good. I hope we can understand each other and find a way to learn and grow from each other‘s experiences.
For me, being a good person first starts with feeling and experiencing the good feeling within yourself. When you feel good, you can share and multiply this good feeling. Because kindness is contagious.
Love is a state of being that makes one‘s heart and soul overflow with the joy of life. It suits every human, but it is beyond human. For me, it’s not about falling in love, it’s about being love itself.
I am very excited for the project that I will be on set at the end of this month.
Love. What a person has done concretely in this life remains as a legacy. I want everything I do in this life to serve people to feel the love inside them more.
- Interview: Gökçe Ateş Kantarci
- Photo: Ci̇han Alpgi̇ray
- Fashion Director: Meli̇s Ağazat
- Hair: İbrahi̇m Zengi̇n
- Make-up: Hakan Kültür
- Photo Assistants: Emre İbi̇ş, Kivanç Yörüten, Yunus Emre Katirci
- Make-up Assistant: Suat Başdemi̇r
Special thanks To Mesa Bodrum Demi̇rbükü