Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sibel Kekilli and I’m an actress.
How did you end up in acting?
How did you manage to succeed so many professional actresses at the casting of Head-On?
Well I guess I was good (laughs). You have to ask Fatih Akin - I can’t really tell you the answer.
Did Fatih Akin ever say anything about it?
No he didn’t. I think he saw something in me that was important and felt right for the role.
What was your first thought when you got the female leading role?
I really didn’t think anything. It took some time until I got the role anyway - I just succeeded in the casting round after round. After the third round I thought „Well, now I want to get the part or don’t get it - I need a decision”. That was the only thing. And of course, I was very happy when I got the part.
Did you ultimately decide to become an actress after Head-On?
No, I thought long about if I really want this. I still ask myself from time to time if I want to do this forever or not - there are a naturally Ups and Downs and you have to ask yourself if you want to take part in that or not.
So you’re still not sure if you’re going to be an actress?
Sure! I love this job and it’s an outlet for my energy. That’s not very easy to do in real life. But I guess there is always doubt, no? Don’t you ever question if you doing the right thing? And then you ask yourself how long does this go on for? Do I still have that passion or not anymore?
Of course I’ve been asking myself that.
You see? If you wouldn’t ask those questions you wouldn’t be able to evolve.
Which production made you feel like you can be yourself the most?
I don’t know. I always try to focus on the role while still staying true to myself. So I can’t really answer this question. As a human you always expose something from your self in every role.
Well was there a role you could identify with the most?
Let’s put it this way: There are parts that I liked more than others.
Would you like to tell us which?
For example I liked Shae from „Game of Thrones”, Umay in „When We Leave” (Die Fremde), Sibel in „Head-On” (Gegen die Wand) or Leila in „Winterreise”.
Which award means the most to you?
That’s hard to tell. I was lucky enough to get a lot of awards for some of my roles. Every award that the movies or I have gotten mean a lot to me. But even the nominations make me happy - it resembles a beautiful appreciation of your work.
Would you like to be still alive in Game of Thrones?
Yes and no. I miss the people and my role but I visited them at the set and I’m in contact with them. I liked the way she died though.
Did you forgive Peter Dinklage for murdering you?
Yeah (laughs), that was his job.
I you could pick a role in Game of Thrones, which one would it be?
Because that part is very multifarious.
You now also stand behind the camera as a director. Did you adapt anything from the directors you acted for?
No, I just tried to trust my instincts and be well prepared.
What part of your life did you bring in at „Der Himmel unter den Füßen”?
Since twelve years I’ve been supporting Terre de Femmes. In favour of female rights in islam but also in general and against violence towards women. I naturally also know this culture but the movie mainly evolved around Christa Stolle.
This topic seems to be very important to you. Is this the reason why you decided to appear in this production as the director?
I think that was rather by coincidence. Arte contacted me and asked me if I could imagine doing the direction for the Format Square. I thought about it and decided of course, why not.
The movie will be premiered three days after your birthday - coincidence?
Yes (laughs), coincidence. I don’t think I would have that much power (laughs).
What project would you like to do in the future?
As an actress I would like to work with directors like Wim Wenders or Michael Haneke. Also directing like the project for Arte will continue to be interesting for me. But I take everything as it comes.
What’s the best advice that you ever got and you would like to share?
„Listen to your gut.” What do you think? What do you feel? It always matter how you feel about something, not about what others think. It took me a while until I really understood this advice.
What has changed for you since then?
In general I got more calm.
Interview Max Braun
Production Amsterdam Berlin
Photography Stefan Dotter
Styling Stefanie Klopf
Hair & Make-Up Sarah Bleszynski
Assistant Max Dorsogna
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