Veteran Yeşilçam actor misses the old days
ANTALYA – Anadolu AgencyAhmet Mekin, the legendary actor of one of the unforgettable movies of Turkish cinema history, “Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım” (The Girl with the Red Scarf), is still acting in movies and TV series at the age of 85.
The 1978 romantic drama, directed by Atıf Yılmaz and adapted from Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov’s short story, starring veteran actors Kadir İnanır and Türkan Şoray, was voted one of the 10 Best Turkish Films in a poll carried out by the Ankara Cinema Association.
Mekin, who played the role of a man named “Cemşit” in the film, is now living in the southern province of Antalya and is reminiscing the old days.
Speaking of today’s films and TV series, Mekin said he disliked scenes with “vacant stares” without dialogue.
Beginning with a debut role in 1957, Mekin has so far acted in some 200 films. He said they had very limited opportunities in Yeşilçam, a metonym for the Turkish film industry.
“Cameras and materials were very limited. We used to shoot a long film with one camera. Now everything is very good. Records are made in electronic environments and transferred to computers. We did not have this chance. The compilation of a film took three to four months to finish. Now films are made ready immediately,” he said.
Stating that he missed the warm and sincere days of the past, Mekin said the industry was now money-oriented. “Everything depends on money today. There is no sincerity and solidarity; everything is different today. There are a few films that draw people,” he said.
[HH] Filming under hard conditions
The film “The Girl with the Red Scarf,” was a breakthrough one that left a mark on Turkish people, Mekin said, adding the characters resonated with many people.
He said the film was produced under difficult circumstances. “The story is very nice. The script, director and actors were very good, as well as the music. At that time, I took the coat that I was wearing in the film from a worker in the field where we shot the film. He emptied his house for the film shooting,” he said.
Mekin said he detested the current stage the industry was at, noting that some films had unnecessary parts. “I have difficulty understanding the reason for some acts. People stare at each other without dialogue. It bothers me while watching the film,” he added.
Speaking about his surname, Mekin said he carries a different last name now after an error was made by a registrar. “Years ago, I went to a registry to change my ID cards. Because of a registrar’s mistake, my surname changed. It was Mekin in former registers, but is now Metin. I did not want to waste time with the court process to fix it again,” he said.