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Fighting scenes are my favourite, says Burak Ozcivit, star of Turkish TV series Kurulus Osman

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Burak Ozcivit is Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The role catapulted Ozcivit to superstardom, as the Turkish television series Kurulus: Osman soared in popularity worldwide.

Ozcivit, 39, seems to revel in Ottoman roles. He found fame as Malkocoglu Balı Bey in Muhtesem Yuzyıl (The Magnificent Century) and burnished his reputation in Kucuk Sırlar, the Turkish adaptation of Gossip Girl.

Born in Istanbul to a family from Gaziantep, Ozcivit was elected the Top Model of Turkey. Modelling put him on the road to acting, and he debuted in the TV series Eksi 18 in 2006. Zoraki Koca came along, setting Ozcivit up for the movie debut in Musallat (Impossible Love).

More movies, including Ask Sana Benzer, Kardesim Benim, followed, but Ozcivit’s fame grew through TV series with the success of Calıkusu and Kara Sevda. Kurulus: Osman’s phenomenal success sent Ozcivit’s stock soaring, making him a celebrity in South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Kurulus: Osman is in its fifth season, and shooting continues in Riva, Istanbul. Here’s Ozcivit’s interview with Gulf News.

How did you prepare for the role?

I worked really hard for one year before the shooting started. Everyone talks about the physical side of it: there are horses, there are swords, and how can you work them? Everybody says it’s hard work. You have to make sure you can do them. It’s not that difficult. You need to control everything. But I am talking about the other part [non-physical side]. I was a bit shy about that part. After getting involved, I said I would not hesitate to do anything. The first season was quite challenging.

What’s your favourite sequence? What do you think is your best performance?

My favourite scenes are the fighting scenes! Because we work really hard for those scenes. I love them. I love Osman Bey’s scenes where he reckons with himself. There are two scenes: One is where he is called to the throne. The other one is, I think we had that scene last year. It was in one of the castles. The scene with Sheikh Edebali. They are precious scenes for me. Scenes where he confronts himself, where we see everything is about the throne when things are viewed from the outside. We see that it’s not only the throne for Osman Bey. For an actor, those confrontation scenes are very important. As a crew and actors, we try to prepare the best for those scenes.

Burak Ozcivit
Burak Ozcivit in Kurulus: Osman. The Turkish television series’ phenomenal success made him a celebrity in South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Image Credit: Bozdag Film Company

Which is your best scene? Why?

We had a scene in Episode 130, the season finale. It was also a remarkable scene. The scene where Osman Bey declared that his seigniory (principality) is free and independent. He gathers his community and gives everyone a flag. He distributes their properties to his soldiers. Everyone is getting bigger now. That scene was wonderful too.

How did this role change your life?

We love and respect our show. I know our fans can’t even wait for the next episode. I am getting those kinds of feedback. That is a part of our business. Keep watching and following our series. We send our love to the Kurulus Osman fans from all over the world. Keep watching! Stay tuned!

Burak Ozcivit
Burak Ozcivit in a scene from Kurulus: Osman, the popular Turkish TV series, which is in its fifth season. Shooting continues in Riva, Istanbul.
Image Credit: Bozdag Film Company

What do you think is the main reason for the success of the series?

I would like to express my feelings with simple words. You have to look at the fundamentals. You should catch the sincerity here, embrace the sincere atmosphere and the rest will come. It is actually this simple. That’s why when I am talking about Kurulus Osman, communication with the team comes to my mind. As a result, the question sounds like a gift for us. The audience from all over the world shows their love and support. I represent the Ottoman Empire. I am giving life to Osman Ghazi. How many continents did the Ottomans conquer? So many.

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