Zeynep Kankonde is a great actress with a wealth of experience behind her. In Ask Mantik Intikam, she plays Menek?e, a strong, involved and incredibly true mother. This authentic artist gives viewers great reality and truth. Her art is close to people and their hearts.
Chiffon Magazine meets Zeynep Kankonde
Welcome, Zeynep! It’s an honor to talk to you. Menek?e is a wonderful character. She’s a caring and supportive mother, a great worker and a truthful person. What’s your favorite thing about her?
Her friendship! Her mothering, her keep it going even though everything is messed up and of course, her humor.
Are there any aspects of Menek?e that you resonate with yourself?
I respect her being away from the things that will make her conscience uncomfortable but I know I will never have a comfort conscience like hers.
What did you learn from her?
I learned to never give up the ones I love whatever happens.
One of my favorite aspects of this show is the relationship between Zümrüt and Menek?e. You and Günay Karacaolu are spectacular. What do you love and most respect about having each other to work with?
At first Günay Karacao?lu was a terrifying actress to work with. Because of her talent and her amazing energy, she is a wonderful woman. But after working with her kindness and sincerity that she showed to me made me respect her even more in every moment. She is a STAR…
One of my favorite scenes is in episode 10. There is a very special and emotional moment between Menek?e and Esra. Menek?e says to her daughter: “I seem to have raised you very strong. I told you not to listen to your heart, so that you would act according to reason. You have become a strong girl. But living your feelings is also very good, daughter. When a person falls in love, she feels that she is living. Ok, reason keeps you alive but love makes you live. Forget what you learned. Do this. Feel this place. Feel how everything is beating here, daughter. Love speaks”. In episode 27, Menek?e says to Esra: “You cannot deceive me. I’m your mom. I see, Esra. You have a pain here. You eat yourself up from the inside but you don’t tell anyone. But when you want to tell me, I’m here, daughter”. I loved that moment between mother and daughter. How did you feel when you shot that particular scene? How is it working with Burcu Özberk?
Menek?e and Zeynep look at love from the same page. We want our daughters to choose comfortable life over love but on the other hand we want their hearts to burn with love’s passion.Our minds are a little messed up on this topic. When you are playing mother-daughter roles if you don’t have harmony your relationship will look fake. When we are playing we get that taste and I think the audience feels that too. In this series all of my actress friends have their unique talents. They make their characters become alive with their little thoughts, their relationship and great touch.
What I love about Ask Mantik Intikam is the fact that there are so many different and real women. It’s very necessary to see so many women on the screen for all of us viewers. How important is it for you to see female figures like that in this story?
Even though this series seems to be based on “love” it is actually about WOMAN…and also women are telling the story. Our writers and producers are women.This makes our fictional characters have real identities.We get how important it is from our viewer’s reaction.
Why did you want to be an actress?
I didn’t really do anything to be an actress. It wasn’t my childhood dream or something. I was working in a theatre cleaning up things and giving actor’s drinks. And then I found myself in the Conservatory.
What do you feel when you act?
I get scared every time I go to the set for; Am I going to do a great job? Will I find a place in my body for my character? Being able to think like her makes me mesmerized.
Do you have people that inspire you?
Every actor and actress before me or every actor and actress in my country or in my age made a place in my memory.I watched them while I growing up. I can’t give names one by one but I’m trying to get their sincerity. And of course they are all my inspiration.
What is the meaning of Art, in your opinion?
Art is a memory of humanity. For example, when you watch a movie about genocide you face the shameful history of their era.An artists creation is an amazing commentary of life for us.We get pleasures from different aspects.Sometimes it is like a fresh breath for us. But I need to indicate I am not an artist. I am a commentator. Until I make an artistic creation, identifying myself as a commentator makes much more sense to me.