Photo by Ryan Jerome, Styling Evan Simonitsch, Grooming Brenda Ferrell @B Ready Beauty, Writing Alex Bonnet
The voice of reason on set of “The Flight Attendant,” Deniz Akdeniz brings wit and talent on and off the screen! This experience allowed him to learn more about exploring the collaborative process. The writers gave the actors the freedom to explore and make each of their characters their own. That blend of fiction and non-fiction is beautiful as it makes the show and characters much more “real” and relatable! Still working on making his big dreams come true, there is no doubt we will be hearing more of Deniz Akdeniz!
On set of “The Flight Attendant,” what do you believe you brought to the table different from others? What did you learn?
Amazing hair.. Wait, that’s Kaley. Super sharp wit… wait, that’s Zosia. I guess I was the voice of reason. Max is always the voice of reason. It was fun being the guy who has some common sense and ability to hack anything.. like anything. There are people who can do that in real life.. It’s awesome.
This season I really learned to explore the collaborative process. Steve and Natalie and all the writers had created this amazing story and characters, but still really gave us the freedom to explore and make it our own. And with powerhouses like Kaley and Zosia, you have to always be on your toes and A game. So it honestly was a melting pot of creative energy and learning how to be able to add your own source of creativity and self to that.
The second season comes out in a few weeks! What was your reaction when you heard the season would be renewed?
A cruel, cruel trick was played on me by my long-time manager, Tom. I was expecting a call one way or another on the day. I was doing everything I could to just carry on and try not think about it. It was up to the cancellation/renewal gods. Then when I got the call, he sounded in a sour mood. He was like “everything you did in the first season was so good.. That opportunity was something that won’t go to waste.. etc..” I just felt like nope, we’re donezo. No more.. But then he was like “And after all the success of the first one – they are coming back for more, we got a Season 2!!” My heart dropped. It was an additional adrenaline rush to an already high tension moment.. Not sure I fully got over that.. still.
Share with us one of your craziest stories as an actor so far.
Not sure if I have a “crazy” story about my career as an actor. I’ve been extremely fortunate that everything I’ve worked on has been just fun. Every day on set is a pinch me moment, where I can’t believe I’m involved in telling the stories that I always wanted to be a part of. I’ve been lucky enough to play roles throughout my life that allowed me to do some pretty amazing things like fight gargoyles and aliens, be a mer-man and a Disney prince. Now with Flight Attendant I’m part of a show that I genuinely really love watching. Instead of having to wait for episodes to drop, I’m in them and get to be part of the process to create the same experience I loved as a viewer for others.
Who played a big part in helping make your dreams come true?
My dreams are yet to come true. And when they do, it means I’ve got to dream a whole lot bigger..
But there are those who have gotten me to where I am now, like my family, my partner, my friends. I’ve been grateful to have so many people around me that give me nothing but support and love. And there are so many in between that have unlocked doors and windows and escape hatches along the way. One that comes to mind is Stuart Beattie. Back as a young lad he took a chance on an unknown actor for a role in the film “Tomorrow, When the War Began”. It was a huge leap of faith on his behalf, one that unlocked everything for me. I went from never being on a film set to running through explosions in a huge action-adventure film. An experience that taught me so much and I wouldn’t be doing this today if it wasn’t for him and his belief.
When people meet you, what is the first thing you want them to know about you? And the other way around?
I’d really want people to know my name’s Deniz. And then usually find out what their name is in return.. Everything else through simple conversation generally reveals itself. In my experience, people are all more revealing than we think.
As an actor, in what ways do you use your platform “for the greater good”?
Being someone without Social Media, I feel I don’t really have a platform. Which is honestly a downside when wanting to be able to help make active change in my community. For all the negatives about Social Media, the big positive is that it can be used as a tool to inspire change. Personally, I’m always advocating for environmental awareness. I love the outdoors and spend as much time across the beautiful National Parks in the US. Unfortunately, humans are destroying what makes this planet not only beautiful but liveable. Just one example is recycling. As far as I understand only 9% of plastic is ever recycled. It ends up in our waterways, the ocean, bellies of sea life. As consumers, we need to demand change from the corporations that help produce and further the problem. And we need cities to make recycling more accessible for households.