Magazine article Variety

Meryem UZERLI

Magazine article Variety

Meryem UZERLI

Article excerpt

Soap star has had her fill of controversy

CLAIM TO FAME

German/Turkish actress Meryem Uzerli is among the Arab world's best-known young stars, thanks to hit TUrkish soap "Magnificent Century," in which she played Hurrem Sultan, a seductive former slave who becomes the powerful wife of 16th century Ottoman emperor Suleiman. The lavishly produced show mixes intrigue, sensuality and history, luring viewers from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and even France and Japan. But it has irked some Muslims in the region.

BIG BREAK

Uzerli, 30, who grew up in Germany, has a German mother and a TUrkish father. After acting school, Uzerli did some theater work and landed small roles on German TV. "Until one day the phone rang, I was invited for a casting in TUrkey, and then almost immediately (in 2010) I started living in Istanbul almost full time," she says.

CATAPULTED INTO CONTROVERSY

Moving from Germany to TUrkey, where fundamentalist Muslim beliefs wrestle with Western pop culture, Uzerli became an unintentional poster girl on the cultural battleground. …

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