Can Yaman: And now I'll tell you all about me.full Interview

Can Yaman: And now I'll tell you all about me.full Interview

The interview with Can Yaman is in a quiet corner of the lobby of a hotel in the center of Rome. The Turkish actor enters and greets the staff warmly. First, he orders a double espresso coffee: " You Italians take too short a coffee, one is not enough for me" he laughs. He then orders one for me and adds to the waiter: "Could you also bring me a carafe of American coffee and a bottle of still mineral water, please?".

In Italy Can became popular a couple of years ago thanks to the Canale 5 series "DayDreamer" in which he was the protagonist. Then the phenomenon exploded. He is adored by fans who go crazy for him and who are now ready to grab a copy of "Sembra strano anche a me" (published by Mondadori Electa), his autobiography just out. The book, just published, is the pretext to meet this handsome young man who has now been launched into the world of Italian TV series: after participating in "Che Dio ci aiuti 6", he is now on the set of "Viola come il mare", alongside Francesca Chillemi.

And he chose to speak only to Sorrisi about his editorial adventure. One thing must be said. For the entire hour of our chat, Can naturally master the grammar of our language, something not taken for granted by a foreigner. He sits on the sofa next to a fireplace with a fake fire. To avoid a bad impression I ask him immediately how to pronounce his name. "Gian," he says. "In Turkey, it's a modern name." Can leans back, makes himself comfortable, and immediately clarifies, "We are here to talk about the book but I want to say that it is an operation connected to my perfume and my association for children."

What's the purpose?

To tell my story: the fans who love me can then get to know me better and can feel closer to me."

In what way?

"The perfume, for example, represents me. It contains notes that tell about me because they are the ones I love: strawberry, cocoa, tobacco, whisky. Perfume is something that brings people together, if a woman wears it, it's like I'm there with her. Then there is the non-profit association that I created to help less fortunate children, the "Can Yaman for children"".


"I care about children, I want to help the little ones who are in disadvantaged conditions. Childhood, adolescence were key periods in my growth. I tell about it in the book."

Here, let's start with your book. Why an autobiography at 32 years old?

"It seems strange to me too, just like the title (laughs). In the book, I tell everything that happened to me before I became an actor. My parents, my childhood, what I experienced, and what led me to become the person I am now."

You were born in Istanbul, what do you take away from your roots?

"Istanbul is a wonderful mosaic of peoples, of cultures: if you are born there you feel like a citizen of the world. My family wanted me to know languages. From elementary school, I studied English but in high school, I chose the Italian scientific high school."

How come?

"Because it was unique, while there were so many German and French high schools. And I was fascinated by Italian culture, after all, your country has a positive image all over the world."

Mom Güldem and Dad Güven met and fell in love at a very young age.

"They gave me a wonderful childhood. I always found in my family what I needed. For years, and still today, my mom and dad were my best friends. Growing up, I didn't look for friends my own age, I was a bit of an introvert."

First memory with your mom?

"I must have been 4 years old: I was bratty and ripped the leaves off of plants. My mom explained to me that plants are living things just like dogs and cats. "You pet animals; you have to do the same with plants," she told me. My respect for nature was born from then on. And then it was my mom who taught me how to swim.... by throwing me in the water (laughs)".

And the first memory with his dad?

"Maybe the first gift he gave me: a soccer ball. But more than one thing, in particular, I remember that when dad was around I felt good, safe because he was cheerful, sunny, funny and physically strong: everyone respected him".

And he taught you to bake.

"Yes, but when I tell this story my mother gets upset, so I want to explain myself well".


"My mother, an administrative organizer for a company, would wake up at five in the morning, go to work on the other side of town and return in the evening. She cooks well but didn't have as much time to devote to the stove. After they separated, when I went to live with my father, we had a more relaxed pace of life and time for cooking instead. He has Albanian origins and learned to cook from my paternal grandmother, a fantastic cook who used to make "börek" (a sort of rustic cake, ed) by hand".

What's your forte in the kitchen?

"I know how to prepare traditional Turkish dishes, but the thing my father passed on to me is to use creativity. I open the refrigerator and with what's there I can create delicious recipes".

Your powerful physique is one of the aspects that fans appreciate about you.

"Since I was 6 years old I have always played sports, I played soccer and basketball. But it wasn't until my freshman year of college that I started with the gym, and I quickly put on a lot of muscle mass, because I had the base of a physique that grew with sports."

You studied law.

"Yes, I am a lawyer."

And you also has a law office in Istanbul with two of his partners-friends.

"That's true, but now I'm an actor and I'm just an 'honorary partner'. But if I wanted to go back to being a lawyer, I could."

Does you ever think about it?

"I like the acting job but I need to know that I can do a lot of things in life. It's not going to happen, but knowing that maybe when I turn 40 I'll get tired and go back to being a lawyer gives me great strength."

Do you remember the first case you handled as an attorney?

"I started working in the legal department of a company: small civil cases."

For your first role in a Turkish series you had to "make yourself ugly".

"Yes, I lost six kilos of muscle, cut off the beard, and left only the mustache. I played a guy a little 'loser' who, however, then found his redemption."

Can, you "agree" with several generations of women: they all go crazy for you. What do you do?

"This is the "miracle", and put it in quotes please. It's a beautiful thing, I can't explain it. Maybe it's because of the great respect I have for my fans and for women in general."

Let's try to get to know you even better: what music do you listen to?

"In this period the greats of Italian music, from Claudio Baglioni to Vasco Rossi, from Eros Ramazzotti to Renato Zero. More generally, I appreciate deejays who experiment and mix different genres."

And what do you watch on television?

"Everything. Without prejudice."

You are handsome as the sun, you are well educated, you speak languages, you love philosophy, you play chess, you waltz, you can cook... do you have a flaw?

"Like everyone! For example, I hate to wake up early. And after waking up for about an hour I have to be quiet, I don't talk to anyone and I have breakfast my own way, not like you Italians who just have a croissant and a cappuccino!".

So what's your breakfast like in your own way?

"Heavy": sweet, savory, washed down with gallons of coffee.... (laughs). That's why I don't like to eat breakfast outside the house. And when I'm called to the set at six in the morning, I go out with my eyes closed and before I've had my coffee, and I risk becoming grumpy. Usually, however, I'm the sweetest person in the world."

You are shooting the fiction "Viola come il mare" for Mediaset and for the first time you are acting in Italian. Well, can you say how you are doing?

"I spoke better Italian in high school than I do now when I got my Roman inflection (laughs). I'm studying a lot. With my vocal coach, we do articulation exercises with tongue twisters."

Can you tell me one?

"Here it is: 'Three lazy priests pray with three lazy priests'".

Then "Sandokan," an icon of our TV, awaits you.

"I didn't know him, I prepared myself and realized how important he was, so I felt even more honored and lucky. It's an international project and I'll be acting in English. We were supposed to shoot it last year, then because of Covid, we stopped. But I had been training and was very pumped up."

What workouts did you do?

"Sword, horseback riding, fitness... I was up to 100 pounds. Now to play Francesco Demir in "Viola come il mare" I'm down to 90. For Sandokan I will recover muscle mass, my body has this luck: I can change it depending on the project I have to do. I just need a month to change.

Do you feel you have achieved a dream?

"I believe that dreams never end. The best must always come."

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