CENGIZ DERVIS is a former professional fighter (kickboxing / martial arts champion) who whilst competing trained as an actor initially in London followed by classes, courses and workshops in Paris, New York and LA.
Cengiz now has an impressive number of features to his name in key and leading roles including; legendary hit-man ‘Mr Gallo’ in feature Retribution, By Any Name which script was adapted from a best selling book of the same name by Katherine John and recently in the epic new US TV series Knightfall by Jeremy Renner.
Cengiz generously found the time to squeeze us into his busy schedule for a round of 10 QUESTIONS WITH…
When did you realise you wanted to be a professional actor?
When I was fourteen, armed with a camcorder (that took two years to pay for) and a few crazy friends that spent evenings and weekends playing dungeons and dragons or making films.
What’s your proudest career moment?
Writing, producing and starring in a few short films that went onto to win a number of festival awards all over the world!
What’s the hardest thing about working on a tv/film set?
I don’t see any hardship but I do see a whole bunch of extremely hard working people in all areas crew, cast etc. My job is to turn up fully prepared and be part of the team and get the job done at the highest level / quality.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
It’s a marathon not a sprint so focus on growing, expanding, contributing and having lots of fun.
Do you watch the tv/film you’ve appeared in? What’s that like?
Yes and thankfully I’m able to sit back and take it in as a whole and appreciate the team work to get it from page to screen, although… I’d be lying if I didn’t notice things I’d do differently…
Who’s the best actor you’ve ever worked with? Why?
I’d rather not single people out as I’ve had the good fortune to work with many actors who bring so much to a project. What I will say is for me the actors I find the best to work with are the ones who are friendly, professional, generous, engaged and give 100% even when the camera is not on them!
Do you feel like your martial arts background is a blessing or a curse? Do you ever feel typecast?
The martial arts is a huge part of my development given I’ve trained since I was 5 and therefore given these unarmed / armed skills definitely influenced what roles I was initially seen for. However having trained and worked as an actor for over a decade this combined with my physical skills is certainly opening up new doors / opportunities and I’m getting seen for wider and in some cases more interesting roles.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d give him a hug and say I trusted my instincts and took risks and life has been hard with many ups and downs but it’s also been extremely rewarding… he might look at me like I’m mad and be a little disappointed, BUT… he’ll go onto find out that if you do what is hard (work, train, learn, grow, expand, earn, contribute, understand application…) life becomes easier downstream!
As opposed to: If you do what is easy (complain, give up at the first hurdle, expect a return on an investment you haven’t made, make excuses…) your life becomes hard!
If you had to choose between TV or film for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Why?
My goal is to work both in quality projects. I absolutely love working in film but the luxury to play and grow a role over a number of series episodes or seasons can be extremely attractive.
What have you got coming up?
Tough one to answer as I’m signed to NDA on a project so cannot say much on that but I am working on a slate of films with a small team of producers in the role as an actor / producer the first being a supernatural thriller aiming at filming in 2018 and is currently being pitched to investors.
You can check out some of Cengiz’ videos reels here: REELS