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My Night With Sibel

The lovely and talented SIBEL KEKILLI -- best known to all you GAME OF THRONES fans out there for her amazing portrayal of Shae -- came to Santa Fe last December.  We celebrated her visit by screening HEAD ON, the breakthrough German film that gave Sibel her first starring role and won her the Lola (the German Oscar) for Best Actress, but that was not the main purpose of her visit.  She was here to film a segment of a popular German travel show DURCH DIE NACHT (roughly, INTO THE NIGHT), for the French/ German TV network ARTE.

The premise is the show is that each week, a celebrity visits some place they have never been before, and a local shows them the town, with an emphasis on the nightlfife.  Sibel asked me to show her Santa Fe, and I was delighted to say yes ( though I did warn her that Santa Fe, for all its charms, does tend to roll up the sidewalks at 9:00 pm or so).    So after a rather adventurous series of flight, and a six-hour drive through the night with a stranger in a car full of fish, Sibel made it to the Land of Enchantment, and I had the honor of playing her host.  We took in my own lair, a local gallery, a comic book shop, two restaurants, two bars, and of course the Jean Cocteau.  (With a film crew trailing us everywhere we went).

I had a great time.  Got to introduce Sibel to margaritas and chile con queso, two of my favorite things.  All in all, she seemed to enjoy the experience.  And driving around through the night, we talked about all manner of things, which was fun as well.

The segment has now been edited and broadcast.  For those of you not in France and Germany who did not get to see it, here you go:

I've met some wonderful people through GAME OF THRONES, and Sibel is one of them.  What an amazing, talented, courageous young woman.   And yes, I confess it: her Shae was better than my Shae.

Oh, and by the way, here's that song I had them sing for Sibel -- Istanbul, Not Constantinople, by the Four Lads.


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Mar. 26th, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)
You can not compare them in earnest
D&D changed the character. Presumably because an opportunist prostitute is not good for TV.

Whatever the case maybe, she did well with the script she had. No doubt about it.
Jake Radford
Mar. 26th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
Dragons with two legs
Loved the bit about you wanting your dragons to be as anatomically correct as possible. I think technically, they'd be Wyverns, but I'm not sure that's nearly as foreboding. "The Wyvern has three heads."

Obviously you've done a fantastic job with all your characters in the books, but are there any others that you feel the TV show might have done better than you had at the time?
Mar. 26th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC)
TV can be great outside of HBO... ;-)
dear george,

thank you for that great segment with sibel!
I enjoyed it a lot and had to laugh wholeheartedly many times...

just as you wrote, sibel is an amazing person and actress. I kept following her career since "gegen die wand/head on" because she grew up in the next big city from where I live now (heilbronn, germany).

maybe you could do a second segment with her, this time in istanbul (not constantinople!)?! ;-)

thank you also for posting this youtube link which I just shared with an italian friend who is also a huge GoT fan and had been very sad to realize that the video posted at the "arte" site did not work for her... I guess this now made her day...

best regards from germany,
Mar. 26th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC)
Indian Adaptation of 'Game of Thrones'
Hey George! I was wondering if you have heard of the Indian version of Game of Thrones that is in the works. If so, what do you think about it? Thanks!
Mar. 26th, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
Endearing video

This was thoroughly entertaining. It made me laugh, and in few moments it almost brought me to tears. It's really great to see people meet in rather unusual circumstances and get along so well :)

Thank you!

P.S. I admit that I am writing this comment whilst I'm only at minute ~42 of the video.
Mar. 26th, 2015 09:57 pm (UTC)
You mentioned in the video that HBO owns the rights to toys which look like characters from the show, but do you still own the rights to licensed toys based on the books?
Mar. 26th, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC)
Pre-existing deals were grandfathered in.
(no subject) - Fairfax - Mar. 26th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Mar. 26th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 26th, 2015 10:02 pm (UTC)
I have to say, your tour guide skills impressed me ! Santa Fe seems like a fascinating city, especially when you tell the anecdotes about all the different places.

Sibel Kekilli is a very talented actress. I knew her before Game of Thrones for her role in "When We Leave", an excellent movie that stuck with me for a while (you can imagine my surprise when I saw she was in Game of Thrones). She also seems to be an intelligent and really nice person. I envy the people who got to meet and take pictures with both of you at the same time !
Mar. 26th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC)
fascinating city tour :)
Dear George,
it was really amazing to watch this segment with Sibel Kekilli and you. She has such a powerful presence as an actress, I hope that Fatih Akin and she will work on a movie again. Currently she´s playing an investigator with epilepsy in Germany´s longest running crime show "Tatort", and it´s always great to watch an episode with her in it.
I very much enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Santa Fe. I had not realized until now what an interesting and culturally rich town this is - even if it can´t beat Constan... eh...Istanbul. :)
Lots of greetings from Norway,
Mar. 27th, 2015 03:56 am (UTC)
I was very dubious about TV Show Shae in Season 1. I kept thinking, "Man, this Shae is awfully bossy and confrontational for someone who is being paid precisely to ease her client's troubles. Is there a genuine market out there for prostitutes who get paid big money to treat you like a henpecked husband?"

I mean, everybody has a fetish, but I never picked out Shae as a dom and Tyrion as a sub.

I definitely warmed up to her over the series, though, and by the end I agree, I definitely liked her more than Book Shae.

On a very slightly off topic note, that chair I see you being interviewed in is awesome and I want it. Every time I see it, I think "Man, that chair looks comfortable."

Edited at 2015-03-27 04:42 am (UTC)
Rock Strongo
Mar. 27th, 2015 03:59 am (UTC)
oh man
George asks Sibel if she plays tabletop games. I'm going to assume he asked rhetorically, because the obvious answer is no. I've never walked into the dank backroom of a comic book store or fantasy store where people were playing magic or something that didn't also smell like a locker room.
Mar. 27th, 2015 05:38 am (UTC)
In your video I found it fascinating that you said your world was 5 blocks growing up. Do you often go back to Bayonne New Jersey and visit your old 5 blocks? Have those 5 blocks changed much since those days?
Mar. 27th, 2015 07:45 am (UTC)

I really love Sibel. When I was in school we watched and analysed "Gegen die Wand" or "Head-On" in ethics class. I was so thrilled when she got cast on GoT and all the people I talked to didn't know why I reacted that way.

It's unfortunately still seldom that an actor from my country gets public acclaim elsewhere, but I'm glad that Sibel did.

All the greetings from Germany

Edited at 2015-03-27 07:56 am (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2015 07:47 am (UTC)
I loved the film and your collection! It's incredible!
Bernhard Vienna
Mar. 27th, 2015 09:48 am (UTC)
That was just great! She has such a presence.

and what a great toy collection! Please do a TV show where you tell stories just with those figures. People could watch how you come up with stories. You don't need all those special effects. The stories are enough.
Mar. 27th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC)
Nice show and really lovely dioramas - you could make a full photography book out of them ! :-)
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