Meryem Uzerli born August 12, 1983, is a Turkish-German actress and model who rose to prominence by playing in Hürrem Sultan the Turkish TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl (2011–2014). She is also known for her roles in German films like Journey of No Return (2010) and Jetzt aber Ballett (2010).
Life and career
Meryem Uzerli was born on August 12, 1983 in Germany. Her father Hüseyin is Turkish while her mother Ursula, who is also an actress, is German, so she has joint German-Turkish nationality. She embraces and unites both diverse cultures, demonstrated by her two residences in Berlin and Istanbul. Her native language is German, but she is also fluent in English. She has two elder brothers and an elder sister, Canan, who is a jazz musician. At the Freie Waldorf School in Kassel, her artistic potential was supported by numerous theater projects. From 2000 until 2003, she studied acting at the Schauspielstudio Frese in Hamburg.
After graduating she did some modelling and took minor parts in several German productions including a porn. Her best-known part is as Hürrem Sultan in the historical television drama series Muhteşem Yüzyıl. In 2010, after an eight month search to find the best actress for this role, she was chosen by Meral Okay, the series’ screenwriter, and Timur Savcı, the series’ producer.
About her selection she said: “Until one day the phone rang, I was invited for a casting in Turkey, and then immediately I started living in Istanbul almost full time.” She shared the leading role with Halit Ergenç, Nebahat Çehre, Okan Yalabık, Nur Fettahoğlu and Selma Ergeç. Uzerli reached more than 350 million fans weekly through her starring role in Muhteşem Yüzyıl, which was broadcast in more than 50 countries. Within just two years she received many awards for her exceptional acting performance. She won the “Best Actress” Golden Butterfly Award for this part in 2012. She is also a model and has appeared in many of Elle’s, Marie Claire’s, InStyle’s and Elidor’s (Turkish beauty company) advertisements.
In 2013, she left the series due to health reasons and from episode 103, Vahide Perçin took her part as Hürrem Sultan. After leaving Turkey, she announced that she had broken up with her boyfriend Can Ateş after learning that he had cheated on her. She said that she was pregnant and she wanted to give birth to her child, whose father is Ateş. On 10 February 2014, she gave birth to a girl named Lara.
At the end of 2014, it was announced that Uzerli will return after a one-year hiatus with new management and a TV project, after signing a contract with O3, the Turkish production company of the biggest TV channel of the Arab world, MBC. To mark Uzerli’s comeback, Louis Vuitton and the Turkish edition of Elle magazine dedicated a 12-page fashion spread to the actress, photographed at historic German landmarks including the Berliner Dom and Siegessäule. A big press conference with Uzerli was planned in Dubai, where she would present her new project, but rather than organizing a signing ceremony for the contract in Dubai, Uzerli went to Istanbul with a small group of press members. She is still living in Berlin, but is planning to move to Istanbul. She lived in a hotel for two years during the shooting of Muhteşem Yüzyıl.
In December 2014, Star TV released a video and a photo of Uzerli introducing her as one of its actresses in 2015. Previously, she had published a photo of herself during a camera shooting in Star TV’s studio. About her future she says: “I am trying to build on my international success within any industry where actors are respected as artists, and where I can find great scripts that allow me to delve into a story that leaves the here and now behind.” In March 2015, it was finalized that Uzerli will be accompanied by Murat Yıldırım in her new TV series.
It was also rumored that Uezrli was in a relationship with her previous cast mate Ozan Güven, who played the role of Rüstem Pasha in Muhteşem Yüzyıl. Uzerli later posted on her Facebook that the news about her relationship with Güven was not true.
In November 2014, Uzerli received an invitation from a rich family to an event in the Middle East, offering her 500,000 euros to attend a special dinner. She replied to them: “I don’t usually accept such invitations, but if you donate the money to three Turkish associations working for needy children, I will come.” The event’s hosts replied: “Then we will pay more money.” She attended this dinner in November 2014.
2008 Jetzt vorbei
2009 Das total verrückte Wochenende
2009 The Line
2009 Lauf um deine Liebe
2009 Sterne über dem Eis
2010 Journey of No Return
2010 Das ist ja das Leben selbst
2010 The Dark Chest of Wonders
2010 Urbane Dater
2010 Lover’s Guide
2008 Ein total verrücktes Wochenende
2008 Inga Lindström
2010 Der Staatsanwalt
2010 Notruf Hafenkante
2010 Ein Fall für zwei