Being a Lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army: A Conversation with Michiel Huisman for the Home Entertainment Release
From the director of The Forgotten Joseph Ruben, comes the powerful and gripping action-packed drama, THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT. Featuring an all-star cast including Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler’s List), Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down, Penny Dreadful), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones, The Age of Adaline) and Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, Davinci’s Demons) THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT will be released on Digital Download from 24 July and DVD and Blu-ray from 7 August.
THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT tells the wartime story of a strong-willed woman Lillie (Hera Hilmar) who leaves the United States after meeting Jude (Josh Hartnett) an American doctor who runs a remote medical mission within the exotic Ottoman Empire. There, she finds her loyalty tested to both Jude and the mission’s sagacious founder (Ben Kingsley) when she falls in love with Ismail (Michiel Huisman), a Lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army. Set among the backdrop of World War 1 and tied together with epic battles and mind-blowing fight sequences, Lillie must decide if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.
In our interview, Huisman tells us about being a Lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army and telling Wartime Stories...
What was it like playing a character in this setting, and what were some challenges for your character (Ismail)?
Yes, there were definitely challenges when it came to portraying Ismail. First off, I had to learn a little bit of Turkish, so that itself was a major challenge. It takes place right before the First World War in Turkey, a time I knew little about when I first began working on this project. It is essentially a love drama set against the backdrop of a world that is slowly falling apart. Despite the horrors encircling the region, which I’ve only later come to fully understand, the film is really a romantic drama, and that was always the driving force of the way I would tell Ismail’s story.
What are the overarching themes of the movie?
The biggest theme of the movie is how love can overcome differences between people. It takes place over a hundred years ago, but that theme of love is still relevant today. And I hope that adds to the timelessness of our story. When I read the script, to me, it was a war story, a western and a love drama all in one. Ithas spectacular shots of Turkey.
THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT will be released on Digital Download from 24 July and DVD and Blu-ray from 7 August