UPDATED 09/10/13: Pejic’s first episode of Fatih went to air last night in Turkey. Below is a YouTube clip of the episode that was uploaded overnight by Turkish broadcaster Kanal D. Pejic makes what looks to be his first appearance at 38.11. Note the closeup of his swollen hand at 38.29 and the stitch on his chin at 1.09.44. During filming, Pejic fell off his horse and later Instagrammed a shot of the damage, telling his fans “My hand is like a pumpkin! I fell off a semi-wild galloping horse on set :(….but mama lived!”.
One of Pejic’s fans has uploaded a second clip which shows his character Radu getting dressed and riding a horse:
In February, Andrej Pejic made his acting debut as a silent celebrity stalker in David Bowie’s The Stars Are Out Tonight video.
Next week, he graduates to the real deal: his first speaking role in, of all things, a Turkish soap opera.
Pejic appears in two episodes of the lavish period costume drama Fatih that is based on the life of Fatih Sultan Mehmet II “The Conqueror”, who was sultan of the Ottoman Empire between 1444-1446 and 1451-1481, dramatically expanding the empire’s reach during this time (to, among many other places, Pejic’s Serbian homeland).
Pejic plays Radu, the younger brother of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (now part of Romania) and a member of the House of Drăculești – aka Vlad The Impaler or Dracula. That’s the real-life, torture-loving despot who provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.
Frockwriter is no scholar of Turkish history, but as far we gather, Vlad and Radu – who was so pretty he earned the nicknames of Radu the Beautiful/Fair/Handsome – spent their teenage years in western Anatolia, with Vlad later being elevated to the Wallachian throne by the sultan. Radu stayed on with the Ottomans, much to Vlad’s chagrin. Radu became a leading court figure at the age of 22 and was later himself made ruler of Wallachia.
The series bowed last week on Turkey’s Kanal D and the first of Pejic’s episodes airs next week. Here he is in all his medieval glory in the trailer:
According to Joseph Tenni, Pejic’s manager at his Australian mother agency Chadwick, Pejic’s character is killed by Vlad in the series.
Pejic travelled to Turkey last month to shoot on location and did not apparently have a stunt double. As part of the job, he was required to ride a horse and experienced a fall at one point, injuring his hand (see Instagram shot, below) and chin and necessitating a hospital dash, one stitch in his chin and a day off shooting. To make up for lost time, he put in a 20-hour day when he returned to the set the net day, reports Tenni.
Although Pejic doesn’t speak Turkish, he was required to learn his lines in Turkish and read them out during shooting, with his voice subsequently dubbed.
Various shots of Pejic on location have appeared on several AP fan forums, the Fatih Facebook page and Pejic’s own Instagram – although in the latter case, without any background info as to the project.
Other location shots appear to show Pejic made up to look much older than his 22 years.
Soap operas are booming in Turkey at the moment, raking in over US$100million in sales to the Balkans, the Gulf and the Middle East.
Reportedly, Fatih is among the most expensive Turkish soaps yet to be produced.
PHOTOS: VIA ANDREJ PEJIC'S INSTAGRAM (COVER); AN-ANDREJ-PEJIC-BLOG.TUMBLR (TOP); AESO4'S INSTAGRAM, ALL VIA ANDREJ PEJIC PAGE