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Anuj Ranasinghe – Visionary Newcomer to the World of Stardom

With the release of Me Wage Adarayak- A Love like this, in 24th July 2015, one of the most talked about movies in recent Sri Lankan cinema, Anuj Eranda Ranasinghe came to the limelight. Thus, as a relatively new artist he was able to firmly establish himself in the artistic field with his increasingly popularity, admirable talent and charming charisma. Anuj started out as a model after winning the Mister. Sri Lanka contest back in 2010. From that point onwards he has worked in a series of television advertisements, musical commercials as well as a teledrama before taking his golden steps to enter the Silver Screen of stardom in cinema. Currently he is working on a teledrama called “Bawa Harana” directed by Janaka Chaminda Attanayaka. In addition, he also works with some other projects outside of the artistic field which involves managing his own event management and wedding planning company.

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Even after making a significant appearance in stardom, he has not abandoned his roots as is entirely dedicated towards participating in contests as well as representing Sri Lanka in International pageants. This dedication was further established when he recently got selected to represent Sri Lanka at Mister Pancontinental 2015 which took place from November 15th to 30th at Manila, Philippines. Through his hard work and endurance he was not only able to win several achievements but also make our country proud by making a distinctive mark through representing Sri Lanka. As Mister Sri Lanka, Anuj was able to become the 2nd runners up in Mister Pancontinental 2015 as well as winning the Best national costume and Best talent segment. It should also be mentioned that he was able to do a very notable and admirable performance of the Sri Lankan traditional martial art “ANGAMPORA” kadu harabaya enabling him to win that particular segment. Regarding his achievements and experiences about the whole pageant he not only feels humble and grateful but also dedicates his accomplishments to the whole country. He says,

“It was a really a tough pageant. It’s all about how you face your fellow challengers           and how you react to certain unplanned situations. It’s about your personality, your      knowledge, how humble you are as a person and how much you can respect others as   well as their judgment. All of these things are counted at the end of the day. It’s not me       who won internationally. They didn’t announce my name as the winner. They         announced the name    of my beautiful island Sri Lanka as the winner. So this pride goes    all the Sri Lankans out there.”

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As a person, he is a motivated and committed individual with a very easygoing attitude to life. He describes himself as merely,

“A simple guy with some life ambitions who is trying to achieve a certain set of goals.”

He made his initial steps towards the artistic field after getting the opportunity to work as a model after winning Mister. Sri Lanka back in 2010. Regarding this he says,

“Here, I have to mention Brian Kerkoven who is the guru of my carrier. Most of the people in that particular pageant were already models and I was practically a newbie. So I worked really hard on developing myself, my catwalk as well maintaining my body. I believe that it is thanks to this that I was able to make a mark at International pageants.

From that moment onwards he was able to improve as an artist professionally by involving in a variety of creative fields such as TV commercials, music videos, teledramas as well as films. When asked about how he started his career he says,

“It started from TV commercials and music videos. These really helped me get the experience in order to act in front of a camera. Also a lot of directors have helped me to this very day. My first acting experience was for Sayuri which was telecasted in 2014 in the channel Swarnavahini. A Love like this was my first filming experience and that’s how it started.”

Regarding his experience in the teledrama Sayuri he says,

“It was my first acting experience and I have to specifically mention my Director Dileka Gunathilka here who helped me to develop on my dialog pronunciation and acting. This was a different kind of drama as I had act as a poor middle class family person.  So it was really a different role experience. I believe I was able to do justice to the character by performing to the best of my abilities.”

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When asked about various challenges he faced in shooting his very first movie Mee Wage Aadarayak – A Love like this he says,

“There were actually some big challenges I had to face. We shooted for around one and half months. The story itself was a different kind of love story. Actually it was close to me on a personal level because the movie was about a pilot. At one point in life I really wanted to become a pilot so this character was dear to me as I felt like I was truly living in that character. I also believe I acted naturally in that film without any hard emotions because I certainly felt myself in the character. I have to specially mention here that I also got a chance to actually fly an airplane. So it was definitely an amazing experience.”

In this particular movie he had to act with his fellow artist Dinakshi Priyasad. Regarding this experience he says,

“Yes, I have to mention Dinakshi as she helped me in developing my character. Acting is a two way process and it is only because she was able to give 100% back to me that I was able to give 100% back. We discussed each scene before shooting on how to develop ourselves in character, how it should go on and so forth. She helped me a lot because she is an experienced actress.”

Mee Wage Aadrarayak was directed by Chandran Rutnam who is one of the most prominent directors of Sri Lankan cinema and Anuj is very appreciative of everything he has learnt from him. He says,

“My Director Chandran Rutnam allowed us to play a natural role in this movie and that was the key point in the story because he always wanted our natural acting and actual feelings to be projected throughout. He didn’t force us on anything. So, we really felt like it was something out of real life. As a result I found it really natural to act in this movie.”

Moreover Anuj stressed upon the fact that, rather than a popular actor what he wishes to be is a good actor who is appreciated for his hard work and talent. He also wants to develop himself professionally in the artistic field so that he can do justice to various roles that are expected of him. Alternatively, he also wishes to focus on his business and develop his wedding planning and event management company. When asked about his interest on being a theater actor he expressed his interest and said he is looking forward for any opportunity that would give him a sufficient platform to thoroughly explore that field as well.

When asked about his other interests apart from being an artist he mentioned,

“I really focus on maintaining my body in order to represent Sri Lanka for pageants. During my leisure time I like to read books, newspapers and magazines. Recently I have culminated an interest towards researching about the history of Sri Lanka from ancient days.”

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When asked about his personal role models in life as well as inspirational figures who have helped him to come up to this point in life which he is today he says,

“My father has always been the personal role model in my life. He has a really good heart and people love him a lot. I always look at how he deals with people and how much he is close to them. Apart from him, as inspirational figures I always look up to talented and professional Hollywood and Bollywood actors such as Tom Cruise, John Abraham and Arjun Rampal. They were the inspirations for me to work harder and try my utmost in becoming a good actor.”

Last but not least, he dedicates a personal message towards his constantly growing and faithful fan base saying,

“I love to get feedback from my fans. Whenever I do a film, teledrama or music video I would like to get comments, not only the good ones but the bad ones as well. I appreciate constructive criticism as it would enable me to know what they really feel about me as well as my acting. So, yes I will always warmly welcome anyone who will contact me via whatever media, calls or messages.”

By Nelani De Costa –

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