May 20 2013. view 1157
Jagath Chamila has been in the news during the past few days, largely because he has been nominated for the best actor’s award at an international film festival in New York.
Jagath is vying for the award at next month’s New York City International Film Festival for his title role in Priyankara Vithanachchi’s ‘Sam’s Story’.
Jagath’s outstanding talents as an actor in films, stage and tele dramas have been amply displayed by him who learnt the nuances at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa.
When did you make your acting debut?
I first acted in school plays while at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa under the guidance of our guru Tissa Gunawardana who taught us not only acting and drama, but also drawing, sculpting and even patience. In 1988 – 90, I was adjudged the best actor in plays like Kadathurawa, Pahan Yanaya and Pansilu Wessa. My first public performance came in ‘Prabunge Awanhala’.
Your first film role?
That came in ‘Guru Gedara’ directed by Vijaya Dharmasri in 1989. Later I acted in Asani Warsha, Thani Thatuwen Piyambanna, Me Mage Sandai, Sulanga, Gamani and others.
But your tele drama contributions were more significant?
Vijaya Dharmasri pencilled in me for a single episode tele drama called ‘Yoma Nuwan’, but my first role in a feature tele drama came in Nalan Mendis’ ‘Doo Daruwo’. Since then I got quite a lot of roles in the small screen. Even now I act in ‘Alu Banduna’.
But the most memorable role I have played so far in movies came in ‘Asani Warsha’ in which I played the character of Priyantha Godakumbura. It was a role filled with humane traits.
Do you see a big difference between the period you entered this scene and the present status?
Of course I see a huge difference and the main criteria now is the economic factor. It is this monetary factor that decides the quality of creations today. This has certainly affected the quality of creations. We have to swim against the tide to make noteworthy, wholesome contributions. But I will continue to do justice to whatever roles offered to me.
Were you engaged in some other field before becoming a professional actor?
Yes, I was involved in the electronic media, but I realized it was not my cup of tea. I feel content as an actor.
Your upcoming films, especially ‘Sam’s Story’
I am delighted about being nominated for the best actor award at the New York City International Film Festival which will be held from June 13 to 20. The nomination alone is an achievement from my point of view. Let’s wait and see. I also did a good role in ‘Sudui Usai’ which is yet to be released.
About mega tele dramas?
You can’t dismiss them totally, especially as a professional actor. Long running tele dramas should be meaningful and give something worthwhile for the viewer.
When will you become a director?
That’s one of my dreams. I don’t know whether it will be a dream forever.
My wife is Piumi Uthpala Dharmasri, daughter Venuri Kihara and son Pansilu Pawan. Besides my family I am also grateful to my parents, my brothers and sister, my teacher Tissa Gunawardana, Ashoka Peiris and Vijaya Dharmasri who really made an impact in my life and career.
By Vasantha Wimalasinghe